Gay Friendly?

Gay Friendly? July 16, 2011

gay friendly

A man comes up to the pastor (P) after the service. He is a visitor (V). He says:

V: Pastor, can I speak with you?

P: Sure! What’s up?

V: I really enjoyed the service. I heard about the music and your teaching. I’d love to come here, but I feel like I need to run something past you.

P: What’s that?

V: Well… I’m gay.

P: OH!

V: I’m not sure how you feel about that or if this church has a policy or anything…

P: Well… um… well… we’ve never really had to deal with your types. This would be a first! That’s for sure! Um… can I ask who it was that invited you here?

V: Uh… well… uh… they go here… uh…

P: “They”? Who are “they”?

V: Well… um… so… well… so you don’t have a policy?

P: Well… you know, these are the kinds of things… you know… serious… that you make an appointment for…

V: You know… maybe that’s a good idea. I’ll be in touch. Ya… maybe I should’ve called first.

P: Ya, okay. I’m kinda busy right now with saying goodbye to everyone. So call me if you want.

V: Ya, okay. Ya. Bye.

Questions:

  1. From the language of the visitor, do you think the visitor feels welcomed? (Notice his hesitancy to expose who invited him.)
  2. Can you guess from the language of the pastor what his feelings are about gays in his church? (Notice his use of the phrase “Your types”.)
  3. What kind of power structure is in place that the courageous (or naive?) visitor encountered? That is, is the pastor and the visitor share equal power in this context? (Notice the strategy to make it an official appointment where the pastor will be more in control.)

The above cartoon is one of my earliest cartoons addressing this. I am assembling cartoons like this one into a book.

Get my book full of cartoons that address issues like this one from amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.de.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Eddy Hooper

    Trust me that response by that pastor (and many pastors and ministers like him) is he’d rather deal with a congregation fighting typhoid fever than have to deal with a gay or lesbian person in their congregation. Churches talk a good game about being a “welcoming, inclusive congregation” until they are faced with someone who doesn’t meet up with their criteria of “those deserving to be welcomed”.

    The gospel demands us to accept everyone from the king to the demon tormented the same love and grace we want for ourselves. I don’t say I haven’t acted like that same pastor, but truth be told I hope that I responded better with most than treat them like a disease or “a bother”.

  • Denise Chambellan

    Well, this is the precise type of response that LGBT people complain about in the Christian community. Of course NO ONE would feel welcome. Unfortunately, there are times when people would receive even worse treatment in churches. It grieves the Holy Spirit.

  • Pat Pope

    The church I recently left where I served as an elder, I had the great displeasure of turning down someone for membership because our membership committee could not accept her into membership because she was honest enough to say that she couldn’t agree with the church’s stance on homosexuality being a sin. She was straight but had a homosexual friend who led her to Christ. I agonized over this and lost sleep and endured her railings (out of hurt) over the rejection. I tried talking to the committee but realized how much of a hurdle some of them would have to overcome. It just saddened me. In order to get this church to a place that they could accept this woman and others like her, I realized how much time it would take and in the meantime, there would be people like this woman who would feel rejection. It just hurt me so.

  • This is exactly what I did at several churches last year until I found a welcoming minister.

  • seriously evan? i admire your courage. good on ya!

  • A MacIntosh

    My denomination just passed resolutions to allow clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages/blessings and to remove homosexuality as a barrier to ordination. Not everyone agrees with these motions and our church will have some difficult times ahead, and some anticipate a schism. Courageous decision to move forward with these decisions, imho.

  • Heather

    ‘Love your neighbour as yourself..’,treat people the way you would like to be treated. God’s love is available to ALL people regardless. This is what I believe to be true and believe also that if a Church turns away anyone they are missing the point of Christianity, to be ‘Christ like’. Christ would not have turned his back on someone because of their sexual orientation. I am heterosexual, that is who I am. Homosexual or bi-sexual people are human. We are all human and no one human can be classed better than any other. Equality is essential.

  • EVERYONE is welcome in our Lutheran congregation.

    We have gay people in our congregation.

    They are mature, respectful gay people who aren’t looking to push THEIR agenda onto anyone.

    Just like all the rest of the sinners in the place.

    ALL sinners like that are welcome…NO Questions asked.

  • Trying to keep ourselves from being untainted only proves we are as pious as our orthodox Muslim or Jewish cousins. The gay community knows what the fundamentalist position on homosexuality is. When are we going to start hammering home grace?
    Great post! Do you ever take suggestions for cartoons, David? If you’re interested, I once wrote a little poem about this issue that conjures up some word pictures. It’s at http://www.thejesussociety.com/2011/04/elephant-in-the-room-skeletons-in-the-closet/

  • Great post! The gay community is fully aware of what the fundamentalist view of homosexuality is. What they are unclear on, I think, is our position on grace.

    Do you take suggestions for cartoons, David? If so, I have one for you on this topic, at http://www.thejesussociety.com/2011/04/elephant-in-the-room-skeletons-in-the-closet/

    Thanks again for your ministry.

  • you’re welcome bill. i’ll check out the link!

  • Ant

    Steve, I could be wrong but it sounds like you think that there are so many gays that force their agenda onto the church. I have been around the church and the LGBT community and places where the two overlap. I dont see any gays pushing their agenda onto the rest of the congregation. In fact the situation is more like the one that David has described with many gays scared to be out in a church for fear of being ostracized, shunned, rejected and told they are less than acceptable. Which is an absolutely awful, terrible state of affairs.

    Again I might be wrong but it also sounds like that by saying the church attendees are all sinners they all have no right to be uniquely individual and they all have to conform. When we diminish what makes others unique we destroy their humanity and our own. Any interpretation of scripture that does this kind of thing is invalid imho because this is not love and if it is not love then how can it be from God if God is love?
    I cant find one scriptural reference for the term “original sin” in the bible and as far as I can see it is not biblical. Guilt is such a time waster when we have sin as our focus. Being a sinner wasnt what Jesus was on about, he taught about being compassionate to the people on the fringes of society like the gays who are often not welcome in many churches and certainly not accepted as they are free to be themselves in every way – hence Davids point.

  • So, a gay person who wants to be a deacon or an elder or an ordained minister is not mature and respectful?

    Who does determine the agenda for the congregation?

    Having closed doors is not being welcoming and tolerance is not a gift to the person being tolerated.

  • joni

    The first part of that conversation was almost the exact conversation I had with your wife my first Sunday at your church. Her reply, thankfully, was different then the rest of this dialogue. She was loving, accepting, welcoming and you both became two of my biggest supporters and encouragers to be the beautiful mosaic that God created me to be. Love you both!

  • We’ve had gay church council members. And gays who regularly read the Scriptures and and helped distribute Holy Communion.

    No problem until they wanted the church to affirm their sin.

    The pastor said he (we) could not do that and that maybe they would be better off in another church if they wouldn’t let go of that idea.

    We still have gay members who do not flaunt their sexuality or make an issue of it.

    If an adulterer or thief or gossiper made an issue of their sin, they’d be asked to leave as well.

  • Sister Marie

    I’m hopeful that 100 years from now, this will no longer be an issue, and that we will look back on this era in the same way that we do about the enslavement of human beings. But the realistic side of me makes me reflect on the fact that for the most part, our churches are still divided – black and white. It’s a shame that the Christian Church would still cling to such hatred long after our secular society comes to grips with an issue.

  • Homosexuality is not a sin.

    Adultery is a violation of trust and a violation of an oath of faithfulness. Homosexuality does not involve such a violation.

    Theft is a violation of the property rights of another person. Homosexuality does not involve such a violation.

    Gossip, the sharing of lies and unfounded conclusions, is an act of verbal violence. Homosexuality is not such an act.

    Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is a sexual identity, not a lifestyle choice.

  • asmac

    Thanks, Doug, for the distinctions you’ve pointed out.

  • “Homosexuality is not a sin.”

    Says you.

    God’s Word says differently.

    Not that I am not a sinner because I am. But my sins can’t be normalized either.

  • Denise Chambellan

    The Bible is abundantly clear in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexual behavior is sinful, along with adultery, stealing, killing, drunkenness, fornication, idolatry{placing anything ahead of God in our lives}, and the like. The Word has no wavering in this. God’s Word is true because HE is true. We need to look at what His Word says about everything, not try to make God fit into OUR box.

    Comparing one sin to another is useless…it is all sin. God doesn’t sugarcoat things simply to make them more palatable to society. Otherwise, sin is only a matter of which culture is dominant; in other words, “it’s all relative”. God is not changeable like that.

    There also is a huge difference between being born with a tendency towards specific sins and actually choosing to follow them as a lifestyle. This applies to many more things than our sexual behavior.

    Lastly, there is a HUGE difference between loving someone and agreeing with all their actions. You can love someone, be concerned for them, make sacrifices for them without saying that everything they do is “OK”.

    I had a wonderful friend named Roger whose life was claimed by AIDS; this subject hits close to home for me. I miss him more than I can say. He had actually come out of the homosexual lifestyle, but unfortunately, too late for his body. He loved Jesus with all his heart…I look forward to being with him in heaven.

  • Pat Pope

    Denise, I agree with you that there is a difference between loving someone and agreeing with their actions. What I have found is that some people have the inability to do both. They feel that showing love will be taken as agreement. I think the problem comes in with our definition of “love”. Maybe we need to start there first by revisiting what it means to be “loving” and to understand that we can actually disagree with someone and still love them and treat them like the creations of God that they are.

  • If I may: I came across this quote on another blog (and reposted on my own) the other day. It might add something to the conversation if we are looking at definitions of love:

    “I define love as not just an emotion but an action that helps others achieve some possibility.

    …if you had to objectively measure the love in someone’s heart, what would that look like? I think it would look like increasing choices and possibilities for others.” – Kevin Kelly (Founder of Wired magazine in ChristianityToday)

  • Denise Chambellan

    Pat and John, I completely agree with you on being loving towards others and showing grace to them. Jesus always did this with sinners; He demonstrated His ire with the leadership in the synagogue because of their “holier than thou” attitudes and usage of God’s temple and people toward their own ends. He did, however, stop short of telling people that what they did was not sin. He said things like, “Your sins are forgiven; go and sin no more.”

    Indeed, we as Christians in the modern western church paradigm have missed the boat for the most part when it comes to showing love. Perhaps the problem comes when we forget just how much we have been forgiven, how very much we are loved in spite of our waywardness.

    It always happens when humans try to take the wheel from Jesus, so to speak, thinking they can do this in their own strength. We HAVE NO strength to be like Jesus unless we are COMPLETELY dependent upon Him and His power. That is why I despise sayings like, “God helps those who help themselves.”

    It is the original LIE that we can come to God on our own merits or have ANY good in us save that which is from Him. Right now I am blessed to be part of a young church that has a lot fewer of these misconceptions and pride.

  • Ant

    @Steve – re: “God’s Word says differently”
    @Denise – re: “The Bible is abundantly clear in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexual behavior is sinful”

    With all due respect, you say that as if you or your churches have the handle on truth.

    That homosexuality is a sin is but one interpretation of the 6 maybe 8 bible passages that many Christians interpret homosexuality as sin. Theologically, there is definitely more than one interpretation of these passages. Which one is right? Are some wrong and some right? How can we be sure? Are they all wrong? Are they all right? In the minds of each interpreter, as far as they are concerned its right but to another its wrong. This has happened throughout Christendom with respect to every major doctrine. Who is right and who is wrong? My take on it is that interpretation is neither right or wrong it just is. Its a point of view that we may or may not agree with. Thats scary to many because it means no-one is right, no-one has “the truth”. There is a deep need in many to be right, to be living the right life, to be doing all the right things otherwise our life is meaningless – right? We want our life to have meaning or what is it all for? We may as well do whatever we please. Now obviously there has to be some law and order or there would be chaos. But when that law impinges on the well being of others it diminishes their humanity just like when churches enforce crowd control on gays and tell them that they are sinning and that their behaviour is sin. There is plenty of scientific evidence out there that homosexuality is from birth. All that many Christian churches are doing are diminishing homosexuals, their dignity and their right to be who they are. If they diminish how can they be messengers of Gods love? I really feel that it comes back to many people’s need to be right and to feel good about themselves even at the expense of others. This is not Jesus’ message. The gospels are riddled with Jesus’ compassion for many people in his time. Compassion as a theme in the bible overwhelmingly outweighs the current issue of homosexuality in churches.

    I mean where in the Gospels do we find that Jesus condemns homosexuality? You think that he would have had something to say about it with the way that Christians carry on about it today.

    Denise, you are right about the church’s record of showing love and compassion – its not very good to say the least. We need to stop this need to be right, right about what we believe, Christianity at its core is about doing, not about having right belief. Jesus showed compassion so many times its not funny. That is where the focus should be if we are to follow the example of Jesus.

  • Love your work Naked Pastor…..thanks for this

  • I definitely want to translate that book!

  • Denise Chambellan

    Ant, I do not believe that my church has a corner on truth at all. The statements made in the Bible concerning homosexual and many other sinful behaviors were directly translated from the original languages and are clear in multiple places. This holds true for the language in the Bible that tells me of the sins in my own life. I cannot pick and choose based on my likes or dislikes; it doesn’t work that way.

    If it is all a matter of each person’s “interpretation”, the logical conclusion is that everything in Scripture is up to personal interpretation, something God warns us against in His Word. Truth is not up to interpretation by cultural or societal “norms” which change with the wind.

    To say that sin is only that which impinges upon the rights of others is not Biblical to say the least. That is mostly a western cultural idea. Sin is whatever deviates from who God is and what He has laid out for us to follow. His ways transcend human reasoning. He tells us that His ways are higher than our ways. {Isaiah 55:8-9}.

    Defining sin is a totally different thing than showing love and grace despite someone’s sin. It gets confusing because not showing love and grace to others is also sinful since God is Love. However, we are dealing solely with the definitions here, not what is done with those definitions.

    As for the scientific evidence…there are genetic markers for many different things; proclivity towards something does not necessarily determine behavior. I studied Biochemistry and molecular genetics in University, and it is far from proven.

  • What is proven is that homosexuality is not pathological. What is proven is that human sexual identity is a complex configuration of genetics, brain physiology and chemistry, hormonal components and how they are balanced, and physical development.

    Human sexual orientation is not a series of well-defined self-contained boxes. Instead, human sexual orientation is a continuum. There are people who are uncontrollably heterosexual. There are people who are uncontrollably homosexual. There are people everywhere in-between and some beyond. Some people have a very narrow sexual identity – others have a sexual identity with a very wide latitude. Like many human traits, sexual identity has lots of variance over a wide spectrum.

    Sin is that which prevents or makes difficult a close loving relationship with God. Sex, in any form that is obsessive or compels the hurting of others or self, is a sin. Not because a particular expression of human sexuality is inherently wrong, but because it has become in some way – harmful or idolatrous.

  • Denise Chambellan

    Doug, if you can prove that by Scripture, I will consider it. However, I doubt if that is possible since what I have read is worded in pretty clear and strong language. You are trying to define a principle laid out in Scripture through human reason and through an emotional response. Our feelings are not facts, and God transcends our ability to understand why He says and does the things He does. In other words, He is above our logic.

    Nothing that you asserted about being “proven” about sexuality has in fact been proven at all. They are theories. Here again, genetics does not dictate behavior, even withiin that paradigm.

    Your explaination appears to be simply a rationalization for what you want to believe. The argument here concerns what God and His Word have to say about the subject, psychological reasoning notwithstanding.

    What I have been saying is that Jesus wants us to love people and show them grace regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what they have done. Jesus always showed compassion towards others, but He did not condone their sins, nor tell them it was acceptable behavior. He came to fulfill the law, not destroy it.

    Scripture’s definition of sin is not limited to that which is only hurtful to others, but what is harmful to our relationship with God. I did not define this, God did…in that sense, your argument is with Him and His Word, not with people like me.

    As I said…if you can show me where Scripture says that homosexual behavior is not sin, that would be a beginning.

  • Denise,

    In the same place where it says that slavery is wrong, that the death penalty is wrong, and that women do have a place as church leaders and do have a voice on matters of faith – such as you have exercised here.

  • Ant

    Denise,

    Thanks for your reply.

    If you say that you dont believe your church has a corner on truth then how can you speak in absolutes? Its been very clear that theology has changed and will continue to change as people gain different insights to the passages of the bible. There are Christian beliefs that are common place nowadays but once upon a time were considered heresy. Once upon a time slavery was considered ok but now it isnt and both views were vigorously defended from the bible as their source of authority. Can they both be right? Surely one is right and the other wrong? Not neccessarily, public opinion changed, now we think it is wrong. But back in time it was ok and no one had a problem it was just the way things were and it was considered right. Belief changes just as humans change – its inevitable.

    Incidentaly the word ‘homosexual’ did not enter the English bible till modern times – it first appeared in the RSV in 1946 and this word does not appear in the KJV. So it couldn’t have been directly translated from the original languages. There is so much in between us and the original manuscripts that form what we know today as the bible. Translation is a tricky business at best. Versions of the bible have their biases. So much has changed in terms of culture and technology. We can produce bibles in their millions with very little chance of a flaw. Prior to Gutenberg it was all handwritten. Chinese whispers.

    Every doctrine is an interpretation – I have studied hermeneutics and there is no escaping this. Someone decided “I think it means this”. Later someone says “No, I think it means this” – it just happens – we are all different. Like science, theology is ever changing. Where does it warn against personal interpretation in the bible? Doesn’t it say we should be convinced in our own mind, to rightly divide the word of truth, to give the reason for our faith, to study and show ourselves approved etc.

    Do not Christians also rationalise what they want to believe? Find a scripture and say “there it is in the bible – it must be right”, forgetting the basics of hermeneutics.

    I didnt say that sin was only that which impinges on the rights of others. But it certainly would be a part of it if we are talking about definitions

    I will respectfully disagree – we are having a discussion, a debate if you will, on a forum about your view and interpretation of the bible as well as mine – to be passed of to God is just poor form imho – I have no argument with you – you are entitled to believe what you want just as I am. I just happen to disagree with your view that homosexuality is a sin.

    Proclivity towards something as you say might not necessarily determine behaviour – this might be true for a small number of homosexuals but for the most part homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality is to those who are straight. It isn’t about behaviour, its about orientation. Its like I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I’ll be bi, bigender, genderqueer, or whatever, stick any LGBTIQ term in there. That’s like, a really good idea cos I could cop all the crap in the world from so many people, set myself up for so much oppression, y’know its like I didn’t choose it, it chose me – I wasn’t looking for it and the next thing you know…

  • Denise’s stance demonstrates refusal of history while Doug’s shows acceptance of it. This type of discussion reveals mostly the worldview held by each proponent and demonstrates that fundamentalism does not allow itself to co-exist with the rest of humanity. The Pharisees faced the same dilemma dealing with Jesus.

  • OneTrueKinsman

    Doug Sloan,

    “Homosexuality is not a sin.”

    While I agree with 99% of what you said in your comments above, I have to disagree with you on this individual statement, from the viewpoint a lot of Christians have (I’m an atheist, but I understand this well).

    Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”…sounds like it’s a sin to me.

    In fact, most fundies will use this line as support for their condemnation of homosexuals. Maybe YOU don’t see homosexuality as a sin (it isn’t), but the loudest voices in Christianity and Islam DO see it as such and are able to deny equal HUMAN rights to homosexuals.

  • Denise Chambellan

    Scripture does not support a homosexual lifestyle. Romans 1:25-27 is one of the passages that talks about this, and the reasons for that stance. It says nothing about homosexuals being less than other humans; it addresses their behavior as well as the behavior of people caught up in other sins. It also talks about accepting and loving all people as valuable, loved, and cherished to God. Jesus came for everyone.

    The problem here is not what I personally think, it is about what Scripture says. I said that the argument was with God and not myself for this very reason. It is not up to me to decide what is right and wrong; it is for God to decide.

    My understanding is that the KJV was translated from the Latin Vulgate. Translations such as the New American Standard and the NKJV were translated from the original languages. While I am not a theologian, I do understand a little about hermeneutics. One of the rules I learned was to interpret unclear passages in the light of clear ones. The passages I’ve read dealing with homosexuality as well as fornication and adultery are clear.

    Absolute truth? Perhaps the question is whether or not one is going to accept Scripture as authoritative or not. The other half of that is what the Holy Spirit convicts a believer’s heart of as truth. He will never contradict His Word. I do not, nor will I ever condemn homosexuals as people; this does not include me agreeing with their lifestyle. It does mean that I should be loving, kind, and giving to them.

  • Re: Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Seems the real abomination here is for a man to abase himself as a woman since women are not equals. This is why sons of Abraham give thanks in the morning prayer service that G-d made them men and not women. This verse does not deal with same gender attraction but rather confirms the place and role of men versus women in a patriarchal society. In biblical times women were plunders of war (Deut 21/10), whores, concubines, one of many wives and dutiful daughters that could be offered up in sacrifice (Judges 11) or sold in marriage. Love expressed between Jonathan and David (1 Sam 18) is not condemned but praised as a form of love preferable to that of women. This worldview is further established in Plato’s Republic where women of distinction are an exception, but women at large are there to breed and serve – true love is between men. We can refuse history and go back to the way things were in the good old days, or we can deal with reality in the 21st century. But it is rather ludicrous to expect 10% of humanity to live according to a moral code that no longer applies to all.

  • If scripture only supports the heterosexual lifestyle – then why oh why isn’t the church doing everything to encourage heterosexual men to marry single heterosexual women regardless of youth or beauty? Shouldn’t the church invest more energy into promoting the heterosexual lifestyle than putting down the homosexual one? I mean as long as Christianity thinks it has the responsibility to manage the sexual welfare of humanity, why isn’t it teaching heterosexuals the joy of sex? Why doesn’t it concentrate its efforts on rehabilitating pedophiles, rapists, unfaithful spouses and wife-beaters? Let’s be honest, the heterosexual lifestyle has a lot more problems on its hands than the homosexual one, with greater ramifications for the rest of society. So why is the church almost silent on porn, brothels and other indulgences good Christian males allow themselves and yet feels free to condemn the “gay” lifestyle? Could gays merely be scapegoats I wonder?

  • Denise Chambellan

    Louise, the arguments you offer both assume a great deal about Christians and what the Bible is talking about in terms of history. They confuse cultural practices across centuries with what Scripture has to say, and what God does and does not endorse. This is muddying the waters, so to speak. We are dealing with what God’s Word says about homosexual behavior and how the church treats people that are homosexual.

    As I’ve stated before, yes, the church in general misses the boat in terms of service, love, and grace towards others in the world. This does not negate whether or not God says something is out of line with His character or will.

    God does not change who He is according to what humans believe He is or is not. To do this would make God a human creation. He is the Uncreated, the Creator. As for me and others like me, I believe that God exists and is interested and involved in our lives. Apologetics for His existence and why the Bible is true are another conversation entirely.

    The other mistake people commonly make is assuming that if one is a Christian, that they can follow Jesus perfectly. Man has not been able to do this since having to leave Eden. This is why Jesus had to come. Otherwise, we would not need a Savior to pay our debt to God and bring reconciliation through His blood shed on the cross.

    Christians are people who are actively trying to follow Yahweh. This involves viable, active, close relationship with God. According to the research I’ve read, only 1-2% of people in America that claim to be Christians have that relationship with Him. This puts me in mind of the saying, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” It also says to me that we are a Christian nation mostly in name only. We do not need another or more religion; we need God in our lives.

    You bring up valid points about how the church is not serving or loving as it should. However, it would appear that you believe that the church and Christians do NOTHING. The truth is that there are many ministries, authors, and Christians in general that are trying to address the very problems you stated.

  • Actually when compared to other issues the Bible is quite silent on “homosexual behaviour”.

  • Denise thanks for taking the time to respond.

  • Ant

    Denise,

    Thanks once again for your reply.

    Where Roman 1: 25-27 is concerned we need to be careful to set these verses in their context. A verse or passage cannot be lifted out of the text. This is one of the basic rules of hermeneutics. W have to look at the surrounding verses and the context its set in. First of all its a letter to the Romans-verse 7. The Romans of this time were known to engage in all kinds of orgies and they worshipped pleasure – they sought after it and did whatever felt good to them. When you look at the at verses 25-27 you can see that its a pretty good description of the Romans from a Christians point of view. The surrounding passages make sense in this light. If we look at the original Greek there is no mention of homosexuality the passage assumes heterosexuality otherwise why would it talk about what is natural? Natural from what point of view? A heterosexual one, a heterosexual talking about other heterosexuals who will do anything and I mean absolutely anything, anything at all, to gain pleasure. This does not fit the majority of LGBTIQ people I know – especially those that are Christian.

    The KJV was sourced mainly from the Bishops bible which was basically the Geneva Bible which was derived from the Great Bible which in turn was derived from the Coverdale Bible which depended heavily on the Tyndale New Testament, Psalms and Job and also Luther’s translation. Tyndale’s NT sources were the original Hebrew for his OT work and the Textus Receptus by Erasmus for the NT which was based on Eusebius NT who worked with the original Greek NT writings and the Septuagint. Luther did use the Masoretic text and the Vulgate in his translation as did Tyndale but Tyndale’s use of the Vulgate was minimal since he drew mainly on the Hebrew so the the Vulgate does come in but via an extremely indirect route and is not a primary source for the KJV. Not saying the KJV is perfect in any way shape or form – it certainly had an agenda – that’s for sure but so do many of the modern translations even though they are based on the original Hebrew and Greek texts. Homosexuality as an orientation was not understood by the OT and NT writers and therefore could not have been written about.

    You can say that ‘homosexuality is a sin’ is not what you think but the thing is you agree with it or you wouldn’t be supporting it and putting it forward as what you believe to be right and true. Therefore its your point of view as well. You have made a choice to own it by defending it. So that’s why we are discussing it with you and not God. Can we ask God to come in and join the discussion? I have a feeling God wont join in cos the view that homosexuality is sin is nothing in comparison to the issue of the lack of compassion in the bible.

    I am afraid there are too many contradictions in the bible to list here and far too many errors, the use of the word homosexual is one of them, it is a fallacy to superimpose our 21st century understanding on biblical times where there was not the same understanding that we have today. This is also basic to hermeneutics.

    It is nice that you should be loving, kind and giving to homosexuals. Allow me present to you a thought on love:

    “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves that we see in them”

    As a Jesus accepted all as they were he did not ask them to change who they were and Christians ought not to ask homosexuals to change who they are. There is not a single place in the bible that asks homosexuals to stop being homosexuals – there are prohibitions on heterosexuals trying to be what they are not and the same applies to homosexuals they shouldn’t try to be heterosexual when they are not.

  • I can’t believe how much time and energy everyone is putting into this discussion. I’m left sitting here wondering if there is anyone who can put this aside for just a second and simply say, “I need Jesus.”
    Maybe or maybe not cuz of our orientation, but still because without Him we are lost.

  • Denise Chambellan

    Ant, Louise, and Bill, thank you for your replies.

    Ant and Louise, I think we shall have to agree to disagree on these things, for we definitely appear to understand them differently. There are far too many points to discuss in a forum such as this, and even if we did, I doubt we would come into agreement on them.

    The point Bill brings up is the precise point I was originally trying to make…that we all need Jesus no matter what, and to minister His love to others is the goal.

  • There’s a great moment at the start of the movie, ‘The Undiscovered Country’ (Star Trek V). A man, clearly impoverished, is standing in a vast, dry terrain, digging holes in what was once, perhaps, fertile soil. The ‘farmer’ is suddenly disturbed by the approach of a stranger on horse back – we see the fear in his face, as he races to his few possessions for a weapon to defend himself.
    He tries anxiously to load the make-shift gun to defend himself as the rider quickly draws closer…
    With the gun loaded, he aims to fire, but as the stranger stops, he hesitates… The stranger asks, as he dismounts and walks towards him… “would you really kill me for a field of empty holes?”….. The man looks into his eyes and says “It’s all I have”. The stranger looks ‘within’ him, and the man breaks down… his true pain being opened, as a deep healing begins…

    Isn’t that what Paul is really teaching us in the passages at the opening of Romans? We are all that man in the desert, digging empty holes, whether we’re talking about our immorality or our piety, it all amounts to dust in the wind – only life in the New man, Jesus Christ, amounts to anything.

    “Whenever scriptures speaks of forming, then they are concerned only with one ‘form’ which has overcome sin, death, hell and the world – the ‘form’ (nature) of Jesus Christ. Formation comes only by being drawn in – into the likeness of Him. To be thus formed means to become someone sentenced by God – we live with the necessity of dying before God for the sake of sin to be conformed to the risen Christ… that is to truly be a person before God. Here, then, in the midst of death, one is given life. That is how we become human”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer.