I was listening to a television show “The Voice” and my heart broke. This beautiful young lady shared that she hadn’t seen her parents in about ten years because they had rejected her sexuality. I am slow to be judgmental because many, many years ago I thought I needed to condemn homosexuality as a God-follower because the Bible did. I don’t have in mind bigots who judge people simply because they are of a different nationality, race, or sexuality. I am writing to sincere, good people who take a stance against homosexuality because of their devotion to God.
I believe the Bible never warns against consensual monogamous relationships but against relationships devoid of love and fidelity.
Jesus, who represented God on earth, never condemned homosexuality. Paul, who wrote a great deal of the New Testament, warns against any relationships purely for self-gratification. Paul when referring to homosexuality likely had in mind masters involved in sexual acts with their slaves or men having sex with younger boys. Who doesn’t know abusive, controlling, unequal, relationships are immoral!
The Old Testament speaks against homosexual acts involving violence such as rape (Sodom and Gomorrah). Two passages in Leviticus aren’t as clear that violence is involved but homosexual acts are mentioned in the same breathe as having sex with animals. Adult, consensual relationships are obviously not comparable to bestiality or pedophilia. It is questionable if monogamous relationships are in mind (Lev. 20:13; 18:22). We must use our hearts when not knowing the background. Women were not allowed to be Leviticus priests perhaps because OT laws were made to differentiate from neighboring nations where sexual rituals centered around religious duties.
We can’t be sure always what is not being said when interpreting ancient literature.
An obvious example is when the Bible says turn the other cheek, it is not advocating women accept abuse from men. Biblical scholars trained in the original language simply don’t agree that monogamous homosexual relationships are condemned. I am not suggesting we should go on crusades against non-monogamous sex. There are loving ways to advise how sexual relationships without long-term commitments can rip your heart out.
When there are any doubts what the Bible might be advising, God-followers must take the most compassionate, less judgmental stance toward others.
Many parents know in their hearts to not judge their child but they are torn when hearing others say the Bible condemns homosexuality. Please don’t tell someone “I love you but I hate your sin.” It is impossible to not feel unloved and rejected when such words are uttered. Gay people will tell you they have no choice. This is who they are!
A parent does not need to reject a gay child according to the Bible.
The Bible is silent on monogamous same sex relationships, while supporting relationships that show love and concern for one another. One’s sexual orientation is personal and is between them and God if they seek such a voice. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel natural to you. You aren’t them! 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.