What the Bible Says about Being Gay

It is interesting that there are those who choose to pick out various texts from the Torah (the Law) because they suppose that the texts support a certain form of fundamentalist bigotry that is current among the supposedly more religious element of our population. These people ignore any texts, or traditions, that would mitigate or dissolve that bigotry.

For centuries some fundamentalist Jews and Christians have taught that the Torah supported slavery, the subjugation of women to the role of mere property, the murder of women who were suspected of being witches, and now, the oppression of gays and lesbians.

Just as today’s Christian and Jewish theologians point out that the Torah NEVER EVER supported slavery, the subjugation of women or the murder of witches and sorcerers, so too will tomorrow's theologians tell us that those who were casting the first stones at gays and lesbians today “were not the true Christians (or religious Jews).” And they will be RIGHT, just as they are right when they tell us that the Crusaders who marched through Europe burning and murdering Jews “were not the true Christians” though they were being led by pious priests and bishops of the Church who were telling them that the killing of Jews was what Christ wanted of them. Today, it is hard for us to look back and tell who the "true" Christians really were. What will we see from the perspective of tomorrow?

Modern genetic science has shown that homosexuality is the natural state of being for some human beings. If that is truly the case, and I believe that it is, based upon the scientific studies posted upon the Internet by actual genetic scientists connected with prestigious universities, then it is God who is responsible for the condition of homosexuality just as it is God who is responsible for the condition of heterosexuality. To say that homosexuality is deviant behavior is to say that God made a mistake.

John 1:3 states, "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." So if one asks, "Does homosexuality or transsexuality exist? If so, who created it?" The answer is clear.

So let's look at some of the verses that Christians use to oppress those who are different:

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 (essentially the same text): "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." The question is, is this referring to homosexuality as a form of an expression of love between two males who live in a monogamous relationship together? Or, is this referring to homosexual liaisons between men who basically are not in a committed relationship, but are just being sexually permissive? Or, is our text referring to PRIESTLY, and not to the everyday rank and file Israelite's sexual practices? Or, is the text referring to an inability of a person to control their sexual urges by telling them to "get a hold of your emotions, control your bodily functions?"

Like all indigenous peoples, the Jews were not overly concerned about male homosexuality, where two men lived together in a monogamous, sexual relationship. As a rule, it did not get any notice. The Talmud does not record a single instance of a person being brought before the Sanhedrin on the charge of homosexual activity. All Jewish authorities agree that nowhere in the Torah does it prohibit homosexual sexual acts by women.

In the 3rd century CE, the Talmud records that Rabbi Huna tried to legislate against lesbians being able to marry a High Priest but his colleagues ruled against him. They said that it was not permissible to prohibit what the Torah permits. If the Torah was referring to homosexuality in general, why would it just address only male homosexual activity and not also female homosexual activity?

Looking at the verses around this one (including the prohibition of sex during menstruation), we see references to incest and sex with animals. And if you go back to the beginning of chapter 18, God tells the Jews to not be like the people of Egypt or Canaan, where some religious practices involved same-sex intercourse as part of their rituals.

And is it really the normal homosexual practice for one man to lie with another man as though he were lying with a woman? A gay man is generally fully aware that he is with a man and does not think of, nor treat his partner, the same way.

Genesis 19:5 and Judges 19:22 are often used to amplify the prohibitions against homosexual sex, yet they clearly refer to degradation and rape, not the loving, committed relationships that God blesses. The temple male prostitutes described in I and II Kings also clearly refer to practices resembling those of Egypt and Canaan, which God had already warned them about.

The last Old Testament verse that is frequently used as a club is Deuteronmy 22:5: "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this." In addition to the common prohibition against cross-dressing, some denominations go so far as to forbid women from wearing pants.

The most commonly held understanding of Jewish scholars is that this, again, refers to the forbidden practices of Egypt, Canaan, and Samaria. So this is a prohibition against worshiping false idols, not cross-dressing. And certainly the largest portion of Western society has gotten beyond women wearing pants.

So now, we clobber these "clobber" verses: Virtually all Jewish scholars hold that the Jewish Law (the Torah) was not given to anyone outside the Jewish faith. It simply does not apply to Gentiles – which includes Christians.

Further, the apostle Paul seems to agree with this, as we can see, for just one example, in Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Simply put, the laws of the Old Testament are for our edification, but not for us to follow.

Paul's letter to the Romans is also often used to preach against homosexuality – and even against those who support it. In chapter 1, verses 26-27, "Men committed indecent acts with other men…" Well, folks, just hold on one minute here!

Back up a few verses, to 1:21-25. He is referring to those who had known God but turned their back on Him – and began worshipping false gods. It is plain as day what those verses are referring to. And what people read as homosexuality, is really more properly described as promiscuous sex, as described earlier in the Old Testament (with which Paul was quite familiar).

There is not one verse in the Bible that condemns a committed, loving relationship between two people of any sex. There are many verses that praise that relationship. Homosexuality is not, in and of itself, a sin (Romans 14, Acts 11:9).

"But Satan made them that way." Well we can argue that too. First let's see what powers Satan has; in the book of Job, (1:12), we see that Satan could do nothing until the Lord allowed it. And then we get a very clear understanding of who created everything in John 1:3 (KJV), "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." So if something exists, and I think you will agree that homosexuality exists, then it was made by Him, or with His agreement. As to individuals, let's see what Psalm 119: 73 has to say: "Your hands have made me and formed me..." So where does that leave us, perhaps what Peter was told applies, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." (Acts 11:9)

"Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead make up your mind to not put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." (Romans 14:13). The Bible not only does not condemn homosexuality, it says that those who do are wrong and will be judged by God for doing so. "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19)

So, let's return the well-loved book of Leviticus: "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself for you were aliens in Egypt." (Lev 19:33-34) Discrimination is strictly forbidden.

The most well-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There is nothing in these words that excludes those who are different. It doesn’t say just males, just clergy, just members of a certain denomination, just the “right” people, or even people of a particular sexual or gender orientation. God said anyone who is willing to accept the supreme sacrifice that He made for us will be saved.

Peter states that God is, “Not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) Again the scripture is all-inclusive. “Everyone” means just that – everyone. Who are we to second-guess God in this?