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:
“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.”
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.