So, you believe homosexuality is a sin.
I get it—it’s where you are at and what you uphold to be true.
Maybe for you, you’re not exactly sure why you subscribe to that position, other than the countless times you have been told, “That’s what the Bible says.” You want to be loving, accepting, and viewed as a compassionate follower of Jesus, but numerous admonitions from fellow Christians declaring that “loving people doesn’t give license to their sin” seem to give you no other alternative posture than one of judgement and distance. Sure, you’re familiar with a few of the verses typically used to condemn homosexuality and those of the LGBTQ community—since childhood, your mind and heart has been seated around the traditional male/female relationships of Scripture as being the only God-approved model for marriage, gender, and sexuality, but that’s about as far as your thinking has taken you. Deep down, it’s a complicated issue, and quite honestly, you’re not always sure what you believe. Even though you know some LGBTQ people and perhaps might even call them friends, moments of belief-questioning or consideration of LGBTQ-affirming views are quickly summoned to a much more comfortable, default position in your faith, “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” For you, you’re hoping it’s as simple and settled as that, and if it’s not, it’s just going to have to be.
On the other side of the coin, maybe for you, it’s all so perfectly crystal clear. There’s nothing to reconsider, nothing to learn or unlearn. It’s a slam dunk, a biblical no-brainer. Not only have you sat under the popular chorus, “This is what the Bible says,” you proudly and boldly sing it from the mountain tops. You believe to know every verse relevant to the issues, even citing original Greek and Hebrew words and context. In your mind, heart, and faith, all things LGBTQ are a deplorable, disgusting affront to God and an offensive abomination before the Lord. Maybe you have never held the sign (or maybe you have), but “God hates fags” largely fits hand-in-glove with the bottom line of your faith understanding. Sure, if they repent, change their ways, and adopt your faith views, there’s hope. However, until that day comes, “ground and pound” is your perceived divine mandate to wrestle the LGBTQ demons out of our culture and country. No matter the consequences or costs wrought by your anti-LGBTQ angst and rage, you are “right” and everyone else will always be “wrong”—even to the exclusion, excommunication, and potential suicide of your own LGBTQ child, sister, brother, parent, congregant, or friend. In your mind, any other way of seeing things is to author confusion where God created infallible clarity—and you, the God appointed vessel of His authority and truth. If a transgender person were to commit suicide and your secret (or not so secret) conclusions to this tragic event were displayed on your church’s worship screen, it might read something like, “They had it coming to them, for the consequences of sin is death.”
Well, no matter where you are on the spectrum of believing homosexuality is a sin, I have an honest question.
Are these really the true reasons you believe being gay is a sin? These are the case “evidences” you really want us to attribute to your actions and beliefs? “The Bible says so…” “God hates fags…” “Rethinking my views or considering new information is unnecessary…” “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” These are the foundational, core kind of sentiments that make up the sum, depth, and rationale of your thoughts, words, deeds, and creeds regarding one of the most important issues of our time affecting countless God-imaged souls?
With all due love and respect as I truly want to understand and believe the best, if I’m honest, the ruby-slippered Dorothy in me is having a hard time swallowing that pill. In fact, pull back the curtain of your confessions and I wonder if there’s perhaps a deeper Wizard behind the smoke and mirrors of your anti-LGBTQ declarations—and it’s not God, the Bible, or spiritual laziness—in fact, I think it just might be… you.
Maybe, just maybe, the real reason you believe being gay is a sin, is because—you want to. When it’s all said and done, it’s not anybody else’s voice or choice—it’s yours.
In a Christian church-world where there are over 30,000 different denominations who read the very same Bible you do, and come to thousands of different belief-conclusions on major theological issues. In a Christian church-world where elective misunderstanding and ignorance are seen as legitimate positions instead of serious problems. In a Christian church-world where there are countless, growing numbers of biblical scholars with the same love for Jesus, submissive heart for Scripture, and tenacity for Truth as you, who see the Bible as affirming LGBTQ people, not condemning them. Maybe, just maybe, the real reason you believe being gay is a sin is because—you want to. It’s not the Bible saying so, it’s you saying so. In fact, if one can be faithful to the sacred Scriptures and yet come to an LGBTQ-affirming view (which you can) instead of condemning, demonizing, and abusing a whole God-adorned population of humans, why wouldn’t you? Maybe, just maybe, the real reason is because—you don’t want to.
In a Christian church-world where many apparently have little-to-no true fear of having a sin lifestyle of blatant, chosen gluttony and greed that potentially even compromises their eternity. In a Christian church-world where virtually none of its participants would ever dare construct nor hold up the sign, “God hates fatsos.” In a Christian church-world that largely has little-to-no restraint in looking the other way regarding its own sins and strongholds. In a Christian church-world where nearly 50 percent of its married adherents end up divorced, and even the “unbiblical” ones are given a free pass. Maybe, just maybe, the real reason why you believe being gay is a sin, isn’t for fear of condoning it or leading one into hell, but simply because—you want to.
In a Christian church-world that is known for justifying and feeling oh-so-good and righteous about itself through the condemning and demonizing of people they conveniently deem to be sinning differently than they. In a Christian church-world that largely needs a sin-battle to fight in order to justify its purpose, worth, validity, energy, and existence. Maybe, just maybe, the real reason why you believe being gay is a sin is because—you want to. The self-righteous perch from which doing so seems to afford you exclusive divine favor, license for anger, and spiritual justification for hate is just too convenient to step down from. Watching porn on Sunday afternoons never seemed so benign as after a rousing, gay-condemning sermon from Romans 1 and 2. It’s a drug only Grace can disarm, but you refuse the “reparative” cure. Why? Because—you want to.
In a Christian church-world where community is often centered around the conformity of beliefs and behaviors. In a Christian church-world where in many of its expressions you are either “in” or “out.” In a Christian church-world where to believe differently is often met with a kiss of death—discipline, rejection, marginalization, termination, or just a good-ole’-fashion greeting line of cold shoulders and religious spankings. Maybe, just maybe, the real reason why you believe being gay is a sin is because—you want to. The fear of being convinced of LGBTQ-affirming views is just too strong, and the perceived ramifications, just too costly. When the rubber meets the road and you hear the Jesus-call to put the suffering of others above your own—you simply don’t want to.
See, at the end of the day, when Toto draws the curtain open, the scheme that was concealed becomes the truth that is revealed—people don’t choose to be LGBTQ, but they sure do choose to believe whether it’s a sin or not.
In fact, I find it interesting how many Christians proudly proclaim to be pro-life and wear it as a badge of faith-honor, all while at the same time they are certainly pro-choice about the Bible—determined to protect their freedom to use every interpretive knife they can contrive to abort countless people into hell, murder their souls with condemnation, and yank them out of the womb of God’s Grace and affirmation, slicing and dicing them with sin-labels and discrimination—all while singing songs to Jesus with a self-righteous, anti-gay smirk on their face.
When all the smoke clears, perhaps the real puppeteer behind your anti-gay beliefs finally emerges—it’s you. You don’t “have” to believe being LGBTQ is a sin—you want to. When all is said and done, the pain of affirmation has been determined to be greater than the pain of discrimination. The call to take up our cross and follow Jesus, perhaps, is a cost you have concluded is too costly to endure. The ego-humbling, faith-reconstructing, soul-examining, human-loving, life-transforming, and courage-requiring invitation of Jesus to put down the nets of religion for the sake of “the least of these” is finally met with what is perhaps the real sum and truth behind your response—”I don’t want to.”
Maybe, just maybe, this is the real reason why you believe being gay is a sin—it’s not God, not the Bible, not spiritual laziness, nor moral purity or responsibility.
But rather, all because—you want to.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
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Thank you, Chris, for “putting into words what only Grace is brave enough to say”. I enjoy reading your thought-provoking blogs and witness your courage to love and yet speak your mind on important issues of today’s culture. God speed, my friend!
Well Perry, that comment just blessed by heart and overfilled my cup! Thank you!
As usual Chris, you always give me something to think about.
I must confess that it’s actually reading the Bible that helped me to accept the LGBTQ community. I’ve been reading the Bible since 1985, and EVERY time I see something different or new. It amazes me, although it probably shouldn’t because God said He will reveal more of Himself to us as we seek Him.
As far as being gay, every gay person I know said they knew they were “different” from the time they were a child–they just didn’t understand it, and since children can be cruel they pretended to be normal. I think we all do that no matter how we are “different” from others. These same gay friends said they would have chosen not to be gay because of the shame they felt when they were young and how awful they felt about themselves for being “different.” I can only relate to this in a simple way because I was always the shortest person in my class–and I know what I went through because of it and how I was picked on for years. I would think gay teens, children, etc. would have even felt worse than someone who is “tiny.”
As far as the Bible and being gay, after reading the Bible probably 20+ times now, it’s actually the Bible that convinced me that being gay is not a sin. Everything I’ve read concerning “Adam and Steve” (to make it quick to describe as you helped to do), actually talks about the Canaanites and other pagans using same-sex as an act to worship their gods. This means they were NOT actually gay (even certain sexual acts between “Adam and Eve” are sexual debauchery, as is sex with animals, etc.). This is what I feel the Bible means about “Adam and Steve” being “sexual debauchery”. On the other hand, God created all of us different, and the LGBTQ community are just being the people as God created them. How can that be a sin?
Even when it comes to abortion, I am “pro choice”. I get a bit angry at those who say it means that I am “pro abortion” because I am not. I prefer that a woman use other options–first…using protection to prevent pregnancy, second…hoping they give up a child to someone who cannot have a child. But the bottom line is that unless I am in the exact position of that woman (or girl), I cannot possibly understand why they made the decision to have an abortion. Having gotten pregnant at an early age myself (choosing to keep my child), I can tell you that what I went through during my pregnancy because of my mother’s strong (religious) shame of me, I’m not sure if anyone would have blamed me if I had chosen an abortion at the time. But let me say that my mom was obviously sorry for the way she treated me once my son was born and she and my son were very close until the day she died. But having worked for a Women’s Crisis group in the past, I can tell you that I’ve heard of girls and young women who went through much more hell than I did when I announced my pregnancy. Many of these females may have made their decision to get an abortion out of duress and stress, so does this mean that God may not forgive them at some point? So, who am I to judge. This is God’s job–not mine. And for those who feel being gay is a sin, the bottom line is, even if YOU believe it is a sin, who are you, or I, or anyone, to make this judgment? Have you read the Bible yourself, or are you relying on what you “heard” from people, priests or other clergy who made these comments? I ask that you read the Bible several times–actually, read a “study” Bible, because they give you a description of who wrote the book, why, and approximately when, with many footnotes describing many passages. This gives us more insight into what was behind some of the things the author wrote about. It probably took me until about the third time until I felt I understood what the authors were referring to, not only about being gay, but about other “sins” mentioned.
One final thing I’d like to add to remind us all about judging…..King Saul consulted a medium and attempted murder, David was a womanizer, Saul–(who became “Saint Paul”) ordered the death of Christians before his conversion on the way to Damascus….I could go on—-but these were just some examples of men who were, and who God considered to be “servants of the Lord”.
Not being gay myself, I certainly won’t claim to understand it–I can’t. But that’s the exact reason I cannot–and will not–judge any LGBTQ, or a woman who had an abortion, or those who claim certain people are sinners for other actions. I’m certainly not a saint–I ask God everyday to help me to totally forgive those who have hurt me badly. That’s one of my faults. I NEED to forgive them “totally” because I am a sinner and so are ALL of us. We ALL need forgiveness. Our sins may be different, perhaps some we think are sins may not be sins at all, or the sins any of us have committed may very well be forgiven because of God’s grace and our belief in what Jesus did for us.
Merry Christmas to all.
Such wisdom and power in your words Gina, can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read and comment on this article!
Gina, you are an inspiration. Many “bible thumping” Christians don’t even study the Bible as much as you have. I am pleased that you have such a thought-out comment. It is refreshing to hear someone speak with reason rather than rage. This whole article is beautiful and your comment could be an article in of itself (future subject matter perhaps?). I don’t normally comment on things like this but feel compelled to give you kudos for your progressive thinking. Being an avid Christian AND progressive, you have more power than your realize, especially in your words. Thank you for being a decent human being. Merry Christmas to you as well. <3
I certainly used to be one of those who felt the Bible was clear on stating that being gay was a sin. Fortunately I have had a change of mind. Seeing how Jesus loved people, not just the Jews or just the people who accepted him, but everyone certainly made me think and question how could God hate anyone. In regard to sin we know that all of us had a sinful nature. None of us were without blame yet Christ provided grace for the world and showed that God loves each and every one of us. I have come to realize that not all of us are going to agree, not all of us are going to live life the same but God certainly loves us all just as he created us. We can love God and love others even in those differences. Love makes the difference, not arguing and demanding everyone believe the same. The Bible was inspired by God but written by men. Men still put their views and opinions on things, yet when Jesus showed up he came to show us what God is really like. God is love. Jesus accepted people. Jesus loved people. Jesus provided grace for us all. We are to love God and continue showing that love to all we meet throughout life.
Jim, well said! Love you and your heart for people and Grace!
Hi! I just want to thank you for sharing yourself. My husband actually linked me to your blog because he was so excited to find someone “just like himself”, lol. He left our church for the very same reasons you shared, and he so often states how alone he feels among many Christians. I understand completely, I have gone through so many similar struggles. I was raised in a conservative Christian home, so that’s all I knew for first half of my life. I believed in God from a fairly young age, but I didn’t understand Him much. I can say this, the Lord took my through a very long journey, just as He took my parents. I had to “unlearn” much of what I learned as far as outward religious appearances go. It was very difficult, but necessary. I am still traveling this journey. There’s a lot that’s changed. I was basically born into “republicanism” and everything it stood for. Republican meant “Godly” growing up. Boy was I in for a rude awakening, lol. Anyhow, I could write a book on my journey….sometimes I wish I could, but then I’d miss out on the lessons needed along the way. At this point in my journey, I cannot claim that homosexuality is not sinful….and believe me, how I want to. I just can’t. But I am open to letting the Lord change what He wills within me whatever that may be. At the same time, I don’t believe people choose it for themselves either. What I do know, is that Christians have made general assumptions about homosexuals that are just not true. Every one of is born with a sinful nature that surfaces in many different ways. At this point in my journey, homosexuality is only one of millions of ways that nature surfaces…and Christians are not exempt from being born with a sinful nature either. It breaks my heart that so many believe that theirs is any less than that of a homosexual, because it’s not. It also breaks my heart how many treat them…and how they use the legal system to marginalize them. I’ve searched the Scriptures many times also, hoping to find something positive on this issue, but it just isn’t there. In the meantime, may Jesus Himself be my teacher when it comes to loving people…all people. He loves the homosexual as much as he loves the Christian and the atheist….and He would treat them no different than He treated anybody else in Scripture (except for the “religious” hypocrites of course, lol, who He seemed to always have the most “issue” with, lol”. ) I have a gay sister. You can only imagine how my parents initially felt about that one….but I can honestly say, the Lord has brought them a long way on their own journey in life…..they had to learn how to love gay people….and it was a struggle we all witnessed and experienced. They had to learn and are still learning….to honor God while loving people…all kinds of people. I know it’s still a struggle for them, but I’ve seen how the Lord has changed their hearts over the years also. Over the years I’ve learned to be “pro-choice”, and as much as I hate the thought of babies dying, I also realize that mothers who go through this probably hate that thought too….yet they had their own reasons for making such a difficult choice. I’ve learned to accept that fact that all kinds of people get married…the Christian, the atheist, the agnostic, the Buddhist, the Hindu, etc….and there is no legitimate “excuse” to tell a gay person that they are so below us all that they have no “right” or “legitimate reason” to get married. I’ve learned how the hypocrisy we’ve excused has pushed the very people away that we are called to love and not fix or condemn….and despite the things I’ve learned so far? The Lord saw it fit to give me a gay son, lol….and I love him to the moon and back and then some. What He’s taught me in this situation?….is to pay close attention to what people in our government are doing in the name of “God and country” that will allow people to freely “discriminate” or treat this beautiful boy less than human. I can’t say this journey has always been comfortable…no…..the Lord has found plenty of ways to take me out of just about every comfort zone and will probably continue to do so, lol. Anyhow, enough rambling….I just want you to know that you are a beautiful person, and if you love God with all your heart?….and seek Him first in all things? ….and then love people just as Jesus does? You cannot go wrong no matter what other Christians might say to you. I’m so glad you have put into writing just about everything my husband and I have discussed on a daily basis for so long now. I think you will find much Christian support here and then some. May you continue to be such a blessing to others! 🙂
Liz, I just love your heart and honesty. Thank you so much for reading my article and for taking the time and vulnerability in sharing such a beautiful comment. Would love to connect further with you and your husband and serve you any way I can. Perhaps a phone call or Skype. If we aren’t friends on fb, perhaps that would be a great way to stay connected. Either way, feel free to message me : email@example.com Blessings to you and your family.
I’m glad you gave additional reasons as to why Jesus loves us–no matter who we are. I also agree with you about the Bible being written by men. I try to take the message of the Gospels rather than the details. Many Biblical scholars believe Mary Magdelene was not a prostitute–that some of Jesus’ apostles were jealous of her. King James was well-known as for his terrible treatment and belief in women. It is believed his translation of the Bible (which is what most Bibles in use today are based on), changed some women’s names to men and minimized the important roles women played in Jesus’ life. Along with what Jim said about the Bible being written by men, we should also remember that there are MANY more Gospels out there (in fact, Mary Magdelene herself wrote one). The Church council (I believe it was the one in the 5th century, sometime in the 400’s), decided which books should be included in the Bible. Many were left out for various reasons. Then in 1945 the “Nag Hamadi” was found in Egypt. They consisted of Gospels written by Thomas, Peter, I believe James and a 4th). If you’ve never read the texts, I can only tell you that they blew me away! And they were confirmed to be written by these apostles by Biblical scholars. The Church does not discuss these Gospels or Epistles, but when you read them it does make you wonder how the King James Version came about.
I think some of what you said is why I take the messages of the Bible rather than the details. Even with the differences, I still believe in God and His Son Jesus. Yes–there may have been a “big Bang”, but I tell 2 atheist friends that I have a MUCH harder time believing that a “big bang” could have actually created the intricate bodies we humans are made up of, as well as all the other wondrous and awesome things in the world. So the details don’t matter as much to me as the message the Bible teaches. It only makes sense that, being written by men, there will be some “feelings” included, which may also explain a few of the contradictions we find in the Gospels. But the message is clear and wonderful to me.
I was certainly one of the people who wanted to believe that being Gay is a sin. I certainly didn’t study it out in scripture. I was influenced a lot by the evangelical/charismatic community and felt good about believing rightly. So much of our theological perspective is knee-jerk assumptions that are built on feelings, misinformation, poor teaching or no teaching from the pulpit and simply no relational experience with those most affected by our discriminatory views. To top that off, it is a superficial understanding of who God and Jesus are. Having a sense of the utter grace of God to love us wildly with no reference to our sin, beliefs, race , gender, orientation or anything else that we choose to separate ourselves from others, absolutely and radically revolutionizes who we are at the deepest level.
Paul, you are one of my heroes and a sure inspiration in my life! Love to you and yours!
Thank you Chris.
Thank you, Brian! So thankful for your readership!
Thank you, Chris ! This is a soul-freeing, very liberating message of hope for both the lgbtq, as well as the ones that cling to a belief based on “clobber passages” that have been jammed down the throats of Christians from the very beginning. Because of Jesus, and the grace that resulted from his sacrifice for all sinners who believe, we no longer live under the Law. Thank God ! I know being gay wasn’t a choice for me. And I know (now) that God created me, accepts me, and loves me regardless ! I come from a church background where if you were homosexual, you were an abomination and essentially the devil’s child. I even went to a deliverance minister to cast the gay demon out of me, which I find rather amusing now ! I am a gay child of God ! I truly wish sexual orientation wasn’t made to be such a big deal. I don’t sleep around, living promiscuously ! I believe that would be sinful. But, just to have same-sex attraction in itself is not a sin. Anyway, society has come a very long way. I’m a bit concerned that the new government of the United States will restrict lgbtq rights, but they should never have a right to interfere with things that go on behind closed doors ! I would hope, gay or straight, you would believe in privacy and anything that is of consent between two people should be respected. Anyway, I know my heart is right with God. There are just at large number of churches, unfortunately, to which I feel unwelcome. But, I know of the ones that are inclusive and demonstrative of God’s love for all ! 🙂
Rick, so honored to connect with you. Everything you said in your comment is filled with such wisdom and truth! Let’s stay connected, would love and be honored to learn more of your story!
Rick….I can’t believe what you went through because of your church’s gay beliefs (well, actually, I can believe it)–I just think it’s a horrible shame and I’m glad you came through it as well as you obviously have. As a former empowerment counselor, I sometimes wonder if many gays turned from God because of the error of what they’ve been taught (and/or put through) by the church or their families when they were children or young adults, just for being born gay? My gay friends haven’t become atheists or agnostics because of it, but I could certainly understand if some have. I am also a bit afraid of the new administration that will be coming into power in January and where the LGBTQ community’s rights will go. We can only pray.
Alongside our mimetic desire to be like our opposite sex parents, whose approval we unconsciously seek throughout our lifetimes, which may explain this desire Chris references, perhaps there is this. We have a fear of parental disapproval and punishment to a degree noted as “homophobia” and are as driven by fear as we are by desire.
interesting insight Dan, thanks for reading and commenting my friend!
I was once a believer who thought being gay was a sin. I came to realize that I wasn’t God and that it wasn’t my place to determine that. I did a in-depth study on it when I flowed a blog about the subject, it was very revealing. When one looks at the original text and compares that with what was taking place at the time the text was written, I no longer believe being gay is a sin. I, as a Christian, am on the outside. I’ve had many Christians condem me for not only what I believe, but because of what I do for a living, I’m a public servant. I personally think the Church has become to political and gotten away from it’s original purpose of bringing people to God. It’s very painful to attend church, I’ve learned to keep to myself.
John, thanks for taking the time to read my article and for putting a bit of your story to words. You are not alone. I, and others, stand with you in fierce solidarity. Stay brave!
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 1:9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
Steve, thanks for responding to my article, I additionally hope you read it. Assuming you did, as I used to be a conservative, Evangelical Christian who viewed the passages you list as clear condemnations of homosexuality and LGBTQ, I highly recommend and challenge to do 2 things. 1) Build genuine relationships with people in the LGBTQ community with an open, humble, and listening heart and attitude. 2) Study the scriptures through the lens of those who interpret and conclude completely different understandings in regards to those passages you list any others. In doing so, you have nothing to lose. If your views are as air-tight as you seem to believe, they will remain so. However, if perhaps the Spirit reveals more and anew to you, you will be all the better for it. Remember the words of Jesus to the biblical literalist and legalist of his day… 1) You have heard it said, but I say to you… 2) You search the scriptures believing in them there is life, but life is in Me, Jesus. Once you have accomplished those two challenges, lets get back together for dialogue.
ditto Steve, lol.
crap, I meant ditto to what Chris replied to Steve, lol.
The word homosexual did nit exist back then.
Neither did the word pedophile.
staying away from OT, since we mostly ignore all it says because it was pre-jesus, i stick to NT where it is just there in the pages.
I have a third stance: i also think the Word says it,s not ok. i do not have a problem with gays or their community. I believe God loves them and wills for them to go to heaven. I am friendly to gays and their comminity, i believe i am to love others no matter what. I think if someone who considers himself gay wants to follow jesus, they will face these verses and will either choose to ignore them or not, but its all a process. There are verses i am in the process of living, and that doesnt make me un-christian, but im not trying to change their meaning either. Maybe i dont feel like forgiving someone who really did something bad to me, and the word says i must, but i dont do it… Maybe one day, ill grow in my walk with him enough to finally forgive, but i will not change the verse to fit me, i should change to fit it.
Except the word has changed over the centuries. Be have been altering and adding, subtracting to the text since the Bible was first formed. Anyone who has actually studied it and its history will know this and that no modern translation of the Bible is perfect nor 100% accurate.
I think the text we have today is reliable enough. But for the sake of dialogue, I would offer this thought: So the text we have today, in this matter, is either accurate or not accurate.
If it is accurate, the warning is that (as well as many other offenses), homosexuality can derive in eternal death.
Anyone who chooses to believe the text is not accurate, as you argue, would then have to be willing to run the risk of not partaking of life eternal. What if that person gets to heaven and in the judgement they find out the text was accurate?
So for example, imagine you’re about to get a blood transfusion. The blood may or may not be contaminated with a deadly virus or bacteria. Would you take the risk?
If not, then why take the risk with your eternity?
The fact that there are different translations that said different things over the centuries shows that the texts we have today are not accurate. No modern translation is perfect and there whave been things that have been added to the scriptures. One of which is the doctrine of Eternal Hell and condemnations of homosexuality; neither are in the original langauges, in fact gay marriage was in practice in the early church, notably with two martyrs Sergius and Barcchus. I have seen Orthodox Jews and experts on the original Greek and Hebrew that affirm that the modern translations against homosexuality are inaccurate, backed up by Orthodox scholarship (Hope Remains Online is the place to start and is quick to answer further questions on its contact forms). These guys are experts in the languages with decades of study under their belt. Actually studying the history of the Bible you’d see this, it’s not hard to look up nor are the imperfections of every mordern Bible plain to see. The Bible is as in error as eveything on this earth, especially as far as translations go.
Sadly, again, there will be another set of “scholars” and “experts” on the matter who would contradict what you just said. It will be up to you and me to choose who to believe, but surely a group is correct and the other one is wrong.
I believe the description in Romans 1 is quite clear. You can find a quote online saying on the matter: Most scholars hold that Paul had two passages of the Book of Leviticus, 18:22 and 20:13, in mind when he used the word ἀρσενοκοῖται, … with most commentators and translators interpreting it as a reference to male same-sex intercourse. (note “most”) — so again, you can choose to believe either group, yet what is at stake is too important.
I think in this matter, I’d be looking for certainty, since we are talking about a very serious issue – again, the penalty for such actions could be eternal death (note I did not say Hell…).
It is ultimately up to you and whoever reads the texts we have today to decide to take the risk to accept or reject the classical interpretation on this matter.
I believe an honest heart, a humble heart can hear from God in the matter beyond what other people say and what scriptures say. So I would just pray for a God confirmation on the matter. That way, the moment I’d face Him I’d know my conscience is clear from any sin on the matter.
Jesus said to deny ourselves and follow Him. Every area where the text says we should deny ourselves, we should. Being honest is not always easy, being faithful to your spouse is not always easy, being loving to all is not always easy… and we are all in a process.
Eventually sexuality should not keep us away from God. It’s not that important. It eventually fades. People should not exchange an eternity without God for a few years of exercising sexuality. Sex is a temporary thing. And again, I say this of the whole list – fornication, adultery, “immorality” (whatever that one means), and yes, homosexuality.
Sorry to weigh in competely out of the Blue 🙂
I like your gentle attitude in your replies, and I hope that mine comes across equally gently.
I would make two points, and ask a question.
Firstly, your thought, “So the text we have today, in this matter, is either accurate or not accurate” is not necessarily correct, since it’s perfectly possible for some of it – or indeed any text, not just the Bible – to be correct in some places and not in others. This is particularly true of texts that are written by many different people with many different source materials and points of view.
Secondly, when you say, “Anyone who chooses to believe the text is not accurate, as you argue, would then have to be willing to run the risk of not partaking of life eternal”, this would only be true if the text is the *only* factor involved in bringing someone to said Life Eternal. But it’s not. People can come to Jesus quite independently of the bible; they could meet Him in a sunset, in a thunderstorm, in the still small voice, or even, like Gospel singer Don Francisco, actually hear an audible Voice. But to keep the point to the Bible, even if the Bible is inaccurate, inaccurately translated, even if the Councile if Nicaea (was it that one?) that selected which books were to go in to the Canon of Scripture were fallible humans – even then, still the Scriptures speak of Jesus, no matter how cloudy they may have become (and I am not saying they have; this is simply for the sake of my argument), still they will point us to Jesus *because that is what they do*. The evidence is all around us; there are millions (actually probably billions) of Christians who, by some degree or other, have been brought to Christ usually by means of these Scriptures. Accurate or not, they are still effective.
And I believe this is because of the Voice of the One Who inspired the Scriptures is perfectly capable of speaking His actual words to people, despite our sometimes potentially faulty translations. It’s by no means all about the Bible; it’s to do with the Spirit as well.
Which brings me to my question: before the Canon of Scripture was completed and decided on, and in an age where few people could read, how do you think Jesus made Himself known to people? Sure, they had the Hebrew Scriptures – what we now call the Old Testament – but again most people could not read. They could have it read to them…but the impression one gets from the accounts of the life of the early Church speak more of a teeming, energising Life powered by the Holy Spirit. So how was Jesus presented without such a widely available Scripture as we have now?
Hey Tony, thank you for noting the attitude.
On your first point – you say some portions may be correct, some may not be. At face value, this statement has to be agreed with, it’s common sense. The issue here though, is to be the judge of which parts are “correct” or “inspired” and which are not. Some people have the privilege of calling themselves scholars, regarding the biblical texts. I am not one of those. I would dare to say most people are not either. So again, it falls on us what to choose to believe, regarding the text.
Let’s say that I am thinking on divorcing my wife. There are passages on the bible about that. Do you think my situation would lead me to have a preconceived interpretation of those passages? Will I think that those are inspired or not? Would God want me, based on the bible, to fight to fix whatever is wrong with my marriage or just give up and divorce? — I hope I’m explaining myself here. Because if some passages are inspired and some are not, what if the not inspired verses are those about the resurrection? As the same bible states, if Jesus did not resurrect, our faith is in vain.
This is why I say there are two options, either the text is accurate, or not. I have no way to discern inspired paragraphs from non-inspired paragraphs. Some others may be, I am not. And on a matter where the text says that those who practice (among other things) homosexuality, may be under penalty of eternal death, I would – if it was my case – to play it safe, and not give into it.
On your second point – what I said is not how someone comes to eternal life, but rather a warning Paul writes on who will not partake of it. What I understand is Paul saying: “If you have eternal life, your life is aiming to look like this list, but if your life is aiming to look like this other list, then you do not have eternal life. So because you do have eternal life, stop practicing the things on this other list!”
Now, on your question, before the canon, and actually to this day, Jesus is made known principally through His people – Holy Spirit through word of mouth, I’d say. I see there may be extraordinary cases of supernatural revelation, but for the most part it is through people – not even Scripture I’d say, it’s through people. The Scriptures are a tool, not a part of the Trinity. The Scriptures echo God, but they are not God. When John writes that the Word was God, he does not mean the canon was God, it is an error to equate the canon to Jesus, although the canon speaks of Jesus, and you could make the point that certain portions of the canon (as Isaiah 53) ARE Jesus.
Thank you for the conversation Tony. Hope to hear from you soon.
I realize this reply is two years late, but I felt it necessary to respond. First, by way of qualification, let me state that I have four decades experience working with scripture in the original languages. I know exactly what it said BEFORE it was translated into vernacular languages.
Here are some startling facts for you: There is NO direct mention of homosexuality in the Hebrew and Greek texts. There is indirect mention, but it is not negative. Prior to about 400 years ago, the Bible did not condemn homosexuality. When vernacular translations were made, the churches sponsoring them felt it necessary that the Bible support their doctrines and their prejudices. So alterations were made, and not just on this subject.
I strongly recommend, if you care at all about what was originally written, that you visit hoperemainsonline.com where scripture is examined as it was originally written.
Just visited your site, Bill, and I like it a lot. I would like to link to various parts of it from my blog at various times, if that’s ok.
I do think it will be good for LGBTQ+ people to go and look at what the various ‘clobber passages’ really mean, and it’s great that you have provided this resource. I’m sure you realise, though, that for those who are entrenched in their anti-gay positions, there will be no shifting them no matter how good your examination of the Scriptures. People who are on the lookout for those ‘sinning’ are the people who really have the problem.
Equally, I realise that the site is primarily for LGBTQ+ people anyway, so the anti-gay people can keep their opinions anyway.
Thank you, Tony. Feel free to link to the site!
I do realize some people are far more interested in preserving their own views/prejudices, and all the evidence in the world will not sway them. I try not to waste too much time on them. But the Hope Remains website receives a great many letters from young LGBTQ+ people expressing thanks, some even saying the site saved their lives. Makes it all worthwhile!
Thanks Bill 🙂 I’d say that’s more than worthwhile; it’s literally a lifesaver! This is what’s known as real fruit. You are bringing life, hope, love and peace into those people’s lives. One day, when we stand in His Presence, you will find out just how many people were blessed, uplifted and encouraged by what you are doing.
Or could it be that you don’t want to accept what scripture says about homosexuality? Let’s face it , if you can find a way to declassify something as a sin , then you have a caveat . Even though the Bible clearly calls it sin through the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 , if you can find a way to dismiss that , then certainly heaven would have to rethink the position right ? Your argument that it is not a sin yet adultery or sex before marriage , somehow remain , is ludicrous . You contend that people have no choice , as they are born homosexual or lesbian , has no validity in the word of God as everyone is created in the image and likeness of God . If having sex with the same gender were not as Paul described as unnatural , exchanging the truth of God for a lie , separating one from the life of God , unclean , sinful , for one given over to lust ,unseemly ,reprobate minded , unrighteous, and not without penalty . I don’t see any virtue in those words . Jesus said ” Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning, made them male and female . And for this reason , a man shall leave his father and mother , and be joined to his wife so that the two are no longer ,but become one flesh – What therefore God has joined , let no man separate .” – Matthew 19:4-6 . There are no ways around the words of Jesus or Paul , who only wrote about two thirds of the New Testament , for a Christ follower . So it’s not about what I want to believe but what scripture makes plain . The Christian life comes down to loving what God loves which we know to be people , and hating what God hates , which is sin . Jesus died for sin . His words are written in red to represent the blood He shed at the cross for all humanity . To minimize that or try to manipulate a way around that would be error . Any sexual sin which includes premarital , adultery , or anything outside the will of God , meaning the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman according to the words of Jesus in Matt.19 , is sin against God . Sin is always a choice . A greater sin can be found at the end of Revelation 22 v 19 where you find woe unto a man who would add or take away from the word of God . I do not wish woe upon you sir , but take it as a warning to anyone who would try to deceive people , which your article most does. Selah
John, thanks for sharing your views, I respect the sense of courage and feelings of responsibility you surely have in your faith understanding to confront me in hopes that I will see my heretical ways and repent. I appreciate that, truly. If one is going to belief as you do, believe it all the way–my sense is that you surely do. You might be surprised to learn that I used to believe in much the same ways as you, perhaps even with a bit of a more legalistic bent. I hope perhaps a common ground of respect that could be built upon is that we are at least both passionate in the living out of our faiths. Love, respect, and thankfulness to you.
Chris, thank you for your article and especially for your carefilled response to every comment. You possess real Grace.
Thank you, Rick!
Agreed. What’s your secret? 😉
Quit using the Bible as an excuse to see and treat people as less than you.
Being gay doesn’t harm you. Leave us alone and quit playing god and being self-righteous.
The Bible is my worldview , therefore that won’t be changing . As far as treating people as less than , you don’t know me from Adam , except some words I wrote on a blog towards someone who I believe to be using a forum to twist scripture . I will call out deception when it involves Christians . You are free to live however you want , no judgement here. You will have to face Almighty God on the Day of Judgement to give an account for your life , as will we all . Your anger should be directed towards God , not me . It is His word that says homosexuality and lesbianism , like any other sexual sin such as adultery and sex outside of marriage between a man and woman , are sins against God . Anybody that really cares about you , will care about your eternity considering the brevity of this life . That’s not being self righteous but self aware , of friends , family and the fact that Jesus died for all humanity , not a select few . His sinless life , marked by countless miracles , death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead on the third day , are not facts to be suppressed but shared with the whole world . That is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which changed my life forever . Therefore I won’t be toning it down but telling the whole world .of this new life that is available because of the blood of Christ , which encompasses the peace which passes all understanding and joy unspeakable . I pray you would find that this Christmas and discover the real meaning of the hope of the world .
& there’s LOTS of us out there who quite simply don’t believe that. So…we don’t consider ourself “sinners”. At all. Maybe it is you who would have to justify your bullying of homosexuals through calling them “sinners” to god at the end of your days…
Hi John. There’s a lot of assumptions you are making regarding people who are homosexuals. You are assuming they are “choosing” to have that orientation, when they are not. You can argue this till your blue in the face, and it won’t change a thing. Sinful or not, they do NOT choose this. It just happens, and we don’t know why. This is going to sound cruel, but I pray the Lord bless you with a gay child. Only then, will you witness the reality of it for yourself….and may the Lord teach you how to love….truly love that child. I can tell you my first reaction to my son’s painful acknowledgement (and believe me, he struggled for months with this alone before coming to me) was fear….utter fear…then instinctively, I begged him to consider the truth of God’s word. I grieved for weeks. Couldn’t eat, much, and was a ball of anxiety…..it came time where I had a choice. Stay in that state or completely give Him over to the Lord and trust in the work He is doing in my son. I had to learn that my role as his mother didn’t end there….I had to learn to love my son just as he is….and leave the rest to the Lord to do what He will in and through him. The Lord answered my prayer of long ago, and gave me a son….and when that precious child was born, the first thing I did? Was give that child freely back to the Lord…to do what he will in, through, and for him….and I trust He is doing just that, whether I like it or not…and whether anyone else likes it or not. So please, be very careful in what you are accusing people of…and don’t be so rash. God bless you!
You use Matthew to re-enforce your beliefs. However, you failed to include Jesus’s next part of his explanation. Jesus explains about “eunuchs” 3 kinds. Those not married in this world for religious reasons. Those castrated by men. Those incapable of marriage. You either missed this or purposely took Jesus out of context. I heard the part justifying your beliefs in many sermons, right wing protests etc. but had to happen upon the entire passage on the internet.
Beautiful, compassionate, and gently admonishing. Disclaimer: I no longer subscribe to the Christian faith, but I was raised in it and still know the difference between what is *truly* fundamental to Christianity and what is not (the latter which, ironically enough, is what soi-disant “fundamentalists” emphasize the most, at the cost of love and acceptance of others). For that reason, I still respect and admire the faith founded by Yesh’ua of Nazareth.
If all, or even most, Christians adhered to and PRACTICED the truths you convey here, Chris, the church would probably gather many, many more souls into its understanding and community of the Light. May that be so, someday. Thank you, Chris.
John, such a generous comment that has overflowed my cup. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
As a young Christian, conflicted by my Faith’s principles as presented and my desire to be welcoming to all, can someone please provide me with some references affirming homosexuality? I’m eager to study, but often without focus.
James, please refer to articles on my site that Biblical address LGBTQ issues. Additionally, a simple google search will lead you to additional resources. Blessings on your studies!
Hey James, u wont find any. There r just verses against it. However u will find verses where we r to love, respect, and be nice to them.
I think this article is birth from the fact that the verses against it r used by some to reaffirm their hate . But hate has no place within christianity so that felt wrong.
The issue here is that if u want to stick to what the word says, u will find verses that say it,s not ok. These verses will not tell u to hate or mistreat them at all. If a gay person wants to follow Jesus according to the Word, they will have to choose to either embrace or reject the Word.
If you do not think the Word is worthy of following as is, in the era of post truth and relative morality – the issue is how do u choose which parts are ok, which are not? This is why i rather embrace it as truth, and as a safe place to stand…
Grace and love trump all…love wins every time.
Great post…lots to chew on that covers a spectrum of “sins”. Well done.
Thank you so much Katy, I appreciate your heart and encouragement!
You present some really good points to consider. In many instances, your intuition is probably correct. One thing that gets me about this type of opinion piece — and opinion pieces from the exact opposite view also strike this nerve — is how extremely one sided the perspective is. Not even a cursory attempt to genuinely consider the factors that may be at play for those who disagree. You do a great job of laying out possible sources of thinking that being gay is wrong, ranging from wholesale swallowing of how one was raised to blindly adhering to Scripture. You then augment that in a combo blasting all the hypocrisies (humanity?) of the church. All solid points/questions. But you never address the counterpoint.
What ultimately turned into today’s LGBTQI etcetera’s movement has consistently taken a meter for every centimeter it gained along the way. Society needed to shift, no question. But things have flown way past a demand for mutual tolerance and respect, and a demand to be treated equally, and shot right into the demand for everyone agree exactly with every premise exactly as presented, preferably with the participation in celebrations of it. Deliberate maligning of pastors/priests who don’t want to perform such ceremonies, despite there being plenty who will. The suing of individuals for not wanting to bake a rainbow wedding cake. Etc. There’s no room for differences of opinion laced with tolerance anymore. Rather, if you’re an individual who questions the radical overthrow of everything our society has ever known, such as wanting biological males to continue to using male bathrooms, you can’t even take pause to “honestly” question your views and process the other perspective without being instantly labeled as a bigot.
So I do think you’ve hit the nail on the head regarding some of the sources of having a less than positive view of LGBT issues. But I personally think there’s a lot more at play, including backlash from feeling ostracized and maligned for harboring a different opinion despite treating others with respect and integrity. I’m consistently trying to walk the balance in this regard, but not every person from the LGBT community makes it easy. There are jerks on both sides.
Scott, thanks for reading and commenting on my article. I appreciate your points, yet believe my article does address and communicate a level of understanding and even empathy towards many of the legitimate reasons why people struggle with this issue. As a person who used to feel and believe much the same way that anti-LGBTQ people do, I have firsthand experience with all the “counterpoints.” Yet, at the same time, I am at complete peace with challenging those counterpoints in light of the Bible and example of Jesus. Blessings to you Scott, thanks again for sharing your views and taking the time to do so.
Hi Scott! I understand your anger. I’ve been there before…but I’m no so much there now, and that is a good thing. If anything, the Lord has shown me how our own hypocrisy has driven so many away, such as those in the LGBT community. There are jerks on both sides, I agree. If we would stop preaching at them, marginalizing them, and start truly loving them, things could be so different. Opinions are one thing, but being treated less than human based on those opinions are another. While I believe the LGBT community should respect those priests/pastors who choose not to marry them, I also believe those of Christian or like faiths should also respect the choices of those who are willing to. It ends there though. I could say so much more, but I won’t at this time. All I know, is that the Lord has taken me through some very difficult things and is still teaching me a lot on this matter….and I’ve had to face many uncomfortable things on this subject, such as my own attitude and its roots. It’s been a journey….a long one….and it’s still going….and my trust is in Him to get me through it. Meanwhile, I am learning to love…truly love the people in this community…so please, if anything…just pray for all of us, because we all need it…including yourself. 🙂
I don’t like the expression ‘being gay’. I think it’s too broad (and nebulous) a concept when we are talking about homosexuality and the Bible. Because nowhere in the Bible does it talk about ‘being gay’. It only ever refers to the act of physical homosexual relations. And the Bible unequivocally calls homosexual relations a sin. It is, in fact, a sin against one’s own body – as is any heterosexual sin.
I agree that the church is far too lax on challenging other sins prevalent within the body of Christ. We should be more concerned with the log in our own eye, and until we are, our witness for Christ as a corporate body is severely undermined. But I don’t think that means we should be weakening the Bible’s position on other matters such as homosexual relations.
I don’t believe it is a sin to be attracted to people of the same sex, and it concerns me that by not distinguishing between same-sex attraction and homosexual activity, we are sending a very damaging message to the LGBTQI community – that God is against them personally rather than certain behaviours and attitudes. You may not be able to help who you are attracted to, but you most definitely have a choice about how to act on that attraction – and I think it’s fair to say that is true of any person, regardless of how they identify in terms of ‘sexuality’. The first is a barrier to ever seeking God in the first place, but the second is covered by Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
If the church is truly going to be light and truth, then we need to find a way to extend God’s love and grace to those who are same-sex attracted, without compromising on the Bible’s teaching.
Katie, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Question for you, have you ever studied the Bible through the biblical scholarship of those who come to different conclusions to you regarding LGBTQ etc.? There is such articles on this, my website. I would suspect that, as Christians in the past have read the Bible to justify murder, racism, war, and a host of other evils, it would be good for us all to revisit all of our biblical assumptions from time to time.
After years of prayer and study I have two questions to ask non-affirming Christians. First, what fruit is being produced from a committed, loving relationship? I am blessed to have the example of my uncles’ 39 year relationship. Upon celebrating my own God ordained marriage at their home, I began to question my own pride and ignorance in thinking I was better than them. Their love for each other has produced good fruit for their friends, family and coworkers. They are both increadably kind and generous serving as a hope and light to future generations who long to just be loved and accepted. Second, is anyone stumbling because of this? My arrogance was sin for starters! My mindset was blocking me from really loving all. For those who are worried about the gay lifestyle, the single heterosexual lifestyle can be just as sinful. Most importantly, LBGTQ youth are commiting suicide at four times the rate of heterosexual/cisgender youth. Is that fact not enough to convince Christians of the stumbling block they are putting in front of God’s children? Hugs… For your affirming words! Thank you!
Cathy, you raise some important issues and questions! Great points made. Thank you for reading and responding to this article!
Hi Cathy! Loved your reply. Though I cannot claim that homosexuality is not sinful, I can claim that God genuinely loves the homosexual as much as the heterosexual….and we are called to love them too! We are not called to fix or change people, but we are called to love them as Jesus loves us. I have been blessed on many occasions by those who are homosexual just as I have by those who are heterosexual, and I pray I can be as much of a blessing in return. Avoiding them, marginalizing them, fearing them, and judging them is NOT the answer. Learning to truly love them as Jesus did by His own example is….but ironically, many of the Christian community refuse to do this! So quick to judge and preach, yet so slow to demonstrate love. Though God Himself doesn’t lie, neither do statistics! When so many young people of this community are offing themselves at alarming rates, we should be looking into the reasons why and finding ways to help change this….but more often than not, we don’t….ask yourself this: “Why”???? Blessings to you. 🙂
Thank you, for it is true you choose to judge a group of people, it’s the same with someone who chooses to dislike a particular race or skin colour. I personally feel the type of church goers who are against LGBT are the same ones who were against divorce and single parenting in decades previously. GOD created us to love one another as he has loved us. It is not our role to judge anyone but our own sin.
Well said Bron, thanks for reading and commenting!
I’ve noticed that you never State any Bible verses to back up what you’re saying. If you are reading the same verses that God wrote saying that homosexuality is an abomination, and you believe that these verses have a hidden meaning, or you have to read between the lines, than sir, you are wrong. What you are doing is convincing these LBGTQ people that what they are doing is ok. Why are you twisting the word of God? Just because we’re living in “modern times” is no excuse to except these beliefs of yours.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says there is “no new thing under the sun”.
Please don’t rewrite Gods perfect Word!
Roy, so grateful for you to share your beliefs and display the courage to do so. It is BECAUSE of my love of the Bible, the submission of my heart to Scripture, and my followship of Jesus that I believe what I do, not in SPITE of it. In writing this article, my goal was to write an article, not a book. If you look through by website, you will find articles that address the Biblical verses related to LGBTQ. Thanks again Roy, blessing to you.
Roy…all sin is an abomination to God…and He mentions plenty of them in Scripture. Does that make all sinners abominable? lol.
I find your post to be the very opposite of what it purports to be – grace-filled.
It is the kind of judgementalism which gives religion a bad name. You judge other peoples motives without knowing them, you accuse them of sin without enabling them to answer back and you set yourself up with some classic virtue signalling and some faux pas humility (I used to be like you but I’m all right now!). Your treatment of the Bible is as shabby as your treatment of other people. And the spiritual language and use of the name of Jesus does not take away from the judgementalism you show and the way you set yourself up as your own personal Jesus and indeed the guide to the rest of us. You don’t like this and you don’t agree with it – but the reason that I (and I suspect many others – unlike you I am not omniscient and don’t know peoples hearts) believe homosexual practice is sin – is because the bible says. It would be SO much easier to capitulate to the culture around, reinterpret the bible to suit that culture and still claim the name of Jesus. It would be easier in terms of politics, society, media, friends, family etc…and we wouldn’t have to put up with sanctimonious blogs about how really deep down we are psychologically disturbed, unloving and too thick to understand what the Bible really says!
David, as much as I am hearing your comments and respect you for sharing them, I can’t but wonder if you really read the article, and didn’t just wrap it all in your own pre-conceived perspectives. From your post here and other places regarding this article, it feels like you are determined to miss the reality that so much of the article raises pointed questions, not accusations. If the article challenges you or another, I’m completely at peace with that. You certainly have the freedom to interpret, frame, and internalize this and any other writing the way you desire. Let it be known, as much as you might want to believe differently, it is BECAUSE of my faith, biblical studies, and love of the Bible that I believe as I do, not in SPITE of it. In that way, perhaps we have something in common, though seeing things completely different. Blessing and love to you David.
I’m afraid I know this game too well. What you are doing is playing with words and being fundamentally dishonest. I did really read the article and I didn’t just wrap it in my own pre-conceived perspectives (note again how you judge the motives of others you cannot know and then make your pronouncements). I have not posted other places regarding your article so I’m not sure what you are referring to. And sorry to disappoint you, but the article does not challenge me – it is shallow, superficial and judgemental.
I’m glad you are at peace with your own perception of how you think I responded. You obviously think you have the freedom to interpret, frame and internalize any way you want. I don’t. I don’t think I have the freedom to rewrite the Word of God to suit my own feelings, or the culture around.
And I’m sorry I struggle to see your love of the Bible, which you rarely use, except as a backup of your own pre-conceived views. The way you handle it shows that you love your own opinions far more than the bible – although you seem happy to use the bible, after you have interpreted, framed and internalised it!
I realise that you already have a self-defence mechanism here. Your fans write in expressing their appreciation of you and condemnation of anyone who dares to disagree with you….you utter nice words whilst letting others condemn and accuse us of being judgemental etc and of course you set the whole thing up by setting up a strawman argument against those of us who actually believe what the bible says.
You talk about how you ‘respect’ me whilst at the same time trashing me and misrepresenting what I said. I’m afraid words like respect, blessing and love are cheap. I prefer actions. Maybe next time you could seriously listen to what people actually say and avoid the smear, innuendo, virtue signalling and all the other linguistic tricks that people use to condemn? Could I also suggest that you show a little more humility – boasting that you are the one who bravely speaks grace (those who disagree with you don’t) and the next time you argue against someone – present their best case, not the straw man caricature you lay out in the article. I would urge you to repent but I suspect that you already have your defence against that!
Ironically, David, not everyone here agrees with everything Chris said…but we can still be respectful and honest regarding our beliefs as well as our questions and concerns. Unfortunately, the accusations you make against Christ, well….you have done exactly what you accuse him of doing! I mean the very same thing, too! 🙁
thank you for this, I certainly agree with all you say. but I tend to keep my head down at church, I don’t want to upset anybody or cause arguments. am I wrong? Should I shock everybody by telling them what I really think? Am I hypocritical to keep quiet? I think a lot of our people are the same, just keeping quiet, yet deeply troubled by some of the homophobic things we hear our fellow believers saying. I don’t know so I keep on keeping my head down.
Rosemary, thanks so much for your honest response. I think we all have different personalities and limits, and those should be respected. Even more so, I don’t think we should ever violate our conscience. Should we be willing to have our conscience changed? Yes, absolutely, but not violated in the process. If keeping your head down is what your conscience tells you, than by all means, do it. For me, I write not to change minds and hearts as much as I do to let the oppressed know that have been heard, are valued, and have one who will stand with and for them, being a voice where they have little to none.
The word homosexual did not exist back then.
You’re incorrect. It would be much easier to believe it’s not sinful. I don’t know if you know this, but all sex outside of marriage is sinful. Gay sex is just one of many different kinds of sexual sin. But to answer your charge, no. I do not want it to be a sin. But my wishes don’t change things.
thanks for sharing your views Montjoie.
If people are destroying themselves with sin, it isn’t grace to tell them to continue as if nothing’s wrong.
key word in your statement is “if.”
Of course. And I would love to be wrong. I don’t think you can look at Church tradition and doctrine, however, and think otherwise.
The sex within my marriage was the most disgusting *sinful* thing I’ve ever had to submit to. My relationship outside marriage to a priest, was blessed and holy and healing. Because of my past history I do not and can not abide by this, which is disrespectful of people who have been subjected to marital rape.
Nope! Has nothing whatsoever to do with what I want to believe. I firmly believe that The Bible is God’s inerrant Word. And it very very clearly states what God says about homosexual behavior—it is sin, and this prevents fellowship and relation with Him. He desires relation and fellowship with all men, but He is Holy and cannot abide where sin abides. So man makes the decision to either abide in the Holy sinless presence of God, or to turn his back on God. Thus, true Christians are part of the Body of Christ and thus will not participate in or accept homosexual behavior as sinless.
Audrey, I hear you and respect the veracity of your convictions. I doubt I’ll gain any influence in encouraging you to study, with the same veracity, this issue from other perspectives. Yet, nonetheless, I challenge you to do so.
Thank you for your thought-provoking article. You are right; there are christians who, like you say, have not studied the scriptures, and have made up their mind without thinking. Their argument goes along the lines of “adam and eve not adam and steve,” and that’s as far as they go. I personally know such christians who simply don’t want to bother, for whom it’s too much work or too much trouble, or maybe too threatening to their assumptions to consider why they believe what they believe. They really don’t know what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st century. They might believe in Him, but are following their own sets of values, their parents’, or their peers’. And yes, some have had an inkling that it’s not that simple, but they’re simply not willing to take the time to find out. It is as you say – they don’t want to.
However, this is not true for all Christians. There are some christ-followers who actually do love LGBT people, accept and respect them as loved by God and made in His image, and at the same time stand by their studied-out and thought-out convictions that homosexual activity – along with a majority of our lives – is sin. There are Christians who love as Jesus personified: full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Jesus himself demonstrated this toward a woman caught in the act of adultery. He dismissed those who were ready to stone her to death, tenderly expressed grace to her, and then exhorted her to repent – of sin!. He accepted her, but he didn’t agree with her choices. It wasn’t either / or; it was both / and.
To treat someone with both grace and truth is hard to do; in fact, it’s near impossible apart from the spirit of God’s empowering. It’s relatively rare; there are probably more of the group you’re referring to than the group I’m pointing out. But there are Christians out there who are actually Christ followers.
And, come on, let’s be fair: there are people on the other side of this conversation – those who reject God or the church or a traditional view of Scripture – who are driven by the same motive. There is another way to see it; but they don’t want to. In your blog post you ask, “what if you’re wrong?” Honestly, I might be. I’ve been doing a lot of digging, reading, praying, and listening to others over the last few years, trying to get to the bottom of this volatile issue. I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m invested in this conversation; I could write a book about it. I’m seeking God, the one who is right. I hold a conservative view; it’s just where I am, and I might be wrong.
But … what if you’re wrong? Will you even consider the possibility? Are you – or anyone reading – offended because I ask?
I’ve known several LGBT people who have kicked other people out of their life – including and in some cases especially family – not because those others have abused or condemned them. Those others have simply disagreed with their conclusions and choices. Yeah, sometimes they were jerks about it; but not always. Because of disagreement the relationship was ended. Really? That tells me more about the person ending the relationship than the disagreeing person. Now who’s being intolerant or arrogant or bigoted? Dare we use or even invent terms like bible-phobe or disagreement-phobe?
Part of the problem in this culture war is that it’s my view against your view, my interpretation against your interpretation, my intellect up against yours. And we’re often quick to vilify, insult, and demonize those who disagree. It’s like a game we play: I’m right; you’re wrong. Bam! End of discussion. Oh yeah? Well, you’re wrong and I’m right. So there. That’s the way a lot of it sounds. And I think the devil laughs when he hears it.
What’s often missing in this conversation is the worship of God: not singing Kumbaya in a circle, or reciting the Lord’s Prayer, but in community submitting our hearts, minds, wills, and ways we relate to others to Him who holds us all together by his power. Where is that happening? Have any of you seen it?
This generation of humanity has drifted light-years away from what God originally intended. We’ve lost sight of what we were created and redeemed to be. We’ve made God in our image. We’ve offered our hearts to the idols of feelings and validation. We’ve re-written the bible to fit our own ideas. We’ve become entitled to have our way and have our own lifestyle and listen to no one, and condemned those who do as we do but in different forms. When will God’s people, together with the suffering LGBT community, come before God, and all honestly admit our corruption (because we’re all disordered in some way)? When will we, in a spirit of worship, put aside our proof-texting and hip interpretations aside, and be transformed by his spirit? Can we stop poking at the imperfections of the other side and actually come before God together? Isn’t this precisely what the world needs to see? Isn’t that the (or at least a) definition of revival?
Maybe that’s too tall an order, especially for western culture. Only by seeing and following Christ as he truly is can this happen. But we tend to see Jesus as we want him to be.
Chris, I think you’re right in calling out some Christians on their motives. But this does not apply to all Christians; some are led to believe what they believe. And your calling out does apply to some on the other side of the conversation.
Don, thanks for sharing your reflections on my article. To be sure, there are always multiple sides and angles to any issue, many more than one single blog post can address. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will explore other articles on this site that address many of the issues you raise in your comment. Thank you for your investment of time, wisdom, and energy to contribute to meaningful dialogue.
Hi Donn! I enjoyed reading your response, and there is much truth to what you said. I’m so happy that you are invested in this conversation. We all need to have conversations like these, and I hope we can come together and do just that! Whether we agree or not…we can always have real respectful conversation. 🙂
Sorry guys homosexuality is a sin, but unlike modern day “conservatives” I recognize those areas that also affect me like lust. See the problem is condemnation is authored by no man, but the word of God convicts the heart. The Word of God (inspired Word of God). So whether it’s lying, lust, murder, hate, to name a few they are all sins requiring Christ’s blood for redemption. Been there, done that, bought a T-shirt. I can love you without agreeing with you, it’s love that’s missing, not tolerance.
I meant it’s love and tolerance for one another that is missing…..sorry
The original texts disagree with you. In the original Hebrew and Greek there’s no condemnation of homosexuality.
I go to a very liberal church possibly the most attended church at the university of Illinois. That said I heard a message about sexuality that spelled out why it is a sin along with fornication. Bottom line it’s satans plan of sexuality. Keep the flesh longing and desiring while destroying the soul. There is no spiritual union between God and a homosexual marriage Satans plan for sex is missing the presence of God it is not blessed. There is no procreation which is why sex is worship to God. The final issue is that they will not see the Kingdom of Heaven,meaning they cannot operate out of spirit as long as they live out of the flesh. So it is a choice, they can choose to let their flesh give them their identity or they can ignore the flesh and take on the identity of Christ waiting for them. As scripture warns do not be deceived.
Looks like you got Sergius and Barcchus to answer for.
I appreciate your posting. My faith tradition is also Christian. I have watched loved ones struggle with each other over beliefs about sexuality and had not even thought about the power of our choosing in this matter. I don’t know whether I read your pain in this posting, or whether it touched my pain, but I long for those who may find themselves in these words to have some careful thought about what they do think and why. I think I shall think upon that, too. It is worth the effort. Thank you for your effort and blessings upon you.
GraceT, thank you for truly pondering the heart and soul of this article.
Truth is God loves every person. God hates all sin but loves every sinner because every person on the planet my self included is a sinner. This sounds like it is written by a person that wants to justify their sin (being gay among other sins). I live as a sinner that aspires to be sin free even though it is impossible. I need God’s mercy, grace and Jesus sacrifice on the cross for my sin daily. The only eexplanatin i have that the church as a whole has made being lgbtq such a worse sin than any of other sexual devant behavior( premarital sex, sex with minors and unbibilical divorce adultery) Is that being straight they find it disgusting or they them selves struggle with gay temptations. Any which way lgbtq is a sin wether you choice to believe it or not and with salvation is forgivable like any other sin. Fyi treat lgbtq like any other sinner with God’s love. Of course I am still sinful human and if this out any of your other sins are used in such a way that is against me ie trying to get me to be involved in your sin (don’t know why gay guys think I’m cute) I would no longer associate with you outside of church as I would do the same of someone trying to included me in theft or murder. Yes I believe lgbtq individuals should be fully allowed and encouraged to go church like any other sinner. Love the sinner but not justify the sin is what Christians should do with every one equally regardless what the sin is. If they are not doing this they are doing Christianity wrong.
Will, thanks for reading and commenting on my article. Appreciate and respect your views, however, I disagree with them. I would encourage you to study the issue of LGBTQ in terms of sin by reading the work of other bible loving, truth seeking, Jesus worshipping, scholarly Christians who read the same Bible you do and come to an entirely difference conclusion with no desire to justify anything. And no, I am not gay.
Trouble is Christians are even against Christians. Just look at Northern Ireland! So if Christians can’t get along their “witness”is shot to hell. I can’t get over this fact. See how they love one another? Is this being practiced when you state when it is appropriate to,”Associate” with fellow Christians?
With due respect, your premise is totally wrong for me. I would love to be proven wrong regarding abortion (i.e. fetuses are not human,) and gay relationships and marriage. What a relief it would be! What a burden would be removed! But the facts, I believe, dictate otherwise.
Yes, I have a beloved niece and close friend of many years, both who are gay. I love my niece and and am blessed by both. I would welcome them to my church (my niece does attend)
Yes, homophobia is wrong, and gay sex is no more wrong thanalong more “acceptable” sins such as co-habitation. As Billy Graham said, gay sex is less serious than pride or greed. The problem that makes it more serious, however, is that the church would be sanctioning and consecrating this sin.
Bottom line: the article unjustly judges my integrity and stereotypes me as judgemental and hateful. I resent that.
Chris, I thought your article is one of your better ones and I happen to agree with what you wrote. Thank you.
I’d like to ask a question of all those who are so quick to judge and condemn members of the LGBT population: I’m a celibate post-op transsexual woman and my question is, how many of you suddenly, as you read those words, feel revolted and compelled to judge and condemn me for who and what I am? Who wants to be first to quote Deuteronomy 22.5? Who’s going to read me the biblical Riot Act first?
I did not ask to be born a transsexual. I did not want the enormous pain, confusion and shame in my life – but I had no choice in how I felt. It was not my decision to want to be female more than I wanted to be male. Yet I am judged, and I am condemned by those who boldly proclaim a heart full of Yeshua’s love because of a genetic condition over which I had no control. I was kicked out of my church, my sanctuary, the place I loved to go to have my spirit fed, to hear the Word, to worship my Heavenly Father, to bask in His purity. But apparently His love and purity doesn’t apply to people like me because I was told not to return to that church, a Pentecostal church, unless I returned as a male.
And so here I sit, without a church – or, in my case, a synagogue because I became a Messianic – because no one will have me! Someone please try to explain to me how a woman who loves the Lord as desperately as I do is too wicked, too evil, to filthy to occupy a pew with those who can quote the chapter and verse prohibiting us from passing judgement on one another, but who delight in doing exactly that.
I read the loveless, compassionless statements here from people who quote scripture to condemn Chris and, by extension, me, and I feel sick in my heart and in my stomach because I see NOTHING quoted to show the boundless, endless love that Yeshua stood for, stands for now and will stand for through eternity. You who have castigated Chris for daring to humanize scripture are doing the exact thing he wrote about, and your lack of selfless love, your absence of Christlike compassion, are the very things that drive those who are somehow less than you to kill ourselves. And some of you will say “Good riddance, rot in Hell.” Well, shame on you! Shame on you for perverting everything that Yeshua stood for, those very things that so many of you seem to have lost – if you ever had them to begin with.
If that is your Christianity, you’re welcome to it because it teaches hate more than love, division more than unity, condemnation more that forgiveness and judgement more than anything else. We are not under Law, we are under Grace, and those of you who take such savage, self-righteous pleasure in sending people like me to Hell would do well to remember that the place will be well-stocked with those to whom Yeshua says, “I never knew you!”
Stefani, thank you, and what a beautiful comment you have shared!
I agree with Chris–your sentiment was beautiful and also thought-provoking. I have several gay friends and one transsexual friend and all of them said they knew from a young age that they felt they were not “normal” (although there really is no such thing as “normal” because we all have different issues, but I think you know what I mean). God created ALL of us. I feel bad for the LGBTQ community because of what you still go through in 2017. Some people need to be reminded that before and during Jesus’ time, people believed that anyone with a disease, disability, etc. had the problems because they were possessed and sinners. Jesus straightened out that thinking as well. They believed Jesus when He said this was not the case, probably because most people at some time or another get a serious illness, whether it is temporary or permanent, so naturally, in their minds Jesus said THEY are not sinners (we all are, but not because of disease or disability). So I guess it’s easy for people to accept Jesus’ teaching about this. Yet the same church goers and Bible readers STILL do not believe other things Jesus said and refuse to leave judgment up to the Lord. I don’t understand? We can’t choose which of Jesus’ teachings we want to believe and follow and ignore the others. We are either His followers or we’re not. Please don’t get me wrong–I’m a sinner and have to remind myself of this everyday as well, but it’s 2017, and I think it’s time we ALL take to heart everything Jesus had said. God created ALL of us differently, and in different ways. How can any of us have the nerve to say who He loves and doesn’t love?
I think the church’s visceral response to homosexuality has alot to do with conservative Christianity being wedded to male domination/female subordination. If same sex couples were accepted, that would mean people can have relationships without the paradigm of male headship. Then what would the church do ? Admit this paradigm isn’t the only possible one?
How do I unsubscribe to this bullshit?
If you look at the bottom of the email message you received (just like every other blog offers), you’ll find in plain English the link to unsubscribe or manage your subscription. Then you can go back and live in your ignorant world!
Maybe, just maybe, the real reason why you believe being gay is a sin is because—you want to?
Definitely, MOST definitely, the real reason why ‘Christians” believe being gay is a sin is – they want to.
You bring new perspective to Christian thinking. It concerns me that the blogs you write are so condemning to Christians. Even if you are pointing out the truth, it represents a small population. I would love to see more balance in your discussions about the compassionate Christ followers who are in the millions. We know we are born into sin and that no sin is greater than another. Most of us spend enough time regretting our daily sins and are not looking to condemn each variety of sinner that is in church or on the street. We are looking for opportunity for meaningful relationships and loving as Christ does.
Kim, thanks for you comment. Respectfully, I have to disagree with your observations and assessments of modern Christianity, especially in America.
Kim… I understand your seeing most posts as being negative, but I see them more as making us look into ourselves a bit deeper. We are all sinners and I know that I spend time with God everyday telling Him that I am sorry for my sins and shortcomings. But the reasons why Chris’s blog helps me and maybe many others is because one sin we all seem to share is “being judgmental.” I think because it’s a common human condition. I often ask myself if it may stem from the fact that, although we know we are all sinners, we still try to make ourselves feel that we’re not quite as bad as “other sinners.” But the fact is that Jesus is our ONLY judge and He warns us many times about not judging others. Yet I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t hear someone making a judgmental comment about another person–including myself! I work on it everyday, including by trying not to keep quiet when others make terrible comments about people, because it’s just as wrong if it allows them to think that I agree with what they said. I try not to argue, but to handle it tactfully. But I have really come to believe that “judging others” is probably all Christians’ biggest sin. To me, blog posts that seem to be negative (although I’m not sure “negative” is the proper adjective) are actually the most helpful. I can listen to Joel Olsteen if I want to hear only positive words. But they don’t help us look inside ourselves to ask if what we’re doing is wrong; and looking inside is the only way we can question ourselves and change if we find that we’re not following Jesus. Of course, we first need to read the Bible to know what Jesus actually taught.
As an aside note, I’d like to add something else I’ve noticed throughout the years, which is….that it amazes me how few Christians actually ever read the Bible! Most Muslims, Jews and other religious sects can practically recite their sacred book verse by verse because they read their books faithfully. Yet I know only a few Christians who’ve read it. I read it everyday and have since 1985. And every time I see something different and learn something new! It’s an amazing book. I hope not to offend anyone when I say that as a former Catholic, I know that until a few years ago the Church never encouraged us to read the Bible because their belief was that only THEY could interpret it. Perhaps a few older Catholics here were fortunate enough when they were young to belong to a Church with a priest who didn’t believe this and did encourage parishioners to read the Book; but I can only say that neither I nor any of my Catholic friends were ever encouraged to read the Bible either as children or adults. This makes me wonder how a person can be a true Christian if they never read the book their religious beliefs are supposedly based on? And why wouldn’t a person want to read the book their beliefs are based on? To not read it is to just take the word of the religious leaders who influenced us as to what’s in the Book. But I can tell you that there’s a lot more in the Bible than just what we were taught in church and catechism class!
I think I went on long enough. I’m sorry for getting off track, but as I was writing my comment, my mind automatically began thinking that because the Bible isn’t all “good news”, it’s the reason we Christians need to read it.
Again, Chris… thank you. You are ripping apart some beautifully constructed religious walls in my heart and mind… they were making me unhappy as I knew my doctrine was wrong but couldn’t see where because of these bible verses we quote… and I couldn’t hear God about it.
And here is your website and blog… written in love and with all the passion of the gospel… please keep smashing these walls of religiosity down!
Debs, thanks so much for connecting with me and sharing such an encouraging comment! You are not alone, be brave!
I would like to chat with you. I feel that some of the things you say are quite mean, and all the time you spend being mad at all the evangelical Christians could be better spent. Would love to gain some perspective on some of your thoughts.
Chris is there a reason why site links are coming up ? They not allowed on here or something ?
Yes it me !! Many of us have the right just as they have the right Just like this person as the right to judge all the church people into what they think is true ! So you are gay! So it’s important to you to shove it in our faces ? We all have rights. You seem to forget that. You seem to state it’s Gods word and people that condemn you. Maybe just maybe it’s your own self doing the judgement ??
Hi Chris (and others)
I’d like to thank you for what I found to be a well thought out, researched and plain-speaking perspective on this issue. I found it to be respectful, although I can see how some others who do not agree with you would find it the opposite…and that unfortunately is the crux of the whole problem.
A person can be as respectful as they possibly can about an issue, and honestly believe they have been polite, fair and “loving” while still being honest and rational in their view…no matter what side of that issue they are on.
The thing is, no matter how respectful that original comment is, if someone has a different world view, they will often automatically feel that comment has attacked that world view, and by association the person who holds it. This is often an unconscious reaction so we don’t always recognise it – but really, it’s the crux of everything human nature is about. We all need to feel validated and worthy, so we need as much evidence as possible to support that validation. Our world view and belief systems reflect that, so if we find that challenged, it is a challenge to our own self-validation, and we automatically go into defense mode in order to justify that need.
From my perspective, it also boils down to another basic facet of human nature: free will. We are all free to come to our own realisations about life, and interpretation of what shapes those realisations. I think you hit the nail on the head about folks wanting to believe things – as I said, it’s almost an unconscious thing; if one has a certain world view, they will interpret everything as supporting that world view, because of course they want to.
Take one of the comments above: “…it has nothing whatsoever to do with what I want to believe. I firmly believe that the Bible is God’s inherent Word.” The second sentence contradicts the first sentence and in fact reinforces your point: The poster believes the bible is god’s word precisely because she wants to (I mean it’s logical; if you don’t want to believe it, you don’t believe it, as many people do), but both those sentences become the perfect example of how the first sentence is so ingrained in that person’s mind that anything presenting a different perspective is automatically wrong. It must be that way for that person; there is simply no other truth for them.
Interpretation again. Two people can read the bible cover to cover, and frequently; and will come to two completely different interpretations, each insisting their interpretation is obvious, clear and correct. One person can insist their interpretation is the truth until (as you put it) they’re blue in the face, but if the other person needs or wants their version to be the truth, no amount of suggestion (however respectful) that there could be another equally valid interpretation can be entertained.
I believe this: posts like this are important because sometimes (as is obvious by the comments) they do help people to come to their own realisations that their previous world views can be altered without invalidating their own worth as a person. I also believe we need to start putting our energies not into trying to convince others of something they are not ready to question, but into supporting those who share our world view, and reminding ourselves how to respect and accept others, no matter what we think of what they believe.
David, I’m replying here because I think we have exhausted the number of levels that the ‘reply-reply-reply’ system is set to allow 🙂 It’s in reply to your post here: http://tinyurl.com/ybz7xd3j
Once again, I appreciate the grace with which we are conducting this conversation 🙂 I agree with much of what you said, but differ on some points. I particlualry love how you said that the Scriptures echo God, but are not God. I might have to plagiarise taht for my blog 😉
Rather than go into detail on any disagreements, I would pose this idea which is hinted at in what you wrote but I wonder if our readers really saw it. When you say that there may be supernatural stuff happening, I’d point out that those examples you gave – sometimes the bible; sometimes through God’s people – where Jesus is made known, I’d say that’s already pretty supernatural. That simple talk and reading by us physical beings is somehow translated into matters of eternal importance – I’d say that’s pretty amazing. Pretty supernatural. The thing is that we get so used to it, that it doesn’t appear amazing any more 🙂
For the definitions of Eternal Life, I personally believe that knowing Jesus personally – not the counterfeit ‘personal relationship’ that many people harp on about but don’t actually have themselves – that is eternal life. Knowing the Son, and the Father Who sent Him. All the other things – like what eternal life will actually manifest itself as – will, I think, be manifested differently according to the individual. For some, this may well indeed mean expressing their ‘gayness’ because they believe that God has made them that way. I appreciate that this is likely not something you would agree with, and that’s fair enough. I think that, like all believers, we are each at a different stage in our walk of revelation, and that God has revealed certain things to you that He has not revealed to me, and vice versa. And for each individual, this is going to be very personal and relevant/applicable only to that person. I think this is one of the reasons why we are not to judge 🙂 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and one of the reasons why it’s ‘secret’ is because it’s personal.
Thanks again for your reply; it has got me thinking along some interesting lines and there is definietly much food for thought there.
Grace and Peace, brother 🙂
I am sorry to have to say so, but this is hogwash and drivel! As a committed Christian, my foundational belief is that the Biblical witness is Holy Spirit-inspired Divine Revelation… “Love the the your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strenghth.” And, “Love one another as I have loved you”. The love of Jesus says “No!” to sin, and to do otherwise is not be faithful in expressing the love of Christ!
The question remains, is it sin? There is no doubt that every Bible translation from the 17th century to the present says that it is. But the key word there is “translation.” These are not the original languages. People who cannot read the original languages are at the mercy of the translators. And any first year Greek or Hebrew student who is honest, and who has looked carefully, can verify that our translations are filled with errors, many of which were intentional, designed to bring the Bibles into doctrinal harmony with the churches. (KJV, for example, had to agree with the Church of England, or the translators would have either been replaced or told to do it over.) There are some verses that are wrong in EVERY English translation. For example, the first two verses of John’s Gospel: Every commonly available English translation tells us in these two verses that the Word was “with God.” There is not a single Greek manuscript that says that. A whole doctrinal teaching, the Logos doctrine, has grown up around that statement, and it isn’t even what John wrote! He wasn’t trying to make a doctrinal statement in those first few verses, but simply explain that when he said “Word,” he was referring to the one God of creation, whom many of his Greek-speaking readers would not have been raised to know or believe in. Due to the limitations of the Hebrew alphabet, it wasn’t possible for him to write God’s Old Testament name in Greek, so he used WORD to replace it, just as the Aramaic translation of the Old Testament had done.
Every version since the 17th century contains two prohibitions of male homosexuality in Leviticus: 18:22 and 20:13. You might be interested to know that an earlier English translator (Wycliffe), in his original version, did not understand the verses that way, but thought they forbid two males to have simultaneous sexual relations with the same woman. Why? Because the Hebrew text mentions a place, a woman’s bed, and since the Law of Moses indicates that a woman’s bed was her own, he assumed the woman would be present. The verses in Hebrew actually forbid two males to lie down, for any reason, in a woman’s bed, and her presence or absence was irrelevant.
You’d be surprised how many Bible scholars today have no working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, but rely on flawed books like Strong’s Concordance. (The Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in that book are a mess. Even the names of the letters of the alphabets are wrong, as well as many of the sound values assigned to them. Hint: words like beta and mu might be fine for naming fraternities, but there is not a Greek person alive who would recognize those as names of letters of his alphabet. They should be vita and mi, not beta and mu.
Sadly, Christian schools of higher learning have been teaching these flawed versions for generations, never taking the time to confer with native speakers of either language, who would have a better understanding of the alphabets, the sounds, the grammar, etc. Even so, most students who take those classes graduate with only a very limited knowledge of the languages, and couldn’t sit down and read a sentence in Hebrew or Greek, with understanding, if their lives depended on it.
I went a different route: I learned from native speakers. I also taught both languages for many years. I have 40+ years working with, and teaching from, the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, and I can say without hesitation that there is NO direct mention of what we today understand as homosexuality in the Bible, and therefore no condemnation of it. There is indirect mention, but that mention isn’t in any way negative. Some verses that today seem to condemn homosexuality were in fact dealing with pederasty, or a Greco-Roman custom, originating in their religion, that required people to be sexually active with both sexes, regardless of their own natures in regard to sexuality. Paul called that custom a mistake and unseemly (that is, out of character), and even shameful (but not a sin). Other verses that today condemn homosexuality were originally speaking of prostitution (heterosexual), or temple prostitution (again, always heterosexual), or even something entirely non-sexual: the fact that large wealthy can make it impossible for a person to be saved.
This website was written and is maintained by evangelical Christians. Their translations were done by people fluent in biblical Hebrew and Greek. It’s worth reading if truth matters more to you than tradition. hoperemainsonline.com
“Due to the limitations of the Hebrew alphabet, ” That should have said “Greek alphabet.”
“large wealthy” Let’s try “great wealth.”
Someday I will remember to proofread before I post!
I like the premise of your article and agree with it in some respects but I think a better answer is that many people of faith simply refuse to engage in critical thinking when it comes to matters of theology or belief. They’ve been taught that being gay is a sin and having been brought up that way and taught by spiritual leaders whom they respect backed by certain passages which support the sinfulness of homosexuality that is simply easier to not engage in any kind of critical thinking or analysis. I think we’ve been mistakenly taught that matters of faith are not subject to logic. For me if faith didn’t make sense on a certain level, it didn’t work for me at all. There is of course a point where simple faith has to take over in the absence of logical rigorous scientific or mathematical proof. But that doesn’t mean that we should have a brain check girl at the door of our church who asks us to remove our brains before entering the church. Perhaps a better premise for your article is not “The real reason you believe being gay is a sin.” People probably believe that because they’ve been taught that way. A better title is “The real reason you STILL believe being gay is a sin.” And it goes much deeper than just the issue of LGBT+ There are a variety of issues in which we need to re-examine the gospel message in the light of modern understanding of human nature, psychology, science etc. The same arguments against LGBT were used to justify prohibition of interracial marriage, justify slavery, justify spousal abuse etc. God gave us a brain and the ability to reason. Why would we presume that we were not to use that brain in understanding HIS message.