Okay to be gay? Homosexuality and Christianity

This has turned into a ridiculously long 3500-words post due to the complexity and sensitivity of the subject, so you may wish to tackle it in two or three sittings. 🙂

So, having set out my thoughts on how Christians should disagree (with shedloads of love and respect), it’s time to get down to some of the real issues that Christians do disagree on. Like homosexuality.

Views on homosexuality and homosexual practice have hugely divided Christians, and in recent years have repeatedly threatened to split the Anglican communion. On the liberal, pro-gay side it’s seen as a straightforward issue of human rights, akin to the historical Abolitionist, Civil Liberties or Suffragette movements. On the conservative side it’s viewed as a matter of upholding unchanging Scriptural Truth and time-honoured morality in the face of libertarian attacks which are seen as undermining the stability of the family, of society and of the church. (I have some sympathy for both positions while not fully agreeing with either.) Meanwhile the secular world looks on bemused and unedified by the sight of the church locked in a very uncivil civil war.

I’ve said in my Creed that I’m largely agnostic on the issue of homosexual practice for Christians (including clergy). It’s not an issue I have hugely strong feelings about either way. In my more evangelical years, I broadly accepted the church’s prevailing view that it was wrong for Christians (particularly clergy) to be actively gay. These days I’m broadly of the view that it’s okay, within the same parameters as for heterosexuals – i.e. within a faithful monogamous long-term relationship. I’m still not entirely comfortable with it, but I’m aware that may simply be the result of prejudice. And I may well be wrong.

I’m also aware that I have only fairly limited knowledge of the psychology, biology and theology of homosexuality, and being (as far as I can tell) hetero, I have little personal experience to draw on either. I’d therefore greatly welcome contributions from others who have more expertise or direct experience in these areas.

One who I have already listened to with interest is the controversial gay US bishop Gene Robinson, who I heard speak at Greenbelt in 2009 (you can listen to his talks here). To some Robinson is a hero and saint, to others a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He struck me as an unassuming, thoughtful and genuine Christian, and I was impressed both by what he had to say and the way he said it, while not necessarily agreeing with every point he made. I’ll draw on some of his arguments below.

Born gay?

Firstly it’s worth thinking a little about the basis of homosexual orientation, which is still something of a mystery. On the question of whether people are born gay or become gay (nature or nurture), my own view is simply that we don’t currently know enough to be sure. It also seems to me that homosexuality is a complex phenomenon and may not be subject to a single, simple one-size-fits-all explanation or cause.

My uncle-in-law is an immunobiologist who worked on the Human Genome Project. I asked him some time ago about the concept of a ‘gay gene’ and he said that biologists would reject such a simplistic notion. His view at the time was that there could possibly be a genetic component to some homosexual orientation; however, it would never be the simple result of a single gene but would arise from an almost incalculably complex combination of separate genetic components. So in the vast majority of cases, it seems we can’t confidently ascribe homosexual orientation to purely genetic factors. However, it’s certainly possible some may be born with a genetic predisposition towards homosexuality.

In their October 2007 ‘Submission to the Church of England’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality’, The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated:

“there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.”

This seems to me a slight over-simplification given that we still don’t fully understand the basis of homosexual orientation, and cannot confidently attribute individual instances to single causes. However, the Royal College’s view appears to be the prevailing academic thinking at the moment, though this may change.

Psychological factors

Despite this view, some psychiatrists suggest that psychological factors may play an important role in at least some aspects or instances of homosexual orientation.

In the 1983 pop-psych classic Families and How to Survive Them Robin Skinner sets out an intriguing view on the psychological origins of male homosexual orientation. Children all start off on the mother’s side of a metaphorical bridge, and initially their sexual identity is fairly fluid. During the toddler stage, most boys cross the bridge to the father’s side to ‘join the male team’, in other words gaining their male or masculine sexual identity. They can then turn to face the mother’s side and develop a ‘romantic’ relationship with her, enjoying a safe flirtation. Thus far, this all seems to be fairly standard child sexual psychology.

Skinner’s view, based on the research up to that time, is that boys who develop homosexual orientation are those who make it part-way across the bridge but get stuck there, unable fully to join the father, perhaps because he is physically or emotionally distant and so unable to form the necessary bond. The boy remains ‘facing’ his father, seeking the missing male closeness and warmth; thus the same-sex orientation develops. Of course, this is just one view and the research this was based on may well now have been superseded or amended. But it’s interesting at least.

Male sexuality seems to be fixed quite early

Another more generally-accepted point which Skinner makes is that homosexuality is a spectrum, with people positioned at different points across the ‘bridge’. He believes that those men who have made it nearest to the father’s side are most likely to form stable, satisfying long-term same-sex partnerships. Again, this may be speculative; it may or may not shed light on the allegedly promiscuous nature of homosexual relationships.

Perhaps more important is Skinner’s view (again based on the research up to then) that male sexual identity is fixed quite early and that it is very hard for it to change later, even with willingness and therapy. Sometimes straight men may go through a temporary homosexual ‘phase’, particularly when they are isolated from female society; similarly, some homosexual men may be able to form fairly stable marriages with women; but (in his view) in neither case has the core sexuality really changed.

So in Skinner’s view as a psychiatrist, homosexuality is not the developmental norm, but neither is it evil or abhorrent; it just is, and needs to be accepted. I find his ideas interesting and plausible, while aware that they’re out of step with current psychiatric doctrine.

Norms and nature

Homosexuality is of course not the biological norm for humanity (or any other species, except possibly the natural hermaphrodites); clearly, if it were the species would cease to exist.

But the norm is a slippery and not always helpful concept. It’s arguably not the norm to be left-handed but that certainly doesn’t make it wrong. It’s certainly not the norm to be born with Down’s Syndrome, or to be born deaf, but that doesn’t make those who are any less valuable or any less human; nor does it make them in any way sinful.

The norm is not always a helpful concept

It’s now acknowledged that homosexual behaviour is relatively common in the animal kingdom, which suggests that it is not ‘contrary to nature’ in one sense (though of course it’s not possible to make a case for human morality based on animal behaviour).

Some would therefore argue that while homosexuality is not the biological or societal norm, it could still potentially be a valid and acceptable expression of human sexuality. A norm does not necessarily imply an ideal, a moral or an eternal absolute. (According to Jesus, in the Kingdom to come we will all be either celibate or sexless anyway – Matt 22:30. Though that may be a misinterpretation.)

Bestiality, paedophilia and incest

Some though draw parallels between homosexuality and bestiality or paedophilia, asking how and where we draw the line in terms of what’s morally acceptable. In truth though, these are not equivalent or comparable phenomena. Both bestiality and paedophilia are fundamentally about control and abuse – ultimately rape. There can be no mutuality or true consensuality between adults and children, or between people and animals. Neither children nor animals are emotionally, mentally or physically capable of engaging in adult sexual activity, and any instances will necessarily be abusive and damaging.

Furthermore, there is no longer any mainstream acceptance among psychologists and medics of the old view that homosexuality is technically a perversion.

Others ask, then what of incest? If same-sex intercourse is okay, why not same-family? This seems a slightly daft argument-by-extension to me. The reasons against same-family sex are fairly obvious; emotionally it’s a minefield, quite aside from the biological and genetic problems with any resulting offspring. (Incidentally, the patriarch Abraham’s marriage to Sarai in the Bible was technically incestuous as she was his half-sister, but no legal or religious prohibition was apparently in place at that stage.)

I suspect that many simply feel deep down that homosexual practice must be wrong because they find the thought of the physical details distasteful, even repugnant. However, to be frank, and pornographic fantasy aside, the intimate details of any form of genital intercourse could put anyone off their dinner.

In any case, our physical or emotional response to something often has little bearing on its rightness or morality. Physically, pornography can be very appealing but few Christians would see it as morally beneficial. Physical deformity can produce a reflex ‘yuk’ reaction in many people, but that clearly doesn’t make it morally bad. We can’t base morality simply on our emotional or physical responses.

Homosexuality and the Bible

Jesus is notably silent
on the subject of homosexuality

So let’s get on to the Bible, which is the heart of the issue for many.

Most conservative Christians would use the Bible as their prime evidence that homosexual behaviour is a sin. However, we can never just say ‘The Bible says’, on this or any other complex issue. The Bible needs to be read in full and in context, and interpreted for our very different circumstances. (After all, both slavery and sexism are arguably ‘biblical’ if you take a very literal approach.)

Many now argue that most Bible references to homosexual behaviour concern ritual or cultic sodomy, pederasty, or homosexual rape (often apparently straight men raping other men); for example the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19), and of the Levite and his Concubine (Judges 19:22). Faithful long-term same-sex relationships are largely a modern phenomenon; though homosexuality was revered in Graeco-Roman society, it was very different both in nature and practice from what we have in our own society.

Nonetheless, the Old Testament prohibitions (both in Leviticus) seem quite stark: ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable’ (Lev 18:22) and ‘If a man has sexual relations with a man… they are to be put to death’ (Lev 20:13). However, the overall context is the Levitical purity laws, arguably designed largely to set the Jewish people apart from the idolatrous practices of surrounding nations. The prohibitions against gay sex occur alongside others against tattoos, mixing fabrics, and various ‘unclean’ foods – which Jesus famously later declared clean. And let’s not forget that the penalty for Sabbath-breaking – something modern Christians tend not to worry too much about – was also death. So though Leviticus is pretty unequivocal in its condemnation of homosexual behaviour, I’d argue that it’s not possible to extrapolate a once-for-all Christian morality from that. (I’ve argued against the death penalty elsewhere).

Homosexual practice is only mentioned directly three times in the New Testament (Rom 1:26-27, 1 Tim 1:10, 1 Cor 6:9) and I’m told all could be translated or interpreted in other ways. In Romans 1 in particular, the context is paganism and idolatry, and those who commit ‘unnatural’ sexual practices are also described as being “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful”. This description certainly can’t be applied to people like Gene Robinson or other Christians struggling with their sexuality.

The 1 Corinthians 6:9 passage is also interesting because in English translations it appears to roundly condemn homosexual acts, but the original Greek words are far less clear. One is malakoi, translated ‘soft’ or ‘effeminate’ but apparently rarely used for actual homosexuality; the other is arsenokoitaiwhich Paul appears to have coined from arseno (man) and koite (bed). While it could conceivably refer to homosexual acts in general, there were clear existing terms Paul could have used had he wanted to convey that. It therefore seems more likely in context that it refers to shrine prostitution (as condemned in Deut 23:17), or else to pederasty.

Note also that only the Romans passage appears to refer to female homosexual practice at all.

Jesus is notably silent on the subject of homosexuality, which could be because it wasn’t an issue for the people he was addressing, or could be because it wasn’t an issue for him. In contrast, he is unequivocal in his teaching against divorce and remarriage, teaching which much of the modern church has re-interpreted or ignored (but again it’s a question of context, and I’m not getting into that debate now!).

Support from the New Testament?

The Bible clearly lends no direct support to homosexuality, but a few New Testament passages could be interpreted as offering indirect support.

As I said, Christ controversially declared all foods clean (Mark 7:19), which by extension could possibly be seen as lifting the ban on previously forbidden but non-harmful sexual practices. (A strong symbolic association between eating and sex almost certainly pre-dates Freud by several millennia, and can be seen in the biblical Song of Songs.) What’s also particularly interesting about this passage is that it overturns previous scriptural law, showing that the Bible’s moral rules are not all necessarily set in stone for all time (though of course that doesn’t mean we can just change them whenever we feel like it).

Another New Testament passage which might just possibly lend support by extension to homosexuality is the famous verse in Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). Might it not be at least possible to consider adding ‘neither gay nor straight’ into this list? (NB in context the passage is really about the breaking down of barriers rather than the removal of all categories or prohibitions, but it can certainly be used as an argument for inclusivism.)

Finally, and most directly, Romans 11:24 positively re-interprets the whole idea of ‘contrary to nature’ raised in the Romans 1 passage about homosexuality (‘acts against nature’). Paul talks of the Gentiles (us) being cut out of a wild olive tree and, ‘contrary to nature’, grafted into a cultivated olive (Israel) to become participants in God’s life and blessings. Since both these passages occur in the same letter it could certainly be argued that the latter sheds light on the former; that even things which are fundamentally ‘against nature’ can be made holy by God’s redeeming action.

Morality

We dare not condemn those struggling with their sexuality in the light of their faith

In any case, even if homosexual behaviour is in fact a sin, bear in mind that so are self-righteousness and judgementalism – and homophobia.

We dare not condemn those struggling with their sexuality in the light of their faith – or with their faith in the light of their sexuality. There but for the grace of God go any of us. Christians need to be first in treating gay men and women with dignity, respect, compassion, understanding and grace.

Of course Christians can’t condone homosexual promiscuity any more than hetero; but I’m increasingly coming to the view that committed, monogamous homosexual partnership is acceptable (whether ‘ideal’ or not is another discussion). Some of course believe that gay men are inherently promiscuous; I can’t comment on this, as I have little data either way – as with straight men I’ve known some who are, some who aren’t. I can only again point to Robin Skinner’s view that there is a spectrum of homosexual orientation and those at one end are likelier to form stable long-term partnerships than those at the other.

Those homosexual Christians who in conscience feel that they must remain celibate should have our full support. But those who do not should not have our condemnation and judgement. We don’t have to agree with them or even approve their behaviour if our own conscience tells us otherwise; but we have to recognise that our conscience (like theirs) is only a partial and flawed guide, often influenced by hidden emotion and biological instinct. Their conscience is telling them different; can we be so sure that ours is the correct one?

Homophobia

All of us are prejudiced to a degree

I mentioned homophobia, something that those outside the church often accuse Christians of. Certainly there are homophobic Christians, many of whom are quite vocal. And in reality of course, all of us are prejudiced to a degree on all sorts of issues, though obviously we don’t have to act out of our prejudices.

On the other hand, I think charges of homophobia can sometimes be a little over-cooked, resulting either from misunderstanding or mere name-calling polemic. Of course many Christians do believe that homosexual acts are morally flawed – as indeed did most of the western world until fairly recently, and as much of the rest of the world continues to believe. We may not agree with this view, but those who hold it are not necessarily homophobic. If they treat homosexual people as people, with all care, love and respect, while nonetheless holding their sexual behaviour to be morally wrong, I do not see how this can be called homophobic. (There’s no hate or ‘phobia’ involved; simply a difference of moral view.)

Similarly, most Christians have non-Christian straight friends who are co-habiting; if they view this behaviour as morally wrong (‘living in sin’) that doesn’t constitute ‘heterophobia’ or hatred against co-habiters. I have passionately vegetarian friends who consider my meat-eating as morally repugnant; I disagree, but I’m not going to accuse them of carniphobia against me, as they still treat me with kindness and respect. (They also probably wouldn’t elect me to presidency of their Vegetarian Association, which seems fair enough to me.) So I think sometimes we can be too quick to level unhelpful accusations of whatever-phobia, which do nothing to aid dialogue and understanding.

It’s more important to be gracious and loving than to be right

Nonetheless, it’s true that many who vocally oppose homosexual practice, while perhaps not strictly homophobic, are at least ungracious and unloving in their manner. Even if it turns out they are right in their theology and morality, they are often far from right in their attitudes. Christ calls us to love our enemies, and he strongly warns us not to judge or condemn others. We can get so obsessed with being morally or theologically correct that we forget that it’s even more important to be gracious and loving, to listen, to seek to understand; to treat people as people. I said in my previous post that to hold and proclaim the truth in an unloving way means we do not really have the truth, for Christian truth must always be rooted in love. It’s better to be wrong but to have love than to be right without love, to paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13 slightly.

A matter of conscience

In the end then, I believe that homosexuality is a matter for individual conscience – both on the part of those Christians who are homosexual, and on the part of those who are trying to decide whether or not they can accept homosexual practice for Christians.

If in conscience you feel you can’t be ministered to by a practising gay vicar or bishop, then by all means move church. But do so with love and humility, not with accusations and condemnation. We can be different and not necessarily heretical or hell-bound. Gay Christians are fellow human beings and fellow-believers first; our different sexuality and moral views do not have to destroy our relationship.

Ultimately I’m not certain that non-celibate monogamous homosexual relationship is okay for Christians (I’m not absolutely certain about many things these days!) – but I’m certainly open to the possibility. And it definitely isn’t my place to pass judgement on the circumstances and consciences of others on either side of the debate.

Resources for investigating homosexuality and Christianity

If you want to look into the subject further, here are some links you might find helpful:

Related posts on this blog

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About TheEvangelicalLiberal

Aka Harvey Edser. I'm a web editor, worship leader, wannabe writer, very amateur composer and highly unqualified armchair theologian. My heroes include C.S. Lewis and Homer Simpson.
This entry was posted in Bible, Controversies, Homosexuality, Politics and faith, Sex and sexuality and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Okay to be gay? Homosexuality and Christianity

  1. RAY RAY says:

    Great article, I have a question I don’t expect you to answer. It just struck me as I was reading your article. Are there more homosexual males than there are females? Or does it only appear that way. Maybe because when one sees two women holding hands or displaying other affectionate acts toward each other, we think nothing of it, because women are more affectionate than men are. When two males show these same affections toward each other, they are thought to be gay and probably they are. We think nothing of two women sleeping in one bed but we think differently of two men sharing one bed. In some cultures though no thought is given to two males walking down the street holding hands. I remember when I first observed this and was awed by the number of openly gay men in this particular city. I was a young man in the Navy but I can’t recall what country I was in. I soon learned this was not odd for men of that country to display these open affections.

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    • When we were in Mumbai we noticed how lots of the men had no problems in holding hands with other men, and in decorating their auto-rickshaws with garlands of flowers. I found it all very touching (no pun intended).

      I think you’re right that men are just less comfortable with same-sex physical (and emotional) intimacy and affection than women – particularly men in the modern western world. We seem to feel it threatens our sense of masculinity which we have to preserve at all costs.

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  2. David Holland says:

    Interesting. On key points about judgement and conscience (Rom 14:22) I wholeheartedly agree.
    WRT- The church struggling against political options on the issue I agree with Gabe Lyons in his book The Next Christians, where he observes that it does no good to hold non-Christians to standards of behavior to which they have not subscribed (1 Cor 5:12). In the political arena I believe to a large degree prohibitions on committed homosexual relationships (read gay marriage) are little more than bigotry.
    You do speak to the issue of the double standard even Christians hold out against homosexual behavior. We easily forget that the classification in Romans 1 is quickly followed with the warning to those that practice the same things (and those same things include arrogance, gossip & greed among others). I think we are falling prey to our own prejudice and not walking in humility with such behavior. Fornication is fornication, and sin is sin. Remember James 2:10 if you want the Law.

    That said I disagree with stretching the idea that removal of dietary restrictions covers sexual behavior (my use of Romans 14 above not withstanding) or the grafting of the Gentiles “contrary to nature” as a removal of the “contrary to nature” stigma associated with homosexuality. The simple fact is that for the vast majority of practicing homosexual even in committed relationships they are “living in sin”. You may argue that my standard is circular because there is a social prohibition (which I have already argued is bigotry). Regardless, the social structure is as it is. We may change it, but until we do it remains sin.

    By all means we must be loving and not condemning. But we cannot pretend God does not judge the wickedness of Romans 1 whatever form it may take.

    I do have questions about how the church should respond once social prohibition is removed (as it seems to be headed here in the US). Consider the case where a homosexual couple are married, and one comes to Christ. Are they to be welcomed into the family of God without sanction? Is maintenance of their existing union to be encouraged as a hetero union would be? My initial reaction is yes, but an old friend of mine (whose sexual preference and Christianity have led to a celibate lifestyle) argued the opposite view. It is a complex issue.

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    • That’s interesting – if I understand rightly, you’re saying that the social prohibition comes above or before the moral / Christian principle? So it may not necessarily be morally wrong for a homosexual couple to be together, but if they’re technically/legally ‘unmarried’ then it is wrong. I disagree on that point; from my point of view, social prohibitions and sanctions are a secondary issue. But I may be misunderstanding your point.

      My point about the lifting of the food laws was a tentative one; I’m aware it’s not a knock-down argument. But nonetheless, Jesus did clearly lift some Old Testament prohibitions; it’s certainly possible to consider whether or not that lifting could be extended to encompass other areas and, if not, on what basis we are making the distinction.

      As you say, it’s a complex issue; I’m only just on the okay-to-be-gay side of the fence, and previously have argued the opposite way. What I think is important is how we treat those on the other side, and that we don’t just polarise into warring factions.

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      • David Holland says:

        Not exactly. What I’m saying is that NOT condemning/judging those outside the church based on morality to which they have not subscribed has scriptural precedence. I am further saying society outside the church is bigoted in their prohibition of homosexual unions and bigotry is unbecoming the church. Regardless of your stand on homosexuality, fornication is clearly sin and unless homosexual unions are sanctioned homosexual practice falls under the sin of fornication.
        Once that hurdle is cleared we can have meaningful discussion on homosexual practice within the bonds of marriage. If a gay couple chooses not to marry (once they can) well sin is still sin. They allow civil unions in the UK, correct? Are these recognized by the church if they are heterosexual?

        Is it ok to be gay? Who I lust over is beside the point if I’m just fulfilling my lust. Get past that and we can discuss exactly how far Hebrews 13:4 goes because that’s the question we have to answer.

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        • Okay, thanks for clarifying. I think that there are question marks over the Biblical definitions of ‘fornication’ – the original Greek word apparently refers to prostitution. Also of course there have been different views of marriage and betrothal over the centuries even within the church; the Bible isn’t entirely clear on the exact definitions and requirements, and I think there’s a danger of getting too bogged down by the ‘letter of the law’ here.

          In the UK we do have civil partnerships; the more liberal churches accept these as marriages, whereas more conservative churches refuse to acknowledge them.

          Heb 13:4 is about sexual immorality in the context of adultery and honouring the marriage bed. It seems to me that the main drive of its meaning is sexual fidelity to our spouse, so not entirely sure it applies directly to the homosexuality debate – except that it requires gay couples to be as faithful as straight ones.

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  3. David Holland says:

    It occurred to me to simplify. Homosexuality is not worse than pride, but it’s not better than pride either.
    It is just one more thing in a long list of human frailties that expose our need for redemption.

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  4. Brittany says:

    I just finished your article on the moral issue of homosexuality and I just wanted to say thank you. I have been raised in a church that is very much against homosexuality; therefore, I have constantly struggled with my sexuality. As a Christian who knows herself to be bisexual, I appreciate your educated and loving answer to the conflict. Reading this has helped me tremendously and I feel that I finally have the intellectual articulation on the thoughts that have been swarming my head. I am not usre if you do this but I would really appreciate furthering the discussion. My email is above

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    • Dear Brittany, thank you so much for your response, and thank you for speaking of your own struggles. I’m really glad you found the article helpful. Above all I believe Christians need always to respond with Christlike love and compassion rather than knee-jerk condemnation or ‘but the Bible says x and y’.

      I’d be very happy to further the discussion and will certainly email! As I say, I don’t think I’m really qualified to speak on these matters with any kind of authority, but perhaps I can at least speak from my own humanity. And I pray Christ’s blessing and light on your path.

      Harvey

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    • Hi again Brittany,
      Just to say that I’ve tried to email you but my email was returned with the message ‘This account has been disabled or discontinued’.

      I hope you can still get in touch.

      All the best
      Harvey

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  5. Sara says:

    I was reading your article and thank you so much talking about this issue. This year is my first year and university and last year i was taught consistency how being gay is wrong by my school. Yet when one of my friends came out being bisexual and my other friend just starting telling her all this horrible stuff. I realized how stupid doing that is. We should be more understanding as Christians and be more accepting to the idea.
    I would like to hear more of your thoughts and discuss this more
    Cheers 🙂

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    • Hi Sara, thanks very much for your comment. I think it’s sad that we as Christians seem to get so obsessed with bedroom behaviour at the expense of almost everything else – global poverty, the environment, oppressive regimes that our governments support, unjust trade systems etc etc. And moving closer to home, while we’re pointing the finger at gay people or whoever, we tend to ignore the glaring issues in our own religious lives (self-righteousness and lack of love for example).

      We’re called above all else to love God and love one another; that seems to me the bottom line. I honestly don’t know what causes homosexual orientation or whether gay behaviour is a ‘sin’ or not, and I don’t think it’s for me to judge. Rather it’s for me to love and welcome others in Christ’s name, to treat them as fellow humans made in God’s image, regardless of their sexuality or anything else. And I need to address the issues in my own life and heart before accusing anyone else of sin.

      Always very happy to discuss more!

      All the best,
      Harvey

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  6. People here call themselves Liberals, But Same old bigotry everywhere.
    Coz People who get bullied, get murdered, Fired from Jobs, Thrown out of churches coz of being themselves is not wrong?
    The ENTIRE BIBLE NEVER CONDEMNS HOMOSEXUAL SEX, yet its a sin? I have seen gays n lesbians being very devout to their God, after taking all kind of crap from their fellow Christians?
    Is Love a sin in Christianity?
    I m a Christian, Devout to my faith, m gay n still a virgin, But If I do wish to marry the person I love, I m sinning? Coz made me a sinner by birth?
    n Christians wonder why people become atheists.

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    • Hi Subhankar, firstly thanks for taking time to comment.

      I’m not quite sure you’ve read my post properly – I wouldn’t blame you, as it’s pretty long, but don’t be too quick to take offense if you haven’t read it all.

      I’m certainly NOT saying that homosexual sex is a sin, nor that the Bible condemns it, nor that gay people shouldn’t get married. All I’m trying to do is engage respectfully with the arguments on both sides, appealing for an attitude of understanding, kindness and Christian love. The bottom line is that we’re ALL flawed people loved by God and saved by grace.

      For myself, I’ve largely come round to the belief that a committed monogamous homosexual relationship is morally okay. Others disagree, citing well-known verses from the Bible. I think they’re misunderstanding the nature of the Bible and the context of those verses, but I accept that some people have a different conscience on these matters from me. We can still co-exist.

      I understand that as a gay Christian you probably feel condemned and misunderstood by many Christians, and that leads to feeling angry. All I’m saying is that I’m genuinely NOT condemning you, and (more importantly) I’m sure Christ isn’t condemning you either.

      Bless you,
      Harvey

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  7. Benito says:

    Hello; I am a 16 year old junior in high school and I have been openly gay for just over a year now. The idea that your sexuality may possibly come based on your relationship with your father really sticks out to me (even when considering the evidence against it). I had my father growing up, however not a bonded relationship. I have known I was gay since about the 3rd grade. That may seem impossible to some; I knew I was because I had a crush on a peer. I have done a lot of research over the years on what the bible has to say about homosexuality (which I also found was a term coined in the king james version) and haven’t found much of anything that greatly bends my views. I can’t decide wheather or not I believe it is wrong- I’m stuck. What brought me here was because some peers of mine were questioning me as to why I bother being a gay christian, and the three of them came to the conclusion that it is unnatural and more than likely wrong. I struggle with this quite a bit. I don’t know what to base my views on.Do I base it on the fact that the bible says this, and this is what I should follow. Or do I go off the tons of research I’ve done? This isn’t a matter of right or wrong for me. I have this great fear of the unknown, and all I can ever think about is where this “sin” will take me in the after life. I have very many questions. Very many ideas and beliefs that quite possibly can’t be expressed in a single comment. If it isn’t too much, could you email me for farther discussion?

    Like

    • Hi Benito, firstly thanks very much for your comment. I’m no expert on this subject but I will certainly email you directly and would be very glad to dialogue on this. I’ve removed your email address from the comment just for privacy/security.

      The main thing I want to say here is just that I’m firmly convinced that Christ does NOT condemn you for your homosexuality, nor for your attraction to other men/boys. Whether or not it’s morally okay to act out on these desires is an incredibly difficult question, and I would never want you to go against your own inner conscience on this. My own view at this point is that the New Testament does not forbid faithful and committed monogamous same-sex relationships. Whether such relationships absolutely have to be celibate or not is a tricky one and I’d prefer to leave that to conscience, but I’m inclined to the view that celibacy is not necessarily an absolute requirement.

      Anyway, I’ll email soon!

      All the very best and thanks for being in touch,
      Harvey

      Like

  8. teddy says:

    homosexuality is wrong..we should be concerned about spreading gods last days message instead of trying to condone sin ..it is clear that this all came about because of man,s own selfishness instead of concentration on doing gods will..shame on you all who support this sin & may god have mercy on your souls 😦

    Like

    • God bless you Teddy. I think you’re very deeply mistaken on this, but I understand where you’re coming from. May Christ lead you in his light and love.

      Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        No love for these demons, I know Jesus preached us Love, But Our job is not to have mercy on these murderers, But to hate them.
        I m sorry, But Its just where I stand.

        Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        I m sorry for typing those things!
        I m glad to know that u r supporting homophobes and making enemies with the people who have been affected by these homophobes.
        I was wrong to consider homosexuality as something to be okay… n I thank you enough for this suggestion. 🙂
        I hope u have fun with your homophobic supporters and try to show love when ur friends kill n torture other gays around the world.
        🙂
        Long live HOMOPHOBIA!
        I would prefer a conversion therapy soon, i wouldnt wanna be like this, as in be a gay..
        n my thanks to u for showing me the true path.

        Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        Murderers as in these homophobes who bully us, torture us, throw us from our homes n leave us to rot in the streets and who help us to take our own lives. these cold blooded murderers.

        Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        n where as a homophobic comments get “God bless you Teddy.”
        But a person tormented by homophobes gets “Either way you’re trolling, and as such I’m afraid I’ll have to delete any subsequent comments from you unless you make an attempt to engage with the topic rather than just spouting angry or sarcastic abuse.”
        Wonderful!
        hate the one who loves u and supports equality, but love the ones who bullies u n hates u with all his heart!
        I dont even know what to say!

        But thanks for the pep-talk! Great to know u have friends who will protect ur enemies n wont think twice to slap on ur face, for the crime of supporting equality!
        Long live homophobia!

        Like

        • Okay, I want to engage sensibly and courteously and I hope you’ll take the trouble to do the same.

          Firstly, I apologise for a misunderstanding – I had misread your comment as being addressed to me, in response to my (genuinely non-homophobic) blog post. I now realise that your comment was in fact a reply to the homophobic comment by “Teddy” (who I don’t know). This makes what you wrote far more understandable – though still technically trolling.

          Secondly, I certainly do and will say God bless you to you, and I do pray for Christ’s blessing and presence in your life. I also want to say that I’m very sorry about the abusive and hateful treatment you have clearly received at the hand of homophobic people. I condemn their actions wholeheartedly.

          Thirdly, the reason why Teddy got a ‘God bless you’ was because it was his first ever comment on the blog, and I give everyone a chance. If he responds aggressively, I will warn him as I did you. You have already commented in the past in a manner which suggested you weren’t actually reading or engaging with the blog content but merely seeking a forum to express your anger. (Your anger may well be justified, but I hadn’t done anything to merit it, and it gets in the way of any kind of helpful dialogue.)

          I told Teddy that I believed him to be very deeply mistaken in his views. His comment was certainly borderline trolling, but it did not spill over into the sheer sarcastic abuse and profanity which I’m afraid you resorted to – to the extent that my spam filter initially quarantined your comment as obscene.

          I understand that you feel very upset and hurt, and you have a right to that. But if you can express your case without abuse, you are far more likely to get a sympathetic hearing.

          Once again, God bless you. I hope we will be able to participate in a meaningful and non-abusive dialogue from now on.

          All the best,
          Harvey

          Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        These soft comments and lovable posts dont stop their bullying. Jesus told us to love our enemies and I know that, But not when My friends, brothers, etc are getting forced to take their own lives.
        The hideous anti-gay bill is about to pass in Uganda. the so called “churches” are advocating for it. and this is what this love causes.
        I love my bible n the teachings of it, But i cant let my friends see live like this.
        I m not angry, I m furious about this situation where these people come n kick us n people support them.
        having no protecting n living in fear to be expelled from school… I live in India, One of the top homophobic countries in the world.
        ANd over all of that, I have to nice to people who have pushed me the verge of killing myself, hating myself?
        I m a human, I m tired of forgiving again and again.
        I can never give love or respect to any homophobe, n I have no problem if God hates me for it, I m fighting for justice of everyone.
        I m sorry for my sarcastic comments above, and i m sorry for what i have said to you, but there is no way I m apologizing to that homophobe.
        If he had a gay child, I know that child will suffer terribly in his hands, n I know he has bullied gay guys in his school. n when I see the faces of kids who killed themselves coz of these suicides, i have nothing but raging hate for all of these homophobes.
        So, I m sorry for my words to you, But as for you, My hate wont stop for him, ever.
        n I wont blame God if he hates me for it.
        have a nice day n God bless you.

        Like

        • Hi Subhankar, thanks very much for your response. I’d really like to hear more of your story, and to understand more about the terrible abuse that you’ve suffered and witnessed at the hands of homophobic bullies. I take it that at least some of these bullies are members of churches?

          In the UK where I’m writing, we rarely see this kind of homophobic bullying now. There is still a stigma about being gay in parts of our society, and in parts of the church, but far less so than there used to be. Indeed, in many ways now it’s homophobia that’s the minority position here. Anyone expressing the belief that homosexual acts are morally wrong is likely to come in for tremendous criticism here from our secular society. I sincerely hope and pray that attitudes in India will also start to change and become more liberal and accepting, as they have done here.

          I can’t preach to you, as I haven’t walked in your shoes. I can only point to the example of Christ, who not only taught us to love our enemies and forgive our persecutors, but actually did it himself. I know his example is almost impossible to follow. But if we store up hate for those who hate us, we become no better than them. The message of Christ’s cross is that only love can win the battle over evil.

          God doesn’t hate you. He loves you more than you love anyone or anything. And he will keep working away in you till his love is made complete – which at some point will mean facing the possibility of forgiveness.

          In the meantime, is there anything we in the UK can do to support you and your friends, or to draw attention to your plight?

          Bless you,
          Harvey

          Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        My parents are hindus, and that too fundamental Hindus. I grew up in a Roman Catholic school, and I always wanted to be converted into Catholism. But their homophobic attitude always stopped me to join them.

        In India, where most of the population are hindus and their religion says nothing wrong about gays, here too we are hated and discriminated because of bigotry.
        I would have given anyone to be a Catholic, But I couldnt, over that I grew up in a place where even gay guys cant support their rights due to the fear of shame from others.
        I know the verses about loving our enemies and all, But I have suffered and seen too much to forgive anymore. and i do apologize for that.
        And I know that God Loves me, But how can I keep denying when the so called people of God treats me like a criminal, tells my friends that i m a sinner?
        Its not easy for everyone.
        Also I tried hard to get out of this place and settle in less homophobic places like canada, UK, etc. God din help me in this matter as well…
        Its like I m getting pummeled by everyone and I will be frowned upon if out of this anger i refused myself to be bullied or hated.

        Like

        • Thanks for telling me some of your story. I’m really sorry to hear about the ways you’ve suffered. I believe that anyone who ill-treats gay people (or anyone else) in the name of God or church is committing blasphemy. God is love, and love is the supreme command. And whether we’re gay or straight, we’re all imperfect people who need forgiveness.

          Bless you,
          Harvey

          Like

      • Subhankar Zac says:

        I did forgive people for a long time, But after some point I stooped as those people are still committing the crime of irrational hate n ignorance.

        Like

        • Yes, I can understand that. If I’m honest, there are people I’m not sure I’ve been able to forgive fully, not yet. But the thing about forgiveness is that it’s as much for your sake as for the other person’s. If you don’t forgive these homophobic people, that won’t actually hurt them at all – but it may well hurt you. Not being able to forgive can leave you full of toxic rage and bitterness that eats away inside you. These people don’t deserve forgiveness – I agree with you. But perhaps, in a way, none of us deserve it. But we all need it.

          Like

    • Subhankar Zac says:

      The Bible condemns heterosexuality 12 times more than homosexuality (even though it doesnt say anything about gay people)
      I mean how will u face God knowing that U have pledged your life with someone? How will u face God knowing he will condemn U for loving rather than condemning others for judging u?
      I mean its such a shame on u…
      I hope u are ready to be cooked in hell fire for all eternity!
      I mean, putting ur genitals in the genitals of a woman?
      YUUCCKKH!!!!!
      Thats so gross! U selfish demonic servant of satan, I pray that u be saved from your deviant demonic evil lifestyle of rape, pedophilia, adultery, fornication, incest, shrine temple sex, I mean heterosexuality is SO DISGUSTING!
      How can you even live with your self?
      Shame on people who support hetero-crap!
      They are all heading for hell!!!!
      God n Jesus both condemned it, but none condemned homosexuality!
      Read your Bible once, nevermind, Nothing will save u from hell now.

      Like

      • Dear Subhankar, I’m not sure whether you imagine you’re being amusing, or whether it’s actually possible you believe any of the things you’re saying here. Either way you’re trolling, and as such I’m afraid I’ll have to delete any subsequent comments from you unless you make an attempt to engage with the topic rather than just spouting angry or sarcastic abuse.

        Like

  9. David says:

    Hi, thank you for this study, God just used you to talk to me. Here in Brazil we are facing really “weird” times in a real war between fundamentalist christians and gay activists, which I really hope may produce good things in the end. As a gay man raised in a protestant home, for a long time it was very difficult to me to even talk about God after I accepted myself as a gay man. I knew I was wrong, I could feel it, even as not being promiscuous or anything. I was REALLY afraid to open the bible, I felt it would be like buy my tickets to hell.

    But someday after spent Christmas eve with my boyfriend’s family last year, in another city, being accepted as the guy their son by loves, being treated like a man, like a serious boyfriend, as part of FAMILY it started to disturb me a lot, because I could never get a fantastic dinner like that, being myself, being HAPPY, in my own home… and WHY NOT? So I went to the Bible, to google, to texts like yours… And hey, that day I slept so well, like I didn’t slept in years, I really felt God saying to me that he loves me and that there was not anything wrong with me. I felt I was His son.

    After this I have being studying a lot about this issue, and every text I read I become more and more in peace with myself and sure there is NOTHING wrong to be gay, NOTHING. As a gay, and about sex, you may sin the same way as a hetero person. It is really fantastic to read texts by other people that says exactly the same things I realized, the same things God made me realize by my research; its a indescribable feeling, sometimes I start to cry and I can feel that God just made me read that.

    In the Bible, there is also the part Jesus cures the Centurion’s servant, as you may study, some says it was the Centurion’s boyfriend, because the original word used in the original text which may apply this understandment. And it is really FANTASTIC that Jesus not only cures the boy (from distant) but also says that He never saw so much huge faith in anyone before. So, Jesus not only completely ignores the fact the Centurion must be gay, but says he was the most faithful man he saw. How about that, hun?

    Well, thank you again. This subject really moves me, as I feel somewhat in the need to talk about Jesus, talk about this interpretation, and make people like me free. So they can know the Truth, and the Truth will set then free, as it made me just after Christmas.

    Sorry for the english.
    Best regards

    Like

    • Dear David,

      Thank you so much for saying all of that – yours is one of the most encouraging comments I’ve ever received! (And please don’t apologise for your English, which is brilliant – and a thousand times better than my Portuguese!).

      I’m so glad that you’ve been able to find peace and freedom in who you are, and to know God’s complete love and acceptance for you as a gay person.

      I hadn’t come across that idea about the Centurion’s servant being his boyfriend – that’s interesting. I’ll definitely be interested to find out more about that one!

      Bless you,
      Harvey

      Like

  10. Reblogged this on Another Anomaly Among Many and commented:

    A lot of food for thought here.

    Like

  11. Randall says:

    Please do not read this as a way to substantiate homosexuality as being something God is indifferent about. Re-read Genesis and 1 Corinthians.

    Put your whole trust and faith in God, whether temptation in homo-sexuality, greed, hate, slander, et cetera, we are made for a higher calling and not for this world. The ideas of being an active homo-sexual, or sex outside of marriage you are going against God and are being led by the flesh. Do not trust your conscience on issues explicitly given in the Bible through the Spirit as sinful.

    Repentance and trust are the ways we are shown to be in a relationship with Christ. Do not try to substantiate sin, repent, turn from your sins and walk in Christ and follow him. Because we have something built in us to excuse and follow sin, but it leads to death and life that is filled with serving sin.

    We in the church would love nothing more to see uncommitted believers become committed followers of Jesus Christ. Gay or Straight, Murder or not, we want you in the church. To become a member of a Church and commit your life to Christ you have to put behind the “old self” God doesn’t put New wine into old wine skins, what that means is that he does not put his spirit into the old ways, he puts his pours his Spirit into a new being, who has been born again.

    Homosexuality is a sin, it is a way of life against the design of our creator. You can trust in him though against the desires of the flesh, for His was is the only to way to true joy just trust above all fleshly inclination.

    Church discipline is called from God to do, and that being said for us following Christ’s commands through him and Paul, active participation in homosexuality is incompatible with church membership and therefore you cannot be a member.

    Choose Christ over the flesh, put away your old self. You have a savior who loves you and died for you, and choose life over death, for he will rescue us from the death and non-joy that comes from a life in the flesh.

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your pastoral concern and applaud your eagerness to see people turn to Christ and away from what you see as their sins. I do however disagree with your approach to and interpretation of Scripture and therefore the conclusions you draw. I also happen to believe that trying to get people to change their sexuality is ineffective and generally counter-productive.

      Nonetheless I acknowledge that I may be wrong in my views, and either way I can see that your motivation is good and arises from a genuine commitment to Christ.

      There are things we can disagree on and remain in fellowship. Of course, you may disagree about that 🙂

      Like

    • And later deluded hate mongers such as yourself wonder why others are leaving Christianity. Congratulations, you got your wish.
      I would rather be a religion where the scriptures are humanistic rather than dictatorial or whether people are making the entire religion a suffocating gas chamber.
      God is merciful, but not to that extent that he will give a pass on evil souls such as you who are born with the intention of causing death to innocent beings.

      Like

      • Dear subhankarzac1992, thanks for your comment. I hear your rage and frustration and I can understand why you might feel that way.

        Please let me say again that I do not share the views expressed by Randall here, nor do I appreciate the manner and tone of his comments. However, I don’t see him as a ‘hate monger’ exactly – that’s not his intent anyway. He just believes very strongly in a rather medieval view of God, sin and punishment, based on a very literal reading of some parts of the Bible. And I think he therefore sees it as his painful duty to warn others (including me) so that we don’t face eternal punishment. So I believe his motives are good, even if his views and way of expressing them are objectionable.

        However, as I think you know, there are other very different ways of understanding and practising Christ’s message from Randall’s. Please don’t be put off by him or others like him, however hurt you understandably feel by their attitudes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I really appreciate your love for those who are fiercely deluded.
          But one mustnt be forgiving at all times. I was a Christian for two years, but the incessant hate cries of such people made me change my religion and leave christianiity for good, which I m not angry against as I found a faith which is more consistent with my beliefs and ideas.
          But LGBTQ Christians who are bullied, killed and assaulted by the pure arrogance,ignorance and hatred of such people, they matter.

          I m out of christianiity, but there are LGBT people who are trying their best to hold on to a faith that seems to want them dead.
          And in that situation, such ignorant statements which are clearly hate mongering as a story of Gang rape is linked with loving couples.
          It’s hatred. It’s ignorance and it’s evil.

          Sweeping the mistakes of deluded souls more than a hundred times often causes barbaric results. A table cannot handle overwhelming weight and sooner or later, it has to collapse.
          Much like that, when corruption from desire, ignorance and false pride is predominant in a living being, it’s not long before he tries to destroy lives of other beings, humans or animals.

          Understand Please that I too was forgiving at all times, but honestly… Unconditional forgiveness saves you from anger, but punishing the guilty properly according to his crimes saves many lives from anger and despair.
          I shouldn’t even be commenting on it. But I know many innocent and defenseless LGBT Christians who are being harassed and destroyed by people who believe in the words of him n people like him.

          I m still with the LGBT Christian movement because I m against any kind of misery caused to anyone, be it a poor man, a gay man, an animal or an insect.
          No living being is born to suffer, and if something causes suffering to any living being, he can either be educated or punished.

          Your duty must be towards everyone, but primarily towards people who are innocent and defenseless like the LGBTQ. If you truly consider the ‘LGBTQ’ as a community, you have to treat it like one.
          Imagine how’ll you behave if the same hate comments are given against your children. Whether about their sexuality, race, physical appearance, etc.
          I m not suggesting break into a war, but firstly…. A community is a family.

          And remember, it only takes drops of rain to flood a city.

          Knowledge is the destroyer of ignorance, desire, hatred and attachment… And one who is unable to grasp facts but acts according to his own whims by using his hands and tongue to harm others, not even God can forgive him.
          (That’s just my opinion and belief)

          Like

        • I really appreciate your love for those who are fiercely deluded.
          But one mustnt be forgiving at all times. I was a Christian for two years, but the incessant hate cries of such people made me change my religion and leave christianiity for good, which I m not angry against as I found a faith which is more consistent with my beliefs and ideas.
          But LGBTQ Christians who are bullied, killed and assaulted by the pure arrogance,ignorance and hatred of such people, they matter.

          I m out of christianiity, but there are LGBT people who are trying their best to hold on to a faith that seems to want them dead.
          And in that situation, such ignorant statements which are clearly hate mongering as a story of Gang rape is linked with loving couples.
          It’s hatred. It’s ignorance and it’s evil.

          Sweeping the mistakes of deluded souls more than a hundred times often causes barbaric results. A table cannot handle overwhelming weight and sooner or later, it has to collapse.
          Much like that, when corruption from desire, ignorance and false pride is predominant in a living being, it’s not long before he tries to destroy lives of other beings, humans or animals.

          Understand Please that I too was forgiving at all times, but honestly… Unconditional forgiveness saves you from anger, but punishing the guilty properly according to his crimes saves many lives from anger and despair.
          I shouldn’t even be commenting on it. But I know many innocent and defenseless LGBT Christians who are being harassed and destroyed by people who believe in the words of him n people like him.

          I m still with the LGBT Christian movement because I m against any kind of misery caused to anyone, be it a poor man, a gay man, an animal or an insect.
          No living being is born to suffer, and if something causes suffering to any living being, he can either be educated or punished.

          Your duty must be towards everyone, but primarily towards people who are innocent and defenseless like the LGBTQ. If you truly consider the ‘LGBTQ’ as a community, you have to treat it like one.
          Imagine how’ll you behave if the same hate comments are given against your children. Whether about their sexuality, race, physical appearance, etc.
          I m not suggesting break into a war, but firstly…. A community is a family.

          And remember, it only takes drops of rain to flood a city.

          Knowledge is the destroyer of ignorance, desire, hatred and attachment… And one who is unable to grasp facts but acts according to his own whims by using his hands and tongue to harm others, not even God can forgive him.
          (That’s just my opinion and belief)

          Like

          • Hi again subhankarzac1992, thanks for your reply. I hear what you’re saying. I don’t quite take the same view as you but perhaps that’s because I haven’t experienced the hate and rejection that you’ve been subjected to.

            In the end, I do still believe that forgiveness is the only way to live. But I also agree that those who spread hate need to be opposed and stood up to, and ignorance needs to be met with education.

            The difficulty for me is that people like Randall are not deliberately trying to do evil, to spread hate or to incite violence. Indeed, they truly believe that they are the ones who are opposing evil and calling people to true goodness. And I can see where they get these ideas from, and I might even once have believed similar things, though I now disagree with them.

            But I’ll certainly think and pray more about what you’ve said.

            I’m also interested to hear more about the different faith you have found now.

            I wish you all the very best now and always, and I pray God’s blessing on you.

            Like

            • I wouldn’t pay to much attention if I m abused. We all suffer in life, some for the karmic retribution of past deeds, others suffer because of false ego of others.

              But when ones mind is overwhelmed by ignorance and false ego,leading to lust.

              Probably a quote from the Bhagavad Gita might summarize my point-

              “While contemplating on the object of the senses, one develops attachment for them. From such attachment, lust develops, from lust anger arises and from anger complete delusion, which causes bewilderment of memory and when memory is bewildered, one falls down again in the pangs of material entanglement”
              Bhagavad Gita 2:62-63.

              Perhaps, as a Christian, you might not understand mu point of view, but in all fairness, education doesn’t work for all.

              When a man of thirst makes a fist of arrogance, it is impossible for him to take water upto his lips.
              But once he surrenders to the truth and his duty, he’s bound to open his fist, take the water from a spring n drink it with that same hand.
              Arrogance is a result of ego, which makes one blind towards others.
              It’s the same ego that causes man to crush a bug only because it looks ugly. It’s the same ego that knowledge is abused to rob the poor and cause children to starve.

              A crack in a building could be dangerous if the increasing crack is ignored.

              Speaking from my religion (not with the intention of converting or bragging), the great war of Mahabharata that left 4 million people destroyed is a perfect example when one refuses to take the proper action and change views and laws with time.
              Dharma, duty and protection of innocent beings transcends familial relations.
              How a great grandchildren killed his dear great grandfather, his beloved teacher,his cousins and friends… All to do what was needed in the time.

              But a story of 5000 year ago aside, one is bound by his duty. Some choose love as their duty which is the greatest of all, but unconditional love that gradually turns into attachment is destructive.

              I have nothing against him if he insults me. We are all tied by our karmic results, and maybe I m too.
              But I cannot really let someone off the hook if he cannot control his words.

              In the same story of Mahabharata (again as a personal example only), the Supreme God beheads a man who was completely overwhelmed by curses, ego and hatred against others. Only 100 crimes can be forgiven, nothing more. Which is why knowledge is key. N not the one that will get you into Harvard. Even LSE UK produced a terrorist once, but the knowledge that can free oneself from the three gates of a hellish stage of mind- attachment, ego and anger.

              Please do not take my words as a lecture or belittling any religion.
              For me Christ is most merciful manifestation of the Supreme personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, which is why it’s saddening to see followers of both Gods turning from the pain of needy and giving into anger and discrimination.

              Love, compassion and respect are the top virtues of Goodness, but the moment when one sees Any of these are causing harm to any living entity, it’s better to change the rules.

              The inevitable result of ignorance is destruction of mind and body, causing one to become more entangled inside this universe.

              I really appreciate that you are helping Christians become more accepting of others without any hatred against others and tuat too selflessly.

              A fabulous example of another verse from my favorite book-

              “Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or diminution and so by doing you shall never incur sins”
              Bhagavad Gita

              But to summarize, unconditional love that makes you condone ignorance and hate of deluded souls, could only make the situation far worse.
              That is why I commented on his post and though there are other deluded souls here as well, perhaps the one that seem so evil could be turned away and made to comment elsewhere where poor mass of already rejected LGBT Christians cant see these vile words.

              I wish you all the best love, and though we are of different religions, nationalities, races, etc… You have my sincere thanks for helping people who are like my friends.
              God bless
              – with hugs from India.

              Like

            • Hi again, thanks for letting me know more about your beliefs. I certainly don’t share all of these beliefs – for example, I don’t believe in karmic retribution for past deeds, but rather believe in Christ’s grace and our old slate wiped clean. Though I agree that actions have consequences nonetheless, and there are many other things we can agree on.

              I have to admit that I do not fully understand some of the quotations you cite from the Bhagavad Gita – but then I cannot claim to fully understand all passages from my own scriptures. In my experience, those who do claim full understanding usually misunderstand 🙂

              So our approaches will be different, but I pray Christ’s blessing and light on your path now and always. I hope you can one day be fully free from all the abuse that you have experienced. Pray for me too.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Another example of changes with time if I may speak again….
              There is a story of a great warrior within the 10,000 verses of Mahabharata who’s name is Aravan. He knew that he would sacrifice on the battlefield on Kurukshetra. He only wished to be married to a beautiful women a day before his death n he told Krishna his wish.
              The lord being pleased with Aravan’s courage and affection, Krishna, God himself took the form of a woman who married Aravan. They both were intimate that night and the next day Aravan was sacrificed for the battle.
              Which is why it’s imperative to change laws and beliefs with situation n time.

              Like

  12. David Dowtin says:

    Hello.This post was extremely remarkable, particularly since I was looking for thoughts on this topic last week.

    Like

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