Many feel every moral fiber in their body can’t condemn gays when they can no more control their feelings toward those of the same sex than heterosexuals can control their feelings toward the opposite sex. Many may judge homosexuality to be wrong because they are convinced they are honoring God according to Scriptures. Some feel homosexuality isn’t natural but they aren’t gay. God-followers should be non-judgmental and treat others like they would want to be treated if gay.
Human moral intuitions guide us what a moral God is like.
A universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated may be how a Creator communicates caring behavior. Nations can establish laws because most agree it is wrong to steal, abuse, or murder. Laws help protect individual rights not being violated. Personal relationship decisions are not violating anyone’s personal rights. I hope more may stop judging others about their personal relationships if convinced God doesn’t condemn them through Scriptures.
Please reconsider interpretations if they don’t lead to loving gay and straight friends more.
Some reject caring, same-sex relationships because of their understandings of Scripture. But, about seven main passages used to condemn homosexuality are highly debatable. Interpretation isn’t exact, especially of a Book written over 2000 years ago edited over centuries by dozens of writers. A must read is David Gushee’s book Changing Our Mind which I reference below.
- The Sodom and Gomorrah story may be the easiest to dispute. Genesis 19 and Judges 19 are stories about men seeking to assault male guests receiving hospitality in a local household (Chapter 11). In both stories women horribly are offered as an alternative for sexual pleasure which should caution us against applications of these stories. Besides, the story is about gang rape and as has nothing to do about loving, consensual, same-sex relationships.
- Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 list same sex activities, though we can’t know the exact nature of such relationships, as an abomination and recommend the death penalty. The OT also lists as abominations lying lips, eating pork or rabbit, arrogance, etc. (Chapter 12). Whoops! Not only can we not know the exact nature of the same sex relationships, to be consistent should we also advocate today the death penalty for those who curse their parents, various sexual acts, or being a sorceress (Lev. 20)? How we apply OT laws to our lives is hardly clear.
- Matthew 19 and Mark 10 are used to suggest Jesus condemned homosexual relationships by using Adam and Eve as the norm in discussing marriage. Jesus spoke out against casual attitudes about marriage and divorce. Isn’t permanence in marriage, if couples continue to act loving to one another, in the best interest of couples and children? We cannot say definitively Jesus is condemning same-sex relationships who don’t have a lackadaisical attitude toward marriage. Jesus’ teachings in this context shouldn’t be used to condemn such relationships.
- Romans 1 condemns same sex relationships, or surely any sexual activities, devoid of fidelity or love (v. 31). The writer may have in mind relationships common during that time including masters involved in sexual acts with their slaves or men having sex with younger boys. Who doesn’t condemn abusive, controlling, unequal, relationships! It is doubtful the writer had in mind, thus condemning, consensual, loving, monogamous, gay relationships.
- I Cor. 6:9 and I Tim 1:10 translates two Greeks words malakoi and arsenoloitai into the English word homosexual. There are tremendous scholar debates about the meaning and correct translations of these words, though not always admitted. Plausible translations for arsenoloitai also are sex traffickers, rapists, sexual predators, etc. (Chapter 13). Besides, for what every reason other sins listed in these passages are seldom used to threaten Hell (i.e. adulterers, thieves, drunkards, slanders, or the greedy). These passages clearly don’t resolve the issue.
Please read David Gushee’s book for further reflection if convinced the Bible can be used to condemn gay relationships.
Even if claimed morality is only determinable according to a book such as the Bible or Koran, as opposed to also common moral sense, interpretations that condemn homosexuality are highly debatable. The Bible encourages loving, consensual, caring relationships to avoid heart-break. Any sexual behaviors that are abusive, unequal, controlling, mindless, selfish engagements, as opposed to consensual monogamous relationships, are wrong to most rational human being. Passages possible mentioning homosexuality condemn abusive, unequal, controlling, loveless sexual behaviors for satisfying one’s own pleasures.
I am not suggesting God-followers impose their monogamous views of sexual behaviors on others. I am convinced God thinks, as most of us do, that committed, life-long, mutual-consenting, monogamous sexual relationships are always in our best interest. A good God surely supports all loving, caring relationships. Most parents don’t wish to condemn their children for relationship choices they feel they can’t control. Are humans better than God as a parent?
We need to consider our attitude about interpretation in general as well as verses used to condemn homosexual relationships.
Gushee points out the Bible was used for centuries by the church to condemn Jewish people in the name of God. Then, miraculously within twenty years of the murderous assault of anti-Semitic violence during World War II, attitudes begin to change where the Bible is seldom used in such a matter (Chapter 20). The Bible hasn’t changed. Family members no longer need to be broken hearted when they think their devotion to God requires them to give their loved one some version of “love the sinner, hate the sin” speech.