Why I’m tired of people saying homosexuality is a sin

As I sit in front of my computer tonight I’m not sure where to start with this post.

I will probably ruffle a few feathers, upset a few people, make a few people angry.
That’s not my aim, I just know it might happen.
I mostly hope that I make a few people really happy.

I’ve been pretty annoyed with the Church recently; pretty annoyed with the attitudes of so many people in the Church. I’ve wanted to give up quite a few times but today I came to the conclusion that it’s important I don’t.

Here’s the deal: I fully support gay rights. I don’t believe there is anything sinful about homosexuality, I don’t believe the Bible says there is, and I support gay marriage. 

For as long as I can remember I was never sure about the issue; I never really wanted to say I thought it was wrong or right, there was something inside me that told me not to settle one way or the other. The past couple of months I’ve done proper research into the topic, really delved into it and found answers to a lot of my questions.

In regards to Bible verses on the topic, consider 1 Corinthians 6:9. In the ESV it’s translated as:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality…”

The problem here is that “men who practice homosexuality”, in the original translation of the Bible, actually said male prostitutes (“arsenokoit”). I can accept that God probably isn’t cool with prostitution, but not all gay men partake in prostitution (I guess some do, but so do some straight people) so how has that, over the years, been translated into just “men who practise homosexuality”? Gay couples are as capable of being in loving, committed relationships as heterosexual couples so why has being gay been turned into something dirty and sordid?

Here’s another corker:

Romans 1:26-27
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
(NIV)

If you think all gay relationships are based on “shameful lusts” then you might want to step out of your bubble. It’s also strongly debated that this passage is referring to prostitution, but either way it makes no comment on two committed, consenting adults having sex that isn’t based on lust actually being  a sin.

Homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible around six or seven times so it was clearly never a very important topic to any of the writers, but it seems to have turned into a major issue for so many Christians. The Church used to believe that the Bible told them that slavery was acceptable and that women shouldn’t vote and that view has changed, so why has this one stuck?

All Christians should agree with me that Christianity is meant to be about loving people, but over the past few days I’ve read nothing other than stories of gay Christians who have been completely ostracised by the Church communities they trusted, who’ve been told they can “recover” from being gay. Gay people in and outside of the Church have been treated terribly by Christians, made to feel like they are hated and despised. Every year at Belfast Pride gay people are attacked by hoards of “Christians” yelling abuse at them. Do you really think this is what Jesus would want?

I’m tired of hearing Christians saying that being gay is a sin and following it up with, “murder is a sin too, but God forgives all sins.” I’m sorry, but did you just put being gay on the same level as murder?  

The part that scares me most is that so few Christians are willing to question the topic; we’ve been brought up knowing that a lot of important people in our Church communities think that homosexuality is wrong so we’ve never really looked into the topic ourselves. I think a lot fear it will make them gay, or that people will think they’re gay if they’re found to be doing research on it (what would actually be wrong with that?). I also just think a lot of Christians think that if they question the Bible then they’re questioning the entire existence of God and that if you don’t agree wholeheartedly with everything it says then something’s wrong and that you’re on a “slippery slope” on the way to hell or something equally as outrageous.

God didn’t give us brains so we could sit back and accept everything we hear, so we could live in bubbles and be oblivious to reality, so we could pretend as if issues such as homosexuality should be left to someone else to look into, He gave us all a brain so we could use them, so we could educate ourselves and not blindly accept everything we’re told. Being a robot in 2013 is dangerous, you make yourself very vulnerable.

I really wanted to give up on God for a while because this frustrated me so much. I wanted to quit because it’s hard to know that most of the Christians I know are accepting something so harmful. But I’ve decided that it’s important I don’t quit, because someone needs to be willing to question, someone needs to be willing to stand up and speak their mind when most are afraid to. And most of all because God isn’t human; humans suck but God doesn’t. God isn’t human at all, s/he doesn’t even have a gender so why do we keep defining God as a man?

At the end of the day my faith in God is not based on the fact that I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. Your faith in God shouldn’t be anything to do with waiting until you’re married to have sex, or who you’re attracted to, or whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, or how often you read your Bible. It should be entirely based on the fact that you have been forgiven by a God who loves you so much that He was prepared to die for you.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and that means everyone who has ever existed, so no one has the right to turn around and make a judgement by telling someone who’s gay that what they’re doing is sinful or wrong.

x

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Why I’m tired of people saying homosexuality is a sin

  1. Great post. I fear you are right that we have created a hierarchy of sin which creates hostility towards ‘threatening’ social groups – particularly women and people of minority sexual orientations – instead of dealing with the real problems in our society like greed and our stubborn refusal to love and help others. All of us have fallen short in this respect. ‘Love God, Love your neighbour as yourself’ (the New Covenant) seems to have reverted back to Old Testament ‘thou shalt not’ for a lot of people. If Grace is all sufficient, as we are so fond of professing, it’s time for us to prove it as Christians and stop judging people who are different because it makes us feel like the righteous man praying at the front of the temple, “Thank you God that I am not like this man”. Hatred towards homosexuals will go down in the history books as yet another example of the church being on the wrong side of the social debate – along with burning people at the stake for ‘heresy’, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and Slavery (though I note that many abolitionists were also Christian). Let’s not make the same mistakes all over again.

  2. Annie,
    I agree that the way this issue is addressed does not always reflect the love of Christ and it saddens me deeply. We are called to love people not to condemn them, to show them Christ love in order that they might know him and his forgiveness.

    However there are a few things I want say about what you have written…..

    You said “Your faith in God isn’t to do with waiting until your married to have sex or who your attracted to, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice or how often you read your Bible ” I agree…
    BUT those things should be to do with your faith in God. Your faith isn’t defined by them but they are defined by your faith.

    Taking the no sex before marriage as an example:

    Not having sex before marriage doesn’t bring faith in God, it doesn’t make you trust or love Him more BUT because you have faith in Him you want to love Him and be obedient to His will for your life. His will for us is clearly seen in His word and one of these things is that sex is for marriage.

    His word is also clear about relationships. Genesis reveals Gods intention for human relationship- man and women.

    In the same way your faith isn’t based on your view of homosexuality but your view of homosexuality should be based on you faith in God, in His word which is very clear.

    Please know that I am not addressing this because I am don’t like gay people or I believe this debate to be key to faith because I don’t. Everyone is to be loved as all have fallen short and this is not a salvation issue. BUT I think misinterpreting scripture is dangerous and so that is why I am writing this.

    I urge you to look into this again because in the same way that interpreting scripture as God hates homosexuals is incredible harmful, so too is this interpretation. They are both untrue representations of God, His love and His will.

    Blessings,
    Shona

    • Hi Shona, thanks for the response.

      In regards to your point on Genesis stating that God’s intention for human relationships as being entirely heterosexual, I’d have to disagree (as I’m sure you knew I would). Homosexuality wasn’t in existence like it is today, homogenital acts did take place but actually being gay, being in relationships with people of the same sex, didn’t happen.

      The verse you’re referring to in Genesis (2:24, I assume?) doesn’t say anything at all about homosexuality, it talks about God giving Adam a helper in Eve. That doesn’t mean that a man couldn’t find a husband in another man, or a woman find a wife in another woman, it makes literally no comment on homosexuality. Nothing in Genesis comments on this. There are a lot of people debating against the belief that homosexuality is a sin (e.g. John Shore; check out his website, he has some great things to say) and to say that God’s word is “very clear” is assuming that you know the full interpretation of the Bible. Are you sure that your interpretation isn’t “harmful”? And, if so, are you sure of that because it’s what you’ve been told? Or because you’ve looked into it for yourself?

      I feel like you haven’t fully read the explanations I’ve given of the verses I’ve referenced because I don’t think it’s clear at all; a lot of the Bible has been lost in translation and to think that what it says today, in 2013, is exactly the same as what it said when it was first written, seems a little naive. And to say that you know I’m representing God wrongly assumes that you know how God wants to be represented; are you sure you know that?

      I’m not basing my views on homosexuality on my own opinions (even though I knew I supported it years ago), I’m doing research, I’m looking into these issues, and have found numerous Christians who’ve done the same and have come to the same conclusions. Being able to pick a few verses out of the Bible and say, “This means homosexuality is a sin”, isn’t right. Have you researched the verse you referenced in a non-biased light? Because I worry that I live amongst a generation of Christians who are afraid to question and really put the work in to find answers before making a decision; that worries me more than anything. In 2013, when we’re surrounded by what appears to be becoming a 1984-esque state, too many people are happy to sit back and accept what’s in front of them and are making themselves far more vulnerable than they realise. There are a lot of people, inside and outside of the Church, who want to do a lot of harm to a lot of people; I simply won’t let that happen.

      I understand that you mean well, Shona, and in writing this article I knew I’d get a lot of people disagreeing with me and that’s fine. My aim isn’t to offend you or to force you to share my beliefs, it’s to continue supporting something I 100% believe to be true because I can’t not. That’s why I’m standing by what I’m saying and have decided not to walk away from the Church altogether, because I think it’s important that someone with my views stays exactly where I am and continues to stand up for a community that is entirely misrepresented within the Church.

      In commenting on my point on certain things being nothing to do with your relationship with God, I feel like being pro-choice really is NOTHING to do with it. Before I continue I should say that I’m not sitting here thinking, “I love abortion, it’s awesome, everyone should have abortions.” My view is from a feminist perspective (something that I think Jesus is probably pretty cool with when considering the true meaning of feminism) and if we live in a society that says women should be equal to be men (even though it’s clearly something we’re still working on), no one should take away a woman’s right to an abortion. Women don’t want to have abortions, it’s not as if they go into clinics happy about it, it’s a very traumatic experience for most, if not all, women who have to go through it. If we tell women they can’t have abortions we take away their freewill, and who gave me the right to do that? Surely God gave us freewill so we could make our own choices on matters like this? And in a society where women CAN have abortions, a society where women are NOT oppressed and turned into second class citizens like they are in so many parts of the world, we just can’t stop women from being in charge of their own bodies.

      In regards to sex before marriage, I should clarify that I don’t think sleeping around is a good idea. That hurts everyone involved at some point, but how does having sex with someone who you love mean that you love God less? All Christians are different, and what works for one person might not work for another, so if someone is having sex AND having a brilliant relationship with God, surely that’s nothing to do with anyone but God and that individual? Surely God is the only one who can truly see our hearts? In recent years Christianty has been made into something very cute, it’s all about drinking tea and eating cake and not swearing and being afraid of sex or anything that might make us blush or feel a bit uncomfortable… But Jesus died on a cross. He had nails hammered into his hands and feet and He hung there until He died. That makes me pretty uncomfortable. He did that because He loves us so much; I mean if it wasn’t for what He did on that cross I would have no idea what that kind of love looks like. Yet we’ve turned this really insane, revolutionary faith into being “pure” and constantly being afraid of things. I don’t mean we should all go out and go crazy and sleep with everyone and take drugs and drink all the booze, but I think we need to stop telling people that it’s anything to do with being a virgin or being heterosexual or being pro-life. Because it’s not. It’s just not.

  3. Pingback: Why I’m still not convinced that homosexuality is a sin: the aftermath of being honest. | Following the Northern Star

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s