Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBTQ Community

SadGirl


Love doesn’t always look like love.

When I published this blog post, I was prepared for some people to applaud it and for others to condemn it. That’s what happens whenever you put an opinion out there.

I was fully prepared for the waves of both support and hostility that accompany a vantage point on anything, especially a controversial topic like Sexuality. 

What I was not prepared for in any way, were the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me personally to thank me for bringing some healing and hope to their families: parents, children, siblings, and adults who have confided in me (some for the first time anywhere) telling of the pain and bullying and shunning they’re received from churches, pastors, and church members—professed followers of Jesus.

Scores of people from all over the world have shared with me their devastating stories of exclusion and isolation, of unanswered prayers to change, of destructive conversion therapies, of repeated suicide attempts, and of being actively and passively driven from faith by people of faith.

Church, this is the reality of our theology on homosexuality.

This is the cost of our religion to the LGBTQ community. More accurately, it’s the cost of our religion to LGBTQ human beings. This is the painful collateral damage that comes when we see principles and ignore people, when we refuse to give them the dignity they deserve.

Apparently Love does hurt—really, really badly.

The most common defense I’ve heard over from Christians who believe that being gay is both chosen and sinful, has been some variation of the supposedly well-meaning, “Well, we’re just loving people by being honest with them, by giving them ‘the Truth’. Telling people the truth is loving them.”

Well every single day I have a crammed, bursting inbox of “Truth” for you if you’re interested in reading it, Church.

It’s full of vile profanity and utter contempt and crude jokes and physical violence and white-hot fear. It’s packed with school hallway harassment and city street beat downs and church expulsion and workplace hazing and brutal self-harm and all sorts of perpetual, personal terrorism.

And none of it looks a thing like Love to me.

It certainly doesn’t look like love to the sweet, 12-year old middle school girl in your church whose been repeatedly told she’s an abomination; that God already despises her.

It doesn’t look like love to the devastated parents who have watched their son hang himself because he was assured by his Christian schoolmates that he’s better dead than gay.

It doesn’t look like love to the devoted, faithful Christian school teacher who has lost her life-long career for no other reason than her Relationship Status.

It doesn’t look like love to the 60-year old Christian man who has prayed his whole life to be “fixed”, and who God has refused to and yet who remains an outcast in his family of faith.

It doesn’t look like love to the gay couple having their heads smashed-in by professed “Christian” strangers while walking down the street.

It doesn’t look like love to the family of a Transgender high school Junior, who can’t find a church family that will welcome them or include them or acknowledge their child as she now requests to be acknowledged.

And I’m totally comfortable believing that it doesn’t look like love to Jesus either.

The real problem with so much Christian theology toward the LGBTQ community, is that it seemingly works fine from a distance, for someone firing-off Scripture passages or religious phrases; it just often falls apart for them when trying to translate it to actual human lives and within authentic, caring relationships.

When you have the guts and the decency and the compassion to crawl out from behind computer keyboards and touch screens and raised pulpits; from radio show phone calls and bullhorn shouting, you end up standing face-to-face with beautiful, wounded, scarred people with real stories, and you realize something’s wrong here.

Something’s badly broken.

This is not what Christ’s love looks like.

Jesus’ love, even if it came with hard words somehow always seemed and felt like love. People were seen. They were heard. They were touched. They were left with more dignity than when they started. I’m not sure LGBTQ people can say the same about their encounters with most Christians.

Can they say it about you? About your church? About your small group?

So many believers want to make this all about sin; about the “Biblical position on homosexuality” that they’re claiming to be defending, but it really isn’t. Regardless of where you stand theologically as a Christian, this is about treating all people like they are made by God and in the image of God.

Jesus’ command to love God and love others as we would desire to be loved, that is theology too. In fact, He said it was the greatest portion of it; our most pressing personal moral responsibility. You wanna argue that? Argue with Jesus.

Church, the blood and the bruises of the LGBTQ community are on your hands and mine as believers, as long we allow any Christian to dehumanize people under the guise of loving them.

However we want to frame it or justify it, the net result of our religion to so many gay people is that entire families are being torn apart, sent to the shadows, and horribly mistreated in the name of Jesus. Real flesh-and-blood people are going through uninvited, individual Hell every day at the hands of people who claim Christ. The Church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community people has been downright sinful, and it’s killing our testimony to the world.

We’re making it virtually impossible for gay people to exist in our churches and then feeling justified in damning them for walking away from God when they leave. The truth is, so often they aren’t turning away from God, they’re just removing themselves from harm’s way.

We are losing credibility to those outside the organized Christianity, not because we’re condoning sin, but because when the rubber meets the road we really don’t know how to “love the sinner” in any way that remotely resembles Jesus, and all our God is Love platitudes ring hollow.

Church, this is our legacy that we are building in these days to the LGBTQ community and those who love them, and I assure you it’s not legacy of love.

I don’t know what the answer is for you and I can’t tell you how your theology gets expressed in the trenches of real people’s lives. I only know that we as Christ’s Church can do better, regardless of our theological stance. We have to do better.

This is where our faith is proven to be made of Jesus-stuff or not.

This is where the love of God we like to preach about is either clearly seen—or terribly distorted.

 

0 thoughts on “Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBTQ Community

    • This is one of the reasons why I am NOT a Christian nor ever will be. The nasty self-righteousness and hiding hate behind the religion. I tried to be a good member of 2 denominations and it took a crisis to wake me up. Changed religions and got good help.

      Whilst I do not like the Semitic monotheistic religions, I support freedom of religion. That’s how we Asatruar/Heathen do!

      • All religions are not the same… there is but one Truth, Goodness and beauty… those three necessary conditions of Reality/God each equally and fully co-penetrate each other…. In your search for Truth, you will find God is the necessary Uncreated Creator, that He begets Life, that He is Love, that He draws us to Himself and that we have the free will to accept or reject His Call. All of that comes from the shoulders of giants , without which I would be lost… it comes from the Church God established on earth. Peace and Good

    • If you have gay children, you should pray for them. That they would repent from sin so they wont go to hell. Whether your child was fornicating, getting drunk, high, living in sin or just not born again. The truth is (according to God’s word) is: There won’t be any homosexual people in heaven. It’s too bad that as a pastor, your views don’t line up with GOD’s Word. People will perish because you won’t preach the truth, not willing to bear the reproach of the gospel.
      Romans 1:24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another, men committing indecent acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

      • Christopher, unless you are hiding nail prints in your hands, who gets into heaven isn’t up to you. The religious people of the early first century were sure they were going to heaven, and they had a list of people they were positive were not going. Jesus disabused them of that notion, and informed them that not only were those other people getting in, they were going in first… ahead of the religious people. You may be very surprised to see that there will be gay people in heaven. John 6:37; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 14:4

      • There won’t be any heterosexuals in heaven either! What was The answer Jesus gave as to whose wife the woman was who married all those brothers? Clearly you won’t want to go to heaven if you have to be with people u hate down here

      • You quoted Romans 1:24, but you stopped too soon. Romans 2:1, just a few short verses later says, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Pretty sure that means we are ALL sinners who are not qualified to judge others, no matter what their sin is.

      • your words are a travesty built of hatred, ignorance, and self-loathing. You do not know, understand or speak the word of God. May He have mercy on YOUR soul.

      • Oh my goodness, that needs to be repeated, “Unless you are hiding nail prints in your hands, who gets into heaven isn’t up to you.” Love, love, love it.

        christopher, you sound as if you’re certain as to what is meant by the word “homosexual” in scripture. What if you’re wrong about what it means? What if it really is a word wholly associated with a violent and/or oppressive same-sex act?

      • Christopher, you forgot the WHY of the Romans 1:24 passage, which is awfully convenient for you. The reason god abandoned them to unnatural stuff was because they worshipped god in the image of a man, or a beast etc. I have done none of that, I was raised Christian, so kindly explain how it is I’m gay with no choice in the matter other than to try suppress it and live like a eunuch.

      • Interestingly, that particular verse talks about STRAIGHT people doing acts against their nature. It says NOTHING about those born gay. Zip. I agree–promiscuity, orgies and the like are against God, but being who you are, who He made you, is NOT. Gay doesn’t mean promiscuous, perverted or abomination. I know far too many gay people whose love and kindness put most evangelicals to shame. Believe me, NONE of them chose to be gay. Where were YOU when they cried themselves to sleep as kids and teens as the well-meaning pastors called them “perverted” and “abominations” from the pulpit when they had never had any sort of sexual contact? Where are you now serving the ridiculously high population of gay youth thrown out of their homes by “Christian” parents because, guess what, reparative therapy doesn’t work! Where are you when those parents grieve their awful mistake when their beloved child ends up dead, diseased or worse because they had to sell their bodies to survive–many having been virgins when tossed out by heartless parents? I bet you’d secretly think they got what they deserved. You, sir, are NOT showing any sort of Holy Spirit in you.

      • “rev.” W.h. Carey….. I’m not sure what you’re a reverend of, but wow… Jesus said that we need to be MORE RIGHTEOUS than the Pharisees, or religious people as you put it. I think you’re just as misguided as the author of this “article” in thinking that anything within the spectrum of LGBTQ is an identifying feature, or something that makes up someone’s identity. It’s sad that you’ve bought the lie and now you’re guilty of spreading it too. We are to judge a person and situation, not condemn. Judging is something every single person does on a daily basis. Today I made a judgement f how my day should go, I made a decision based upon what was needed. You need to dust off your bible dude, and quit following the world and follow the One True God, HaShem, Adonai.

      • It’s a horrible irony that this wonderful blog post is trying to point out the wrongness of the VERY THING people are doing in comments like this.

        I did everything right. I did what my youth pastor said was the right thing to do, and met a nice boy at my church. We dated for a few years and got married in the church. I married my best friend. That’s what good Christian girls are supposed to do, right?

        Well, no. Because nobody ever told me that being best friends with a man isn’t going to help you overcome the soul-crushing lack of passion between you. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t my fault. I simply have no business being married to a man.

        I’ve shaken the dust of the Church off my feet and left. I’m happy with my wife, who is also my best friend. My ex-husband and I are still good friends and we co-parent very well together. Comments like this one are one important reason why I would never go back. You see, they don’t work. You’re not convincing anybody that they’re living in sin. Gay people know that the choice is between a loving, fulfilling relationship and no church, or loneliness and heartache and church. According to you, if I can’t be happy with a man, I don’t get to be happy at all. All you’re doing is reminding me, and others like me, of the stark reality of that choice.

        I choose to be happy. That means I can’t be a part of the modern Church. The two are mutually exclusive.

    • thank you! the rising of a new group of leaders in the church who understand love and grace give me hope that other kids will not have to endure the treatment i experienced as a youth.

    • As many of us have personally dealt with the LBGT issue, I would like to make a clarification.
      1. We as the “Church” are is to worship God, study His Word, pray, love our brothers and sister in Christ.
      2. We as Christians are commanded to not conform to the pattern of this world.
      3. We are to be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear.
      So lets be clear…..homosexuality is a sin, no different then adultery or stealing, etc. But when and if my Church teaches that we are to accept and embrace adultery, stealing, etc…..I will make a stand against these sins, no different that I am against embracing the LBGT lifestyle.

      Let’s stop focusing on a particular sin and simply share the Gospel with the world!

      • You’re basically telling me that if I can’t be happy with a man, I don’t get to be happy at all.

        It’s not a lifestyle. It’s my life. All the wonderful parts of a deeply loving and supportive relationship are mine, now, with my wife. Who do you think you are, that you get to tell me I can’t have that, or that a loving, committed relationship is equivalent in your eyes to breaking the trust of my spouse or taking things that don’t belong to me? Who am I hurting by being in this relationship? If you can’t answer – or if your answer is “God” – then you have no moral authority to be telling me I’m in the wrong.

      • No, I don’t accept homosexuality is a sin. Stop marginalizing others to make yourself think you are standing up for God in some sort of elevated way. Lifestyle indeed. Your lifestyle apparently is to be arrogant and to pretend you aren’t actually exhorting others to ignore LGBT people and share the Gospel on your own terms, as opposed to Jesus’ terms.

    • I’m almost certain you live in the comfort of the bubble of your community here in the States, and this way of life has been afforded to you, as a woman, is due to progress, “new age” preachers, and “political correctness”. Did you even read a word he wrote? He DID read the Bible, and nowhere in the Bible does it say to persecute children of God for any reason, for you are not their maker. Boohoo, you have to love people who are not like you, because that’s what you were called to do. It’s a shame Jesus died for people like you, but alas, he did.

      • I could go on and on with quotes from the Bible advocating violence, but this one is my favorite:”that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.” – 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 I grew up Catholic…. and gay. I just wish we would all evolve and move past religion altogether. No good can come of it, in my opinion. Just be good, moral people and stop arguing about what religion is better or who is a better Christian. It’s an exercise in futility.

      • Interestingly, 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 doesn’t indicate that this was a command from God. It only says that this was one of the things they committed to doing to those who didn’t seek Him. So the question is; was God really condoning such violence against those who didn’t seek Him, or was this man’s own idea of what God wanted?

        The more I view the Bible and life through the eyes of Jesus, the more I perceive the Bible to be written more from man’s own understanding of God, rather than a dictation from God. If what we read doesn’t line up with the character of Jesus, it’s likely been infused with man’s own twisted understanding of God.

  1. the pastor needs to read the bible you new age preachers needs to read the true bible not one man keeps changing to make it political correct

    • I’m almost certain you live, as a Christian, in the comfort of the bubble of your community, the States, and that it’s been afforded to you, especially as a woman, due to progress, “new age” preachers, and “political correctness”. And did you even read a word he wrote? He DID read the Bible, and nowhere in the Bible does it say to persecute children of God for any reason, for you are not their maker. Boohoo, you have to love people who are not like you, because that’s what you were called to do. It’s a shame Jesus died for people like you, but alas, He did.

    • The bible has been translated multiple times for over hundreds of years, I’m pretty sure that there has been somethings that have been lost in translation even from what you consider it’s the true bible. I mean have you considered learning ancient latin to properly read the actual original true bible? I haven’t heard of the bible changing for political correctness but if it is, that doesn’t sound bad, because there are so many things in the “true bible” that we just don’t follow today, I haven’t met anyone who lives 100% by the bible and follows every single one of the rules, because it was written for the way of life back then.

      • The original languages the Old Testament were written in were Hebrew with roots in ugaritic. The original language of the New Testament was written in Greek with some words in Aramaic so learning Latin is not going to help you.

        • Just a slight correction: The Old Testament is primarily in Hebrew, with some sections in Aramaic (written during the Babylonian occupation). The language of the New Testament was Greek. There are Hebrew and Aramaic words there, primarily proper names or words which would not translate well into Greek.

      • The Bible was actually written in two languages: Hebrew for the OT and Greek (common Greek no longer spoken in Modern Greece) for the NT.

      • i do read Greek and Hebrew (it wasn’t written in Latin, btw) and it doesn’t say many of the things that the loudest quoters say it does. And the original text –if there ever was one– has been lost but the inspired message is so clear: stop hating. Jesus was just quoting generations of wise people when he said the whole law is: Love G!d and love your (rich/poor, gay/lesbian, trans* bi queer, brown, black, white, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist, atheist, Republican/Democratic/anarchist immigrant/red-necked) neighbor. Bout sums it up still. Hasn’t changed for political correctness or translation for millennia. But i’ve yet to find many people who really try to do it, let alone succeed. Starts with putting down the weapons. Even words. You can’t love while attacking. Just smile, listen and say, Why do you say that?

  2. Oh wow. Mr. Pavlovitz…you’ve written something so incredibly beautiful and truthful that I am sitting here nearly in tears after reading it. As a gay man, I am truly thankful for you and others like you…because it proves to me that there are Christian’s out there that really do care. My mind has been filled with doubt up to this point.

  3. The most common defense I’ve heard against homosexuality in all the churches I’ve been to is that following Jesus always comes with a cost, and it’s a different cost for different people. For some people it may be a comfortable, luxurious lifestyle in exchange for missionary life in Africa. And for others, like homosexuals, it’s the possibility of marriage and romantic relationships. The people who make this argument tend to get huffy at the thought that following Jesus = demanding what we want.

    I agree that following Jesus comes with a cost, so I don’t know how to refute that argument (doesn’t help that I’m also conflicted about whether homosexual acts are actually sinful). Help?

    • Jesus said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). I’ve known missionaries in all kinds of brutal places, and many of them wouldn’t change where they were for the world. It may be a tough life, but they’ve felt called to live there, so they experience joy.

      Compare that to LGBT individuals who try to repress who they are. Their rate of depression, suicide, and other self-harm is astronomical. Would Jesus really call anyone to live that way?

      • You seem to have a romanticised perception of missionary work, Logan. Some see few converted, experience a lot of hardship and many quit. Some even loose their faith. Those stories are not passed around as much.

      • No. Biology maybe. The thing you have to remember is that gay people feel and experience all of these negative things because of people like you and the human culture people like you have created. God is not the problem. YOU ARE!!!

      • Gay people, i being one, hate themselves as early as it dawns upon us that other people regard it as shameful, wrong, then evil and bad. Back in the day I knew I had to hide who I was and have been tempted many times to kill myself because I don’t fit in. Praise B to God he came into my life and gave me the Holy Spirit and tells me I am His beloved and convicts me of sin but being gay is not one of them. Thank God for Rev Troy Perry who started MCC and God gave us a place to worship Him. I am so tired of church people trying to warn me and condemn me when I know that is the only reason they would talk to me otherwise they would have nothing to do with me or my community

        • Logan, this is for you

          What Marriage Is
          by Ginny Bain Allen
          2004

          A crucial query begging answer is not what marriage is.
          How can we presume to vote on a precept that is His?

          Not matters what we think or say,
          We are called to just obey.

          There is a term I find perplexing, what does “gay” Christian mean?
          An oxymoron is what I call it, why to some is this unseen?

          Meaning lively and vivacious, “gay” was once a lovely word.
          Why a church for homosexuals, does that not sound absurd?

          A congregation set apart to justify themselves, are there those for other sins?
          Loving groups and counseling help us, we all need God-in-skin.

          Christ’s disciples love all sinners, but hate the sins that they commit.
          Against the only One infallible, all sin and from Him do split.

          Our gracious, heavenly Father extends compassion and mercy.
          Accepting us where we are, expecting change through His liberty.

      • Joy comes from faith in Jesus, and in being content with where we are and that the Lord will redeem us and sanctify us through trials. Homosexual individuals are not the only people who may be challenged to live a single, celibate life, for example. And homosexuality certainly is not the unforgivable sin. But just as we ought to be lovingly rebuking the sin of idolatry or drunkeness or pornogrpahy or envy or …we need to stand firm in the Truth that while Jesus does in fact love each and every person, it was sin that left him alone on the cross. Every kind of sin. And every sick person he healed in NT accounts he told them to turn from their sins. Why are we as The Church not addressing that for each and every one of us who is a sinner? Why are we not challenging and encouraging one another in light of and because of Jesus’ love and call to repent? Repent from whatever it is that separates us from God. Because we are all burdened by sin. We are all in need of the blood of the Lamb. And we will all be held accountable for the opportunities we wasted to share the Gospel in its entirety. That includes love and repentance and forgiveness and mercy.

    • It’s a cost that is solely borne by gay people, a cost that bigoted heterosexual so-called Christians would never accept for themselves.

      Treat others as you would like to be treated Do not presume to bar the gates of heaven? Judge not lest je be judged by the same measure?

      Who said these things?

      No one important ot modern fundelibangeslist Christianity.

    • Beth, that following Jesus often comes at a cost in no way settles that the non-affirming view has this right. Just because following Jesus often comes at a cost, that doesn’t mean all of us are called to sell everything we have, give it to the poor, and become monks. Whether or not homosexuality, as defined today, is condemned in scripture remains a disputable matter.

      • I could write a novel on here. I have been through complete hell with my partner’s family for four years. They call themselves Christian, which I struggle understanding their religion, if they think it’s “Chrisitian” How they treat me, and especially their daughter. They all loved me and welcomed me and then once they found out I was with their daughter, I was shunned. All they talk about is how were sinning, and were going to hell, blah blah blah.
        I’m NOT a bad person, I’m a good person. Don’t tell me as a gay female that I’m going to hell for who I love. I don’t believe it for a second. She calls herself a Christian and she is the first in line to point her finger and JUDGE. She turns her back on her daughter, treats her like garbage. In one sentence she will tell her she is ashamed, selfish, a sinner, but she loves her. Just like John said, That’s not how Christians love. Any Christians who behave in this manner, I suggest you all take a step back, and take a good look in the mirror, stop pointing your damn finger at others, judging others, and look at your OWN actions, and maybe it’s YOU who will NOT being going to heaven.
        I’m so sick of hearing those argue which religion is better, or worse, or what’s wrong with this church or that church. If we choose to go to church it should be for GOD. Not to point fingers, and set out to find others to judge, or complain about a religion.
        I read all these comments on here, some really wonderful, and it’s great to see the “TRUE CHRISTIANS”, John being one of them, and then others who are so heartless and cold, it disgusts me. Some of you say the most ignorant things and talk about how you’re a Christian. That’s not Christian to me. The same people don’t know me as a person, know one thing about me, that I as a female, am in love with another female, and I’m going to hell. You’re crazy.

    • What constitutes sin? Most sins are pretty obviously things that hurt people or relationships between people. Stealing hurts the relationship between the owner and the thief and damages trust in the community. Murder ends the life of a person. Adultery breaks the trust between spouses (and arguably gives something to a third party that should belong to the spouse.) These things do measurable harm to real people.

      Who is hurt by me having a wife instead of a husband? Not my wife, and not me – we’re so happy it doesn’t seem real, after all the years of settling for less. Not my kids. Not even my ex-husband, since we loved each other enough to recognize that we were better friends than mates.

      If nobody is being hurt by it, why is it a sin?

      • Sin is actually a transgression or offense against religious law, which was implemented by God Himself, and therefore it becomes a wrongdoing against God. Because we are His creation we sin against Him when we sin against and hurt others, but we first and foremost are hurting God when we sin. If you think sin is just an act which hurts another fallible human, how do you explain commandments 1 and 2? as they are offenses against God, not Man. Or commandment 4…how does not remembering the sabbath day and keeping it holy hurt another person? These are sins against God. And all sin is offensive to God.

        • So the only way you can justify this is to tell me that, even if my sin is clearly not hurting me, is clearly not hurting my partner, and is clearly not hurting anyone else, it is still sin because it’s a sin against God. It’s not blasphemy. I didn’t do anything directly to break trust with God or to turn my back on God or to blaspheme. My actions with another human being, which didn’t hurt anybody, are a sin because God says so.

          This is the height of circular logic. There is no way to get around that. How do you expect anyone to follow what you say when the only reason you can come up with is, “God said he doesn’t like it, therefore it’s a sin”? There’s no good REASON for him not to like it – he just doesn’t, and that’s enough.

          If your god is so capricious and touchy that he can’t accept a loving, mutually-supportive relationship as valid because the people involved have the same genitals, why would you expect me to want to follow him? He’s a jerk.

          • I’m sorry you feel that way. Though to be clear, I was answering your question from a previous post where you asked what sin is.

            I’m sad that you think God is so insensitive and uncaring. But I am not called to judge you or argue in circles with you. I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and that means I cannot hold one who does not believe to the same standards. I have not judged you. I have not condemned you. I have not lashed out at you. I simply am on here answering questions as I believe them to be true based upon my relationship with God and my faith in His Truth. No where have I gone out of my way to offend or hurt or judge or lay guilt upon.

            You asked about sin. I answered.

            • Perhaps you haven’t condemned me, just now. But others, believing the same things, have. They did when I was a Christian, and they did after I left.

              This aspect of God’s law – the part where a loving, consensual relationship with someone of the same sex is as bad as murder – really only makes sense in the context of a tribal culture where life was far more precarious than it is now, and every baby was important. It doesn’t make sense unless you’re hurting either individuals or the community by doing it, and we’re not. The gay couples whose weddings I performed a few years ago were not hurting anybody. The gay students I’ve taught, who just wanted the bullying to stop, weren’t hurting anybody either. How can this make sense to you?

  4. Thanks so much for addressing the church in this way. You made some very valid points that I pray are seen, understood and taken to heart. A large number of Christians will still strongly oppose your views and continue to insult you, judge you, condemn you…but I really hope this blog makes some of them look inward and start to change their stance. I hope they can begin to change the ways in which they choose to accept and love every person (after all, we’re all sinners). I’m a Christian lesbian and I think I love you, John.

  5. Undoubtedly the church, i.e. real people, have treated LBTGQ people without love at times, sometimes even with hate.
    However, I don’t know where you read about the hard words of Jesus always being so full of love that people left with more dignity than when the arrived. Really, that’s how you read the gospel? That when Jesus called sinners sinners and when he called sin sin people somehow felt respected? Have you read the accounts?
    What about his own home town trying to kill him? (for the record, loving God was the primary command of Jesus)

    I get your point that being right is always easier behind a screen, like me right now. I get that Christians should love all people with.the.love.of.God. Who is Holy. There is a difference between our love and God’s love and God’s love seems to include allowing people the choice to sin and be eternally condemned. That is a love that is hard for us to understand.

    As Jesus said, he didn’t come for “everybody getting along”. He knew his message would cause division. He knew that sinners would refuse to repent. He knew some would kill him. It is truly awful that the Church has treated homosexuals any worse or any less than other sinners and that should stop…but that is NOT the same thing as allowing everything in the name of (tragically shallow understanding of) love.

    The question is: is homosexuality a sin in the eyes of God? If it is, we should to what God does. Love the sinner but call a spade a spade and tell them to repent/change their ways. Just like we should tell a heterosexual man to repent of his sin-damaged sexuality.

    • Amen! Hate filled speech or action should never be a part of the church, but neither should allowing any and every kind of sin as noted in the Word just to be “loving”. Yes, God loves all people, and simultaneously hates all sin. Our job is to do the same. Christ always loved people first, and then taught them to “Go and sin no more”. That is how we should treat everyone. We will all be held accountable for our struggles and related actions, regardless of what category they’re in or what sexuality we claim.

    • “There is a difference between our love and God’s love and God’s love seems to include allowing people the choice to sin and be eternally condemned. That is a love that is hard for us to understand.”

      Here’s the whole problem. You believe in a god that loves us so damned much that if you never got the memo about how much he loves you, you will burn in hell for eternity.

      2/3 of the world believes the Christian story is nonsense. And 1/2 of what’s left doesn’t my all of the rest of the Christian story.

      So here you have a god that will allow 5 billion people to suffer eternally because he loves them, but didn’t love them enough to send them the memo. You can quote “God’s ways are not our ways” as much as you like. But by doing so, all you do is convince people that your version of god has the morals of a congressman.

      no thanks.

    • It is a pathetic world where we choose the words of ONE BOOK written endless years ago over a human being who is alive and hurt standing before us just trying to be themselves.

      • It’s not just a book. It’s the word of God. A fundamental message of the New Testament, is “dont be yourself”. Human beings are born in sin. We all have a tendency to be selfish, be hateful, be lazy. The New Testament teaches to aim higher than being yourself.
        Some people dont like what the Bible teaches. Fine. Give up the Bible if you like, but please dont call yourself ‘Christian’.

      • Says you Stasisonline. And I dont call myself a Christian. See, if people would live their own lives and not harm others and respect themselves and realise that everyone is NOT like you nor do they see / perceive god as you, we’d be much better off.

    • Andreas, I cannot recall anywhere in the Bible that Jesus actually called someone a sinner. “Let one without sin cast the first stone.” He called them out but did not point them out because He knew there was no one without sin in the crowd. In fact some say that what he wrote in the sand with a stick may have been a list of sins he knew they held on their hearts. He called out theives and broods of vipers, but never pointed a finger except for the apostle Peter when he said: “get behind me Satan” and that was because Peter assumed to know more than Jesus did. I am a Catholic mom of a gay son who is the joy of my heart. In our faith tradition the teaching on human sexuality is that any sexual expression that is not Unitive and Procreative ie: masturbation, casual sex, contraceptive sex, infidelity…etc, is not in line with the dignity of the body. What he decides to do with that is no different then what I decide to do with that in my heterosexual marriage. It’s between the person and His Lord. I pray we continue to discuss this issue with love and understanding. I do not assume to know more than Jesus. I do think homosexuality has been around for all time. Look at King David who claims to have loved Jonathan “More than any woman.” Is that because he was gay? Who am I to judge. Laws written on the books mean nothing unless they are written on our hearts as well. We need to follow the greatest command: “Love one another.”

    • So, you get to decide that, Andreas? How about those are your beliefs, but others have different beliefs? Where does it say you get to tell people who is going to be condemned? I left a church that preeches that. They spend much of their time judging and condemning other people, other churches, other religions. The pastor seemed intent on preaching against Gay people. Didn’t deal with the problems of the world, or the faults of the many who gather around him. Try hearing that someone you love is “going to hell” , because “the Bible” says so.” No, thanks. I go to a progressive church now, and the reason I do is that EVERYONE is accepted. The pastor told me when I first talked to him the church is open to everyone. We are also deeply involved in issues that will help low and middle income families, we donate money, but we also actively serve others, as in donations to programs for at-risk children and teens, working on Habitat for Humanity homes, migrant workers, and many other projects. That is my kind of religion.

    • I agree with you Andreas. In the bible, even the woman who was a prostitute, he (Jesus) saved from her accusers, but then told her to ”go and sin no more”. We have a merciful loving God. He desires us to love all people.
      Our fight is not against people, it is against the spiritual dark forces that attach themselves to people. We have a responsibility to pray, and take authority in the spiritual realms and put these principalities under the feet of Jesus. Especially when it comes to our children. When my children were young and acting rebellious, I wouldn’t fight it out with them. I would go to my room and I would pray and bind that rebellious spirit and command it to leave them in Jesus name. It would leave. It almost shocked me how well it worked. I didn’t even have to say a thing to them, but their attitude would change.
      So many Christian parents don’t protect and love their children in a spiritual sense. They think they have no power. They think they are victims of their biology. They don’t know their true identity in Christ. But if you have given your heart and soul to Jesus, and have received the Holy Spirit, there is power available over all the spiritual dark forces in the heavenly realms. Jesus already won the victory over the powers of darkness. We need to enforce his victory (in the spirit, in prayer) until He returns (it may be why he hasn’t returned yet). There is a spirit of homosexuality just like there are spirits of pride, rebellion, occult, addiction and many more. They can become ‘familiar’ and ‘generational’ spirits if they attach themselves to family lines. It is all in the word of God (the bible).
      It is no different than those pre-disposed to have tendencies of alcoholism if they have parents, grandparents or great-grandparents that were alcoholics in there family. These ‘familiar’ or ‘generational’ patterns cause there to be a ‘pressure’ (iniquity) to follow in that same pattern. But that doesn’t mean God created that person to grow up and become an alcoholic. Jesus came to ‘heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free’. We have power because of what he did for us. Let’s pray against these powers of darkness including ‘the accuser’ and command them to get under the feet of Jesus. Then let’s ask Jesus to give us hearts of love for our children and all people regardless of what they do or believe.

      God has given us biblical tools to live free…

      – Family DNA
      This problem is rooted in the second commandment: (Ex 20:5). God visits “the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the 3rd and 4th generations.” A pattern given in Lev 26:40 guides us to confess our father’s sin as well as our own. We appropriate (receive) Christ’s finished work on the Cross to break curses. (Gal 3:13)

      – Ungodly Beliefs (UGBs)
      We all have formed ungodly beliefs from life’s circumstances and from our inheritance from our ancestors. These ungodly beliefs can be changed into godly beliefs through repentance and renewing our minds (Rom 12:2)

      – Soul Spirit Hurts (SSHs)
      Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted (Lk 4:18). As we “wait upon the Lord” with “Listening Prayer”, He heals the hurts of our soul and spirit.

      – Demonic Oppression (DO)
      After we have “co-labored with Christ” to bring freedom and healing to the first three problem areas in our lives, the various demonic strongholds oppressing us can be disassembled and destroyed.
      (Mk 16:17)

      Ref: http://www.restoringyourlife.org

    • Jesus is never harsh with anyone other than the hypocrite. Christians who are convinced gay folks are sinners, both pursing relationships and not pursuing relationships, are more often than not very cruel about it.

      You ask, “What about his home town trying to kill him?” That had nothing to do with him calling out various sins. They simply didn’t believe he was the Jewish Messiah.

      The reason Jesus’ message caused division was because the Jews were, generally, not okay that he was passive and inclusive of Gentiles. It had nothing to do with him calling out various sins.

      The question is, indeed, is homosexuality sin in the eyes of God? A follow-up question would then be, what is meant by “homosexuality” in scripture? Is it true that it is a word that is wholly associated with violence and/or oppression? If so, have we been wrong about what scripture says about homosexuality as it is defined today?

      • Do you not find it interesting that so many of the christians who place so much stock in the bible and depend on it being the infallible, inspired word of god are the ones who most resist trying to make sure they’ve got the right understanding of the thing?
        They don’t actually want to be right. They want the bible to line up with their prejudices. And of course they learned those prejudices in church, so it’s a vicious circle.

  6. This is a GREAT post, necessary and grace filled – powerful…but…

    …please remember that not all Christian theology does what you rightfully condemn in this post. There are mainline and progressive Christians who do not and have not for a while held anything close to the blasphemous theology that God created LGBT children that then God condemns and requires God’s straight children to reject and abuse.

    Love your voice, brother.

  7. Preach!! Nailed it again!!! You have no idea how much I love your words. I have parents who just left their Presbyterian church over homosexuality debate, because they “didn’t want to be on the wrong side of scripture”. Very frustrating to me.

  8. Dearest John,

    Wow.

    I have to say that I am humbled by your profound love that you have for your congregation as well as humanity in general. I believe that you are teaching what Jesus would be teaching if He were alive today. Jesus was inclusive, not exclusive. He led with love, not judgement nor hate. He led with compassion. You are a true minister in the highest sense of the word.

    I’m not a particularly religious man but I would be honored to stand in your church and listen to your words. I believe that you are the future (and, thankfully the present!) face of religion. You are truly doing God’s work.

    With sincere thanks from the width and breadth of my heart. Thank you.

    You are saving lives and that is so much more than some of those who claim to be true Christians are doing.

    With respect, appreciation and love,

    Matt Wallace

  9. I could not agree with you more! If bashing folks over the head with the bible is what Christians think is the best way to “win folks to Christ”, they are grossly mistaken! Fear is not the way to the Love of God!!! I not only left the Baptist church that I was raised and
    baptized in….I RAN AWAY, and almost didn’t find my way back. When asked by the disciples what was the greatest commandment, He replied to love the Lord your God, and to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, as He loves us. I realize that a text without a context, is a PRETEXT, but I just don’t know how much clearer this can be!
    Thank you for reminding us that we are ALL children of God, whom He loves, and therefore love one another.

  10. “Stuff That Needs To Be Said.” Yes indeed. As a mom of a gay son and a refugee from an otherwise loving evangelical community, I grieve over this–exactly what you’ve written–every day. Thank you for saying it so well.

  11. A couple weeks ago, I found your blog. You have had the ability to speak what is on my heart and speak straight to my heart. You have put into words what I have had a difficult time expressing. Thank you. God’s love and blessings to you and your family. You are doing a great thing.

  12. This is so very true and this is exactly what we all need to hear. The “ugly” truth doesn’t lie with the LGBT people, but instead it is present in the hearts of so many that are suppose to be windows into Christ’s love.

  13. I am the mother of a gay son. My son was raised going to Sunday school and church every Sunday and now I can’t get myself to suggest to him to attend church.
    As a matter of a fact my husband and I have not attended church for ten years which is about how long we have known that my son is gay. Thanks you so much for both of your blogs on gays and how they are treated by the Christian community. I have accepted my son for who he is and love him with all my heart. I don’t know why God made him gay and I realize that I never will but I believe that God put me as his mother so that he would receive complete love & acceptance.
    I have had such a difficult time understanding why scripture is so against homosexual and yet God creates homosexuals. This and the mean spirited behavior from Christian churches and individuals that you have mentioned has kept me from church and some Christians. This is sad to me but not as sad as I feel if my son is faced with hatred or discrimination.
    Thank you again for your words. They have been so helpful and consoling.

    • Linda, if you do some research, you’ll find that the verses often used to condemn modern gay and lesbian people were originally about the ritual sex acts used to worship pagan gods in idolatrous temple prostitution or male rape of strangers (something that has been historically done by straight men to dominate and humiliate, not gay men). Nothing about those handful of out-of-context verses is relevant to gay and lesbian people in the 21st century in loving relationships.

    • Linda, maybe God is not against homosexuality as we define the term today. In ancient times, there were men who oppressed older boys through same-sex acts and it was often overlooked as a typical part of society. It’s hard for us, today, to understand such a culture (it’s a form of rape, for goodness’ sake!), but it existed and I am persuaded that this was the kind of activity that Paul spoke out against in 1 Cor. 6.

  14. Thank you for your thought provoking posts and especially for “If I Have Gay Children” and today’s follow-up post. Your words really touched my heart. I have a gay daughter that I love very much, equally as much as my three other children. In her late-twenties, she told us she is gay. Her “Christian” brother doesn’t accept it. He thinks she has made a decision to be gay and, with psychiatric help, she will be able to change back to the way she was. The church he attends is “teaching” hateful things about LGBTs in the name of the Bible. For the past thirteen years, he and his wife and three daughters, have not come to any family celebrations. Consequently, his relationship with his two other sisters has suffered, too.

    It is not up to us as loving human beings to be judging other human beings. We have laws to deal with that and the Bible clearly tells us that it is Jesus who will be the judge. The Bible also tells us to love one another as Christ has loved us. Who are we to think that God hates gay people? We do know that God hates sin. But we have ALL sinned. In God’s eyes there are no varying degrees of sin. A sin is a sin, period. That is exactly why God sent His son, Jesus, into this world – to forgive us of our sins and give us everlasting life. I suggest that we take our eyes off of everyone else and look at ourselves. What is truly in our hearts? Is it the loving, caring, compassionate, forgiving Jesus, the son of God, or a “Jesus” who thinks and loves as we mere humans think he should? ……. Dianne …….

  15. Amen!! My oldest daughter has many gay and lesbian friends and they’ve always been welcome in my home and at my table. I have been admonished by my so-called Christian friends for welcoming them in. I’ve always thought the best way to show God’s love is to just love on people.

  16. THANK YOU John Pavlovitz! I have a child who is questioning …..who has been tormented …. bullied…. called names …. who has thought of suicide …. this child of ours who we have fought for …. our child who we love beyond life itself … our child who we would die for …. and all this child has ever wanted was to be ACCEPTED FOR WHO SHE IS …. WHO SHE WANTS TO BE …. and even tho at this time she does not know exactly what that is … she wants to be able to fall in love with a person …. any person … not specifically private parts … she wants to love and be loved by another of GOD’s children !

    I THANK YOU FOR ELOQUENTLY putting our thoughts into such wonderful words !!

    love to you and yours

    Barb Stevenson

  17. I am very open about being a Christian; everyone that meets me knows immediately that I am a “Jesus Freak”. I serve as a greeter at my church every week, but one of my best friends is gay and so is my brother, both of which were raised in Christian households. My best friend attempted suicide in high school and my brother developed a drug addiction attempting to cope with his personal disgust. They hated themselves for having feelings that they couldn’t control. I do not see a need to tell them that homosexuality is a sin, they already struggle with that knowledge. What I do see a need for is to reiterate my LOVE-my unconditional love-for them frequently. Do I believe being gay is a sin? No. Do I believe acting on that impulse is? Yes. What I also believe are sins are gossip, judgement, hypocrisy, over-eating, becoming stagnant in our faith, etc. And I believe that all sins are of the same caliber, with the exception of blasphemy of God. What I also believe is that no one is perfect and that we all are sinners.

    I don’t think that condemning someone for being gay will make them repent. I don’t think that yelling Bible verses at them or holding up signs will make them change, or really give them any information they didn’t already know for that matter. I think that loving them as Christ has called us to will help alleviate some of the pains that they experience, and possibly help them strengthen their faith, which could lead to them choosing to remain abstinent. And if not, they will be the only one answering for that on judgement day, not me and not you.

    I love reading your posts John. I left church in my later teenage years because of judgmental Christians (never wavering in my faith, but not in fellowship with other Christians) and it wasn’t until my twenty’s that I heard God’s voice call me back home. What I have realized since I’ve been back in church is that regardless of how much we think we aren’t judging, we are all guilty of it. It’s in our human nature. While those Christians were judging others, I was judging them for judging. This realization has helped me tremendously in my walk and how I treat people from the LGBT community. From my interpretation of the Bible, I think you’re exactly right and I commend you for tackling this tough issue.

    • How simple it must be for you, as a hetero-privileged person, to hold the belief that any intimate expression of my sexual orientation (as a gay man) is “against God” and sinful. And by that token, you must also think that the “appropriate” option for me is to completely abandon any form of innate sexual interaction, or fake it and be miserable by forcing myself into relationship with the opposite sex. I must be resigned to be a celibate eunuch for the duration of my life. Again… how simple for you to hold that view… boiling my internal sexuality down to “acting on an impulse.” From one LGBT person [me] to a straight person [you]… I say you’re a POOR ALLY, whose “love” toward LGBT people amounts to nothing more than “doing your best to be nice” to us. How dare you simplify my inborn sexuality orientation and lump my gift of sexual expression in with “the sins of gossip, judgment, hypocrisy…” etc. The love I make to my boyfriend is FAR FROM “a sin”…. and much more beautiful than the cowardly “love” you offer my LGBT brothers and sisters. The god you know is not the God I know and love… I want no part of your god, if it’s you who stand to represent him.

      • That’s exactly what she’s doing, Ben. Her best. She is desperately trying to reconcile two conflicting messages that her faith is teaching. You have to appreciate the unique position modern day Christians are put in; being told to love the sinner and hate the sin… Especially because The Bible says that your lifestyle is a sin and you don’t believe that. I don’t believe it either, but I also am not a Christian and don’t believe in sin. However, how dare YOU demand grace and not give it in return? I understand your offense but please recognize that people honestly have no idea how to call themselves a Christian while condoning behavior that their holy book says is wrong.

    • Well said. It is not our place to judge anyone. But we are to hold each other accountable. That’s what fellowship wiyh other believers is all about. As far as being homosexual I do believe it’s wrong to act on it. Adam and Eve were told to procreate and I know that is only possible between a man and a women in the natural. I believe God meets people wherever they are in their life if you truly seek his heart and plan for your life.

  18. I agree with you, we MUST love the sinner, we MUST have compassion for those that are oppressed living under the captivity of the power of darkness. Like I stated before, God doesn’t see one sin greater that the other even not having faith is a sin. Sin is everything that is apart from God, living separated from God. Many people are sitting at church every Sunday but have no love in their hearts. But the love that Jesus has place in our hearts, is to give it away and to be used not to judge but to set people free. We can’t give that love away from the Word of God. We are the light of the world and we must use that light to remove the darkness. Pastor God can really use the love that you have in your heart, that deeply compassion to change many lives. You are the light for that community, be the light for them and remove the darkness that is their lives. God wants to use your love to set them completely free. Jesus died on the cross so we can be set free, so we can live the life God has for us before the foundation of the world, and it was because of LOVE that we were set free. Freedom comes by loving people, not leaving them in darkness. A homosexual person has a spirit of confusion and that cause a problem with identity. I pray that God use all these messages that you are releasing to bring freedom, that you will receive the revelation of the love of God, which is to bring freedom in other lives. God bless you and protect you and your family!

    Norma Thomas

    • How about we leave “sin” out of this equation? If you believe something is a sin, that is fine. Preaching it to people who already feel threatened and beaten down just re-enforces that they are flawed. Why would God make a person Gay, then punish him/her for being Gay? How about we just quit judging. I’m not Gay, so how do I know what is right or wrong for them? Are they supposed to pretend they aren’t Gay, or go through life lonely and miserable? I understand your right to your beliefs, but sharing them is judging and condemning, in my opinion.

  19. Once again, my Brother, beautifully written. And I know some, wishing to justify themselves, will rush to say that they don’t condone violence, bullying etc., but are only speaking truth. To those people I rush to say: your words, condemnation masquerading as love, do exactly the same thing to people spiritually and emotionally.
    As much as we all detest the actions of Westboro Baptist Church, at least they have the honesty to admit that they hate, and don’t try to pass it off as love.

    Let me tell you what that brand of “love” does, from my own personal experience. I am gay, and I’ve known that since I was a small child, long before I even knew there was such a thing as sex. I just knew I wanted to marry a man when I grew up, because that seemed right and natural to me, even though I didn’t know any gay people. (It was the early 60s, not a time of great visibility for the LGBT community.)
    When I was 19, I had confided in a friend at church, whom I thought trustworthy. That friend, in turn, told the pastor. The pastor called me into his office and told me that the Lord had told him I was struggling with homosexuality. (I only found out two weeks later that my friend had told him, not the Lord.) He said he could help, and set up weekly counseling appointments.
    At that time in my life, I absolutely did not want to be gay. I thought it was a sin, and fighting against it was the biggest struggle of my life. And from that moment, I was willing to do ANYTHING the church said to be free of it. I was attending the local Bible school, and like other students, was living upstairs in the church building. I can’t tell you how many nights I lay alone on the floor of the darkened sanctuary begging God to change me.
    Let me tell you about the “counseling” sessions: Each session was pretty much the same. He would ask me very intimate questions about my sexual history, and then proceed to tell me that I was dirty and sinful, useless to God, the church, and society, and that someday, I would take my own life. You think that’s awful? Let me tell you, after 30+ years in ministry with LGBT people, I can tell you that my experience is not at all unusual. I also submitted myself to two attempts at “deliverance” from what they tried to tell me was demonic. Of course, nothing happened, because, as I later learned, it’s not demonic. The only Spirit in me was God’s.
    As you might expect, though, after a year of being told all this, I began to believe it. I gave up any hope of answering the call to ministry I had received as a boy, and believed that God wanted nothing to do with me. I even became suicidal. I vividly remember one Thursday afternoon when I was very much wanting to go up to the roof of the church and jump off. The only thing that stopped me was my own love for the people of the church: There was a service that night, and if I had carried out my plan, it would have ruined service for them.
    So instead, I called the pastor. I told him I felt like my entire world had collapsed, and I needed help. He made an appointment to come talk with me later that day. He didn’t show up. Later, he made a second appointment. He didn’t show up. And a week later, he called me into his office late at night and asked me for information about others in the church. When I refused to say anything about anyone else, he threatened to tell the whole church that I was gay. I still refused, even though I was in tears and terrified.
    I left the church that night. And I left God. But I am so thankful that God never left me. It was a few weeks, maybe months, later, when I was at work, that God called me back to Him. I was in a noisy restaurant kitchen, mindlessly washing dishes, when suddenly I felt the Spirit of God sweep through the room, like I used to feel at church. It felt so good, but I wondered, “What is He doing here?” I thought He had no use for me. But then, the very same voice that had called me to ministry when I was a child spoke to me again. He said, “All the condemnation you felt came from people, not from Me. I love you just the way you are.” But I had to ask, “What about the scripture?” And His reply was one word: Study.
    But I knew what He meant. He didn’t mean to pull out my King James and read the passages that spoke about homosexuality. I once told my pastor not to bother reading them to me, because I could quote them better than he could read them. What God meant was for me to go deeper than that, to go back to the original. Scripture was not written in Elizabethan English, but in Hebrew and Greek, with a few portions in Aramaic. I’ve always loved languages, as a hobby, and had begun studying Greek at the age of ten, aided by native Greeks. I had learned Hebrew just one year before, the best student in my class, and had an Israeli instructor who was more than willing to help me learn more. And so I studied. I read scripture in Hebrew and in Greek. The King James Version that I had been taught to believe was accurate was not accurate at all. In fact, there is no fully accurate English Bible. But I learned that God’s love is a very powerful thing. And I learned that at no time did He ever condemn homosexuality. In fact, the Hebrew and Greek texts never address it directly, and any indirect mention wasn’t in any way negative. There was one passage, however, often misused today to condemn homosexuality, which was actually about tampering with one’s own innate sexual orientation in order to meet the expectations of religion and society, which is what the Greeks and Romans had done.
    So the “truth” that so many have been proclaiming, often with profanity and violent intent, is not the truth at all. It’s the prejudice of medieval Europe, which they learned from the Moors during the Moorish occupation. In other words, it originated in the Quran, which was the first religious text to try to connect Sodom to homosexuality.
    I am grateful beyond words that God never abandoned me. Of course, His word promised He wouldn’t. But I had made the error of trusting the word of man over the word of God. As a friend of mine, also in ministry, says in his testimony, “I believed the lie and damned myself.” But God set me free… not from my sexual orientation, which is exactly what He intended it to be, but from the lies of people who think they know the mind of God better than He does, people walking around with logs sticking out of their eyes, trying to remove specks from the eyes of others.

    • Very well said, Rev. Carey. Very well said, indeed. Now I have a question for Pastor John and the other clergy that are reading this.
      Are you ready and willing to preach the truth -that there are no admonitions against homosexuality in the bible? It’s not a question of debate or context. It’s not an issue of reinterpreting for a modern age. It is simply the case that the modern English (and I daresay other language) translations have perpetuated the incorrect language.
      One person in this thread said Pastor John is saving lives with these blog posts. I daresay that’s probably accurate. No doubt he is sparking some badly needed conversations and may see some wounds healed.
      But as long as people keep hearing these misrepresentations from the pulpit, they’re going to keep believing them. I may know what I’m talking about, but I’m an admitted atheist, and the Southern Baptists that I share my life with will not take my word for it. They’re going to have to be taught, and the only people they trust to teach them are their preachers.
      It can be done. We have women clergy in many denominations today. The SBC finally gave up on slavery. We don’t stone people for transgressions. The church can make this change. It will hurt no one, and it will save lives and families. If you can’t start preaching the truth now, what’s it going to take? What do you require before leading your flocks out of hatred and into the light?

  20. Thank you John for having a voice for so many Christians who feel like you do but are made to feel by the church that they are caving in to popular culture.i cannot follow a faith that is so bigoted & small minded knowing in my heart that Jesus would never treat people the way so many in church have & continue to do.i stopped attending church a number of years ago because of how strongly I felt & now call myself a follower of Jesus rather than a Christian .My faith in my god has never altered but my god is a god of LOVE & in everything I do I try to think what would Jesus do.If we all did as Jesus asked..love our god with everything we have & love our neighbour as ourselves …we wouldn’t have a problem.

  21. Thank you! Your blog went viral because words and beliefs like these coming from a Christian pastor are RARE. People are reacting en mass because you are daring to challenge the painfully injurious status quo. Your message has the power to heal and bring hope. I am thankful for you and what you have done.

  22. The fifth paragraph from the bottom left me cold. What is this phrase “love the sinner” doing in an otherwise good article? Anyone who looks at me and says they “love the sinner” (me) but hates the “sin” (my being Gay)…well they can do it from a distance. I don’t want to be in their presence if I can avoid it.
    Judge not. It is why I shook the dust of Christianity off my feet when I was a teenager. I am now 65 and doing very well without it.

    • I put it in there because so many Christians use that quote while judging and treating LGBT terribly. It was a phrase that they have used, so it’s my way of saying, even if you think that’s the way to treat people (which is wrong-headed), they would still be failing to adequately show love.

      • I have heard this from Justin Lee author of “Torn”: “Love the sinner (and we are ALL sinners), Hate your OWN sin. I am a Catholic mom of a gay son. The Catholic church teaches that human SEXUAL love is both Unitive and Procreative. Any sexual act, including masturbation, casual sex for pleasure, infidelity, sex outside of marriage, all are “disordered”, not in the way God intended. So… who am I to judge same sex sexual acts. I would only ask anyone: “What is the law written on your heart? Who does God want you to become? Not letting your kids play with a gay couples child who lives on the street? Preaching from the pulpit the sin of same sex physical relations? This is NOT what Jesus would do in my opinion. He taught by having people listen to his parables and let them determine how that fit their situation. My first most treasured love is JESUS and I hope I convey that in my life.

      • AGREED!! I hate that phrase. It nonchalantly brushes off the responsibility to love someone at a “core being” level. It also makes it seem like you can separate a person from “sin”. Sin is not just behavior, it’s a state of “being”. If you are human, you are sinful. Period. Those who think you can separate the two are deluded.

      • “Love the sinner (and we are all sinners); Hate your OWN sin.” Is what I heard from Justin Lee in his heartfelt book “Torn.” If you haven’t read it, Check it out.

  23. This needs to be printed out and pushed through the letter boxes of every single so-called Christian on this planet. Maybe, just maybe, some of them would recognise the truth about love.

    And the ones who already know could be glad they have tolerance in their hearts.

  24. Thank you! As a Christian living in a small Midwest town I have seen church members and congregations extend shame for grace too often. I feel ostracized and alone in my faith for my belief that being gay is not cause for a verbal stoning…and I am one of them (A straight, white Christian). Thank you for reminding me that not all Christians believe Jesus’ command to love is only meant for people who look and think like us.

  25. Yes, yes – all of this

    Not too long ago I was reflecting on the parable of the lost sheep and then I wondered what if the lost sheep wasn’t lost at all, but cast out by the herd. The lost sheep was different from the rest and the herd felt threatened by the difference. I wondered what Jesus would do in that case and decided that he would still go after the cast out sheep. Jesus goes after those we cast out, including those of the LGBT community

  26. First off, if your saying that quoting scripture to someone while teaching them is a platitude, well, that’s pretty immature in Christ to believe such a thing. If I have misinterpreted your “quoting scripture” charge, then please forgive. What does Apostle Peter “command” the Lords people do as the set-apart children of God in His set apart church in the world?

    “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

    Then the Hebrews writer follows up with:

    “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how the so-called Christian world views the love of God. I hope people reading this realize there are over 35,000 different church movements now and Jesus said he would build as He stated “My church.” That means only “1” church my friends. Are the other 34,999 a part of His body? I’m sure some of them are but not all of them. Apostasy is running rampant. Now do you remember how He built His one church?

    Are you really prepared to hear and understand the answer? HE DIED FOR IT. His love for mankind is dying for them. Now, are you ready to be like Jesus and die for others, even a gay person? If not, then your a Christian by name only and those kinds of Christians out of the 35,000 movements around the globe do not have the face of Christ shining on them. Their works and words are just thrown as high as their physical strength can heave them. They aren’t reaching heaven as they haven’t the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They never finished obeying the gospel.

    If your a part of a congregation of “believers only” that pay lip service to Gods word and aren’t putting yourself in harms way to serve the lost, you need to leave that group and go find one that does, and believe me they are out there. True Christians that have died to Christ by obeying the true gospel – fully, know what it means to daily walk and die for Christ in behalf of others. If your a member of a church that constantly struggles doing Gods will over your own manmade will, that church will never be blessed and overcome the struggle to finally repent and die again and Let Jesus rule your hearts.

    I don’t believe anybody has the right to make any comments or opinions about this issue until they have truly died to themselves and have been truly converted made a new creature to walk in newness of life. You see, unless you do die to yourself and obey the true gospel as Apostle Peter first preached in Acts chapter 2, you will not have the help of the Holy Spirit to know Gods will first for you, then for others in whatever calamity they find themselves in. You are unequipped of the help from heaven and are only relying on your opinions and manmade wisdom! It gets very tiring for me, I cant imagine how tired Jesus is hearing mankinds feeble attempts to bargain their discipleship!

    Jesus is very plain and uncomplicated on an openly sinning brother or sister, and I don’t believe just accepting any open sin in the body to persist is His will. I’m not going to test the Lord that’s for sure. Here He says and I remind you:

    ““Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

    In the context of an open gay person in the body I believe we must approach them in love and willingness to do whatever we need to in order to help them with their sin. And continue loving them through the process. Its a command but it must also come from the heart. I may not be the right one to minister to the gay sin but I will find somebody in the body of Christ who is. I flatly don’t agree with rejecting them until they have openly refused the loving and humble efforts to help and teach them Gods will. I have my sin, you have yours and they are all sins against God. We all in the body of Christ must help each other get to heaven and that means I need to face my sin and overcome it in the power of the Holy Spirit who can get the job done. Everybody including those with a gay walk.

    If you have become a real Christian, then you know what the Spirit teaches. If you haven’t obeyed the true gospel yet, let me encourage you to begin a refreshing study to see where you may be in your relationship with the Lords will for you. Click or paste this link to find out:

    http://cpr-coc.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Bible-Study-Picture-Walk1.pdf

    Blessings…

  27. Every time I come out to someone, I have to do it with the knowledge that they may very well want nothing to do with me afterward. It’s still better than the alternative, though – hearing blatantly homophobic statements from people who don’t know you’re anything other than straight. I’ve encountered that more times than I can count, mainly from people inside the church, often from people I thought I could trust as friends. I generally see myself as a strong person, but experiencing that hurts every damn time.

    The good news is I have absolutely wonderful friends now who love me exactly as I am. It’s their support that has helped me finally overcome that voice in my head that has always said “There’s something wrong with you.” The mainstream church may see us as godless sinners (we all believe very firmly in God, but haven’t been to church in years), but for me, it’s love in its absolute purest form.

  28. If your theology is that homosexuality is a sin, I would say you need to treat ALL sinners the same; with love and compassion. ALL SIN is the same in God’s eyes; whether you covet what is not yours, commit adultery, cheat on your taxes, or murder someone God wants us to hate the sin but love the sinner. So, regardless of how I feel about someone’s lifestyle, if I deem it to be a lifestyle of sin; I am still called by the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures to love that person, not criticize and certainly not judge that person.

  29. I really appreciate your blog on this issue. As a twice-divorced Christian, I know how it feels to be judged, cast aside and treated as less than. It means a lot when people at church are still willing to accept me and not judge me as sinful, selfish, unredeemable or un-Christian. I’m sure you realize, it works both ways. The LGBT community isn’t always kind, sensitive, open-minded or tolerant themselves. I’ve been called every name in the book, even homophobic, despite the fact that I don’t fear gay people at all. I do not condone disrespect or bad treatment towards anyone, including gay people. But I will speak up and say what I believe about gender, sexuality and marriage without fear and without any intent to hurt or offend. That some people are offended doesn’t give them a right to say others Intended to offend or hurt them and it certainly doesn’t give them a right to call US names. Everyone needs to take a look in the mirror and judge themselves kind or unkind, not just Christians.

  30. I desire to be loved with Truth, not just Love, for God’s Love is not Love if it’s not illuminated with the Truth which is Jesus. Sharing only half of the Gospel of the Good News is not the Gospel of the Good News at all. Sharing only half of my Saviour is not sharing Him at all. You, John, are touting another gospel, definitely NOT the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus who says, “Repent and believe.” You are NOT proclaiming the redemption available when one obeys and surrenders their allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

    No matter how unkindly those in the LGBTQ community or any other community have been treated, the message of the Gospel of the Good News is still true, and must be adhered to. Repentance – turning and walking away from one’s sin – is crucial for one to receive God’s forgiveness and enter into eternal life in heaven with Him. No matter how messy the messengers, the message is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is only One infallible child of God the Father. One! All the rest of us have rebelled against THE perfect parent! How could anyone expect that mere humans could be perfect parents raising perfect children when every single one of God’s children have rebelled against Him except for One?

    What you are declaring is NOT love, for the incomplete message that you are declaring will serve to eternally separate people from the One who came to save us all.

    • Ginny, if you can find some pagan temple prostitutes using idolatrous ritual sex practices to worship ancient Canaanite gods or first century Greek and Roman fertility gods, go condemn them as sinners all you want because that’s what the Biblical writers were referring to. 21st century gay and lesbian people in loving relationships? Not so much.

    • And YOU are exactly the kind of person that made me reject Christianity. if God’s love inspires you to be a hateful finger pointer then it’s not worth the faith required to believe the supernatural stories of the bible that can’t withstand the scrutiny of modern science nor ever day common sense.

  31. I wish my parents, who can’t read in english, could read that. Sometimes it’s hard to feel the love coming from others, i’ve just felt it once and now it’s the second time. This is so comforting. Thanks…

  32. I see you have passion for the LGBT community and feel that the church has left these people in the lurch. I feel that you miss the whole point of Jesus love…Jesus loves the sinner not the sin. Yes, I know that there are misguided and sometimes horribly misguided people, religious and non-religious alike that persecute these and other people. We as caring Christians, should be like Jesus, love the person and help them with anything that they are dealing with. But, if you are telling me to ignore the other teachings in the Bible, then I am telling you and the world that I have decided that I know better than the one that created me. Tough problem, no easy answers. The Bible never said that being a Christian was going to be easy.

  33. It seems like you have been through some bad experience through some churches, problem is you are saying that Scripture is to be thrown out just to appeal to sinful nature instead of realizing that you are facing real people from every aspect of their lives…
    People who claim they are doing it in Christ name, and yet do things like you mentioned up top I would say need to evaluate themselves and re read what Scripture have to say.
    other part of this is a lot of us lack the understanding of love. Love does not kill or make someone feel small, love does not measure the value of a person due to their sin, Christ always excepted the person but if you look at how he does I, he also says to leave their sin. When you say that Jesus is like… it seems like we want to look at both sides of him. Jesus always referenced the old Scriptures and he always forgave the person and told them to follow him, key part that we miss out is when he ever did this he also told them to leave their old selves and become a new person. Now us as human beings we are love to try to fix people instead of allowing God do the work, we do it, and we confuse many people.
    Church as a whole are made up with people from every part of the journey, in this if we look at the New Testament, we see Paul continuing to point out the errors of the church (i.e. the people) and teaches how we are to be with in the believers and with the non believers.
    Because this is a really sticky topic I don’t want to confuse anybody. But we are to love as Jesus Loves, but we are not to except the sin that the person does.
    I also want to make this clear for us to love we are to welcome people no matter what their background is. Our duties, our commission that Jesus gave to us is to go make disciple, at the same time teaching people how God would like us to live. That isn’t fixing the person nor is it forcing them to change.with that said. As Paul talks about, in the New Testament because we are saved by grace,/faith through the blood of Jesus, it doesn’t mean we continue to sin, we must raise our bars so people can see the difference between God’s people and the world.
    Jesus says we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross, Jesus never made following him easy, nor are we to do it alone.
    If we look at the beginning of time, as believers we can and we know God made this world to be sinless, it was through Adam and Eve sin entered the world and many sinful things have taken place, such as lust selfishness, greed, brokenness, lies and list goes on. We can also see in the Old Testament that we like trying to fix the problem and cover things up. Adam and Eve covered themselves and hid before the Lord, and yet they played the blaming game, Abraham followed the advice of his wife and slept with his wife’s servant woman, when the time came for the promise to happen it caused a split into the family, where one generation of people were to be blessed, but because of the I got to be the hero and fix the problem, there has been constant battle between these two groups…
    the point I am making where ever you go you will face problems, because we are all human and we all make mistakes, with this we should not label everyone or every church like this. I have been through crappy churches but the truth is the church does not define me, God does. He changes me from the inside out.he only changes what I allow him to change.
    Some changes happen over night while others take time and me doing the work.
    The other thing is some people ask for change and yet continue to put themselves in their weak place… for example, if you know you are addicted y
    To porn, then stop putting yourself in a place where you may feel like peeking in it. Have yourself connected to someone who can keep you accountable, but not put judgement on you.

    My problem is people using Scripture how they feel fit instead of actually taking the time to know what it means as it is.
    Love the person is What Christ did do, but he also commanded them to let go of their sin. Read his sermons and how to live your life through the gospel, don’t skip words or ignore them read them as is.
    The truth hurts but this is truth. We as humans can make it messy and not easy that is true.

    • Oh, geez! Another long spiel about loving the sinner, but not the sin. I see judgement there. Why get on a blog about lovingkindness, and go on and on about the “sins” of others? I think the point is to love people as they are. It isn’t up to us to decide to point our fingers and call out someone for being gay. Do you stand on a street corner and scream at a neighbor who is cheating on her husband? Maybe point out someone in church who said a swear word the day before? Who makes you judge and jury, and executioner? How about you leave Gay people alone, and let them live their lives? It’s not up to you to condemn or convert them…which obviously doesn’t work.

    • Superpowered, many Christians are too arrogant and condescending to leave people alone. They think they know everything because they think they know the Creator of Galaxies and Pulsars personally. They are human just like anyone else. They use ‘sin’. which is an arbitrary thing, as an excuse to put others down.

  34. Thanks for being real!! I have a nephew who has just shared with his Mother that he is gay. We are a Christian family and have experienced Gods love and forgiveness time and time again. We have chosen to love and love as Jesus does!!
    Love covers all ……..

  35. I’m always astonished that the “haters” don’t actually read the Bible verses they base their hatred on. I have, and every one of them is either trumped up (Onan) or not about being gay (Jesus in the temple). Why is there no outcry against money-changers? Where’s the movement to give back any seized property in the year of the Jubilee? Why do our laws allow charging interest when it’s so specifically prohibited in the Bible?
    Before commenting about the sin of homosexuality, I would have people ask their pastor/priest why these other sins aren’t as caustically condemned. Before talking about another’s sins, I hope they remember that gossip is a sin.
    We need more people like John who can think, love and be kind. Christian=Christ-like.

  36. Absolutely, so MUCH this. I’m approaching the Dean of the local Cathedral about starting an outreach program…I was saved because the Church welcomed me as I am, everyone deserves that chance.

  37. I love this post. For anyone looking for a progressive Christian church, the United Church of Christ is very welcoming of the LGBT community. Just make sure it’s the United Church of Christ – the Church of Christ is much more conservative. Our church has several couples that attend with their children or just with each other. Ignore the haters out there. The theme of the UCC is ‘God is still Speaking”.

    • Thank you, Karen. That’s my church, also! I knew I came to the right place, when I saw bumper stickers in the parking lot that said “Save Our Earth”, and in our meeting area had a large “Support Marriage Equality” sign. We have outreach for homeless teens, at-risk children, migrant workers, and others. I love our church.

  38. You do not understand –we shouldn’t change our faith because it doesn’t fit the modern, current, politically correct move towards acceptance of homosexual marriage. The church did, does and always will, teach LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. That is not only a command, but good advice for those who wish a peaceful society. But we likewise know that there is right and wrong, and that there are just some things that are not good for society, and homosexual marriage is one of them. Will denying homosexuals the right to marry mean that homosexuality will go away? No. Can we love the homosexual but turn away from his/her behavior? Yes.

    • Susan, please explain to me how 2 homosexuals publicly entering into a lifelong covenant of love and fidelity is detrimental to society?

      I ask this as a baptist minister who sees no harm in celebrating the relationship of 2 men or 2 women who were created that way by God.

      • Because it increases the corruption of the idea of marriage. Gay male relationships differ a bit from gay female relationships, but monogamy does not rate high amongst gay male marriages. When marriage is redefined to mean that monogamy is not a priority, all marriages suffer from the redefinition.

    • So, Susan, it sounds like you are saying you accept Gay people, but you then condemn them by calling them sinners. Why would you want Gay people to marry someone not gay? Or would you rather they live alone, and lonely, so as not to offend others? Would you be O.K. with someone watching you, then telling you they love you, but they hate what you have done? That’s a pretty mixed message. I think this blog is to get people involved, but I’d also like to think we might be encouraged to stop judging and condemning, as that is what seems to cause a lot of the hatred, anger and threats that the LGBT community lives with.

  39. BRAVO! God is truly using your pipes and I am stunned and elated. I never ever thought I would see this day. Thank you Pastor John from the bottom of my religiously abused broken heart-on-the-mend!

  40. John,

    I don’t know if all your blogs are as controversial as this and the one referenced in it, but I wanted to make a few comments to you about both of them. First, it is more than a little refreshing for me to see someone like yourself take the kinds of positions that you have taken, especially in some ways because you are with a church in North Carolina. Not unlike Alabama, which is where I live, NC does not seem like a particularly accepting kind of place, so you blog is a clear indicator that you are likely swimming against the currents. I have seen enough videos of preachers from around the South and their fire and brimstone kinds of sermons that I had long ago given up on any preacher having any kind words for anyone that is different. So, I thank you for that. Second, you must have some tough skin! Let’s face it, no one likes to be criticized, let alone to have the fire and brimstone thrown at them! And you seem to have taken it on and accepted it in a way that few of us could duplicate. While I don’t claim to know what goes on in your heart or your mind as you read all of the comments, it is hard to imagine how disheartening it must be to have people accuse of being all kinds of things. They are not even directed at me and I have had to resist the urge to respond to some of them with a scathing response. Third, I am sure you have heard this many times, but I think you seem like an incredibly loving father and I think your children must be pretty lucky to have you in their lives. I have a number of family members who are gay (an uncle, a nephew, a niece and two cousins) and I am fairly certain (with the exception of my nephew) that none of them received the kind of love, support and understanding that your children could expect to receive from you. And it took each of them quite some time to come to terms with themselves and attempt to rebuild their relationships with various members of the family. Whatever your future may bring, and whatever may happen with regard to this issue and your children, at least your children will know that no matter how they may disappoint you they can rely on the knowledge that you will still love them (whether an issue of their sexuality arises or not.) But, unfortunately, that is not something that most kids can actually rely upon, as evidenced by many of the negative comments. Keep up the good work!

  41. John…so what do you stand for anyway? I get that you love the gay community. Me too…but I can’t accept, promote or condone the sin of homosexuality.
    Jesus said come as you are…he never said stay as you are. The gospel is a holy change agent. That means that the Adulterer and the Thief can come to Jesus for grace and mercy, forgiveness and salvation….but what they can’t do is keep stealing or keep cheating with other people’s wives and husbands. To have your life still characterized by the sin you confessed and repented of isn’t much of the changed life that Jesus promised when we come to know him. So is Jesus wrong? Was he just kidding? Is he some weakling or a liar? Not in the least.
    If I had a son who chose to sin and practice a gay lifestyle…I would love him with all my heart and pray with all my heart that he would come to know Christ as Savior and seek godly change from sin. And yes…turn from the sin of homosexuality. The same is true if my son or daughter turned out to be adulterers or thieves. If they had a true salvation experience I would expect their life to reflect that. I would expect there to be change from old to new.
    Loving the sinner and hating the sin can and should coexist in the heart of a believer. The church needs to welcome all sinners…you and me included. We come as we are…but we don’t stay that way.
    There are some tragic stories out there of mistreatment of gays and lesbians…but none tragic enough for a pastor to stray from the truth of God’s word. No story worth watering down the Word to be culturally relevant. No personal tragedy so great to risk eternal consequence of a personal theology that condones and allows sin to go unconfessed.

    • Doug, is it really necessary to repeat the “love the sinner, hate the sin” message? When I hear that, I imagine how a Gay person would feel reading it. To me, it says, “I love you, but I hate what you are.” I don’t see how that can help anyone to read that. I suppose you could call out any random person on the street, and yell at them that they are a sinnner, but you love them. How would that feel to you? I have some fine people in my family who are Gay. I don’t understand their life-style, but then again, I don’t have to. It’s not my business. The judgement and condemnation doesn’t help anyone. It just reinforces the ignorance and stirs up a sense of beging “better than” Gay people. It’s the kind of comment that could encourage violence against Gays. I’ve seen it. If God made you Gay, then I would believe He meant to do that. Why would He want to punish you? And did He personally ask the rest of us to judge and condemn them? I don’t think so.

  42. I appreciate you addressing this very challenging topic. I’ve tried to address it myself on mg blog. While we can never condemn anyone to hell, we do have a responsibility to tell people what is right or wrong, regardless of whether or not the Truth hurts. I think what you’re doing is noble, and you’re right that the Church have not been exercising a Christian approach in regards to this. However, what is not explicitly clear is this: are you saying that homosexuality is not sexual immorality? We can hate the sin and love the sinners, but we shouldn’t call black white. That’s my two cents.

    Cheers, Ufuoma.

    • You know, you could worry about your own morality, and when it comes to others, mind your own business when it comes to others. If you truly feel that the judgment of others is your place then read Matthew, chapter 7.

      • I’m not judging anyone. I speak the truth according to the scriptures. If anyone has an issue with it, it’s between them and God. Aside from that we are commanded to teach the truth and save those in error. I’m sure you know the numerous scriptures that say so, but here’s one: 2 Timothy 2:24-26.

    • Ufuoma, could you tell us where you found in the Bible that God wants you to judge and “educate” or “train” people about sin? Didn’t He say not to do that? It is sad that you pick out one particular “sin” to beat up on people. You don’t seem to understand that many people don’t believe in your concept of what your “God” wants you to do. This is part of the problem where Gay people are concerned. These kinds of comments, where you condemn someone for being Gay, are what causes more misery for Gay people. God made them as they are. He certainly didn’t want them to suffer their whole lives, because some people don’t think they are acceptable just the way they are. How about everyone just quit calling them sinners, and worry about their own problems?

      • I’m thinking 1 Cor. 5:9-13 ? It’s specific to those who are members of the body of Christ. There’s judgement among the members, but we can’t judge the world, since they do not know Christ. If you don’t believe that homosexuality falls into ‘immoral’, then you will find a reason to say ‘this doesn’t apply’, but it’s pretty clear that the word of God links them together.

  43. I can not thank you enough for your previous post. I am a mother of a gay son and I grew up in a very “religious” home and my husband parents, although not typically “religious”, certainly had very strong opinions on “gays”. I watched my very young son struggle with his sexuality for many years in his youth (crying, being teased, laughed at, rejected) and we LOVED him through it all. I got him an EXCELLENT Christian counselor and with her help, he was able to “come out” with a TON of self esteem. He’s an amazing young man and I couldn’t be MORE proud of him. He has embraced who he is and my husband and I walked with him every step of the way with LOVE and grace…and in the process he taught us more than we could have ever taught him.

    Sadly, I haven’t been to church since this journey began. As I would tell good, well meaning, Christian friends, they would provide me with books or literature on how other men had “changed” or how this “choice” was evil. I just couldn’t do it!!! My non Christian friends had the ability to provide me with the love and support I needed. I always knew my son was gay…and to even fathom the idea of him being someone different was obscene to me. The counselor that I took my son to also counselled me and I thank God for her every day. She, like you, NAIL IT. I’m not sure where I’d be without her loving guidance and wisdom through that time many years ago.

    With your last post, I was able to finally tell my own father (a 75 year old man) that his grandson was gay (even though the rest of family has known for almost 10 years). He’s so naïve, and had NO idea (sometimes you see only what you want to see when your wear your religious glasses). I thank you for your articles, they have given me the strength to finally have us “out” as family to my Dad. I was not afraid my dad wouldn’t love my son, only afraid of the “shame” that seems to go hand in hand with religion. My Dad is a good man, but know this will be very difficult for him to process (I visualize him in a dark room reading his bible and crying out to God). I had always prayed for God to give me the right time to tell my own father and when I read your article I said to my husband “God’s saying its time” and the push to tell him was incredible. I left him with a copy of your previous post and will also print this one off for him. Our chat went well, but you could see his mind just spinning.
    You were certainly chosen for this topic John, when I read your words, its like I’ve written them myself. RISE with this, so many people need to hear it!!!

  44. Why do we accept the “liar” and not the “homosexual”? Sin is sin. We all finally realize that drug addiction and alcohol addiction are “addictions” and we accept the people with those addictions. We accept them and love them, even though they are sinners. But when it comes to homosexuality, where is the love? Where is the acceptance? No one has said that we need to accept the sin. But we are commanded by God to love the sinner. Because He created them in His own image, just like He created us. Those of you without sin cast the first stone.

  45. Very heartfelt and loving. I continue to be the Christian Jesus told us to be, not the Christian the church demands us to be.

    • Shannon, I love what you stated. There are so many of us “Christians” struggling to find our way spiritually, and the church’s don’t get it. I grew up Luthern, often visited Catholic due to family/friends, was Southern Baptist as a young adult, then Methodist, then Southern Baptist again, then Menoite. It’s amazing they preach love, but they also have their “rules”.

      Always something was missing.

  46. You can “fluff & puff”, and make all of the excuses you want to. However, it will not change gods teachings or what is written in the word.
    With out quoting the actual scriptures. …God specifically spoke about the SIN of a man laying with another man, or a woman with another woman. It’s in black & white! Translated into plain english.
    Remember Sodom & Gomorrah?
    So, make your excuses. …tell your lies, spin your own versions of the word of God…..In the end the word of God clearly spells out what your reward will be & you will burn for eternity.
    “Amen”

    • Do you speak Hebrew? How about Greek? No?! How in the world can you speak to the quality of the translation? Also Sodomites where trying to RAPE angels! Not jabbering living relationships.

    • Are you sure God said it was a sin for a man to lie with a man, or a woman with a woman? As Stasia Bean asked you, can you read Hebrew or Greek? I can read both, John. You would be surprised at what the original languages do NOT say about homosexuality. Lev. 18:22 and 20:13, in Hebrew, both make reference to a woman’s bed… an actual location… and are not blanket prohibitions of two men lying together. What is described in Romans chapter 1 is called an error, not a sin, and it isn’t what you think it is. Rome, like Greece, had a custom concerning sexuality that was rooted in their shared religion. It expected all people to live in a manner we would call bisexual. Paul said this was an error because it was against “physis,” which does not mean nature as in the creation, but rather a person’s own nature. In other words, people were ignoring their own nature, their own sexual orientation, in order to do what their society and their religion said they were supposed to. Paul addressed it from the perspective of the heterosexual majority, for whom same-sex relations were not natural. (Just as a point of information, you wouldn’t have found many, if any, long term same-sex couples in Rome, because this custom taught that to be exclusively homosexual, or exclusively heterosexual, was wrong. There were specific rules for this. A woman had one husband, and was not supposed to be intimate with any other man. But she was allowed, and expected, to be intimate with other women. A man had a wife, or wives if wealth permitted, but was also “attached” to a teenage boy, to whom he was teacher, mentor and lover. The physical aspect of the relationship was expected to end when the boy reached adulthood, and each would seek out a new similar relationship. This was considered a normal part of the boy’s education. So what we now understand as same-sex relationships were rare, if not unknown, in the Greco-Roman world.)

    • Sodom and Gomorrah? Those people are long dead. This is not 3000 BCE, this is 2014. I had nothing to do with Sodom and Gomorrah, but people will condemn me for not being heterosexual. Is that justice? Is that fair. Answer me!

  47. Your reasoning on this one is hard to follow. Even though I mean this in jest, there is some editorial support for your changing the blog to that of ‘Angry Christian.’ It seems that in your opinion so many of the issues that people face are a direct result of their being mistreated or mismanaged by the Christian church. I believe your blog posts support my conclusion.

    I also think you have placed Christians in a no-win scenario with regard to this issue. Standing on the street corner and braying against LGBT is not a service to our mission. On the other hand, a greater dis-service to the mission is to passively avoid the good fight under the guise of ‘love’ for thy neighbor.

    Christians can, and should, do both. We should arm ourselves with the truth, and the truth often is painful, but God never said it wouldn’t be. In fact, He said it would. Practicing homosexuality is a sin, a sin that finds itself in the company of thousands of other acts that so qualify, many of which I can be justifiably accused. It is what it is, however, and it is not honoring to God to knowingly lead others to stumble on the issue. Instead, when asked, we should encourage them to refrain from any acts or inactions that run contrary to His teachings, and the many derivations of homosexuality fit the bill, pure and simple. It doesn’t mean we are mean or ‘the’ problem for being the messenger. It means we, as Christians, believe in and will be works in progress on following Scripture that teaches us to conduct ourselves in a manner that honors Him. Homosexuality does not do this, and it should not be condoned.

  48. It’s so hard to find a nuanced perspective on how to handle sin and unfortunately you still didn’t do it John. I am a sinner. I have broken commandments. I have asked for forgiveness. I have engaged in debaucherous behavior. I work everyday to avoid sin and sometimes I’m successful. I have never committed a hate crime. I am a sister to my LBGT family, BUT I am not cheerleader for their sins. Just as my tendency to anger and my other sexual sinful tendencies should not be endorsed, nor will theirs be. LOVE is NOT FREE. LOVE is NOT SEX. I am able to love and be loved and be in VERY fulfilling relationships that have ZERO to do with sex. They are also “same sex!” God has created us all in his likeness, but not his spirit. We will never reach the heights of perfection. We will never be without sin or sinful desires. We do make choices: to not steal, lie, get drunk, beat or abuse or kill other humans, to not have sex with whomever, whenever, wherever and however we want. This includes homosexual sex. I can be an abstinent heterosexual and you can be an abstinent homosexual. Love IS not sex. Love IS love.
    The Church must love ALL SINNERS and teach us how, like Christ, to avoid ALL SIN. That sin includes how not to be hateful. Tolerance for sinners, not sin.

    • Sex can be part of love. It is intimacy and togetherness and affection. Why should I be denied that because I am bi? My religion has no concept of sin. It makes it sound like the Creator made a mistake in creating us and I will NEVER believe that. I believe people choose between good and order or evil and chaos. I have harmed NO ONE being bi, but people have harmed me.

  49. John,

    I have a private facebook group for open minded Christian moms of lgbt kids. We have more than 230 members and continue to grow. Our group is focused on developing and maintaining healthy, loving, authentic relationships with our kids and making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for them to live. The group is a place where we share information, tell our stories to one another, and encourage and support each other.

    Many of us have been deeply hurt by the faith communities we gave so much of our life to and we find so much solace in the community we have created together – but it is sad that we had to find that community – that love and support and understanding – outside of the church.

    We have been so encouraged by you, John – what you have said and the ripples you have created. We are sharing your posts, keeping you in our prayers and we have your back.

    If anyone reading this wants to join the private facebook group please email me at lizdyer55@gmail.com.

    Here is a link that has a little more info about the group:

    http://serendipitydodah.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/serendipitydodah-for-moms/

  50. Thank you John! This speaks to me and gives me the patience needed to exist in the same family as those that are against the LGBT community and their rights. I have left the Christian church in search of a community that will nourish my soul spiritually and support my values I am teaching my young sons. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel for your words (truths). God bless you.

  51. I understand your point. That the church needs to work on showing love. But I don’t see where you explain what that looks like. What is your answer to this problem? How do you make someone feel welcome and loved with out accepting their sinful lifestyle into the church?

    Jesus DID address us sinners with love….AND a call to repentance. For example, he acted in love toward the adulterous woman in John 8, AND told her to “…leave [her] life of sin.” Zacchaeus was compelled to repent of his sin and make restitution with those he had wronged after spending time with Jesus (Luke 19).

    Love does not mean “whatever you believe is fine and I will accept it as truth so that I don’t hurt your feelings.” When we love our children, there are times that we discipline them. We do not allow them to live any way they choose because it can be harmful….putting their hands near the stove could burn them, allowing them to chew on power cords could electrocute them, allowing them to eat anything and everything any time leads to a lifestyle of gluttony, not to mention the possibility of diabetes, heart disease, etc.

    What does this look like in the Church? How do we hold to BIBLICAL lifestyles blessed by the Lord, but also welcome members of the LGBT community into the church so that they can believe, repent, and change their lifestyle the way that we are ALL called to do when we become a new person IN CHRIST? I truly would like to know….

  52. When will people learn it is NOT a choice? They lump gay people with adulterers, thieves, divorced people, over eaters, drunkards, etc. People CHOOSE to have affairs, get divorced, eat too much. The REAL Good news is that Jesus saves EVERYONE. No one in their right mind would CHOOSE being gay. Most gay people realize they are gay at a young age. When you’re young, the sex part isn’t even considered, you have “crushes”, just like straight people do. Jesus loves everyone, learn His Spirit instead of trying to memorize the KJV.

    • I think this is the biggest misconception. It’s not a sin to be attracted to anyone, male or female. It is a sin to act on desire that’s not part of God’s design (mariage between a man & woman). People may say ‘That’s not fair! umm.. we were never promised that life on this earth would be fair. What we are promised – is that life on this earth, whatever we have to endure, whatever joys we find, will be a fleeting instant, in comparison to the joys/reward of heaven for eternity. Everyone has a choice – maybe not in their attractions, but in whether they want to do They can: A) do whatever I want because I don’t care about tomorrow and I want to experience pleasure now or B) I will work to follow what God has planned for me, knowing that I may have to sacrifice for the short time on on Earth. This is true of any sin – thieving, lying, murder, gluttony, adultery, fornication, and yes practicing homosexuality falls into fornication..the list goes on. God loves us all, even sacrificed his own Son so that we could have eternal life with him. We need to be willing to give up our sinful nature as a sacrifice to him.

    • ACTIONS are choices, though! Entering into a sexual relationship with another person is a CHOICE! As is taking a drink of alcohol, using illegal drugs, telling a lie, refusing to forgive someone, taking the Lord’s name in vain, cheating on a spouse, cheating on taxes, etc.

      • Now explain how a loving relationship with another person is inherently harmful to anyone, and I might grasp it. I have the most loving and fulfilling relationship with my wife that I could possibly imagine. How is my relationship hurting either of us? The answer is: it’s not. It’s not like taking drugs, it’s not like committing adultery, it’s not like committing murder, because those things hurt people and my relationship is about loving support and family.

  53. I’m sobbing now. Wish I could “like” this 5,000 times. I’m a Christian, a Catholic, a Lesbian and a survivor of a decade of self-abuse and suicide attempts. Today, I am happily married to the woman of my dreams and a member of an inclusive Jesuit parish. But I frequently hear members of faith communities condemn myself and others like me. In the past two weeks, I’ve been told that I’m going to hell both for being Catholic and for being a lesbian. Frankly, much of my life has been hell. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to spend eternity in heaven with a God who considers me an abomination. I’ll spend the next few decades of my life loving and spreading love. If that lands me in hell in the afterlife, I’ll consider that a blessing as compared to spending forever in kahoots with some lighting-striking “Big Man” in the clouds.

  54. Thanks again, Pastor Pavlovitz. You are truly a voice “crying in the wilderness” of our times and it is desperately needed! Your article really touchedy heart and brought me to tears for you confirmed what I have been feeling for some time now. Don’t be intimidated by the HATERS. Keep speaking the REAL TRUTH. You are a prophet to this generation!!

  55. I am sincerely asking for help with this. What do I SAY to the boy in makeup who walks into the youth area? After 6 weeks of visiting our small group, what do the two men who are “partners” DO when the quarterly materials address marriage and family? How do we teach a lesson on verses that address gender-specific appearance with 3 females in the group who are dressed and groomed as men? I don’t want to sound like an ignorant , hateful person. At what point do we SAY SOMETHING? If it were anything but sexuality, wouldn’t we address it? Wouldn’t the youth minister speak to a boy who weekly wears t-shirts depicting drug use? Wouldn’t the ladies eventually take aside Jane Smith (known to be married to deployed soldier Bob Smith), if she shows up every Sunday on the arm of some guy named Lou? When and how is it OK to say, “I’m so glad you are studying and worshipping with us, but I’m worried that you may not know what the Binle says about _____.”

  56. I think you have presented some real substance here for Christians to consider and pray about. My understanding of your post is that our job is to love and be the face of Christ to ALL people. Let our prayers and the Holy Spirit move in the hearts of people and let God make his judgement.

    In my church, the Pastor always says that homosexuality is a sin, but if we focused on that one sin, then on what Sunday should he call up the liars? Another Sunday for the fornicators? Point being, the Church should be a source of love, hope, and so on. With that said, Kaylon does make a good point about how do people know? If you know John is sleeping around on his wife, shouldn’t you tell him it is wrong? The church does have the responsibility to teach the people as well. Teaching is not brutalizing and degrading though.

    I would say there is a difference between loving and supporting. My license has me listed as an organ donor…not an organ donor for heterosexuals. If I stop to help someone on the side of the road, I don’t ask them about their personal life. I can love the LBGT community without joining their marches or getting my checkbook out to contribute to fundraisers. Yes-No?

  57. If you are a Christian mom who loves their LGBTQ child, and would like to journey with other moms who are learning to reconcile their faith with their love for and commitment to their child, we have a completely confidential, private FaceBook group that includes moms who unconditionally love both Jesus AND their children. We are moms from all over the country, many of whom have no support in their families, churches and communities. If that sounds interesting to you, please send a brief message and a friend request to Linda Mueller Robertson on FaceBook, who will get you connected. If you want to know more about what the group is about, you can watch Linda’s story here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ntauVWRUY.

  58. Thank you for this article. I was in tears while reading it. I wish every one of my friends who put theology and church doctrine ahead of our years of friendship and who ignores Christ’s command to love others as God loves them would read this article.

    While this may not be news to some, I feel the need to share it. Kindness will always be valued. But no amount of kindness, nor prayer, nor condemnation for sin will change a gay person in a way that makes them straight, nor a transgender person in ways that would make them cisgender. We have struggled all our lives to overcome the self-loathing instilled in us by others, whether that be parents, peers, or the communities we have tried to be a part of (Christian churches included). In order to love ourselves, we have come to terms with the truth that despite the scripture that others wield like weapons, or the hateful words based on ignorance, we are not “sinning differently” or even sinning, we are simply living as we were formed. I will personally never know what it is to be born in a body where my understanding of gender and self matches that body. I may never understand what it means to romantically love a person of the opposite gender from myself. Yet despite my lack of understanding I will not cast those who do live that way out of my life or community for those reasons.

  59. Pingback: We Need Larger Hearts: Part II | Stant Litore

  60. Maybe it’s time to leave behind an ancient book, written during the Iron age and Bronze age, by uneducated desert people who would have viewed the wheelbarrow as amazing technology. I was a Christian for over 30 years (my story here if curious, http://lifeafter40.net) but in the end, I saw the Bible for what it was: a repulsive book written by tribal people that gave them license to kill everyone who worked on the Sabbath; to kill everyone who did not believe in their god; to kill anyone who cursed father or mother; to stone everyone who committed adultery; and to kill anyone who happened to be Homosexual. The Bible is also a book that: endorsed slavery (including the beating of slaves); endorsed genocide; endorsed sexism, and self-mutilation (Matt 18:7-9). We can love people, regardless of their sexual orientation, just as they are. We don’t need an old book to tell us how to hate.

  61. Reblogged this on My hideaway camelot and commented:
    Love. Love. Love. Love them not condem. Jesus was a man of love not a man of condemnation. Absolutely spot on, and as a follower of Jesus I really agree that our treatment of the LGBT community should revolve around love. As always, so well written.

  62. Thank you. My Nana and Mom remind me of an old hymn’s lyrics, “Your life is sometimes the only Bible people will ever read.” I strive and struggle to live that way. Sometimes, it’s hard or confusing, but I know Christ is with me in the moment and knows better than me. Thanks again for the article.

  63. ive been go thro church for years without daring to say anything about my sexuality. I’ve run churches. I regularly preached and taught. I. Was thrown out when someday discovered. Another lump of trash thrown out by the church with no income near retirement

  64. THANK YOU! Both of these blog posts have encouraged me and given me hope for Christianity. I have gay friends and friends who have gay children and I have seen the painful wounds they have received from the church. I want to believe that this can change and we can love as Jesus loved…that we can accept that God made gay people with their orientation just as he made straight people with theirs. My heart feels lighter after reading this!

  65. Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love. Why don’t people get that.??
    And as far as sin in the Bible goes, homosexuality didn’t even make the top 10. It’s not even one of the 7 mortal sins.
    People need to get a clue. People need to love more and judge less. Like Jesus did.

  66. O my goodness … Your words echo my deepest heart desire … I have never understood why if the Christian church truly believes gay people are going to hell why they are not running to welcome them, running to love them, running to introduce them to the life altering, transforming love of Jesus Christ. WHY? Sadly many, many Christians seem to not only want to exclude gay people from their churches, but from their heaven too …

  67. John, your blog strengthens my convictions and self esteem, and provides me with a place to discover people with similar experiences and callings so I don’t feel so alone. I cannot thank you enough. It is so precious to me. And to all those who are leaving supportive comments and testimonies–you are precious, too, I need to hear from you too! I love you all.

    I just wanted to reply by saying that churched Christians are often indoctrinated that it is “love” to tell someone identifying as LGBT that they need to repent and “keep them accountable” (which is 99% of the time finding ways to stigmatize them socially or going out of the way to make them feel bad). If you, Reader, are one of those people, even IF it is true that it’s loving to tell people to repent of their non-heterosexual orientation, how many times must you insist that they repent before it becomes apparent that you have a problem with them and are going to have that problem until they change? Why doesn’t anyone hold you accountable for all your sins then? Do you not have plenty of ways you miss God’s mark and are not convicted to change? What would happen if your church group expected you to fully obey the 10 clearly-cut commandments and was able to see how badly you didn’t? There’s a lot of people in church using porn, yet they’re not getting socially stigmatized because that part of their life can be hidden. But forget about porn, do you ever lust at all after someone not your spouse? That’s commandments #6 and #9. Do you ever misrepresent something or someone, or lie to yourself or to others about anything–how valuable or good or healthy you are or are not, ever? That’s Commandment #8. Do you ever say “oh my god!”? Thats Commandment #2. Do you ever treat the Sabbath as your day off instead of set it apart for God? (And how much of the day…hmmm) That’s Commandment #3. Do you steal attention or praise or items belonging to anyone else, obtain any illegal digital downloads, or robbed anyone of opportunities or gifts? That’s Commandment #7. Have you ever hated (even subconsciously) anyone–those who have wronged you or those you are offended by? That’s Commandment #5 (Jesus said hatred was murder). How often have you wished that what someone else had–material goods but also social status or love or popularity–was yours instead? Thats Commandment #10. Ever dishonor your parents–even if they are/were horrible? That’s Commandment #4. And what days don’t you serve yourself, or money, or approval, or luxury, or security, or power, or institutions, traditions, over God? That’s Commandment #1. You’d think that with such clear expectations spelled out literally in stone, church groups would establish their most pronounced social norms and expectations around those things. But those infractions are so common, they are thus more “normal” and excusable. They cannot be discriminated against if everyone does them. It’s only the behaviors that seem like they’re in more of a minority of people that can be more easily discriminated against and stigmatized. It honestly doesn’t matter whether anyone here clarifies once and for all if homosexuality is or isn’t a sin to be told to repent of. Because if it is, then they’re just “one of us” sinners. Like they would have been had they not been LGBT. In other words, whether or not you can believe or reject that deviation from heterosexual orientation should be placed on the “official list of sins,” the real issue is how Christians socially stigmatize certain outward “signs” of sin and not others: they are not equal-opportunity social-controllers or fellowshipers. The cry that is being given a voice in this blog is that Christians need to repent of the sinful, mass-ill-treatment of LGBT persons. They have been horribly, despicably treated (what John accurately describes as dehumanized!). This is a serious evil that not enough people are outraged and mourning about. Deal with THAT huge, plank-in-your-eye issue first, Church, before you try to find a speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye (Luke 6:42). John is one of the few who have given voice to people who have been guilted and bullied into silence. That we are all not responding by abhorring ourselves (collectively) and repenting in “sackcloth and ashes” shows we are too blind and enjoying too much the benefits that going along with established social norms affords.

    Trying to argue the validity of whether LGBT should be condemned as sin here is so heartbreakingly sad. If you have a problem with someone not getting convicted over non-heterosexual orientation, then I have a problem with you not being convicted over the millions of people the Church has collectively, cruelly sinned against. That evil should break our hearts and that it doesn’t is indicative of what Christian culture really believes as opposed to thinks it believes. Let’s keep changing this, for God’s glory!

  68. To anyone who feels shunned by the church for being anything other than what they think you should be, I always advice they look for another church. My wife’s United Methodist church has nurtured back into the church dozens of young people who became disillusioned with Christianity. My son has had LGBTI friends tell him that he can’t be Christian because he doesn’t act like any Christian they ever met. His idea of Christianity being inclusive, not exclusive, came from growing up in that church. Rather than condemn the Church for the excesses of even the majority, people who feel alienated need to look for a group of people who will care for them as human beings worthy of being loved. They do exist. Spread the word.

  69. Just yes, thank you for sharing what’s so hard for other to. This also goes for all the controversial topics or disputes in the church, I must say. Beautifully worded and spoken, from truth that’s from the pure word itself.

  70. While I can’t side with you on your thoughts on homosexuality, I completely agree that Christians are not loving others as they have been commanded. Whatever your personal belief is, only God can judge the sinner. It is nowhere near our responsibility to do anything else but love our neighbor, disciple them (only if it comes from a heart of kindness that does not intend to hurt), and ultimately pray for them.
    John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  71. Pingback: What the Church needs to hear | RONDA'S DISCUSSION TOPIC OF THE DAY...

  72. Reblogged this on Explorations and commented:
    I haven’t had words to express my spiritual journey due to being spiritually exhausted (is that a term? It should be). However, I read this post, and it is full of truth. I’ve written about this myself.
    I want to add that it’s not just LGB people that are hurt and maimed and damaged by Christians. It’s trans people too, and they are people that are often forgotten in this so-called “culture war.” Transgender people can be of any sexuality, so some fall under the term homosexuality, but not all. So, with that addendum, go read this post. It’s a must.

  73. There are sections to this blog post that dont align with a thorough understanding of what the Bible says on the matter.

    EG “It certainly doesn’t look like love to the sweet, 12-year old middle school girl in your church whose been repeatedly told she’s an abomination; that God already despises her.” The Bible does not state that people are an abomination. It teaches that sins are an abomination. Those who claim that people are an abomination, are in error.

    EG “It doesn’t look like love to the devoted, faithful Christian school teacher who has lost her life-long career for no other reason than her Relationship Status.” This may be technically accurate, but it downplays the real issue. A relationship status indicates intent. Someone who has entered a homosexual relationship, has declared an intent to engage in ongoing homosexual sin. That is the opposite of repentance.

    EG “However we want to frame it or justify it, the net result of our religion to so many gay people, is that entire families are being torn apart …” Yes, Jesus said that families would be torn apart by his message (Matthew 10:35-38). Following Jesus is not always all smiles and rainbows.

  74. In the Bible (Romans 1) we find the unique phrase God gave them over to… This phrase as it’s used in the Bible can mean “God gave them up”. What I believe the Bible is communicating here is plain and simple. God does in fact, with intention, give individuals over to the consequences of their actions. In this case God will not spare the consequences of sin or more specifically the consequences of sexual impurity which includes the act of men and woman exchanging their natural function for unnatural ones with the same gender.

    Note that the Bible (God’s Word) calls it an exchange. It’s not some alleged genetic predisposition – it’s a choice that individuals go into with eyes wide open. And without ambiguity, there is clear warning about the due penalty these individuals will pay in their own bodies for feeding their temptations and following their lusts. The Bible, as hard as it is to accept, goes on to warn everyone that once God gives them up, depravity of mind also follows.

    Since many self- absorbed “selfies” of the so called millennial generation have made it their personal crusade to bash the church through social media about an absence of love they think is lacking for the gay community, I believe it’s long past time the “selfies” get a hard dose of reality.

    I believe an agreeable working definition of the highest form of love is that which truly seeks out the wellbeing of another. The highest form of love desires to see another thrive and does everything possible to meet that end. Such is the love of God.

    But what the “selfie” fails to understand is that long before God gives individuals over to the consequences of their sexual impurity, He has already given them the proper path to follow as far as sexual purity is goes. In other words, behind every WARNING of God is also ample INSTRUCTION. God’s instruction must be followed in order for individuals and relationships to truly thrive. Go outside the boundaries of that instruction, then you should not be surprised that the result is going to be the type of carnage and dysfunction you see including, but not limited to, individuals turning to suicide because of the depravity of mind God warns will happen.

    This is not the fault of an unloving church it is the consequence of sin! Don’t blame caustic individuals in the church for the dysfunction either. God does not hold them responsible. Those who cross the line into sexual impurity and do not heed the love of God (inherent His instruction) have only themselves to blame for their misery and destruction. The type of love that exists in the realm of sexual impurity is self-love and that’s completely contrary to the love of God.

    Where I believe the church is failing is not speaking up louder against the “selfies” who play God and try to do what’s right in their own eyes by downplaying the consequence of sin. All the while proffering nothing but empty ideology absent of boundaries; boundaries that God himself established to protect the marriage relationship between a husband (man) and wife (woman). Cross that line and you’re on your own-that’s the blunt point of God that will never change.

    So yes, the church has every right to deny and keep sexual impure individuals outside the gates for its own wellbeing. Sexual impure individuals are selfish individuals whose selfishness will consume everything around them eventually. The church unfortunately is getting blamed unjustly for loving God and protecting that which is pure because they are perceived unresponsive to the gay plight. The Selfie crusaders calling out the church for not complying to the political correctness fad that demands equality is all that we have here.

    The cliché definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. When the sexual impurity stops so does the carnage! Is that too deep a concept for the selfie generation to understand or do they need a stick figure drawing?

  75. Reblogged this on Charissa's Grace Notes and commented:
    This re-blog is said so well…it very precisely dances around the tar babies of imported Old Testament behavioral codes, and gets down to the real issue: the true heart of the straight religious community as it is seen in its actions…or fruit (I guess that my friend who said that I could bear the fruit of the spirit and still be under the control of a deceptive spirit would argue that the presence of this hatred is actually still a sign of a loving heart…I digress).

    Thanks to John for a very powerful piece, and for refraining from vitriol himself as he cogently and yet gracefully speaks about the horrors we endure…straight and gay alike, cis and trans alike…it’s just that the horrors waiting for the straight cis community have not yet manifested.

  76. Awesome! Finally someone who understands.. my entire childhood and youth was spent in the church. I was there almost every other day, usually preparing or leading a youth group, summer camp, or game night for the younger children. That’s just what I enjoyed doing, volunteering. When it finally became too much to hold in who I was, I spoke with the youth pastor, the person I most trusted in the church. It started the path of me leaving the church. They allowed me to continue VOLUNTEERING had I gone to a therapist every other week. I had been volunteering for the past 5 years, and now I had to pay money, to see a therapist, to volunteer. That was no longer what I wanted to do, and sadly to say, I am happier outside of the church, surrounded by people who actually care about me.

  77. John, you are a voice that has been needed for a very long time. The church, in its’ stance on homosexuality has alienated so many beautiful souls who are made in God’s image and, as such, has only perpetuated the existing stigma and intolerance of those God loves. We all think we have it figured out. We have figured out the right theology and now we’re all set. Those who challenge that theology be damned, we are right and they are wrong. Then comes a conundrum of epic proportions. We are supposed to love EVERYONE , but there are these people who do “wrong”. How are we supposed to love THESE people? In response we try to figure out a way to do that that still includes that theology we have figured out is “right” because, after all, that theology is the be all and end all right? What we don’t realize is that our theology may not be right after all. Gasp!!! If God truly is Love, then any theology that excludes ANYONE or makes them feel less than God’s beloved child needs to be re-examined! None of us have it all figured out, whether or not we think we do. Only God knows the heart of a person and he loves them whether they are straight or gay, black or white, rich or poor etc.. Etc… I’ve heard it said a million times before that God’s love and grace extends to everyone, I just don’t think the church actually believes it when they say it. Actions speak louder than words and we’re all a bunch of Pharisees in my opinion. I’ve been on a journey lately that has been challenging all of the ingrained beliefs and pat answers I’ve been exposed to in the church and I have decided that anything that does not include or allow for love of the deep down core of an individual, especially those who are hurting, is garbage and needs to be tossed out. I don’t care if I have all of the “right beliefs” about something. If “right” alienates anyone, it isn’t “right” after all.

  78. The Trinity:

    One Divine Nature, Three Distinct Persons – As told in Genesis, Marriage is a Sacrament

    There are two conditions necessary for total self gift: a shared identity (nature), and difference. If you don’t have these two conditions then the total giving and receiving which forms a “Communion of Persons” is not possible. As explained in The Theology of the Body – Adam was created in God’s image and likeness … in friendship with God. Mankind, being created in the image and likeness of God, is called to image the relationships within the Blessed Trinity to the world: The Father begets Life through His Word and fully gives Himself to the Son. The Son, The Word of God made Flesh, gives Himself and all of Creation (Life) back to the Father. And the love between the two of them generating (spirating) a whole new level of Life — Holy Spirit. Within the Blessed Trinity we see the shared identity: the 3 distinct Divine Persons of the Trinity are all the one God, one Being ( I AM )- They share the same nature, the Divine nature. And there is difference: They are relationally different – the Father begets, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the manifest Love ( I think that is correct theology?).

    Adam is called to enter into a relationship which images – a divine “Communion of Persons” … in time …and within creation. But, in order to do this he needs someone with whom he shares both identity/nature and someone with whom he is different. In the Scriptures it says that Adam is “alone”, which is a strange thing to say because he is in the garden with God and they are friends. But, if we go back to the idea of a “Communion of Persons” which Adam is called to, then he is alone. Adam is searching for someone with whom he can enter into this “Communion of Persons.” — another life that shares his human nature but that is different. Adam is not able to enter into a “Communion of Persons” with God because they do not share the same identity/nature. The Son of God has not yet been begotten of time/creation/flesh. God is Divine, Adam is man. Adam looks to the animals and the rest of creation, he names them all. Again Adam finds there is no possibility of entering into a “Communion of Persons” because they do not share the same nature. Adam has known/felt his calling and can not find a means to image/live it. He is “alone,” and it is “not good,” as the Scriptures say.

    After God allowed Adam, mankind, to experience this yearning, God provides the temporal means to image/live this yearning. God puts Adam into a deep sleep and takes out a rib (which shows the shared identity – they are made of the same “stuff”) and creates Eve. When Adam sees Eve for the first time he exclaims: “This one at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” Finally, someone with whom he shares the same identity: they are both human persons. And someone with whom he is relationally different: he’s a man who begets life into the woman, and she’s a woman who gives birth to life, which she returns to the man. Now Adam/mankind is able to form a “communion of persons” with Eve and the love between them will generate the new life giving fruit of the Holy Spirit: children.

    If we take this a step further we see that God intends for us to enter into a total “communion of persons” with Himself, that is why Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became flesh. During Adam’s lifetime and the Old Testament times it was not possible for man to enter into this total Love with God, because we did not share identity with God. It was not until the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus, took on flesh… took on our identity… that we were able to then enter into this type of “communion of persons” with God Himself, through Jesus Christ who is both God and man.

    And this my friends is why marriage is a Sacrament. … not just a momentary use of the other as a sexual release, not just a random moment of pleasure, not just a couple of people shacking up, not just a civil contract, NOT JUST A COVENANT…. but a SACRAMENT: an outward sign of an inward Grace instituted by Christ as a sign and image of God’s ongoing filial Love with MAN. You knew this all along, but now that you see it, are you willing to clear your focus and live it? Share it? Thank and praise God for it?

    Do you now better understand why homosexual actions, and all forms of disordered lust, insult The God of Creation and give homage to the deceiver.

    • Gay people can have committed relationships too. Not everyone believes marriage is a sacrament. The last church I was part of did. When I marry someone it will be for love, commitment and wanting to be together, a promise to be faithful and love them and support them through bad times and good. That is NOT exclusive to heterosexuals!

  79. The amount of hypocrisy found in the voices of the ‘loud’ and vocal Christians of this era is overwhelming.

    So many, straight and gay, experience so much daily gossip, hatred, and ugly behavior by those very same Christians who glibly pray for good grades (or other things they should earn) while they throw hate at anyone different from themselves in any way.
    The hypocrisity is so obvious to anyone who dares keep an open mind, not to mention a loving heart.

  80. Left the church some years ago as I refuse to choose between so-called brothers and sisters in Christ and my own son. I personally have never regretted it; but for others this appeal may, just may, save a lot of heartache, so thanks.

    • God calls all of us to Him in Kindness, but … if we persist, then sin is suppose to bring heart ache… heart ache severe enough to garner remorse and repentance… Am I right, or not?

  81. Powerful article and very true. I’ve seen far too many of my fellow Christians justify their contempt over the years. Those of us who judge, who mock, who exclude, who bully, and mistreat others because of their sexuality cause a lot of damage. We need to be held accountable for *our* sins.

  82. One of my freinds posted your story about your children I’d they were gay. I immediately signed up to read your blog. I agree with you whole heatedly. I know you are focusing on LGBT community but I would like to add that here in Colorado (where the loudest Christian group is based) I have seen so called Christians give the same kind of love to anyone different than them. It is a very sad fact that the loudest Christians do not even follow the main things Jesus taught.

  83. As I read this, I am reminded of so many things. Sin is sin. And it needs to be identified. Love is Love. And it needs to be exercised. 90% of all people who call who call themselves Christians aren’t Christians. Of those who are Christians, there are varying degrees of maturity.

  84. There is some serious fallicy in making this hatred a Christian position. One person stated in their comments, “This is why I am not a Christian and never will be.” I am a resident of Wisconsin, a state which continually fights gay marriage. Can I presume that you dislike me and will never live in this state? Now that the Supreme Court has over ruled the state ban has the state become ok? Does that also now mean that I am ok? Perhaps my big question is, “If you have a problem with people stereotyping gays
    then why are you stereotyping Christianity?”

  85. I had never questioned my religious upbringing. Until. I was a Christian Missionary for Heaven’s sake. But my coming out at the age of 22 caused my undertaking of a study, which continues to this day. My first determination, of course, was that I am a good person; sexual orientation is irrelevant, like handedness. What is important is what comes out of one’s heart. Secondly, life is too short to spend it with people who are ugly-spirited. Next, I have discovered that Christianity is as much mythology as earlier pantheons. It is allegory. It makes for a pretty story. I love the poetry.

  86. Thank you for these poignant, compassionate posts. For many years, I held the church responsible for trying to turning me away from God. Eventually I realized that my faith and my God was much bigger than my church. I knew in my heart that God is love, and if love isn’t your motive or your method, you’re not representing God. I was fortunate that understanding allowed me to stay strong in my faith, despite Christians hell-bent on destroying my love for Christ with their hateful and judgmental misrepresentations of God’s character. Many aren’t so fortunate, and I’m excited to see you recognize it and write about it. Thank you so much for saying what has needed to be said for so long. I pray people will be willing to listen and that God will richly bless you and your ministry.

  87. John – in your original post you said, “God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them.”

    It is clear in Scripture that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle. It isn’t the same as being white or black. Paul includes homosexuality in a list of many different sinful practices.

    1 Cor 6:9-10 – 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, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ESV

    All these are sin. Your post excuses the sin and puts the blame on God. How could you do that? You, in essence, have said, “This is the way God made you. It is like being black, white, Asian, etc.”

    I don’t know how many will see my reply but you’ve removed the hope that Paul wrote about.

    1 Cor 6:11 – 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.
    ESV

    God is able to powerfully invade anyone’s life and change them when they come to Him in faith.

    Before anyone responds to my comments, just read what I’ve wrote. I’m not a homophobic. I have several dear friends who are homosexual. One friend who has a MA in Counseling. specializes in helping homosexuals who are struggling.

    My friend told me that almost all of the males he counsels has been molested. The lesbians he counsels have been raped, or molested, or abused so horribly that the thought of a heterosexual relationship appalls them.

    When my friend shared about his life and the abuse he experienced, my perspective totally changed.

    If my child or grandchild told me they were homosexual or a drug addict, or immoral, or a thief, etc. , I’d love them and protect them with my life.

    I wouldn’t destroy their hope by telling them “this is the way you are.” I’d love them unconditionally and share with them the power that Paul wrote about that gives great hope, “And such were some of you….”

    • “My friend told me that almost all of the males he counsels has been molested. The lesbians he counsels have been raped, or molested, or abused so horribly that the thought of a heterosexual relationship appalls them.”

      Well, maybe your ‘friend’ should so his research, which I have to say, I’m afraid, exposes this garbage for the lie that it is.

      Even the statistics bear this out. Fewer than 1 percent of children, thankfully, are abused. Of these, according to the National Child Abuse statistics (from Childhelp) only 9.3 percent of THIS tiny fraction are sexually abused. Now considering that on average around six percent of people have had, or are having, a homosexual experience, this suggests that the vast majority of homosexuals have NOT been abused.

      So I suggest you tell your “friend” that his emotive lie has been exposed, somewhat.

      You quote 1 Cor as if it were a rule for all time. It isn’t. Paul here, and in Romans 1, referred to the pagan same sex practices which some of the early Christians went back to their old ways. This is explicitly mentioned in Romans 1, and more subtly in 1 Corinthians where, in the Greek, Paul is forced to use a compound word ‘arsenokoitai’ rather than the usual, more common and perfectly acceptable words for “homosexual” that he COULD have used. Instead Paul used the term reserved for paid pagan homosexual prostitutes, as he was indicting PAGAN activities, not sexual.

      The bottom line is what Jesus himself would do. For this we look no further than the healing of the Centurion’s “servant”. In Luke, the servant is termed ‘doulos’, the usual term used for a slave or servant. But Matthew records a different story. Matthew was in the pay of the Romans as a tax collector, and knew their customs intimately, including the fact that high ranking officers kept young homosexual lovers while away from home on a tour of duty. Pederasty, like this, was common in Roman society. That is why, instead of using ‘doulos’ here, Matthew uses the term ‘pais’, a euphemism for a male homosexual lover. If a slave were ill, the centurion could have thrown him away and bought another for less than a day’s wage. But Jesus recognises in the centurion not only great faith, but also a great love for his ‘pais’, a love that compelled him to humble himself, he, a conquering centurion, before this conquered itinerant preacher.

      Did Jesus condemn the centurion? No. Did he condemn the pais? No. He cared not a jot about their sexuality, but acknowledged their love and praised the centurion’s great faith, and healed the boy.

      Over five hundred studies have been made since the sixties that all confirm homosexuality is NOT simply a lifestyle choice, but is something innate in the person, as is heterosexuality, at birth. This is confirmed in Psalm 139, where we read that it was GOD who knitted us together in the womb.

      Therefore, just like heterosexuals are heterosexuals from birth, the research, and psalm 139, confirms that homosexuals are identical. And, of course, if you disagree, then you also need to disagree with all the research, and ignore God’s Word in the psalms.

      This, then, begs the question: what sort of “god” would create millions of people in HIS image, knitting them together in the womb (ps 139) only then to immediately condemn them simply for honouring the sexuality that HE gave them in the first place?

      This would not be a God of Love, but a vile, vindictive pseudogod of heretical Calvinistic predestination in its most evil form.

      So which God/god do YOU worship?

  88. I absolutely love this, and it’s one of the reasons I can’t comfortably call myself religious or a Christian anymore. I’m a believer in God, but calling myself a Christian just makes me squirm in my seat, because the vast majority of Christians have painted us as ugly, horrible people, and I don’t want to be associated with that.

    • No matter how messy the messengers, the message is the same yesterday, today and forever! There is only One infallible and He is God! Jesus is the only perfect child of His Father. All the rest of His children have rebelled against Him. Every one of us. Are we to keep our eyes on mere humans as the standard by which we measure ourselves? No, we are to measure ourselves by the Word made flesh and His written Word.

  89. I have heard the theology of the bible, especially the argument from Paul in “1 Cor 6:9-10 – 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, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ESV” and I cannot relate. I cannot fathom that my God would be against two people who are in love. LGBT individuals do not “practice homosexuality,” they live it because it is the only LOVE they know. I have a difficult time with organized religion because many Christians chose to live that the bible is only living law and living truth. How can we say that everything in the bible is the truth as God wants us to know it or even if Jesus even said it. It is an interpretation and translation of stories handed down over time – these have been altered or translated incorrectly.

    I LOVE my friends who are LGBT. They have impacted my life to make me a better person, a person who loves others the way I want to be loved. I love everyone in the way I believe my God, and Jesus, love me.

  90. Well… I find this subject very difficult. Sixty years ago this wouldn’t even be a discussion; when homosexuals were still considered by society to be mentally ill. To me it feels like the church is desperately trying to change its stance to accommodate an ever-changing and evolving world because in modern times not doing so would be politically incorrect and raise whispers of christian bigotry. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. I don’t think anyone should feel shamed for something they can’t control. I also don’t think abstinence is the answer… For what is this life without romantic love? You could say a blessed life married to God, however, I think that should be a choice someone makes rather than being shamed into it. Can we be real here? The bible doesn’t cover this. Oh sure, you can site Genisis, Leviticus, and Romans but none of those are referring to the romantic love that same-sex couples experience today. And THAT’S OKAY. Two thousand years ago the founders of the Christian faith didn’t encounter this issue, how could they be expected to have the answer? I don’t know. I guess people should just be more realistic and understand that The Bible doesn’t have every single answer to every single modern day issue. But I guess that would lead to questioning other aspects of your faith; making the admission that The Bible is imperfect. Eh. I guess I just choose to have my own opinions rather than blindly follow an ancient book. It’s a messy discussion but if you are a follower of Jesus (or anything for that matter) I think you still have an obligation to make decisions for yourself and those decisions should present God in the best light possible. If your motivation is to make more Christians then you need to be accepting. If your motivation is to have an excuse for your hate then by all means, you can use The Bible. If you take everything in The Bible literally you have to choose what you believe in more: justice or love for the sinners because there are two separate messages there. I personally believe that gay people need the security and refuge that Christianity provides just as much as you or I and not being gay, it is not my place to determine whether or not they need to give up their ‘sin’ to have a relationship with Him.

    • Before the Jews were placed in the Ancient Near East, the pagan world was already a sexual free-for-all that debased women, boys, and religion itself in the service of male lust. Every aspect of life was sexualized. The pagan gods engaged in no-holds-barred sex, and so did the people. Homosexuality had almost unquestioned acceptance in the ancient world.

      But the key issue wasn’t gender, it was power. Prager quotes philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who wrote, “The central distinction in [ancient] sexual morality was … between active and passive roles.” Because boys and women were on the receiving end of sexual activity, they were “very often treated interchangeably as [simple] objects of [male] desire.”

      Not surprisingly, then, women were relegated to the sidelines, important for giving birth and running the home, but not important as real and equal partners to men, who had other sexual options — with boys and other men.

      That’s why Judaism’s claim that God created sex only for a man and a woman in marriage was so revolutionary — and despised by ancient pagans and modern pagans, I might add, as well. As Genesis said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

      Prager writes, “This revolution forced the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, it heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and it began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.” No wonder,” Prager notes, that the “improvement of the condition of women has only occurred in Western civilization,” which historically has been the “least tolerant of homosexuality.”

      Of course, I should note that it was the Apostle Paul who further carried this Jewish sexual revolution throughout the ancient world. As Sarah Ruden wrote in her recent book “Paul Among the People,” predatory homosexuality was common in Rome and Greece; women and children were just property.

      Through Paul, however, Christianity ensured that western civilization promoted sex within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman, and placed off limits the sexual abuse of boys and slaves.

      Now the point is simply this: God instituted marriage for the good of man (restraining and channeling his sexuality), for the protection and dignity of women, and the flourishing of human society.

      Western civilization, the greatest ever, took this to heart, but forgets it now at its own peril.

  91. A question? Do you think it was part of God’s initial creation to make people LGBT? If not. Is it a result of the fall of man?

    If it is part of the sinful nature of man and we wilfully continue to practice it (whilst professing to be saved) do you think Christ will overlook/or forgive this willful sinful nature. Reading some of Paul’s letter it appears it may not be the case on judgement day. That is really scary for those on that boat.

    • Andrew, if you will notice, prior to the fall, there was no heterosexual activity, either. Bear in mind that Genesis chapter one is a synopsis of all of creation, and includes events from the first act of creation to events after the fall. With man and animals in a garden, enclosed by four rivers, and in the absence of death prior to sin, it would have been insane for God to tell anyone or anything to reproduce. Rats and cats alone would have overrun the garden in a matter of months. Further, there is no way man could fill the earth until he had access to it… and that didn’t happen until after the fall. Had man not sinned, but remained in the garden, just the two of them, there would have been no need for reproduction. So the first consequence of sin that came into existence in regard to sexuality was heterosexuality, as part of the woman’s curse was that she would bear children, something she would not have done in the garden.
      The fact that heterosexuality was the result of sin is not reason enough to stop it from happening. Homosexuality was also instituted. In the animal kingdom, it is easy to see how it prevents overpopulation. Among species that mate for life, same-sex pairs will adopt and raise orphaned young. This is an excellent system, and God designed it, not man. It would work the same in humans if people didn’t insist on interfering in it. By the way, does it seem logical that God would create this in the animal kingdom, pronounce His creation ‘good,’ but then turn around and call the same thing an abomination when it occurred in humans? It doesn’t. Which is enough of a reason to question and investigate the translations of our Bible. And as it turns out, God didn’t call it an abomination. Every English version mistranslates Lev. 18:22 and 20:13, omitting the phrase “(in) a woman’s bed” found in the Hebrew text.

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  93. Love this – thank you. My question, though, is this – what do you say to people like my mother who does believe in treating people kindly, “love the sinner not the sin,” but believes my sexual orientation is a sin and doesn’t understand that this “sin” isn’t really separate from who I am – it’s not like I’m a drug user, and she loves me, not the drugs. Who I love is part of who I am. ???

    • I’m a Christian and believe as your mom does. Please know that I speak this w/ a sincere heart, not out of condemnation, but truly want to offer a different perspective. I am not and have never been defined by my sexuality. It is an aspect of who I am, but does not define me. Christ defines me. I see my relationship w/ Him like a trickle down effect. He is the top, and all of who I am trickles down from who He is. Now, I am not perfect in my attempt. Struggles w/ addiction are as real as anything and have scientifically been proved to have a genetic link. Therefore, people who struggle w/ addiction can truly say that it is a part of them. Christians fail epically all of the time. We fall, get back up, and hopefully learn then change the behavior. Does that make any sense? Blessings to you <3

    • Drug users think the drugs are part of who they are. Gays are the only group I know of who think they have the absolute right to tell everyone how to treat them, and expect to be treated exactly that way. Here’s a little clue. EVERYONE has people who don’t like them or mistreat them sometimes. Its part of the sinful, human, condition.

  94. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are in the process of purging the universal church of Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals because they do not follow the ways of Jesus Christ. They are in trouble on all fronts in American society, they know it, they fear it, and they have become desperate because of it. All of the vast nonsense and un-Christ-like things they believe are being torched with a refiners fire and readied for the ash bin of world history. This is not being done because the times are evil and they are good. It is being done because they have abandoned the red words and deed examples of Jesus in the New Testament—and they refuse to recognize factual truth and spiritual truth when it is dangled right in front of their noses. They are spiritually blind, and it is only going to get worse for them because they have abandoned the way of Jesus Christ They have an extraordinary ability to see the sins in everyone else and a total inability to see their own sins. As they fall into the Lake of Fire, their last mournful cry will be: “But we are righteous and the times are evil.”

  95. From my perspective, intentionally or otherwise, this blog seems to give out a subliminal message that the failures of the Christian community demonstrates or proves that homosexuality is not a sin and the Bible in no way portrays God as condemning it.

  96. My only comment is this; you have rebuked the church but now you have the responsibility to be an example and share in your revelation of love. Teach the church how and what this love for the LGBT community looks like. I’m with you sister, I am constantly have to bear the burdens of my brothers in Christ regarding this issue. We need more people like you to reach and teach in love. Understand though this is an issue is a very deep rooted issue. One with the emotions of both sides raging. Learning to crucify the flesh and laying down our mind, will , and emotions requires the guidance of the holy spirit. So I pray that in all endeavors you and I and the church be led by the holy spirit.

    • Speak the truth in love the Bible says and you will grow up in Christ. When spoken without love the truth can be very destructive. That however is the true nature of truth. It exposes and destroys the works of the flesh. that is why it is so important to speak it or share it in love.

      Make no mistake though the truth is still the truth even when not spoken in love. ultimately God is love and he loves every one . but remember this he also hates all of our sins including hate and unkindness.

      So where does that leave us.judging ourselves, loving one another and seeking divine truth. homosexuality is a sin the cure for all sin is Jesus blood.The power to change from our sins is the Holy Ghost and Gods word the Bible. It is personal and not the kind of thing to be broadcast. the concept of coming out is anti-intuitive and

      anti-progressive. let me explain. why is there such a thing as Gay pride. There is no such thing as regular sexual pride. why should anyone be proud of there sexuality at all. it is a fact of life not an achievement. Let us not for get that these are private matters which are best handled privatly

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  98. This is a rhetorical question—not a set up for any sort of abuse from me. Because I have been accused of being homosexual by people who visit this blog, I would like to state for the record that I am not. I am a man in my 60s who has been married to a woman (my first and only wife) for 35 years—and I have two rather wonderful heterosexual children. I am also a Christian—a member of the United Methodist Church. Some of you would define me as a liberal Christian because I do not share all of your Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical beliefs and political positions—and I am going to Hell because of it. Similarly, I believe that your faith tradition has missed the essence of Jesus Christ in the Bible–meaning that you have never really met the real Jesus Christ in your life—and you are going to Hell because of it. God can sort it out.

    That being said, I would like to ask a question just for my own education—and before you start throwing Bible verses at me—I would like to say that it is totally unnecessary because I have read the Bible all of my life and know it well. You will not be quoting verses that I do not already know, so there is no need to waste your time or mine by doing that. Here is the question:

    “What is it about the sin of homosexuality that so totally, completely, and unnervingly FREAKS OUT Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals in the United States. I think FREAKS OUT is an accurate term because the very mention of it just seems to make you people fall all to pieces as if this one sin—and this one sin alone— is quite literally the end of the world come rest on your doorstep—like Ebola. The Bible is literally filled with enumerated and identified human sins from one cover to the other. We see various combinations of these sins within other people and within ourselves: alcoholism, greed, envy, jealousy, divorce, etc. The list is very long—and it includes a number of abominations and sins the Lord says outright that he hates in the Old Testament. WHY DOES THE CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST AND CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY ELEVATE THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY TO A POSITION LIGHT YEARS HIGHER THAN ALL OTHER SINS IN THE BIBLE—-OH YES YOU DO?

    • The real question is why liberals are so obsessed about homosexuality? You’re 2% of the population but it seems like its all we hear about. You want to be “tolerated” but you force others to affirm you or be slapped with some civil rights violation. You claim its no big deal but trumpet your sexual preference in people’s face. I suspect a lot of America is like me – we’re just all gayed out. You want to be tolerated? Here’s a hint: YOU ARE. The problem is you want to be affirmed by everyone and that requires force. YOU are now the tyrants.

      • I do not need nor want your affirmation of myself. Liberals may need that; I dont. I’m not a Liberal and I have confidence in myself. Dont speak for me nor people like me; you haven’t a clue. Dont minimise our numbers either.

    • Dear Joseph Blow. First of all, I am not a homosexual. If you had actually read my post above, you might have picked up on that. Also, you did not answer my question. Please answer my question.

      Why am I obsessed about homosexuality? Frankly, until people like you got so obsessed about it, I rarely ever gave the subject any thought—really—had no reason to do so. So, I guess the answer is that I got interested in it to a mild degree because you are so obsessed with it. Now, summon up a little courage like I just did for you and directly answer my question above.

  99. You know, I’m not so sure myself who these the hateful Christians in churches are or if they are nearly as abundant as everyone makes them out to be. I think the reality is the majority really do reach out in love (though I hope they do it without condoning sin itself…just because we sin doesn’t mean we should become champions for sin). I wish these articles would focus more on solutions rather than constantly pointing to the same problem we all are aware of. Don’t just tell me its a problem, give me a solution as a Christ follower. I rarely see people stand up and say this is how the Church should be dealing with this situation, and anytime someone does come up with a legitimate loving way to approach these situations that is backed by the strong foundation of God’s Word, it gets rejected as hate…because it seems like anything but down right approval of homosexuality is “hate” and turns us into “hypocrites.” Well I’ll just say that I love all people…homosexuals included…I will treat them no different from any other person…but if they come to me asking what I think of their lifestyle, I will tell them that I think its wrong. This is true love because I wouldn’t tell a brother that it is ok to steal, cheat, or lie. I would point him to truth and Jesus. It’s then up to them to act on it. My job is just to love people and point them to truth. I wish these blog writers would start giving some practical ways to move forward on this, rather then just constantly screaming its an issue.

    • Joe, I cannot tell you how little I care what your opinion is regarding my lifestyle. Nor, I suspect, do the vast majority of homosexuals care.

      What we do care about is having the same rights you do -to marry the person we love and to conduct our affairs as we wish without disapproving family being able to override our wishes on a whim. Those are real problems right now. We want to make sure that kids don’t face violence at school or home because they were brave enough to admit their real feelings. We want to make sure that when a gay child is unfortunate enough to be born to a fundamentalist home and gets kicked out, that there are ample programs to catch him when he falls. We want to eliminate the fear.

      It’s never going to be an easy lifestyle -face it, your pool of potential compatible partners drops from something like 48% to less than 2%. We’re never going to be common.

      All we need from you is the understanding that we are human beings just like you, with the same rights -or who should have the same rights. Just support us with the idea that we are no less deserving than you or anyone else to the same benefits afforded the public by the body of law. Beyond that, by all means feel free to have any opinion of us you wish.

  100. i agree wholeheartedly with your article, but in Matthew 10:34 Jesus said, “Do not suppose that i comet to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” but you’re right, people don’t want to hear that and i assume yourself included. you have to to live your life by a certain set of rules that God has handed down. it’s part of the 160 plus commandments. but Jesus also said, that one of the two most important commandments is to love others as you would love yourself. and from this lesson we know the Bible makes essentially one and only one promise. That your sins are forgiven. does that mean homosexuality is a sin and it is forgiven, yes because God clearly says it is and they are respectively. is it right or wrong, i have to faith that it is, because that is God’s decision not mine. but from this lesson we also know that forgiven does not mean condoned.

  101. Thank you for this courageous, passionate, and compassionate message. As a psychologist and daughter of a gay Christian father who took his life over the guilt of his “unforgivable sin”, I tried to share this very message with evangelical pastors in my area over 25 years ago. I know from your words here that you can only imagine the response I received. One prominent pastor came back to me 20 years later to confess, “The Church is on the wrong side of this issue and I know that I am personally responsible for damaging so many lives.” He wanted to speak these words to me only to say that he could never preach this from his pulpit and keep his position as head pastor of a highly visible mega-church. Thank you, thank you for your advocacy, grace, and love! Let’s get this published in “Christianity Today” sooner than later.

  102. I am a new follower of your blog and I have to tell you that I have been moved to tears by a lot of what you write. Bless you!! I wish that I had the talent to put my feelings into words the way you do. I find myself emailing and forwarding so many things that you have written because they are so “spot on” with my feelings. Thank you!

  103. I am gay and I just wanna share what I think when my life goes hard that if only I’m given the chance to choose my gender I would choose to be straight just to have the feeling of being normal, wear normal clothes that i suppose to, and the feeling of I am what I am, but no matter how many times you slap, hit, shot, or drown me nothing can change the fact that I am gay and there’s no such thing as option cause I tried so much to be straight but I can’t cause it’s like I’m making fool of myself, l grew up in a christian family and most of them are pastors and that’s the reason why I’ve been trying to be not my self cause I love them and respect them so much but what breaks my heart is that some of them and most of the christians keeps on telling me that being gay is a sin and what hurts me more is that I’ve done nothing but I am being judged and accused of an unacceptable acts already because I’m gay, so for a long time I’ve been asking myself that if being gay is a sin why have to be me cause since I can remember I know I’m gay already, and does even those gays who have done nothing or a 5 yrs old gay, committed a sin already just beacause they felt they are in a wrong body?, this is what I really don’t understand, why does people easily can say it’s a sin but it’s so hard for them to understand that even us are trying to follow the right path but it’s just not that easy as what they think.

    Sad to say but l’ve experiend too how christian treats gay people and kills me to think that some of the are my family and for so long I never have peace beacause of it, until something happens and I gave up trying to defend myself and focus to my life, strenghten my faith to God, and I always tell myself everyday that as long as I’m not hurting anyone I know I’m good and from there until now I’ve been so happy and blessed enjoying everyday of my life. It’s so heart warming knowing somebody like you undestand us.

    Thank you and God bless to you and your family!

  104. John,
    Your post 10,000% clicked for me. As a child I grew up fearing and resenting God. I was taught “the law” not “gods love” I’ve struggled with my stance on the LG T community simply for the fact that I do not understand it. It’s not even disagreeing but just not quite getting peace about my beliefs. Thank you for posting this. I have several family member who are gay and married and I love them dearly. Thank you for speaking truth and stressing gods love, versus what the old law says. It boils down to love. God loves EVERYONE. It’s so funny to me how Christ died FOR ALL OF OUR SINS so we didn’t have to go to hell and yet we still put our own stipulations and ideas and can’t believe that he REAL died for us. The blood has already been shed for us. I have been praying about this a lot lately and I just prayed for peace and you helped deliver that. Thank you. We are 10 harsher to one another than Christ was. We spend so much time being hateful, self righteous. If “gays” go to hell then we all do. A sin is a sin in God’s eyes. He doesn’t play favorites. We, all sin every day. You’ve helped more than just the LG T community with this post.

  105. My mother in law has a gay child, now in a long-term relationship with another woman. She is not a pastor or a theologian but is able to provide to her daughter the abiding love that only a mother can give without compromising her Biblical values.

    My sense is that a lot of the complaints against Christians mistreating gays are 90% perception and not truly accurate, including the author’s. The Christians I know do not mistreat gays – but many are perceived that way.

    What I do see is a lot of bending over backward to accomodate the gays, from Hollywood to the media to government and also into the churches. I think there is more Christian-bashing than gay-bashing today, and it troubles me that a supposed pastor would jump on that bandwagon.

    Also troubling is the suggestion that the Church needs to change its theology. Maybe that’s just poor word choice – let’s hope so – because the Church does not need to change its theology. If it was said we need to do better at reaching out to those caught up in the gay lifestyle, to that I would definitely agree, but we should not start messing with the doctrine of the Church.

    It would not be wise to get on the wrong side of Scripture – I hope the author and everyone reading these posts will understand that.

    If one is not a Christian then fine – whatever – but if someone claims to be a believer then this means they should be adhering to the (classically orthodox) teachings of Scripture, not the tide of popular cultural opinion. There are many who claim to be ‘Christian’ today – or even a minister – and one must wonder which Bible they are reading…

    The author is quick to go along with the “gays are born that way” crowd, but reluctant to come out and acknowledge that homosexuality is – yes – a sin.

    Some are saying well doctrine isn’t important, but this is a spiritually immature view. We must remember that doctrine IS important to Jesus himself (see his letters to the 7 churches, in Revelation). Ministers are expected to UPHOLD the doctrines of the church – not to oppose them and complain about Christians.

    Wow. This is not ‘courageous’ – everyone knows it’s more popular today to defend the poor gays as if they have no social power (yeah, right). It is more courageous today to speak up for what the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – actually teaches on this and other issues.

    It is immature to say, Jesus said to love all people, but to then neglect what the preponderance of Scripture is on a given PRACTICE. God loves all people, yes – even a terrible sinner like me – but He has also revealed in His Word how He feels about the practice of homosexuality.

    It is a sin that needs to be turned away from, if someone becomes a Christian.

    (Man, this is so clear in the Bible that we shouldn’t even have to argue about it but some people seem to want to say the sky is green…)

    My wife’s uncle is gay. We love and respect Uncle Bobby. He has struggled with this whole issue for decades. I appreciate and respect his struggle. I have struggles and crosses to bear of my own. Uncle Bobby is living with and caring for another man who has AIDS. I love and respect both these guys, and have a good relationship with them. I believe that they will “go to heaven” as we say. I am not the One who makes that call, however.

    I can see with my own eyes that Uncle Bobby has struggled with this issue his whole adult life. It has been like a curse to him. But to me it seems he does have a level of faith in God and Jesus. This is why I have hope for Uncle Bobby.

    But for gays who have no faith there is no hope of heaven just as for straights who have no faith. (What are we supposed to roll out the red carpet and give preferential treatment just because someone is in the LGBT movement?? This is what the author seems to be advocating – but all individuals are different.)

    Love all people, yes, but we don’t love all practices.

    Man, why can’t people get this, it’s not that hard. Instead they want to bash the Church and call Christians unloving. Wow. THIS is what’s distorted.

    And btw, a lot of the folks heading up the Christian ministries that reach out to gays are those who also struggled with this themselves. They should not be vilified by someone who does not know this struggle as they do. The author insults them by claiming they are not motivated by love, and that they are damaging people…

    I could go on but – – wow, man. Let’s get it right on this vitally important issue!

    To the author: stop bashing Christians – not helpful.
    Also, do not suggest the Church needs to change its doctrine. Not true.

    C’mon, man – you’re a pastor???!!

    • I am so sick and ashamed of these Christians repeating the same tired arguments male to female parts fit because God made it that way and homosexual sex is hard on the body. Think and do your research. Saying this blog twists scripture without proof is just assertions and ignorance. God made people after own kind. A relationship verse not a marriage verse. So now that Christians are being held responsible for their hate and fear provoking speech you feel persecuted. Boo hoo. It is the evangelical right wing church that gay Christians can not dialogue with and who can blame them as you can see from the sarcastic, attacking diatribe in response to this blog. We vote with our feet. There are better churches to attend then these blind rent a thought get a sermon on line Pastors. I think this blogger should automatically delete these people who use the same tired cliches, not Adam & Steve and love the sinner hate the sin as they have nothing new or thoughtful to add

  106. “We’re making it virtually impossible for gay people to exist in our churches, and then feeling justified in damning them for walking away from God when they leave. The truth is, so often they aren’t turning away from God, they’re just removing themselves from harm’s way.”

    This is what my gay uncle did (years before he committed suicide): escape from church and it’s harmful messages.

    I’ve only recently realized that I’m gay and it was both a shock and a newfound freedom. I had begun to dislike the anti-gay messages in Christianity more and more to the extent that I could finally accept myself as gay and not be too upset about it. However I will not tell my family just yet (and may never, although they should be able to figure it out….) because I’m afraid of their response. I’m building up my self-esteem and cannot have them crush it…

    Hopefully I’ll find an affirmative church sometime, otherwise I will keep myself safe by not going at all.

    I’m glad you’re one of a (slowly growing, I feel) chorus that does affirm LGBT’s which helps in fighting these horrible and often internalized harmfull messages.

  107. Unfortunately, John’s argument destroys itself. In mentioning “Jesus’ command to love God” from Mt 22, (as well as Love your neighbour as yourself) he is validating not just the order in which Jesus placed them, but the entire Pentateuch from which Jesus was quoting (at the time it was all just considered ‘Moses’). And part of that writing teaches and upholds the created order, male and female, with no mention whatsoever of ‘homosexuals’ or even ‘heterosexuals’ as the kind of framework buttressing – and essential to – John’s argument. So it all falls apart from a biblical perspective because what John is doing is injecting a completely foreign concept into the text and then unsurprisingly drawing a false conclusion out of it. The bible – including Jesus – only spoke of male and female. John sees LGBT etc., but God sees male and female – what He made and truly reflects His glory.

    So, it isn’t loving God first to effectively tell Him He was incompetent at making male and female, especially when everyone on earth owes their life to that specific sexual union and no other. John is actually disregarding the very scripture he is quoting. You cannot truly love your neighbor if you do not love God first, face to face encounters notwithstanding.

    The bottom line is this, God created male and female and if you have any regard for the human body – I dare anybody to look into the biochemical mechanisms that are associated with that union – you can see that they fit together so well they are the only combination with the potential to create new life, something only God can give us and no human scientist has ever emulated. To say that other sexual combinations are equivalent is irrational, medically and scientifically dishonest, and morally wrong from a biblical perspective.

    This article is filled with errors, twisting scripture, misrepresenting Jesus, diminishing God’s competence and – worst of all – endorsing withholding hope from those who could have it by validating a self-centred victim mentality rather than a God-centred savior-from-sin revelation. I haven’t even mentioned the long list of increased health risks homosexual behavior exposes people to. Is John really going to help people with his ideology? I submit a fifty foot tall copy of the word ‘No’ is insufficient for expressing the depth of his failure.

    You cannot possibly deliver truth when you are deeply infected with false ideas about sexuality before you even write a single word. In the fog of conflicting and flawed ideas informing his essay, John has little to offer people walking in darkness; he is stumbling around himself. It’s no wonder what he sees is “distorted”. But maybe some will yet catch a glimpse of eternity and the infinite gravity of elevating sexuality over the never-ending reality of heaven and hell, something Jesus did talk about. A lot.

  108. God doesn’t love straight people more than gays, or vice versa. We are all his children, and he doesn’t have any favorites. He also did not ‘make’ a person gay . . .or addicted, or lazy, or a gossiper, or an adulterer . . . we are all faced with temptations and we all fail at some point. No sin is greater than another. We all have free will. We all sin, and we all need forgiveness. Which is why Jesus came. We all also have the choice to accept forgiveness. But that means turning away from the sin. Jesus DID love sinners. He also said “Go and sin no more.” That is a choice, too. But not one we have to make alone. The holy spirit can empower us to overcome things we could never do alone.

    • Dear Joseph Blow. The problem is that Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism do not understand the Bible and have abandoned Jesus for the lusts of this world. They draw lines in the sand to make a stand, but they draw those lines in all the wrong places rather than in the right places. There is plenty of sin in the world that needs to be addressed—but your kind of church never sees it and never addresses it. We have a world longing for God’s love, but the conservative church is a church that issues rules to its children—but never hugs them.

    • How would you know if God didn’t make people gay if you aren’t gay? If you were gay, you would know you didn’t choose it. It’s not a sin to love someone. This sin thing is just an handy excuse to judge and treat people as less than.

  109. The cool part about the “new theology” is nothing is really wrong! Isn’t that awesome! Its not people’s sin that’s the problem, it’s the church! How neat. So, that means we really don’t need the church at all, right cause they’re just nasty buildings full of nasty pe0ple. (Aren’t I tolerant pointing out how awful other people who don’t agree with me are?) And we also don’t need salvation because nothing is actually wrong and if nothings wrong there’s no judgement to be saved from. Cool. Neat. The best part is that I feel good about myself and never, ever feel like I’ve done anything wrong.

    • “The best part is that I feel good about myself and never, ever feel like I’ve done anything wrong.”

      Don’t think I said that by any means Joe, and the 200 or so posts here will reflect that, but if oversimplifying this post makes you feel better dismissing the content, that’s fine.

      • No one’s dismissing anything. You are so enamored with yourself and your “new theology” that YOU are dismissing thousands of years of Christian theology and practice. The arrogance is breathtaking. But hey, you know better.

        • Again, , in your effort to attack a theological position, (one that this post makes no mention of), you have failed to address the actual post’s content in any meaningful way.

          If by “thousands of years of tradition”, you mean, “thousands of years of hatred, bigotry, violence, and oppression”, then yes, I will gladly dismiss that theology and practice.

      • Dear Joseph. That is not legal. No on can force a person to marry a gay couple or bake a cake for them. Someone may have sued someone—thinking that they could make some sort of case—but people sue each other for nonsensical reasons all the time—and the judge throws out the cases. If a person objects on religious grounds, the First Amendment is there to protect them. There may be a case where someone signed a contract to bake a cake and later found out it was for a gay couple—and then refused. However, the problem there is not religion. They signed a contract and have to make good on the contract agreement.

  110. Here’s a question to all the tolerant, loving homosexuals out there, along with their enablers. Do you approve of the cases were business owners are being forced to either bake a cake for a gay wedding or either actually perform a gay wedding or be fined thousands of dollars and be put in jail?

    • You seem really unhappy and bitter, Joe. Not a great deal of Jesus coming through the series of insults and aggressive stuff you’ve posted in the last 10 minutes. You’re obviously extremely hostile, especially towards gay people and their “enablers”. Nothing anyone here can do or say anything to change that, so I won’t try.

      Thanks for reading.

      • I do not think John was judging you. He was simply pointing out something he sees clearly that you are unable to see within yourself.

        The more I read about these disagreements over homosexuality, the more I conclude that the people who are most bitter about homosexuality and most angry at its existence are those who have homosexual tendencies within themselves. For example, I frequently read about people who are absolutely convinced—totally convinced—that homosexuality is a 100 percent simple life choice, like choosing strawberry ice-cream instead of chocolate—and that all people (100 percent) have this simple choice set before them at age 12. This idea seems to be based on the assumption that all human beings are basically alike and that everyone else is experiencing and feeling things inside themselves in the exact same way that they are. Let me emphasize that again. You Joe feel something within yourself, and you assume everyone else is feeling the same thing and in exactly the same way. I have news for you Joe. That is just plain not true.

        True hard core male heterosexuals like me never experience the least bit of sexual attraction to another man—never. True hard core homosexuals never experience the least bit of sexual attraction to a woman—never. We just wake up one morning—no choice having been made—and that is simply who we are sexually. I will admit that there are many males who experience sexuality as a choice. They feel attracted sexually to either women or men from time to time. They could go either way and even switch back and forth. If they feel this way within themselves, they may wrongly assume that everyone else feels the same way within themselves. This is wrong. All other people do not experience sexuality that way—as a simple choice.

        Joseph Blow. If you have ever looked at a man and felt sexually drawn to him in any way—but have stopped yourself and said, “No. No. No. That’s not right. I gotta go woman 100 percent. That has to be my choice to avoid offending God,” then I have some bad news for you. You are bisexual. To you, you do indeed experience sexuality as a simple choice. Most of the rest of us DO NOT. Applying the “One Drop Rule” of the Old South, you are a homosexual because you do have some homosexual urges within you. So sure, if it is a simple choice for you—choose woman—and be happily aligned with your understanding of the Bible. Just understand that other people do not experience sexuality within themselves in the same way that you do. They do not now and have never experienced it within themselves as a simple choice like you did. Never.

    • First off a business is suppose to offer a product to sell and make money not decide who they sell to. If you want to sell your product to only churches you can do that. If you are a public company then you sell to whomever. Second, a gay man is raising money for the fine imposed on the bigot cake makers. Third, chick fil a donated money for antigay legislation. So what. Other companies donate for equal rights for gays. Keep it in perspective

    • I’m a bisexual who is intolerant of ignorance and arrogance. I dont think people should be forced to bake a cake. Personally, I dont want people who think I am some kind of monster or demon to make anything for me. It is for their own protection, because if they are unprofessional enough to poison me or someone I love, I would have to beat the ignorance out of them. Therefore, I dont patronise people of that ilk.

  111. Romans 1
    22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    Romans 12
    1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

    John 15
    19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
    John 8
    11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

    John 5:14
    Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.

    • Cato, We’ve seen those Scriptures a thousand times. This response has no bearing on the post, which deals with horrible and degrading treatment the LGBT community has so often experienced at the hands of the Church. As I expressed clearly in the post, one’s theology is not the issue, but the expression of that theology. Please respond to the content of the post itself.

      • Ginny. The Holy Scriptures are not simple texts made for reading and clear understanding by the simple mind of a simple man sitting under his own simple fig tree. The scriptures were given to priests and learned men to read and interpret for the people—most of whom never learned how to read and did not own their own copies in ancient times. Clear and nonfaulty understanding of the scriptures is difficult, deep, and hard to come by. This is why the Lord says that only those who “earnestly seek him” will find him. You have to dig deeply—really deeply. Christian fundamentalism butchers the real and true meaning of the scriptures, and if scriptural literalism and simplicity is what you have been taught—you are missing much of the true meaning that is there. Nowhere do the scriptures claim for themselves that they are simple words for the simple mind of the simple man. This is a nonscriptural doctrine that was made up by men in the late 1800s.

    • Cato. Get a life. I bet everyone here knows the Bible as well or better than you do. You are not the only person who has ever read and understood the Bible. You appear to think that Bible verses thrown on a page have the same effect as showing a cross or wooden stake to Count Dracula. It does not. I bet you think that “Jesus is the lamb of God” means that “Mary had a little lamb.” The Bible says that Jesus a lamb. Therefore, if you read the Bible literally and simply, then you must conclude that Jesus was not human but a sheep instead. Huh-uh. None of this the Bible is literal and simple—except when it is symbolic or metaphorical crap. If you choose literal and simple by your own doctrine, then you have to stay literal and simple on every word—or else you are lying about what you believe.

      • John, when a full UNDERSTANDING of the Word of God is diminished, it rots the spiritual brain of the United States of America and causes KJV people who claim to be Christians to behave like Satan. The Word of God Made Flesh is never diminished because no one in this universe or the other 31 parallel universes has the power necessary to diminish the Holy Trinity. If you doubt all this, watch this short video presented by a faithful member of the Eastern Orthodox Church—the only church in the modern world today that has retained the full teachings of the First Century church as they were originally developed and delivered:

    • This post is not a theological debate, so no one is “diminishing” anything. This is not about the “Word of God” specifically, but how the “people of God” follow or do not follow Jesus’ commands in it to love people (as part of the greatest commandment). To bring up Scripture strictly for the sake of it, is conveniently avoiding the subject of the post, which is the horrible treatment that LGBT people have received by Christians.

      • John. Thank you for this post and your immense patience in responding to those quoting scripture and condeming gays and not responding to the discussion at hand which is how the Evangelical ring wing church is treating gays and continues to treat gay people and gay Christians. I say just delete them. They add nothing to the discussion

      • I don’t know if you can have a discussion about sin or the treatment of sinners without getting a little theological. to do so is naïve, but you are correct there is such a thing as constructive criticism. the problem is when you even try to approach someone with love but without condoning people are going to get defensive because you are considering them broken. there is such a thing as Old Testament Christians and New Testament Christians. I like to consider myself the latter because I have gay friends that I never condemn or preach to, does that mean I have denied Christ in front of others and therefore he will deny me? I don’t know but I know that some people will see it that way and therefore continue to witness what we all consider the Holy Word. but most of those people are the kind of people that suck the nice right out of you to begin with. but that is the great struggle and the great debate “how to approach the sinner” I for one believe the Church was built for sinners (all of us basically) but again human beings will get defensive when you consider something wrong with them. it will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church deals with this issue.

      • Dad Blaine it. Actually Blaine Child. You might factor in a couple of other things. Just as John says about the neglect and even outright rejection of LOVE that has occurred in various corners of the universal church. Yet another important feature of the gospel that has been thrown out with its bath water is the term and action of MERCY.

        We do not hear much about the subject of MERCY anymore. Various people and institutions are always in “stick it to ’em and stick it to ’em hard” mode these days. The Southern Baptist cultural conception of mercy was probably expressed best by the now deceased Principal of the high school I attended 45 years ago. He would have probably put it like this:

        “Yes, mercy is important, but mercy should be shown in only the rarest of instances—and even those very few instances must involve an overwhelming positive that counterbalances the gravity of the initial offense and shows that the offender DESERVES mercy.”

        This concept of mercy is 180 degrees opposite from the concept of MERCY presented in the Bible. God’s mercy is rich, abundant, and overflowing—and not tied to anything about deserving it. Moreover, God points out that He is merciful to whomever He decides to be merciful. No formulas. No equations. No calculus. Just: “Okay. You can go. Off with you now. Be on your merry way.”

        The Book of Hebrews says that God is like Jesus. This means that Jesus possesses these same qualities of mercy, and He asks us to be of one mind with him. So yes one can interpret homosexuality to be sinful. One can interpret it to be an abomination. One can interpret it to be a death penalty offense. If Old Testament law were the same as civil law and both were in effect now, homosexuals could and almost certainly would be killed. Some Christians would come out with picnic baskets and blankets to enjoy the carnage.

        The thing these vicious Christians forget is MERCY. We can be merciful and kind to the homosexual. We can choose not to kill today. We can choose not to punish today. We can choose not to make a life miserable today. And we also need to remember what Jesus says—The same level of mercy (or lack of mercy) we show to other people will be shown to us one day. Do you remember what happened when Ramses II decreed that the first born of every Jewish house in Egypt would be killed? No, I doubt that you do. Look it up.

    • John. I think their sticking point—the place where they are really having the most trouble—is that the Old Testament demands that all homosexuals be killed. Therefore, if we are loyal to God’s word, why then are we not killing them today and solving the homosexual problem once and for all in that way. Nice package. Neatly wrapped. Problem solved. Right Ginny, Cato, and Joe?

      • first, thank you for replying. i was starting to think i was gonna have to insult someone just to engage in a debate and maybe gain some new knowledge and perspectives. that being said, i am not sure what you’re saying exactly but you seem to be agreeing with me in the fact there are people who warp the application of MERCY. as far as your sticking points with the old testament, maybe you should take a look at my comment at the very bottom of this page. you’re right about God and his judicious application of mercy, that is his decision to kill not ours. but again Jesus the second greatest commandment is to treat others as you, yourself want to be treated. and also check out the video I found on UPWORTHY and how one man sees the issue, it is clear he did his research.

  112. John. I am new here at your blog and do not know what has transpired on your blog from its beginnings to this current point. However, I do respect the fact that this is your blog, and you always have a right to run it in any way you see fit. I do respect that and will continue to do so. However, with that said, I would like to offer you a few kindly stated thoughts relevant to your blog that you might wish to consider—based on my many years of study and experience with Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the fine art of blogging:

    1) The song from the 1960s is right. “What the world needs now is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” You are the voice of Love Made Flesh, and it is indeed a prophetic voice in our times. I know about six other similar voices who blog and a number who do not. Every time they write and speak, I see Jesus reflected in his red-letter fullness. What you are doing here on this blog is right—and it is “Right Jesus Doctrine” too. The world needs to hear the voice of Jesus through you—salt and light. Do not let anyone intimidate you, and keep on writing at this blog and ministering as you already are in your churches.

    2) Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals may claim otherwise, but in reality, they hate people like you. Their behavior manifests it. Jesus knew them well and taught us to always remember what He said, “If they have hated you, know that they hated me first.” They thrive on starting fights to offend people because the hate they expel at others often gets reflected back with a mirror onto them—and that is what they most relish. They love it because they can puff out their chests with pride and say, “Yeah!!! Who duh man? I duh God man!!! See me God!! See what I am doin’ for you? Who duh man?” From the moment of birth they are taught that that any disagreement with their beliefs is persecution and that they will be rewarded for suffering it. So, they go looking for fights, disagreements, and strife with other Christians and ordinary people so they can fill their imaginary bank accounts with heavenly rewards and caress themselves with their own sense of self-righteousness.

    3) Do you know why they come here to your blog john? They come because they think you are a false teacher–a servant of Satan—an enemy of God. They are not here to converse with you. They are not hear to be friendly with you. They are not here to be kind to you. They are not here to love you. Instead, they are here for one purpose only—to disrupt your message—to water it down—to inject static into it—to make sure the full weight of your message and the purity of its love for Jesus never fully gets across to the other readers who come here. They are here for the purpose of disruption, and their purpose is to undermine your ministry in the eyes of every visitor who comes to your blog and to destroy it. Why is that? They are afraid that someone might believe the things you and Jesus have to say. They are afraid the Love of Christ will touch someone’s heart for the first time and by so doing diminish the effect of their sordid work on the American landscape and its people. As someone has aptly said, “Their method of operation is to scan the landscape of America and the world, identify anyone with a flame of happiness in their heart, a flicker of arising love, the warm glow of kindness, and a little light fun in the heart—and snuff it out as quickly as possible.” They would gladly destroy your ministry and are seeking to do just that here. They are like locusts—a few are here now—and more will come to do nothing but devour—if you allow it.

    4) Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals do not allow commenter dissent on their websites and blogs. They gladly disrupt other people’s blogs and websites, but they do not allow any outsider to disrupt their blogs and websites with dissenting opinions—because their messages are perfect and holy. Great idea. Glad they thought of it. Great example from them. John, taking a cue from the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, I would recommend that you ban all Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical dissent from your site. Ban the whole lot of them personally and permanently from your blog and show their cold hearts what it is like to be cast into “outer darkness” with no hope of return. They relish the notion that this end is coming to other people. Test how much they love it when it visits their own doorsteps.

    5) The truth of the matter is that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals come to your blog because they despise you, and they want to disrupt your teachings so any followers or would-be followers you might have will fall to the wayside and disappear. This is their ultimate goal. Start fights. Create confusion. Render chaos. You have no obligation to align yourself and your blog with their goal to destroy you and your ministry. I would argue that your first responsibility is to the real spiritual searchers who come here to this blog solely for a breathe of fresh spiritual air. They deserve to breathe in that air free of pollution. Your responsibility is to edify those who are already attuned to the Christian love you teach. They too deserve to breathe in that fresh air free of pollution.

    6) Never make the mistake of thinking that your ministry is ever going to break through the ice-cold shell that surrounds the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical heart so that these blind guides and vandals might one day see. Jesus was unable to break through to their hearts in his time. He tried, and they crucified him for it. He understood that casting your pearls before swine really will make the pigs turn and rend you. Talking to one of these people is like talking to a fence post. They pride themselves on being unmovable and unchangeable—and are convinced that their spiritual self-pride glorifies God. In reality, they are a cold and stiff-necked people totally absorbed with themselves and what is going to one day happen to them. They cannot hear you, and they only want to destroy you and your ministry. This is why they are here. Refuse to let them. Ban them.

    • Thank you for this. I understand your concerns, and as someone who has served in local church ministry for 18 years, I know the people you are speaking about. Yes, there are many whose motives are as you describe, however there are many Christians, conservative and otherwise, who do not conform to the description described. I know many who are seeking deeper answers, truly wanting to test their beliefs, and really trying to live an authentic faith. In fact, the Pharisees in the Bible were trying to preserve a faith that they believed in and felt right for protecting. Nicodemus was a Pharisee whose questions led him to Jesus and to a faith that transcended tradition.

      I want this blog to be a place where everyone has a voice, so unless someone uses profanity or makes a threatening or vicious attack on another, even if i disagree with them, I allow them here. If I start choosing whose heart is open and who is capable of hearing from God, I discredit my ministry and my contention that all people matter to God. If I were to ban everyone who is at one end of the theological spectrum, I would be doing the things you accuse them of, and my hope is that this place can be different; a place where agreement is not mandatory, but civility is. I would love a comment section that is filled with people saying beautiful things about what I write, but that wouldn’t be conversation.

      Believe me, I see so many people like the ones you describe, but I know that putting everyone into a rigid box is dangerous, no matter who it is.

      Soon, I will be launching an online ministry; a virtual church which will be more like what you describe here. It will be a faith community where people can find rest and community.

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and being a part of these conversations. I’m glad you’re here!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful response John. It is indeed your decision, and I respect that decision.

      I plan to pass on your blog to the several friends I mentioned in my post below, and I will give you access to their blogs. You really need to get to know these wonderful and deeply thoughtful Christians who share your heart in unique ways. I think reading their blogs and the unique things they have to say will energize the work you are already doing and give your voice a much wider reach. I will be in touch about that later—have to go pick my kid up at school now. God bless.

    • I think that if you include homosexuality as part of immorality, then you will find scripture has a lot more to say about it. If you believe God set forth marriage as between a man and a woman, and that all sex outside of marriage is immoral, then yes, there are a lot more scriptures that you can reference than just those 6, since 1) there is no such thing as a homosexual marriage in the bible and 2) since there is not, any act of sex outside of marriage (straight or homosexual) is considered a sin. I want to stress, it’s not JUST homosexual acts, but it’s ALL sexual acts, outside of marriage. This isn’t a gay/straight issue, it’s a sin issue, when you are speaking about believers. If you are speaking of non-believers, that’s not for Christians to judge (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Christians (not all) do get caught up in putting down homosexuality ahead of many other sins that are overlooked, but they shouldn’t. I think much of it today is a belief (rightly so) that traditional marriage, as defined by God is under attack and will fade away with cultural changes. Marriage is a gift from God and we feel that people are trying to invalidate it. Many Christians were fine with ‘civil unions’ – but that wasn’t enough for our new ‘enlightened’ society. The other issue for conservative Christians hits closer to home for those concerned about adoptive/surrogate children being raised in homes where they are taught that homosexuality is natural and something God approves of. To many of us, this is likened to children being raised by islamic radicals, teaching that all westerners are evil. Young minds are easily influenced, especially by parents.

      • I also feel that the speaker in the video you linked to highlighted the points he was trying to make, but skipped past the actual scriptures in the New Testament, especially 1 Corinthians 6:9, basically saying that Paul was only speaking about issues of his time and he was out of touch. Paul did address specific things of his time, and when they were directly his thoughts and not from God, he told the reader that was the case in at least one instance. If you want to exclude the punishment for homosexual sin, then you would also say that the other sins listed aren’t of any concern or value. Here’s what God has to say about it, through Paul. I don’t believe that Paul is saying that if you have fallen to these sins before, there is no hope. He words on grace go far beyond that, but it’s pretty clear that if you find yourself in sin, continue in it (no matter what it is) and aren’t willing to give it up, or try, then you will not inherit God’s kingdom. The warning here is especially important (do not be deceived). Our society today is eager to deceive, especially when it comes to sexual sins. The encouragement is ‘And such WERE some of you’ – but people can choose to no-longer commit those sins. It doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to, or won’t fall, but you have the ability to try and make the impossible possible (Matt 19:26)

        1 Corinthians 6:9-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

        9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 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.

      • If I may make a suggestion: It is a mistake for any Christian to assume that just because they see or don’t see something in a particular translation of the Bible, that what they see or don’t see is absolute truth. The translations don’t even agree with each other, let alone with the Hebrew/Greek texts. We do well to heed 2 Tim. 2:15 and study… and that does indeed mean more than picking a favorite translation and memorizing portions of it.
        No same-sex marriage in the Bible? In the English translations maybe. But the Hebrew texts tell a different story. (One can actually see one such marriage in the KJV, if one knows what to look for. Words added by the translators are in italics. Sometimes these additions are legitimate, as word for word translation isn’t always possible or desirable. But sometimes those added words change the meaning, which is what the translators intended. That’s not legitimate, and certainly not helpful. But KJV wasn’t alone in this. For a NT example on a different topic, consider Col. 1:19 — About half of all English translations are wrong, including KJV, while the rest are correct. The wrong ones all added words [usually ‘God’ or ‘the Father’] that changed the meaning.)
        I see two same-sex marriages in the Hebrew OT. One is recorded in some detail, the second only mentioned in passing, although in the case of that second one, it specifies that God was the one who put the two individuals into their relationship. Neither of these marriages was condemned.
        How can this be? Perhaps the Hebrew OT doesn’t say what you think it says. And if that’s the case, maybe the Greek NT doesn’t say what you think it says. And in fact, that is indeed the case. http://hoperemains.webs.com

  113. Loving the sinner, while not condoning their sin is huge challenge, but here’s what it looks like in my life;
    -accepting the person without constantly reminding them of their sin
    -hanging out with them, being involved their lives, and caring about their joys and trials like you would any other sinner (like your friends do for you, sinner)
    -upon occasion, lovingly trying to restore them to a life lived within Gods perameters as set in the Bible
    -praying for them; their lifestyle is very difficult and full of hateful, unloving, and judgmental people
    Remember that there are ugly, hateful extremists in any group…don’t be one of them in God’s family; the church.
    Am I good at this, do I do it well all the time, do I make mistakes in living with this issue? I pray about this all the time. Ask my kids how I’m doing.

  114. John,

    I’m finally taking the time to say how much I appreciate this post and your previous one, as my heart has grieved for several years now over the issues that you discuss. As a Believer who was raised a Southern Baptist and now attends a Bible Church, I have never been able to reconcile Christ’s command that we “love one another” with the treatment by other Believers of those who identify as LGBT. It’s always seemed such a simple issue to me, but even people I love dearly have used the Bible as justification for treating LBGT people as sinful societal outcasts. Someone said (I wish I could remember who) that Jesus didn’t command us to “love the sinner, hate the sin”, but instead told us to “love the sinner and hate our own sin”. My hope is that your posts, which are now being read by thousands, will help fellow Believers open their hearts and reexamine their opinions on how we should love and treat our LBGT brothers and sisters.

    Thank you for taking what had to be a very well-considered and prayerful stand. Please know that there are many, many other Christians out there who feel the same way you do, and your courage and message gives me hope for a more loving and gracious tomorrow.

  115. The Christian community response to gays has been horrible and vastly anti-christ in spirit. On the other hand we can’t teach that homosexuality is not sinful. (the action of it) Because scripture clearly defines that it’s sinful. Does the bible say homosexual? Of course not…but it does define what homosexuality is and describes it as sin.

    • Sorry, Jeremy the bible does not tell us that homosexual(ity) orientation is a sin. Consider this… Romans 1 describes a pie (idolatry) and its ingredients (various un-natural acts, gossip, etc…) The very serious error in (out of context) interpretation of this passage has resulted in the wholesale persecution of an entire class of people (many of whom are Christians themselves) in the “name” of Christ.

      Tragic.

    • “Because scripture clearly defines that it’s sinful. Does the bible say homosexual? Of course not…but it does define what homosexuality is and describes it as sin.”

      Really? Could you please cite ANY verses from scripture where it defines homosexuality and describes it as sinful?

      I’ll help you with eliminating some:

      The destruction of Sodom, Gen 19: This condemns same sex forced gang rape and rightly so, but not homosexuality as we know it.

      Levitical Law: It beggars belief how Christians cherrypick this (ignoring the less palatable parts) when Paul has already declared Levitical Law obsolete and those under it ‘under a curse’ in Galatians 3.

      Romans 1: If this passage is read honestly, Paul here is indicting only those in the Roman Church who abandoned God and went back to their old ways of pagan worship, that included debauched same sex rites as part of the worship. Therefore these practices have as much to do with a loving homosexual relationship as does the tender lovemaking of a couple have to do with the debauched sex rites in a modern day witches’ coven.

      1 Corinthians 6: Here Paul is even more specific in being forced to use the rather clumsy term ‘arsenokoitai’, pagan temple prostitutes rather than the more accepted terms for homosexuals, thus underlining his concern with paganism, not homosexuality. In his letter to Timothy he uses the same terminology, underlining further his primary concern.

      So, what is left? What is there left in scripture that condemns homosexuals and justifies their treatment as social (and spiritual) outcasts?

      I, and many others, would love to know where you get your justification from.

  116. I wanted to wait till the dust settled on this post so I didn’t get attacked by the so called “church” you have been describing so well. I have to say that when I saw this post copied on a friend’s Facebook page it brought me to tears. Finally someone really, really gets it! God has made us who we are and given us the freedom to live out that identity to the full! I honestly believe that your love for your kids would allow for “the next big step”. It is such a breath of fresh air to know that if your son were to tell you he was sleeping with his brother, you would celebrate that love (and not be averse to their possible request to adding flavored condoms to the family shopping list). Or perhaps if your wife were to tell you that your daughter was pleasing her in a way you never could, you would fall to your knees and praise God for all the love He was bringing to your family! And the openness you could then have with your church in sharing this blessing (humbly of course, without sounding like bragging). I am almost tempted to say that I envy you and your church, but as you know, that is one of the “sins” the Bible really does talk about. Thanks so much again! You are an inspiration for me to keep living out loud!

    • You know, we dont need your kind of words here. Incest isn’t the issue and it is not the same as consenting adults. See, people who cant voice a logical reason against being gay almost always pull the ‘slippery slope’ card.

      I was going to curse you in my native language, because that was my first response. I realise I dont have to do that, because you’ve made a fool out of yourself and I dont have to lower myself to your level.

  117. I am sorry for your experiences dealing with the church regarding the issue of Homosexuality. The Church never be a place where judgmental and condemning words are just said with no real true love for the person they are talking to. Christians should be willing to lift up people struggling with the issue of Homosexuality as well as point within scriptures the truth behind the reason we feel Homosexuality is a sin. I do believe Homosexuality goes against the commands the scriptures but I only try to have my opinions made through the perspective of what scripture says.

  118. Pingback: John Pavlovitz: “Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community”

  119. Pingback: A Survival Guide for Christians Who Have Been Fighting Against Marriage Equality | evoL =

  120. The world needs more people like you in it, Pastor. While I do very much believe in God, I’m not a Christian (only because logic does not allow me to accept the bible as the direct “word of God”), but if I am to believe the historical writings about Jesus and his actions and words during his lifetime, your philosophies are very much in step with what he taught. And the world needs that – both then and now. Please don’t stop. Your words are reaching unlikely people (ie, folks like me….non-Christian, heterosexual, married mothers) and we are listening to you. Please keep talking!

    • So, readersrespite, if I read your comment correctly, you believe the world needs the actions and writings of Jesus now as well as in his lifetime? If so, I’d say for you are a Christian. I’m wondering if the non-Christians are the ones who don’t believe his actions and words but who worship the Bible instead, or other verses scattered here and there in the Bible outside their own context. Just askin.

  121. For all “straight” people who are so sure that there is something “wrong” and “fixable by will” about being LGBT I ask you one question: If the shoe were on the other foot could you wear it? In other words if you were told that you HAD to be gay could you? My guess is not, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t.

    We need to follow Christ, not church(es). We need to be followers of Christ, not “Christians”. He is the only shepherd we should follow.

  122. So the thing that gets me is that being “gay” is a sin. I got divorced, that is a sin in itself, so I should be held to the same standard of “righteousness” also. Yet I am not. The bible preaches how I will now be an adulterer from here on out, so I am screwed and will never get to Heaven either. I am a Christian and it really hurts that we are grouped as one with the conservatives who preach about a vengeful hateful God. It is like grouping all Muslims together with ISIS and other extremists groups. Not so cool, yet they seem to still have a better light on their religion than we do.

    However, the bottom line is: We all SIN! We love the sinner, not the sin. Let those without sin cast the first stone. Why is this being forgotten? It is one of Jesus’ great teachings!

    • M… the Bible does NOT teach that you are screwed (and will never get into Heaven) because of your divorce! Yes, we are all sinners. When we sin, we have an advocate with the Father…His Son, Jesus Christ!

      The big deal seems to be (for many) IS this a sin or that a sin?

      This is one of the reasons God sent the Holy Spirit…to show us the way to Christ and help us be more like Him.

      • VGG, sin is simply failure to live to a standard. If sin doesn’t exist, then there are no absolutes. With out an absolute standard then there can not be scams. What you really are saying is that you don’t agree with the standard in question. That’s a less exciting statement, but it is a starting point for civil discourse.

  123. Pingback: That Piece About Love And The LGBT Community | kitodiaries

  124. John,
    Do you have an email address? I would really like to write to you. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter.
    I am the proud mom of four beautiful children. All I EVER wanted out of life was to meet the right man, fall in love, get married and have children. GOD blessed me with my dreams. I have three sons and a daughter. All three sons are gay.
    I am so sick and tired of the gay community being the “Poster Children” for sin. I love my church, but to hear the naysayers and the comments…It’s not as “SIMPLE” as they think it is. A few weeks ago, a comment was made about Transgendered people. The comment went something like this “If your junk is down there, you’re a man and if your junk is up here, you’re a woman.” They just don’t get it! I have “interviewed” so many of my kid’s friends…heard their horror stories of being put in mental institutions, being rejected by their families…the people who are supposed to love them the most, having a “HIT” put out on them by their FATHER….My home will ALWAYS be open to CHRIST’S LOVE manifesting through me….ALL GAY, LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED children will always be welcomed.
    With all that said…I pray for the continued strength to STAND against the attacks on my children and their partners and friends….It does get tiring and I do grow weary. I can’t tell you how many tears I have cried at the ignorance of churches and religion…People that call themselves Christian…but are so judgmental.

    I only came across your blog from an article that my mom cut out for me from the Hartford Courant in Connecticut.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I tried to get in touch with Frank Schaefer – pastor out of Pennsylvania who married his gay son to his partner and got “defrocked”. (I guess that decision has been reversed. Praise GOD.) I never heard back from him. I had heard, and I don’t know if it is true or not, that he had four children and three of them were gay.

    It would be so NICE to be able to correspond with other parents walking in my shoes.

    I love my church, but I am really having trouble with some of the messages coming lately. It’s hard to sit there and listen to someone attacking my children and their partners.

    Thank you for your encouraging messages.

    • Nancy,

      I enjoyed reading your post to John. I believe you can follow his blog without either Facebook or Twitter. If that’s not the case I will email the blogsto you. Your children are blessed to have a mother like yourself.
      Best wishes,
      Joe

    • Nancy, I am part of a private Facebook community of Christian moms of LGBTQ kids, many of them with “multiples” like you. You may be one of the Nancys already in the group, since I see your post was written quite awhile ago, but I would love to connect you, if you aren’t. I hesitate to put my email address here, but I’ll leave it with John Pavlovitz, who is also familiar with at least one of the “moms’ groups” and can connect you to the woman who heads it, Liz Dyer (it’s called Serendipitydodah for Moms). You would need a Facebook account to connect, but it is such a wonderful community of support by moms walking the same path. I hope to meet you soon!

  125. Pingback: A Dad's 6 Point Survival Guide for Those Against Same Sex Parent Led Families -

  126. Sometimes you need to do some research & conclude that society has lost its collective mind and then you need to reframe your beliefs based on that very same research. This is what happens to most same gender attracted men who investigate the explosively growing movement called “g0ys” (spelled w. a zer0). G0YS is a secular group with a Christian/Jewish apologetics section that beats the snot out of traditional “fundymentalists” with their own Bibles. G0YS also calls to task the “anything goes” mentality of the “gay left”. If you’re a guy who happens to love guys/too — and you want a clear sense of moral posturing based on WHAT REALLY MATTERS… you need to G00GLE G0YS (spelled w. a zer0). I dare you.

  127. We ought to speak the truth in love as the Bible says. The bible makes it clear that homosexuals will be in hell eternally if they don’t change and thus we need to warn them. I mean what’s the point of loving them and accepting them if we will not tell them the truth. It’s like watching your blind friend walk towards a cliff and encouraging them to keep going even though you know that they will fall off and die. However, the warning should be given with an attitude of love and concern rather than judgement.

    • Really? Wow! I’ve been studying the Bible, in English and in the original languages, for more than 40 years, and I’ve yet to find any verse that speaks of homosexuals changing, nor of homosexuals being in hell for eternity. (Actually, if you read Revelation carefully, no one is in hell for eternity, because hell is not the place of eternal punishment; the lake of fire is. Hell itself, empty, is thrown into the fire.) It’s frightening that so many Christians who actually know very little about what the Bible actually says about things like hell (instead believing simplified traditions handed down from previous generations) believe themselves qualified to judge others and to decide who is going to hell and who is not. My understanding is this: unless you are hiding nail prints in your hands, you don’t have any standing or authority to make such a ruling. Romans 14:4 expresses it well: “Who are you who judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, because God is able to make him stand.” I am no man’s master; neither are you. There are many millions of LGBT Christians in the US alone, and many more around the world. There is not a single Christian alive who is qualified to judge their walk with God.
      My former pastor, a man who had been in ministry from the age of 14 up until the day he died of old age, had been raised to believe that homosexuality was wrong, an abomination. And when he, in later years, found LGBT Christians who were on fire for God, living for Him, he absolutely didn’t understand it. But he was wise enough to know that he shouldn’t fight against it: if it was not of God, it would come to nothing, but if it was of God, he didn’t want to be found fighting against God. What he told me was this: “Today, God is pouring out His Spirit on people we never thought He would. All we can do is love these people.”

    • Well, if you think that is the truth, than you must also accept other parts of the bible as truth. Scan through Leviticus if you want some examples, and then you can tell us all which of these you are cherry picking. Oh wait, I bet it is only one: the one having to do with gays. How about you take a look at the roughly 76 things banned in that nifty book and make sure you are following all the laws to the letter yourself before you say another word, you hypocrite! Now THAT is the truth.How do you like it?

    • I’d be quite interested in your credentials for deciding what “the Bible makes clear” First, are you reading from the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic? How are you handling the contextual intricacies of early forms of those languages as influences by the normative social constructs and values of the time? Please share your exegesis, complete with source materials and translation documentation so that I can understand EXACTLY what it is that has you so convinced. Bright blessings to you and a prayer for discernment in your heart, soul and mind.

    • @No121

      “…What’s the point of loving them [homosexuals] and accepting them if we will not tell them the truth.”

      Do you know how offensive this statement is! Stop objectifying human beings and turning them into a thing, on account of their sexual orientation. Quite frankly your statement would have been well received by the South African Apartheid regime; only swap homosexual for black person.

  128. You pious #$$holes are the reason I left the church. This article was making me think, and then I read the comments section. You think you have the God given right to say whatever the f$%k you want and think no matter how much it makes you and every other christian look like a d&*k it’s ok because we’re defending the truth of Gods word. You don’t get to say whatever you want because you’re not God, but you act like it by saying who and who isnt going to heaven. This is the last time I will ever look for hope in Christianity enjoy hating each other

    • I understand your frustration, but there are many good hearted Christians out there; ones whose lives are about more than the hatred and anger you’ve seen. I encourage you to keep going. At the end of the day, Jesus is far better than any of his followers ever will be.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • @abrokenvessel104

      Hi! Just read your comment and immediately wanted to write back. I am a gay Christian. My faith is the most important aspect of my life. I see and experience God in everything, including my relationship with my partner of 16 years. Like you, there have many ocassions in my life where I have lost hope. There are no words that I can convey to you that will remove the hurt inside; I know that because, like you, I have felt the condemning arm of many Christians, but not all. I can only offer my experience to you. I was a broken man for many years. I battled constantly in trying to reconcile my sexuality with my faith. I tried conversion, abstinence, pretending to be heterosexual, even hating myself which lead to emotional self-harm. What eventually saved me from this hell, believe it or not, was Christ himself. When I finally understood and began to experience and accept Christ’s love into my life. When I accepted that I matter to Christ and that He loves me as I am. When I accepted and listened to Christ’s love and not the words of others. You see, Christ never condemned me, and doesn’t condemn you. For too long I listened and accepted to the condemnation rhetoric from humans; I put human knowledge and human words above God’s infinite wisdom and love. It is your living and day-to-day relationship with God that is important. Try not to lose sight of that. I know some (not all!) humans will try to cut you down and put conditions on your access to God; this is another lie. Place your heart in God’s infinite love and wisdom and if you choose to listen to humans, listen in the knowledge that whatever is said, God will always love you. Fill your heart with Christ’s love, not with human condemnation. With love to you my freind.

  129. With tenderness, here is my response to several Christian blogs supporting and affirming the GLBT conduct and lifestyle.

    Hi friend,
    I am so sorry you experienced such betrayal of trust and concentrated unkindness. Your pain is real and true Christians will have compassion on you and hurt with you.

    Proverbs 3:3 is a great verse promoting balance. “3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” (KJV)

    If Jesus were only merciful when He rescued the young woman caught in the act of adultery, He would have comforted her, chastised her accusers, and blessed her with unconditional acceptance of her AND her conduct.

    If Jesus were only committed with dispensing truth, He would have spelled out to her and the on lookers that she was guilty of terrible sin and should be utterly ashamed.

    No… Jesus is full of mercy and full of truth. The two are NEVER to be found separate. He is Mercy and Truth. He did not shame her. He rescued her from shame and destruction.

    He then told her, “Go… And leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

    I believe homosexual and lesbian ongoing conduct is perversion and grieves and offends the God of the Bible. I believe we are to love with great kindness these fine folks. Yet, we are never to promote, endorse, encourage, or celebrate their conduct in question.

    One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 4:32

    ” 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

    God bless you,

    – biblical counselor, on Cru Staff 33 years

    Read Romans 1:16-32;
    1Corinthians 6:9-20
    John 8:4-11
    Psalm 115:1

    “God’s Truth and His Mercy are never to be found seperate.”

      • Kaatje, do you call yourself a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, I fully understand your point of view. If you say you are His follower, then, it follows that you would desire to follow (revere, honor, seek to obey) His Holy Word, the Bible. Right? There is no high horse here, Kaatje. Simply God’s mercy and God’s truth combined together.

        Jesus breathed out these very words (in the original language) into the human author Paul: Romans 1:16-32 “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[f]

        God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
        18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

        21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

        24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

        26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

        28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

        Your argument is not with me. It seems to be with Jesus the Author.

        • That would be Paul, not Jesus speaking. Jesus had lots of his own words, but never spoke these. You can say God inspired Paul, but there’s no claim from Paul or the Bible that says God took over his faculties and forced him to do Divine dictation.

          Even still, Paul is saying these people abandoned what was natural for them, to engage in these acts, not that they gave up “natural” for “unnatural”. LGBT people are telling you that they have always felt this way. They have not traded what is natural for them in order to be different. Their sexuality is a singular instinct, not as Paul describes, a replacing of one thing with another.

          It’s fine if you believe these words paint every person born gay as sinful, but I don’t think that’s at all what this passage is saying, and I think it’s irresponsible to do so.

          • John, thank you for your response. I respect your point of view yet I disagree with it. You say that Jesus never spoke the words of Paul ( I know you mean the ones captured for us in Scripture ).

            I believe Jesus did in the sense that the words, the punctuation, the exact meaning, and the efficacy of Paul’s words were directly inspired “breathed into The Apostle Paul” by God (The Spirit of Christ) Himself.

            Note:

            · The Bible is perfect. (Read Psalm 19:7)
            · The Bible is true and eternal. (Read Psalm 119:160)
            · The Bible is flawless. (Read Psalm 18:30)

            2Timothy 3:16 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (KJV)

            That middle verse from above: Psalm 119:160….”160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”

            You see, John, all Scripture, including Paul’s exact words have always existed in eternity past. They were never created. They existed before the universe was created. Jesus, who created all things, is the Word of God.

            John 1:1-5 reads, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

    • Dear Trulyfedup1802,

      Thank you for sharing what you believe. I also appreciate how “nicely” you do it. You even give us a list of passages to review.

      With all due respect, you have done nothing more than stand in judgment of others (in a very “nice” way.) Perhaps when you were reading the first chapter of Romans, you missed Paul’s point. He is not talking to homosexual persons about their behavior. Rather, to the Roman Christians still mired in idol worship. (Perhaps for ‘fire insurance.’) I believe he was trying to point out that the ‘gods’ they were worshipping required them to do all kinds of things they would otherwise not do. (These things were ‘un-natural’ to THEM.

      Romans 2:4 points out: “So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? ”

      There has been a great deal of disagreement among New and Old Testament scholars on this subject. But I can tell you, that as a minister of the Gospel for many decades and in light of my own experience, I am convinced that we humans have gotten this all wrong. The men of Rome who were engaging in temple rituals including male-male intercourse, were (as history proves) actually engaging with young boys dressed like women! This was not an act of affection between two homosexual men, but rather an act of worship with a boy slave!

      You close by first stating unequivocally that same-sex intimacy is a perversion which grieves God and then quote (Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” )

      I forgive you for painting me and other Christian gay men and women with the ‘Red G.’ I hope you can forgive me for saying; I believe you are dead wrong and that this brand of self-righteousness has led to many gay and lesbian people to reject the Gospel altogether. They just can’t buy the bull.

      • Judgement, friend? I think not. Ezekiel 33:1-6 is clear. If I don’t warn my brothers and sisters of God’s impending, imminent judgement an punishment for unrepentant sin, then their blood shall be on my head.

        Ezekiel 33:1-6 “1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.'”

    • Judgment and condemnation by any other name hurts just as much. You speak of conduct and lifestyle. When it comes to the conduct of LGBT people, most anti-gay people I have encountered have an extremely narrow view that includes only gay men, and only one possible sexual act, and they are positively obsessed with it, more so than any gay man I ever met. As for lifestyle, lifestyles are things rich people have. Most people can’t afford a lifestyle. (The gay lifestyle is one of those nebulous things like the gay agenda: anti-gay people talk a lot about them, nobody actually defines them, and there isn’t a gay person a live who knows what either one is supposed to be.)

      Being a counselor doesn’t make you a Bible scholar. Even being well-versed in one or more English translations of the Bible won’t accomplish that either. Have you ever taken the time to learn to read and understand Hebrew and Greek? Have you ever once considered the possibility that what the Bible says in English translations isn’t exactly what was written down thousands of years ago in Hebrew and Greek? Have you taken the time to verify the accuracy of the translation(s) you use by consulting the extant Hebrew and Greek manuscripts?

      For the overwhelming majority of anti-gay Christians, the answer to all of those questions is no. But if you stop to consider that the various English translations of the Bible often contradict each other, it’s not rocket science to realize that they can’t all be right.

      When translation of the Bible into the vernacular languages first began in earnest in Europe, it was still a time when people believed the church was the ultimate authority on matters of doctrine. That was all they had for centuries, since the Bible was not readily available before that, and was in Latin, which few could read or understand. So the mindset of the time was that the church had the final say. The Bible translations of the time were sponsored by churches. The King James, still a very popular translation, was commissioned specifically to be read from the pulpits of Anglican churches. What do you suppose would have happened if the translators presented the King, head of the Church of England, with a Bible that flatly contradicted C of E teaching and tradition? Do you think the king would have said, Hey, everyone, we’re doing it all wrong, we need to change? No. More than likely, he would have sent the translators back and told them to do it over. They knew that. So they were careful ahead of time. Certain verses were deliberately made vague to obscure teachings that might call Anglican doctrine into question. Others were deliberately mistranslated. And the translators even included a verse from late Latin manuscripts, a proven fraud that has no place in the Bible, simply because it supported church teaching.

      Later translations followed suit in many areas, mostly for the same reasons: the churches of Europe, and later America, had similar doctrines, and had become accustomed to seeing certain things in the Bible. Some errors from the King James were corrected in later versions, but not all. And the newest Bibles, while perhaps correcting one or two, introduced many more. Today, Bible publishing is a business, intended to make money. Were any publisher to release a Bible that corrected all the errors of previous translations, it would almost certainly be branded as heresy by many churches, and it wouldn’t sell enough copies to make it worthwhile.

      Some verses tampered with are Deut. 6:4 (vaguely, imprecisely translated); Lev. 18:22 & 20:13 (wrong in every English translation); Col. 1:19 (wrong in about half of all available English translations, but correct in the others); 1 Cor. 6:9 & 1 Tim. 1:10 (wrong or vague in all translations; Jude 7 (usually wrong).

      If truth matters to you, and as a biblical counselor it should, then you need to find out what the Bible says about homosexuality in the Hebrew and Greek texts. I’ll give you a link to get you started, but here’s a hint: The English translations have a whole lot more to say on the subject than any Hebrew or Greek manuscript.

      http://www.hoperemains.webs.com

    • @trulyfedup1802

      Hi trulyfedup,

      I suspect your reply is connection with my post above – please forgive me if it is not. Please humour me for a moment…can you tell me the difference between a belief and faith?

      Eagerly awaiting gay Christian

  130. Hi Rev. W.H.,

    · The Bible is perfect. (Read Psalm 19:7)

    · The Bible is true and eternal. (Read Psalm 119:160)

    · The Bible is flawless. (Read Psalm 18:30)

    2Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

    I believe Jesus, the Creator of all things, is not just God, the Son (the 2nd person of the Trinity), but also God, the Word.

    Note in John 1:1-5 it reads, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.”

    Thus, I believe that:

    1. Paul’s words in Romans 1:16-32 and 1Corinthians 6:9-20 were and are eternally existing. They have no beginning since Jesus has always existed and He is God the Word (the Living Word), then the Word is eternal. According to the 2Timothy 3:16 Scripture, God, the Spirit, breathed (exhaled, if you will) into Paul (and all other biblical authors as well) the exact words and their intended meanings.

    I used tho think that only the red lettered sections where Jesus actually spoke were His words. Not true. They are all His Words as defined above.

    God does not just zero in on the LGBT issue and behavior, He also deals with lust, greed, idolotry, thievery, a lying tongue, drunkenness, etc. He also desperately hates the shedding of innocent blood.

    I do believe, as a biblical counselor, that biblical marriage is only between one man and one woman. I also believe that fornication and adultery are no better than same gender sexual practices. Mercy and Truth are never to be found separate.

    • You, sir, are an ideologue. Frankly, I don’t care what you believe because the manner in which you believe it is beyond the reach of reason. Fortunately that level of fanaticism will reduce your ability to infect your clients with your ideology. You cannot argue your points rationally, nor are you available to reason. Therefore, it is not worth anyone’s time to engage you.

      The thing that baffles me about people like you is that somehow you have convinced yourself that god gave you that brain in your head, but intends for you to use it only to a certain fixed point and not one jot further.

      I’m reminded of the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate earlier this year, in which the last question was “What would it take for you to change your mind?” Nye didn’t even have to think about his answer; he said “Evidence.” Ham didn’t hesitate much before replying that “Nothing” would change his mind. That showed Ken to be as fanatical as you, and likewise not worth further consideration.

      I would encourage you to quit limiting your god. You’re going to reply that you don’t, but I assure you that you do. You lock him into a tight little knot that you can hold on to with a death grip composed of your understanding. You’re unprepared to wrestle with the idea of a god of the size Pastors Pavlovitz and Carey embrace with love.

      I don’t say that with the arrogance of telling you your own mind. I say that as a student of the bible who sees the word for what it is. I also say it as a human being in the 21st century. Your fossilized version of the gospel becomes less relevant and less useful with every passing day. If your bible is going to retain any relevance, you’re going to have to loosen that grip. How are you going to read into those old stones to know how to deal with the world that’s coming? Children with two biological fathers or mothers; children with three (or more) biological parents; clones; chimera; artificial life; XNA -all these things are on your doorstep, and all are far beyond any King James reading of the bible.

      I do pity you your future, but I wish you the best nonetheless.

      • My dear Rev. friend, Hebrews 10:38 says, “And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

        We, who have been made and declared righteous by Jesus are to live and walk by faith…. Not feelings, nor by emotions, not by logic, nor by reason. By faith.

        The definition I hold to is this: “Faith is choosing to live as though the Bible is true ( which it is), regardless of circumstances, emotions, or cultural trends.”

        Now you know the filter on conviction I use.

        • Frankly, I don’t care what anyone’s commentary about Leviticus says, nor what all the translations say. All I care about is what Leviticus says… in the Hebrew text. People can mistranslate and write all the commentary they like about the mistranslations, but those mistranslations won’t become truth. I have 30+ years experience with the Hebrew and Greek texts, and I taught Hebrew for a number of years. Here are the facts:

          Lev. 18:22
          וְאֵת־זָכָר לֹא תִּשְׁכַּב מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תּוֹעֵבָה הִוא

          Transliteration:
          ve’et zachar lo tishkav mishkvei ishah to’evah hi
          The phrase mishkvei ishah is the key here. This phrase is found only twice in the Bible. The other usage is in Lev. 20:13. It literally translates as “bed of a woman.” Less awkwardly, “a woman’s bed.” To take it apart, the word ishah means woman. Mishkvei is the word for bed, but in the construct state, which means it is grammatically tied to the following word. Mishkvei itself is only found three times in the Bible. In addition to the 2 Lev. verses, it is also found in Gen. 49:4 in the phrase מִשְׁכְּבֵי אָבִיךָ mishkvei avicha, which most English Bibles correctly translate as “thy father’s bed” (or “your father’s bed”). Literally, it is “bed of thy father.”

          In all three verses where mishkvei + a noun is used, there is no preposition before it. It has to be inferred from context, and inserted when translating into languages that require prepositions, such as English. Which preposition is determined from the verb in the sentence.
          Thou wentest up ___ thy father’s bed.

          The verb tells us that forward/upward motion is implied, so the correct preposition is “to.” (One could also use upon or onto.)

          Now let’s go back to Lev. 18:22
          Ve’et zachar = and with a male
          lo tishkav = thou shalt not lie down
          mishkvei ishah = a woman’s bed
          to’evah hi = abomination it

          What preposition?
          Thou shalt not lie down ____ a woman’s bed

          Obviously “in” or “on” would be the most likely choices.
          What we have here is nothing more than a prohibition of two men lying down (for any reason) in a woman’s bed. Culturally, a woman’s bed was her own. Other than the woman herself, only her husband was allowed in her bed, and there were times when even he wasn’t allowed in there. One of the earliest English translations, Wycliffe, shows knowledge of this. Knowing that the woman’s bed was hers, the translator assumed that the woman was also present in the bed for this prohibition, and took it to be a prohibition of two men having sex with a woman at the same time. (When reading Wycliffe, be careful to distinguish between the actual translation and the interpolated commentary and “corrections” of later centuries.) But whether the woman was present or not, the verse contains a clear prohibition of two men lying down in her bed. Lev. 20:13 contains the same prohibition, and prescribes the death penalty for infraction.

          There is no possible way for the grammar in Leviticus to be legitimately twisted to suggest any kind of a comparison (“as with a woman,” “as with womankind,” etc.). Unlike some prepositions, comparisons in Hebrew are not “understood,” but need to be written out using words like כְּ, כְּמוֹ or כַּאֲשֶׁר, none of which are found in these two Leviticus verses.

          You spoke of faith, in place of logic and reason. Then why did God give you a brain? Do you just blindly believe everything that is told to you? Doesn’t scripture itself warn not to do that, but to try the spirits? What happens when you find two translations that disagree? Do you decide to believe both of them? Wouldn’t that make you double-minded? You have to use the reason God gave you, simple logic and intelligence, to discern between what is truth and what is not. And just because something shows up in an English translation, or 20 English translations, doesn’t mean it is truth. When it comes down to it, which do you think God is going to honor first: His word as it was originally written down by men moved by the Spirit, or the various translations and bastardizations of that word commonly available? Do you think that when Paul told Timothy “Study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly dividing the word of truth” that what he really meant was just “Blindly believe what you are told or what you read?” I doubt it.

          All the faith in the world is useless if you’ve put it into the wrong thing. You think that just because a bunch of translators agree, it must be true? Explain, then, why only half of all English Bibles correctly translated Col. 1:19… the other half all added words that changed the meaning of the verse. Why are half wrong?

          Why do a number of English Bibles, including King James, contain a verse that is a known fraud? We’re not talking about one of those “maybe” verses found in some Greek manuscripts but not in others. We’re talking about a verse that isn’t found in any ancient Greek manuscript, and in fact, not in any Greek manuscript before the 11th century, when someone scribbled it into the margin as an afterthought. It was still another few centuries before someone created a Greek manuscript that actually put the verse in the text. Where did it come from? It first appeared in late versions of the Latin Vulgate… as if out of nowhere, as it is found in none of the earlier versions. Evidently, some anonymous monk, copying it over, felt authorized to add a verse. The verse breaks the sense of the passage, and was never quoted or alluded to by the church fathers, even when to do so would have greatly helped them. They’d obviously never heard of it. So what is it doing in many of our Bibles… and why are you believing it?

          Did you know that every single English translation says that the Word was “with God” in the first two verses of John’s Gospel? Did you know that not a single Greek manuscript says that? Every one of them says the Word was “toward God,” which was a known idiom. It means “pertaining to God.” (The KJV translates the exact same Greek phrase, προς τον Θεον, correctly in Heb. 2:17.) There is a world of difference between saying the Word pertains to God and saying the Word is with God. The verses should say “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word pertained to (or meant) God, and the Word was God. This pertained to (or meant) God in the beginning.

          But every English translation says “with God.” Should we ignore the Greek and just believe the English translations? Isn’t it just remotely possible that the translators weren’t being honest, and for a reason? (That reason being that their work had to support current church teaching, even if that teaching was flawed.)

          Should we just say none of this matters, it’s just semantics, and go with the English translations? In other words, should we make sure that we strain the gnat out of the cup, but swallow down a camel?

      • Well I sense a few of you now know where I stand. My faith, belief system, and my personal convictions are based on that “which written” in God’s Holy inspired, eternal Word.

        By the way, I have looked at close to 20 translations of Leviticus 18:22 and have read commentaries such as those of Matthew Henry.

        David Guzik, for instance , states “4. (22) Command against homosexual sex.
        You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
        a. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: Simply put, God calls homosexual sex an abomination, even as He does in Romans 1:24-32. Additionally, homosexuality was part of the idolatrous perversions which were allowed in Israel at its times of backsliding (1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, and 22:46).
        i. Homosexual practice truly is an abomination in our present culture. 43% of homosexuals say that they have had 500 or more sexual partners in their lifetime. Only 1% of homosexuals say they have had four or less sexual partners in their lifetime.
        ii. Homosexuals seem to specialize in anonymous sex with no emotional commitment. At one time, London AIDS clinics defined a woman as promiscuous if she’d had more than six partners in her lifetime. They gave up trying to apply a workable definition to male homosexuals when it became clear that they saw almost no homosexual men who had less than six sexual partners a year.
        b. It is an abomination: This command is commonly objected to on the grounds that one was born – or created – with homosexual desires. “I was born this way; God made me a homosexual. It is my nature to be homosexual; it would be against my nature to be heterosexual.”
        i. The problem is that the Bible says we are all sinners by nature; not a single person is born without an attraction to sin in some way or another. We should not say that God made the homosexual; we could say that Adam did, when he passed on the effects of his rebellion to the entire human race.
        ii. Our inborn attraction to sin justifies nothing. The one who practices homosexuality can no more justify himself by saying “I was born this way” than can the person who hates homosexuals justify their ungodly hatred by saying “I was born this way.”
        iii. Many justify homosexual practice on the basis of love. They might say, “How can it be wrong to love someone of my own sex? How can love be wrong?” Yet if someone loves their children, it does not justify sexual conduct with them. The issue isn’t love; the issue is of sexual conduct. Of course, the Bible in no way condemns love between people of the same sex, but it does say that sexual conduct between those people is sin.” – taken verbatim from his commentary from Leviticus 18. http://Www.blueletterbible.org

    • “The Bible is perfect.” In it’s original manuscripts it was. Nobody could seriously make such a claim for the various translations available today, especially since they don’t even agree with each other, let alone with the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.

      “…biblical marriage is only between one man and one woman.” In what Bible did you find that? The most commonly recorded form of marriage in the Bible was one man with more than one woman. And no, it wasn’t a sin. The Old Testament forbid polygamy to priests, and the New Testament forbids it to bishops and deacons. Without polygamy, the 12 tribes of Israel would never have existed, and the lineage of King David would have ended with him, since his first wife could not have children. When you start to make pronouncements about what the Bible says, you’d better know what you are talking about. Now, just to save you some trouble, if you were planning to invoke Matthew 19, as many do at this point, that argument won’t hold water. Jesus was not giving a spontaneous discourse on the nature and limitations of marriage. He had been asked a question, a very specific question, about a man divorcing his wife, and He answered the question in the same context. He referenced the first “marriage” as an indication that marriage is of God and is not meant to be broken, except in the case of fornication. To try to take this passage to mean that Jesus only recognized monogamous marriage is bad scholarship. He knew full well that His own lineage included polygamous marriages.

      Further, if we read the Old Testament in Hebrew, we will find another form of marriage: that of two persons of the same sex. Not just one example, but two. The first is recorded in some detail (meeting, love, covenant, jealous in-laws, the whole deal), while the second states only that God put the two individuals into their relationship. These are neatly covered up in English translations, of course. (Although, if you know what to look for, you can still see evidence of the first one in the King James.)

      Paul’s words in Romans chapter one are recorded correctly. But Paul was not writing that letter to you. He was writing to the church at Rome, and therefore, in reading it, we must first and foremost consider the specific circumstances that existed then and there. If we fail to do so, we will undoubtedly reach incorrect conclusions. We cannot simply pull verses out of context and throw them at any situation that sounds similar. For example, look at 1 Cor. 11. Paul spoke to the Corinthians about hair length. He told them that the women should have long hair, and the men should have short hair. There are churches today that take those verses as binding on all Christians. Their men wear their hair very short, and the women never cut theirs. But was Paul writing those instructions to everyone? Why didn’t he mention it to the other churches? The fact is, Paul was addressing a specific situation, only hinted at in scripture (vs. 16). Ancient history fills in the gaps. Prior to conversion, the Corinthians worshiped Diana. One method of worship common there was to grow their hair long, then cut it off and burn it as a sacrifice to her. After conversion, some tried to continue the custom, but offering the burnt hair to Jesus instead. Paul was trying to stop this custom. To keep them out of trouble, he gave them a different system to follow, which was the ancient Jewish one: men wore their hair short, and women didn’t cut theirs. That would solve the problem. (Yes, the Jewish men had short hair, including Jesus, no matter what the pictures show. Only Nazarites had long hair, such as Samson and John the Baptist. Other Jewish men might grow their hair during a vow, but shaved it when the vow was fulfilled.) Paul realized that some would be contentious about this, and he wanted them to know that none of the other churches had such a custom (hair burning).

      But can you see what can happen when people ignore context? They invent doctrines that were not taught in the early church. Consider Paul’s advice to Timothy: He told him not to drink water anymore, but to drink only a little wine, because of his stomach trouble. Should we assume that this advice is meant for everyone? That everyone with stomach trouble should eschew water and only drink wine? Of course not. We can’t ignore context: Timothy was getting sick from drinking the local water where he was. Paul, given wisdom by the Lord, told him to stop drinking the water. And indeed, that would solve the problem… for Timothy.

      We cannot know what Paul was talking about in Romans 1 without understanding the Roman religion, society and culture. In fact, much of what chapter 1 talks about are things connected to their religion. So to take verses out of that context and try to apply them to something today that, on the surface, sounds like the same thing, is absolutely lousy scholarship. I doubt there is anyone alive today who still practices the Greco-Roman religion, and the customs derived from it are for the most part ancient history.

      Paul was not talking about homosexuality to the Romans. How do I know? Because the Greco-Roman culture held that exclusive homosexuality was unnatural and incorrect. But then, they felt exactly the same way about exclusive heterosexuality. Why? The cause is found in their religion, specifically, their creation story. There was one human created who was not male or female, but a combination of both. This individual was split into two, one male, one female. According to their understanding of the story, this left both individuals incomplete: the female was missing her male half, and the male was missing his female half. They felt that this was a situation that needed to be corrected in some measure. Their method of doing so came into existence during the Greek Empire, or even earlier, so it was already centuries old by the time Paul addressed it in Rome. They believed it was correct for everyone to be intimate with both sexes. Not a free for all; there were specific rules: A woman was allowed one husband, and was not permitted intimacy with any other man. But she was allowed, and expected, to be intimate with other women. That was considered normal, no matter how unnatural it felt to them. A man could have as many wives as he could support, and wasn’t supposed to be intimate with any other women. But an adult man was expected to form a relationship with an adolescent male, to whom he would be teacher, mentor and lover. This was considered a normal part of the boy’s education. The physical aspect of the relationship was expected to end when the boy reached adulthood, and each would form a new relationship. (Samurai Japan had a remarkably similar custom to this.) The Greek term a man used to refer to his young charge was “pais,” which just means boy. This word is regularly used in Greek, in the New Testament. However, one needs to watch context: A centurion came to Jesus and said that his “pais” was sick. Knowing full well what this meant, most translations render it as “servant.” (And in fact, in one passage, we learn that the boy was indeed also a servant, maybe a slave.) But a centurion would only use the term pais to refer to the young man he was presently attached to. Jesus grew up under Roman occupation, and certainly understood the Roman customs. He knew full well that this centurion had an intimate relationship with the boy. (Before anyone starts screaming about pedophilia, this boy was probably at least as old as Mary was when Gabriel told her she would conceive.) Did Jesus condemn the centurion or the custom? Did he refuse to heal the boy? No, instead, he not only healed the boy, but marveled at the centurion’s great faith.

      Paul locked horns with this custom in his letter to Rome. No doubt it was found throughout the empire, but he dealt with it only here. Did he call it a terrible abomination? A sin? No. He did call it a mistake. Paul said that what they were doing was against “physis.” That’s a Greek word usually translated as nature. But that translation does us a bit of a disservice, because the English word nature has so many different possible meanings, and physis does not. For example, physis cannot mean nature as in the whole creation. It cannot mean the wild, or the animal kingdom. Rather, physis is the word used to describe a person’s OWN nature, their own innate disposition. The Romans were pretty much all living in a way we would call bisexual, but the overwhelming majority of them were not bisexuals. Rather, as in every population, the majority were heterosexuals. And for those people, being intimate with the same sex was against their nature… what we would call their sexual orientation. But they did it because both their society and their religion expected them to. But Paul made it clear that it was a mistake and shameful. Neither society nor any misguided religious teaching are grounds for ignoring our own physis, our own sexual orientation.

      The word frequently translated as homosexuals in 1 Cor. 6 and 1 Tim. 1 was invented by Paul. We know this because the first times in history it is found is in these two epistles, and it doesn’t show up again until the second century. Now, it is true that there was no word for homosexual in Greek back then. (Even English didn’t have such a word until the 19th century.) But Greek certainly did have expressions that were commonly used to indicate intimate activity between persons of the same sex. After all, it was going on, so they had to have a way to talk about it. But the interesting thing is that Paul never used ANY of those expressions. They would have been understood anywhere in the Empire, but Paul never used any of them. What would be the point of going to the trouble to invent a word when there was no need for it? But there’s more to consider:

      The grammar is ambiguous. If Paul intended this word to refer to men having sex with men, then he would have made it a masculine noun. He could easily have done that by giving it a specific ending. That particular ending can never be feminine. But he didn’t do that. He gave it an ending that could be masculine OR feminine, and gave no indication as to which he intended. Now, there is no specific feminine ending he could have used, so if he intended his word to refer to women, this was the best he could do. Could the word mean “women who have sex with men?” In the second century, one writer used the word in exactly that way, as a word to mean prostitute. But didn’t Greek already have a word for prostitute? Why would Paul invent a new word for that? Actually, there was a good reason to do so. Centuries earlier, the “porn-” root meant prostitute. One needed only add different endings to the root to indicate number, case, gender, etc. But over the centuries, the word had expanded in meaning, and had come to refer to anyone having illicit sexual relations. In other words, fornicator. So Paul had already used the word. And there was no extant way of indicating that he was including prostitutes in with it. Wouldn’t it be understood? Not necessarily. Particularly by those raised in any of the cults of the fertility goddess, they would have seen prostitution as a form of worship of their goddess. Temple prostitution was an accepted form of worship in that religion. Prostitution itself was seen as a business, a way of making a living, and not simply sex for pleasure. (At least, from the perspective of the prostitute.) The word Paul created would cover any loophole caused by the expanded definition of “pornoi.” And if we read through ancient writings from the second century on, we can see clearly that there was no clear consensus on what the word meant, but it wasn’t until fairly recently in history that people decided it was talking about men having sex with men. Both the Latin Vulgate and the King James don’t specify the gender of the persons involved. But newer translations haven’t translated, but paraphrased.

      Please excuse any typos, well after midnight and I am tired.

      • Kaatje, I appreciate you sincerity. However, I pray the Lord would bless you with His Mighty Touch of love, kindness, and Eternal Truth.

        God’s Word in the Old Testament book of Joel 2:32 says, “32 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”

        Please call on the Lord Jesus, friend. He loves you and paid the penalty for all your sins. Please.

      • Kaatje-
        You speak of no sin ( thus no guilt, or condemnation ) in thi life here on earth. Do you then also believe that when you die, there is just blank nothing? Or do you embrace the hope of eternal life. If so… Eternal life with whom? Do all go to Heaven? Who them created and upholds Heaven?

        • First, your religion isn’t the only one and people see / perceive divinity in many ways. The gods love diversity. There is no sin in Asatru because our puny actions do not affect the gods, instead they affect fellow humans. We believe people CHOOSE between Good and Order or Evil and Chaos. The time is coming when these two forces will fight each other for the final time.

          I see my religion as an ethical system. We are to uphold certain virtues and ethics. We are NOT to go about proselytising and putting other people down. We understand we dont know everything and admit that. Basically, you shouldn’t need a religion to tell you that murder, rape, robbery, slavery, etc is wrong. You need intelligence, empathy and justice.

          People are already immortal. The spirit/soul of a person never dies. I didn’t join my religion to go to a ‘heaven’; what attracted me to it was the ethics/virtues of the pathway and the warrior ethos of Asatru. Most of us believe in reincarnation and I personally believe those who die in battle go to Valhalla. Others go to be with their patron gods and the dishonourable and outlawed go to the place of cold and darkness.

          • Hi Kaatje, thank you for your kind and respectful explanation of your faith. What, if I could ask, has been your experience with Christians, church, Christianity, and for that, the person of Jesus Himself? Has been real bad, so so, some good -some bad? Or what? I really do respect you and your thoughts.

            • With a few exceptions, my experience with Christians, church and Christianity have been negative. My mother was an Apostolic Pentecostal who ignored the abuse and isolation I was going through. The church was very emotionally controlling and hypocritical. They were the only ‘real’ Christians. I didn’t get treated for a concussion and others things. I developed PTSD and DID. One day, I got tired of the in-fighting and meanness; I walked out.

              Going to uni helped to restore my faith in God. I started seeking a pathway, so I started reading about different Christian denominations and went to Orthodoxy. I was baptised at a Russian Orthodox church. I enjoyed chanting in the choir and receiving the sacraments and the sheer beauty of the church. In my 30’s, I began to question my beliefs.

              Long story short, I searched for another pathway. Found it in the beliefs of some of my ancestors.

              • Hi Kaatje, Thanks for sharing your heart, your feelings, and a bit of your pain. Barbara and I do care about your life. Our faith is based solely on a trust relationship with the Person known as the Lord Jesus.

                He is our life. We’d be isolated, doomed, and without eternal hope without Him. Apart from His forgiveness on that miserable Cross 2000 years ago, we’d be so deserving of Hell. Our attempt at being good and acceptable before a perfect and Holy God is the same as if we tried to jump across the Grand Canyon. We would fall short in a big way.

                I love ROMANS 5:8 which says “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ”

                In the Old Testament book of Joel, the 2nd chapter – 32nd verse, it reads…”They that call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

                May He bring you hope and joy this Christmas season.

                Your new friends who care about you and value you.

                Jim and Barbara

    • What you call truth is an opinion; it is your BELIEF. I disagree with you. My religion has no concept of ‘sin’. My orientation doesn’t harm you. That Romans passage isn’t describing consenting adults who love and commit to each other. Why dont you take the time and TALK TO LGBT instead of reading a 3000 year old book.

    • My god, you are one colossal pompous ass. You can spout passages all day long and it does not make you right in your beliefs any more than going for a swim makes you a dolphin.
      Tell me, do you abide by all of these commandments??
      These are from Leviticus of course, and included is the penalty for each. Now, these are things banned…. so….. if you have been doing any of these things listed, you would be better served spending your time paying the penalties. (get your animal sacrifices ready)My guess is that you are going to be very busy with that. I cant wait to see if you respond and tell me why these things dont count as actual issues, but the things you are upset about do count. Go ahead. Enlighten us all…. Oh, and while your attempt at pleasantries failed, and I see it as thinly veiled contempt for those who you see as inferior, I will simply dispense with the BS and call it as I see it. You are one gigantic TOOL.
      Heeeeeeere’s Leviticus!
      1. Burning any yeast or honey in offerings to God (2:11) [Normal penalty.]

      2. Failing to include salt in offerings to God (2:13) [Normal penalty.]

      3. Eating fat (3:17) [That one’s “a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.” All fat is to be saved for offerings to God. Normal penalty.]

      4. Eating blood (3:17) [Normal penalty]

      5. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1) [“They will be held responsible.”]

      6. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1) [Which sounds like hearsay. At any rate, “they shall be held responsible.”]

      7. Touching an unclean animal (5:2) [NIV translates this as touching “the carcass” of an unclean animal. So if Rover dies, or you’re a worker in a pork plant, you’re in trouble here. Normal penalty.]

      8. Carelessly making an oath (5:4) [Even if you don’t realize you have. Normal penalty.]

      9. Deceiving a neighbour about something trusted to them (6:2) [Return the item and a 20% penalty, plus normal penalty.]

      10. Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3) [Return the item and a 20% penalty, plus normal penalty.]

      11. Bringing unauthorised fire before God (10:1) [God will smite you.]

      12. Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6) [“You will die” and God will be angry at everyone. May only apply to the priesthood.]

      13. Tearing your clothes (10:6) [“You will die” and God will be angry at everyone. May only apply to the priesthood.]

      14. Drinking alcohol in holy places (bit of a problem for Catholics, this ‘un) (10:9) [“You will die.” May only apply to the priesthood.]

      15. Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (cf: camel, rabbit, pig) (11:4-7) [“You will be unclean.]

      16. Touching the carcass of any of the above (problems here for rugby) (11:8) [“You will be unclean.”]

      17. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12) [“You will be unclean.”]

      18. Eating – or touching the carcass of – eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19) [“You will be unclean.”]

      19. Eating – or touching the carcass of – flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22) [“You will be unclean.”]

      20. Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (good news for cats) (11:27) [“You will be unclean.” Also applies to touching their carcasses.]

      21. Eating – or touching the carcass of – the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29) [“You will be unclean.”]

      22. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42) [“You will be unclean.”]

      23. Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4) [Actually, she’s unclean a week, and then another 33 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.]

      24. Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5) [Actually, she’s unclean a week, and then another 66 days. Then she has to offer up a sacrifice.]

      25. Having sex with your mother (18:7) [The penalty for all the sexual sins in ch. 18 is that the participants are to be “cut off” from their people. Some have additional penalties mentioned below.]

      26. Having sex with your father’s wife (18:8) [In 20:11, both are to be put to death.]

      27. Having sex with your sister (18:9) [In 20:17, if you marry her, both are to be “publicly removed from their people”]

      28. Having sex with your granddaughter (18:10)

      29. Having sex with your half-sister (18:11)

      30. Having sex with your biological aunt (18:12-13) [In 20:19, he will be held responsible for the dishonor.]

      31. Having sex with your uncle’s wife (18:14) [In 20:20, they are held responsible for the dishonor, “they will die childless”]

      32. Having sex with your daughter-in-law (18:15) [In 20:12, both are to be put to death.]

      33. Having sex with your sister-in-law (18:16) [In 20:21, if you marry her, “they will be childless.”]

      34. Having sex with a woman and also having sex with her daughter or granddaughter (bad news for Alan Clark) (18:17) [No specific penalty given, but per 20:14 if you marry both of them, all three of you are to be “burned in fire.”]

      35. Marrying your wife’s sister while your wife still lives (18:18)

      36. Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19) [15:24 simply says the man will be considered unclean for 7 days. In 20:18, “Both of them are to be cut off from their people”]

      37. Having sex with your neighbour’s wife (18:20) [In 20:10, both are to be put to death.]

      38. Giving your children to be sacrificed to Molek (18:21) [In 20:2, the person is to be stoned to death.]

      39. Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22) [In 20:13, both are to be put to death.]

      40. Having sex with an animal (18:23) [In 20:15, both are to be killed.]

      41. Making idols or “metal gods” (19:4) [No penalty given.]

      42. Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9) [To be left for the poor. No penalty given.]

      43. Picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard (19:10) [To be left for the poor. No penalty given.]

      44. Stealing (19:11) [No penalty given.]

      45. Lying (19:11) [No penalty given.]

      46. Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12) [No penalty given.]

      47. Defrauding your neighbour (19:13) [No penalty given.]

      48. Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (not well observed these days) (19:13) [No penalty given.]

      49. Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14) [No penalty given.]

      50. Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15) [No penalty given.]

      51. Spreading slander (19:16) [No penalty given.]

      52. Doing anything to endanger a neighbour’s life (19:16) [No penalty given.]

      53. Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18) [No penalty given.]

      54. Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19) [No penalty given.]

      55. Cross-breeding animals (19:19) [No penalty given.]

      56. Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19) [No penalty given.]

      57. Sleeping with another man’s slave (19:20) [“Due punishment,” but not death, just a ram for sacrifice.]

      58. Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23) [No penalty given. May only apply to fruit trees planted in Israel.]

      59. Practising divination or seeking omens (tut, tut astrology) (19:26) [No penalty, but in 20:6 they will be “cut off from their people” by God. In 20:27, they are to be stoned to death.]

      60. Trimming your beard (19:27) [No penalty given.]

      61. Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27) [No penalty given.]

      62. Getting tattoos (19:28) [No penalty given.]

      63. Making your daughter prostitute herself (19:29) [“The land will turn to prostitution.” No other penalty given.]

      64. Turning to mediums or spiritualists (19:31) [No penalty given.]

      65. Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32) [No penalty given.]

      66. Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born” (19:33-34) [No penalty given.]

      67. Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36) [No penalty given.]

      68. Cursing your father or mother (punishable by death) (20:9) [Death, as noted.]

      69. Marrying a prostitute, divorcee or widow if you are a priest (21:7,13) [No penalty given.]

      70. Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11) [I.e., if you’re a priest. No penalty given.]

      71. Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28) [May apply only to sacrificial animals. No penalty given.]

      72. Working on the Sabbath (23:3) [No penalty given.]

      73. Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14) [Death.]

      74. Inflicting an injury; killing someone else’s animal; killing a person must be punished in kind (24:17-22) [Killing someone means death. Injuring someone mean punishment in kind. Killing or injuring another’s animal means punishment in kind.]

      75. Selling land permanently (25:23) [No penalty given.]

      76. Selling an Israelite as a slave (foreigners are fine) (25:42) [No penalty given.]

      Quite the list. Not many Christians today would go for all of those … but most would consider some of them as laudable commandments still applicable today.

      And for good measure,I’ll add this little bit (Leviticus 35-37):

      If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.

      Yeah, like that’s going to picked up by anyone today.

      ***One more thing, “trulyfedup1802”, I am not christian and while I was raised in the church I will NEVER return to a religion so full of hypocrisy. In fact I am sick of hearing christians prattle on at every turn. Intellect and experience prevents me from accepting the bible as truth and people like you are driving those who are searching for a loving entity to look elsewhere. You wield your book like a weapon. Congratulations.

      • @trulyfedup1802

        Hi trulyfedup1802

        Not sure if you picked up my earlier post? Food for thought…In your own words (try not to use any Bible verses). Can you explain the difference between belief and faith?

        Eagerly awaiting gay Christian

  131. Pingback: Resources for Pro-Love Christians | Hey Look, it's God!

  132. Excellent article and thank you for bringing this the forefront. Obviously from some of the replies, many still do not want to listen – just cast stones. And we know how that works out.

    Sadly – there ARE many who self-harm themselves, be that emotionally, spiritually, physically. People do that every day. The woman in an unhappy marriage over eats, the man stays late at work and the list goes on and on.

    At the same time, I’m happy to report there are resources and organizations out there that are here to support LGBT people of faith and their families. The Evangelical Network is one such group. I encourage you to check them out.

    Some LGBT people are Christians in spite of Christians. Being a Christian involves a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST – that doesn’t have to include his judgmental followers.

  133. I have heard testimonies of a completely opposite nature, where Christians expiriencing same-sex attraction were empowered by the love of Jesus expressed through Christians to move past such temptation and experience holiness and wholeness in Jesus, who spoke to us through His inspired Epistles in the same way He inspired his Apostles to select and record His earthly statements in the Gospels. We are all in the same boat in that, whatever our feelings, our Creator’s loving eternal protection for us is celibacy outside lifetime commitment marriage between husband and wife. Praise God, our Creator, for being able to see the end from the beginning and giving us a guidance greater than our ever changing culture-bound human wisdom.

    • Please share some of those testimonies, because I have an inbox full of hundreds of LGBT people telling me of their desire to be different, their fervent, relentless prayers, sometimes for decades to change, of their love and devotion to Jesus, and their horrible mistreatment in the Church.

      I’m talking with real people. I don’t need to have “heard testimonies” which may or may not even exist.

      I’ll be happy to read what you provide.

      • I think this is an amazing video that describes how someone can be devoted to God and remain pure to him, while still feeling same-sex attraction. It’s completely in-tune with God’s word. http://www.faithit.com/christian-woman-present-much-powerful-approach-homosexuality-pray-gay-away/

        Johndpav – I would also say that I’ve been part of very conservative churches all of my life and I’ve never seen mistreatment of people who have come out as gay. I’m sure it exists and happens, same as many mistreatment for whatever situation that people feel go against what God has taught us, but i don’t believe it’s the ‘norm’, by far. We are taught to treat all people with love, in all circumstances. Love doesn’t mean ‘accepting a way of life (for fellow Christians) that we feel is contrary to God’s word’, but you can’t help someone with hate/mistreatment, you can only help them out of love.

  134. Pingback: Love, God, and Sexuality | Socially Anxious Advocate

  135. Pingback: Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community | Church and Sex

  136. Pingback: “actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.” | Growing Old Ain't What I Thought It Would Be

  137. I understand there are those out there who have expressed their beliefs through violence. Unfortunately this happens on both sides of every argument. But violence and hate speech is not the answer. I feel you can still love the sinner without condoning the sin. My nephew is gay. I love my nephew but he is very sure of how I feel of his lifestyle.With that said, although I don’t agree with his choice, he is welcome in my home. We don’t ever exclude him from family functions. We let him bring his now ex-boyfriend to my husband’s birthday celebration last year. His mom asked us ahead of time if it was okay. We still treat him like family and a human being. But he knows we disagree with his choice. And that is my choice. I feel we’ve all been given different appetites and weaknesses to overcome. We are sent here to overcome the natural man in whatever that entails. Having same sex attraction is not a sin but acting on that temptation is. You may believe differently and that is your choice. I can agree to disagree. I wish the world didn’t have to resort to violence and hate speech, Christian or not, to make their message heard. Even on the comments from this article people resort to nasty name calling and vile hate speech in response to those who don’t share their same opinion. Can we not allow others to believe differently than we do? And in a civil manner? I’m okay with others not sharing my beliefs and views in life. But remember, showing love goes both ways. We need to show love before we can expect to receive it.

    • @nanjem

      Hi Nanjem. Just wanted to say that I agree with you that being respectful can help move discussions along. However, if women had been ‘respectful’ in the eyes of men since day one they would still not have a vote and would still be treated as second class citizens. Sometimes stronger words and action are required to wake people up. Try not to take it too personally.

      On another note…I understand from your post that it is your belief your nephew made the choice about being gay. Is this a fact or is it your own assumption about your nephew? Did you nephew say something like, “Hmm…I wonder what I’ll do today…I know…I’m going to abandon my heterosexual life and be gay from now on.” Interested to know because I’m gay and I can honestly say that I haven’t met one gay person including myself, who says they’ve chosen to be gay. So, I’m just wondering how you came to the conclusion that your nephew decided/chose to be gay.

      Yours respectfully

  138. John, this is a particularly good article.
    In many ways, I’d want to say that much of the church’s reaction depends on the congregation and the denomination (and frequently on the attitude of the individual minister/priest/pastor. As a recently (i.e., today) retired minister of a mainstream denomination, I hope that this wouldn’t happen in the congregations I know well. (But, being “straight”, I know I don’t experience the sharp end of this treatment myself.)
    I was at a seminar once where a gay bloke said that “coming out” as a Christian within the gay community was much more difficult for him than “coming out” as gay within his congregation. (But then, he was in a particularly good congregation in a reasonably good denomination.)

  139. I agree, those bent on “preaching the truth” neglect the fact that they/we are dealing with REAL PEOPLE, and what’s going on in their lives won’t necessarily fit into some neat little box. The church has done a horrible job over time of dealing with real-life situations, not just the gay/lesbian issue, but other matters such as divorce and domestic violence.

    However, actions are CHOICES. Though a person might not be able to change the fact that he or she is attracted to those of the same sex, ACTING on that attraction is indeed a CHOICE!

    My opinion only: A person who chooses to engage in a same-sex relationship is putting his or her desire for sex ahead of his or her desire for God, and that is idolatry.

    The church must do better and remember that people are exactly that, real-life people, and treat all people kindly, respectfully, and compassionately. However, what I suspect a lot of gay and lesbian people are wanting is to be told they can be part of the church and still live a homosexual lifestyle, that their actions are okay, and if they’re told that, it’s a lie. Would we tell a serial killer it’s okay to keep killing? Would we tell someone cheating on his or her spouse that it’s okay, and to keep on behaving as they are and the church will accept their behavior? No sin should be okayed or excused; however, all sin should be forgiven, and there is a huge difference!

    • @liudsouthertwang

      Your post is verging on the inciting hatred red line. To compare the love that two people share, with serial killers evil motives is evil in itself. In the interests of those vulnerable LGBTQ people who may be considering ending their lives through the pain they are suffering, please could you remove your post.

  140. You raise a very important point–unless you allow your heart to be changed by the feelings/experiences of others, you can’t really say you’re truly being loving. You can proof-text all you like to condemn your neighbor, but the real problem isn’t them–it’s your own heart. Hiding behind “God said it, not me” assumes both your interpretation is literally, “god” and that you cannot possibly be wrong. The sheer idolatry of both those premises might indicate this is a completely wrong approach to faith.

  141. Pingback: Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBTQ Community | RONDA'S DISCUSSION TOPIC OF THE DAY...