What It Is That Inspired the Writing of This Thesis
If you don’t care about what inspired me to write this material and want to skip to the beef of the post, start reading at “Tread carefully”!
I have written this entry in response to a status that I read on Facebook and the comments that followed it. I wasn’t nearly appalled at the status itself (given that it was written by a 14 year-old) as I was at the comments that followed it . I was ashamed, and hurt that some of the people whom I looked up to, who I referred to as friends, who called themselves followers of Jesus Christ, had such strong, judgmental, negative comments that they outspokenly expressed about homosexuality, and their reasons for believing such.
The status reads:
“How can you be for gay marriage and be Christian? That’s right… You can’t !! It goes clearly against [the] Bible!”
The status and comments can be found here:
You will have to weed through the bulk of ridiculous comments to get to the ones with actual content.
Tread carefully my “Christian” friends. You claim to not judge, but how else do you refer to outwardly expressing your blatant disagreement with something that, in your opinion, is sinful?
I think that many people today are confused as to what the word “judging” means, and what it means “to judge.” Judging is the process of passing a judgment. To judge is to simply form an opinion or conclusion about something. Essentially, it is to claim whether or not something is right or wrong. To simply claim that anything is wrong is in fact to pass a judgment. To state it out loud, or to go as far as giving any conditions which would make an individual “not Christian,” is undoubtedly blasphemous, I believe. I hope that we can all agree without debate that anyone who claims that any ‘sin’ would make someone “not Christian” is probably young, uneducated, misinformed, and a close minded bigot.
Some Christians love to use catchy phrases to justify their own condemnation and judgment of others.
Here are a few examples that I have gathered from the comments sections:
“…I’m simply stating what laws I live by”
“…I’m not sayin’ your wrong or not Christian, I’m just sayin’ that I choose to live by the Bible”
“I don’t judge gays. I just think it goes against the Bibles laws”
Christians also like to use the justification that the Bible does not directly say to not judge, but says to judge “….with right judgment” (John 7:24) and “….judge righteously” (Proverbs 31:9) to justify passing a judgment on any sin, idea, behavior, activity, or person. It’s extremely important to note two types of judgment acknowledged in the Bible: rightful judgment and wrongful judgment. The Bible must acknowledge that rightful and correct judgment exists because it is a necessity of life. You cannot go through life without judging whether or not you should do something, or whether or not something is right or wrong for you to do. It is essentially decision-making in its simplest form. It’s fairly easy to understand the line between rightful and wrongful judgment. If you are judging whether or not something is right or wrong for you, or whether or not you should do a particular task, then you are rightfully judging your own life. If you are judging anything to do with anyone but yourself—judging someone else’s actions, activities or behaviors—then you are judging wrongfully. The Bible makes careful note to not state that judgment is sinful, but to discourage it stating “judge not, and you will not be judged” in dozens of locations, as compared to the 3 verses I have found that could possibly encourage judgment in any way. If you conclude that these verses are in fact encouraging judgment, they are undoubtedly encouraging the judgment of your own life, and not of others.
Disregarded Bible Verses of the 21st Century
In response to what is “definitely not biblical” (@rebecca), so “clearly stated” (@jesse), “proof” (@aly @jesse), “apostatical” (@rebecca), or “false doctrine” (@rebecca), let us review a few other “clearly stated” verses:
-Disobedient children should be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
-If I chop your penis off you won’t go to heaven, despite your choice and/or inability to stop someone from removing it (Deuteronomy 23:1).
-One born to unwed parents may not attend church, or enter heaven until they have been cleansed by at least 10 generations of offspring (Deuteronomy 23:2).
-All women that have sex with men should be killed. Men should engage in sexual activities only with girls (Numbers 31:17-18).
-Women should not be allowed to speak during church (1 Corinthians 14:34).
-Killing interracial couples is a good deed in the eyes of the Lord (Numbers 25:6-1).
-If you were born to an unwed mother, you cannot enter the church (Deuteronomy 23:2).
-Women should not be allowed to pray with their heads uncovered, and it is a disgrace to a man if he has long hair (1 Corinthians 11:13-15).
-If evidence is found that a woman is not a virgin on her marriage night, then she should be put in front of the city and stoned to death by all the men (Deuteronomy 22:20-21).
-If your hand causes you to sin, it should be cut off. For a life handless is better than an eternity in Hell (Mark 9:43).
-Slavery should still exist (1 Peter 2:18; Ephesians 6:5).
This list can continue with more Old and New Testament laws listed above. Like many of you have said, you can’t pick and choose what to abide by and what not to abide by. The Bible was written by man, not God, leaving it open to a man’s bias and opinion. This idea within itself is controversial, however for the purpose of this entry I am going to try to stay fairly on topic and not drift away to other issues would could be greatly elaborated upon. Not only was it open to a man’s bias and opinion when it was written, but it was an opinion formed over 3,000 years ago.Do you know how different life was in the time period during when the Bible was written? It wasn’t written in English. It was written in Hebrew which had to be translated by PEOPLE—a translation which was left open to those PEOPLE’s interpretations. So to take any biblical verse literally, in a word for word interpretation, is idiocy. Besides, even if the Bible was somehow magically translated perfectly into English, without any influence from man, verses should still not being taken literally because most biblical verses are to be understood by reading a large passage as a whole to better understand the message that is intended to be delivered, relative to what is being discussed. And homosexuality as it was understood thousands of years ago, as referenced in the Bible, is certainly not anything close to what homosexuality is today.
Misconceptions About Homosexuality
What amazes me the most about these individual ideas and opinions that some people have about homosexuality is that you are convinced that someone’s sexuality can change or that they can repent from their sexuality; and by repent, I mean recognizing that their practicing of homosexual acts is sinful and turning away from that sin. Do you actually believe that can be? Talk to a few people who are actually homosexuals and see what they have to tell you about that. They all think that you’re a bunch of crazy lunatics in thinking so. It’s no different than asking a heterosexual to not practice heterosexual acts. Let’s be blunt: Do you really think that someone can change what gets their dick hard? I’ll answer it truthfully; you can’t. It is about as easily changed as getting Jesse Spear to have a boner when a hot guy touches him, or getting Beca Meals to want to bang a lesbian chick. Do you realize what exactly it is that you are asking? To actually convince a homosexual that changing their sexuality—or not acting on their sexual urges and romantic longing to fall in love—is possible, would be to have them spend a lifetime of misery trying to conform to someone’s opinion of homosexuality, or homosexual acts, as sinful. They won’t make it out alive; lives are ruined and are lost because of this. So sad. The discrepancy lies within the inability for most to recognize that homosexuality is no more of a choice than it is a choice that you choose heterosexuality. Disagree? Are you a homosexual? No? Oh, you’re not a homosexual, yet you know that homosexuality is a choice? You’re a heterosexual who acknowledges that you didn’t choose to be straight but claim that homosexuals chose to be gay? That is one of the most illogical arguments that I have ever heard. Someone’s sexuality isn’t a choice. And if it is, when did you choose to be straight? Still unsure of the answer? Well, there is only one way to find out the truth. Why don’t you go around and ask some homosexuals if they chose to be that way? If you are under the belief that it is not being a homosexual that is sinful, but the homosexual acts, then doesn’t this seems like an unfair advantage that God would have given to straight people? I’d be curious to see how many homosexuals tell you that they chose to be gay. I won’t even begin to explain how silly it would be for someone to choose a sexuality that society disgraces and plagues like a disease.
Homosexuality With Regards to the Church of the 21st Century
This is why the Church runs away gays, and why you don’t find very many gay Christians. The Church preaches a message of “it’s a sin just like any other sin” at best. For people who don’t know about Jesus or the Church, hearing a message, that the way they live their life and something which they have no control over is a choice, is the absolute last thing that they need to hear. They’ve probably already had enough turmoil throughout their lives just trying to accept who they are, worrying about what their family or friends might think about them or dealing with the shit people gave them over it. After coming to terms with themselves, the last thing that they need is Bible-thumpers telling them that their sexuality is a sin and that if they repent they will be “fixed.” It turns people away and gives a message of which I think Jesus would be quite ashamed. The Church needs a wake-up call. I’ve never heard of something as absolutely outrageous as calling someone’s sexuality sinful.
Thinking for Yourself
I don’t have all of the answers; but if you actually research some of this stuff, rather than quoting old and outdated misinterpreted Bible verses that applied to people that lived 3,000 years ago, you will find that there is just as much addressing of the few verses that reference ‘homosexuality as misinterpretations’ as there are referencing Bible verses that humanity seems to justify not following as ‘misinterpretations.’ Many people like to sit around quoting Bible verses. Why? Because it’s easy, and by nature people tend to look only for more support for their pre-existing ideas or opinions. If a Bible verse supports their theory, they use it; if it doesn’t, they ignore it. Can you believe that only 150 years ago Americans thought that slavery was acceptable and practiced it regularly—and that they found biblical ways to justify it? Crazy. Want to go on a real Bible adventure? Try researching why we no longer obey some of the New and Old Testament law. Try to find out why we can now eat raw meat, or meat boiled in water without the guts attached, despite scripture that prohibits it. The Bible is one of the oldest, most complex, amazing books ever known to man. I find myself in awe at its organization and how cleverly worded some of the statements are so that they could not be easily dislodged. Bible verses are more than meet the eye. Don’t just quote scripture as a basis for your argument.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
– 2 Timothy 3:16
For Those of You Plagued With the Question of Homosexuality vs. the Bible:
If you truly want an unbiased opinion, then do not listen to ANYONE or be swayed in any one direction by any biased person; and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that they are unbiased, because everyone is biased to some extent. I do acknowledge efforts to form an unbiased opinion. It is, however, still an opinion. Read the Bible for yourself and interpret the verses in your own way; read the passages in their entirety and never just a singled-out verse. You can develop your own personal beliefs this way. It may turn you away from Christianity or bring you more toward it. Either way, at least you’ll be able to back your decision intelligently and with evidence. For God to call something that cannot be changed and something that isn’t a choice ‘sinful’ doesn’t seem very loving to me. Therefore, I continue to search for answers to this age-old debate.