Why does Church neglect and persecute gay pople, especially gay Christians?
Why does Church neglect and persecute gay pople, especially gay Christians? Does Scripture or tradition warrant such crude, un-Christian behavior?
Let me say this first: you are a person in the image of God; no-one has the right to demonize, revile, neglect, persecute, and especially not assault you. I know that the church treats people with same-sex attractions like this. And I think it’s embarrassing, shameful, and, quite frankly, wicked. You have the right to love, care and respect just the same as anyone else.
Some homophobic behaviour is as if homosexuals are less than human. And that’s really revolting. That’s the kind of attitude that let the Nazis exterminate homosexuals along with the Jews in WWII. I’m committed to stamping out that attitude, as much as I’m able.
Secondly, being a Christian is not about being “good”. It’s about being forgiven. Paul says, in the book of Colossians, that God has “rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, [that is,] the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
If people have been condemning you & putting themselves forward as nice, clean, “good” Christians, they’re completely wrong. That’s the attitude that the Pharisees had. And you know what Jesus thought of them.
Thirdly, sex is good. Sexuality is part of what makes us human, it’s part of our core self identity. God created sex in the Garden of Eden itself (Genesis 2:24-25).
So if people have been condemning you for having same-sex attractions, it’ll really hurt. That’s normal. It’s condemning something that makes you to be you. I can’t imagine what it’s like. I’m single & celibate, but I’m heterosexual.
Now, in the rest of this answer, I’m going to have to say some things that might be hard to hear. Please give me a fair hearing.
We all get attracted to something that’s not God. The Bible calls it idolatry. It’s one way of talking about sin. Sin isn’t doing “bad” things. It’s putting other things before God.
When Adam & Eve rejected God, it changed the whole world. There’s lots of things wrong with the world. Things happen that God never intended. Floods, famines, sickness… God didn’t mean it to be this way. He meant it to be good & pure & wholesome (Gen 1:31). Wars, anger, abuse… God didn’t intend us to treat each other like that. He meant us to love each other & look after each other.
Part of everything going nuts was that our DESIRES went wrong as well. Instead of wanting to please God, we ignore God and do our own thing. Our desires aren’t in line with what God intended. In might be pride – we hate to admit we’re wrong. Or it might be anger, losing our temper a lot.
Or… it might be sex.
Sex was meant for one man & one woman, to bond them together (Gen 2:24). But that’s not how we use our sexuality any more. Our sexual desires aren’t in line with what God intended.
I know a guy who is heterosexual, has a high sex drive, and doesn’t bother trying to control it. He’s destroyed at least one woman’s life, I’m worried he’s just going to keep going from woman to woman, destroying them one by one.
I’m afraid the Bible says sex outside of heterosexual marriage is an expression of these wrong desires. Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly state, I think, that same-sex sexual expression is a wrong – that is, anti-God – desire.
Some scholars have sophisticated arguments for why these passages – and others, like Genesis 19, about Sodom & Gomorrah – don’t rule out faithful same-sex relationships. I’m aware of those arguments, and I’m not convinced. I won’t go into details – it’d take too long – but I can if you like.
“How can something be wrong if it feels so good?” Yeah, I know. When it comes to it, we all need to decide: are we going to follow what the Bible says about God, or go with our feelings? Most of the time, they’re going to be pointing in opposite directions.
Let me stress: it’s NOT as if same-sex attraction is somehow super-wicked, unforgivable. Jesus can forgive anything! Paul used to persecute Christians; he played a part in executing Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 8:1). If God can forgive Paul, then God can forgive anyone (1 Tim 1:15-16).
Let me distinguish between two things: same sex attraction, and same-sex practice. You said you’re in a three year long term relationship, so I take it you’re practising.
Like I said previously, we all struggle with ungodly desires. Becoming a Christian doesn’t get rid of these ungodly desires. The Bible rules out same-sex practice. Same-sex attraction is just one of those ungodly desires that some of us struggle with. The question for us is – are we going to control them, or indulge them?
“Wait a minute. You’re telling me that being Christian means I can’t express my fundamental sexual orientation?”
Well… yes, I am.
Jesus never said it was going to be easy. Quite the opposite. He said “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
There’s only one reason for you to bother. Read the Gospels again – Matthew, Mark, Luke & John – and see if you think Jesus is worth it. He gave his life for you; are you willing to give your life to him?
Like I said, I’m single & celibate. I’m getting old, I’ve almost graduated from Bible College, and once I actually get into ministry, it’s very difficult to go out with someone. I gotta be realistic – I’ll probably never be married & never have sex. So, I have the same options as you: honour Jesus and not indulge my sexual desires, or ignore Jesus and indulge my desires.
I know it’s not quite the same when you’re homosexual, so I can’t say I know exactly how it makes you feel. But there’s my challenge to you. Check out Jesus again. Make up your mind if you think he’s worth the sacrifice. I think he is. What do you think?
Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au