Gay Christian Question - Jesus Selfie“The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.” -Adam Smith, The Money Game

In this series we are studying and discussing the question of whether one can be gay and Christian.

As we stated in last week’s intro, the question of whether one can be a “gay Christian” is currently one of the most prominent and heated debates within Christendom.

Often, simply asking the question, “Can one be gay and Christian?”, sparks an immediate and fiery response.

It is reminiscent of political discourse…where opposing candidates rattle off “tested and targeted” one-liners but never really say anything of substance.

I have been guilty of doing this. How about you?

The purpose of this series is to move beyond one-liners in order to better understand what the Bible says and doesn’t say about being gay.

Before we start digging in to Bible verses, cultural context, and interpretive methods let’s look at ourselves and make sure we know exactly what we are asking and what biases we bring to the conversation.

A mental selfie…

If you have Facebook or Instagram then you have undoubtedly seen “mirror selfies”.  If you have not seen a “mirror selfie” it is where a person uses their smartphone to capture a photo of themselves while standing in front of a mirror (like the image above).

These moment-in-time photos can sometimes reveal a lot about a person or a person’s personality.

What I would like for us to do today is take a mental selfie; an inventory of what we think and bring to the gay Christian question.

Why do this?

  1. As the quote at the beginning of the post states, knowing who we are and what we already think and believe about being gay will help us recognize when we are simply being biased, despite evidence that says we should believe something different.
  2. If we write down our beliefs we can look back in a few months and see how those beliefs have been reinforced by evidence or torn down by evidence.

So, pull up your favorite note-taking app and answer these three questions for yourself!

1. What are we really asking?

The somewhat polite question we tend to ask is, “Can a person be gay and Christian?” But what do really mean when we ask this question?

Are we asking…

  • Can a person be attracted to another person of the same sex and be a Christian?
  • Can a person be in a non-sexual same-sex relationship and be a Christian?
  • Can two people of the same sex be married and be Christian?

Or, if we are completely honest with ourselves, are we really asking…

Can a gay couple have sex and be Christian, regardless of their marital status?

Below is why I think, underneath all the political correctness, this is the real question:

  • The Bible verses we will be looking at all have to do with sexual activities between people of the same sex, but not necessarily in a gay relationship as we know it today.
  • In general, the Bible and the Church celebrate relationships built on love and respect. It is when lust and sex enter those relationships that the issue of whether one has sinned is introduced.

In other words, I don’t think loving relationships are the issue…it is about gay sex!

The question I would like for you to ask yourself is…

What do I believe and think about gay sex?

Now, look…I am not trying to be perverted here. I am not inviting you to fantasize about gay sex. We are all adults and have some basic understanding of the mechanics of sexual intercourse, both gay and straight. I am simply asking you to have the courage to be honest about your gut feelings.

Does the thought of gay sex repulse you? Or, does it seem acceptable to you?

Knowing how you feel about this question before you start reading Bible verses that talk about same-sex intercourse will help you know your bias and read the texts more objectively.

2. What are your current views/beliefs about whether a Christian can be gay?

My gut says that most Christians have never seriously studied what the Bible says about being gay.

Most of us rely on our local pastors or favorite celebrity pastors to tell us what the Bible says about being gay, as well as many other topics.

In the first post of in this series I listed a few reasons why allowing others to answer this question for us is unacceptable:

Because taking the easy way out, by carrying the denominational or political party line instead of investing the time to study the facts, is unloving and inexcusable.

Because how you and I answer this question affects the lives of real people…maybe your child, cousin, friend, or coworker.

Because people on both sides are being harmed by ignorance.

Because misrepresenting what the Bible teaches about being gay, one way or the other, is dishonest and hurtful.

Needless to say, I believe studying the gay Christian question is one of the most important topics of study this decade. I applaud all of you who take the time to honestly study this question, whether it be via this series or other resources.

The question I would like for you to ask yourself is…

Do I think it is possible to be gay and Christian? Why?

You don’t have to write a dissertation. A simple yes or no and brief explanation as to why you believe what you do is sufficient to help you know what knowledge or opinions you bring to the study.

3. How do you read the Bible?

Your gut response might be, “I open it and start reading it the same way you do dummy!”

I get you. If I were reading someone else’s blog I would probably respond in a similar fashion. 🙂

By “how do you read” I really mean “what do you believe” about the Bible?

To assume we all read/view the Bible the same is ignorant. We don’t.

Though doing an in-depth discussion on the multiplicity of views on what the Bible is and isn’t is outside the scope of this series, how we view the Bible and its contents greatly affects how we weight the conclusions we draw from our study.

In technical terms we are talking about at least two theological ideas:

  • Theories on the inspiration of the Bible.
  • Theories on Biblical inerrancy.

Below are the most common theories on Biblical inspiration:

  • Plenary Verbal Inspiration – Belief that every single word in the Bible is the very word of God but was written in the style in the personalities of the authors. This is the traditional orthodox view of inspiration. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)
  • Limited Inspiration – Belief that the Bible is primarily the work of man with “limited” inspiration from God.
  • Dictation Inspiration – Belief that God dictated every word of the Bible and the authors were simply dictating what they heard.
  • Neo-orthodox Inspiration – Belief that the Bible is a mediator to the Word of God, which is God. Though written by man, God can use the Bible to speak to us.

Below are the two most common views on  Biblical Inerrancy:

  • Biblical Inerrancy – The view that when all the facts become known, they will demonstrate that the Bible in its original autographs and correctly interpreted is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether that relates to doctrines or ethics or to the social, physical, or life sciences.
  • Biblical Errancy – The view that, though the Bible was inspired and is authoritative, it is not free from error.

The question I would like for you to ask yourself is…

Which view of inspiration and inerrancy best describes how I read the Bible?

Knowing how we read/view the Bible will help us know how much weight we give the conclusions we come to in our study.

So, let’s review. Below are my three question for you:

  1. What do I believe and think about gay sex?

  2. Do I think it is possible to be gay and Christian? Why?

  3. Which view of inspiration and inerrancy best describes how I read the Bible?

If you feel inclined to share one or more of your responses please feel free to do so on Facebook or in the comment section below.

Do you know someone who would be interested in this series? If so, please share this series using the sharing buttons.


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