Can you be gay and Christian?

Can you be gay and Christian? What does the Bible actually say? Did the biblical writers address loving, committed, same-sex relationships? And do you have to be heterosexual to follow Jesus? Everywhere we go, we are asked these questions, and there is a tremendous amount of misinformation swirling about this very important, very personal subject. In this "Consider This" episode Dr. Brown tackles this controversial subject with grace and truth.
Well, if you claim to be a Christian, then Jesus is your Lord and the Bible is your authority, so the real question is:

What does Jesus have to say about this? What does the Bible - God's Word - have to say?

Now we know that every Christian struggles in some area, whether it be pride or anger or lust or jealousy or greed. But we also recognize that these desires and attitudes are sinful, and so we say No to them and Yes to the Lord.

In the same way, some Christians struggle with same-sex attractions, saying No to those attractions and Yes to the Lord.

But what about those who say, "God made me gay, and if I'm in a committed relationship, the Lord is pleased. After all God is love, and love wins. What the Bible opposes is abusive relationships, like homosexual pederasty and prostitution and promiscuity. That's what the Scriptures condemn. But the Lord blesses committed same-sex relationships."

Is this true? Let's see what God's Word has to say, starting right at the beginning, in Genesis 1. There we learn that God creates the human race in His image, male and female, then blesses them with the ability to procreate. In other words, He designed us for heterosexuality - and it doesn't take the Bible (or a rocket scientist) to figure that out. And while you may have a heterosexual couple that's barren, their relationship doesn't violate God's design.

Then in Genesis 2, we learn that God didn't want Adam, the first man, to be alone, so He decided to make him a suitable helper - not just a companion, but a helper. Only through Eve would he be complete and able to reproduce.

And how did God make Eve? He took Adam's rib (or side) and created Eve, after which Adam exclaimed that she would be called woman because she was taken out of the man.

And then, note this: The Bible says that, through marriage, the two become one.

Why? Because they once were one, Eve taken out of Adam. Now, in marriage, they become one again. There is a unique complementarity between the two: biologically and spiritually and emotionally.

That's why man + man or woman + woman can never equal man + woman.

In response, some gay theologians ask, "Well, if homosexuality is so important, why does the Bible mention it so infrequently?"

You see their looking at this the exact opposite way they are looking at it backwards. It's because God designed human beings for heterosexuality that there are so few references to homosexuality.

You see, every single reference in the Bible to marriage and family and relationships presupposes heterosexuality, as in the Ten Commandments ("Honor your father and mother"), and in Paul's directives to husbands and wives. In a same-sex relationship, who is the husband and who is the wife?

It's also important to note that there's not one single positive reference to homosexuality in the Bible, while every single reference to homosexual practice is decidedly negative.

As we move on to Leviticus, we see there are some laws God gave Israel to keep them separate from the nations, like the dietary laws, while there were other laws He gave that applied to all peoples, like "Do not murder."

As for homosexual practice in Leviticus, God called it detestable, and it doesn't get any less detestable if you commit the same act with the same person over and over again.

When we come to the New Testament, there was really no need for Jesus to address this, since first century Jewish teaching strictly forbade homosexual practice. Yet in three different ways, He did, in fact, address the issue.

First, in Matthew 5, He said that He didn't come to abolish the Law or Prophets but to fulfill. And when it came to the moral laws of the Torah, He "fulfilled" them by taking them to an even higher standard.

Second, in Matthew 15, He taught that all sexual acts outside of marriage defiled us.

Third, in Matthew 19, He explained that marriage, as ordained by God in the beginning, was the union of one man and one woman for life.

Coming to the teachings of Paul, in Romans 1, he explained that, as a result of God's judgment on the human race, we were given over to idolatry, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and other sins, with males and females exchanging natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

And when he speaks here of "natural sexual relations," he's referring back to Genesis 1, the way God created our bodies in nature.

Then, in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul taught that those who willingly give themselves to homosexuality (as well as a number of other sins) would not inherit the Kingdom of God.
His words are so clear that one lesbian scholar, Bernadette Brooten, wrote, "I see Paul as condemning all forms of homoeroticism."

The good news is that Paul didn't stop there. He also wrote that "some of you were once like that," but God forgave you and changed you. That's because Jesus died for homosexual sins the same way He died for heterosexual sins.

As to the notion that Moses or Jesus or Paul were not aware of loving, committed same-sex relationships, the fact is that they spoke and wrote by divine inspiration. We also know that Jesus, the Son of God, saw into the heart of every human being, knowing what was inside of us. He surely understood the struggles of those with same-sex attractions, but rather than affirming homosexuality, He offered transformation and forgiveness.

So, rather than put homosexual practice in a special category, as if it's the very worst of sins or as if God approves of it, put it where it belongs: A sinful practice, like many other sinful practices, but one that Jesus can forgive through the cross. And rather than finding your identity in your romantic attractions and sexual desires, find your identity in Jesus. That way, rather than interpreting the Scriptures through the lens of your sexuality, you can interpret your sexuality through the lens of the Scriptures.