Can You Be a Gay Christian and Not Be Pissed?

Justin Lee: Gay, Christian, and Too Nice

So the Church of England has appointed another middle aged, white, anti-gay guy to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Big whoop. In Western institutions in which the people actually get a vote — like, say, American democracy — middle aged, white, ant-gay guys are losing power. That’s all to the good, if you ask me.

But it’s still not easy being a gay Christian. Easier than before, but not easy, per se.


One person who’s tackling that is Justin Lee, author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. It’s a good book. I recommend it. But here’s the deal: I think that Justin is too nice.

Justin desires to build bridges in the divisive world of the church-sexuality conversation. That’s great. I think that he and Andrew Marin are the models of this positive, bridge-building work.

But I wonder, when I talk to Justin and when I read his book, why he’s not more pissed.

It seems to me that there’s a place for righteous anger, and I think that the church-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT persons is one of those places. Justin and many other gay friends of mine have been shat upon by the church, in the name of truth and Christ. They’ve experienced an injustice that I never will. It pisses me off, and I think it should piss them off, too.

I get that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and I also understand that some people are naturally predisposed toward generosity of spirit in a way that I am not. Justin seems like one of those guys.

Plus, it’s really out of line for a straight Christian like me to be telling a gay Christian like Justin how to respond and behave. In fact, I might be accused of patronizing him. That’s not my intent.

I’m being a bit facetious, of course, that I want Justin to be more pissed. But I would like to hear from him why he’s not.

This post is part of Gays and Christians: A Synchroblog for Sanity

  • http://craigladams.com/blog/ Craig L. Adams

    It might help you to know that Justin was a long time member of the Bridges Across the Divide project before starting the Gay Christian Network. See: http://www.bridges-across.org/ba/basics.htm

    This was a daring experiment in developing cross-divide relationships. Originally (long before I got involved) it included secular gay activists and ex-gay movement leaders all at the same time. The B-A projects kind of wound down, but many people learned some things in that dialogue that they have carried with them into other projects. It didn’t necessarily change their minds (and that wasn’t the intent anyway) but it changed the tone of their interactions with others.

    I also feel that he did not experience nearly the level of rejection from the church that some gay people have.

  • Kate

    As a gay Christian who has experienced a moderate amount of rejection from the church (loss of friends, well-meaning pamphlets for ex-gay programs, letters reminding me that gay people go to hell, a parent who refused to speak to me for several years) but who has never suffered physical harm at the hands of the church or been kicked out of my home or family, here’s my perspective:

    a) Perpetual anger is exhausting – it consumes you, and it grows until you lose the capacity for love and compassion. Do I get angry when I see others being hurt by the church? Yes, I do. And then I take a deep breath and work on loving, instead. So your point is well-taken on one level (pain inflicted by the church makes me angry), but maintaining anger as my life’s work (as reconciliation is Justin’s), or as an overall response to the church at large, would be counterproductive and would limit my ability to be fully human and fully loving.

    b) I don’t think spreading anger – even righteous anger – is going to save the church. There has already been plenty of anger from the side of those whose fear and hatred has spilled over into the LGBT community. There is anger among evangelicals that the tide of opinion is turning, that they feel ‘persecuted’ for believing that gay people should not get married or have children or be protected from bullying or discrimination. That anger has yet to impact my life, as a gay Christian, in a positive way. What has made me feel hopeful for the future of the church is compassion from straight allies, a willingness to listen from those who disagree with me, and finding forgiveness within myself for those who have hurt me and others.

    I am not an expert in any of this. But if the conservative church as a whole is going to reconcile with those in the LGBT community who have been hurt, I think that process will not be driven by righteous anger, but by grace, forgiveness, and the willingness to try again.

    That said, I’m open to hearing other perspectives.

  • http://www.butnotyet.com JoelR

    As Hugh Hollowell once told me, every movement has it’s Martins and its Malcolms. Justin’s a Martin and guys like you and me are Malcolms. There’s a need for both types.

  • Frank

    While the church is guilty of singling out sins at times , like homosexual behavior, and raising themselves up as more holy while condemning others sins, this fact does not change the truth that homosexual behavior is incompatible to the Christian faith. There is no love in accepting, condoning, affirming or remaining silent about sinful behavior. That’s love.

    Thankfully churches are changing how they deal with gay people but abandoning Gods truths should not be a part of the picture and frankly that’s the only thing that some gay people, who say they are Christians, will accept. So its not the church rejecting them, its them rejecting the church and the Word of God.

    • http://feetinarmsout.wordpress.com Elizabeth RW

      Frank, I know I will not be able to convince you that God has given the gift of homosexuality to some in the same way God gives the gift of heterosexuality to others. So let me try to converse on your terms.
      You say that there is no love in accepting, condoning, affirming or remaining silent about sinful behavior. So, I wonder, are you speaking out against those who do not give their cloak as well as their coat when they see a person in need? Are you speaking out about the thousands of children in our world who go unfed (hunger being a clear stumbling block to the little ones)? Are you making sure those in your community who collect interest on investments are aware of their clearly sinful behavior? Or are you selecting what people do in their bedrooms as your primary target of “speaking the truth in love?”
      There are a multitude of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people who love God and seek a closer relationship with God each and every day. Does that look like rejecting the church? If a person prays and prays and prays for God to talk away their feelings towards members of their same gender and those feelings do not go away, is that a result of their lack of faith?
      God’s truth is an unending, incomprehensible, radical love of all creation. This is the truth Jesus Christ came to show us. This is the God I know as revealed in scripture, creating and through the spirit in daily life. This is the truth we should be spreading to the world.

      • Frank

        Elizabeth you cannot convince anyone who believes the bible is the Word of God that God desires anyone to be involved in homosexual behavior. Show us where God condones or blesses homosexual behavior and then you might have something to say.

        Yes on all your questions in your second paragraph.

        For the record I do not believe that people choose how they feel or who or what they are sexually attracted to. But people do have a choice in what behavior they act on. So yes I know that many LGBT call themselves Christian, are Christian, and seek a closer relationship with God. The path to that closer relationship is not denying Gods perfect design and plans. In some way we are all sexual sinners but we should not succumb to our desires or try an justify them.

        • http://jpserrano.com Jeremy

          Frank, I believe the Bible is the Word of God…..and I disagree with you……now where do we go from here?

          • Frank

            Sow me scripturally where God condones or blesses homosexual behavior. Back up your position with scripture. That’s what we do.

          • http://climbingoutblog.com Tracey Grimes

            This is a complex subject to cover in a brief blurb in a comment section, but here’s my 2 cents, for what it’s worth. I think that the Bible calls a LOT of things abominations that we take in stride (like a menstruating woman being in mixed company with men), which is a problem for those who require people to live by the law. We cannot pick and choose which parts of the law we uphold – Galatians 5:3. I also think that there exists some confusion about sin in general. I base this on the fact that Jesus Christ himself broke one of the 10 Commandments (not just one of the 613 total laws listed in the O.T., but one of the “BIGGIES”) and yet we declare him sinless. This is, for me, perhaps the most glaring contradictions in modern Christian teaching. My bottom line on the issue is this: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision {keeping the old law } nor uncircumcision {NOT keeping the old law} has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. – Galatians 5:6.

          • Frank

            Tracey there is nothing loving about supporting, condoning, affirming, accepting or remaining silent about sinful behavior.

            You are right in order to get around the issue someone would have to rewrite scripture, change the definition of sin and deny many other truths in scripture.

      • Meg

        Tracey, I’m with you. Frank feels there is nothing loving about supporting, accepting, or remaining silent about sinful behavior, but he only looks at one sin and is quite happy to be silent on the others.

        Is there anything in the Bible that shows approval of homosexual behavior? Perhaps not. There is also nothing that shows approval of menstrating women, nothing good to be said about dogs, charging interest on loans is forbidden, and fiber blends are condemned so cotton/poly is out.

        What IS in the Bible includes such things as “Judge not”, “Judgement is mine, said the Lord”, and “whoever causes the least of these to lose faith in me – it would be better if they tied a millstone around their neck and jumped into the sea”. Hateful attitudes does cause loss of faith in God’s love, and insulting others in judgement and anger may well be as bad if not worse than the sin being committed.

        The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. – Galatians 5:6.

        • Frank

          Meg when the blog topic is about someone who supports a differetn sin yet still wants Gods blessing I will respond in the same way.

          Expressing love includes loving someone enough to not want them to stay in a lifestyle of sin.

        • Nolan

          Judge not? You should read all of that passage in Mathew 7. We are to take care in our judgement as we will be judged by the same standards. It demands introspection to be sure we are not guilty of the thing we are judging another for. (mote and beam analogy.) Then we are instructed TO JUDGE others. “…then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” I can look at my life, determine that I am not gay and pretending to be a Christian so I can see clearly to judge others for being gays who pretend to be Christian.

          The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is incompatible with God’s standards. God destroyed whole populations of two cities primarily for the homosexual inhabitants. Romans 1 talks about their reprobate minds. Homosexuality made it onto several lists of people who go to hell. We preach it right beside any other sin such as murder, theft, lasciviousness, et al.

          Also, I’d like to see this conversation avoid the silly red herring argument of applying the Old Covenant to our lives as if we are not currently under a new covenant that doesn’t regulate such things as the actions of menstruating women.

          • Curtis

            “The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is incompatible with God’s standards.”

            No it is not. If it were, this wouldn’t be a discussion among Christians. Straights condemned in the Bible just as much as gays are.

          • Frank

            Of course it’s perfectly clear. So perfectly clear that no one seriously questioned it for thousands of years. So perfectly clear that anyone reading it is not confused at all about what it says. It’s only when people started to abandon scripture thinking they somehow had a new “revelation” that it became an issue at all. It’s only when homosexuality began to be more socially acceptable that it came into question at all. As now we have people who rest in eisegesis as they try and do anything to get affirmation for living the way they want instead of the way God planned and desires. And they have deceived others, appealing to emotionalism and secular reasoning, into abandoning the word of God. How terribly sad.

    • Marty

      I think that it’s posts like this that get Tony and people like me pissed off. I know how Jesus felt flipping the tables of the money lenders. Why am I mad? You equate your understanding of the Bible with God. If I don’t believe what you believe, then I’m not arguing with you, I’m arguing with God. What hubris! Be a man, Frank. Take responsibility for what you believe and stop pretending you are the mouthpiece of God. I don’t believe it for a second.

      If we are ever going to get to sanity in this debate, this is the first place we need to go. No person perfectly knows the will of God. There was a time in the USA when people believed that God obviously wanted black people to be slaves. They believed it as strongly as you believe that “homosexual behavior is incompatible with the Christian faith.” They had all kinds of Bible verses to back themselves up. They split churches and went to war over it.

      If you can have the courage, Frank, to consider that you might not have all the answers. Read Justin’s book Torn. If it doesn’t change anything, then maybe you have the right of it. But I think you will be challenged to a different way of looking at things.

      • Frank

        Marty show us where God condones or blesses homosexual behavior. Until you do Gods word speaks for itself.

        • Curtis

          Why are you so hung up on behavior? Do you believe that marriage is not valid unless it is consummated with a particular behavior? Nobody is asking for church endorsement of sexual behavior, or to encode sexual behavior into law, so I’m not sure why the behavior is so important to you.

          • Frank

            I am simply separating feelings from behavior. Having SSM attraction is different than engaging in SS sexual behavior. Only the behavior is condemned!

          • Curtis

            SS attraction is not condemned? So you are in okay with gays getting married as long as they do not consummate their marriage?

          • Frank

            Are you saying it is condemned? Loving another person does not have to involve making them into something they are not (i.e. husband and wife).

            Marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.

          • Curtis

            You are the one that brought up behavior, not me. I’m just wondering why you brought it up. Most states and churches no longer require a particular sexual behavior in order for a marriage to be valid. So why are you asking for examples of Biblical blessing of homosexual behavior, when sexual behavior is not an issue related to marriage?

          • Frank

            Not sure where you are going with this Curtis. I was simply separating feelings from behavior as some churches condemn people for their feelings or for identifying as gay, independent of their actions.

            Marriage is one man and one woman. Some people claim otherwise. Some people claim homosexual behavior is not a sin. I simply ask for them to show us scripturally. No one has so far, though not for a lack of trying.

          • Curtis

            I’m sure you are aware that there are favorable Biblical references to same-sex affection.

          • Frank

            I am aware of some passage that have been twisted to say something they do not. They have been debunked ad nauseum and any serious scholar has outright rejected them but I am curious as to what passages you refer to because there are none.

          • Curtis

            The same-sex affection shown between Ruth and Naomi, as well as between David and Jonathan, are famous and have been studied to death. So I’m sure you are familiar with them. But if you are going to call anything that doesn’t agree with your premise “twisted”, it seems to me you are not very interested in having a conversation.

          • Frank

            It absolutely ridiculous to ascribe a homosexual relationship to those two Godly relationships.

            David and Jonathan

            The Hebrew word for love (אהב אהב or ‘âhab, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #H157) in 1 Samuel 18:1,3; 20:17, refers to having affection for, sexually or otherwise. Naturally those who see David and Jonathan as lovers conveniently overlook the OTHERWISE.

            They also overlook the fact that ‘âhab is used elsewhere in the Old Testament for non-sexual love. In Genesis 22:2 God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac, whom he loved ['âhab], as a sacrifice. With Abraham more than a hundred years of age, and Isaac being a young adult, this was not likely sexual love.

            Isaac was old and blind when he called for his son, Esau, to shoot a deer and “make me savory meat, such as I love ['âhab] .” (Genesis 27:1-4). Certainly nothing sexual in this.

            Joseph was his father’s favorite son, and when his brothers saw their father loved ['âhab] him more than the rest, they hated him (Genesis 37:3-4).

            Possibly the most important consideration of the word LOVE is in the Ten Commandments. God said,

            “You shall make no graven images . . . you shall not bow down to them . . . or I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children . . . and showing mercy to thousands of them that love ['âhab] me.” (Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

            In speaking to the Israelites, God said, “. . . you shall love ['âhab] your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18). If this sounds familiar it’s because Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 5:43 and other New Testament scriptures. The Greek in these scriptures is αγαπάω or agapaö (agape), Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G25 referring to loving in a social sense, or having benevolence toward a person.

            In Deuteronomy 6:4-5 the nation of Israel was commanded to love ['âhab] the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and might.

            Ruth and Naomi

            nowhere in the Book of Ruth is it even hinted at that Naomi & Ruth shared a sex­ual or oth­er­wise phys­i­cal rela­tion­ship, thereby remov­ing homosex­u­al­ity from the equation.

            Actu­ally, what we do see are two women — who, accord­ing to the sec­ond set of verses, were in-​laws — who were devoted fam­ily. In the open­ing verses of Ruth, we read that Naomi was mar­ried to Elim­elech, and they had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.

            While sojourn­ing in the for­eign coun­try of Moab, Mahlon and Chil­ion took wives, one of whom was Ruth. By the time we reach verse 5, we find that Elim­elech, Mahlon, and Chil­ion had all died, leav­ing Naomi with her two daughters-​in-​law, Ruth and Orpah.

            In verse 7, Naomi begins to return to her home­land of Judah, and in verse 8 she urges both her daughters-​in-​law to return to their nat­ural moth­ers. From verses 9 through 13, the daugh­ters resist leav­ing Naomi, while Naomi bears her hearts to them, desir­ing that they return where they should be able to marry, for Naomi would be inca­pable of bear­ing them hus­bands again, and even if she could, would they really wait for them to grow up (v. 13)?

            Ulti­mately, Orpah caves to Naomi’s pleas and returns to Moab. Ruth, how­ever, clings to her mother-​in-​law (vv. 14, 15).

            There is a famil­ial devo­tion expressed here which is all but so often lost or neglected in our world, and to our shame Ruth & Naomi are not even related by blood! Actu­ally, if you really want some­thing to think about, the rela­tion­ship between Naomi and her two daughters-​in-​law show us the valid­ity of the “in-​law” fam­ily; if mar­riage is but a mere social con­tract, then the “in-​law” fam­ily is but a for­mal­ity, a legal stip­u­la­tion to the mar­riage con­tract. How­ever, if what the Bible says is true and that mar­riage takes two peo­ple and unites them as one in the eyes of our Heav­enly Father, then the “in-​law” fam­ily is just as much a fam­ily as the nat­ural fam­ily is.

            In other words, Ruth shows fer­vent devo­tion to Naomi because she is view­ing her as her de facto mother.

            Later in the Book of Ruth (most of chap­ters 3 and 4), we see that the rela­tion­ship between Ruth & Boaz blos­som into a mar­riage (4:13). All of this was ini­ti­ated by Naomi, who told her daughter-​in-​law to fol­low Boaz to where he sleeps, to uncover his feet, and to lay down with him (3:4).

          • Curtis

            You keep muddying the distinction between same-sex affection and same-sex behavior. It is clear that both couples were deeply affectionate with their partners. What they did or did not do in terms of sexual behavior nobody really knows, and is totally irrelevant anyway.

            But you did get two words out before you started with the insults. Next time, see if you can do a complete sentence.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Curtis, your points are right-on. Same-sex affection is not the same as illicit sexual intercourse. Even Jesus displayed strong same-sex affection toward the young disciple John. And of course, there’s David and Jonathan’s intimate relationship. None of this is to presume a sexual component to such relationships. And if there were — which is possible, though not necessarily probable — we’ll never know.

            And you’re wasting your time with Frank. His “either/or” thinking will not let him grasp the complex nuances that color human relationships. All he’s concerned about is sputtering out verses of the Bible (which is his god), and telling people how wrong they are. I don’t waste my time with him anymore. It’d be like throwing pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).

          • Frank

            Only someone with bias could ever find anything more than a loving friendship in either of these two beautiful relationships. Nuance is code word here for “what I want it to say even though it does not.”

          • Frank

            LMAO at R. Jay! He keep saying he is not going to waste his time with me anymore yet he talks about me all the time. Poor guy!

          • Curtis

            So if a modern-day Ruth and Naomi or David and Jonathan approached the state today and said they wanted to enter into marriage in order to document their life-long devotion to each other, and facilitate raising children and taking care of each other as they age, I see no Biblical basis to deny them that civil contract.

          • Frank

            Yes you can willfully ignore the texts if you choose.

    • Sven

      “I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth.
      And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
      born of the virgin Mary,
      suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died and was buried.
      He descended into Hades.
      On the third day He rose again from the dead.
      He ascended into heaven
      and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
      From thence He will come to judge the quick and the dead.
      I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy Christian church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,
      and the life everlasting. Amen.”

      This is the Apostles Creed. It is an affirmation of faith among Christians (wording may vary slightly among denominations). Indeed, these beliefs make someone a Christian under almost any definition.

      Pray tell, Frank, where in the Apostles Creed does it say anything about who you sleep with? And how many more gay people does God have to make before Christians accept that God is okay with them?

      • Frank

        God does not make gay people, sin does.

        Jesus says that we prove we love Him by keeping His commandments. There is nothing loving about denying the word of God and there is nothing loving about condoning, accepting, affirming or remaining silent about sinful behavior.

        • Sven

          I didn’t realize “sin” was in the business of creating people. I thought that was solely God’s domain, as the story goes.

          I don’t recall any of Jesus’ commandments involving homosexuality. I do remember one about loving thy neighbor, and another about not judging people…

          • Frank

            Sin distorts everything including sexuality.

            There is nothing loving about affirming, condoning, supporting or remaining silent about sinful behavior. That’s called hate.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Exactly Sven. In fact, “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a quote of Leviticus 19:18 (quoted by Jesus at Matthew 22:34-40). Considering how much certain Christians love to quote Leviticus to bash gays (and yes, it’s bashing), I find it very telling that it is the ONLY verse from Leviticus Jesus is said to have quoted.

            If Jesus is the Word of God (made flesh, as is believed), and if the Gospels are to be taken as divine message, then I’ll take Jesus quote of Leviticus 19:18 as a huge hint of where God’s priorities truly are.

          • Sven

            You’ve got an odd definition of “hate”. I think “hate” is more like telling someone that they’re a bad person, even when they aren’t hurting or disrespecting any person or thing.

          • Frank

            That would be hate too. No one is calling anyone a bad person. Or actually we are all “bad people” because we all sin. But no one one is trying to claim their sins are not sins except those that want to live out their SS attraction.

            Sin disrespects and hurts God and everyone else around it.

          • Evelyn

            Sin doesn’t disrespect God. Sin is a question asked by God. If you don’t get the right answer, you get asked and asked and asked again. I used to think I should try to understand gays and try to like their behavior. I don’t. And, since R. Jay told me I can’t since I’m an ignorant bigot fool just like Frank and I ought to offend myself by being flamboyantly defiant, I’m not going to bother anymore. You go Frank. Speak your truth!!

          • Frank

            Romans 8:7
            King James Version (KJV)
            7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

  • http://www.winter60.blogspot.com Lausten North

    Justin is an excellent communicator. He has an online debate on homosexuality in the Bible that was of tremendous help for me. Thanks for supporting him Tony.

  • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

    Speaking for myself, I’d say righteous anger is certainly there. But it is present without the same unhinged emotion with which many Christians have for years demeaned us. We are angered, yes, at the un-Christlike manner in which we’ve been treated. But our response, and our indignation, must be Christlike if we are to be worthy witnesses of he authentic Love of God.

  • http://www.travismamone.net Travis Mamone

    I actually like the nice guy approach, ’cause I’m a queer nice guy. I frustrate my fellow LGBTs with my perpetual niceness, but I keep telling them, “Look, we’re not going to win allies if we keep screaming ‘Check your privilege!’ without first explaining what that even means!” Most of my LGBT peers want to take the Richard Dawkins approach: “If you don’t agree with me, you’re the enemy!” Me, I prefer the Neil deGrasse Tyson method of “Here are the facts, and here’s a level of sensitivity to where the other person is coming from.”

    Sometimes I feel like the queer Brian McLaren. I’m always talking about dialogue and unity.

  • http://jrdkirk.com J. R. Daniel Kirk

    I stand flabbergasted that an Enneagram 8 thinks someone was too nice. (insert smiley face here)

    • http://www.travismamone.net Travis Mamone

      I’m a 4, but end up acting like a 9 sometimes.

  • Jim Armstrong

    It seems to be that the moral or scriptural high ground (from which some of this discussion proceeds) is compromised (at least in part) when a person anchors their belief in Old Testament scripture, and at the same time identifies with a local community (church) that gathers on Sunday.

  • Mike

    The bigger picture here is being gay and Christian. You can justify, but you can’t stand in the end when being judged by God. You can not be s Christian and be gay.

    • Curtis

      Okay then. Can we allow God to be the judge, and get ourselves and our church out of the way?

    • Elizabeth RW

      If what we have to do to be Christian is to believe in Jesus as the son of God, then, in fact, you can be Christian and be gay. And no one, not you, Mike, nor me, has any right at all to say who will be judged by God and how. Even if being gay is a sin (which I do not think it is), all sins are equal in the eyes of God. So the sin you live in and the sin I live in are the same in God’s eyes. What matters is that we love God before all things and love our neighbors as ourselves and that we try as hard as we can to do that. None of us will ever be able to live a perfect life. None of us. Ever. We are saved by God’s grace alone. So it’s time we all get off our judging horses, realize we are all flawed, and love each other as the Holy messes we are.

    • Sven

      Why not? Seriously, why not?
      Because being gay is a sin? Are you suggesting sinners can’t be Christians?
      In your opinion, can cigarette smokers be Christians? They are willingly destroying their bodies, after all. Is your body not a temple? Homosexuality, in stark contrast, isn’t harmful whatsoever.

      • Frank

        There you go denying facts again!

        • Sven

          There you go acting like your opinion is fact again!

          • Frank

            It’s not an opinion that homosexual behavior is sinful and harmful, it’s a fact.

          • Sven

            False. What is harmful about homosexual behavior?

          • John (not McCain)

            Frank, can you show me one good reason why I should care what you or the imaginary jackass you worship think about anything?

          • Frank

            No you get to choose your own path even if its a path that will lead you to destruction. Hopefully you will see the truth before its too late.

      • Scot Miller

        Sven, there’s no point in discussing “facts” with Frank. He’s not interested in the empirical facts established by reputable psychologists and social scientists and published in peer reviewed journals. At best he can only appeal to discredited crackpots like Paul Cameron (see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2012/04/06/reading-gagnon-what-went-wrong-scot/). Like climate change deniers and parents who won’t give their children immunizations, Frank and his kind make up the “facts” that they want to believe. They are on the wrong side of the facts, and all their bluster can’t make their delusions true.

        Moreover, Frank can’t even articulate a rationally defensible moral objection to homosexuality. He states over and over that “the Bible says homosexuality is a sin,” but he never explains why God would oppose such a sin. Frank’s God is just homophobic, I’m afraid, because there is no rationally defensible moral argument he can offer why God would be so upset with homosexuality.

        Frank thinks he just needs to quote the handful of biblical passages condemning homosexuality, but he conveniently ignores the hundreds of biblical passages not only defending the practice of slavery, not only asking runaway slaves to return to their Christian masters, but giving Christian slave owners rules on how good Christians should treat their slaves. And it’s hysterical to hear him say that slavery in the Bible “really” means something different than slavery in the antebellum South, but references to homosexuality or same-sex behavior in the Bible are “exactly” the same as contemporary understandings. I’m surprised his head doesn’t explode as he tries to explain why the Bible both is and isn’t perfectly clear about what it says.

        • Frank

          Hey Scott. You failed to show in a series of posts that God condones or blesses homosexual behavior or in fact does anything but condemn it. Your reasoning should have been an embarrassment to you.

          Don’t transfer your failure to me.

  • http://jrdkirk.com J. R. Daniel Kirk

    Looking for the like button, Travis…

    • http://www.travismamone.net Travis Mamone

      You can just say “This!” under my comment. That’s what everyone does nowadays. This what?

  • David S

    Justin is very gracious. I don’t disagree with his message. BUT…creating understanding and finding common ground is not the same thing as brushing disagreement under the carpet.

    I am a Christian who is gay. I cannot agree to disagree with churches who preech “gay is sin” (and the congregants who endorse that message). Telling the gay kid in the front pew that he is created deeply flawed – that he is unworthy of giving and receiving romantic love- is NOT ok. These so-called “side b” churches encourage gay kids to retreat to a dark and lonely closet. They encourage self-loathing which usually leads to depression and detachment. If you spend any time talking to gay Christians, you will hear story after story of kids desperate to not be gay – often desperate to the point of considering suicide. These churches are mentally and spiritually abusive to gay kids.

    For that reason, I have qualms with the GCN endorsing “side b” theology. Justin graciously engaged in that conversation with me, and I understand his position – he wants to create a safe space for gay people coming from conservative backgrounds. But as the de facto voice of Christians who are gay, GCN is giving moral cover to “side b” churches as they continue this abuse. That’s not ok with me. And I can’t (and won’t) ignore and avoid the conversation in the interest of peacemaking or bridge-building.

  • Chris

    “I also understand that some people are naturally predisposed toward generosity of spirit in a way that I am not.”

    Say it ain’t so!

    Can we say understatement of the year?

  • Ellen H.

    Folks like Andrew and Justin have their place in this whole conversation around sexuality and Faith. As a gay Christian, it seems to me that their efforts are more helpful for Evangelicals and other conservative Christians who are trying to find some Biblical hand holds in the conversation to begin to consider that God might bless same-sex love.

    But for those of us who are coming out of the evangelical/conservative Christian background and trying to embrace at the same time our gay sexuality and Christian faith, it is not so helpful. We are trying to purge powerful toxins from our soul that that threaten to lessen our humanity and gut our Faith. I do not know many gay people who can hang tough hearing both sides of this conversation (side A and side B) without feeling horrible – rejected by God, and shamed by a significant part of the Christian Church.

    So I am with you Tony…we applaud people like Justin and Andrew who are trying to help our Evangelical brothers and sisters make some positive moves forward in this conversation. But as a gay Christian, I’m pissed that I have to put so much energy into feeling that God loves me and embraces me because of the dominant message of many of these Churches. I’m ticked off that so many gay people feel that they have to distance themselves significantly from the Church just to feel sane.

  • Craig

    Tony’s question generalizes fairly well. The churches act contemptibly over a wide range of issues. When the morally literate hold them in contempt, the churches then delude themselves into believing that they are the persecuted victims. Let’s not share their delusion.

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  • http://jasonjdotbiz.wordpress.com/ Jason J.

    Many talk about Jonathon and David/Ruth and Naomi. Many talk about eunichs etc; interpretation is a scary thing. Bottom line Jesus Himself NEVER said anything negative about gay people (and there were PLENTY around in his day). In Genesis when God stated that man should find a suitable partner; a suitable partner for a gay male is another gay male. Don’t argue with me, argue with God. Lastly 1 John 3:21 (NIT) states, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God. Basically God is saying if your heart doesn’t condemn you, nor will I.

    I actually pressed a posting on same gender marriage on my blog if you so desire http://jasonjdotbiz.wordpress.com/ God bless,

    Jason

  • Robert

    Yes, everyone who trusts in Jesus is a Christian. No, you do not really trust in Jesus without repentance. Yes, homosexuality is a sin. No, you do not really trust in Jesus if you do not agree with His teaching in Scripture that homosexuality is a sin. A “gay Christian” makes about as much sense as an “adulterous Christian,” a “bank-robbing Christian,” a “Buddhist-serving Christian,” etc., etc.

    Scripture defines sin, not the latest social-scientific research. Jesus outlawed all sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage in his teaching on divorce. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. Just stop pretending to be a Christian.

    • Craig

      I once knew a divorced “Christian” who served people in Japan, some of whom were undoubtedly Buddhists.

  • Following Christ

    What are you feelings then regarding the church and polyamory? One might debate that if they give the homosexual community the right to marry then they must allow the polyamorous community to marry too.

  • Josh

    to all Gays..we love you with the love of the lord..dont let satan fool you..

    know your true identity!
    look under your pants!


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