Can You Be Gay & Christian?

Gay-Christians-35638751782

“Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Whew! I’m glad I’m not under that! 

A woman publicly commented on my post, To Christian Parents of Gay Children. I share it with you it because it represents way too many in the church today. My reply to her follows.

  • Comment from Jeanne M, September 10, 2013 • 12:51 am

    ALL SIN is against God, but anyone’s heart can be changed, if they’re truly seeking the Savior. You can NOT be gay and a Christian too (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13), no matter what this mixed and messed up society says about it, If you are a true follower of Christ then as the Word says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away: behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Notice the ‘wording’? ‘If’ any man be in Christ, ‘new creature’ (creation), “old things are passed away: “all things become new”. How more ‘plain’ could God have been than that?

    As my child, I can love you all I choose because God gave you to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with something that is Against Almighty God, whom we Will ALL have to answer to in the end. “If a person is committed to Christ, then Christ will generate any needed change as we cooperate with Him in that process”, yes He will but we’re also to follow the ‘leading of the Holy Spirit’, stay in the Word, and stay out of and away from ‘situations’ that would cause us to do otherwise.
    My heart goes out to those in the gay and straight communities, that in these last and evil days they will ‘live by EVERY Word of God’, and NOT be swayed by the devil (and fight their flesh no matter what it takes), because deception is Growing by leaps and bounds. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

  • Reply from Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts, September 10, 2013 • 6:55 am

    Thanks, Jeanne. So now I’m curious: when did all your sin fall off of you — the moment you became a new creation or did it take a few days? And how does the Holy Spirit lead you out of every tempting “situation” — did you get one last trip to the store when you became a Christian, or was it cold turkey? I assume you no longer go of course because of those verses you cited (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13 — materialism is a deathtrap!). And good thing you no longer shop because you might randomly see an attractive man and accidentally commit adultery (Matthew 5:28). And surely you got all that gluttony out of the way, since you now live by “every word of God” — and the Bible talks about gluttony 100 times! That’s like 20 times as much as any reference to same-sex anything. So did the Holy Spirit lead you to purge your cupboards all at once or did He give you a week? You must have had to coordinate the new bare-bones eating plan with your now limited access the grocery store (see above).

    Did someone say this is absurd? But you said every word of God, didn’t you? Because the bible says that if you stumble on one law, you’re guilty of them all (James 2:10, Matthew 5:19) — if that’s the game you want to play. And then James 2:12 is a killer: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Whew! I’m glad I’m not under that! God must have made you a different kind of new creation than He made me because I’m taking seriously Matthew 22:36-40: “Love God and love others because this sums up the law and the prophets.” In other words, Jeanne, if you do those two things, everything else will come under that! Maybe you didn’t realize this option, but boy, I recommend it. It’s SOOOO much more pleasant than trying to keep every individual law! Besides, I REALLY don’t want to gouge out my own eye (Matthew 5:29).

    One more thing, Jeanne, I’m glad you’ve taken care of all those things above and plenty more, but you might want to give this consideration because you might be in just a teensy bit of danger here… if you have any anger at all toward gays. Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t sin by having anger, but the bible does say that if you call someone so much as a fool (even in your own heart!), you’re in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22). Just so you know.

    For anyone who is NOT Jeanne, those dire warnings Jesus gives about the fire of hell He says to those who think they can keep the law. In other words, those who pick and choose, those who determine who else is right and wrong — those people have a very hot place in hell. That’s what He’s saying. OR, you can choose to rest in Him, to let His life be your life, to love God and love others, and you’re all good!

    One last thing here… there is no reason to pray as Jeanne did that Jesus come quickly; thanks be to God, Jesus is already here!

65 thoughts on “Can You Be Gay & Christian?

  1. John 3:16 – for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    It does NOT say except for gay people, gamblers, drinkers, etc…If we believe that Jesus is our savior, we go to Heaven when we die.
    Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male or female: for ye are ALL one in Jesus Christ. ‘ALL’ means everyone.
    Here is a little history lesson. Homosexuality wasn’t a word until the 1800’s. It was put into the Bible in 1947.
    If you read the Greek version of the Bible (the true Bible) “homosexuality” meant man on boy sex, rape, brutality, male prostitution, pagan orgies and idolatry. Not 2 people who love each other.
    This is what Jesus had to say on the subject : Matthew 19:11-12 . “All men cannot receive this saying, save they whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mothers womb: and there are some eunuchs were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs,which made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heavens sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
    Eunuchs were effeminate men.
    So people who love to use the Bible as a weapon needs to read the scriptures a little more carefully.
    The world needs all the love it can get.

  2. Well i found this through the Journey IFC posting. I am a terrible christian but used to be a pretty good churchian. I am politically to the right with a libertarian streak, but liberal in my theology. I think this is one of the most perplexing issues we struggle with in today’s culture. Historical understanding within the three main religions of today (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) is that homosexuality is not compatible with their teachings. And as pointed out many times above in other comments neither is adultery, murder, lying, stealing, no other gods before me (money), etc. which many “christians” commit in an ongoing fashion. The sticking point seems to be how “some” christians with their own sin seem to single out “other” christians’ sins because they deem them worse than their own (planks and splinters – Matt 7:3). Even to the point of denying those people could be christian because “real christians” wouldn’t do that, which was the point of your original post i believe. Well I have found that “real christians” do all sorts of things on a daily basis. While I am not to the point where I can support same – sex marriage or say that I am confident that this alternative lifestyle is okay…I AM at a point where I can admit that I have my own issues in life to deal with and have no business condemning anyone else for what I perceive to be incompatible with my belief system. What IS compatible is that Jesus told me to love everyone regardless and not to be judgemental. My favorite Jesus story illustrating this sentiment is John 8 where the woman was caught in adultery by the religious leaders of the day and they asked Jesus if she should be stoned according to the law. Classic Jesus draws something in the sand and says “those without sin cast the first stone” and of course they dropped them and walked away. Jesus asked the woman where are those who would condemn her and then told her that he did not condemn her either. However, the last sentence of that story says “go and sin no more”. That line is for you and me and whatever sin we are struggling with. Jesus did not condemn her behavior, but he did not condone her behavior either. At this point in my journey, I am fine with that. I also concede that many people seem predisposed to this lifestyle even at an early age, and it does appear in some instances that simply saying that person is making a choice about who they are is hard for me to rationalize. So I’m still open to listening. ~npp

    • Well, let me just clarify a few things. When Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” His meaning was, “You don’t have to live this way.” He was offering Himself as the way out of her unsatisfying life — I mean, NO ONE goes and sins no more, do they? I make sense of it in this post: https://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ But I take your point that we all struggle with issues at any given moment, which is why we need a Savior, which was Jesus’ whole point! I’m glad you can see that saying it’s simply a choice is too simple — it simply isn’t true! So then where are we? We’re forced to drop our stones and say, “Okay, Jesus, I can’t figure this out. Fortunately, you didn’t ask me to! In fact, You said DON’T try to sort out sins (Genesis 2:17), but simply to depend solely on You (John 15:5) and love as You love (John 15:12). Thank God! Because that much, in YOUR power, I can do!” It makes this issue very simple indeed. Thank you for your thoughts!

      • That is an interesting take on that line of scripture. I will give it some thought but do currently still hold to the notion that Jesus was indeed saying sin no more or stop a certain behavior. I do the same with my children when they do something wrong or harmful. I do not condemn or beat them of course, but I do urge them to rethink what they have been doing and suggest that they no longer do said thing.You are correct that probably no one goes and sins no more in reality because that is basically impossible. But identifying when you have a problem (for example those who deal with alcoholism) allows you to focus on that particular problem/vice/sin/issue whatever you wish to call it and take steps (possibly 12 of them?) to “sin no more” in that particular venue. I think Jesus was saying just that… Adultery is harmful behavior so please don’t do that anymore. Doesn’t mean she will not. But maybe she will. Will other sins be present in her life? your life? my life? yes of course. Just because they are though doesn’t necessarily mean we have to give in (alcoholism again, sex addictions, whatever) and say “oh well i’m going to sin anyway” so why bother. I have my own struggles like you and everyone else. Whether I choose to intentionally give in to those (for example only: cheating on a spouse) and say oh well why fight it I’m going to sin anyway and Jesus is my way out, would not hold up. But then we get into whether or not homosexuality is a sin per se and that is where many differ. If one does not have a choice and this is how God made them ( a point of contention in the debate ) then I do not see how it could be a sin. Of course this brings up all sorts of theological problems. God made an alcoholic. God made the serial killer. God made the tv evangelist who scams people for money. God made… and so on. But if this was not God’s design and desire then it is a sin against his will ( another part of the larger debate). But main point being its not for you or me to “condemn/judge” either way. Can a homosexual be a christian? why yes of course. Just like anyone else can be a christian – depending on definition of course. On a lighter note – how do we know she had a unsatisifying life? Maybe she was totally satisfied? just speculating there. It is nice that people can discuss this issue without the name calling and labels. Its called progress.

        • And where do we get the power for any change? ONLY from him! Of course changes are necessary in us, but they come by Him working in us, not by us white-knuckling it until we can get our act together. Remember, the Pharisees did every single thing they could do to “sin no more” and they were a disaster. (Matthew 23.) I do agree that where we may disagree is on whether homosexuality is a sin. I cannot see it as a sin, because the concept is not even part of the bible; the very few verses on it are always written from another context. I’ve provided resources on this: https://freedhearts.wordpress.com/resources/ Also FAQs: https://freedhearts.wordpress.com/faqs/ And because sincere Christians may always dispute this, perhaps we will leave it as what Paul calls disputable issues, and do as he advised which is leave each to his own conscience. That’s the best we’ll be able to do in a civilized conversation, and then we can get back to the enormous job we’ve already been given, which is to love others, and so fulfill all the rest of scripture. That should keep us busy!

          PS This woman was settling for scraps from a guy who was setting her up to be executed. Let’s just say, she could do better. That’s what Jesus wanted to show her. He wanted to fill all the hurts in her heart — as He offers all of us — not just to “stop sinning.” Jesus always works from the inside out, NOT (as people do) from the outside in. Thanks for commenting!

    • I find it interesting that we have a single word for sin in English, and apply it to everything imaginable. Yet the Bible actually has a number of words it uses for different circumstances. Here’s a sampling of some I just looked up:

      “Dr. Charles Ryrie has given a listing of Hebrew and Greek words which describe sin. He says that in the Hebrew there are at least eight basic words: “ra, bad (Genesis 38:7); rasha, wickedness (Exodus 2:13); asham, guilt (Hosea 4:15); chata, sin (Exodus 20:20); avon, iniquity (I Samuel 3:13); shagag, err (Isaiah 28:7); taah, wander away (Ezekiel 48:11); pasha, rebel (I Kings 8:50). The usage of these words leads to certain conclusions about the doctrine of sin in the Old Testament. (1) Sin was conceived of as being fundamentally disobedience to God. (2) While disobedience involved both positive and negative ideas, the emphasis was definitely on the positive commission of wrong and not the negative omission of good. In other words, sin was not simply missing the right mark, but hitting the wrong mark. (3) Sin may take many forms, and the Israelite was aware of the particular form which his sin did take.” (Bible.org website)

      Seeing this we can understand that not all sin is looked upon as being the same. And even though we can never achieve it, we are supposed to strive for Christ’s perfection, i.e. follow his example. The reason why we should do this is to bring happiness into our lives. It has nothing to do with salvation itself.

      • Thank you for that interesting insight. I would offer a slightly different conclusion: if sin is fundamentally disobedience to God, or as I would put it, not depending on God (which the bible and Jesus talk about a LOT, as in John 15:5), then we are back to a foundational idea. Throughout the Old Testament, we hear the word “righteousness,” and we miss the layered meaning of “right-relatedness” (a better translation). Acts are not sinful alone but only outside of the context of relationship with God. (Are you committing murder or defending your family? Context is everything.) God told his people all kinds of things, and it was their “faith that was counted to them as righteousness.” I appreciate what you shared.

  3. I’m at a loss as to how Jeanne M could use Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 as proof that gays can’t be saved through Christ’s redemption upon the cross. The Bible clearly teaches in Ephesians 2:8,9 that we are saved by God’s grace (“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by WORKS, so that no one can boast.) If we have to stop doing something in order to be saved, then that is a work we are doing. Christ did all the work upon the cross, and that’s why John 3:16 says: “… that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” No one who gets to heaven will be able to brag about how they got there. God couldn’t have made it any simpler.

      • I love this. As a gay Christian, I have learned that while people will always have their varying opinions, my salvation, at the end of the day, is between Jesus Christ and me. That’s it. End of story. Grace, grace and more grace. God meets me where I am, and God has shown me over the years – directly and indirectly – that He made me who I am and that when I try to appease anyone else, when I look to man instead of God, that’s where I can get into trouble. The voices of the judgmental, the legalists and the pharisees matter less and less, for today I hear God’s voice. No one else need understand my journey. This is between Jesus Christ and me. Amen!

  4. I love this post Susan…and probably most because of the tagline that you used at the opening. The Book of James, so full of social imperative and so determined to point out the necessity of grace is one of my faves in the whole realm of scripture. It saddens me that so many people will pick and choose what scripture to use to justify their own prejudices rather than realizing that ANYthing that separates us one from another, also separates us from GOD…..after all, we are made in his image and likeness. I truly believe that when we take the teachings and actions of Christ as our starting point, we will move forward showing Grace and love to ALL…even if its a challenge to our pride and self-will to do so.
    I also would like to add, that though I don’t use the term Christian of myself any longer, I do self-identify as a follower of Christ who is gay as well…and because of the care and love that I have found from people like Susan and a handful of others in the Christian community, I do believe that to be Gay and Christian is FAR from impossible in today’s world…:)

  5. I’m no longer a Christian for many reasons I won’t explore here, but for those who choose to judge others, I urge you to read the story of Jonah – a man who THOUGHT he loved God, yet so despised those he deemed the enemies of God that he alienated God, too. It is a Biblical warning many of today’s Christians should heed.

  6. thanks for all that yuoyur doing but again , i want to hear also some people deciding their side on this matter. how many gays are reading this and how many christians are reading this?. thanks scott

      • I’m both Gay AND Christian. In fact I was probably a Christian (four years old) long before I knew I was Gay, though I probably always sensed I was different. And it was not easy to reconcile the two, but once I did, the peace I felt was, as they say, beyond all understanding.

      • Both. I gave my life to the Lord when I was a young teenager. In everything I have done since then, I have wanted to show glory to him for all that he has given me and the world around me. Back in high school, I was a bit of a mild homophobe in that I’d never speak out against anyone or do anything to hurt anyone, but homosexuality just seemed odd and scary to me.

        Growing up, I never allowed myself to even consider my own feelings or desires. Everything I did was out of service and hope to be pleasing in the eyes of God. Well, when I finally did start paying attention to my own feelings, I began to realize that God has given me an awful lot of homosexual feelings. In fact, I hardly have any heterosexual/heteronormative feelings whatsoever. It is for that very reason that I now, 12 years after giving my life to God, identify myself as a Gay Christian.

        Do I feel like I’ve fallen away from God? Not at all. In fact, I feel far closer to him than I used to. I embarked on a deep journey of self-discovery and self-recovery in order to make myself a healthier, happier person. By taking care of myself, I can be of much better service to others, which is, after all, what it’s all about.

        So, to be healthy and take care of myself and my needs, I’ll most likely eventually seek out a meaningful homosexual relationship. I used to think of this as herosy, as “a trick that I just know the devil is going to use to get me.” Well, maybe it wasn’t the devil after all.

        We are all on this planet for different reasons. It is up to us to find out what that is through prayer and meditation and fulfill our part of the plan. If my part of the plan is to bring light and life into the life of another man, while receiving that in return, then so be it. I care far too much about how much I’ve done to help others around me than the sex of the person I love.

        • I am a Christian, raised conservatively, and though I used to think homosexuality was a sin, I knew and loved gay people and as I grew to know and love more of them, I began to see the pain people were in because of this view. I started to research it, because my heart was so torn. I didn’t want to disobey God with a wrong view, but, I didn’t want to hurt anyone. So, I prayed and I researched. I looked online and found so many gay people broken up inside asking “I am gay, does that mean I can no longer be a Christian?” I read about Elton John’s former partner, a son of a minister who stepped in front of a bus and died to end the pain he was feeling and that broke my heart. I read about Christian singer Ray Boltz, all that he has gone through. I saw that his heart was still very much in love with Christ, and that his ex-wife is his manager, fielding questions from people, many of whom are so hurtful, telling her that Ray could change if he wanted to. And, her response was, “do you think that he would go through all this pain if it was a choice?” God began to open my heart and my eyes. I feel bad that I ever was so blind and I hope I never hurt anyone. This woman, Jeanne, and many others, are blind like I was. It’s twisted thinking that comes from the deception of Satan, telling people that they are acceptable but others are not, even though the Bible is SO clear that all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Jesus told us to come unto him, ALL who are weary and we will find rest for our souls. He didn’t say come unto me, all who are weary, except homosexuals… I weep for so many of my friends who call themselves Christian, and who are still locked in this blindness like I was. I am thankful for my gay friends, who were patient with me, and kind and loving. I thank them and love them and hope they can see that God DOES love them – that he would NEVER abandon them like some of their parents have done. I am sick over the pain and injury done to LGTBQ people in the name of Jesus. I ask you, who are gay, to forgive me for my blindness, and wish you every blessing God can give.

          • Thank you for your beautiful letter, Barbara. I so agree. So many Christians have become all about sin, the very thing we are not to be about. We’re to be about Christ. And the price is exorbitant — like people stepping in front of a bus. I agree. We must be about the very things Jesus is about: loving people into life in Christ. So glad you wrote.

      • I am a fairly conservative Christian who tries spread Truth through love. I will keep my points as concise as possible, as I know much of what I’ll say here is not new to many of you.

        Can gays be Christian? Sure, I think so. Is homosexuality a sin? Yes, I think the Bible is extremely clear on that.

        Christ’s sacrifice was great enough to encompass ALL sin and rescue ALL sinners from eternal darkness. I think murderers, adulterers, cheaters, etc can all be Christians, but that does not change the fact that murder, adultery, cheating, etc are all sins. No Christian (or non-Christian) has the authority or wisdom to determine another human’s salvation, especially without knowing that person very deeply. I am a sinner and I struggle with sin daily (don’t we all?). I’ve been overly intoxicated, I had premarital sex, I’ve used foul language, etc…all sin! I also know where my heart is and for Whom I live. I know that I am called to confess my sins, ask forgiveness, and move forward in a life that Christ would want me to live.

        I personally think that it is quite obvious that homosexuals can be Christians and spend eternity in Heaven. I think our fundamental debate is over whether or not homosexuality is a sin, and whether or not a Christian who has committed this sin should turn from it and ask for forgiveness. I think it is very dangerous for us to try to justify our sin (“times have changed, this sin isn’t as important today, God’s grace will save me”). Instead, God calls us to love Him through obedience.

        I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone, but instead to show love and hopefully some insight. I confess that I am a sinner and have many things to work on in my life. God bless.

        • Thank you for your comment, Matt. I appreciate your candor and humility. Where does your position leave us? I see you taking to heart your own sin and wanting to let God guide you through it. It’s the best anybody could want! I would be overjoyed if Christians would at least leave the LGBTQ issue there. Overjoyed. Stay in their own lane, deal with their own issues, and let God deal with others issues. Unfortunately, they do not. Any Christian who would seek out answers from any LGBTQ, if they know any (if they’ve been safe enough for someone to come out to them), they would admit that we do not treat homosexuality as any other sin. You have never been thrown out of church for foul language, have you? They may glare at you, but they don’t close the doors to you. (I assume you’re not in that kind of church.) We don’t deal with LGBTQ that way. Not only should we not raise the bar for them, compassion would require us to see their issue as completely different from yours which, though it may be hard, is not impossible. With a little effort, you can always stop swearing, getting drunk and having sex. You can drink some, and you can always get married. Not so with LGBTQ. Exodus showed us that change doesn’t really occur. Closeting, yes. Change, no. So we should be flooded with compassion for that situation at the very least, but we are not. We have to wonder, why not? Of course, if we consider Jesus’ words for a moment that it is not merely having sex that is a sin but thinking about having sex, then we admit we need Jesus’ indwelling life every second of every day, yeah? That’s why Jesus said all that in Matthew 5 (your namesake!). He was telling us, “Don’t focus on not sinning — a fruitless endeavor. Instead submit your life to me every moment and I’ll not sin through you!”

          But then of course, there’s the other issue: is homosexuality a sin? I understand that you and many others believe “the Bible is extremely clear on that.” I get that. Completely. But I disagree. There is too much question about context, actual words, concept of the issue at the time, etc. The church’s position until quite recently was that divorce is ALWAYS wrong, except for adultery. Strict interpretations by religious leaders kept people locked into horrible, abusive marriages for fear of the “sin of divorce.” Yet, God’s issue was the untold cruelty caused by casting women out into the street. For that reason, “God hates divorce.” Malachi 2. God wanted to spare them the cruelties of the street, not lock them into the cruelties of a marriage. Yet, the church’s misunderstanding of that area has devastated countless women and a lot of men. (Yet, the no-divorce-except was “extremely clear” in the Bible.

          Is it possible given our track record as a people that we have missed it on the LGBTQ issue as well? Absolutely. I think it’s much more than possible. Read my Resources and FAQs page. Is it possible enough that we might want to stand down and leave that issue between the actual LGBTQ and God? I think that position would be wise indeed. Humility and compassion require it. If we’re wrong and homosexuality is a sin? Then those people have been like everyone else and committed undetected sin that is not central to salvation. Oh well. If we have indeed misinterpreted those verses and homosexuality is not a sin, then hallelujah! We have spared ourselves the embarrassment of ignorance, and we’ve spared countless millions from a life of hateful rejection and self-loathing that we never should have inflicted in the first place. It’s win-win. 🙂

          • Susan, thank you for taking the time to respond and to address my thoughts. You have helped me to better understand your perspective. While I respect it, I must address a couple of issues that concern me.

            As it relates to divorce, I think the biggest “sin” is in breaking a promise to God. I got married this past April, and in doing so, I understood and declared my vows to my bride, and before friends, family, our pastor, and most importantly, to God. You’ve heard the vows before: for better or worse, sickness and health, for richer or poorer, yada yada until death do we part. No where in my vows did I say “unless she cheats on me,” or “wait, there’s got to be a disclaimer here.” I know this may seem closed minded, but I can only take vows as clearly as I stated them. My heart goes out to victims of adultery, emotional abuse, and especially, physical abuse. I can’t say that I have all of the answers, it just seems to me that it is a bit self serving to enter into a covenant with The Almighty, only to change the rules later. (maybe the answer is to include the disclaimers in the vows? weird, I know, but maybe?)

            Regarding your wishes that other Christians (or others in general) leave the LGBTQ alone: I agree and disagree. I know that it is not my place to judge (Romans 2 (I think)). I know that before pointing out the spec in my brother’s eye, I must remove the plank in my own (Matthew!). I disagree with those who commit their days to fighting against the LGBTs and to condemning their behavior. I am with you – this is wrong – they should not proactively judge. I don’t like it when people get in my face about alcohol (much more rare, I admit). Similarly, I don’t like it when I am attacked by the LGBT community for having my beliefs. I have several gay friends. They know where I stand and we have a loving, mutual respect for one another. But take Chick-fil-a for example, should they not be free to donate money to an organization that supports “traditional marriage?” When asked point blank if the Cathy family is anti-gay, they were forced to speak up. Yet, when they do, they fall under attack and boycott from LGBT’s. Shouldn’t Chick-fil-a be able to have a safe voice in this matter? But instead, they are labeled as judgmental, closed-minded Christian bullies. Why couldn’t they have been “left alone?” (no sarcasm intended) However, if Christians around the world were to boycott Amazon for their support of LGBT, the media would trash Christians and individuals would likely be charged with discrimination/hate crimes. So, to summarize my frustration/confusion: it angers me when gays and lesbians unprovokedly attack my beliefs and call me (or Christians in general) “hateful, judgmental, closed-minded, etc.” Isn’t this exactly what they are trying to escape themselves?

            Whether or not homosexuality is a sin: I see your point, and respectfully disagree. I think there is alot more evidence suggesting its sinfulness than not, especially considering how often marriage between a man and women is blessed.

            Two side notes: 1. I don’t mean to assume that all members of the LGBT community are the same. I know that it is wrong to label all as attacking and judgmental (you seem to be quite the opposite). Similarly, not all Christians are small-town, Bible-beating condemners. 2. I am sincerely sorry for any negative experience that you or anyone else has had in the Church. The Church should be a sanctuary for all people, because we are all sinners of some sort. I ask that no one judge Christ or His teachings based on the ways that Christians (sinners) behave. Christ would welcome all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, murderers, liars, cheaters, robbers, adulterers, etc with open and loving arms. We are called to do the same.

          • Matt, my father used to quote this: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” Anatole France

            While the rich are just as bound by the law as the poor, it virtually has no effect on them. You cite being judged by LBGTQ and maybe you are, but let me ask you this: how many Christians loathe themselves because of the judgment of gays? How many kill themselves? So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and a do-over on making that comparison. My friend just sat through the long ordeal of the death of a teenaged friend, a girl who shot herself in the head because she was told her whole life that being gay is a sin and she had no one to talk to about being gay herself. So, yeah. You shouldn’t be attacked as a Christian. But Christians are not killing themselves because of attack from LGBTQ. And Christians are also not told they must remain single and alone the rest of their lives. (Yes, God calls individuals, but that’s a completely different situation.)

            You mention breaking a promise to God, as somehow a special category, but why must a promise to God prevail through abuse, neglect, and infidelity? We break promises to God other times, don’t we? Meaning, we tell God we’re not going to do that thing again, and then we do the thing again. (My children promised things when they were little, based on their best wisdom at the time, but it’s kind of hard to hold them to something they are unable to keep or did not have the wisdom to promise.) Do you see what I mean? I’m not taking a promise lightly, but this is a relationship. There’s give and take. Breaking a promise, even to God, is not a worse failure than being awful to people in our lives, lusting in our hearts, or driving others to suicide by our judgment. This is a relationship and we move forward in it the best we can, understand God’s parental love and tender-heartedness toward us.

            I love Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A. I especially admire his and Shane Windmeyer’s mutually loving and respectful friendship that emerged through the whole controversy. I wonder how many Christians could have developed a relationship with someone with whom they disagree so fervently. I think we stand to learn a lot from them. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-l-windmeyer/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a_b_2564379.html

            I hope you will go beyond reconciling this logistically and instead, sincerely seek a real answer that people can live their lives through. Even if it’s only to say, “Okay, I got nothin, but Jesus loves you and that’s all you need to know — He’ll take it from there!” For Christians to find that place would bring much needed peace to bridge this chasm.

          • “Christ would welcome all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, murderers, liars, cheaters, robbers, adulterers, etc.”

            Hm, well, I have to admit, when I see a line like this, I get the idea that the person who said it probably doesn’t quite fully understand what it means to have a sexual orientation and/or gender identity that is not in line with their biological sex at birth. These happen to not be a choice, they happen to be very real, and they also happen to exist in several other species on this planet. In other words, this is a natural difference that occurs whether a person wants it to or not.

            For those of us that happen to face these challenges on a daily basis, growing up learning that most people around us won’t treat us the same way because of our differences, this is not just a choice or falling into one of the devil’s tricks. I used to think it was, but recent revelations have opened my eyes to what I had previously been closing myself off to.

            I honestly have been on both sides of this argument now. Through these revelations, I must admit that I now realize how truly dangerous it is to list sexual orientation and gender identity differences with “murder, lying, cheating, robbing, and committing adultery” as you eluded. When you think of it, you have just equated two loving adults entering into a binding, completely consensual promise to one and other to being along the same lines of one murdering the other, as you believe both to be sins, and one is enough to condemn a person.

            I agree, we have all sinned. None of us are perfect. You also mention that food laws and clothing texture laws were all part of ancient Jewish traditional law that has no bearing on today’s culture due to scientific and other changes in culture. Well, I firmly believe the ‘ban on homosexuality’ to be part of the same line of changes!

            Think, God needed his fledgeling, struggling nation to thrive, and he knew that that meant they were going to have to keep procreating. Also, can you imagine what something like, say, anal sex would have been like back then, in a dessert, long before there was such a thing as lubricant? It would have been horribly dry, making it also unsafe, uncomfortable, and risky, just like consuming uncooked food would have been (which is why there’s also a law against doing that).

            I personally believe God was trying to keep his people healthy and alive in a time where man had not yet created things that would allow them to get around those laws, as we now have in food, fabrics, and other things.

            Feelings of love, intimacy, and respect are valid feelings that God has given us. To say that they aren’t warranted if the gender/sex of the other person doesn’t line up in the ‘traditional’ sense is psychologically and, yes, spiritually harmful.

          • Susan, thank you for your response of 9/23/13, 8:05 pm (which I can’t reply to directly). It is so true that the attacks of Christians against LGBT people are not equal with the attacks of LGBT against Christians. (I have the perspective of being both Christian and LGBT, so may have additional insight.) I can’t tell you how much it means to have such an able voice speaking this truth. There is no doubt that accusations of bigotry and hatred hurt – I experience that myself, as a Christian. But they do no lasting, deep, physical and emotional damage to the individual.

            The accusations of perversion, sickness, abomination, “pedophilia” (child abuse), rebellion against God, etc., on the other hand, do much deeper damage in several ways. First, because there is nothing we (as gay or trans) can do about it, it induces shame, guilt, self-hatred, depression, and hopelessness – which causes emotional damage that can lead to suicide. Second, it supports a cultural atmosphere in which some people feel justified in actual violent attacks against LGBT people, and against people who are not gay or trans but are perceived to be such. For instance, a couple of years ago a toddler was killed accidentally because his father was too violent in discouraging his interest in “girly” things.

            I think that, as Christians, we need to take responsibility for the pain and genuine, lasting damage our accusations against LGBT people causes – and that means, at the very least, accepting that whether we as individuals believe homosexuality or gender dysphoria is a sin, the Bible is not clear about it, and even if we think it is, we can just shut up about the entire issue, and withdraw from political issues regarding LGBT rights. Leave it in God’s hands. If we don’t, I’m afraid that some of that blood is on our hands.

          • Rebekah’s daughter, you really stated the situation very well. I’ve noticed that many Christians are taken aback, stunned — and genuinely hurt — at the backlash they’re getting, because they don’t know why people are hurt by what they said. That’s where Stephen Covey’s words come in: “First, seek to understand,” before seeking to be understood. Thank you for your comment.

        • “Can gays be Christian? Sure, I think so. Is homosexuality a sin? Yes, I think the Bible is extremely clear on that.”

          You THINK LGBT persons can be Christian but you also THINK the Bible is “extremely clear” that it is a sin. Hello. Contradictions, anyone?

          “I am a fairly conservative Christian who tries spread Truth through love.”

          Interesting that you capitalized Truth but left love with a lower-case “l.” I’ve met your type before. You elevate “Truth” to the status of near-Deity while “love” becomes something that you allow in if it fits with whatever baloney you are slicing up and tossing around on that particular day.

          What I want to know is this: Why do you and so many others like you cling to a half-dozen Scriptures that appear to be anti-gay while ignoring the Scriptures that permit slavery, the Scriptures in Leviticus against mixing fabrics and the dietary laws; and yammer about so-called “biblical marriage” being “between one man and one woman” ad nauseam even though “biblical” marriage usually involved a man and many wives, concubines, and slaves?

          Why is it that when it comes to proof texting the LGBT community is your favorite whipping boy? Why is it that no other Scriptures in the Bible are held onto with such incredible zeal?

          I should like an explanation but something tells me I shall not get one that satisfies me.

          • Susan,

            Again, I am sorry that anyone (LGBT or not) is a victim to abuse, bullying, depression, and ultimately suicide. No, I cannot directly relate to the feelings of being sad and alone because of my sexual orientation. But I have first hand experience of being alone, “uncool,” persecuted, and avoided because of my public profession of my faith. Sure, there are less suicides in America by Christians than by homosexuals (I think there are many reasons for this), but you seem to be suggesting that because there are fewer suicides, that my feelings and opinions are invalid, or at least less valid. Regardless, I have already expressed that nobody, especially Christians, should judge homosexuals or show them anything other than love. I certainly do not appreciate the condescending “do-over” comment. I stand by words – you don’t have to agree with them.

            Regarding Dan Gathy: Yes, his and Shane’s relationship is one to admire and to learn from. You wonder “how many Christians could develop such a relationship”; do ever wonder how many gays could/would do the same? I am here to say that many many gays are not willing to enter into such a friendship either. Maybe you are surrounded by only the loving and accepting type; I, however, have often encountered quite the opposite (see Scott above).

            Regarding divorce and breaking promises: I think breaking any promise is wrong. I don’t think that because we break “other” promises to God, we are somehow justified in breaking “this” promise to God. There is a profound difference in a child “promising” his parent that he’ll one day win the Super Bowl (because he is too young understand the context of his promise), and an adult promising to love their spouse through all circumstances, and later breaking that promise. (Like I said before, I don’t have the answer here, except that maybe it be entered as part of the standard vows, “unless cheating abuse, etc, occurs.)

            Susan, I know that I don’t have all of the answers here – none of us do. We are all sinners in need of Christ’s amazing grace. I am not here to judge, but when asked about where I stand on an issue, I will gladly share, and hope I will not be criticized for it.

          • Scott, it is clear that you are simply trying to attack me personally. I can confirm your hypotheses now: you will not get an explanation that satisfies you. Not now, not ever – your mind is already completely and totally made up. Here is my attempt anyway:

            You accuse me of contradicting myself because I believe that gays can be Christian, yet I also believe that homosexuality is a sin. Do I understand your accusation correctly? If so, then you have missed my most meaningful point thus far, and that is that nobody is perfect, we are ALL sinners, and we are all in need of God’s grace and a relationship with His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. A Christian is merely a sinner saved by grace, no better or worse than any other person.

            Please don’t say that you’ve “met my type before.” You don’t know me. You think just because you are gay that I’ve met YOUR type before?? Please.

            I capitalized Truth because I used it as a synonym for the Bible, this is a common sign of respect when referring to God’s Word (see, I did it again). The fact that I left “love” lowercase has nothing to do with how highly I regard love (or Love); I don’t mind capitalizing it, except that it is grammatically improper).

            How do you come to the conclusion that the LGBT community is my “favorite whipping boy??” Like I previously stated…you don’t know me.

            I will be the first to admit that I don’t know the Bible inside and out, but help me out here. Where does the Bible “permit slavery, multiple wives, concubines, etc?” I am aware of the Bible referring to the existence of those, but not aware of the Bible explicitly saying that “a man should have slaves, multiple wives, etc.” In a time where there WAS slavery, God said that it is good for a slave to be obedient to his master (as opposed to disobedient), but to my knowledge, He never expresses his wishes for a man to own a slave. Regarding the dietary laws, those primarily (if not entirely) referring to Jewish laws set long before Christ’s birth and resurrection, With His resurrection, the old law was abolished and a new law was set. The only dietary law that I am familiar with in the New Testament is that man should not eat meat from an animal that was sacrificed for the pagan gods (and even here, there are explicit exceptions).

            Scott, I am happy to have a respectful, mature conversation with you. However, I will not participate if you attack me personally or attack my faith undeservingly. Susan (I think) is attempting to provide a forum for us to further understand one another – not attack one another. Please be open minded to the words and ideas of others, as I know you want the same from others as well.

        • “Susan, Again, I am sorry that anyone (LGBT or not) is a victim to abuse, bullying, depression, and ultimately suicide.”

          That’s not good enough. It is attitudes like yours that are DRIVING our young people to suicide and until you take responsibility for that fact, until you OWN it, you will not effect change in that area and your “I’m sorrys” will remain nothing more than hollow words.

          “I will be the first to admit that I don’t know the Bible inside and out, but help me out here. Where does the Bible “permit slavery, multiple wives, concubines, etc?” I am aware of the Bible referring to the existence of those, but not aware of the Bible explicitly saying that “a man should have slaves, multiple wives, etc.” In a time where there WAS slavery, God said that it is good for a slave to be obedient to his master (as opposed to disobedient), but to my knowledge, He never expresses his wishes for a man to own a slave. Regarding the dietary laws, those primarily (if not entirely) referring to Jewish laws set long before Christ’s birth and resurrection, With His resurrection, the old law was abolished and a new law was set. The only dietary law that I am familiar with in the New Testament is that man should not eat meat from an animal that was sacrificed for the pagan gods (and even here, there are explicit exceptions).”

          I am not even going to address that except to say this: If it is your position that the Bible permits that which it does not actively forbid, then you have surrendered your own human conscience to words written by men thousands of years ago. (Incidentally that weaselly excuse with regard to multiple wives and concubines etc is clearly not original with you and I wonder from whom you stole it.)

          “Scott, it is clear that you are simply trying to attack me personally.”

          Have that one your own way. All I have to say about THAT is that I have been attacked by moral Christian thugs like you for fifty years and the true miracle is that I have not been driven away from my faith. Which is no credit to the likes of you.

          • Scott, unfortunately, I am done communicating with you this way. Is your goal to try to break down anything I say? Instead, why haven’t you addressed any of my concerns? Your jaded motives hurt your credibility and the reputation of who you choose to represent. I resent your calling me a “Christian bully,” as, once again, you. do. not. know. me. I think it is quite clear which one of us is bullying. Just because you have unfortunately been bullied by other Christians, you have no right to bully me. Do I have the right to be homophobic simply because I have been approached by a gay? Hardly! Take people as individuals and quit trying to lump everyone into one of your pre-established groups.

            My thoughts are original. Anything that I borrow I give credit for. How arrogant of you to assume otherwise.

            I apologized for something that I have had no part in – and you say that my apology is not enough. Unfortunately, that is all I can do, and whether or not you accept my apology is completely up to you.

            God bless.

          • “My thoughts are original.”

            ORIGINAL??? If I had a nickel for every time I heard some of the vile things you have posted on this forum, I could have retired years ago to a nice little condo in Key West and be spending my days swimming in the sea and relaxing on the beach.

            Sorry, but your thoughts are about as original as corn flakes; Kellogg’s may be the best known brand, but there are at least a dozen others and they all taste pretty much the same.

          • Scott, sorry for the confusion. My intent was to convey that anything that I have posted originates with me. Sure, others around the world likely share many of the views, but I have not “stolen” someone else’s ideas and passed them off as my own.

            Once again, you continue with your sarcastic personal attacks that lack content and value (and originality for that matter. Really? You attack my “originality” comment with a “if I had a nickle” line?). Do you have anything constructive to add?

          • You are rapidly becoming a pest, and I thought you said you were “done communicating with [me] in this fashion.” Well I can clear the air up right here and now: I am done communicating with you full stop. Get lost and go peddle your fake, phony Christianity to someone who might actually buy it because I am not interested.

            Replies will not be answered.

        • Hi Matt,
          I hope that before you repeat something like this – “Christ would welcome all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, murderers, liars, cheaters, robbers, adulterers, etc.” – you will consider and try to understand the atmosphere, context, and perception that we Christians have created over the last decade or so. During that time Fred Phelps has made many headlines, prominent leaders and politicians such as Sally Kern have said that LGBT people are “worse than terrorists,” many Christian groups have actively campaigned to allow discrimination against LGBT people, and American Christians such as Scott Lively are still actively campaigning in places like Uganda and Russia to make being gay or transgender a capital crime. You may not agree with these people, but in this country they have successfully linked Christianity with these views, both in the eyes of the LGBT community, and among non-Christians. (If you don’t believe me, read David Kinnaman’s book, “unChristian.”) In addition, many of us (including me) have been cruelly, unjustly, and personally rejected by Christians – and believe me, it hurts.

          So when you say “Christ would welcome all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, murderers, liars, cheaters, robbers, adulterers, etc with open and loving arms,” you may mean to say that you see gay and trans people as sinners just like you, guilty of minor stuff such as cussing and drinking too much. But what I as a transgender Christian (and, I’m guessing, most LGBT people) hear is, “you are evil, disgusting, and perverted, I want to prevent you from marrying the person you love or from being protected from being fired or evicted because of who you are, and I don’t want you anywhere near me or my children,” with a good possibility of “and you should be put to death” added to the end of it.

          That’s unfortunate, but that is also the reality of how you should expect to be understood if that statement stands alone.

          If you want to avoid sending that message, you need to be very specific – something like, “I believe homosexual sex is a sin, but if it’s in a monogamous, loving relationship it’s no different than, say, cussing – and certainly shouldn’t be cause for discrimination” – every single time you say that being gay or trans is a sin.

          And even then, we’ll wonder.

    • I’m a Christian and I am reading and am in total agreement with Susan. This is something the Lord revealed to me several years ago while writing a paper for a religion class in college. I was an older college student. I cried for three weeks, became friends with a gay minister who is local, and have never been the same since. It all makes so much sense now. I’m anxious ,and nervous, to see how the Lord may use me. ~Michele

  7. I’m a just-coming-out gay Christian woman (in the process of divorcing from my straight husband) and recently came out to my daughter’s teacher, who I knew to attend a relatively conservative Christian church. Her response was so beautiful. She first assured me that Jesus is like sunshine and he shines on ALL of us, and then she thanked me for being an answer to prayer. She said she had often felt conflicted between knowing and loving various gay people but being taught negative things about them at church….and had prayed for greater understanding. Because I had spoken openly and lovingly to her, and directed her to this site and to Justin Lee’s book, she praised God for hearing her and sending me with resources for exactly that. And she assured me of her continued love. I feel so blessed that my child is in her care during this challenging transition for our family!!! Thanks for everything you are doing here!

    • I honestly think the few people who send hate out into the world under the guise of Christianity will be shocked to see themselves very alone in their tiny group on judgement day. I feel in my heart that at the very least 90% of Christians know what feels right and don’t judge or hate.

      I’ve been a Christian since I was confirmed at 16 and have been openly gay since then as well. I have never once experienced hate from another human being (except for the usual school bullies that most people experience regardless – whether sexual orientation, obesity, wearing glasses – it is what it is), but never true hate. My teachers and fellow pupils always treated me with respect and acceptance, my parents and the community with understanding and grace – I count myself truly blessed growing up in a country shaped by Nelson Mandela.

      I can see the world is no longer stuck in the dark ages and is finally reaching His light.

  8. We are in a perilous situation in Christiandom when we start deciding who is “allowed to be a Christian” and who is not.

    Just for kicks, lets say you are a proponant of “Gay is a choice”. Can you be a Christian then?
    Isn’t lying a choice? Smoking? Cohabitation? Hatred? Judgementalism? I can give you 10 verses that call these things sin, yet I know LOTS of Christians who do these things. If you say that being Gay is a sin, then you must look in the mirror and ask what sin keeps YOU from being a Christian….cause it can’t be both ways–THIS sin keeps you out, but with THIS sin I can still squeek by….nope.

    Let’s say you are of the “Born Gay” persuasion. Are there Christians who are born Chinese? born Muslim? born blind? born handicapped? Who decides which “condition of birth” allows you to be saved and which doesn’t?

    I read somewhere, “Come to me ALL who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Somewhere else it says, “TODAY is the day of salvation….unless you are Gay.” hmmm no wait, maybe it DIDN’T say that.
    If I know ANYTHING AT ALL about Jesus is that He loved the MASSES…He called EVERYONE. Period.

    • I love that, Mary Ellen. Totally. And we see Jesus going to the edges to bring people back — those who have been cast out of “good society.” And we love Him all the more for that, don’t we? He looks NOTHING LIKE the religious elite — which endeared Him to the people… and incited the religious elite. Until they killed Him. Don’t all of us have enough on our plates to deal with, without looking around at how other people are doing on the rules? Thanks for sharing. ❤

  9. “As my child, I can love you all I choose because God gave you to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with something that is Against Almighty God, whom we Will ALL have to answer to in the end.”

    With that quote, the Divine Miss M brings us to what is perhaps the most glaring contradiction in the entire Bible.

    Clearly she got that bit about all of us having to answer to God in the end from Revelation. But Revelation is a nutty book that scholars have been fighting about for two thousand years; no one can quite agree on what it says, what it means, who wrote it, or a whole mess of other things.

    Now let me go backwards a bit. To 1 Corinthians 13. The whole chapter. The famous verses about love. In verse 5, the NIV states quite plainly that love “keeps no record of wrongs.”

    Now, you constantly hear that God is love. So how could God, who is love, make us stand accountable for all the things we’ve done in a few short years on this earth, when the Scriptures themselves contradict this?

    People who presume to make statements with regard to the Bible without first CAREFULLY looking at the texts usually find themselves stuck in the mud. And you know how long AAA takes and they cost a fortune too.

    LOL

    • Lol! Yes, it takes a lot of time and money to be pulled out of the mud. Indeed, Paul also tells us in Romans 8:1 that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Well, then. I agree, Scott, that we must take the whole counsel of scripture, not prooftext what makes our point. Thanks for sharing.

      • Proof texting is a practice fraught with dangers and I try to avoid as much as possible. The only time I will resort to it is when I know of a text that directly or indirectly contradicts someone else’s proof text.

        At any rate one thing I do know is that Scripture is not intended to be used as a bludgeon to beat people over the head because they do things of which you do not approve.

        • What I find frustrating are those that proof text, then tell me that my proof text responses are meaningless because I don’t understand the Bible. I find these people are often beyond reach, even though they will try to convince you that they are of the most righteous (their position is kind of prideful, if you were to ask me. 🙂 But I digress…) I find the Bible much better suited to be a guidebook filled with regulations rather than a rulebook to be followed to the letter. I say this because we can all agree what the Bible says (it’s written in black (or red) and white) but what it means to each of us can be quite different. If more people would concentrate on the concept of “love thy neighbor” (no pun intended) instead of worrying about sexual orientation the world would be a much better place.

          • Beautifully stated, Kit. And you know, Jesus really did simplify it that much. It was the confounded religious leaders who decided to test Jesus by asking what the greatest commandment was. He said, “Love God and love others, and everything else is included in that.” Beautiful! So any other verses people throw at you, this supersedes it all. I love that about Jesus and His ability to reach the most marginalized and brokenhearted. Just exactly what one would hope for in a Savior, hm? ❤

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