NOTE: The following is written exclusively in relation to Christians who are gays. I am not writing in relation to what is happening in the world but only what is happening in Christianity.
This topic is by far the most hurtful topic that confronts the Spouse of Christ at this juncture in history. It is with a deep awareness of my human weakness as a Christian writer that I share with you the result of my study of this topic. I believe that the Church of Christ, His beloved Bride, remains under the influence of our Beloved Teacher, God the Holy Spirit, and God desires us to seek all the truth. But before leaning into this study, here are a few items of consideration that we need to know.
1) The suicide rate for Christian gay teens is:
– 4 times that of heterosexual kids
– 9 times if they are rejected by their families.
2) Being gay scientifically suggests that same-gender attraction starts at the beginning of life and is inherent. This is based on several studies. “Born that way” is an issue that demands our consideration. Ask a Christian Gay (if they came out, highly improbable) if he thinks he was born that way. Ask him since when is he gay? Given a choice, most would have chosen a different sexual preference.
As Christians, we are called to open our hearts and minds. No one knows where the wind blows… so open your minds. Listen to our wondrous Teacher the Holy Spirit… and do not close yourselves to HIM. Understand that God’s Word is an ever-living revelation. Christians are not called to “stagnate” in the dependence of their alleged Scriptural knowledge. Our collective understanding of the Holy Scriptures has historically been enriched in time. In other words, Christians, historically, collectively believed “error” and were convinced that they were right. Slavery comes to mind. Even before the reformation, Christians believed in the divine authority of the Church (Roman Catholicism in the Dark Ages).
- Otherwise, men like Luther and Darby would have wasted their time with the “Saved by Faith” teaching and the “Rapture” reminder as taught by the Apostle Paul.
There is such a thing as the element of “the evolution of our correct interpretation of God’s Revelation”.
This topic is simply another truth that needs our dependence on God the Spirit, our Divine Teacher. Refusal of openness to new considerations are elements of spiritual pride. In humbleness, we are called to be dependant and open to the teachings of God. Today, we face a huge social element called “sexual orientation”. This is different from “same-gender preference”.
“Sexual orientation” has never been known until now. What the Bible alludes too is “sexual preference”. The term sexual preference has a similar meaning to sexual orientation, and the two terms are regrettably often misused interchangeably, but sexual preference suggests a degree of voluntary choice, sexual orientation is related to your personality, not your character. Personality is natured, innate in contrast with character which is nurtured, influenced, chosen. The Scriptures speak of the latter, not the former.
Of course, I remain humbly open to correction as my only desire is to faithfully serve my Lord. But opinions are useless. We need the Bible as our anchor of knowledge. Interpreting a biblical verse out of its biblical context is having a pretext and has no value. The “context” explains the “text”. Today’s context does not harmonize with the context found in the Bible.
The following is an extract of an email between a young woman and www.OkChrist.com
Dear Phil @ OkChrist. com
(From Selena – real name withheld, and extracts edited and published with her permission).
“I have an important question concerning God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, and homosexuality…
I am deeply troubled with my sexual orientation, my attraction towards women, and not men. I strongly feel like God has made me this way. As far as I can remember I have felt like I was a boy stuck in a female body.
I have always known I was born a Lesbian. I remember vividly. I was still so very young. As time went by, I struggled with this notion.
I was so mad at God because I had this sexual preference; it was so confusing to me. Here I was feeling a type of love for our Lord Jesus Christ that I have yet to feel again in my life because of this struggle but I was taught that homosexuals, regardless of the Godly choices they made in their lives, would be cast into hell and I did not want to go to hell. Yet my natural feelings were overwhelming. So, I could not understand why God would allow this to me. So, at one stage I simply rejected God altogether. I was in my pre-teens by then.
Decades later, I have re-committed my life to God and believe without a doubt in my soul that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and God is my Father. I have given HIM my life and I want to serve God with all my heart. I have surrendered so that He can utilize me in any way He wants to.
My struggle, my suffering is with my sexual preference. They say I am sinful in my ways and I shall perish for all of eternity.
My dilemma is I have prayed as a child so hard for God to take this Lesbian feeling from me and He never did. I have asked God as an adult that if He does not want me to be a Lesbian, to take this sexual state and desires from me… but it does not work.
Now as an adult, I am still wondering why he is not changing my natural desires, those that I have always had. Is it because He made me this way or is it because I do not want to change? I don’t dislike men, its just that I fail to know how to change. I know I need a woman to feel complete and elevated in my life. Is this me or is this sin?
I know you are a BIBLIOLOGIST so how do you view this?
Thank you for this Phil… I am deeply troubled!”
What the Bible says and means about homosexuality.
As the following will show, there are generally 2 schools of thought on the interpretation of the Bible when it comes to same-sex issues.
We do believe that this information will allow you and our readers to make up their minds or at the very least make us all think about this substantial issue.
As to our position, we tend the understanding of the position generally expressed by “Progressive Christians” and we are not expecting much support from the beloved religious people on this entry but ask everyone to remain sensitive to what the Lord wants us to understand in relation with this most important subject. Since I cannot speak for others, allow me to use “Our understandings” instead of any other names.
Thank you Selena for asking the question.
In the following, we will use diverse sources. We have edited this topic and used extracts in part from many sources including:
- The Bible
- http://www.religioustolerance.org/ Copyright © Ontario Consultants on Religions
- Tolerance, Author: B.A. Robinson and from Dr. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, as well as many dictionaries such as Wikipedia and other sources.
7 major passages appear in the Bible concerning Homosexuality. Our emphasis is not on the Old Testament passages since we believe that the requirements of the Old Testament have been answered by the sacrificial work of Jesus of Nazareth.
Many verses in the OT do not apply to us (don’t eat scaled fish, don’t eat pork, don’t wear two types of garments as in don’t mix cotton with polyester for example or you are doomed if you plant tomatoes with onions side by side and so forth. There was a good reason for that at that time… but we are no longer at that time.
So here is a very brief glance at the 4 major passages in the New Testament that appear to discuss same-gender sexual behavior. The following very brief descriptions are necessarily over-simplified. They do not cover the full range of conservative/progressive beliefs. However, you may well find the beliefs that you have been taught in one of these sections:
Sections identified as i) are typical interpretations by religious conservatives. “Religious conservatives” include some churches, Temples, etc. or some individuals in the following groups: the Baha’i faith, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Sections identified as ii) are the interpretation by what we would call “Our understandings”. God loves persons of all sexual orientations and Christian morality requires that the beauty of sex be consensual,
non-manipulative, safe, and within a loving, committed relationship.
(We believe in the inspiration of God of the entire Bible).
New Testament passages
A) Romans: 1: 26-27
For this reason, God gave them up to vile lusts; for both their females changed the natural use into that contrary to nature; and in like manner the males also, leaving the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their lust towards one another; males with males working shame and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was fit.
i) Religious conservatives
Condemns all homosexual behaviour.
ii) Our understandings
Describes a group of heterosexuals who, against their basic nature, engage in same-sex behaviour during ritual orgies.
B) 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (Common English Version)
Don’t you know that people who are unjust won’t inherit God’s kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Those who are sexually immoral, those who worship false gods, adulterers, both participants,[a] in same-sex intercourse, thieves, the greedy, drunks, abusive people, and swindlers won’t inherit God’s kingdom. Footnote: [a] 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or submissive (young) and dominant male sexual partners”
i) Religious conservatives
Sexually active homosexuals will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death. Both the adult and the young males will go to hell. Also, once truly saved, homosexuals will be changed into heterosexuals.
ii) Our understandings
Within the context of the time, these were male child molesters. There are various interpretations of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 of which he is one. The Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, and James Moffatt
translation use the word “catamites,” or the phrase “boy prostitutes” to describe one group of individuals that Paul believed condemnable because of their behavior on Earth. Catamites and boy prostitutes
were often a boy or male youth who was kept as a sexual partner/slave of an adult male. (This was also quite common during the classic Greek period).
C) 1 Timothy 1: 9-10
…knowing this, that law has not its application to a righteous person, but to [the] lawless and insubordinate, to [the] impious and sinful, to [the] unholy and profane, to smiters of fathers and smiters of mothers; to murderers, fornicators, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers; and if any other thing is opposed to sound teaching…
i) Religious conservatives
Condemns all same-sex sexual behaviour.
ii) Our understandings
Within the context of this epistle, “sodomite” here refers to child molesters.
D) Jude 1:7
…as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities around them, committing greedily fornication, in like manner with them, and going after other flesh, lie there as an example, undergoing the judgment of eternal fire.
i) Religious conservatives
Sexually active homosexuals will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death.
ii) Our understandings
Humans who have sex with other species “other flesh” (animals).
The following comments may be of use and therefore are shared in all humility and with a sense of dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even if Christ our Lord has “accomplished” the requirements of the Old Testament and especially the 10 Commandments, the Old Testament remains both inspired by God and of immense value on a moral realm. Let us look now at some passages in the entire Bible directly or indirectly related to our subject.
Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply”.
This verse makes it clear that God encourages sexual relationships and having children. Some would argue that this can only involve one-man married to one woman. But is it so? God could approve of both opposite-sex and same-sex committed relationships. He urges couples to have or adopt children.
One personal example to share. We know of two Lesbians who live faithfully together in true love and they adopt Down Syndrome children only. We believe that such a couple can only be commended.
Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for the man to be alone”.
God creates humans for marriage and intends for all men to choose one wife. God intends heterosexuals to form a loving relationship with a person of the opposite sex. True. But this does not preclude homosexuals to be involved with a person of the same sex and living as a faithful couple. In essence, God has created us social beings.
Genesis 2:23-24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”.
God created a union between one man and one woman but it does not mean that God does not approve same-sex unions. We recognize that same-sex unions are not the “norm” but surely God does not send people to hell because they are outside the “norm” and especially if they never asked to be this way!
Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7 (prostitutes; sodomites). Translations differ: The King James Version (KJV) calls for the exile of “homosexuals” from Israel but better faithful translations (taken from the original texts with the Archaeological discoveries of more ancient biblical texts that Science supports) calls for the exile of all “shrine prostitutes”. The Hebrew word “Qadesh” is mistranslated as “sodomite” in the KJV. God condemns ritual sex in temples. These verses are unrelated to modern-day homosexuality.
The Centurion’s “slave”. “And when he had entered into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lies paralytic in the house, suffering grievously. And Jesus says to him, I will come and heal him. And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not fit that thou should enter under my roof; but only speak a word, and (he) shall be healed… when Jesus heard it, he wondered, and said to those who followed, verily I say unto you, not even in Israel have I found so great faith… And Jesus said to the centurion, Go, and as thou hast believed, be it to thee. And his servant was healed in that hour.”
Jesus cured the slave of the Centurion. The context of the practice of the Romans at the time of Christ would make the Centurion hesitant to approach Christ to ask to heal a person the Centurion seem to love profoundly. He felt unworthy to even allow the Lord in his house.
“…when Jesus heard it (the Centurion’s hesitation to allow him to his house), he (Jesus) wondered…“. One school of thought among some theologians suggest that the Lord needed understanding about the situation (as a human) and thus “wondered”. Being Christ, I do not doubt that he understood the true issue at hand. The Centurion may have been asking for a miracle for someone very close to his heart. This Centurion was so hesitant to approach Christ, the Gospel of Luc clarifies that the Centurion did not even come in person but sent one of his slaves to beseech the Lord. To ask the Lord to cure his lover showed outstanding faith.
The reference to “eunuchs” in Matthew 19:12 has been considered by some Christians as referring to homosexual men, particularly in the case of those eunuchs “so born from their mother’s womb”.
Some other Christians oppose this argument and state that the Bible’s use of the word “eunuch” refers strictly to men incapable of sexual intercourse or reproduction, through either birth defect or castration. But if you
look at the definition of a Eunuch, you find several purposes for them.
Wikipedia: “eunuch” is from the Greek eune (“bed”) and ekhein (“to keep”), effectively “bed keeper”.
Eunuchs were often servants or slaves who, because of their function, had been castrated, usually to make them reliable servants but the Jews did not castrate their Eunuchs (at the time of Jesus). In cultures that had both harems and eunuchs, eunuchs were sometimes used as harem servants (compare the female odalisque). An odalisque (female) could, if attracted by the Master, become a lover. It would appear the same to be true with Hebrew Eunuchs (males). Such Eunuchs could have been a sexual provider for the Master or/and for the Mistress. Dr. Robert Gagnon, prolific anti-gay, evangelical Christian author, writes that “born eunuchs” in the ancient world were probably gay. “Probably “born eunuchs” in the ancient world did include people homosexually inclined, which incidentally puts to the lie the oft-repeated claim that the ancient world could not even conceive of persons that were congenitally influenced toward exclusive same-sex attractions.”
– Dr. Robert Gagnon,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Final points for your consideration:
- John 3:16
” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal”. Whether a homosexual or heterosexual, whether sexually active or not, all who believe will have eternal life. Yet, all are called to live faithfully.
- Are gays sinners?
Yes, just like all heterosexuals. We are all sinners. That is why we need a Savior. But gays are not greater sinners because they were born gay. They are simply not within the majority of the people… but that does not make them worse, it makes them outside the norm.
- Can a Gay person serve the Lord?
Yes! Christ needs disciples in every group of Society and frankly, there are many “Christians” but too few “Disciples”.
- As the last word, God is a God of order.
It is imperative that Men and Women behave with morals: loving, consensual, non-manipulative, safe, and within a loving, faithful, and committed relationship. It must be the same for the same gender preference Christians. Homosexuals in the world are often extremely immoral. But they are not the object of this article. Christian gays are and how the Church of Christ ought to behave concerning their reception in our midst. I am limiting this article to our beloved brother and sister in Christ.
Ask yourself would Christ receive them born that way?
Back to Selina.
My dearest Philippe,
WOW!!! I am completely speechless… WOW! Thank you! You have brought light to my darkness and allowed me to lift this weight off my shoulders. (This Catholic bred burden that my earthly father has brainwashed into me).
I am not going to hell because of this… I was made in this beautiful and wonderful way and God needs me to be this way for as you said He needs disciples in every corner of the world to reach every type of being.
As long as I serve Him, glorify Him through the gifts and talents He has sent to me, I want to honor Him through contributing to the brethren of mankind and all that is life for it has been given by Him… I shall be walking in His light, standing with faith… I, therefore, have nothing to fear for I stand with Him in all His glory and believe in His sacrificial work on the cross!
Wow…! Anyway, you have my ok on publishing our exchanges. I do believe as well that it would help so many with this burden that splits faith or our ability to have faith in the Lord and still be who we are… all through standing in the light as you stated… we are called to live a Godly life no matter our sexual orientation – meaning hetero or homosexual. I am not a pedophile – I am now a gay lover of Christ who chooses to worship Him!
I knew you’d come through and because of this and your amazing website. Thank you. God works in mysterious ways!
Thank you again Phil… May God continue to bless you!
Thank you, Selena.
This is so nice. Indeed, you can and must be bold. Christ has “commanded” us to “make disciples”. That is the calling of all Disciples…
As to Lesbians and Gays, if so many of them hate and reject God… that is mostly because the Church rejects them and told them that God hates them… and that is not true at all…
We must not confuse the human (sinful) element of men (religiosity) – view this as the horizontal influence while the real message comes from heaven (vertical force) and God tells all:
I LOVE YOU
and I have paid for all your sins, past, present, and future.
All you need to do is B E L I E V E.
So, carry on baby. Become a faithful servant. Jesus looks upon you with a smile.
PS – Are Gays born that way? Consider this short TED presentation:
So that is Our understanding. info@OkChrist.com
Heart Land Proclamation
- to affirm that the essence of the Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;
- to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;
- to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;
- to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who has refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;