LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. It is the term used when referring to equal rights for this community of people.
In this post I will attempt to share my beliefs and Scripture about several important issues concerning how Christians should think about and react to LGBT issues.
First, all people are created equal. All humans bear God’s image. The image of course is broken in all people, but the fact that we are all broken and tainted by sin does not negate our value as human beings.
I have stated in another post recently that Christians are to love their enemies (meaning anyone who persecutes Christians). In addition to loving enemies, Christians are not to persecute others…becoming like enemies themselves.
It is never acceptable to treat others poorly or as less valuable humans because they are different. This principle extends to mental and physical handicaps, gender, ethnicity, age, and lifestyle practices.
It is not acceptable for Christians to hate people who are lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or who are transgendered.
What does the Bible say about the homosexual lifestyle?
Leviticus 18:22 states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
This verse reveals that before Christ came and fulfilled the Law, homosexuality was condemned.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 reads, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
This verse occurs after Christ came and fulfilled the law. It was also written by Paul to believers in Corinth, a town that was already accepting of same sex practices by the time this verse was written. Some have argued that the Bible references to same sex partnerships are cultural, but this is actually counter-cultural. The text suggests that Paul viewed homosexuality as an unacceptable lifestyle for Christians, even when the rest of society embraced the practice.
There are a number of other verses in Scripture that speak against same sex relationships, but none that affirm these relationships.
Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. As such, Christians are to live in accordance with what the Bible teaches about how to live.
***Therefore, it is not acceptable for Christians to embrace same sex relationships as an acceptable practice.***
That being said, Christians are not perfect. They are sinners and they are always in need of mercy and grace. They should extend that same mercy to others.
Just as muslims subject themselves to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith, and as Mormons subject themselves to the teachings of the Doctrine and the Covenants, and just as followers of other religions subject themselves to the teachings of the writings that they consider to be holy. Christians must subject themselves to the teachings of the Bible. Religions do not change their Holy Books if they believe those books actually contain the words of God. Humans have no right to alter God’s Word.
We are All Broken
We do not get our lives fixed so we can become Christians, we become Christians so God can help us fix our broken lives. The process of fixing our lives is the process of sanctification. This process is a lifelong pursuit.
We all have things with which we struggle. Some struggle with gluttony, some with lying, some with cheating, some with stealing, some with lust, some with pornography, some with using harsh words, and the list goes on.
As Christians, we cannot treat same sex attraction as something that is more offensive than other sins. Practicing Christians cannot openly say that they are liars and that they will continue lying because it is just who they are. Likewise, practicing Christians who are attracted to other people of the same gender cannot say that they will just continue living that lifestyle.
But even though Christians cannot embrace things the Bible speaks against, they may continue to have inclinations towards those things. If a drug addict becomes a believer, he or she is expected to stop using cocaine, but the desire to use cocaine may never go away. If someone becomes a Christan who is attracted to people of the same gender, that attraction may not go away either.
According to Scripture, God intends for Christians to either have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, or remain celibate.
That being said, God also hates divorce and it is a shame that so many people who claim to be Christians are willing to get divorces. Scripture is clear that Christians should only marry Christians not unbelievers. Yet, some Christians marry people who belong to other religions.
We need to seriously consider the implications of our choices and how they speak to the world when we condemn same sex marriage, but still find so many people getting divorces. Our own actions should speak to us about our fallen nature and our need for humility.
Conclusion 1: It is clear that Christians should not be practicing homosexuality, but it is also clear that Christians should not be singling out this practice as worse than other practices the Bible condemns. It is also clear that all humans are equally valuable and it is wrong for Christians to make those who practice homosexuality out to be our enemies. We are to live at peace with all people in as much as it is possible.
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual all speak to a persons inclination towards relational attraction. Whether it be women being attracted to women, men being attracted to men, and men or women being attracted to both men and women. Transgender is a bit different.
Someone who is transgender believes that his or her identity does not match his physical gender. Thus a person in a man’s body may believe that he identifies better as a female than as a male. The same can be said of someone in a woman’s body who believes that she identifies better as a male than a female.
Some believe they identify a neither male or female, and others believe they identify as both.
I believe this is due in part to the way that society has defined gender roles. Men like hunting and fighting and gathering food. Women like pink and princesses, and frilly things.
We must understand that there is a difference between gender and being masculine or feminine.
We must also recognize that influence of virtuous males and females is important to gender identity.
The Bible does not address the issue of living as a woman in man’s body or living as a man in a woman’s body. It also does not speak about people who are born with some male and some female physical parts.
Conclusion 2: We live in a fallen world where many things are not as they should be. As such, some people believe they are not as they should be. God is interested in redeeming all people. He desires that all come into his fellowship and become adopted into his family. God takes broken people with all their sins and in spite of all their sins and he works on fixing them. No people are as God is making them to be until the resurrection. Only then will we all see things as God desires us to see things.
While I do not believe that people who become Christians should in rebellion to Scripture practice homosexuality, I do believe that those inclined towards it can become Christians. May we all have the humility to realize that we are each flawed and that we are all continually in need of God’s grace and mercy.
I pray that Christians in this generation will learn to love those in the world the way that Christ loved us while we were still dead in our sins. I pray that we will stop vilifying people and be about the business of sharing hope. I pray that we will see all humans as being intrinsically valuable regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc. I pray that we will show the world the love of God and not just the wrath of man.
While I do not agree with the practice of homosexuality, as a Christian, I do not find it wise to insult and hurt those who choose that kind of lifestyle. I am called to love all people, even when I disagree with some of their practices. Their choices do not keep me from being kind, helping, conversing with, or befriending them.
Just as Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners, so we should love those who are different. Just as Jesus never lowered his expectations for calling sinners to salvation, neither should we lower or change our standards for offering that same salvation to lost and hurting people in our world today.