Saying that same-sex sexual attraction is sinful means that LGBT individuals are "more like the rest of us" not less so, according to a conservative evangelical leader.
Denny Burk, professor at Boyce College and president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, gave a lecture last week on the debate over whether having same-sex attraction was itself sinful.
Speaking before an audience on Mar. 7 at the Chapel Banquet Hall at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary of Kansas City, Missouri, Burk analyzed how the Bible approached defining sin when it came to desires and temptation.
"Insofar as same-sex orientation designates the experience of sexual desire for a person of the same sex, yes, it is sinful. Insofar as same-sex orientation indicates emotional attractions that brim with erotic possibility, yes, those attractions too are sinful," concluded Burk.
"Insofar as sexual orientation designates an identity, yes that identity too is a sinful fiction that contradicts God's design for His creation. All of it is sinful."
When examining how this applied to the debate over LGBT acceptance in the church, Burk stated that "to call same-sex attraction sinful does not make gay people less like the rest of us. On the contrary, it makes them more like the rest of us."
"We are not singling out gay people as if their experience is somehow more repugnant than everybody else's," said Burk. "All of us bear the marks of our connection to Adam."
"All of us are crooked deep down. All of us have thoughts and inclinations and attitudes that are deeply antithetical to God's intentions for us. All of us need renewal from the inside out and that can only come from the grace of Christ."
Burk added that he was not arguing that "all sin has the same consequence," but he was stating that "all sins have the same source and that source is in every single one of us."
"The odd thing about what you see in debates among the Christians about this is that we're seeing some people wanting to treat same-sex sin as different from all other kinds of sins," continued Burk.
"People are usually okay saying 'if you desire something sinful that's a bad desire, you should repent of it,' except when it comes for this. What I am saying is that we are in this predicament together."