Let me start this blog off with the same disclaimer that I started off yesterday’s. I intended to go more into this yesterday but due to my tendency to ramble I ended up wearing myself out before I could touch on it! I didn’t want to wait though so I put together this tonight.
***Disclaimer – I am no theologian nor have I any scholarly credentials to support my information. This comes from years and years of research, torment of my brain, prayers, studies, books, podcasts, sermons, conversations, MORE PRAYERS, MORE SERMONS, more books, articles, websites, google searches…. and the list goes on and on. After reading that, maybe I should have some credentials behind my name. Truth be told, I am credentialed as a Gay Christian so I can speak to both of the subjects. In all seriousness, I have not gone to school nor have I been blessed as someone who can speak with authority on the matter. (O yes, my grammar is not on point and I currently don’t have an editor…)
This blog is not intended to sway anyones beliefs, thoughts or feelings. What it is intended to do is to make you think. How many times in your life have you thought one thing and it ended up being totally different. For instance, color blind people might see one color and insist its green when in fact, its blue. Everyone’s reality is different and you need to be open to listening and not making judgement because it’s something you heard your whole life or because its something you simply are not informed on.
Let’s talk what it means to be gay/lesbian first. I can’t speak to the other alphabet of letters that represent the “LGBTQ” community. I CAN speak to gay/lesbian (well not really lesbian because I’m not into construction or the Indigo girls…lol… I love the Indigo Girls…. (starts singing)…. “hardest to learn was the least complicated”).
To be gay means you are attracted to the same-sex. It doesn’t mean you are into multiple partners, do drugs, party all the time (even though a good party is fun), sleep around, and whatever other main stream stereotype exists out there. Honestly, sometimes I forget I’m gay (besides the fact that I am attracted to men). Just like in the straight community, EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. The gay community can equally mirror the gay community, good and bad. The only difference is that one is looked upon as wrong and the other, not.
The point in me defining this seemingly easy word is because I want you to rid your mind of preconceived notions of what it means to be gay. I mean aren’t we all a little Mary Poppins “gay” sometimes. I know I like to frolic along the hills singing a good song. Wait, is that the right movie? Ahhh, you get my point.
Ok, on to the topic … (Josh stop rambling…. don’t you love my aside comments…. totally A-D-D… FOCUS)
I’m going to touch on the most common statements/thoughts/questions that people have in regards to homosexuality and the Bible (or being a Gay Christian).
“God created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve”. This comment is indeed a fact. God did not create Adam and Steve in light of the story written in Genesis. He created Eve so that Adam was not alone. He also created Eve so that they could populate the world. Why would he have created Steve to reproduce with Adam. It’s not anatomically possible for Steve to carry out childbirth. Granted God was creating this all from dust so I guess he could have given Steve ovaries but he chose Eve so no need in thinking too much about it.
There really isn’t much to provide a case one way or the other on this subject. There was NO mention of gay people as at this point in time, NO ONE ELSE EXISTED. It didn’t talk about anyone. Again, the purpose of Adam and Eve was to populate the Earth. While some will argue that God created Adam and Eve because it should be male and female. If we go on the logic that because there was no mention of gay people then that means its wrong then we should also believe that since there was no brother or sister or grandparent mentioned then those are wrong to have as well. The Bible doesn’t talk about marriage at this point either or that wedding rings were involved. It we want to use this logic then you must assume that everything not mentioned must be wrong.
Next, Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom is mentioned 48 times and never once was homosexuality given as the cause of God’s judgement. This passage is about the oppression of a strangers, gang rape, and poor hospitality. I know that seems pretty shallow considering the depth in which the Bible goes but if you review the scripture, study the language and compare your resources you will find that the bigger picture of the story is that these men were seeking to gang rape the angels. When women were offered initially the men rejected the notion of “yada”-ing (yada means “to know” as in Biblical to know as in inappropriate for young readers) with the ladies. Virgin daughters were thrown out as offerings but again denied. The intent wasn’t to have sex, it was to dominate and control the newcomers to the city. The goal of homosexual rape is the male inhabitants’ desire to express their dominance over the strangers. Think about in today’s world, the joke is “don’t drop the soap” in prison right? Why is this a joke? It’s because if you do then you could potentially become someone’s “toy” in jail. It’s the same concept but brought to the 21st century.
Alright, how about Leviticus for 20 Alex? IT’S THE DAILY DOUBLE! Awesome! How else would you start this paragraph? During this time in the Canaanite history, the inhabitants were addicted to Baal worship. Conducted by priests, cult worship of false gods included shrine prostitution and temple prostitution. “When Israel left Egypt and entered Palestine, God warned them against worshiping Molech, Leviticus 18:3, 21-22, 26ff; 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 23, and by extension, his consort, Ashtoreth, the Canaanite fertility goddess, because God hates the worship of false gods” (Macarthur, p.1083). Again, God is warning them against idolatry. Remember, gay does not equal idol worshiper. Macarthur goes on to talk about the use of eunuchs (and some parents even mutilated their kids) to prepare them for service to the idols. It was a common satanic practice. So to sum this up for you, the comparison in use of words is not equal to that of today’s gay couple. The terms used in this book are referring to cultish shrine prostitution or temple prostitution (whatever you want to call it). The worship of false God’s led them astray from the one true God.
Lastly, I’ll address the scriptures in Romans. I’ll have to admit when I was struggling with this the most I would always go back to these scriptures as the “slap in the face”. If I ever thought, “yay, gay is yay!” then all I needed to do was to visit old Romans and back to the corner I went. Fortunately through all my ex-gay training, counseling, research and church, I learned what the scriptures were really talking about and the fact that the words have been translated so many ways and times that the true meaning has been distorted. BUT, even if I take all of that out, it helps to understand the culture of the Romans so that you get a bigger picture of the WHOLE story, not the narrow story shared in church.
Dr. Leon Morris, Ph.D from the University of Cambridge, stated “there can be little doubt but that Paul is referring to the practice of ritual prostitution which was all but universal in the idolatrous systems of the first century… in the nature cults, for example, people thought that they had the secret of fertility. By the use of appropriate rituals, which included the sex act, they held that they could secure growth and vitality”. It isn’t simply that these people were gay. It’s that they turned from God and sought to have sex with whoever they could in order to worship a false God. They weren’t concerned with serving the one true God, they were only concerned with themselves. This isn’t the same definition of the gay people I know.
Paul’s writings were speaking to an audience that was very familiar with the first century world in which he lived. Paul crafted his argument in Romans 1 to set specific context of Gentile and Jewish history, which included illustrations familiar to first century readers. These FC readers were intimately acquainted (which we are not… or most of us anyways) with Greek, Jewish and Roman culture and the shrine prostitution which was rampant in those ancient cultures.
Again, you see how this doesn’t seem quite as cut and dry? Again, do you see how this is pointing to the worship of false gods, idolatry, shrine prostitution and rape? As with most things in the Bible, God wants us to dig deeper to understand his message. I find it quite ironic that we refer to the Bible as the message because how often are messages really clear? If they come from someone who is not of your world (not your bestie, sister, brother, or friend) then often times there’s tons of room for confusion. We have to interpret the message the best we can with the tools we have. If we just read it and run with it there are many times that we will run left when we were supposed to run right.
In addition to the thought above, do you remember the game telephone? When you sat in a circle and started a phrase and then it repeated all the way around to the end-user who then had to say what they heard? How often, in your experience, did this come out the way it was intended? The Bible isn’t much different. While yes this is a HOLY BOOK and was DIVINELY inspired, people still did the transcribing. They still wrote from their human perspective and minds. This happened over and over as the Bible was translated through the years.
What I can say from my own life and my own experience, I am NONE of the things described in these stories. I seek the ONE TRUE GOD (my belief system), Christ my Lord and HE KNOWS IT. He knows my deepest darkest thoughts. He knows the nights I wanted to abandon my faith, end my life, exclude myself from my family and friends. He knows when I am frustrated with being gay and when I want to just “try with a girl”. God knows EVERYTHING ABOUT ME. God also knows that I seek him first and I want him present in my life. It is VERY TANGIBLE to feel God in your life. If you aren’t sure then you need to know the difference. God’s presence is the best HIGH you will ever feel. God lives in me and through me and creates more magic than I ever hoped to create. If you know me, I hope you can testify that you see God in me. If not, call me out on that, not my sexuality. As Christians, we are called to hold one another to always seeking GOD. Not one of us interpret the Bible perfectly so until God gives you the cliffnotes with all the answers, please don’t assume I am blindly walking my journey.
I hope after reading all of this you at least leave willing to pray that God provide deeper revelation for you. I hope that you take the time not to judge someone because they are different or because you disagree with the decisions they make. I hope you take the time not to judge yourself based on what you might have heard your whole life. Take time to learn for yourself and God will meet you there. God is right there with you, sinner or saint. God loves you and wants you seeking his face. In the great words of Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing”!!!
Thank you to my resources….
The MacArthur Bible Commentary, John MacArthur, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005, p. 1038. Identical information is found in The MacArthur Study Bible, Revised & Updated Edition, 1997, p. 1326, note on Zephaniah 1:5.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary, The Epistle to the Romans, by Dr. Leon Morris, 1988, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, p. 89.