A Brief Biblical Case

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But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:34-40

10 Bible-Based Reasons to Support LGBT Christians

1. Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to LGBT people.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that good trees bear good fruit, but the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships has caused tremendous, needless suffering to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

2. Sexual orientation is a new concept, one the Christian tradition hasn’t addressed.
Many Christians draw on our faith’s traditions to shape our beliefs, but the concept of sexual orientation is new. Before recent decades, same-sex behavior was understood along the lines of gluttony or drunkenness—as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to—not as the expression of a sexual orientation. The Christian tradition hasn’t spoken to the modern issue of LGBT people and their relationships.

3. Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate.
The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living—Jesus was celibate, after all—but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice made by those who have the gift of celibacy. Requiring that all gay people remain celibate because their sexuality is “broken” is at odds with the Bible’s teachings on celibacy.

4. Sodom and Gomorrah involved an attempted gang rape, not a loving relationship.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is commonly assumed to have been the result of God’s wrath against homosexuality, but the only form of same-sex behavior described in the story is an attempted gang rape—nothing like the loving, committed relationships that are widespread today. The Bible explicitly condemns Sodom for its arrogance, inhospitality, and apathy toward the poor, but never for same-sex behavior.

5. The prohibitions in Leviticus don’t apply to Christians.
Leviticus condemns male same-sex intercourse, but the entire Old Testament law code has never applied to Christians in light of Christ’s death. Leviticus also condemns eating pork, rabbit, or shellfish, cutting hair at the sides of one’s head, and having sex during a woman’s menstrual period—none of which Christians continue to observe.

6. Paul condemns same-sex lust, not love.
Like other ancient writers, Paul described same-sex behavior as the result of excessive sexual desire on the part of people who could be content with opposite-sex relationships. He doesn’t have long-term, loving same-sex relationships in view. And while he describes same-sex behavior as “unnatural,” he also says men having long hair goes against nature, and most Christians read that as a reference to cultural conventions.

7. The term “homosexual” didn’t exist until 1892.
Some modern Bible translations say that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God, but neither the concept nor the word for people with exclusive same-sex attraction existed before the late 19th century. While the Bible rejects lustful same-sex behavior, that isn’t close to a condemnation of all gay people and relationships.

8. Marriage is about commitment.
Marriage often involves procreation, but according to the New Testament, it’s based on something deeper: a lifelong commitment to a partner. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples.

9. Human beings are relational.
From the beginning of Genesis, human beings are described as having a need for relationship, just as God himself is relational. Sexuality is a core part of what it means to be a relational person, and to condemn LGBT people’s sexuality outright damages their ability to be in relationship with all people—and with God.

10. Faithful Christians are already embracing LGBT brothers and sisters.
From denominations like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA) to organizations like the Gay Christian Network and the Reformation Project, Christians across the country are already putting their commitment to LGBT equality in action. They’re showing their fellow believers what it looks like to be a faithful Christian who fully affirms LGBT Christians.

These ten statements are from The Reformation Project which exists to train Christians to support and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Through building a deep grassroots movement, we strive to create an environment in which Christian leaders will have the freedom to take the next steps toward affirming and including LGBT people in all aspects of church life. The Refprmation project was begun by openly gay, LGBT activist Matthew Vines. Vines, who recently released his book God and the Gay Christian, is perhaps best known for the viral YouTube video “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality.”

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

8 responses to “A Brief Biblical Case

  • Edward Morgan

    Thanks for writing about this. I think these are powerful arguments (based in the Bible) about why Christians should welcome gay people with open arms. Do you think this would convince your mother or those who you go to church with?

  • bj4u269

    Good morning Sire. I must state this was a very Powerful message you put out here and tugged a bit in my Heart Strings. I “IMOP” think that all People should be recoginized as EQUAL, Loveing, Caring, individuals. I don’t think it should matter if your Christian or Non-Christian, the only way I see in the “consenting or convincing” of changes coming about, is by excepting the fact that EVERYONE has the Right to Choose who they fall in Love with, be Loved by, and Marry who ever they Choose to be with.

    Like in the statement from Ed in a post above where he says:::why Christians should welcome gay people with open arms.::: Fantastic approach and thought! I agree with him and you, but I would go a step further and approach it by saying:::: why Each and Every Person living in the todays world, SHOULD welcome your Straight, Bi, Gay, Lesb. Trans. Black, White, Brown, Tall, Short, Handicap’d, neighbors, friends, family, sisters & brothers, etc. and Yes, WE should welcome EVERYONE with Open Arms and Open Hearts. Treat each and everyone of US as WE would like to be treated..”with respect”.

    I’m not say’n that We all have to hold hand or be best friends, and all agree with each other all the time…..but to be a friendly person, say “hi neighbor” or “good morning” as we pass each other somewhere in travel. I am just getting tired of seeing, hearing, reading of all the Issues, NON-Issues dealing with EQUALITY of ALL, SSM, Gay, Bi etc. We , You, I, Them, Those, WE are all HUMAN beings, and should be entitled to Live, Love, and Enjoy Our/Their lifes as THEY CHOOSE. Come-On World & it’s People, Open your Hearts and Give It a Try!!
    We will ALL benifit from it!!

    WOW, I feel much better now…guess I had alot to release, and I do “Thank You” and the readers here in your post for let’n me vent.

    You take good car Professer (name??) stay strong and stay safe.<3 John.

    • closetprofessor

      John, I completely agree with you. It doesn’t matter if we are religious or not, we should all treat each other equally. I wrote these posts and find these things to share because far too often people use religion to push inequality, and that is not what God would want. He wants us to love one another. Maybe one day the message of loving your fellow man will reach a wide enough audience to take over the world. Until then, I will do my part, encourage others to do theirs, and pray for a better more loving world.

      Joe

      • John

        Hi Joe, thanks for replying . I am totally standing beside you and your thoughts here. Your wish is one we share with thousands more who know the World and its people are in fact making this change a reality. Hugs and love to you Joe.

      • closetprofessor

        Thanks. You really warmed my heart with your words.

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