My original stance on LGBT issues was that Christians should just minimise it, and focus on more important matters. However, after careful reflection on scripture, I have come to the conclusion that this is not an issue which we can be avoidant or agnostic about.
LGBT discriminatory measures are sinful, and should be universally denounced by followers of Jesus. I wish it was sinful in just one way, however based on scripture there are at least 3 ways in which condemnation and exclusion of LGBT people are contrary to Christianity:
1. It promotes homosexuality of the heart
“Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
I agree that homosexual acts are wrong, but this applies to those who are of heterosexual orientation. The real question is this; are we concerned about homosexuality of the body or of the heart.
When Jesus said these words about what proceeds from the heart, he established a very important biblical principal; that sin is not a pollution of the body but rather a pollution of the heart.
Why then, when we read about biblical restrictions on homosexuality, do so many people assume it is a body problem rather than a heart problem? Specifically, homosexuality of the heart is when one engages in sexual relations where there is no spiritual or emotional compatibility and thus no possible development of a loving relationship.
For a heterosexual person, homosexuality of the body and homsexuality of the heart occur jointly. However, the reverse is true for a person with a genuine same-sex attraction; sex with the opposite sex will be correctly bodily oriented, but the heart is going against God’s design for loving mutual compatibility.
An example of homosexuality of the heart might be a homosexual-oriented male who goes to bed with a women, but knows in his heart that such relationship is doomed to failure as he does not feel any genuine emotional attraction or love torwards her. He would just be using her pure sexual indulgence, and it is truly an abomination.
To be clear, what I am saying is this: Christian efforts to “fix” homosexuality are sinful, because they encourage relationships that are based on what body parts fit together rather than fitting hearts and souls together, and in doing such they risk making an idol out of the human body.
In the gospel, we see a passage where the Pharisees made an idol out of observing the Sabbath. When the Pharisees criticized Jesus diciples for breaking the Sabbath, Jesus rebuked them by saying “The Sabbath was created for man, and not man for the Sabbath”. It is perhaps an understandable mistake for the Pharisees to make, as they only had the prophets to guide them. However, we today have the direct words of Jesus to instruct us, and so every Christian should diligently reflect on this question; was sexual procreation created so that mankind would love, or was love created so that mankind would procreate?
If you take seriously Jesus’ call to love God and our neighbors as our utmost commandment, then I truly believe you will arrive at the same conclusion as I have.
2. It prosecutes the already afflicted:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of dust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
I agree that homosexuality is contrary to God’s design, but the question is this: who is the victim and who is the perpetrator?
If we look at the concept of homsexuality in ancient times, it was associated with pedophelia and prostitution. These were relationships either without consent, or with such a power imbalance as to render consent meaningless. Having a mutually loving homosexual relationship was unheard of in ancient times. I believe there is a very good reason for that, which is that at that time there were far less things in our food and environment which could interfere with our DNA, hormones, and overall sexual development. So I would argue that LGBT people are actually afflicted; they are victims of modern chemicals, which have infered with God’s design. The science behind this is still in progress, but it is an undisputed fact that chemicals can impact sexuality. I don’t see how we can expect to pollute God’s creation and there to be no consequences for our own biology. So if you are really truly anti-LGBT, then you really should be an environmental activist.
Some will object that God would not let his design be subject to such tampering, but then how do we explain modern increases in cancer, autism, and other disabilities caused by altered DNA? To take such a position is to say that God is ok with allowing genetic modifications that result lifelong disabilities, but draws the line when it comes to sexual genes and hormones being altered.
If having an altered sexual orientation is actually an affliction, then LGBT persons are tragically being persecuted by the very people which God intended to bless them. It is sinful, because Jesus calls on us to heal and care for the afflicted, and yet many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have only been further afflicting and afflicted.
Shouldn’t we rejoice when two afflicted people can find love and acceptance with one another? Instead, many Christians have tried to deny them the life-affirming relationship of marriage, which is only second to our relationship with God. Many Christians cannot even deny themselves from indulging in affairs and pornography, and yet many of these same people find themselves at liberty to be judging the mutually loving relationships of LGBT persons. Even if one believes LGBT relationships are inherently sinful (which I do not believe is so), is that not a speck in the eye compared to the huge plank of hatred in the eye of those who judge and discriminate against them? The Bible tells us that your own judgement against their (perceived) sexual sin will be used as a guide to judge your own.
But do consider this; if someday in the future you are in a car crash and the only way doctors can save you is transplant your brain into a recently deceased member of the opposite sex, what would you do? Would you follow your Church’s teaching and find a partner compatible in flesh, even though your mind may fell revulsion at such a state? Or would you remain celibate the rest of your life?
As a heterosexual myself, if I suddenly found myself in a female body with my existing male brain, I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to be intimate with a man. That is a burden I myself could not bear, and so I am in no position to place that same burden on those who claim that the sexual orientation of their mind and body are for some reason out of sync.
As Christians, let us always remember that we are called to not by hypocritical, not be judgemental, not to place burdens on others that we ourselves would not bear, and not despise the afflicted of the world. LGBT discrimination is a plank in the eye of the Church, and it should be removed.
3. It makes us the gatekeepers of who can come to Jesus.
“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I agree that the Church needs to be holy before God. However the question is this; does including those deemed “unholy” enhance our detract from our own holiness?
I would argue that the church is made more in the image of Christ when we accept into the Church those who may be considered unholy or unclean. Jesus did not find himself defiled by those around him, even though they were among the worst of sinners. Similarly, even if you disagree with everything I have said so far, you should still agree with me that LGBT persons should be included in the Church. To do otherwise is to act as gatekeepers in deciding who gets to hear the gospel.
To exclude anyone though is a very dangerous thing, because Jesus set no such prerequisites for coming into his presence.
Perhaps it is because some think it is “safer” to take the traditional view in excluding LGBT persons, however perhaps these people have not considered that if they are wrong, they are participating in denying another child of God from coming to Jesus and receiving eternal life. There is absolutely nothing safe about withholding the gospel for those who God has intended it for.
Based on the actions of Jesus, I really do not think God would be offended by the presence of LGBT persons, even if they are the worst of sinners (which again, I do not think is so). However, I am very certain that God is offended when we serve as gatekeepers of His gospel, and open it to only those who we think are worthy.
Those are the three main ways that condemnation of LGBT persons is sinful, however I feel that it is even much worse and sinful than I have portrayed. If anything my arguments and rebuke should be stronger, as I believe that writing this was a burden placed on me by the Holy Spirit. While I do have sympathy for LGBT rights, there is an even greater issue at stake, which is that the next generation of Christians are abandoning their faith en masse. I believe that hypocrisy shown between what Jesus taught versus how the church generally treats LGBT persons is one of the leading causes. So while I fully support LGBT inclusion in the church, my main agenda is actually not to advance LGBT rights, but rather to save our next generation from losing their faith in Jesus and eternal salvation. This issue is blocking the light of Christ from shining into the hearts of LGBT persons, and even our next generations, and so I pray that the faithful will repent and lead the way in calling for it’s removal.