The Whole LGBT Thang.

So I have been bantering around Naked Pastor’s site and there was this one blog, that went 400 comments long, about the church and homosexuality…and the majority of people support some movement of inclusion (on that site); some didn’t. I tend to have a feeling the side that doesn’t is likely the majority side within mainstream churches.

It had me wondering though, is the exclusion of the LGBT community from churches a sign of bigotry (to some degree)?

I made the claim to a few people on the site that it is. I know they firmly believe the God they serve is against the gay lifestyle and cannot allow it into his kingdom. They do a dance, linguistically, to hold this position and not be as adamant/fierce on the issue as they think God is (who would condemn such people to hell for being born this way). They know that deep down God hates this lifestyle, which we know is a sexual orientation one is born with…so is to advance a position against gay people that comes with little evidence bigotry?

That all being said, the reason there was 400 comments on the site was because the explanation of the 6 biblical passages that contain any reference to homosexuality was covered in scrutinizing detail (even into the greek in the NT). At the end of it all I was quite happy with what I seen as the most obvious outcome, the biblical passages are not talking about homosexuality at all or as we know it in our era. I think after reviewing that much information, which was literally a mini-book, one could only arrive at this conclusion.

What I see from church people that oppose this issue are arguments that do not make sense and do not take into consideration that someone is biologically engineered this way (ie: created/born this way). Cause if this is the case, which it certainly seems it is, then God is also a bigot (alongside the claims being made by churches to exclude the gay lifestyle based on His words); God hates the way someone is ‘created’. Makes one wonder, how much more people does God hate without cause?

It’s an unteneble position, not allowing gay people into the full church community, both biblically and biologically. It is my position that if one hears the truth on this issue, denies it (remains ignorant), then continues to banter about how God ‘hates’ homosexuality – they are being bigots. It’s like if someone hears all the realities about a certain race of people, denies any of it as true (pretends they didn’t hear), then continues to hate that group (even after knowing many facts surrounding the issue)…that is racism/bigotry (a situation I had happen to me personally).

I am more familiar with this issue than most would know, I understand the racism/bigotry angle quite succinctly. What is happening in churches towards gay people is no different.

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19 thoughts on “The Whole LGBT Thang.

  1. Good stuff.

    I think that this is one of those situations where we must abandon Christianity in order to remain faithful to it (Peter Rollins). In situations like these, where Christianity is turned into some sort of ideological weapon, then Christianity must be abandoned. For in this case, the Christian thing to do is to include and care for those whom Christianity excludes.

  2. I have been thinking about the whole hate the sin and not the sinner and I don’t think it is possible in these times. If you reject the act, you are rejecting the person while they are performing that act. The line between what is being rejected is hard to differenitate as those who identify themselves as LGBT consider the act that is being condemned a critical part of who they are. I don’t think they should be rejected from the body of the church any more than single people are rejected while having sex out of marriage.

    Until the church comes out and says that the LGBT lifestyle, is a not a sin, you are going to have exclusion from parts of the church.

  3. “Until the church comes out and says that the LGBT lifestyle, is a not a sin.”

    Xander, which part of the LGBT lifestyle are you referring to? I live in Toronto’s gay community and work with an organization that provides care to those in the community living with HIV/AIDS. As a result of these sorts of things I know enough about the “LGBT lifestyle” to know that it isn’t all abundant and life giving (i.e. sex with multiple partners, lewd pride parades etc).

    Also, I think in these discussions we’re too quick to suggest that all desire is *good* desire. This just isn’t the case.

    The church has all too often excluded the LGBT community. This is wrong. However, to be sure, I don’t think that the answer is to be *totally* inclusive of any and all behavior either. Some behavior is unhealthy and not reflective of God’s redemptive work in creation. As opposed to totally exclusive or inclusive, I would imagine that the way forward for the church has to look something like what David Fitch mentions: welcoming and mutually transforming. Meaning, all are welcomed into the faith community but NONE are left the same. As we live our lives together we are mutually transformed by the power of God’s Spirit.

    What do you think?

  4. “What do you think?” (JT)

    I agree 100%, sex with multiple partners is not to be accepted as the standard, gay or straight. We must treat gay people like straight people and say that certain behhaviors are not acceptable as part of the teachings of Jesus. I would hold them to the same degree we are held.

  5. “Until the church comes out and says that the LGBT lifestyle, is not a sin, you are going to have exclusion from parts of the church” (Xander)

    True, but we must try to get the church more engaged to these people who are being outcast (which is changing I am finding in the past 5 years or so).

  6. “Xander, which part of the LGBT lifestyle are you referring to?”

    But the whole community is judged by the actions from a segment of the community. This is true of any group. I was referring to the same sex relationship aspect of the lifestyle.

    “sex with multiple partners is not to be accepted as the standard”

    You see the double standard right? Bibically, polygamy was not forbidden. It was not ideal, but it was allowed. Homosexuality is the opposite. So since societies views are changing somewhat, you are ok with homosexuality but not polygamy. Is this not the same double standard protesting where you judge one to be acceptable but not the other?

  7. “You see the double standard right? Bibically, polygamy was not forbidden. It was not ideal, but it was allowed. Homosexuality is the opposite” (Xander)

    I just finishing studying homosexuality and each and every time it used in the bible, you may be in fact be totally wrong about it being ‘outlawed’.

    As for polygamy, the biblical standard starts with Adam (is also re-ittirated by Jesus) – who had one woman. This is the idea for humanity, that we have only one wife. However, biblically this is not the case, many people had many wives and even Abraham had sex with his wife’s servant to have a child. However, there is no law nor teaching on this as ‘right’ or ‘moral’. If polygamy is okay, where is this law or teaching that was enforcing it?

    It is not outright banned either, as far as I can tell, but it was not the norm in society regardless. By the time we reach Jesus’ era we see the idea of one wife only as the norm for the Jewish society (and likely always was).

    But even if we did change a biblical standard, whats wrong with that – specially in the case of something like slavery (which is also quite biblical and can be found in the law)? I mean, Xander would you defend slavery as normal – even if the law of God allowed it? Think of homosexuality the same way.

  8. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife…” (Genesis 2:24)

    Notice ‘wife’ is singular. It’s not ‘wives’. Even the patriarchs after this story get this (including Moses) and are all married to one woman (Abraham is the oddity).

  9. The standard also did not include same sex relationships, so if we hold to one then shouldn’t we hold to the other? Nakedpastor is down or I would go read what is posted.

    I understand your take on slavery, but you are taking something that is not forbidden or alluded to as being sinful and saying that now that society has changed its perception that it is wrong. That is not the same as your adapting the biblical view on homosexuality. Society has not changed that much since the original writer’s time.

    For the record, I am not saying that LGBT should be excluded from being part of the Christian community.

  10. “The standard also did not include same sex relationships, so if we hold to one then shouldn’t we hold to the other?” (Xander)

    True, but then again in that context (Adam and Eve) we are also discussing ‘procreation’ and the world in need of population…this isn’t so much the case anymore. I admit the standard is a guy and girl (this is the statistical norm) however it does not preclude from there being a biological orientation that is different…does it? I am guessing Adam and Eve were 2 fully functional humans (without mental deficit)…so should we also say people with mental disabilities do not meet this ‘standard’?

    When I said standard, what I meant was the ‘ideal’…but life is not only about the ideals – as we are learning from the full human experiece.

    “I understand your take on slavery, but you are taking something that is not forbidden or alluded to as being sinful and saying that now that society has changed its perception that it is wrong” (Xander)

    True, it was totally allowed and ‘okay’. Try selling that line now in any church or basic societal organization group and see the comments that come after it (if not violent reaction towards such an idea).

    Truth is, the Egypt experience to Israel was horrendous and although slavery was still allowed, it was likely different (thus the laws) – but how much better can slavery really get? They were right when they were released from slavery in Egypt, this is a horrible experience and that should always be the ‘standard/ideal’. But it still made it into the law as ‘permissable’ (which is not cool).

    My point is that change happens – and since it is law – this is possible. Homosexuality, if that’s what is truly discussed in Leviticus, was a ‘sin’. However, we now find slavery a ‘sin’ when it wasn’t. Things change and we need to be able to see the possibilities there. If it can go one way (slavery abandoned) it can also go the other way (homosexuality as a sin abandoned).

  11. So Adam and Eve showed a relationship is two people and for awhile it was only male and female until God thought there were enough people then same sex relationships were ok? Just wanting to make sure I understand your stance.

    I think if we went back to the way it was implemented biblically, you could probably sell slavery to people today. It wasn’t to oppress people but rather to allow survival. Now we have government programs where people do not work but are fed. Biblically we see that people took care of their parents when they became elderly and those who refused to work did not eat. Crops were left in the field for widows to pick, but that still required them to get up and do something. Unemployment is high and there are needs within the government in the US. Do a little New Deal type program that provided shelter and food for work, and there would be a lot of people that would accept it.

    Slavery predates Egypt though, so just because the rules were refined after the exodus, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t acceptable to the culture.

    So you agree there are two standards for sin; what the Bible says and what society says.

  12. Hey,

    MichaelSeraph’s comment on the original nakedpastor post was amazing, eh (if it’s the post I think you’re talking about). It spelled out the biblical passages and the context amazingly well, for me at least.

    my 2c, but there must be more than just two standards for sin, wouldn’t you think?

  13. “So Adam and Eve showed a relationship is two people and for awhile it was only male and female until God thought there were enough people then same sex relationships were ok? Just wanting to make sure I understand your stance” (Xander)

    I think my stance would lean more towards the idea of procreation was vital for the human race (and still is) and that God created us to have this ability. Adam and Eve are prototypes of me and you…which is the basic ideal of sexuality (which was reproductive). But it’s an ideal scenario, biologically this does not seem to be the case, I think some people are being created ‘gay’.

    “So you agree there are two standards for sin; what the Bible says and what society says” (Xander)

    I am not saying that all, far from it. I am saying there is on standard for someone that follows the bible as code of living…and society is where this experience takes place.

    What we need to start understanding is the bible is inspiring, and should be used that way for daily living, but it is also limited in it’s scope of areas covered…so we need to decide, based on our interpretation of overall scripture, what decisions we will lean towards in the 21st Century. This is all I am really doing.

    I think Christians want to condemn homosexuality based solely on a few passages from the bible (six in total I think) and that’s the gist of their summation on the issue. When one looks even at those 6 passages it is crystal clear homosexuality is not being addressed, or at least not many versions of being ‘gay’ we have now.

    This is what troubles me the most, since it is leading to bigotry – reinforced by the church as it’s leader and banner waver. I honestly thought churches were supposed be the moral agents of society and in this case we have it backwards (were the moral retardation that is occuring). It’s really sad, and the church has been functioning like this for some time in the Western portion of the world (which is why I actually do question the role of a church that seems to lack overall purpose).

    On this issue, the church is sadly mistaken and upholds literalism of texts based on a tradition of dislike for gays in the Western World. I don’t think the texts themselves actually show homosexuality as a sin, not the norm, but not a sin.

  14. What a society finds as morally acceptable is always changing and not even the same in all areas of the world at any given time. The church couldn’t possible hold it as the basis of judgment and where eternity is going to be spent. That is why the church holds that the Bible doesn’t change. Other wise there is no standard to basis your life on except what you feel like. Without the standard, you come to a place where if your current society doesn’t agree with what you think, move to a different area where that society holds similar values to you.

    I agree that the hatred that is shown to the LGBT community is wrong. The church shouldn’t be a part of that. But it comes back to the point of how do you hate the sin without hating the sinner. Someone is going to feel rejected when you reject an idea they hold as a critical part of who they are.

  15. “But it comes back to the point of how do you hate the sin without hating the sinner.” (Xander)

    It’s what I would call the impossible possibility is that term. It’s like we as Christians think we can love what God hates (sin) so we develop a term that ‘sounds nice’…it doesn’t work. That which is sin has no real place in our lives, or at the least, we should admit the problem.

    This is why homosexuality has to not be seen as a sin – since if it is classified as a ‘sin’ – it’ll/they’ll always be something God hates. And as Christians trying to mimic God (being godly) we’ll eventually arrive at the conclusion to slightly hate them too. We won’t say we hate them, but exclusion and shunning someone (which is neglect) is just as bad as physically abusing someone. God hates, we’ll have no choice either as good and obedient Christians.

    I dont buy into that line of advice anymore since it doesn’t work (love the sinner/hate the sin); I just love the people around me, if I see the problems, I will address the problems, I will seek accountability and responsibility, and develop my friendship with that person over time. I do not see a reason for a single person to be shunned. And in this case, I don’t see how homosexuality is a ‘sin’ against God or man/woman.

    If ‘sin’ is missing the mark/standard/ideal, the homosexuality can be viewed as ‘different’ from that ideal/standard (I agree). However, then we might need to understand what ‘sin’ actually is then…since homosexuality really effects me 0%.

    The problem Xander is – you want homosexuality to be a sin – and since you see it that way there is nothing that can be done for the gay community (they are as doomed as they are born). This poses a serious problem, because what if they are actually ‘created’ that way Xander? Can God hate his own ‘creation’? Does God create a ‘mistake’?

  16. I don’t want homosexuality to be a sin. I have read and seen that it is called that. Once the nakedpastor gets his site moved, I will read the post and see what was said. Maybe I will change my mind.

    If they can track down the gay gene the argument of someone being born gay can be better defended instead of it being an enviromental influence. I honestly don’t think anyone just decides to be gay, so the it’s a choice argument that christians like to make doesn’t have much merit in my mind.

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