Is Homosexuality a Birth Defect?

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


This reader who struggles with lesbianism raises some extremely important questions about the impact of our sins upon our relationship with Jesus. The following is Part 1 of her email exchange with Chuck Snyder. Click here to read her second letter, What If I Keep Sinning?, or her third letter, I Gave in to Temptation. 

Dear Chuck,

I am a 30-year-old single woman, and before I came to know Christ a few years ago, I was living in sin in that I had three romantic relationships with female friends.

After I came to know Christ, I was so thrilled because I was looking forward to a new life with normal relationships with men. But in the years since then, whenever I get close to a female friend, I will feel the temptations and I need to constantly restrain my emotions towards them (it has happened with four women so far) because I know it is wrong. 

But now I have succumbed to temptation with one of these women. I am grieving. I still acknowledge Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and everyday I feel guilty. 

I concluded recently that I was born with a defect - lesbianism. Girls tend to like me naturally, and I like them too.

Chuck, please provide me with insights about this. Where can I get information about overcoming lesbianism and leading a normal life, or is there such a remedy at all? Do I have to carry with me this defect for the rest of my life? Do I have to stay single forever?

I have been asking the Lord to help me lead a normal life, and I look forward to getting married, but I can't. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.

Chuck's Response
I praise God every day that we can talk privately about things that the church and our Christian friends get nervous about, like lesbianism. 

I have to disagree with you on one thing, however. I don't think a person is born with this "defect." Let me explain. You're probably aware of God's opinion of homosexuality. Romans 1:20-27 (Living) talks about this:

"Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day. Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn't admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to -- yes, vile and sinful things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn't obey the blessed God who made these things. That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sex relationships with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved."

The reason I have a problems with the idea that God designed people to be lesbians or homosexuals at birth, is that the God I worship would not do that and then blast these precious people in the first chapter of Romans. That would not be fair, and my God is fair. Of course there are people who battle more with these feelings than others, but in my mind it flies in the face of Scripture to say that a person is born that way.

Now this is very easy for me to say, and so difficult for you to do, but since homosexuality and lesbianism are choices, then you have to make the choice by a gut-level decision to immediately stop the thoughts that satan brings to your mind and not dwell on them. It is not a sin to be tempted. Christ was tempted. It just means that when (not if) these thoughts come, you need to decide not to offend God with your thoughts and actions that would be absolutely contrary to what He wants from you, and tell Satan, "Buzz off, you old serpent!" We either have to give up the Bible and God and do things our own way, or die to ourselves and obey God. He will let us do either, but He only blesses obedience.

There is no problem having friendships with women of course, but if you find yourself thinking sexual thoughts, then you need to move on. You may never be comfortable with men and that is not a sin, either. You have a bigger battle in your life than most people have. But because of this, you will be a powerful model for others who are in the same situation. 

As far as being single the rest of your life, I have no idea what God has planned for you. Since you know now that you are not designed by God to be a lesbian ... maybe this will give you more power to put this aside and realize that it is a choice. God knows your struggle and can do amazing things in people's lives. I'm glad I know how to pray for you. Those are my thoughts for your consideration. Let me know if you want to talk further. 

Here's the address of two Christian organizations that might be able to help.

Exodus International
PO Box 540119
Orlando, FL 32854

Phone: 406-599-6872 or 888-264-0877


16633 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1340
Encino, CA 91436-1801
Phone: (818) 789-4440
Fax: (818) 789-6452

Chuck Snyder



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Updated 05/24/2005