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              What many would consider their worst nightmare has become a reality for Christopher Yuan. While attending dental school, he began living promiscuously as a homosexual and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing and discovered that he was HIV positive.

              But God has turned his nightmare into an exciting and inspiring story of redemption, grace and transformation. Christopher has an understanding heart for and a desire to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. He speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons.

              Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 and Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and is currently pursuing a doctorate of ministry at Bethel Seminary. He now teaches at Moody while continuing his speaking ministry which has reached four continents around the world. Christopher has spoken at both Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church in America and at many conferences including InterVarsity's Urbana and the Moody Pastors' Conference and Men's Conference. He is also featured in the award-winning documentary, "HOPE Positive: Surviving the Sentence of AIDS" and has co-authored with his mother, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, A Broken Mother's Search for Hope (forthcoming May 3, 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah a division of Random House).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Answering three questions...


I had a discussion on Facebook and answered some assertions which I thought some of you might be interested in reading. I've copied my response below.

This is just in response to XXX's comments. XXX made some assertions which I will try to restate.

1) People are born gay (or homosexuality is a pre-birth disposition)
2) There is no evidence that being gay is a choice and people can turn from gay to straight
3) Romans 1 and Genesis 19 is not about homosexuality

I'll respond to them here.

1)

Your two statements are actually not the same. I will argue with your first statement but agree that there is likely evidence that sexuality may have a pre-birth disposition. BUT there are other factors that possibly come into play (environment) post-birth. There is yet no conclusive evidence that people are born gay.

You mentioned the Northwestern study as evidence to support your claim that people are born gay. But here is a notable quote from the lead researcher, Dr. Alan Sanders of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute. "It is more likely there are several genes that interact with nongenetic factors, including psychological and social influences, to determine sexual orientation."

Here are some more notable statements from reputable sources.

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles.” American Psychological Association

“Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences.” American Academy of Pediatrics

“No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.... there is a renewed interest in searching for biological etiologies for homosexuality. However, to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality.” Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrics

As of date, no one knows the etiology of sexuality but most likely it is a combination of factors. Furthermore, it is unknown whether those biological or environmental influences are pre-natal or post-natal. So according to scientific evidence thus far, the jury is out.

Most people claim that people are born gay in order to justify moral permissiveness. However, there are many feelings that I've had as long as I can remember and which I never chose (selfishness or anger), but it does not justify their moral permissiveness.

2)

Here, I will totally agree with you that homosexuality is not a choice. And I join you in combating this lie. I spent most of my adult years as a gay male. And I have yet to meet anybody that chose to have homosexual feelings. So you are right. The whole choice thing is absurd.

I do partially agree with some parts of your second point. Most people will continue to have same-sex attractions and that is why I NEVER tell people that the goal of the person with unwanted same-sex attractions is to become straight. Being straight is not the goal.

I think that it is more of an issue of identity. I don't put my identity in my feelings or sexuality. I am now celibate and don't consider myself gay or straight. I may have sexual feelings but they don't control me. I am not denying myself, only my feelings - as a matter of fact, throughout the day, we all deny feelings. It is what separates us humans from animals.

Now as a result, my feelings become less and less. And I get to focus on so many other things in life. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST SEX!!!

But your assertion that there is no evidence that gay people can turn straight is not true. There are studies (e.g. Jones & Yarhouse) but many simply dismiss them and then make assertions such as, "There are no studies out there!" In addition, I know personally of some people who have changed. Yes, you can say that you know people who tried and did not change. But all you can say is that THEY did not change.

That is far from saying CHANGE IS NOT POSSIBLE which is an absolute statement. It would be ridiculous for me to make an absolute statement such as ALL GAYS CAN CHANGE. No, I would never say that. But I can say that some gays have changed - change is possible.

Besides, we need to define "change." Being clear with our semantics is always important. I don't narrowly define change as something black in white. Kinsey, the famous "sexpert" believes that sexuality is a spectrum and that most people lie somewhere between homosexuality and heterosexuality.

So I believe that any movement along that spectrum is change. With this more realistic definition of change, I certainly do think that change is possible. The fact that I went from where I was ten years ago (sex fiend) to now (celibate) is an enormous change in my sexuality.

3)

I will agree with you that the purpose of Genesis 19 and the purpose of Romans 1 is not about homosexuality, but rather it is about the depravity of Sodom in Genesis and/or humanity in Romans 1. With that said, although this is not the proof text for homosexuality, these passages point toward man's tendency toward sin. And the writer of Genesis and Paul pile up a multitude of sins to make their point.

In Genesis: homosexuality, gang rape, inhospitality, etc.; and in Romans: idolatry, homosexuality, evil, greed, envy, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, disobedient to parents, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, etc.

So although Moses and Paul's point was not to simply condemn homosexuality, these passages confirm that homosexual sex is a sin. Note that it does not condemn the person, but the acts. Actually in Leviticus 18:22 (cf. Leviticus 20:13), it states “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Note that it says, "that" not "them." So the people are not detestable but the sex is.

Unfortunately, people have used the Bible to hate and mistreat LGBT people - and this is what I would call DETESTABLE! I will fight to end the hatred and mistreatment of LGBT people because simply, IT IS WRONG!!!

But back to Scripture, even if Genesis 19 and Romans 1 did not CONDEMN homosexuality, that is far from CONDONING homosexuality - which is what you are saying the Bible says. I'd be curious to see where you find that in the Bible.

Although I believe that homosexual sex is a sin, this does not mean that I hate LGBT people. You see, when compared to God, nobody is perfect - and we are all sinners. Does this then mean that because I believe that everybody is a sinner, I hate them all? So my mother (who is imperfect and a sinner), do I hate her? NO! My dad is imperfect and a sinner. Do I hate him? NO! But because I know my own imperfections and sins, I am able to relate in solidarity and love ALL people as we are called to "love our neighbors."

I hope that this helps. Blessings to you!

3 Comments:

Blogger wayne said...

I totally agree with you Chris,gays are to be loved and respected as normal people based on the truth that God loves the world and Jesus died for all,and if God loves, we love. Gay lifestyle is sinful, it's another topic when we talk about love and acceptance. You talked about being sexually attracted to some beside your spouse (samesex or opposite sex) is sin,and I cant agree with you more. It's something we CHristians should focus on today in our teachings. We kept saying gay sex is bad and we omit the topic of sexual immorality of the "straight",basically they are same for God. John 3-16 again,guys. Jesus died for all. Repent!

God bless you Chris, and you,whoever is reading this comment.

Wayne Ho

February 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

If you are taking the position that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality (which I think many Christians would be surprised to hear you say), we don't always live in the way that the Bible tells us. For instance, we live in a democracy, and the Bible says nothing about how we should act towards our leaders in this type of government system. Also, we prohibit slavery, which the Bible definitely condones.

Your thoughts.

June 7, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Christopher Yuan said...

Joseph:

I do take the position that the Bible explicitly condemns sex between two men or two women but I find some inconsistencies with your logic.

You state that "we don't always live in the way that the Bible tells us." This is true to an extent in the specifics, but the Bible gives general guidelines to live by. Democracy is not mentioned, but it is never mentioned as a moral issue. Rather we are given general principles on government (cf. Romans 13).

You mention slavery. This is always such a huge misunderstanding. The Bible never commands us to have slaves and the Bible does not condone the slavery that we know of today. The slavery of the ANE culture and the Greco-roman world is quite different than the slavery that we know of today. Discounting the cruel and abusive slavery (which we are more familiar with today), ancient slavery also allowed for a form which would be more similar to our modern day bankruptcy or welfare. For many slaves, it was just temporary and they had many rights and freedoms.

Nevertheless, slavery in the Bible is never a moral issue. Sexual intercourse is associated with moral and immoral behavior.

I hope that this helps. I pray that you seek out Christ and His righteousness.

Christopher Yuan

July 14, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

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