Is God A Homophobe?
I haven’t written on this topic because I believe one’s sexual orientation is personal and their own business. But, I feel compelled to address this subject because many parents and friends feel obligated to not accept their loved ones for concerns of being disloyal to God. The Bible is a complex book. It was not meant to be a book to turn to a chapter and verse, which were only added centuries later, but a story about God and determining what God is like. Even if a writer was inspired by God, interpretations and applications can be fallible centuries later.
Jesus when leaving this earth advised He was leaving His Spirit with us to guide us in our walk with God (Jn.14:16). Do we have enough faith in God to allow a homosexual who wishes to know what God thinks about their relationship to begin a relationship and God will guide. The following is how I have determined God speaks to me. We need to stop telling people what God thinks about them and let God speak to them. If God doesn’t give others the answer you want, are you going to accept them? Before discussing what the Bible may say on homosexuality, I want to mention issues that I will not be addressing.
I am not capable of discussing if one’s sexual orientation is chosen, born into, or something that develops. The matter is so complex that I think that is for each individual to discern. One theory does not fit all individual situations. One may argue it doesn’t seem natural because the world could not have populated in the beginning. We are no longer in that situation and the world will continue to populate because not all couples are gay. We have unwanted children who need loving couples. Is adoption by a same sex or different sex couple not a better situation that groups homes or orphanages? Loving couples are committed to not making a child gay or straight. Lastly, some homosexuals deny it is impossible to change to being straight. If an individual has such desires, we must respect one’s freedom in such endeavors.
Though the Bible is not a book we can simply turn to for answers in our individual situation, the Bible is still very important to many. It claims to be inspired by God. Some of the biblical passages that speak against homosexuality are in the context of gang rape (Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19; Judges 19:22). Who doesn’t condemn that! Other passages are not as specific as to the type of sexual activities involved (Rom 1:26-32, I Cor. 6:9, I Tim. 1:10). There certainly wasn’t a lot of fidelity going on (i.e. Rom 1:27, 31), and who doesn’t know about the Corinthians’ standards in the ancient world. They even approved of sex with one’s mother or step-mother (I Cor. 5). Can you say addiction city! Do we really want to compare consensual, monogamous sex to killing of parents, murder, and slave trading (I Tim. 1:10).
Two verses in the Bible are not as clear about the type of sexual relationships involved when involving the same sex: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them are done what is detestable…”(Lev. 20:13; i.e. Lev. 18:22). Having sex with a woman during her period is also condemned in the same breathe (Lev. 20:18). Whoops! The Bible does seem to suggest that committed, life-long, mutual-consenting, monogamous sexual relationships are always in our best interest. It can wreak havoc on one’s soul when sexual activity has been involved and the relationship doesn’t last. If your hearts tells you your loved one isn’t condemned by God, you can follow your heart and not deny God of the Bible.
We must stop comparing committed, monogamous homosexual relationships to anything else. It doesn’t compare to premarital sex or pedophilia or bestiality as it has been compared to. Those obviously aren’t mutual, consensual, committed relationships. If you insist the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, then do you accept it condemns polygamy? It seems God did not think polygamy was ideal or part of God’s original creation, but clearly God seemed to accept such relationships calling King David a man after His own heart. Most can agree stealing, being greedy, slandering, gossiping, lying, or murder is wrong. If Corinthians condemns monogamous homosexual relationships it condemns all the above sins to the same degree. Many in the church condemn gay relationships but get divorced over half the time. Commitment is a problem in the church. How can we even begin to suggest to gay couples who are committed that they are sinners.
The Bible doesn’t seem to speak specifically about monogamous, long-term gay relationships. If one wishes to know personally what God thinks about their personal situation, it seems the first step is to get to know God and seek God’s discernment on such issues. Some pastors avoid the subject not because they are cowards but because they want people to experience God’s love and not condemnation as they seek God’s wisdom on a personal level. I understand serious Bible students can come to two different conclusions. If the matter is debatable at all in our mind, I would suggest taking the less judgmental stance in relationships. Jesus never spoke about homosexuality and said when gone He would leave His Spirit to guide our hearts.