4 Reasons This Christian Family Supports Marriage Equality

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Many of the arguments over same-sex marriage and homosexuality center on religion. As a religious person who also believes in equality regardless of sexual orientation, this is disheartening. However, I know that any frustration I may feel regarding this debate pales in comparison to the hurt that many of my LGBT friends have experienced over a lifetime.

It is with great respect for brothers and sisters truly at the heart of this issue that I hope to offer something constructive to the conversation. What follows are responses to some common “faith” based arguments regarding homosexuality, and four reasons why I feel compelled as a Christian to voice support for marriage equality.

1. There are well-researched and faithful readings of the Bible that support full inclusion and equal rights for the LGBT community.

But, some will say, the Bible clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination! Or, is it just homosexual acts? Or is it just the Old Testament? Wait, what did Jesus say? Maybe it is not quite so “clear.”

While many are quick to cite a few select verses to support antigay beliefs, one can also find verses condemning eating shrimp (another abomination) and even condoning taking your rebellious child to the city gate to be stoned.Thankfully, there is a stunning lack of support for this ‘biblical’ child-rearing tactic.

In other words, when we cherry pick or read without historical context, we can use the Bible to defend or promote any number of issues from slavery, to women’s rights, to whether or not to spank our children. The point here is that a Bible verse taken out of context can be harmful, and we must be careful to thoughtfully consider the Bible’s text in light of our experience, history and tradition.

2. The Biblical call to “go forth and multiply” is no longer as critical to the continuing of humankind.

Many argue that same-sex couples are not able to have biological children and therefore their union is not natural. While it is true that same-sex partners cannot procreate (without donors, gestational carries, medical intervention, etc.), it is also true that 10-15% of heterosexual couples are infertile and often unable to have biological children without medical intervention. And, many heterosexual couples choose not to have children.

Do we grant marriage rights only to those who are biologically able and/or choose to have children? Do we recognize the commitment of these childless heterosexual couples as less than? Of course not, that would be ridiculous, right?

With a world population of over 7 billion, humankind is likely to continue to thrive (in terms of population, at least) whether or not every married couple is biologically able or chooses to reproduce.

3. For many Christians, the call to follow Jesus leaves no choice but to treat our LGBT brothers and sisters as equals.

Many feel that this is not only justified, but what is demanded by the Gospel of Jesus. While there is much debate over the translation and context of a few Old Testament verses, in the gospels, Jesus was actually rather silent on the issue of homosexuality. However, he was very clear in his call for justice and love of neighbor above all else. Time after time, Jesus is a champion for the oppressed, the minority, the meek.

Is it all that radical to believe that Jesus would welcome gay brothers and sisters into the church with open arms? Too radical to believe he may even go a step beyond and wash their feet as he did his disciples? Perhaps the lack of any evidence that Jesus turned them away is evidence enough that he welcomed them in.

Let us focus our efforts on heeding that call, as demonstrated by Jesus, for social justice. Let us be known for that. After all, shouldn’t the church be the one safe place for us to be who we are?  Aren’t we called by Jesus to be the church?

4. Regardless of what our individual interpretation of scripture tells us; let’s look at what’s happening in the present day.

Let us ask ourselves the following question: What do we honestly believe to be the greater sin? Do we stand by and watch as our society and our churches treat our brothers and sisters as less than equal, stand idle as our LGBT youth attempt suicide at a rate five times greater than that of straight youth, and feel satisfied with a message (at best) of “we love you, but you must change.”

Or, do we commit the ‘sin’ of treating everyone as an equal regardless of the object of their consensual relationship, reach out – sincerely – to youth struggling with issues of rejection and self-worth, and proclaim, boldly, “Welcome.  Come as you are.  God loves you.  We love you.”

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love…

Photo Courtesy of Holli Long; Originally posted at Reconciling Ministries Network

Comments (106)

I'm a lesbian in a loving comited civil union. Iam also a Christ follower. I feel so blessed when my hetrosexual brothers and sisters seek to know the truth of God's love and when in so doing they come to see that my choice of life partenar is no threat to them that in thruth we want the same thing that all will come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal saviour. Thank you,for it is true Christians like yourselves that make it possible for me to go on telling my gay brothers and sisters that Christ really does love them.

As Christians it's best not to decide what is a sin and what isn't based on your personal feelings but rather look to the Bible for instructions. The Bible is very clear on homosexuality. (As far as your straw-man argument on what you feel is not so clear I reference you to Galatians 3: 23-25)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

That is as clear as it gets. There is noting gray about that. If you are saying homosexuality is acceptable in God's eyes after reading that then you are either deceived or unwilling to accept God's word.

What does the Bible say about supporting homosexuality?

Isaiah 5:20- Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

I agree we should treat homosexuals with love just as we should treat lustful heterosexuals with love, but don't confuse that with encouraging sin.

Matt, your interpretation of Paul's words is offensive. My son, who is a homosexual, and who loves Jesus, and who is blessed by God (in the way of answered prayers and having God's favor in many ways), is not an adulteror, drunkard, extortionist, etc. He is full of love and grace and kindness. You sir, are misguided and flat out wrong. The bible (new testament) also says women shouldn't preach over men. Just think of Joyce Meyer....her ministry is blessed blessed blessed. Wow...what if we really took it at face value, instead of what Paul is talking about....all lust, greed, and selfishness...no LOVE.

Michele, I'm sorry you find God's Word offensive. The heart of the problem is you do not find God's Word to be the absolute truth. You have allowed your love for your son to blind you from what the Word says. You say your son is "is full of love and grace and kindness" and "not an adulterer, drunkard, extortionist, etc." but what you are looking past is homosexuality is just another sin lumped into the group of sins mentioned in 1 Cor 6:9 that will keep you from heaven.

You mention love several times in your reply, and this may come off brash but its the truth, and this is what makes ALL the difference.

Homosexuality is not about love, its about sex.
Homosexuality is not about love, its about sex
(yes I put it twice to emphasis that important truth)

Homosexuality is never mentioned in the Bible in the context of love, it is always mentioned in the context of sin, specifically sexual sin.

Leviticus 18:22
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13
13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Romans 1:26-28
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

1 Corinthians 6:9
9 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

1Tim 1:10
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Homosexuality is a sex act.

Definition of HOMOSEXUALITY
1: the quality or state of being homosexual
2: erotic activity with another of the same sex

There is nothing wrong with a man loving a man, I have many men in my life that I love and there is no problem with that in God's eyes. Why is that? 'Cause there is no sex involved. Its the sex that makes the difference and that is what makes it sin.

Oh Matt, my heart breaks reading your post. Your last paragraph is completely irrelevant. You love your male friends; as a friend. Obviously you are straight...my assumption is that you would never dream of, or have a desire to have sex with your male friends, even though you love them, because you are straight. You don't know what it "feels" like, so you cannot, in ANY way, make that statement. Also, if there is any hope for the Christian church to do things right, your entire comment would turn away any LGBT person. "Christians" have messed up Christianity so incredibly much from what Jesus ever intended Christianity to be. Just like I do, you are picking and choosing in your life what to take literally and what not (Read; The Blue Parakeet). I know there is nothing I could say, or anyone could say to you to change your heart, only God can do that. But in even writing that last comment, you are turning away LGBT and their family from Jesus. And that is NOT what Jesus calls us to do. I am a worship leader, a Jesus-lover, and a girl who cannot stand the way the church has become. It is people like you that don't remember that their is a living, breathing and active God behind and in front of the scripture. It's a scary thing for people to encounter, because it is a scary feeling to even QUESTION that what you may have been taught, or believe your entire life could potentially not be accurate. So, instead...Christians pick and choose what is comfortable for them, instead of stepping into the deep waters, into the complexity of Christ, but also the simplicity that He came back to whip us in shape and LOVE everyone. And no - "hating the sin, loving the sinner" does not work. It only pushes people away. I really wonder what our world would be like if we actually followed the "red letters" of the Bible [Jesus' words], love people, accept that we don't know everything and never will until after our life here, and LET God take care of everything else including the heart and soul of everyone He created, like He should...what a different place this would be.

Unfortunately for Holli, the best biblical parallels for homosexuality are not divorce, slavery, or dietary restrictions, but other sexual sins like incest, adultery and bestiality. Should Christians welcome and celebrate those too? Isn't that being truly inclusive? Does Jesus champion those people as well? GLBT advocates recast Jesus in their own image, ignoring his calls for holiness and his utter rejection of sin. Jesus elevated the sexual standards of his day to an even higher standard than many of the Pharisees (Mt 19). His words to the woman caught in adultery are instructive: "Neither do I condemn you, but go and leave your life of sin." You are free to advocate for so called "marriage equality" all you want, but you call the gospel into disrepute by hitching your wagon to Jesus and his teachings.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are attempting to change his laws to accommodate our world today. Homosexuality is mentioned multiple times in the Bible so it something that was clearly important and not something that can be ignored or looked over. The Old Laws that you mentioned such as eating shrimp or a rebellious son and were given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. However, homosexuality is mentioned multiple times outside of this so it does not fall into this category.

As for someone with a son that is homosexual-- If you had a son that had a problem with a sin such as stealing, would you justify that it was okay because they were a good person inside? Wouldn't you instead pray for them and help them to understand why stealing is wrong rather than support and encourage the sin?

I am not trying to convince non-Christians that homosexuality in wrong but felt that I can say this since you say you are a Christian. I will also continue to love all those I come in contact with. However, Christians should obey what God has instructed and take a stand for what the Bible says.

People who quote Leviticus make me laugh. And makes me think of this article http://dmcr35.blogspot.com/2008/05/this-was-forwarded-to-me-by-my-friend...

Holli, thanks for writing this. I, too, am a Christian who is a supporter of our call to love everyone by and through God. I am also a strong supporter of equal rights for both constitutional and biblical reasons.

To those commenting on specific biblical passages and taking them as the hard a fast, word-for-word literal truth, I believe there is a failure on your part to really evaluate the entirety of God's message. Holli is not selectively dismissing parts of the word of God. Instead, she is approaching it from a holistic, bigger picture viewpoint that takes the entire message of the Bible into account. And even this holistic view is only a fraction of what God knows and understands and is limited to the understanding of the men who wrote it to begin with.

That said, we are not intended to know/understand everything. We are not intended to decide who is 'deserving' of God's love. We are not intended to 'heal' people of their sins, whatever they may be. Our job, as God's children and followers, is to plant a seed of love and acceptance. Our job is to spread the word of His love and to encourage others to come closer to Him. It is as simple as the old children's saying "What Would Jesus Do". The answer to that is simply to love and provide a way for others to discover and experience that love. If there is healing to be done, God will facilitate it through our love towards others.

It saddens me that there are so many Christians out there who shun and turn others away. I do believe that, for even the murderers and other wrong-doers in the world, we should find a way to love and forgive them and teach them about God, even if the only way to love is through Jesus's heart rather than our own. If Jesus resides in each of us and we are called to be his hands and feet, we should love and forgive all as best as we can in the hopes that Jesus's love through us helps to heal them.

I would encourage everyone to approach both your feelings about homosexuality as well as the case for homosexual marriage from the bigger picture - that we are to love all and that, by denying marraige to any two people who are in LOVE (homosexuality is NOT just about sex), we are limiting the constitutional and natural rights of those individuals in this country.

Marriage shouldn't be in the government agenda as it is a non-profit member agreement. Government only cares about corporate-person asset merging and that should be retained to civil union. Let this idiotic conversation of what marriage should be stay within the confines of the different churches and non-governmental organizations. We have child sex traffic, debt, impending wars, starvation, genocide, and corruption that are mildly more pressing than whether you can file your taxes with you partner or not. This nation is a collection of chickens fighting over a piece of grain.

How on earth can you possibly justify a statement like "Homosexuality is not about love, its about sex"? Just because you don't feel that way about men? You can repeat it as many times as you want-- it's still ridiculous.

The problem is, there's still a lot of cherry-picking in these readings of the Bible. What about the passages in the Bible that condemn the eating of shellfish, and having body piercings? And as Holli mentioned in her original post, what about the passages of the Bible that talk about putting children to death if they are disobedient, or other laws that specifically condone slavery?

If you're going to preach against homosexuality based on a few passages from the Bible, then you also shouldn't pierce your ears or allow your children to pierce their ears, and for Heaven's sake don't eat bacon. You also need to sacrifice an animal every time you sin. And slavery is fine, as long as you don't own one of your fellow countrymen. Also, you can't trim your beard in a specific way, and people with a physical handicap shouldn't be allowed in church. So if you were born paraplegic, don't even think about attending church, because if you do, you're going to offend God.

But wait, you say, Jesus' death was the beginning of the new Covenant, a new agreement. That means we don't need to worry about those things anymore. It's good and fine to eat at Red Lobster now, and since our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb, we don't have to spend our time and money maintaining sacrificial herds for the next time we utter a swear word.

Christians also justify no longer following the old Testament laws because many of those laws were practical for the time, but we don't have to worry about such things in this time and place, i.e., it is impractical to raise moisture-loving pigs when all you own is sand and a tent and you live in the desert, and it's easy to get sick from shellfish if you don't know how to prepare it properly.

But the problem with using both of these arguments in conjunction with the condemnation of homosexuality is that you're still employing the use of a pick-and-choose system. We have chosen to adhere to the laws that are convenient for us, or laws that don't give us that "squick" factor. We choose to be okay with people trimming (or even shaving!) their beards, we choose to be okay with pierced ears, we choose not to kill our children if they are disrespectful, and we choose to preach against homosexuality.

Read through Leviticus, and you will find a huge slew of laws that nobody follows today. Yet out of all of those laws, the condemnation of homosexuality is one of the few that has stuck throughout modern Christianity. We have come to an age where we recognize that people should have basic human rights, so no, you shouldn't allow your child to be stoned to death if they back-talk you, even though the Bible says you should, and no, you can't have a slave, even if the Bible says you can. But it's okay for you to tell gay people that what they do is wrong, and forbid them from being together. That starts to look like you're just picking passages out of the Bible that support your personal discomfort with homosexuality.

The other thing is, you can't compare homosexuality to things like thievery, incest, bestiality, adultery, rape, or pedophilia, because in these instances, the sinner is committing a crime or a sin against an unwilling party. That's what sin is about--hurting yourself or other people. The opposite of "do unto others what you would have them do unto you". Whenever we sin, whenever we hurt someone, we are making a decision to hurt someone else for our own gain, however small or large that gain may be. Sin is about being selfish, valuing your needs over the well-being of someone else.

But the thing is, homosexual couples are comprised of two consenting adults. There is no victim and perpetrator here, as there is with a thief and her victim, or a rapist and his victim. You have two people who want to be together. It isn't as if gay people are out there trying to "convert" straight people. Homosexual people seek out other homosexual people for relationships.

Gay couples are in their relationships for the same reason that straight people are--because they want to be in a relationship with each other, because they have found something special in each other. And just because sex is a component of gay relationships, that doesn't mean that sex is the only thing that the relationship is about. Just because the media often has a bad habit of portraying gay men as these flamingo-feathered glittery sex machines, that doesn't mean that all, or even most, gay men adhere to this formula, and to judge an entire group of people by the actions or representations of a few is a gross oversimplification. That's like saying all black people are lazy because you once saw a black person taking a nap.

If gay relationships were only about sex, then why would so many gay couples want marriage equality? Why get married if all you're going to do is have sex? You do not have to be married in order to successfully have sex. Marriage is something you do when you and your partner want to commit to each other for the rest of your lives. If all gay couples wanted was to have sex, they could do that without the hassle of fighting publicly for marriage equality. Marriage is about commitment and love, two very important values. It seems like Christians should be supportive of that.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for people believing in what they want to believe. That's part of what makes America so great--the freedom of belief. But if you want other people to respect your religious viewpoints, then you need to respect theirs, or the lack thereof, and this means you can't restrict the right of gay people to get married just because your interpretation of the Bible says that homosexuality is bad.

Do you read Biblical Hebrew or Greek? This is a translation, and a very poor one at that!

Holli, I appreciate your openness and loving beliefs. The rest of you are also entitled to your beliefs all can argue the Biblical/Christian beliefs/values/laws with Holli all day long. As far as The United States of America is concerned, all people are created equal and should have equal rights under the law. The US Constitution mandates freedom of religion and separation of church and state for all of its citizens. I am not required to follow Christian law and am Constitutionally protected from having to do so.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this issue. I'm a Christian, but am ashamed of how the LGBT community is being persecuted by the mainstream Christian community. I feel like shouting "What Would Jesus Do?!", because I have no doubt that He would LOVE his neighbors.

Thank you Sarah for being well versed in the words of the Lord. It is not up to us to say what is right or wrong, God has already done that for us. I love all sinners because we are all sinner, so how can I say I love my brother in christ if I do not help him with the sin in his life, no matter if it is lying, cheating, stealing, or being homosexual. I feel sad Holli that you can not see the true meaning of God's word. And as a christian I can not see how you could get the views you have from reading the same bible that I read. I pray that one day you can be a true advocate for christ by truly knowing his word.

Sheena, didn't Jesus call us to both love and obedience ("If you love me, you will obey what I command" Jn 14:15)? Sexual purity (including a clear repudiation of homosexuality) was clearly one of those commands!

Brie, didn't Jesus call us to both love and obedience ("If you love me, you will obey what I command" Jn 14:15)? Sexual purity (including a clear repudiation of homosexuality) was clearly one of those commands!

Shannon, it is very simple and there is nothing ridiculous about saying "Homosexuality is not about love its about sex". You simply can not define what homosexuality is without the word sex. It has nothing to do with how I feel towards men, it just the truth. Take away the sexual aspect of it and there is no homosexuality.

Here are a couple definitions for you from Merriam-Webster dictionary-
Definition of HOMOSEXUAL

1: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex
2: of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex

Definition of HOMOSEXUALITY

1: the quality or state of being homosexual
2: erotic activity with another of the same sex

As you can see there is nothing mentioned about love, it is about sex.

Thanks That Guy. We have bigger pressing problems than picking on one that doesn't hurt anyone. It is a private choice around a positive thing...love. What about war, homelessness, child abuse? What about the things that hurt masses of people. Leave homosexuals alone. Let's face it...that's about your personal fear and frankly it is ridiculous! There's nothing worse than the self-righteous Christian. Its up to God to judge that. Mind your own business.

Reads like a few of you have cherry-picked your translations. Those Corinthians citations in your quotes read nothing like the KJV I was raised with. How do you know your choice of translation is more accurate? Are you all Greek scholars?

Here's a demonstration of just how different a passage can be rendered based on the translators' mindset and biases. You're probably familiar with something that goes like this:

"The fool has said in his heart there is no god."

It starts two different Psalms. In a Jewish bible I find:

"The benighted man thinks God does not care."

What a difference! Which do you think is closer to Divine Inspiration?

Definition of HETEROSEXUAL

1
a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward the opposite sex
b : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between individuals of opposite sex
2
: of or relating to different sexes
— het·ero·sex·u·al·i·ty noun
— het·ero·sex·u·al·ly adverb

As you can clearly see by your own reasoning, Matt, for heterosexuality also there is nothing mentioned about love, it is about sex. Take the sexual aspect out, and there is no heterosexuality either.

Hi Holli! I am a transsexual lesbian woman who was once part of the Assembly of God Church. They talked about loving your neighbor as you love yourself etc... They forgave and showed their love for those children that had children out of wedlock, they forgave and should their love those who committed crimes of lust against their spouses, they forgave and showed their love for those who committed crimes against others. They condemned the LGBT for loving each other and their love is not based on sex but the same feelings a heterosexual couple feels towards each other. They hate transgender people even more for not wanting to live as they were born. I was 5 years of age when I knew I was a girl and what was between my legs was not supposed to be there. Since in the 60's sexual teachings was not taught or shown to children how could I know I was a girl? I made the mistake in telling our pastor in the baptist church who used to say if you have a problem come to him and he will help you. I did not know what was going to happen next I thought he would help me in becoming the girl I knew I was. His first words were I was going to hell and condemned for my evil thoughts! I was crushed deeply which drove me to hide who I was for 43 years. It took 35 years for God to get my attention and get me back in church. I have been married 2 times the first was a huge mistake because i thought with lust not love. My second God brought me to her and we had 12 wonderful years and adopted a little girl who I adore, because neither one of us could have children. After 43 years of torturing myself, battling who I was by always out performing the men next to me to prove to myself I was a man and to others, I nearly died from trying to castrate myself.

Now I have had 3 strikes of lighting hit me, 6 car accidents, a dozen motorcycle accidents, a couple of farming accidents, a virus that attacked my heart, severe pneumonia, a severe allergic reaction to the heart meds I was given, not to mention the incompetent doctors who missed the heart problem and the reaction to the drugs which put me on disability. This time I through my pastor out the door of my house for saying the same thing to me that the first pastor did!

My faith in God has not wavered once since coming out as transgender and living now 2 years as a woman on hormones. I have brought several people lost souls back to God by showing His love to them, helped many get over their fears of trans people, reinforced those who were faltering and ready to leave God behind. Who are the real sinners here those who keep bring God's lost and rejected children back to Him?, or those who drive them from Him saying they know what God wants?

In the world straight or gay as a transgender women I am at the bottom of society. I gave up all my status as a man to find extreme peace and happiness as a woman crossing a line most fear to be evil.

I believe God loves all His children not just a few! Like any parent you love your children to the end and so does God!

Hugs
Trisha

I

Matt: Honestly if you think it's all about sex, you're mistaken. My cousin was gay and was picked on, hazed, beat up, and laughed at all throughout high school because of it. He also commited suicide 2 years after high school because of what people told him. I don't believe that he would have went through all that pain in misery just for sex. He was a homosexual, which by your deffinition means he had sexual feeling for someone. Sexual usually do arise in people either overtime or to people that seem really attracted to us. Don't speak about the LBGT community if you've never been there. Because honestly you have no idea what they go through on a daily basis. You wouldn't marry many woman, you probably wouldn't stone your child to death just because he/she was disobedient, and you probably enjoy some kind seafood. So obviously those are sinful things as well.

Jesus would not persecute homosexuals and neither would His disciples. But surely, surely practicing homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of heaven. This is black and white. 100% God stamped.

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God"
(I Corinthians 6:9)

You cannot pick and choose what you want to believe out of the Bible, for ALL scripture is profitable.... (2 Timothy 3:16). Since you profess Christianity with your mouth, then also you are aware that you will be judged. If you disagree in your actions with God's Word, then you should be worried about the day that comes.

"No man can serve two master: for either he will hate the one, and love the other or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24)

To be a Christian, you must fully submit yourself to the Christ for He said "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18). Not to the world. Who, or what, are you submitting yourself to, if not the Lord? This is one of the cornerstones of living a Christian life!

There were many things have I had to change about myself when I was baptized and gave my life to Christ; including indulging in pornography, fornicating, keeping my eyes "in-line" since now I am a married man, and also dealing with my money in a way which it isn't covetous, as I used to be of most importance to me. To do all these things again I would not trade my soul. Not one, for my relationship with Christ!

Again, are you putting the desires of the LGBT community on a pedestal above the will of God? Tread cautiously, because God FORBIDS idolatry.

Living the Christian life means walking the road less traveled (Matthew 7:13-14). It is not an easy way of life, for we (all people) are attacked with temptations and desires. It's this temptations that test our will, according to God's Will, for the kingdom which is coming.

I hope something that has been written here can change your mind. God Bless America...

Matt, you are so right on. I'm not sure when people starting thinking that the Bible teaches things like "openness", "equality" and "acceptance". The God I know care's more about rescuing us from sin than making us feel warm and cozy while we slowly die in it. Last I heard, Jesus came to save us from our sins... not to ensure we all had equality.

Keep up the good fight.

This was a lovely read and is exactly how I feel about Jesus and his message to Christians that are true followers of him. God is Love, Jesus tells us to love everyone and bring them in. To be examples of God's love. And I for one am proud to say I am a Christian Ally. I have seen my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters, my friends feel like they don't matter, like they aren't welcome. Have to search for a church that wil include them and it physically and emotionally hurts me as much as them. We are supposed to be the Church, we are supposed to be the Body of Christ. Let's act like it.

There is not one verse in any part of the Scriptures (both Old and New Covenant) that support homosexual behavior. However, there are many that SPECIFICALLY state it is sinful and others that support this truth. Jesus stated a marriage is between one man and one woman. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed specifically because of homosexuality. (Hence, the origin of the word "sodomy" that we use today). Claiming someone is "cherry picking" about this topic is a deceitful way to excuse things that are unacceptable to God, but that we as humans want to decide for ourselves. All of Scripture warns of sexual impurity and immorality. But what is specifically stated concerns homosexuality and beastiality. We are commanded to love God FIRST and FOREMOST, then others as we love ourselves. When a Christian will not accept what God has stated in the Bible because it doesn't fit their idea of "fair" they have put themselves in the position of God. Never are we commanded to put a stamp of approval on something He has called sin. We are told to not judge those "of" the world. This does not mean judging actions, it is referring to judging a person's righteousness, or lack thereof. No one can judge a person's heart because only God knows it. We also know the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things and without cure. So, we must be very cautious and only use God's Word in our lives. Remember, satan can and does use Scripture to deceive. (ex: in the garden of Eden). Therefore, we must be aware and wise of his schemes. When we turn away from what God has said is sin, we are turning away from Him. The one who loves Him is the one who obeys Him. In today's culture it is very difficult for a Christian to stand firm in what the Bible teaches because the world is controlled by satan and he is our enemy. He will use whatever tactic he can to deceive and destroy Christians. Do not think that you are immune to his ways. The only way to overcome is to submit to God first. If we love someone we love them as a person, but that doesn't mean we accept any sinful behavior. A homosexual most likely knows a Christian who lives by God's Word is not accepting of their behavior. But, that doesn't mean we treat the PERSON negatively. That is not how Jesus taught us to live. But beware that He did not teach to condone any sin, in anyone. That is why we are all "equal", because we all sin. If we buy into apostasy and lies we are not His children, we are the devil's children. So, I humbly plead for you to not take what I say as being truth, search the Scriptures daily and follow ONLY what they say. Not what you think, not what you feel, but what is written. May the Lord Jesus lead us into all truth and godliness. May He alone receive the glory when we obey His commands and love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

I find myself thinking about Christian to Christian. The harshest comments Jesus had was to the religious leaders who missed the point. Are you empowered to me or me to you? I think of Jesus not just calling out to stop the misrepresentation, but also to protect the abused by the "righteous." He stood up to them who wanted to exercise the letter of the law in stoning a woman caught in adultery, (and at the same time trap Him). However, Jesus showed the balance by challenging the accusers to consider their own purity before throwing a stone but then also turning to the woman to "go and sin no more." Apparently the "consenting adults" argument does not apply to adulterers. What sin(s) are we called out on to repent? If adulterers have a higher despair rate that causes them to leave responsibilities with their children or to consider suicide, should we as society just embrace them with "open arms," or consider marching with them in future "Adulterer Pride" parades or events?

Consider reading this brilliantly written essay by Dr. Bill Buffie: 'Marriage Equality, Religion, and Politics'. and add your signature to support equality for ALL Indiana citizens. Add your voice to "One Voice Indiana".
http://www.onevoiceindiana.org/religion-politics-2/religion-politics/

So well-said! This is exactly how I feel, I'm totally sharing this now and definitely showing this to my kiddos:) Thanks for a great article!

Jesus came to Fulfill the law. To make it complete. The law of Moses was INSPIRED by God. It came through a sinful man a Murderer, he took multiple wives, ordained genocides, but our God never turned his back on him. Our beloved brother Jesus/Yahshua made a very valid statement when his followers asked him why a man would not marry a woman. Matthew 19:12 NIV - For there are eunuchs who were BORN THAT WAY, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
People will follow the Law of Man before they follow Jesus who was SIN FREE and a split image of GOD. In order to understand the Bible we must read it entirely no cherry picking. Read Mathew, Mark, Luke, John. Jesus gives us great teachings!! The law of man is incomplete, but Jesus words last from beginning to end. Praise God!

Matt,

I am a gay Christian who tried much of my life to think as you preach, only to fall into depression and spite for God. Eventually I had to decide that accepting myself, with the freedom to have a relationship, was the only way to find peace with Christ, which is ultimately the only way to Heaven. Set many of your modern versions of the Bible aside and read the more ancient interpretations. Homosexuality, as we know it today, is never even used. It was the biased, modern translators who inserted it as a substitute for unclear words or phrases--don't forget that that the Bible was written in Hebrew, not modern English.

I will pray for you Matt. That is the best advice I can give.

If the message Jesus brought was love, grace and compassion, any supposed 'Christian' stance that is not loving, graceful or compassionate is wrong. It's very simple. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's very simple. I, for example, find it incredibly difficult to show love, grace and compassion towards people who use the Bible to justify homophobia.

And, incidentally, the Bible is NOT the word of God. It is a collection of accounts of the actions of people who encountered God. People who, like us, were prone to jealousy, fear, anger and poor communication skills.

Homosexuality is not about sex. When my son was 5, he was clearly homosexual and he didn't know what sex was. Where the bible addresses homosexuality it is in the context of gang rape and idol worship. When two men are in love with each other rape and idolatry do not even enter into the picture. The verses you quote in Leviticus prohibit many more things such as wearing 2 different types of fabric together, which I'm certain you are guilty of yourself. When you quote Romans, you start at "for this reason..." This has always troubled me as a mother of a gay child. For what reason? My son never made birds or animals and worshipped them! The reason is idolatry plain and simple! When Paul wrote this letter to the Romans, there were sex orgies at the altar of worship to other Gods, made in the form of animals and praised. Men were having sex with other men as a form of worship. This is not the same context as someone who is born with more x then y genes and attracted to the same sex. What about 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? -- have you ever done wrong? Do some more homework!

Brie,
Your last paragraph has really hit home with me. I am struggling right now to find a church home for my family and for me that isn't preaching what Matt has written. My children go to a very conservative Christian school and while they are learning to love the Lord and are saved...they are also are struggling (as am I) to find a place of worship that is open and accepting of the gay community. It is important to us since my sister is gay and we feel like hypocrites if we are sitting in a place of worship that thinks that she is full of sin and would not welcome her into their home.

Here is my question... The Lutheran church is open and accepting but the liturgical structure is so different and not as full of praise as we have known. Do we go to the Baptist church and PRAISE our LORD but also know their philosophy does not match with ours or head back to the Lutheran church? Have you found a church family that supports your Christian views? Thanks!

You need to make sure you interpret the Bible correctly, and not just to push your own beliefs. The original Greek and Hebrew that the Bible was written in NEVER uses the word homosexual . If you do not correctly interpret the bible, you would still be sitting in a church that separates the sexes, men would still have concubines, your child would be stoned when he disrespected you, and you would be an abomination to God if you ate your shrimp and lobster...make sure you know what you are saying..don't be so holy you can't touch the sinner next to you...you are only saved by the grace of God...nothing of your own..study the scriptures to find yourself approved of God....know the language it was written, the time and for whom.

Matt,
What you have done is so wrong! I feel sad for you as well as the people you have offended. I am heterosexual (and yes I love having sex with my wife as should any married person with their spouse Gay or straight) however I believe the same as the article above. My parents and pastor might I add do not. But the difference between them and you is simple: they do not try to attack anyone or demean them, or even more importantly try to tell them they don't feel how they do. My point is no matter what you believe there is no call for how you approached it, and I hope someday you can realize that.

Not all homosexuality couples are together for sex.
No one on Earth can determine what God sees as sin or not. The Bible can be interpereted in many different ways.
The Bible claims that God loves ALL of his children, but people always say that homosexuals are bad people and they're all destined to go to hell. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE OUR DESTINATION UNLESS YOU ARE GOD! Stop judging people.

Thank you, Matt, for having the courage to speak the truth and not cave to popular opinion. The bible is so clear on homosexuality, but when people don't want to believe it, they scramble for every illogical excuse and fabricated doctrine to continue in their sin. They are only hurting themselves. This life is very short compared to eternity.

Holli, first off, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart as well as my family for your support and your Christian views! My husband and I have been together for 25 years now and thru the years we have seen and been the brunt of a lot of prejudice over the years! You see Holi, I am terminally ill and we left our home in Houston, TX to move to the deep south bible belt in Mississippi about 13 years ago because my health was declining and we needed to slow down and enjoy life more. During these past 13 years we have experienced true hate and prejudice like the kind you only hear about or read about! Although the small town we lived in everyone knew we were gay but still had a lot of friends and supporters. It was not until we opened some DVD/Game rental and electronic stores that the "Christians" really took notice of us and could not allow us to prosper because we were an abomination (as they gracefully put it)! So what happened next was a horror story that I never wish on anyone. Because of our communities "Family Values" we our thriving and once prosperous business was basically destroyed overnight , we were faced with death threats, being burned out of our home, I was ran off the road several times and all of this was done under the guise of God and the Church! Because of God and the church we were forced to leave our home and loose our business for fear of our safety! The same church groups that we supported and donated to monthly from our stores were the same people that were basically running us out of town! We were forced to move to Fort Worth where now the only income we have is my Social Security Disability check and we are homeless! We went from being VERY productive members of society with a strong presence in our community to having to live with relatives while we try and figure out what to do! This has brought me to the brink of suicide as I sat back and watched everything that we worked our entire lives for vanish in front of my eyes! It's people like your family that helps restore just a little bit of my faith in humanity!
Michael and Mark

Well Said!!

Michelle...You are only offended because you cannot see the topic from an unbiased viewpoint. I get that this is emotional for you because you have a family member who is homosexual. However, there is no love in allowing people to continue down the path to destruction. Being comfortable in this life at the expense of eternity is not wise. The verse quoted in Corinthians isn't saying that a homosexual necessarily has all those other sins as well. It is merely a list of the sins that are offensive to God and which will cost us eternal life if we continue in ANY of them. Homosexuality is just one of those sins. The most loving thing you can do for someone who has those feelings is to show them why they mustn't act on them. There are a lot of people apart from homosexuals who have to develop some self-control over their emotions, so as live in a way that is pleasing to God. These days everyone thinks it is OK to have sex with anyone anywhere. But God doesn't condone that, as we can see from that verse. He doesn't approve of sexual immorality or adultery. This is a call to all of us to clean up our act. And, if we are not married, then we are not supposed to be having sex at all.

Matt, I'm sorry to hear about your proof-texting the Bible. This is precisely why Jesus was reprimanding the Saduccees. Your 'clarity' and certainty are based on something so fragile: translation. Culturally, homosexual acts were significantly different from now. Perhaps that is not a good enough argument for you. Then let us explore the word here: malakois. This idea can mean effeminate or a catamite, a boy kept for homosexual practices by an adult (a concept we can all agree is wrong). If you pull one word out of Paul's list you must read them all equally. Take porneia (pornoi), for example, a male prostitute or fornicator (two entirely different ideas). Jesus is clear that if you have lusted in your heart then you are guilty. This means any man who watches TV, browses the internet or sees any advertisement while ambulating is equally guilty of not inheriting the kingdom. Sexual immorality is ubiquitous and unavoidable as sex is the foundation of American capitalism. By buying goods that use sex in their advertising you are supporting sexual immorality. What about thieves and robbers? Have you drank a cup of coffee lately or eaten a piece of chocolate? Do you shop at Wal-mart and other discount stores? If (inevitably) so, you have stolen from the hard work of underpaid farmers/employees and more importantly participated in the largest institution of slavery that has ever existed in human history. We support child slavery in much that we do. By being a westerner, you necessarily fit into this list--unless of course, you are Amish, et al. The point is that none of us deserve a thing from God. In the midst of our seeming 'total depravity', God provides [prevenient] grace through the witness of Jesus and the beckoning of the Holy Spirit. Even the pope understands Matt 7.1: "Judge not, lest you be judged." Live by the law-->die by the law. Is that your strategy? The grace that Christ attested to is that the law is not a good indicator of one's nearness to God. I pray that you will leave legalism behind and embrace the grace that Christ extends to ALL persons.

I keep trying to find where in the Bible it says we become Christians by how we interpret the Bible. I also wonder where in the Bible that certain activities preclude one from being a Christian -- and more especially certain ways of loving. My understanding keeps coming back to being kept as Christians by faith, not works, lest any person should boast. God is a God of justice and will put everything in it's right order (which is the true meaning of justice.) Even the law is not static. How can grace be static? The alpha and omega of my life is Jesus. Never once did he condemn homosexuals. How does a follower of his presume to do more?

I believe that the comandments are still relevant to Christianity to this day but!! It doesn't mean we judge n point our fingures at people for their sin. The law should be followed be love n grace not by regulations n rules. I hate that people feel like that they can't came to church and fill that they can not sit in cause of what they have done. It is not for us to judge but god alone. I go to a baptist church that was and is still slightly still is full of judgement pushing people away which is completely wrong. It's between god n that person and their personal relationship with Jesus to change their sinful ways. Before coming back to god I use yo get drunk all the time but now I gave it to god n he closed that door begind. This is not to say that I don't don't sin n get it wrong but the fact I have a close personal relationship with Jesus I give it to him asking him for his forgiveness. I would love if for my church to be full of people from the commuinity learning about Jesus ande being a testomony and a witeness of Jesus.
Stop judging n start loving each other
God bless

I consider myself a Christian. Simply show me where JESUS says something about being gay. Jesus said a lot about feeding the poor, loving our neighbors, and visiting the sick or imprisoned. Above all these things he said love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind. If being gay were important Jesus would have mentioned it.

This is quiet interesting I believe we should stay true to god's word n follow the bible but love everyone n accept each other like Jesus did. The law is still part of today within the New Testament but through love n grace rather then rules n regulations. Praying and guiding someone is better then pointing n judging someone.
N we should never turn anyone away cause of their sins but bring them to god cause in the end we are all sinners. I believe giving it to god is the best way.
We should accept everyone into church no matter what. I pray for my church to be filled with people from the community sitting amongst Christians learning about Jesus n me being the witness n testimony to then in Jesus name. Before coming back to the Jesus I rebels against Jesus but now back it him he forgave all the sin I did such as getting completely drunk all the time. That doesn't mean I don't sin now cause it's in our nature to sin but I give to god so let's stop judging and love by gracing bringing people into our church n give it to god when we do wrong. His the only one to judge not us!!
God bless

The following is the definition of heterosexual. If you notice it is based on SEX. "Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of opposite sex or gender in the gender binary. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate, physical or romantic attractions to persons of the opposite sex"

Some people just don't get it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OiDrbipW34 I would encourage you all to watch this video. Thank you for this post, Holli.

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