Now regardless of the issue, or the way that some might regard it, we have to surely start with the fact that outside of the autonomic functions all other responses are voluntary. This means that whatever we do we have to accept that we choose to do it. If we are hungry then even though the hunger exists we still have to decide that we will not only satisfy it but also decide when and how we will do it. A quick for instance being that we find ourselves in a state of hunger and so, walking past someone eating chips, we merely take their chips and eat them. Now we can't help the fact that we are hungry, in fact that's not the issue, but it's the way that we resolve or remedy the issue that we are focussing on here and there is always a right and a wrong way (something that Christians are aided in deciding through God's received word - the Bible - and though God's revealed Word - Jesus!).
If we are hungry we can do any one of a number of things. Here are a few suggestions:
i. Steal a sandwich from the local shop,
ii. Wait until lunchtime and then pop over to the local sandwich shop (used to be Benjys when I worked in the City of London) and buy yourself something to eat,
iii. Get a friend to buy you some food and bring it back for you,
iv. Meet a friend for lunch and eat and enjoy a time of fellowship.
There you go, four scenarios - three of which I reckon are acceptable. If someone stole a sandwich because they were hungry then most people would regard that as wrong. 'But,' they might say (when arrested), 'I was hungry - I had no choice!' Sadly though this defence would fail because the condition of being hungry didn't force them to act as they did.
Now modify the situation and make the person poor or perhaps diabetic (I add this because a diabetic friend of mine 'had' to eat when certain factors were at play - and yet even then they didn't steal the food even when there was a medical imperative). Would the scenarios change? Of course they would.
Perhaps they'd beg or visit the foodbank or do many other things to remedy the hunger, but the fact remains that they would still have a choice and selecting the wrong choice would not make it correct! This is the same for each and every one of us - we have a choice in the way that we respond to, and resolve the needs, the desires that we have. It is wrong to say that we do not have a choice!
I have recently come across people who tell me that the means of resolving their needs or desires is on a parallel with my stealing sandwiches solution. What makes it interesting (for which you should also read 'frustrating') is the fact that they tell me that because they are doing it openly that they possess 'Integrity' and this integrity renders their actions to be morally acceptable. 'I'm not doing it secretly but doing it in public so everyone can see what I'm doing and my integrity makes the solution I am employing right!' But of course it doesn't - it neither satisfies human law or Bible law. It is a wrong response to a wrong act.
The same people also tell me that what they do finds favour with a number of people and their approval is an indication of moral or legal rectitude. Oddly though, trying to use the same argument on them regarding fox hunting (or any other taboo area) does not find them accepting the act in the same way that they perceive they are acceptable! How odd (or perhaps human?)!
Prod these people again and they will tell me that 'everyone' regards them as being a 'good person' and when a dogcollar is added to the mix, a 'good Priest' too, but I have to say that if it crosses the line into the 'DON'T' area, then they might just have to accept that they are wrong (again!).
I'm happy for you to have desires, passions, hungers, needs and whatever but please don't tell me that you don't have a choice - because truly you do! You might be hungry but you have a choice in the way that you resolve it and to defend yourself and your actions because others (in different circumstances) are eating is no defence! To say you have no choice in being hungry is true - but the way that you resolve it (who do you serve - your desires or God's demands to live rightly?) is quite frankly a matter of choice. Simple really isn't it?
Hope this hangs together as it's a quick bash on the keyboard to clear my head and clarify my thoughts before the next service takes over.