There is a new word being bandied about these days: Orientation.
Orientation was the title of your first class in college or your introduction to a new job. However, this word has been aggressively inserted into everyday conversation by those who identify themselves by an untraditional sexual attraction. Currently, orientation refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Recently Q has been added for those who are still questioning their sexual orientation.
If sexual orientation is critical information for every human being to know, shall we submit “A” to include those who want to have sex with animals or “P” for those who want to have sex with children? No, I am not being sarcastic. Some people are attracted to animals and some are attracted to children.
LBGT groups want to insure their specific untraditional sexual attraction is taught to young children. They want to normalize their sexual orientation with those not developmentally ready to assimilate that information. They want acceptance as same sex couples.
Some say same sex attraction should be taught in school so same sex families will not be left out. According to recent statistics, 110,000 of Gays or Lesbians are raising children. Most were children from a previous marriage co-parented by a straight and a gay after one came out. Some believe the trend toward adoption by same sex couples is an attempt to legitimatize or normalize their relationship. Some see it as an attempt to bond. Others see it as a need for same sex couples to be a family that love and care for each other.
The American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality a mental disorder. In 1973, the APA reclassified homosexuality as a “sexual orientation disturbance” and in 1983 dropped the disorder completely. The World Health Organization reclassified homosexuality from an ICD to “ego-dystonic sexual orientation” in 1992.
According to the latest statistics, out of 327 million in the United States, there are more than 8 million adults who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (2.2% of the population are gay, 1.4% are bisexual, and 1.1% are lesbian) and 700,000 are transgender. The Williams Institute estimates 3.5% of adults are LGB and 0.3% are T (transgender). However, 8.2% of Americans report they have had engaged in same sex behavior at least once and 25.6% have had same sex attraction. These statistics have not risen in recent years.
I submit we add “S” to LGBT for those oriented to a sexual relationship with the opposite sex because this has been the accepted orientation since the beginning of humankind. In truth, “S” should not just stand for “straight” but for every human being’s bent toward sin. Regardless of sexual orientation, everyone in the human family is oriented toward sin.
From the creation of the first couple, God set down rules for the betterment of humankind. Only humans had to abide by rules. Why? According to Scripture, humans were the only living creatures designed to have a close relationship with God.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:27-28).
God planted a garden so the first couple could thrive. God planted two trees in the middle of the garden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave the couple freedom with limits for their own protection: You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die (Genesis 2:16-17). The first rule was not about sex but desire to become the One who had ultimate power over all.
God wanted to spare the couple from the tyranny of desire because God knew that deep in the heart of those given free choice is curiosity. The first couple’s curiosity led to disobedience. Disobedience led to punishment. Punishment led to death. And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever (Genesis 3:22).
God did not give up on them though he had good reason. Instead, he banished them from the garden with the promise they would be fruitful and multiply: “fruitful” because Adam would work the ground for food; “multiply” because Eve would give birth to children (Genesis 3:16). However, now the promise God made to them would bear the consequence of sin. Man would now work the ground in pain until he died and woman would bear children in pain until she died (Genesis 3:16-19).
The first sexual encounter recorded in Scripture is between a man and a woman: Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-2). From then on, Scripture only records the sexual union of a man and a woman as a result of love or a result of lust.
After a few generations, The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (Genesis 6:5). Still God did not give up. God rescued Noah and his family from the tyranny of an evil society.
Ever since, the constant theme in the human story is the continuation of sin and its dire consequences. All of us are bent toward sin.
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
The LORD looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one (Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3).
Turn on the news any day of the week and hear about parents, teachers, business leaders, government leaders, judges, and even presidents who disregard the personal safety and well-being of those for whom they are responsible. Think about a son killing his mother or a husband killing his wife. Think about a doctor overstepping boundaries and ministers betraying the ones they vowed to protect. Sin affects our relationship with God.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil (Isaiah 59:1-4).
When the courts fail to bring justice, when the government fails to protect, when the doctors fail to heal, and when the psychologists fail to help, we are doomed. When institutions become corrupt, we create new institutions that promise to do better. But theses promises continue to be broken because the desire to please self overrules the desire to please God. Isaiah reveals the truth hidden deeply in us all. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:7).
The good news is that God established a plan to redeem humankind. God’s goal was save humanity. God is not willing that any of his beloved ones perish. God’s plan unfolded in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Yes, we have an orientation toward sin. But we were created with an orientation to have a relationship with our Creator. This is our ultimate orientation.