Why Gay Jesus Isn’t Blasphemous

Why Gay Jesus Isn’t Blasphemous January 9, 2020

You’ve probably heard about the “Gay Jesus” film on Netflix that has been creating a lot of controversy lately. Most people I’ve talked to about this have not actually watched the film. To be honest, neither have I. But whether you’ve watched the film or not, I think we can still have a conversation about the subject matter and hopefully agree that a gay Jesus is not only not controversial, it’s not blasphemous either.

Here’s why: Being a gay is not a sin.

See, the assumption many Evangelical Christians have is that being gay is sinful. Therefore, if Jesus was gay that would mean that Jesus was a “sinner” and theologically, this is unacceptable for most Christians.

But, a gay person is not a “sinner” simply because they are gay. Some Christians may argue that EVERYONE is a “sinner” because “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God“, but that is far different from what most Christians mean when they say that being gay is sinful.

For example, try suggesting to a Christian that being straight is sinful and you’ll see what I mean. They will categorically deny such a thing. In fact, they will most likely argue that being straight is “natural” and “God’s design”, whereas being gay is “unnatural” and “an abomination”, or something along those lines.

So, we need to establish whether being gay – as opposed to being straight – is sinful, or not.

If being straight is not sinful, then why would being gay be sinful?

Does being straight imply sexual promiscuity? No.

But many Christians I talk to assume that being gay does imply sexual promiscuity. They also assume that being gay means that you are actively engaged in homosexual intercourse, even though they would never assume that someone who is straight is actively engaged in heterosexual intercourse.

There’s a bias here, obviously. Assumptions are made about gay people that are not applied equally to straight people.

But, all of this aside, most Christians are swayed by what the Scriptures say about homosexuality. I know that for many years, this was my personal struggle with the topic.

It wasn’t until I learned that no English translation of the Bible contained the word “homosexual” until 1946 that I started to doubt what my Bible had to say about this.

Then I did some digging. I discovered that the 2 words in the New Testament that are translated as “homosexual” in our English Bibles are actually not talking about homosexuality at all.

Take a look:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakoi), nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (arsenokoites)” [1 Cor 6:9, KJV]

The Greek word “malakoi”, which is the plural of malakos, was always used in the First Century to refer to straight males who were “girly” and to men who shaved their faces clean. [Is that “unnatural” and “an abomination” to you?]

The Greek word “arseno-koitai” is a compound word meaning “males” who “bed” other males.

But it’s not that simple, as New Testament Scholar David Bentley Hart points out:

 

“Precisely what an arsenokoites is has long been a matter of speculation and argument. Literally, it means a man who “beds” – that is, “couples with” – “males.” But, there is no evidence of its use before Paul’s text.

“…It would not mean “homosexual” in the modern sense of a person of a specific erotic disposition, for the simple reason that the ancient world possessed no comparable concept of a specifically homoerotic sexual identity; it would refer to a particular sexual behavior, but we cannot say exactly which one.”

Bentley Hart goes on to mention that the Clementine Vulgate interprets the word “arsenokoitai” as those who use male concubines [prostitutes] and that Luther’s German Bible interprets the word as referring to paedophiles.

Further, he says:

“My guess at the proper connotation of the word is based simply upon the reality that in the first century the most common and readily available form of male homoerotic sexual activity was a master’s or patron’s exploitation of young male slaves.”

So, that really only leaves chapter 1 of Romans to consider, and if you read that from the beginning what you’ll notice is that Paul is very clearly describing pagan temple idol worship which involved sexual activity; which Paul would have condemned had it been heterosexual in nature, and if so, I guarantee you no one would come away assuming that Paul [or God] was therefore anti-heterosexual intercourse.

[NOTE: For a more in-depth examination of Romans, READ THIS]

So, at least for me, I don’t consider being gay to be sinful. A gay person is no more or less sinful than a straight person. Why? Because being attracted to someone of the same sex is no more sinful than being attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Attraction is not sin.

Was Jesus gay? Who knows? But, if Jesus was gay then it wouldn’t be a sin. It would have been human, and if Jesus was tempted as we are in every way and yet without sin, then Jesus could certainly have felt a sexual attraction to men, or to women, or both, and remained without sin.

So can we.

**

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Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife have returned to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of their next adventure. They hope to start a new house church very soon.
Keith’s new book, “Jesus Undefeated: Condemning the False Doctrine of Eternal Torment” is available now on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • James Elliott

    I hadn’t heard about the Netflix movie since i don’t watch much on Netflix and no one i know has mentioned this. If i’m troubled, it’s probably for the same reason i would be troubled by any speculation on Jesus’ sexuality, if he was married, had children, etc.: the New Testament writers didn’t delve into that. In fact, it’s none of our business about Jesus’ personal life. I think the efforts to “show his humanity” usually are an effort to bring him down to our level rather than raising ourselves up to his. This probably sounds harsher than i intend it to because i think don’t think it’s “blasphemous” – it’s just speculation.

  • Herm

    Sin is trespassing against all the law and prophets that God, in their entirety of spirit, lives by in and with themselves. The Holy Spirit had a sexual relationship with the mother Mary, outside of wedlock. For any relationship between mutually consenting adults fulfills Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40 as sinless in and of itself. You are correct in all you say in this article, thank you.

    When is too swishy cross the line of sinfully effeminate?

  • Brandon Roberts

    plus it’s just a show.

  • Debora Maloy Simning

    hmmm…. I will have to totally disagree

  • Herm

    hmmm…. is totally disagreeable without credibility a sin, when we demean others as we would not have others demean us? Tell me, please, how gay, even homosexuality, has threatened you.

  • KontraDiction

    I find the idea of a gay Jesus kind of charming. I mean, he was all about siding with the oppressed and loving all of humanity. It would just be one more thing that linked him to his beloved outsiders. (Yes, I know being gay wasn’t really a socially recognized thing back then, but still.)

  • Bill Pavuk

    I’m not offended by a Gay Jesus. I just have zero interest in,and not much respect for, the intentions and the motivations of the film-makers. I’m not outraged or put off by projects that make the Christ of faith into a punchline or a means of mocking others, but I just don’t have much use for it. The author is right that it shouldn’t be a big deal. But it appears that the filmmakers are very much playing up the ways and the “whys” of it being a big deal. Haven’t seen the movie, but from the trailers I’ve seen it looks like yet another low quality, low budget film that would have already faded into obscurity were it not for the outrage of conservative Christians bolstering its popularity.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    I can’t even begin to write an adequate summary but I encourage those who may be interest to find Daniel Helminiak’s book “What the Bible *REALLY* says about homosexuality. He discusses each of the six or seven passages in the OT and NT which have come to be known as “the clobber passages”. In each case he provides a careful conclusion as to why none of them point to what we know as same sex attraction. In each case they condemn either pagan temple worship or sex trafficking. There is no notion of loving, committed bonds between persons of the same gender in any of these passages.

  • Joao Esteves Gemal

    No clear definition we can make anything be right, AKA sophism. That is why Jesus Christ said he is the truth.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sophism

  • Gary

    The point of being “gay” is that you want to have sex, and do have sex, with people of your own sex. But, according to the Bible, God only considers sex between husband and wife to be moral. Sex other than in heterosexual marriage is called either “adultery” or “fornication” in the Bible, and both are considered sins by God. Therefore, the author of this column is lying.

  • Exactly. After many, many years of pressure same sex marriage was legalized. Now a book appears that explains why God never considered same sex sex a sin. Legal justification alone is not sufficient but acceptance by God is required. People have free will and can live as they deisre in this country. But woe to people who teach sin – not pretty.

  • Sandcat

    Right. And in Christendom today, would you consider the gaystapo ‘oppressed’?

    If so, take your blinders off.

  • D H

    And wasn’t there the commandment to be “fruitful”? Where are the children of Jesus?

  • KontraDiction

    In the US, gay people are harassed to the point of suicide, beaten, thrown out of their homes by their own parents, denied housing and jobs, not allowed to adopt or marry, and often murdered. So yes, I would consider that oppression.

    Christians in the US are being asked to allow gays to exist and go about their lives, regardless of personal feelings or religious stance. Not quite in the same league.

    Comparing gays to the Gestapo is both ignorant and offensive, especially when it’s gays who are being killed, not Christians, over this. Please let go of your hate, and try to find some empathy for your fellow humans.

  • Sandcat

    “In the US, gay people are harassed to the point of suicide, beaten, thrown out of their homes by their own parents, denied housing and jobs, not allowed to adopt or marry, and often murdered. So yes, I would consider that oppression.”

    This made me LOL. Citations, please. You’re describing being gay in Raqqa, Syria, capital of ISIS. It’s so bad in the USA that the White House was lit up rainbow to celebrate Pride.

    “Christians in the US are being asked to allow gays to exist and go about their lives, regardless of personal feelings or religious stance. Not quite in the same league.”

    Christians in the US are being asked to endorse things that violate their religious freedom. US Supreme Court case Phillips v Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled in favor of Phillips, who, Court found, was not required by law to perform a task that violated his freedom of religion by the State of Colorado. Also, google ‘wax my balls, bigot’.

    Gays are not being ‘killed’. The Gaystapo comes for your business if you decide not to bake a cake celebrating ‘gay marriage’, which is a contradiction in terms.

  • KontraDiction

    You can do your homework on your own time, the statistics are easily obtained for US violence and discrimination against both gay and trans people. Also, Obama lit up the WH. Trump did not, and is instead dismantling legal protections.

    You are free to practice your religion. You are free to endorse any position you like.You are free to face any consequences of your bigotry, such as being boycotted or disagreed with. You can even boycott businesses yourself, if you like. Nobody will kick in your door, drag you out and shoot you. You can even keep your job.

    But you are NOT allowed to impose your religious beliefs on anyone else. You are not allowed to interfere with their human rights. This is not a theocracy.

  • Sandcat

    And the guy baking the cake who almost lost his business? Guess he should have shut up and done what the gaystapo demanded, huh.

  • KontraDiction

    He is free to hold any beliefs he likes, religious or otherwise. As a business owner, he cannot deny equal access to goods and services – that is American law. He is also subject to the consequences of his actions, such as boycotting. Boycotting is in no way violent or illegal. It’s a legitimate expression of moral values, and a protected freedom.

  • Sandcat

    Ah but he can deny access to his services. It’s the right of any business to determine who they do business with.

    ” As a business owner, he cannot deny equal access to goods and services – that is American law. ”

    Not according to the Supreme Court. Please educate yourself.

    Yeah, I get that you’re a fan of cancel culture. Fascists do like to shut down people whose opinions they disagree with.

  • KontraDiction

    There ARE federal laws barring discrimination based on race, sex, age, disability, national origin, pregnancy status, etc. And many states bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which the Supreme Court has not yet overturned. Were you really not aware of this?

    You may also want to look up the definition of fascism, AND the history of the Gestapo, before you throw these terms around.

    Finally, a quick list of recent anti-gay hate crimes I think you may find quite eye-opening:

    https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/category/research/violence-crime/
    https://www.glaad.org/blog/incidents-anti-lgbtq-hate-violence-2019
    https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/nearly-1-5-hate-crimes-motivated-anti-lgbtq-bias-fbi-n1080891

    I also searched for any incidents of gays or gay-positive people attacking or murdering anyone, and found nothing. Gays are not known for their violence. Bigots are.

  • Sandcat

    Sutherland Springs shooting. Go look it up and remove your blinders.

    The SC ruled that the owner of Masterpiece bake shop did not have to perform a service he didn’t want to. End of story. He has done previous work for gay people without any issues, but when they wanted him to write on the cake some screed about how great gay ‘marriage’ was, he said try the shop across the street. They went berserk.

    I don’t believe in ‘hate’ crimes any more than I believe in ‘hate’ speech. Assaulting a guy because he’s a different color than you is assault. You may be a racist loser, but the crime is assault.

  • KontraDiction

    Spoken like a (straight white Christian) man who has never experienced systemic discrimination, nor listened to anyone who has.

    At least we both agree that assault is a crime. And that racism is bad. Peace.

  • vinny152

    Why not think of “homosexuality”as a hormonal-cultural phenomenon rather than rationalizing or disapproving a perfectly normal event??-in a meaningless and purpose-less Universe-;^))….J.L.(vinny152@yahoo.com

  • We could if it was but it isn’t so we can’t.

  • Sandcat

    As a Christian living in a Islamic Sharia country, I am, right now, living under systemic discrimination. Something you know nothing, living in Canada or the USA, about.

    Christians are THE most persecuted group in the world. Fact check me.

    And then read a damn book, whilst retracting your twaddle about gays being non-violent and the nicest people of all time in light of a mass shooting on Christians by a gay male that you didn’t bother to read about.