This is another post in my celebration of my local pride week, and a continuation of my exploration into how the Bible discusses (and, frankly, doesn’t discuss) homosexuality.
And again, I provide the disclaimer that my views are my own and I don’t claim that they represent opinions of any community, LGBTQ+ or otherwise.
In my last related post, I talked with a pastor who believes homosexuality is a sin.
While we had a great, cordial conversation, I just can’t understand how a group of people who claims to spread the message of love can be so hateful.
I know the message is that they hate homosexuality out of love, but that just doesn’t add up to me.
It’s not love to condemn or judge someone. It’s love to accept them.
As I’ve had conversations with those of the “homosexuality is a sin” viewpoint, I get the same handful of verses thrown at me (more on that in another post). Well, two can play at that game.
1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
Not God is love, unless you’re gay. Wait, that’s not what it says.
Matthew 7:1-3: “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 sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’”
I’ve more commonly heard this as “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” which sounds way cooler.
Jeremiah 31:3: “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Everlasting love, y’all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I’m honestly just Googling random verses that prove my point. Anyone can do it. I do get the appeal, it’s kind of fun. It’s like playing with stats until you get them to say what you want them to say…not that I’ve ever done that.
I joke and snark, but in all honesty, I just want us all to get along. Can’t we live in peace and be kind to one another?
7 Deadly Sins & 7 Virtues
Speaking of sin, that seems to be the ultimate divider of how someone feels about homosexuality. If they see it as a sin, their interpretations reflect that. And vice versa if they don’t see it as a sin.
Christianity has the seven deadly sins:
I don’t see homosexuality on there. I mean, I guess pride is on there, but come on. I feel like that’s not what God meant.
(Hi, I’ve been waiting to make that joke for WEEKS.)
Homosexuality is often filed under the lust category, but discussions in the Bible around lust focus on adultery, rape, fornication before marriage, and bestiality.
On the other hand, the seven virtues (each of which correlates with a sin) are:
- Chastity (Lust)
- Temperance (Gluttony)
- Charity (Greed)
- Diligence (Sloth)
- Patience (Wrath)
- Kindness (Envy)
- Humility (Pride)
I’d like to see more kindness and humility from those who are against homosexuality for religious reasons.
Why can’t we focus on living by the positives aspects of the teachings of the Bible rather than the condemnation? Let’s nail down those virtues before we move to condemning others’ sins.
Most of my religious upbringing was centered around love, kindness, forgiveness, and treating others well. It wasn’t focused on scare tactics and judging others for their sins. I attribute this (and I see it solely as a positive) to my wonderful mother.
The Fiery Pits of Hell
When I was in high school, and several years into my skepticism around religion, we had a guest pastor in church. By guest pastor, I mean he was brought in to give the sermon for one week and one week only.
What topic do you think he decided to tackle as a guest preacher? Homosexuality.
I don’t recall the details of the sermon because I was enraged. I do recall him saying something along the lines of, “all homosexuals will burn in the fiery pits of hell.”
Granted, this sermon took place in a church in rural, conservative, podunk Iowa, so the message actually resonated with most of the audience.
Not me. I got up and walked out.
And sadly, that’s the not the last time I heard about the fiery pits of hell.
One Post Left
My third and final post on the topic of homosexuality and the Bible will dive into research on the Bible verses Christians use to condemn homosexuality and the different interpretations of each. Then I’ll be back on my regular daily reading schedule.
Until then, listen to Ellen: Be kind to one another.
(Trigger warning: suicide.)
This post is brought to you by Gay Rainbow Sisters…because it’s too perfect. I have a few of their bracelets, and it’s where I go when I need anything in rainbow colors. Here are some of my favorites: