“I was born this way!” – Lady Gaga
My wife and I walked into one of the clothing stores in the mall today only to hear the words from one of the most popular songs (and philosophies) that dominates western societies in the world. My first response was laughter. My second was a thought chain related to how many people, Christians even, that hold to this philosophy. So, here is my take on it. Scripture constantly challenges the human race (specifically God’s chosen people) to overcome the sin that they were born into. Jesus challenges His disciples to deny themselves (Matthew 6:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23). The dialogue was so important that each synoptic not only referenced it, but quoted it directly. Paul challenges us, once we become a new creation in Christ, to wage a mental war against the things our body naturally wants to do because of its fallen nature. Scripture tells us that, no matter how we think we were born, we are to live for God’s glory and for His kingdom. Most Christians ultimately have to grasp this truth, otherwise it is nearly impossible for them to give their lives over to an entity other than themselves. My goal, then, will simply be to appeal to popular society. Is this philosophy (I was born this way) really a good philosophy for anyone of any belief system or worldview to hold?
The answer is simple, no. For to hold any philosophy at all is to claim a maturity that was nurtured into any perspective person as he or she became older and more intelligent (whether that intelligence was accompanied by wisdom or not). Whether that intelligence is a progress or a digress in the overall development of the human psyche, we can only know with time. Children are born kicking and screaming, without any ability to form words or any intelligence whatsoever. All they behold are simple innate ideas (that is if there are any innate ideas to behold). everything else is learned through personal experience. To put this simply, Lady Gaga was not born in a meat costume. So, for anyone to argue that he or she was born a certain way would also be to indicate that the same person (because he or she acts the way in which he or she was born) cannot put forth a valid argument or communicate a life philosophy to any degree because not many newborns (if any) come out of the womb arguing a life philosophy. We should actually expect, if this argument were valid at all, that it simply would not exist. We would see individuals who, no matter how old they became, still kicked and screamed and cried. People would never know how to dress themselves, to pursue education or to develop life philosophies. Mothers would never feed their children because they would still be looking to satisfy their own hunger from the nourishing milk of their own mothers. In fact, I am not sure people would develop any sexual desire in order for newborn children to exist because that desire is in fact gained through sense experience.
If any person did indeed choose to hold to this worldview insomuch as he or she used it often when defending his or her actions, that individual must know that if this were a reasonable philosophy to conform to, he or she would not have the ability to defend those actions. In fact, all people would likely be at a stage where it would be impossible for any one to accuse another of immoral behavior. So, no. You were certainly not born that way. Yes, you do have the ability to change it. Scripture might have been right (it was right) when it claimed (even implicitly) that life was a constant process of growth (not only for Christians but for all people). The choice we must make, then, is what type of growth we will accept: directed growth (under the Lordship of Christ) or undirected growth (under our own lordship).
But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:22-23 HCSB)
Sanctification- a process of purification; becoming holy; implies growth in maturity