Didn’t Jesus call us to bothDidn’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!
Andy, thank you for yourAndy, thank you for your comment. The LGBT Christians I know – myself included – generally believe that we are being obedient to God (well, as much as any sinful human being can be). We’ve searched the scripture, and spent significant time in prayer reconciling our faith and our orientation, and I know at least for me that I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be the height of arrogance for me to reject the orientation that God saw fit to give me. I believe that I am commanded to display the same virtues in my relationships as any straight person – fidelity, kindness, self-sacrifice, gentleness and respect – but no, I would disagree with you that the act of loving a woman is in itself disobedience. God’s design is grander than we give Him credit for sometimes.
Casey, I think your commentsCasey, I think your comments fall into the is/ought fallacy. Simply because something is genetic or present at birth does not imply its goodness or rightness: alcoholism, Down’s syndrome, deafness are a few examples. I don’t mean to disparage those born with such conditions, but to highlight the absurdity of celebrating something that is as necessarily the way it ought to be. I hope that those born with a predisposition toward alcoholism reject it utterly instead of celebrating it. By implication, even if homosexuality is genetic (the social science is still unsettled at this point), I don’t think that closes the argument.
Mark Anthony Jones
I would love to see whereI would love to see where Jesus has clearly repudiated homosexuality. I understand Leviticus, but Galatians says we are no longer under the law, but under grace. There are other problems with Levitical law for our times as well.
Since I can only find Romans, Corinthians and few other New Testament scriptures that could even apply, NOT spoken by JESUS, and I have studied this issue extensively and have two degrees in religion, I would ask you this – Have you gone back to the Greek text to look at the context? And can you tell us what pederasty is? And can you tell us where in the scripture there is mention of non-consensual sex or sexual abuse? –Something I am sure you would admit is very damaging on many levels to both parties. There is nothing in New Testament scripture referencing consensual relations between two people of the same age and same sex who genuinely care for each other, in my opinion.
Just thoughts for those who genuinely wish to study to know the truth (as 2 Timothy 2:15 states), not create it from out of misunderstanding and fear.
Excellent article Casey.
Mark, I happen to have twoMark, I happen to have two graduate degrees in religion and have done extensive work in the original languages. You can create all the conditions you like in order to point out a supposed “lack” of Scriptures that speak to that exact case, but I think you are avoiding the point. Both the OT and NT clearly and consistently reject any goodness in homosexual relations; even pro-homosexual theologian Walter Wink admits that. Whether consensual or not makes no difference. As for the ‘Jesus never mentions it’ canard, he also never mentions rape or torturing children. To be more accurate, he is not recorded in the gospels as teaching about such things- BUT that is probably because such things are so obvious that they did not need to be taught. Jesus affirms marriage as grounded in Creation as being between a man and woman, so yes, he does reject homosexuality by implication. Let’s dispense with such trite objections, shall we?
Andy, since you seem toAndy, since you seem to accept, at least to an extent, that my sexual orientation may be something that has always been a part of me and which was not chosen… does it bother you at all that under your theology there is a class of people for whom God has said, counter to Genesis, that it is good that we be alone? That the comfort, joy, and spiritual growth that heterosexual Christians derive from their marriages, from their families, is denied to us? Is that consistent with the God you know? Even if it were not my own life and spiritual experience, I would know from observation that the love between committed same-sex couples bears good fruit, and is a gift to them. My Bible says that all good gifts come from God, and that we know the nature of a thing by the fruit it bears. If I were to follow your theology, to deny that my sexual orientation is a gift from God I would be compelled to call the manifest love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control demonstrated by these couples evil. I can’t do that, and maintain any pretense at integrity or honesty. I wonder how you can.
These are excellent commentsThese are excellent comments Casey, thank you for continuing the conversation with civility. To your “alone” point: Gays are not condemned to be alone any differently than heterosexual singles. If God created male and female, and if sexual intimacy is designed for heterosexual marriage (as I believe Genesis 1-2 teaches, and as counter-culturally affirmed by Jesus), then chastity is for all outside of that. And yes, that included me as a single, heterosexual male before I married my wife. God has an intent for our sexuality, and sex is more than plumbing and nerve endings. It is not something we do, it is something we are. Something of ourselves is involved in this and we cannot engage in it without it affecting ourselves. This is the deeper theological dimension I find missing in these debates among believers.
Also, to not be married is not to be alone in an ultimate sense. Gays, singles, those who have lost a spouse are still part of extended families and deep friendships. And to be clear, heterosexuals do not get an automatic pass to heaven!
To your “good fruit” point: There is both brokenness and goodness in all relationships. God gives good gifts to all kinds of people in all kinds of settings that cannot be construed as an implicit endorsement (the Reformers called this common grace). Rain falls on and sustains the righteous and unrighteous alike. There are passionate atheists with great marriages and that is a gift from the God they deny, not an affirmation of their atheism. A successful businessman who mistreats his wife should not view his material success as a sign of God’s approval of his spousal abuse. So I think it requires some discernment and biblical warrant to make your case. Or, to put it more boldly, the presence of good in same sex relationships does not obscure that they are a fundamental denial of who God has created us to be. The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness.
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