The Bible and Being Gay
By Tiffany Wismer
There is a list of sins in the Bible. And being gay (that is, practicing homosexuality) is on the list. And if you are a person who is attracted to the same sex… well, what now?
Before I get to that, consider this – when most of us read a book, or a blog, or the newspaper, we take the words at face value, right? We assume the author is speaking plainly, and that he is trying to make his meaning clear to us. If the author says something we think is ignorant or untrue, we simply shut the book, click away from the page, or throw the paper in the can.
But our approach to the Bible is totally different. When we find something in the Bible that we don’t like, we don’t just toss it aside. Instead, the temptation is to try to change it. Why? Because we know the Bible is holy. It’s from God and we can’t just ignore Him. So, we listen to Satan’s first lie all over again: did God really say?
Let me be perfectly clear. This is a painful subject, but it is not a confusing one. The Bible does actually say, in the plainest language, that it is sinful to practice homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10). If it was any other book, nobody would care. The book would go in the trash and that would be the end of it. But this is God’s Word. And God is saying “I don’t like homosexuality. Don’t do it.”
So, what if you’re gay? What if, from as long as you can remember, you’ve been attracted to the same sex? What do you do? If you can’t throw the Bible out, and you can’t change it, what options do you have? Is hell unavoidable? Not at all. Rather, Christ’s invitation is the same to you as it is to any other person.
The Bible and Being Gay: Jesus Didn’t Come to Judge
Jesus says: “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” John 12:46 Jesus does not judge you on the basis of your sins. I’ll say it again: if you don’t keep God’s commands (the law) Jesus doesn’t judge you. Instead, he came to save you.
But we can’t stop there. In the very next verse, Jesus says: “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” John 12:47 The one who rejects Jesus will be judged on the last day – after death, when they stand before God. What does this mean? It means that rejecting Jesus – not homosexuality or theft or adultery or any other sin – is ultimately what sends a person to hell. A person who comes before God’s throne without Jesus will be judged according to the “word that [He] has spoken”. In other words, they will have to answer to the law of God, and that’s a bad place to be because as it says in Galatians 2:16 “by works of the law no one will be justified.”
Every one of us is a sinner. Take sex out of the equation entirely, and it’s still true. The day we first disobeyed our parents and stole a cookie from the jar, we were sinners. It is our nature. It is what we are. There is no difference between straight or gay, we have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10). The only way to Heaven, for any person struggling with any sin, is faith in Jesus Christ. “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” Romans 3:28
The Bible and Being Gay: Did God Really Say?
If you are gay, absolutely nothing is gained by putting your head in the sand and denying that God really meant what He said about homosexuality. Is practicing homosexuality a sin? Yes. But so are lots of other things you do – lots of other things ALL people do. And Christ’s invitation is the same for you as it is for every person, “repent and believe” (Mark 1:15) “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:1-21)
When I came to the Lord, I had lots of sins and burdens. Some of them went away as soon as I got saved. But others didn’t. That’s the way it is. It keeps us dependent on His grace. Even the Apostle Paul still struggled against sin (Romans 7:7-25; 1 Timothy 1:15). So, can I promise you that you will stop feeling attracted to the same sex if you accept Christ? No. Chances are you’ll still struggle with your sin – like all Christians do. But I can promise you this: the peace of the Lord’s forgiveness and the hope of eternal heaven is more than worth a few decades of suffering.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliott
Image Credit: Elvert Barnes; "Hand.Bible."; Creative Commons