Go read "gay People and the Bible" by Rev Kenneth W Collins published by iTunes for iBooks on iPads. It is an excellent scolarly and critical exposition on the topic from a biblical and historical perspective. The proof text method just won't cut it. I am neither evangelical nor politically conservative nor a fundamentalist. I don't believe in the contradiction of love the dinner and hate the sinner which seems to be a Hindu teaching and not Christian. Fundamentalism tends towards Gnosticism which is a heresy. I can hate my sin but am not allowed to judge others or their sin.
The Ugly Way Evangelicals Love Gay People (a new blog post)
Evangelicals LOVE gay people. They do. They really love them. In fact, nearly every evangelical I know, when talking about their views on homosexuality, preface their opinions with disclaimers about how much they love gay people. Many prove their progressive-leaning love by talking about how often they watch Modern Family.
For many evangelicals, watching Modern Family is like having a gay best friend.
Now, some evangelicals don’t say anything about loving gay people; but they swear on everything good and holy that they don’t hate gay people. They hate that loaded word—”hate”—because it makes them sound mean and unbecoming.
Both types of evangelicals—the lovers and the non-haters—seem to become frustrated or bewildered or or defensive when people don’t believe them when they say they love or don’t hate gay people. Which makes sense, of course; most of us become agitated or saddened when somebody doesn’t believe us.
But consider the last two weeks. Because I think these last 14 days might offer us a little insight as to why many GLBTQ people think us evangelicals—those of us who affirm and those of us who don’t affirm—are full of crap.
♦ Because on May 28, the American Family Association issued a statement to all of its members regarding the stamp honoring activist Harvey Milk. In that statement, the evangelical organization wrote:
1. Refuse to accept the Harvey Milk stamp if offered by your local post office. Instead ask for a stamp of the United States flag.
2. Refuse to accept mail at your home or business if it is postmarked with the Harvey Milk stamp. Simply write ‘Return to Sender’ on the envelope and tell your postman you won’t accept it.
♦ Because 2 days earlier, Franklin Graham, while talking about how much he loved GLBTQ people, offered the objects of his affection God’s ultimatum: “I love them enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you,” Graham said. “Now, if you don’t like that, don’t get mad at me. I didn’t write the rule book. Almighty God wrote it, and it’s a sin against Him.”
♦ Because on June 2, a whole bunch of Southern Baptists met in Baltimore for their annual convention. On their list of topics to discuss were the “700,000 Americans [who] perceive their gender identity to be at variance with the physical reality of their biological birth sex.”
Amid their chat, a summary as to why the topic was being discussed was offered…
WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association removed this condition (aka, “gender identity disorder”) from its list of disorders in 2013, substituting “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria”; and
WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association includes among its treatment options for gender dysphoria cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and social and legal transition to the desired gender; and
WHEREAS, news reports indicate that parents are allowing their children to undergo these “therapies”; and
WHEREAS, many LGBT activists have sought to normalize the transgender experience and to define gender according to one’s self-perception apart from biological anatomy…
♦ Because on June 3, John MacArthur published a YouTube video offering his best advice to parents of gay children. In the 2-minute clip, MacArthur said that, if the gay child was a Christian who refused to repent, “You have to alienate them, you have to separate them; you can’t condone that [because] it’s inconsistent with a profession of Christ. So, you isolate them. You don’t have a meal with them. You separate yourself from them. You turn them over to Satan as scripture says…”
♦ Because three days later MacArthur offered his wisdom about how bakeries should respond when a gay couple asks them to bake a cake for their wedding…
♦ Because people flock to read evangelicals like Matt Walsh acting like Matt Walsh on the topic of transgender children.
♦ Because this Christian politician from Oklahoma seems to think that stoning gay people isn’t out of the realm of possibility…
♦ Because Tony Perkins, the guy in charge of the Family Research Council, had the audacity to say this…
I can’t be sure, of course; but these last couple weeks seem to offer a lot of reasons as to why non-evangelicals of varying kinds don’t believe that evangelicals love (or don’t hate) gay people.
Most evangelicals will say something like this: Those examples are extreme. They don’t speak for me!
While they might not speak for you and me, can we honestly say that these are the evangelical extremes any more? The guy from Oklahoma? Sure. He’s extreme. But all of them? I don’t think so.
Does the average church in American evangelicalism really believe or adhere to a different doctrine than many of these examples? Sure, they might never project their ideas aloud when cameras and microphones are present, but are their beliefs/doctrines/values different enough that they’re willing to challenge these ideas?
Because the only evangelicals challenging the messages of these voices are the progressive ones, a handful of liberal evangelical bloggers who have little influence on the likes of Franklin Graham, John MacArthur, and the SBC. If these people don’t speak for evangelicals, where are the non-progressive evangelicals who might challenge these messages? We need them to speak up, on behalf of the gospel, Jesus, and the evangelicals who really do love gay people.
Because I refuse to believe that the majority of America’s Evangelicals are okay with these agenda-driven evangelicals speaking on their behalf. Because whether we like it or now, right now, they are. And they’re getting louder. And they’re speaking up more often.
And they are the reason why so many GLBTQ people laugh or roll their eyes or scream expletives when an evangelical says that he or she loves them. Because nothing they hear coming out of evangelical culture suggests love or non-hate… it’s the same rhetoric that evangelicals have been preaching in America for nearly 70 years, a rhetoric of shame and hopelessness.
What do you do with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10???
(Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.)
Answer: go to verse 11: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality...
I feel that most Christians hate gays subconsciously but don't really know why except that they are supposed to (and many probably dont want to hate gays from a conscious perspective). I also think there is a lot of shame that younger Christians are beginning to experience (Millennials and maybe some Gen-Xers) because they want to hold the line for their faith but also know deep down in their hearts that the line is, has always been and will be known in the textbooks to be a tragic mis-step in the history of Christianity. Those younger Christians do not know how to reconcile 'the line' with the reality they see around them. I think many parents of Millennials are also beginning to feel a level of discomfort as they relate their child-to-parent inconsistent views on interracial relationships to their parent-to-child inconsistent views on same-sex relationships.
The unfortunate thing for these uncomfortable parents and ashamed millennials/genXers is compounded by two major factors:
1). Everything is about to get REAL ugly, uglier than we have ever seen in the christian v. gay culture war. Christians have had the bully pulpit for so long and have held all the political capital since they started the war against gays. Gays have accumulated enough political power to win in politics but are now coming for the pulpit as well. Kicking the hornets nest is backfiring for Christians, albeit generations later. Karma's a bitch. Christians will never understand or fathom what they have done to gay people and their collective psyche - they will probably never care. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The compounded accumulation of the Christian response to AIDS, the Christian response to hate-crimes, the Christian response to gay-youth suicide rate, the Christian response to gay genocide. In every example of Christians engaging gays in history, what you see is Christians doing whatever it takes to reduce the number of gays who exist. A non-response to AIDS, a non-response to hate-crimes and child-suicide, an intervention into African politics to induce genocide. Lets just say that the gay-Christian movement may not be the best thing for the Christian-movement to survive the modern era, it might be the Christian movement's best defense from the collective rage of the gay community at large. The Christian mandate since the beginning of this culture war has been to exterminate the gays. Matthew is right, we don't think you love us. On the other hand, while most Christians are obsessed with all things gay gay gay gay gay, most gays could give two shits about anything to do with Christianity. This is bad news for gay souls if Christ is the only way, and its also bad news for the church if gays teach heterosexuals how to engage spirituality the same way we teach them how to appreciate fashion, art, music, style, design, and every other aspect of materialism.
2). There are no affirming influences for the Millennial & GenXers to look up to for guidance on how to move forward through this ethical & spiritual dilemma. We have peer influencers like Matthew Paul Turner, Rachel Held Evans, Matthew Vines - and many more... but who do we have to look up to from older/established elders? Most of the older stock of Christian leaders are vying to hold the line.. whether they are trying to hold the line of their faith or their pocketbooks remains to be seen. Rick Warren types want to tone down the criticism while still holding a superiority view while raking in deposits. This is not leadership. Who will lead from the Christian side other than the handful of Millennial apologists?
I think Kathy Baldock is right about the Gay-Christian movement being the only thing that can save us all from the 1). ugliness that is yet to take place. Arthur Schopenhauer's famous words in 1818 "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." I think the era of ridicule is ending and we are entering a short phase of violently opposing. I think most Christians are waiting to see how their leadership responds to the sweeping gay marriage cases that have thirty-something states in federal litigation. They are waiting to see how their leadership responds to transgender visibility and anti-bullying mandates in school and employment non-discrimination in the private sector. It appears the loudest of the extremist Christian leaders are not yet violently opposing anything in particular - at least not the ones who are invited to comment on CNN and Fox News. It will take few non camera-polished Joe Pastor's who finally break and go nuts over gay rights who eventually lead the Christian community to pick a side, but the confusing thing for most will be that few will see two equalized sides of one clear-cut coin. And thats when it will get ugly.
At that time, Christians will need to make a conscious choices regardless of a subconscious disposition. At some time in the future, Christian and gay will not be mutually exclusive terms. Until Christians release the mutual exclusivity of those terms, they cannot love a gay person - that day has not come, and that's why no one believes them.
You say, "We need them to speak up, on behalf of the gospel, Jesus, and the evangelicals who really do love gay people."
What exactly would be your hope - regarding what these Christians should be saying?
Okay I have to give my two cents....I go to a fairly liberal evangelical church, and I have been wrestling with this issue in my heart non-stop....I've prayed, I've read, I've researched all different theological viewpoints and find it all inconclusive...we know that gay sex in Biblical times was sinful...we know nothing about gay marriage...all gay sex was fornication and therefore sin.. Also we know that men who were naturally straight and experimented with same sex were also sinning, as they left their natural use and burned with lust for each other...that indicated "going gay" when they were straight. There is not mention of people with SSA originally... I also know that a man/woman marriage for life is the perfect ideal....there is not man/man or woman/woman perfect option mentioned...So all I can conclude is that being born gay is part of the fall as is all other sin including the polygamy practiced all over the Bible, part of our inborn sinful nature in some of us...not a mortal or harmful sin, but simply imperfection, much like my 2nd marriage and blended family...not God's ideal, but part of my fallen nature. I think God understands we all fall short...
So why can't we all just say to each other...."I'm not okay, you are not okay, but that's okay!!" I think God knows we are not okay but he is concerned about our hearts...and if we love or not, he is not looking for perfection (that is unattainable). So this is why I am okay with gay marriage, just like I am okay with 2nd marriages and even polygamy if that floats your boat and everyone in the relationship is fine with it...but I will never say that either is on par with one man and one woman for life who married as virgins, but honestly, who does that? not many, and those that do may have infidelity issues, alcoholism, abuse or a whole host of other sins in their family....NO FAMILY is perfect in this fallen world...get over it I say... But I do know that God has a HUGE issue with pride...and gay pride is sin...so is the pride of a heterosexual bigot who thinks they are so much better than the gay person and acts like a hypocrite pointing fingers (while he watches porn, drinks heavily, or beats his wife behind closed doors)...God frowns on both of those people IMO...but still loves their sinning butts! That is the mystery of God...but the proud will fall that is a guarantee, there will be consequences and He will pick them up and restore their broken and now humble butts...
Gays are so precious, so so very precious in so many ways, I can't even list them all here. (Excuse me if that is obnoxiously patronizing.) They have their hands full. They know what Christians think of them; why heap any negative shaming crap on them...especially when we have such big logs in our own eyes. We should be crying in shame for the way we've treated them. Crying and begging THEIR forgiveness! Gays didn't even go out and look for this, like us adults do when we engage in pornography and adultery. (Not comparing those to gayness except in the sense that Christians are colossal hypocrites with double standards.)
Gayness comes to kids just like straightness comes to kids. They're just kids. It's what I call, "their hands were clean". When their sexual orientation was recognized by themselves as youngsters, their hands were clean, unlike us Christians with our dirty, adulterous, porno-loving hands. (A Barna survey states 1 out of 2 Christian pastors have viewed pornography, more than once - ask me for the link if you like.)
Sex. It can be confusing - its deep, at the core of our beings and I don't understand it all, for sure, especially LGBT stuff. Ever try to shake a fetish or change from straight to gay!? Yeah. Good luck with that. Praise God that He has relieved me of any obligation to tell anyone they had to change their sex stuff before God can accept them, or even after. Grace doesn't work that way. Christians are doing more horrific bad than one iota of good with all their muckity-muck!
God is so much bigger than all of us. The most important thing is to meet God, meet Jesus here and now. And we aren't exactly drawing people to Him with our clobbering, dirty hands, no matter how much 'love' we try to wrap it up in. More like we are standing between God and His precious children like a firing squad, locked and loaded!
And if people come to a saving knowledge and relationship with the Lord, and for some reason, (between them and God), they remain in their gay relationships, I am still butting out, (unless I am asked...which is unlikely). We'll find out everything in heaven some day, but it won't matter any longer because there isn't going to be any marriage and sex in heaven. No matter how many virgins Bin Laden thought were waiting for him.
Do you know there has never been a perfect marriage ever, and there never will be?! Except one - the marriage of Christ to his bride, the church. We're all in this together. Adam and Eve's marriage wasn't perfect because sin happened, so the perfection was only temporary. But our marriage, The Church to Christ, will be perfect and eternal. Let's celebrate that and love each other into His arms in the meantime.
It's not even this stuff that turns gay people off Christianity, though it is a good representative of the comments we deal with daily.
As a gay Christian myself, it's dealing with the same eye-rolling comments that one even sees here in these comments (i.e., being in a gay relationship is just like adultery, lying, theft and things that, you know, actually hurt people.) Gay people want to destroy the church/family/America. If we truly loved God we'd be healed into heterosexuality.
It's dealing with commenters who are more than willing to ignore, contextualize, compromise or make allowances for other Biblical prohibitions - women speaking in church, not covering their heads, remarriage (which Jesus called adultery and St Paul said wasn't a moral choice (1 Cor 7:10-11)), charging interest on the loan, eating rare meat, working on the Sabbath, etc. but feel like the church will implode/God will be mocked unless they hold the hard line on this topic. Why the double standard?
And finally, explaining over and over and over and over and over and over again (over 30 years of my life!) why I don't believe that gay relationships are condemned in Scripture (while dodging accusations that I only believe this so I can practice sin; I'm going to hell, etc.) as if there hasn't been a lot of material that supports my position written about this, including by conservative evangelicals who (unlike me) believe in Biblical inerrancy that is available.
It's the constant negativity, double standards and hypocrisy that is the turn-off and what has led me to believe that for all the professions of "love" we aren't really loved.
I feel very safe as an Episcopalian in New York City where sexuality ceased to be an issue and all people, gay or straight, are expected to form responsible committed relationships, but the constant negativity online leads me to distance myself whenever I encounter an evangelical Christian. It's not my job to condone or condemn other people's behaviour as long as they aren't actively hurting others. I wish more Christians would pay attention to what Christ said about that.
Sure, these comments in the media are vile, the anger, the false accusations, the willful ignorance about the subject matter speak much louder than any professions of "love" (which has been twisted to mean something rather Orwellian in evangelicalism today anyway.)
Makes a very good point. I would like to add a comment for thought. When you look at yourself do you see a group of people formed into one body? Do you see yourself as an exact replica of someone else? I know I don't. I also know God see's me as a unique creation of his. We see ourselves as individuals, but are quick to sum up others as one type of person. While it is often very hard to look at each person a new because you do get spat in the face a lot, a lot of times it's about respecting each other. I don't feel Jesus meant just the poor, the hungry, and the homeless when he said what you have done for them you have done for me. Often when you hear somesomeone preaching against sin and condemning people, that isn't why they started becoming a christian. But over the years they have been mislead themselves thinking, if they condemn someone it's bringing them to God. No man comes to the Father except through Christ. I try to encourage people when you simply can't agree instead of turning against each other lift each other up to Christ in prayer. Let His will be done. Because I've gotta say his way is far better than anything we could do.
I have one question to ask evangelicals: Why do YOU think we get angry at you? I am an LGBT Christian. When you do things that hurt us. When you do things that hurt our community. When you deny those of us who are LGBT CWhen you condemn us. When you show us that your love is conditional based upon how you think we should live, you show us hate. You don't show us God's love Love comes through acceptance. And God is all-loving. When you want to reach out to us, just say "God loves you" and nothing more. Not everyone believes, like you, that homosexuality is a sin and for good reason. It is not a choice and it is not something that can be cured. While you may believe that you're doing the right thing, you're telling us that we should be ashamed of who we are and how God made us. You're projecting your personal beliefs onto us and saying we can't be loved until we match up with those. Why would all of this not make us angry? None of us are perfect. All of us have issues to work upon in our relationship to God. But hurting us doesn't help us grow stronger in relationship to God. It only causes anger and hatred. And that helps no one.
I am Christopher's father and I was told I was not welcome that this church because of my views and the fact that I challenged the church on their beliefs. I believe it is time for everyone gay or straight who believe that this kind of action is a hate crime stand up and be heard. Talking about it amongst ourselves is fine and may make us feel good but it will not make the issue go away. Let's call it what it is and use the media to let others no of this issue. I feel this behavior is no different the when this nation separated the races. gay, lesbians and cross gender people are just that people they are not a subspecies.
Here is something you can "do with 1 Cor 6-9", MR. upfront, put a book mark there, then follow these links to the several dozen OTHER bible verses you need to read, (in any one of 30 or more translations including Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew), and GET yourself a clue.
(Forgive me dear brothers and sisters, this nauseating contempt coming from the 'so-called' Christian Right, has just pressed my last button this month.
@standupwi1 The word homosexual wasn't added to the Bible until 1946. And, based on historical contextual understandings about what the other "clobber verses" in the Bible might have really meant, it's not quite so simple to lump homosexuality in with sexually immoral.
@thedrewboo Your post has more bigotry and prejudice in it than anything you could blame on those that believe in orthodox Christianity. There will be no violent response unless it's from the Act Up crowd. At a popular level, much like legalizing drugs, the decisions have been made. Since Christianity and morals can no longer be used as an argument in court(except for the somewhat shocking Hobby Lobby case), the court will eventually rule in favor of nationwide gay marriage. So few of the younger generation(millennials, gen-x, etc) have enough biblical teaching to know they are being taught incorrectly. There will still be some good churches, those somewhere in between the right wing nuts and those that change the Bible as their opinions change.
@thedrewboo Meantime, those of us who have been gay AND Christian this entire time will continue to try to find some sort of middle ground where the two extremes might find some common ground.
And hopefully stave off any and all violence.
@taylor1962 You don't want the church to condemn sin? As other posters note, there are lots of sins, we all sin. But I'm not going to go into church and try to explain away my sin. Your cowardice of using "crime" is just that.
@JeffPreuss @thedrewboo I'm curious - as a gay Christian do you believe you should be able to enter into a sexual relationship? If you do believe you can, how do you reconcile that with your belief about God creating a perfect world that has fallen into sin but that he sent his son so that all of it could be reconciled to him?
I do not believe there will be much physical violence (I hope). I dont think the rage aspect of the collective gay psyche is one of physical violence, but how it manifests does not necessarily mean it will be civil.
*worship openly - is what I should have said in that last paragraph. I'm sure I am already worshiping with an unknown (closeted) number of gays.
**also, I am sorry for the "them" references in the final paragraph. ARGHHH! I hate that!
And I hate labels!
And I hate 'HATE'! Ya know?
Condemning sin is one thing, but hating the sin and loving the sinner makes no sense. Secondly what is sin is a matter of church teaching. Weather being gay is a sin is a matter between ones particular church and themselves but is not a universal position among all churches. I am not attempting to tell the general public that gay is a sin (a great oversimplification that some hold as part of their belief system) but I am a Christian who is not willing based on sound understanding to explain sin away when it with reason is not a sin. That may be putting me in the liberal progressive camp when I am otherwise orthodox. This sounds like an argument between Christians that makes us look sick by the worlds view.
I found this link to be helpful too.
@standupwi1 It's a first to you? Really?
As for "proof" I'll provide you several links to places where it's debated if it's a sin according to Scripture. Whether you'll accept them as proof is doubtful, but the theological debates ARE there, and many find the condemnation not quite so clear. A few of these pages reference the English-language addition of 1946, but perhaps not all of them.
(Those first two were the same people effectively.)
And, here's a spot that tries to be a bit more even-handed in coverage of the discussion:
@PhilHeslop Thank you for your question Phil.
Do I believe I "should be able to"? Why shouldn't I? Because some same sex acts occurred during idolatry practices? Because some same sex acts were threatened via mass mob rape? Because some 600 mitzvuhs included same sex acts? Because some sex same acts were committed by prostitutes?
What does any of this have to do with me? Do you identify with Solomon having 700 opposite-sex wives and 300 opposite-sex concubines? Do you think it’s moral or acceptable to have opposite-sex relations with 700 wives and 300 concubines if you had the financial means to support them? Do you identify with stoning a woman who has had sex outside of wedlock or for money? Is that your typical reaction to becoming aware of human sexuality being expressed in unconventional ways around you?
Just like every opposite-sex act in the Bible isn’t something that every Christian heterosexual can identify with, I also cannot identify with these same-sex acts that have been mentioned in the Bible which modern Christians have become obsessed with.
Do I believe that a concept that has never existed in history until 1869 and was first added to the Bible in 1946 is an appropriate way to apply a "high view" of scripture? No, I do not.
I am sorry I am asking so many questions of myself, but I get a sense of assumption in your question since you have categorized me as a gay Christian although I have not identified myself as such. I do not recall the Bible saying that God created a perfect world and we should model everything that exists in our world from the Garden of Eden as the ideal expression of creation. What I do recall is God seeing what he had created and saying that it was "Good".
Was Adam and/or Eve right handed or left handed? We need to know because we need to know what to do with left handed people if God didnt create them!! If we dont know which hand Adam/Eve predominantly used, then how will we know if left-handed people are a spawn of sin and banishment from the garden? What about different races? What race were Adam/Eve? What color hair did they have - I bet they didnt have red hair... because red hair is more rare statistically than homosexual orientation. Surely, red hair is due to the fall of sin!! The Bible doesnt say that either of the original humans had red hair so God didnt create it!!!
I think we probably
read more into the Bible than we read out of it. One of the worst things
we can do with a high view of scripture is cloud it with our own biases.
We all do it – it’s probably impossible not to read the Bible in a way we
can identify with but that doesn’t mean we should force everyone around us to
understand its content the way we understand it. If the gift of Christ is
for everyone, then everyone should be able to read the Bible in a way that
uplifts their spirit. A woman should not have to accept condemnation or
inferiority from the Bible even though some of that exists in the text. A
female should not have to undergo a sex-change because some scriptures seem to
denigrate the humanity of females. I think in reading the Bible, we have
to allow a balance between a high view of scripture expressed through a certain
culture and time and understanding its intended message... in other words, we
should be able to see the forest in addition to all the trees.
Regardless of how you choose to read the Bible and what texts you feel more compelled by compared to others, no interpretation of "clobber passages" refers to same-sex couples. In fact, of the gay people I know and/or know of who are not in monogamous relationships and even promiscuous gay people that I know of, none of them to my knowledge are participating in idolatry, mob rape, jewish-rabbinical rituals or.... ok well Im sure some gay folks are participating in prostitution. Still, I dont know what any of that has to do with me.
Since the Bible does not mention Adam/Eve hair color, eye color, race, hair length, second-to-fourth digit finger-length ratio, handedness, etc - I cannot assume that one dominant attribute was "perfect" and all other gene expressions that create evolutionary diversity are deemed to be 'fall of man" / sin / garden-banishment. The Bible doesnt tell us where all of Adam/Eve's children found their spouses and it also doesnt tell us the sexual orientation of all of Adam/Eve's children. The Bible is not explicit in regard to if the first children were born inside or outside of the garden – God made childbirth painful as a punishment to kicking them out of the garden which implies it was previously not painful. Adam named his companion Eve because all life came from her which implies she was giving birth at the time of her naming. There is a lot that the Bible does not tell us, but we have still based many theological concepts such as complementarianism from inferred overall intent.
I guess my point is that the Bible tells us some things, but all that we read from it does not necessarily come from it. In conclusion, I do not believe God created a perfect world - that is not a Biblical high view to me, God saw that it was "Good". Would Satan have access to a perfect world? Would the perfect world have a giant tree in the middle that you can’t touch with large succulent fruit that you cannot eat? Would you be lonely in a perfect world with nothing but animals to befriend? Would God have needed to create Eve if the world was already perfect for Adam? Just as we read “perfect world” into the creation story, we also seem to read “gay people” into the Bible when people are getting raped, worshipping idols and getting paid for sex. I just don’t see how we should be able to define an entire cross-section of the human race as rapists, idolaters and prostitutes if there is no evidence of those things occurring in the vast majority of same-sex relationships or even promiscuous same-sex relations. If anything those are as outlying to the gay world as 700 wives and 300 concubines are to the straight world.
It simply does not apply to me, relate to me or have anything to do with me. Not to mention, the clobber passages are not even talking about same-sex acts as the focal point of the story. They traded God for a false image and worshipped that instead, God wanted to destroy the cities if there were not ten righteous men, here is a list 600 rules to obey to be different from the non-chosen peoples around you, here is a list of folks including prostitutes who will not receive the kingdom of God… same-sex acts were not the focal points of any of those ‘clobbers’. Lesbians are never mentioned in the rabbinical codes nor are they mentioned in arsenokoitai / malakos. A high view of scripture does not condemn same-sex relationships or general same-sex acts without invoking a personal bias into scripture.
Simple answer: please tell me where you see the Bible speaking explicitly to egalitarian same-sex relationships.
@PhilHeslop @JeffPreuss @thedrewboo First question, yes, like straight Christians can. Second question, I'm going to attempt to pierce the the theological doublespeak to answer what I think you are really getting at:
I do not think being gay or having a gay relationship is a sin.
Do you, as a (I assume) straight person, ask yourself how you can reconcile having a sexual relationship with your belief about God creating a perfect world that has fallen into sin but that he sent his son so that all of it could be reconciled to him?
I have come to understanding that makes sense to me. Hopefully, it can help you as well.
Everyone of this earth is created by God. We are not created of sin. We are born into a world of sin. At some point, the perfect being created by God falls victim to sin. The being God created is not sin. The being God created is a victim of sin. Having been born by Christ and ravished by sin.
So yes despise the sin, but love the creation by God.
@Werussell98 We Christians have done a poor job of handling the issue, but the issue isn't resolved by dumping Christian principles.
I snorted because you stated your case as a well-known indisputable fact, when I think you meant it was wishful thinking...
Lol!! Those links are laughable at best. I asked for proof of a 1946 insertion into the biblical texts, and you come up with John Shore and Matthew Vines. Hardly the bastions of Scriptural truth.
Its my belief that Solomon having multiple wives and concubines is a statement of historical fact and not something that God prescribed or approved. The same applies to the existence of slavery which is often given as 'something God got wrong', so he may have gotten 'human sexuality' wrong too (Dan Savage, John Shore). Slavery was instituted by imperfect man, and God often allowed men to have what they asked for. When they wanted a king instead of God's prophets, he let them have Saul.
I believe creation was perfect prior to sin and your reasons don't adequately prove otherwise, imo. God is perfect and there is no reason to think He did not create perfection. Angels (Lucifer) were given free will to chose, as was man. The tree was placed in the garden as a test of man's obedience, else how would man's free will be challenged.
I realize this is improbable, but If it could be proven to you that God did present to us, the male/female model as the ideal according to His will, design and purpose, would it make any practical or spiritual difference to you?
It sounds like a principle purported by mahatma Ghandi, not a Christian thing to say hate the sin but love the sinner. I don't agree it is a sin based on principles.
I am not dumping principle by saying it isn't a sin. I am truly convinced by principle that you have it wrong yet I am a Christian and therefore by any principle must oppose this misguided position.
@standupwi1 Those were the links that I quickly culled from Google. You snorted because you are exactly the sort of Christian Matthew Paul Turner speaks about in this blog post, deriding us for possibly daring to find a theological opposition to your "certainty."
There's no point in engaging you. Your head is "clear." Have a beautiful evening.
@lynne0652 I did not say God necessarily approved of Solomons zillion lovers... what I said (intended to say) is that every mention of heterosexuality in the Bible is not necessarily something every Christian heterosexual can relate to. So we agree on that point. Every mention of heterosexuality in the Bible is not model heterosexual behavior. Likewise, I do not relate to the clobber passages since they deal with idol worship, prostitution, being a jew, and mob rape.
I do not believe that it is my place to write into the Bible something that is not written in it whether I would do that physically or mentally. The Bible does not say the Garden of Eden was perfect (it does not explicitly say it was imperfect ether) - it did say it was good. So as far as whether it was perfect or not cannot be proven in scripture alone. We are free to believe whatever we want to believe about topics not covered in the Bible, just so we dont claim those beliefs are in the Bible. I never claimed I had "proven" it was imperfect - I just stated its not specified in the Bible.
As for complementarianism, I simply do not believe that to be the case. It is not scriptural or scientific, and science in my view is the study of creation. The Bible specifies various things that would be different outside of the Garden, but modern Christians have lumped anything they dont like or understand into that list thereby adding to the written word of God. The Bible does not say that same-sex relationships entered the world as a punishment for Adam/Eve's sin. It provides a detailed list of changes and same-sex relationships are not included in that list of changes.
This is a question that lots of heterosexual Christians end up asking at some point in the conversation, and its really an unfair question - basically what you are asking is "if this can be proven, then will you divorce your same sex spouse, break up your family, deny your humanity and the gift of sexuality... etc etc etc." the simple answer is "probably not". I cant see how that would be something I would do.
However, I think if I asked you if its proven that complementarianism is a sin and homosexuality is Gods ideal "would you break up your family and hop into a gay relationship?" I think I know what your answer will be. Something along the lines of "thats silly, thats impossible, could never be proven." On your facebook page, that is connected to your livefire account, it appears to me that family is very important to you. Its not a fair question, so I decline that question.
If it could be "proven" it WOULD make a lot of difference to me. However, I think we might differ in our interpretations of what constitutes that proof. :)
You re right, this is a notion that is gaining in popularity. I hadn't heard of it before so I did a little research here:
By the way, what is this "us" vs "you" stuff? My original post points to the beautiful hope we have in Christ's love and redemption. You are the one who turned the conversation sour.
No Jeff, YOUR certainty. I simply asked for proof about why you are certain that the Bible was re-imagined in 1946. Which translation? ESV? NASB?
@lynne0652 You are about to (later in this thread), tell me how unChristian I am with my snarkiness. Just wanted to remind you of your comment here preceding it.
Drew, you said this, "This is a question that lots of heterosexual Christians end up asking at some point in the conversation, and its really an unfair question - basically what you are asking is "if this can be proven, then will you divorce your same sex spouse, break up your family, deny your humanity and the gift of sexuality... etc etc etc." the simple answer is "probably not". I cant see how that would be something I would do. "
That really was not my intent in asking that question, because, all in all, I can't really see a huge portion of mature, adult gays giving up their relationships. I could be wrong and certainly that is what God is all about. And I don't believe He would take anyone anywhere they would not be willing to follow, though even fearfully.
But it is HUGE! Its huger than any life issue that any person ever has to face - imo. It speaks to the core of a person's being (being straight it is hard for me to imagine how hard this is) and it goes back to when a person's 'hands were clean' and innocent as I've stated elsewhere.
I think I asked it to find out if the matter is important enough spiritually to make a difference, not necessarily to jump up suddenly and leave their gay spouses, because like you stated in your initial comment in this discussion, most gays don't give "two shits" about Christianity". But would it make a difference to some - particularly gay Christians - enough to draw themselves back to even exploring it again with God. I honestly do not know. I do know that it would be very hard for me to comply there.
I maintain that because of who God is and His perfect nature, Eden was created in a state of perfection. When you take all of scripture into account and what we know about God, the evidence appears conclusive (for me).
Although I cannot find a scripture using the exact word 'perfect', aside from all the references to the perfect nature of God, through all His works and His names, I can bring this to the table for your consideration...
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
God is ALWAYS perfect
Finished = God's completions are ALWAYS perfect
work = God's work is ALWAYS perfect - even in imperfect created beings
He = God is ALWAYS perfect
doing = God's doings are ALWAYS perfect
He = God is ALWAYS perfect
rested = God's rest is ALWAYS perfect
His work = God's work is ALWAYS perfect
God blessed = God's blessings are ALWAYS perfect
seventh day = God's perfect Sabbath rest is the 7th day
made it holy = God is perfectly Holy, His righteousness is ALWAYS perfect.
"He rested from all the work of creating that he had done."
(Perfect) He (perfectly) rested from all the (perfect) work of (perfectly) creating that (perfect He) had (perfectly) done.
As you know, it is necessary to take the entire Word into account when interpreting scripture. We Christians read the bible for all its worth, approaching it with joy, respect, submission, mystery (at not having all the answers), and a sense of mutual love between God and us. It is unworthy and erroneous to cherry pick scriptures in order to defend our own preconceived notions. You surmise that most of us Christians are doing that in order to exclude gay relationships being within the convincing and beginning ideal set forth by God in the OT and ratified by Jesus in the New. I and other Christians contend that it is gays who are passionately defending their premises in this way.
I am no longer interested (except when asked in person or on forums and social media like this), in trying to convince anyone either way - that is God's job and the indwelt Holy Spirit and all that relationship entails. I will always, however, try my best through my education, experience and relationship with God to give reasons why I have the joy, peace, grace and Sabbath rest of God within me.
Those personal decisions about what is sin in a person's life, (outside the obvious murder, stealing, gossip, lying etc etc), and particularly when there is so much division and convincing arguments among laymen and scholars and pastors on both sides, for me, they are decisions of the mind that can be made in a matter of moments, or over a lifetime, or never, for that matter. We will understand much, if not all, in the end when we are united with Christ in person. And then, it won't matter anyway because there will be no sex or marriage in heaven. Those in Christ are already the righteous and only bride of the only righteous and perfect bridegroom - Jesus.
I believe our God is generous, gracious, loving, sympa- and empa-thetic, and merciful toward gay believers, infinitely more so than all of the rest of us are merciful toward these brothers and sisters. Further, gays are more in tune with what is going on inside them than I am. Sex stuff can get pretty crazy, intense, confusing, ardently focused, stemming from instinct and childhood, etc etc. , particularly for men, imo. God bless them.
Exactly right Jeff. And ultimately, with something that is so very complex and socially contentious, so fatal in its impression sometimes on our youth, it seems it would be a difference that must come from within - within your heart and mind, or mine, if I were to change my convictions.
And that is the way it is supposed to be anyway, right? Our belief to follow God, our willingness to accept Him at His word is something that, after all is said and done, comes from deep within. Deep within that place as St. Augustine put it - that empty but yearning place that God reserved in the heart of man to bring him back to God. (I'm paraphrasing quite a bit there.) Imago Dei (spelling?)
The CARM link you reference is an important one, standupwi1, and from what I have seen of JeffPruess here and his ability to calmly and courageously articulate his position with, what I would also call demonstrable defenses for a theological debate, I am sure he will take note of this essay and perhaps seek other help or opinions concerning it.
Your demeanor, however, is an embarrassment to Christians on all sides and although God loves your puny little head as much as He loves my big fat arrogant one, you would do well to keep your snarky-ness contained and do a little more compassionate listening.
@standupwi1 You're surprised that I felt like you made it into "us v you" when you "snorted" and called anything I linked "laughable"? Are derision and mockery key tenets of your interpretation of Christian faith?
My list of links, I even called it "proof" in quotes, since this is an issue with MUCH debate to it. I even acknowledged before showing them to you that you might not see them as PROOF. It was more to show you the debate is there, and with much on both sides. Which is why I showed the last link which tried to compare (with charts and everything) opposing theological interpretations of it. Ultimately, it is for you to decide whether you think any of the arguments are valid.
I turned nothing sour. You introduced the condescension, and it's all too familiar territory that doesn't need to be further mined. You can continue to denigrate theological differences all you'd like, but I won't be your target any more.
Yeah, no kidding. I will own all my 'unChristian-like' comments to you.
Blew my lid. And now I'm done.
I think any commandment that the Holy Spirit is guiding a Christian to obey would be a big deal to any Christian. But we have this situation where all the straight Christians are saying "you are wrong, you have to be like us!!" and all gay Christians are saying "thats impossible, God loves me the way I am, he created me this way". If the gay Christians have some reason to believe that they were created by a perfect God in his divine image as homosexuals in a world who hates them, then Im guessing its probably their conscience that drew them to this conclusion. Because let me tell you, EVERYTHING ELSE in our world is telling these souls they are worthless and God hates them.
If someone is saving gay people from this terrible message, it is the Holy Spirit conscience telling them "you are ok, this is God's plan". I honestly cant think of any other way gays can be overcoming the extreme message of hate coming from every other direction, except through God's love. So if that is true, and its not something that can be proven either way (at least to a straight person), then we are back to square one:
Straight Christians saying "youre wrong, you have to be like us"
Gay Christians saying "no, God made me this way on purpose"
Its one of those "he said she said" situations. Your word against theirs. So yeah, I dont think the "which one is ideal in creation" question is going to do much good in this struggle. :-/
I understand what you are trying to say.
But I also don't take it as Biblical per se. As you have stated, we have to take the whole Bible into perspective when reading the "cherry picks" of it... which can get complicated when we try to figure out how Judas died and several other things if we take that approach. Additionally, that approach calls into question what is the definition of perfect that we are proclaiming to use? Perfect for God because he cannot be questioned, or perfect for everyone and everything. God say that Adam was lonely - is loneliness a perfect experience, was creation complete before Adam was lonely? The story shows that God reacted to something he observed.. that Adam was lonely. So essentially to me what I gather from that text is that Gods creation was not perfect before Adam was given a mate. God created all that was before Eve, but it was not "ideal" (a word you seem to be fond of) and it was not perfect in the sense that those experiencing creation were not experiencing fullness and satisfaction (Adam being lonely). It sounds like the term perfection is being ascribed to God out of respect and loyalty to his sovereignty, but not a literal application of the term "perfect" as would be defined by Webster. Taking the whole of the Bible into consideration, its a fair conclusion to say that the creation before Eve was created, was not perfect for Adam.
When I look at my best friend Suzanne who suffers from Friedreich's Ataxia, it would be heartless to think of her, she is not creation's "ideal" because she has this genetic mutation that makes life harder rather than 'normal'. It hurts me to think of that judgment, but I can only imagine what God's thinks of her when he sees her in light of Romans 9:20-21:
20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”h 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
How much angrier it would be for me if I were God and I created this beautiful creature, but she was deemed "not ideal" by people who claim to be my ambassadors. I think that terminology "ideal" is extremely dangerous and ultimately separates God's creation into two categories - one of superiority, one of inferiority - one whose lives makes God happy and one whose lives makes God sad.
Since I grew up in Christianity, had a pastor for a father, and read the Bible three times in Christian home school, Id like to take this moment to offer gratitude for informing me what Christians think of what gays are doing with the Bible. I realize you probably didnt mean it like that - you seem fairly reasonable and genuinely interested in the topic unlike others on this forum.
I understand your forest/trees approach to reading the Bible (although many authors probably had no clue what others would be writing, some probably did with the "as it is written" comments, but Id think not all would know if their book would make it into an encyclopedia of the future religion). Read the whole as well as the single - I think that can be dangerous though since the historical/cultural context of the new testament was vastly different from that of the old testament. I feel that for me, I would prefer to read specifically what is written and think of the overall message of what its saying as well as what it is saying literally and in context of history/culture etc. I think if I try to define what the "whole of the Bible"s message is, it would be like putting a club sandwich in the blender and drinking it in a glass.
@lynne0652 Eh, I won't really take much out of the CARM position, as I lived that position growing up, and it was only after over a decade of prayer and study, that I reached the point of Peace in my life with being gay and Christian. I am intimately familiar with all the reasoning against it, as I used that reasoning to mentally and spiritually punish myself for all of my teenage years.
I don't need help explaining their side -- I get it. REALLY, I do.
"But we have this situation where all the straight Christians are saying "you are wrong, you have to be like us!!" and all gay Christians are saying "that's impossible, God loves me the way I am, he created me this way". If the gay Christians have some reason to believe that they were created by a perfect God in his divine image as homosexuals in a world who hates them, then I'm guessing its probably their conscience that drew them to this conclusion. Because let me tell you, EVERYTHING ELSE in our world is telling these souls they are worthless and God hates them."
And I hate that for you. Truly I do. It takes great pains for me to contain the anger and outrage I feel toward my own brothers and sisters in God. There but the grace of God go I...once, not too long ago, 4 or 5 years, I believed as they did - love the sinner, hate the sin, and nonsense like that. I thought 'gay Christian' was an oxymoron up until I think I heard that Vines video and saw his heart. I'm ashamed. They will be too, I just hope it doesn't take as long for them as it did for me!
Truly, Drew, I mean that from the top of my heart! I want to be part of a much different conversation that does not include one iota of rejection. But I ask you - can you accept me knowing I believe differently than you on this? Or do you still see that as hate or rejection on my part?
I cannot change what I believe. But I want to do my part to assert your rights to live as you choose. Can that ever be considered enough?
p.s. And I believe there is only one sin and has ever only been one that will send a person to hell - that of not believing God. Not about every single sin and doctrinal issue...but believing IN God, coming to Him, believing that He exists and that He sent Jesus to redeem us. When you believe He sends the helper, the Holy Spirit who leads us to all truth.
"The story shows that God reacted to something he observed.. that Adam was lonely."
That isn't what the passage states. And your interpretation implies that God reacted with something akin to surprise - that creation turned out differently than He anticipated and so He did a 'something else'.
Rather, God said "it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” He went on to create all the beasts and then finally, the woman from Adam's own rib.
Followed by these often quoted words (Gen 2:23-24) that describe the high and honorable marital union of man and woman:
“This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
I understand that we don't agree on this Drew, but for me, (and this is my belief), this is exactly when and where God establishes the perfect marriage and these passages could stand alone in their prescription for us. This marriage, with the inclusion of God as the head of the marital union, is not only the perfect ideal of marriage and the foundation of the family unit which in turn is the foundation of society, it also represents our union with God ( Ephesians 5:31-32 ). It is a pure and holy calling to which none of us has ever attained. We have all fallen short of the ideal and Jesus confirms this fact in the NT.
That doesn't mean I won't continue to hold to the ideal. I have contributed ruinous things to my marriage, absolutely ruinous - but God has and continues to bring me and my husband (who is not a believer) through to more glorious days. We will be married 32 years December 6, 2014.
You said, "Since I grew up in Christianity, had a pastor for a father, and read the Bible three times in Christian home school, Id like to take this moment to offer gratitude for informing me what Christians think of what gays are doing with the Bible."
Drew, you must understand that in conversations such as these, it is often necessary to speak in generalizations, even though that is not the completely accurate thing to do. Your indignation, I think, is misplaced here. Are you seriously suggesting that pro-gay defenders of the bible - and especially the non-believing ones who have no affection or respect for God or the scriptures - do NOT cherry pick verses to defend their position?
For example, over a year ago, I watched the Matthew Vines video (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about), and was thoroughly impressed with a couple things #1 his dedication and scholarly endeavor, and #2 and even more significant for me, was his passion and love for Christ and the word. That was extremely important for me. But at the end of it, it dawned on me that his entire essay was centered on that handful of 'clobber verses' and the bible was not really considered 'for all its worth', for its entirety, at least it did not make it into the conversation, though I'm sure he is indeed a student and pastor of the entire bible. That is not what I am saying. But his defense focused only on those six passages - and they are ones that I, as a Christian, would not even refer to in my defense of traditional marriage - not a one of them! And for very good reason.
He gives no consideration to the fact that heterosexual (or complementary or opposite sex) unions are the order of the day then as they are throughout all of Judeo-Christian history. This was/is the 'gold' standard and to assume that because gay unions are not mentioned in scripture then that leaves the door open for us today is not even logical to me. I don't say this to anger anyone, but the burden of proof isn't even close to being there - for me. But if I was gay, I would probably go to great lengths to find a defense for what I think would be impossible for me to escape otherwise and I cannot say that I would not believe exactly what you and others do believe.
"I think if I try to define what the "whole of the Bible"s message is, it would be like putting a club sandwich in the blender and drinking it in a glass."
I believe the whole message of the bible is very clear - redemption and salvation through one person, Emmanuel (God with us) Jesus Christ. Of course the new is so different than the old - Jesus came to give (become) the new covenant (a covenant between him and God, not God and man), The law of sin and death is abolished for them that believe and the new covenant of grace, the righteousness of Christ is ours.
I can accept what you believe and I can accept your intention of wanting better for everyone. You CAN change your beliefs since you just said in the paragraph preceding that, that you have changed your beliefs :-). You might need convincing, but I think the best person to convince you can only be you (of course the Holy Spirit working as your conscience is part of you).
I think I would just like to have my civil equality. And I would also like to be able to have spiritual equality. If we take away condemnation, yes - thats a step in the right direction. But this whole "ideal" thing is so mean in my opinion, and when I hear it, it does not express Christs love to me. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love God and Love each other. Where does "im the ideal and you are not" work in that equation?
I love how you spliced together Genesis & Matthew but conveniently left the part out about “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given." Then you ask if gays "dont" cherry pick verses.
Since you are critiquing Matthew Vines on not delivering the perfect sermon/message - how long do mainline Christians expect to sit in a night service? Why on God's green earth do you think Matthew selected those 6-7 verses to talk about in the 67 minute lecture? I feel like the answer to that question "should" be blatantly obvious. Matthew was not attacking “traditional marriage” as you call it, he was defending the dignity and spiritual rights of gay people. That you are framing the “defense of traditional marriage” as dichotomous to the “defense of dignity and spiritual rights of gay people” is so patronizing. Matthew was responding to cherry picked verses used against gays by most Christians & pastors all the time. Since there are only 6-7 depending on who you talk to, we hear them all the time. Six or seven verses are also conveniently possible to cover in one 67-minute sermon. I know Pentecostals are used to services lasting up to two hours or more… but I doubt a Methodist church would feel so inclined.
No one is talking about attacking post-1967 marriage that you refer to as traditional. My spiritual dignity has nothing to do with you being able to have a heterosexual marriage affirmed by the spiritual country club of your choice. If the only thing standing between gay people and their spiritual dignity is you being able to say “God prefers mine over yours”, then by all means, take it to the bank!! Say “bless your heart” to every gay couple you meet. Gay people being equipped to defend themselves (as Matthew was trying to do) against the modern-Christian obsessed 6-7 verses has nothing to do with straight people being able to attend Mars Hill Church in peace.
For me though, personally, I am not upset that you believe what you do about me or about yourself or about the Bible or God – I am not upset about how you relate to God in these beliefs you have articulated… because it’s the common view. Most (if not all) of what you are saying is what everyone else is saying. It’s not my place to ask you to recheck any preconceived “facts” of yours. But for the purposes of what I am saying on this forum – my original question was “what does any of that have to do with me?” None of the clobber passages have to do with me, your personally-held “ideal” has nothing to do with me and your idea of egalitarian straight marriage having existed throughout all of time has nothing to do with me. You cannot point to once place in the Bible that says egalitarian same-sex relationships are sinful and/or inferior to opposite-sex relationships but you place the burden of proof on me to “prove” that my spirituality is good enough to live the full experience of gay man with dignity in tow.
I would be perfectly fine with civil marriage equality for now and maybe when enough baby boomers have died off, I might can feel dignified enough to hold my partners’ hand in Walmart (which sucks because my parents wouldn’t be around to enjoy my dignity). I don’t have to go to Mars Hill Church or Saddleback Church. I think the Southern Baptists are going live – gay people will be perfectly OK with not attending a non-affirming church.
I agree. My faith and my marriage with my husband both profoundly shape my life and give it meaning.
I would add this: Many traditionalists like Chad have no capacity to look into the lives of people who are gay and see anything virtuous. All they see is sin. Similarly, they are loathe to consider the entirety of the bible; they are fixated on six clobber passages.
But we should start by understanding what the bible says about what it means to be human and where sexuality fits into that. What we find is that we are created as relational beings - we are meant to be in relationship. Sexuality is an important gift for living into that creative intention - not just because physical and emotional intimacy are blessings, but also becuase sexuality informs the way we relate to others...it is an essential part of the human experience.
The bible doesn't say "it is not good for man to be alone unless you're gay." Paul didn't say "it's better to marry than burn unless you're gay."
Traditionalist doctrine attempts to pathologize people who are gay and insists that we are required by God to shut down this essential part of ourselves. It demands that we live contrary to God's creative intention for humanity. That, IMO, is the root of the harm caused by traditionalist theology.
My best to you
@Ford1968 @thedrewboo I agree 100%. More than anything, being gay has taught me that there are some things I can never know or truly fathom about people who are different from me simply because heterosexuals simple do not and cannot get it. Not saying that condescendingly, but I mean to point to any demographic majority. You cannot slice yourself into parts and accept some while rejecting others - you are 100% you and thats all you can be. It seems like a simple idea, but it also seems few can fathom it.