Can You Be Gay and Christian?

I Googled the question "Can you be gay and Christian?" to see what links are listed. Tragically, the first link provided is from the anti-gay site International House of Prayer (IHOP), promoting Dr. Michael Brown's unaffirming book by the same title: Can You Be Gay and Christian? The second link provided directs people to Brown's anti-LGBTQ book on Amazon. The third link provided directs people to the anti-LGBTQ site Living Out Loud, hosted by Christians who are gay but refuse to be called "gay Christians," who claim to be "committed to what the Bible clearly says, and what the church has always taught, about marriage and sex." (emphasis added)

The word "clearly" is rhetorical manipulation at best. The fourth link is from the anti-gay site Focus on the Family. There is, on the first page, only one LGBTQ-affirming link. I checked with search engine Bing and did not find even one affirming link on the first page. If an LGBTQ person was wondering whether or not an individual in their respective context could trust in Jesus, and be a Christian, that person may conclude that Christianity is only for heterosexuals.

I admit that was a bit of rhetoric, though, and not entirely accurate. Conservative evangelicals have cornered the market on the question of being gay and Christian and the answer remains this: A "same-sex attracted" individual may, indeed, trust in Christ and become a born again Christian; but that person must remain single and celibate for life. Should said person fall in love with someone of the same gender then that person shall not enter heaven. Moreover, the person is encouraged to explore the origin(s) of homosexual or bisexual or transsexual or other sexual/metaphysical orientation so as to correct the aberrant condition. I disagree.

First, I am gay, and I am Christian. I have been attracted to my own gender since at least 5 years old. I never asked for it; at times I didn't want it; but this is, simply, reality. I learned about Jesus and God's saving grace as a child and I, as an adult homosexual male, at age 27, trusted in Christ so as to be born again -- and I did experience an inward change. Suddenly I wanted to worship the Lord, pray, study Scripture, attend worship regularly, sing Christian music in and outside of church, attend Christian conferences, etc. All the "typical signs" of the born again experience were mine. Before trusting in Christ I had no interest into the life and existence of God; and, after trusting in Jesus, I wanted to seek God, please God, follow Christ and worship.

Second, "ex-gay" theory is merely a fabricated notion of mostly well-wishers, promoted by heterosexual evangelical Christians with a strict politically right-wing anti-LGBTQ agenda. The likes of Christopher Doyle, and other "ex-gay ministries" (Restored Hope, Voice of the Voiceless, Love in Action, Courage International, JONAH, North Star, Joel 225 International, One by One), are well-meaning but misguided and purely belonging to the rubbish bins of junk science. The likelihood of you becoming a heterosexual by "ex-gay" methods, if such could be measured, is the width of a single strand of hair; and, even then, the uncertainty that you would no longer be attracted to the same gender at any given time, presently or in the future, is simply incalculable.

Third, I have not always been LGBTQ-affirming, as many already know. I have been shunned by many conservative evangelicals who have rendered me irrelevant, or informed me that I have "fully abandoned biblical™ Christianity," and, so, only two genuine scenarios exist: I either 1) lost my salvation once I concluded that I could love a guy and still be Christian (yet if I change my mind in the future then I suppose I am magically still saved or, perhaps, I need to "get saved" all over again); or 2) I was "never really saved to begin with," which is my personal favorite. But maybe there is yet a third scenario: I am an authentically regenerate gay Christian.

WES BREEDWELL: FORMERLY OF ROCKETOWN

Fourth, I have been watching my spiritual life, questioning if I have experienced any negative changes: e.g., not wanting to worship, not wanting to pray, not wanting to read Scripture or talk about the Lord with others or gather with brothers and sisters in Christ at church. None of those spiritual aspects have weakened. The changes I have noticed, though, are all positive.

I remember the first time I thanked the Lord for Matty, my boyfriend, as tears welled-up in my eyes. I remember how liberating the experience was to be thanking God for love in my life through Matty. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I could ever love the Lord and love a guy at the same time. I was taught all my life that the two could not co-exist: I had to choose between loving God and loving a guy. Can you be gay and Christian? Absolutely. Is there a separate sexual ethic for Christian homosexuals than for Christian heterosexuals? Absolutely not. We are all still called to "be holy" as God is holy. (1 Pet. 1:16) What caused this change in me?

Once I discovered that God did not rain down judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1-29; cf. also a similar account at Judges 19:1-30) because of "homosexual offenses" -- given that the men in those and the surrounding villages (as also found at Judges 19:1-30) were heterosexual married men with children of their own, and that, in their honor-shame culture, they practiced male gang rape in order to shame their perceived enemies, a practice that remains to this day in parts of the world (and note that gang rape is not synonymous with homosexuality) -- I decided that the other five so-called clobber passages needed to be reconsidered.

Having concluded the year-long study, I became an LGBTQ-affirming gay Christian, someone who considers the passages within the scriptures on human sexuality as not condemning, not even explicitly addressing, the loving (not lustful but loving) relationship between two men or two women. We cannot consider Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 as proscribing loving homosexual relationships: see "The Abomination Above All Abominations" for the answer. We cannot consider Romans 1:18-32 as proscribing loving homosexual relationships given the context of heterosexual men and heterosexual women "giving up" their heterosexuality in order to indulge in homosexual lust and promiscuity: see "Exchanging the Natural for the Unnatural."

We are left, then, with only two passages (1 Cor. 6:9-10 and 1 Tim. 1:10). I remain unconvinced that what St Paul is describing is loving homosexual relationships: see "Malakoi, Arsenokoitai, and Homosexuality" and "Why Does God Condemn the Malakoi?" I do believe, in theory, that sexuality is innate and that we are, howsoever, born with a certain biological sexual proclivity respective to each individual: see "Nature | Disposition | Orientation." You may disagree with my findings, which are the same conclusions that many biblical scholars (scholars of the Bible) have discovered, and that is your prerogative. You may even think that I am going to hell and am not a genuine regenerate believer. That is also your prerogative. Thankfully, I have not you but an advocate with God, and His name is Jesus. (1 John 2:1) His Spirit remains within me, guides my spiritual gaze toward Christ, and keeps me in eternal life. I will follow Him.

5 comments:

Hugh Krone said...

This post is more convincing than all the others. I know what you mean about researching the topic as I recently found my sources for my Christianity and Homosexuality, for school. These are all Peer reviewed journals and still it is much easier to mind articles bashing gays than anything else. Since my paper will focus more on how to counsel LGBT folks and I will be startting from a framework that there are gay Christians these articles took a little more work and even still I'll probably be disagreeing with most of them.Since I have decided to come out on your side I spend much time in prayer, both for you and that you are right, but I always believed God knows our hearts and I believe your heart is with Christ as least as much if not more so than most anyone else I know.God Bless you Billy hopefully someday we'll be discussing this on the other side of glory. P. S. I'm bogged down with homework which is why I won't post this one public I don't have the time to deal with the haters right now and I just don't feel I have anything to prove anymore, my life can be my witness for now, at least

The Episcocrat said...

Hugh,

Thank you, brother. My hope is that we will get to discuss this and more in person someday -- we live relatively too close to miss the opportunity in the future.

Your work (and your own spiritual life and family) is more important than fighting this out on Facebook, lol. No worries, my friend!

God bless!

Catherine Cheek said...

The Episcopal Church understands that people don't choose homosexuality. And I believe that churches that condemn homosexuality are missing the blessings of some wonderful people. Inclusiveness, what a fantastic thing.

Catherine Cheek said...

The Episcopal Church understands that people don't choose homosexuality. And I believe that churches that condemn homosexuality are missing the blessings of some wonderful people. Inclusiveness, what a fantastic thing.

The Episcocrat said...

Catherine,

Thank you so much! My experience has been the same: TEC is so blessed by its inclusiveness nature. What a wonderful, diversified God we worship and love!

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ABOUT WILLIAM BIRCH

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My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.