Sometimes a cultural catch phrase can be more accurate and more profound than was intended by the originator of the phrase. Certain lifestyles have been excused, tolerated and ultimately embraced under the pseudo scientific/philosophical declaration, ‘I was born this way.’ This is meant to disarm the critic and excuse the behavior of the one who seeks to defend his or her lifestyle.
To the shallow and uninformed, this phrase is sufficient to satisfy the conscience and pave the way for being ‘tolerant’ of whatever behavior is being discussed. Of course, even society will draw the line at certain types of behavior and not excuse the ‘born this way’ defense. That line keeps moving and as we speed toward the end of this age, it will probably disappear completely.
Right now the popular cause to support is the fight against sex trafficking. If the traffickers were to declare that they were ‘born this way,’ and thus their behavior is excusable, most would laugh. If the polygamist were to declare that he was ‘born’ to have multiple wives, some would laugh, but that line is moving. Within ten years polygamy will probably be legal. The definition of marriage has been changed for some and so it will eventually be changed for all.
Pedophiles could also declare they were born to desire sex with children. They can’t help it. It is like being born right handed or left handed. Society is encouraged to understand and be tolerant. The list could go on and on. Everyone wants to feel good about their behavior. Guilt is not politically correct. Even our modern grace movement is on a crusade against guilt which many are misinterpreting in order to indulge the flesh.
What is the truth behind the ‘born this way’ philosophy? It actually couldn’t be more accurate. All humanity is born spiritually separated from the life and nature of God. Apart from God, man has no true knowledge of himself, his Creator or his purpose on this earth. Apart from God, man has no true identity. We come into this world with no idea who we are, so we seek to create an identity or one is created for us through the molding of society, relationships, innate fears, the media and our life experiences.
The truth is, we were all ‘born this way.’ We all come into this world craving our true identity and not knowing that identity can only be found in Jesus. In order to navigate through life in a fallen world, we adopt an identity which satisfies on a carnal level our need for acceptance and purpose. Here is how Paul describes it:
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph. 4:17-19)
The ‘rest of the Gentiles’ can really refer to all of humanity. The problem begins with the blindness of the heart which produces futility in the mind. The result is to give ourselves to lewdness and unclean living. And then, because of guilt and a deep dissatisfaction with life, we declare, ‘I was born this way.’ Yes, we were!
That is why Jesus said, ‘you must be BORN AGAIN!’ (John 3:7)
Whatever lifestyle, behavior and purpose some have embraced is simply a manifestation of being separated from the life and knowledge of God. It is a fake identity. It can never satisfy them. Those who so aggressively demand that you accept them just the way they are, are really demonstrating that their own conscience gives them no peace. The only solution is to force others to accept them and even embrace them. Perhaps then they can find peace. But society’s embrace will never produce peace.
Rather than adjusting to a life of darkness, blindness and corruption, Jesus came that we might have true life. We can be born into a new reality with a new identity and a true purpose. His nature can transform our hearts, renew our minds and free us from the identity theft that we have accepted. The lost are crying to know this life. The counterfeit they have accepted makes them aggressive, belligerent and even hateful, but God’s love is greater than man’s darkness. They were born that way, but they can be born again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)