Christians shouldn't be gay?
Being gay in the Church is being as depraved as a pedophile.
In 1922, the Vatican promulgated Instructions relating to especially grave canonical crimes, including certain sexual crimes committed by the clergy. Homosexual acts were to be treated in the same way as the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. In 1962 the Instructions were again ratified.
Being gay in the Church can be life-threatening.
In June 2003, when openly gay Gene Robinson became Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, he received death threats and wore a bullet-proof vest at his consecration.
Being gay is a curse.
In June 2009, an evangelical church in Connecticut felt the need to exorcise
the 'homosexual demon' from a teenage boy1
, and in February 2010, the Rev. Martin Ssempa
performed homosexual exorcisms in Uganda.
Most people don't think about the subject much at all, but whilst some (mainly conservative2) Christians are willing to accept divorce (even though Jesus said divorce was sinful3) they are not willing to accept homosexuality (even though Jesus did not say it was sinful4). They are simply encouraged by old Church doctrine and consider homosexuality an outright sin against God.
Christians therefore, are instructed not to be gay. Yet there is a growing number of Christians, both heterosexual and homosexual, who consider homosexuality favourably, encourage relationships to grow, and even condone same-sex marriage.
How can this be permitted if homosexuality is a sin?
Why Christians shouldn't be Gay
AIDS has been portrayed by some people as a punishment by God against homosexuals. If that is so, then God has waited a long time before doing it.
Christians have, in the main, thrown off some of the old-fashioned racism, sexism and illness phobia, but homosexuality is still viewed by most5 in a negative light. The tide is turning and tolerance is increasing, but there is a squad of gallant die-hard conservative Christians6 who are increasingly adamant that homosexuality is a sin. Why is there such a conflict of ideas? On this page, we look at some of the reasons why gays are still given a tough time by the Church.
And it's not just Christianity. Most other faiths disapprove of homosexuality. (See Why non-Christians shouldn't be Gay)
Same sex marriage
Marriage has traditionally been between man and woman. There is a fear that anything different demeans marriage, and the institution of marriage is sanctioned by God; therefore gay marriage is against God's will.
Now that would make sense if gay marriage did violate the institute, but it doesn't. Marriage (heterosexual), in Western cultures at least, is becoming less and less popular, so if homosexuals marry then that helps to address this current trend.
We had an email recently which said:
"To redefine marriage to include same-sex couples is to strip marriage of an essential component, namely the ability and obligation to procreate."
...as if same-sex marriage would make the slightest difference to the number of babies! Or is the writer suggesting that gays should be forced to marry heterosexuals and conceive in a relationship which was not based on love? Would that alter the fact that 37% of babies in the US are born out of wedlock? And none of this addresses the question of whether a society's population has exceeded available sustainable resources.
Same-sex marriage poses no threat to the current traditional institution of marriage.
Women's suffrage theoretically doubled the number of voters, and giving blacks the right increased the voter's roll even more. This did not weaken the power of any vote; on the contrary, it strengthened the result of an election to be truly representative of the people. However, if a male believes his influence has been weakened by the female vote, or the white feels his say is more worthy than the black voter's, then this is blatant sexism or racism. We like to feel we are growing out of such prejudices, but aversion to homosexuality is still regarded by the homophobic as respectable.
What's all the fuss about same sex marriage?
My wife and I have been the same sex all our lives!
Given a bit of thought, it is easy to see that when people of two different social classes marry, it is not an upper class person marrying a commoner; rather it is two hearts coming together. Similarly when people of two races marry, it is not black marrying white; it is two hearts coming together.
When people of two religions marry, it is not Christian marrying Jew; it is two hearts coming together. And when a heterosexual couple marry, it is not male marrying female; it is two hearts coming together. And when a homosexual couple marry, two hearts come together. Is that a sin?
Christians should strive to lead sin-less lives
Homosexuality is either a sin or it isn't, and we cannot sit on the fence about this. We cannot say that homosexuality is 'inadvisable'. If it is a sin, then it must be prohibited. If it is not a sin then there should be no prohibition. To settle the matter, the Holy Scriptures are often consulted.
There are several references to support the anti-gay doctrines: Lev. 18:22; 20:12-14; Rom. 1:26-27; I Tim. 1:9-10; and 1 Cor. 6:9-11 explicitly prohibit homosexual acts. And the reasons for such prohibition are increasing accepted to have been ethnic, rather than biological.
The timing of the introduction of these Laws shows they were intended to distance the Abrahamic from the Greek, Canaanite and Egyptian pagan rituals that included homosexual acts. Those pagan rites have long since disappeared and consequently the prohibition is no longer relevant. And it is important to note that it was the physical (anal sex) which was mentioned; not the psychological feelings or biological homosexual inclinations. These biblical verses say nothing about homosexual tendencies or same-sex attraction.
Most Christians will be adamant that we mere humans are not in a position to pick and choose which bits of the Bible we are to believe. So let's look at some other passages:
- Gen. 38:9-10 - death to masturbators, adulterers and those who practice birth control
- Lev. 18:19 - execution for a couple who have sex during the woman's period
- Deut. 23:1 - no entry to the church if you've had a vasectomy
- Deut. 22:13-22 - death to brides who are not virgins and death to adulterers
- Mark 10:1-12 - divorce is sin
- Mark 12:18-27 - if a man dies before he has produced a child, his widow should have sex with each of his brothers in turn until she bears a child
...and last but not least...
- Deut. 25:11-12 - a wife shall have a hand cut off if she grabs the private parts of a man who is fighting her husband
Even the words "homosexual" and "homophobia" are daft.
"Homo" means "man" or "human", so a homosexual could be a woman who has sexual desires for a man or anyone who has sexual desires for a human.
"Homo" also means "same" and "phobia" means "fear", so homophobia means fear of the status quo, fear of things staying the same, fear of not embracing same-sex marriage!
What is it about gays that people are afraid of? A more honest term would be "hatred of gays", but homophobes would deny that and just say they are maintaining their "deeply held convictions" that same-sex marriage will cause something bad to happen.
Well, not the last word actually. The Bible goes on to forbid entry to the church if your parents were not married, like that's your fault. Indeed, if your parents were married but their parents were not, then you cannot join the congregation. And it doesn't stop there. If any of your ancestors, going back 300 years, were not married, then no entry for you. (Deut. 23:2) And this raises the question: just how many people alive today qualify to enter a church?
There are further verses saying that prostitution and polygamy is permitted, and how to sell your daughter as a sex slave (Exod. 21:7-11).
Fortunately, we are more enlightened these days.
The less intelligent view homosexuality as a choice, and if that were the case, then it could be a candidate for sinfulness. Homosexuality is not a choice7, any more than high intelligence, blond hair, being male or female, is a choice. Saying otherwise is as daft as saying a daft person is sinful because they are daft.
Does scientific law replace God's law?
Some parts of the Bible seem quite absurd today. Take for example the geocentricism of Eccles. 1:4-5 "The sun also rises, and the sun goes down and hurries to the place from which it came."
Don't get carried away with the idea that our superior intellect and wisdom has made the Bible obsolete. On the contrary; we suffer from so much information overload these days and getting back to basics is vital.
Our intellect is a God-given gift (as is our sexual orientation). And God has also revealed to us things that were not apparent thousands of years ago. Let's look at the first example above (Gen. 38:9-10 - Onan's transgression) something considered not too serious today.
In modern society, the harshest sentences passed down by a court are for the vile crime of murder. And when the Hebrew Scriptures were written, Onan's transgression was tantamount to murder. At that time, it was believed that the man's sperm contained everything needed to produce a baby. It was not until 1827 that the existence of the female egg was discovered and only in the 20th century that ovulation was understood. Moses lived a bit before this time, and if God had mentioned these biological facts to Moses, somehow the message was not passed down the line.
Consequently, wasting sperm, through masturbation, birth control, or homosexual acts, was considered to be destroying life (i.e. murder). The people who wrote the Scriptures did not have the advantage of the knowledge on human sexuality that we have today.
In any case, the Bible was not written as a sex guide book - it is a book about God. It is a book about love. And it is indisputably clear on one very important teaching. Something that is infinitely more important than same-sex attraction. Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second command is similar: Love your neighbour as you love yourself."8
Realisation of the importance of this is slowly increasing. And Church tolerance toward nature's diversity is increasing. The next stage will be total assimilation to the time when there are no gay Christians or straight Christians; just Christians. (Lesbian pope? Most probably.)
For further reading, see an excellent article at http://www.soulforce.org:80/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian