Homosexuality and the Bible: a Flowchart

Not sure of the original source on this, but I think it’s pretty great.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • A Christian, Just Like You

    Matthew 19: 5.  “and Jesus said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’”  Um, yeah, Jesus did say something about the genders of people getting married. A MAN will hold fast to his WIFE.  But, thanks for the name-calling.  Pardon me if I don’t reciprocate.  Ephesians 5: 29 says “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”  So rather than calling you names, I will say what I wish you would recognize and that is that we both believe in Jesus Christ, but we differ on how scripture is interpreted regarding the issue of gay marriage and that does not make either of us less followers of Jesus Christ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1216004397 Stacey Krepcio Olivieri

      That passage was in response to a question about divorce, specifically is it lawful to leave your wife. But regardless of it being taken out of context, by your logic- if a man or a woman never marry anyone, does that make them as sinful as a homosexual?

    • Billshearer1908

      The minister at the church I go (turning into “went”) just gave a sermon on this (Matthew 19) passage and all I could think of the entire time was how out of context he was taking it.  He, too, spoke about how that was how Jesus definitively said marriage was between a man and a woman.  He never mentioned that it was two groups of Pharisees trying to trip Jesus up with Mosaic law questions.  6,000 people heard it that day. 6,000 people think that means gay marriage is banned by the bible.  6,000 people are going out and putting words into Jesus’ mouth.

    • isaacplautus

       I would have a lot more respect for this viewpoint if you all didn’t insist on using it as justification to strip gays and lesbians of their civil rights.  Remember that tolerance cuts both ways.  You can’t accuse others of intolerance if you are supporting laws that ban gay couples from sharing property and hospital visitation. 

    • Booboolahditto

      What makes a follower of Jesus is not discrimnation, but unconditional love.  Apply this to life, and demonstrate His  Sacred Way.

    • Frank

      Exactly! Jesus affirmed the created design of marriage and sexuality very clearly here.

  • http://www.fivedills.com Greg Dill

    The fact that the Bible makes no mention of same sex marriage and male/male sexual relationships in a positive light should be a good indicator for us. Furthermore, marriage is always defined between a man and a woman throughout Scripture, whether it’s with one woman or many women, nevertheless, it is always between male and female. Even though we live in a broken world and divorce is rampant in some societies (not all), we shouldn’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Ironically, Jesus addresses the issue of divorce in the context of a man leaving a woman, never a man leaving a man. This should also be a good indicator for us.

    Bible aside, if we take a look at the created world that God designed, it doesn’t take a scientist to see that man and woman are clearly created for one another physically and mentally. There is a reason why God designed men and women the way we are. God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” certainly couldn’t be achieved by male/male unions. Obviously, God gave this command with heterosexual union in mind. Physiologically, the human brain is developed in utero with a predisposition towards the opposite sex. This can only be done by the hands of a Creator. Any affection toward the same sex can only be determined by external and environmental experiences.

    For more on the physiological wirings of the male brain and how it works, predisposed towards the opposite sex, I highly recommend, “Wired for Intimacy” by William Struthers.

    Lastly, pro-gay theology has never really held much sway. The “male prostitute vs. homosexual” debate is rather old and dated and is easily debunked with a little help from our Greek/Hebrew lexicons. I’ve already had this debate many times with those in the pro-gay camp and easily send them to the Hebrew equivalent for the Greek equivalent Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians. Newsflash: they are the same (as a man lies with a woman).

    For a more thorough rebuttal to the pro-gay theology I highly recommend this excellent piece written by Joe Dallas:

    http://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/respondingtoprogaytheologypartip344.php 

    • Chasjeanw

      Greg, you no doubt have studied scripture more than me, so I won’t argue interpretation with you.  As a former psychotherapist, and as a human being attempting to follow the core of Jesus’s teachings, the issue feels pretty clear to me.  Christ didn’t address many of our modern issues, because they weren’t even considered items of debate in his day and culture.  For example, the issue of womens rights, abortion, birth control, slavery, and homosexual lifestyle.  And yet all of these issues have been defended on the regressive side by Christians over the years, stating that scripture clearly spoke against them – and in some cases scripture did actually clearly speak in support of slavery in that time and culture.      So how do we decide current issues that were not clearly proscribed, or even issues that were culturally proscibed, but clearly we no longer accept as a result of common sense and general principles of humanity – eg we don’t stone people for offenses, or apply the dietary and purity laws of Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament, or the 633 commandments of the OT in general.  Is the Bible really a rule book?  Does God even care about the issue of homosexuality?      My guess is that God is far more concerned with how we treat one another – with respect, kindness, compassion, than He is with our following some sort of purist set of rules.  We can be lovely people or jerks whether we are heterosexual or homosexual – and I think that’s of far more interest to God than our sexual orientation.  Seems to me like what drives rule bound Christians is more of a sense of fear that society will collapse if we don’t preserve whatever the current status quo is in mores and laws.  As if somehow we had it right sometime in recent generations, and we only need to preserve that status quo – women in the homes, homosexuality only allowed when hidden and shamed, etc.  I tend generally to think the status quo is likely as flawed as it was in any culture and period, and tend to fall back on the first commandment – Love God, self and others – as the principle by which I judge most everything.    On the biological issue of alternative sexuality, approximately 1% of the population is born with ambiguous sexuality – a variety of chromosomal abnormalities.  Also various other biological factors affect likelihood of developing same gender attraction, including hormonal baths that occur in utero.  And of course, there is the profound influence of family environment.  To sum up, for many gays, their orientation is clearly manifest often by 5 or 6 years old, while for others it manifests in adolescence.  In either case, its not generally amenable to change through therapy, (as acknowledged now even by many of the Christian “Exodus” style groups).  To insist that gays not be allowed to live in a committed loving relationship, because of some at best ambiguous interpretations of a few verses, seems to me to be unconscionable.  It seems to me a situation where believers are placing their biases and judgements, on very limited Biblical authority, over and above the clear, general overriding principles of Christs teaching, which were to love, be compassionate, and not judge others.  I believe this argument against homosexuality from a Christian perspective will be over in 20 to 50 years, just as the arguments pro slavery, anti women’s voting and other rights, and arguments against interracial marriage are now seen as wierd cultural aberrations.  To any follower of Christ, I would advise, don’t violate your conscience – don’t have gay sex if you believe it is wrong after studying the issue.  Other than that, I’d advise any follower of Christ to pay attention to the major focus of the gospel, and not get hung up on questionable legalistic issues like this, especially since they may likely be wrong in their judgements.

      • http://www.fivedills.com Greg Dill

        Chas,

        Good stuff. Thanks for your kind and gentle response. In essence I agree with you. Ultimately, I don’t think sexual identity/preference will really matter in the big scheme of things. But, when one side wants to use Scripture to bolster their social beliefs on a matter, naturally, the other side will reciprocate… hopefully in kind. And, that is simply what I did. Why American Christians are so fixated on the sin of homosexuality (on both sides of the spectrum) continues to baffle me. After all, there are plenty of other issues to concern ourselves with. Throw in the topic of Hell and a natural flagration will occur on the Christian blogosphere. It’s quite comical in some sense. Such are the ways of the American church.Blessings.

    • Chasjeanw

      Thanks for your last paragraph.  Our actions and attitudes toward others are certainly the core of the issue.  And the culture wars has been a terrible mistake for the church, I believe.  We have alienated many unnecessarily, and the front line of the culture wars cast Christianity in a pretty bad light.  A big mistake I fear.

  • Seriously?

    I’m fairly certain that if you look up blasphemy in the dictionary, a picture of this flowchart is used as an example.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WYIOGBYCIFJRWH5VDBADPXJ5GI Gary

    People who embrace homosexuality should stop pretending that they believe the Bible, or that they have any faith.  Chrisitianity and homosexuality are incompatible.  Always have been, always will be. 

    • http://www.fivedills.com Greg Dill

      The same with divorce. I guess that would eliminate about 50% of evangelical Christians.

    • Chasjeanw

      Yes, Gary, while we are  busy being righteous, lets get on all the sinner’s cases.  The half of Christian marriages who divorce, the 90%+ of singles who have sex outside of marriage, not to mention our teenage kids, all of those who view porn on the internet.  And we could cast the net really broad, and more Biblically true, and jump on people for being rich and greedy and insensitive to the starving and oppressed in the world – at least then we’d be in line with Jesus’s clear words.  Or maybe, possibly, we could drop our fear and loathing and judgementalism, and just try to love and help and befriend  people regardless of their particular sin, trusting the Holy Spirit to convict them in His own way, while we focus on being models of kindness, compassion and love…  but that would be really hard!

  • NotSoCommonCents

    I think the most compelling issue regarding homosexuality, and frankly, the part the bothers everyone that is against this type of lifestyle (as am I) is that its being okay or even “normal” is being shoved down our throats by the not-so-tolerant side. It’s almost to the point now that not believing in homosexuality being okay, somehow makes me a bigot or a hater. I saw an add for a TV show yesterday on NBC called, “the new normal.” Its about a gay couple with a surrogate carrying the child they will be raising. The ad sets up the scene where they are discussing the childs profession as it grows up, and becoming an astronaut is mentioned. Then, one of the gay men state that this child would not be an astronaut, because…”you can’t wear high heels on the moon.” In case you aren’t catching the implication, he is saying that this male child would want to wear high heels as an adult, appearantly because he expects this child to be gay also. Again, the name of the show is, “the new normal.” This is NOT normal, and never will be. Even the most liberal LGBT websites estimate that their are 9 million folks that desire to be listed in this group, covering all lines of different orientation to that of heterosexuality. If that is the case, then less than 3% of this countries’ population associates with one of the initials I typed above. It will never be normal. I want to be able to live with these folks, and share Jesus with these folks, but I will never accept this lifestyle. The saddest part of it all, is that these folks make their sexual preference the most important part of their lives. I feel its no different than any other misplaced physical desire, akin to taking drugs or gambling, or drinking alcohol. At some point we Christians as a group have to decide that we aren’t going to be told what is acceptable to us, and stand for what we believe. That doesn’t mean that we have to hate others, segregate ourselves or even be hurtful or mean, but we can stand on our moral, Christian principles. I respect their decision to choose, but I don’t force my sexual orientation on anyone, and I am sick and tired of the desire from this particular group to force me to agree with them.

    • http://www.bipolarlessons.com/ Mary

      Did it ever occur to you that this guy was probably joking? He was making fun of people’s stereotypes of what a gay lifestyle is (i.e. dressing up as a woman.)

      I doubt that his intent was to “force” his lifestyle on others.  He just wants to be accepted as he is.

      While I commend your tolerant attitude I just want to point out that the anti-gay people often read things into what gay people say and that is why they get so scared. By interpreting what this guy said as meaning that he wants to raise his child to be gay you are falling into the same trap. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2HBYQQMJ3YWXRETQR6MSOIZZNM MCSPFan

    while i don’t have a problem with homosexuality, i have a problem with legally changing the definition of a word. I think civil unions might be a decent solution, and I really don’t care what two consenting adults do behind closed doors.

    I guess what I’m getting at is when we start redefining words to fit our desires, when does it end? What’s to stop someone from declaring their love for an inanimate object (or a child, or anything) and then desiring a legal marriage? Sure, it seems like a silly idea. I’m perfectly aware of the criticism that will come my way for such a boneheaded though. But if you have the intellectual honesty to go deeper than the surface of the question, please feel free to comment. 

    • http://www.bipolarlessons.com/ Mary

      You are right, it is a silly idea. And you ask for intellectual honesty when you have none yourself.  You are the one who doesn’t want to go deeper. There are people on these forums who actually take the time to figure out the complexities of this issue and all you can come up with is “well what if someone wants to marry their pet rock?”

      Come back when you have something useful to say.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/2HBYQQMJ3YWXRETQR6MSOIZZNM MCSPFan

        50 years ago, the idea of gay marriage itself would have gotten the same reaction. 

        • Mary

          And your point is…?

    • thesaraheffect

      Confession: I myself am a fan of the “slippery slope” argument that you present here, but this is actually a logical fallacy. I understand you’re using something ridiculous to demonstrate what may be a legitimate concern and I’m open to considering a thoughtful argument here. But the idea that we should never change the status quo simply because, “who knows where it will end?” doesn’t fly. Sure people are out there that will propose ridiculous unions like this, but that does not mean that the rest of the thinking world will be trapped by the fact that “we opened that door already.” 

      For example, there are people out there who sue for absolutely ridiculous things, the man who sues a bystander for breaking his ribs while performing the CPR that saved his life, for example. But the world recognized this was ridiculous so Good Samaritan laws were formed. We are a thinking race, sure we’re stupid at times, but we are not this stupid.

      If you are really concerned, you’ll have to present a situation that may actually present itself and actually be considered by thinking adults.

    • Ciaphas

       It’s not just a silly idea, it shows a total lack of thought.

      Consent. Children cannot consent. Your argument is exactly like saying “If we allow boxing then we’ll have to make assaulting people on the street legal.”

      • Ken

        This is a very good point. I must admit to having spent time thinking about issues in Church and in other parts of life we use this argument especially in areas of public morals and public order.

  • Bob Aubrey

    Thanks for making this chart available. Again, if we count on what the bible says, in some cases we will do some unkind things, like selling our daughters into slavery- or for that matter justifying slavery at all. My option is to work toward good and inclusion (the Jesus model) as opposed to deciding who is beloved and who is not. Isn’t it really about unconditional love from the ground of all being.

  • thesaraheffect

    This is a rough one for me because I can get behind the majority of the information presented in this infographic, but the presentation is inflammatory and oversimplified. As you can tell by the comments below, the “Join the 21st century, you bigoted simpleton,” argument doesn’t work. It’s offensive and, well, mean to be honest. Ultimately, it’s counterproductive from a Christian standpoint and a persuasive standpoint.

    One of the most important characteristics of Christ’s teaching is love & selflessness, that doesn’t end when dealing with people who disagree with my theology. We are a little too quick to invoke the example of Jesus & the money changers or Pharisees to justify treating “hypocrites” however we want.

    This is an incredibly important conversation and there’s really no point in this kind of infographic beyond giving us the opportunity to congratulate ourselves on being the enlightened ones. It’s funny, but it’s kind of self-indulgent.

    • Frank

      There is absolutely nothing enlightened about the assertions that this graphics makes. However it does expose a gross ignorance about scripture.. 

      • thesaraheffect

        The term “enlightened” was tongue in cheek, which I suppose is not immediately apparent. My point is that, infographics and arguments like the ones made above are counterproductive and not Christ-like. 

        Arguments about these scriptures are being carried on by many people who, if I may contradict you, make it their business to be intimately familiar with scripture. And no, I’m not talking about myself, though I am not especially ignorant about or unconcerned with scripture.

        On the contrary, I consider the bible to be the literal word of God, living and active, and, aside from the Holy Spirit, the most powerful tool in cultivating a close personal relationship with Christ.

        Because I love the bible, I can absolutely understand why someone would disagree with me. Many people I respect as biblical and spiritual authorities do. It doesn’t change my understanding of scripture but neither am I going to claim the biblical high ground, I understand both interpretations if I only subscribe to one.

        Forgive me, but this issue is only black and white or “easy” if you don’t care about people who are homosexual. I don’t mean that as an accusation, I wouldn’t presume to know your feelings. But without having a personal relationship with and love for people who are homosexual, no one can say this is an easy issue. 

        Which, I guess, is my point. This isn’t an easy conversation and being condescending or dismissive (like this infographic) isn’t helpful.

  • Trudence02

    1 corinthians 9-10.

  • Skdecker

    It’s hard to find common ground with those in our Christian family that we disagree with after they have been smacked by this kind of not-too-funny polemic. Yes, I think that those who disagree with gay marriage are on the wrong side of both history and the direction the church is moving.  This, however, is pretty unlikely to change anyone’s thinking.

  • Frank

    The most shocking thing is not about the ignorance included in the graphic (we can expect those that do not know about Christianity to compose something like that) but that any Christian would be so ignorant to post it as some kind of truth. So sad how little Christians understand God and scripture these days.

  • Ken

    Can I please have the refs for the different forms of marriage in the OT. Useful in debate. Some great points here.

  • OnFire ForGod

    Matthew 10:6-7: “And God made them make and female and said…a MAN shall be joined to his WIFE.”


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