Can a Christian Be Gay? (#470)
The expansion of gay rights in American culture in unprecedented in the last five years and has dramatically changed the public dialog about homosexuality in America. It has changed the dialog inside Christianity as well as some people claim the Scriptures used to condemn homosexuality have been misinterpreted. In this climate how do we find a way to be true to our convictions and at the same time share the Father's love with those who see this issue differently than the way we do. In this special podcast Wayne muses on the difficult questions surrounding this critical issue and shares his current thoughts about the changing culture and our possible response to people we know who deal with same-sex attraction.
LGBTQ Christians: Hope for the Unseen by Benjamin Moberg
NY Times article about Exodus International Disbanding
NPR's Sunday Conversation interview of Allen Edwards
David Dunn's column for Huffington Post: Civil Unions by Another Name
Our latest update from Kenya
A Journey Out of Sexual Brokenness, a previous podcast about sexuality
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at "TheGodJourney"
Hi Wayne, thank you for talking about this! I love all that you said and it confirms it for me.
It makes sense,people that are gay likely did not choose to be that. I have heard many people that were victims of molestation or young boys who lost their fathers, all kinds of reasons why this could “happen” to someone including hearing of those who seem to have been born that way.
I have been thinking about this lately and I used to be “against” it very strongly as a good pharisee. But now I am understanding that peoples struggles are like you said, not something they would really choose. Some may see no hope in changing. So I think in general you just love people for who they are regardless.
Totally agree with you in that I don’t think acting out those desires is God’s perfect plan. I do think that if this world were perfect, we would all embrace our gender and identity in Christ. Just like that young man said, and have wholeness.
Yes — “God loves us all regardless of our brokenness and we should love and respect one another as he does!” not putting shame and condemnation on one another.
As a Christ follower dealing with same-sex attraction and who has “chosen” not to follow the gay lifestyle, I was curious in what you would say. Were you going to reach the same “conclusions” that I have. I was encouraged by your words and pretty much agreed with it all. Really liked Allen Edwards comments.
Some thoughts to consider:
Our sexuality runs deep. If we consider that our creation was defined simply as “male and female” in Genesis, and that we reflect the image of God through that creation, it is not surprising that distortion of that image of God would occur, and perhaps because it is the devil’s desire to destroy that image (the base of our creation), issues of sexuality become so dominant. Homosexuality is only one of those expressions.
Therefore, God’s CREATED INTENT as expressed in Genesis is the relationship between man and wife. So we can read this as truth – His idea, His purpose. But what people forget is that because of our fallenness, we are unable to do the right thing. Everything is distorted. The “church” has forgotten that people need to come to Him to experience increasing freedom. Only in Him do we start to receive power to move toward his created intent though never fully on this side of eternity. Instead, the demand is acceptable behaviour and then maybe God will love you. We are asking people to change without giving them access to the power that creates change.
My own journey was filled with angst, depression and suicidal thoughts, and I almost abandoned my marriage and God until one day, 15 years ago, I chose to face the issue head on and found a group of compassionate people who introduced me to a Jesus that was far different from the one I had known up until then. The focus became Him, and not my issues. In knowing Him, I began to trust Him. I began to see that His plans for me were good. I began to see that I was not condemned for my thoughts, I also saw how powerless I was in changing something that ran so obviously deep.
In getting to know Him, in experiencing His love and kindness, I found myself wanting to choose to align with His truth, His created intent. The desires of same sex attraction are up and down on any given day, but the Holy Spirit has birthed a GREATER DESIRE: to follow what God determines as being best of me. Do I trust Him? Do I believe that He is on my side? Do I believe that he only wants the best for me, to experience freedom? If I do, then making the choice to follow is not so difficult to do, even though I do not always “feel” that way. But I trust Him.
If we are expecting to change in the world without a personal encounter with Christ, if we think that people can change without the power of the Holy Spirit, then we have simply returned to living by the law, and the gospel of grace has lost its purpose and meaning. The world is the world and it is simply following its course.
Do I still have struggles? Yes. I accept that I have them and do not deny that they exist. It is particularly difficult when the world is now presenting homosexuality as good.
The world mocks me for choosing to follow created intent. But then the world mocks everything. They mocked me for being gay when I was in Grade 1; all the way through school when I was not even sure what that meant. But I began to believe that I was and believe that it was bad – this from the world and the church. Finally I choose not to go that route, and suddenly the world is mocking me because I am choosing not to follow a gay lifestyle. Nope, I do not believe a word that the world tells me. I am listening to Abba’s voice for my identity and value. This is the only answer.
If we have the belief that as Christians we are mandated to change the world, we are going to be frustrated and out of that frustration a lot of ugly things can happen. I see this message being preached and espoused in a lot of places. We will never change the world, the world will always be against Christ – anti Christ. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if we just try harder and if people would simply stop sinning, then the world will be a beautiful place. Not going to happen. It is always on a downward slide, and we think we can stop it. We cannot change the world as a whole, but we can touch individuals.
We are called to love our neighbour as Christ has loved us. This is the new commandment. Not loving our neighbour as ourselves, but loving others as Christ has loved us. Jesus know that the only thing that transforms us is Him residing in us. Perhaps our focus should be to introduce people to Christ and let Him make the changes in His timing as they encounter his amazing grace and love, rather than trying to wash the outside of the cup.
Thanks John L that was very eloquently put, I am not gay but have a gay sister . I have had to rid myself of the religious judgemental spirit in me and was also led to the conclusion as you said that I should love others as Christ loved me . We cannot change people only the love of Christ can do it . Thanks for reminding me and I commend you on your bravery and perseverance.
Love, Peace and Grace …
Christians can claim the term: Christian Marriage
It could be considered a blessing that we don’t own the term marriage anymore. God’s idea of marriage is wrapped up in Christ. Anytime we talk about Christian Marriage our focus is on Christ, Christ in us and our relationship with him. We are to have the same loving and sacrificial relation ship with our spouse. The term should sharpen our focus on what marriage should be.
Use of the term should make it easy for any one who does marriages to only do Christian Marriages. Acting as an officiant of religion they should not have to have permission of the state. The couple can always then go to the state with a justice of the peace to register the marriage with the government.
Hi Wayne & all
Can a Christian be gay…….?
Well, can a Christian have anger issues? Can a Christian be a smoker, a sex addict, an alcoholic, or a gambler?
God doesn’t call perfect people or ‘good’ people or ‘nice’ people into His kingdom, He calls sinners!!
The really cool thing is that, I’m not the judge. God is!! I’m called to love people. I’m called to love gay people & accept them as they are.
The only thing I can see in the scriptures is that God is Love! So, all His judgements must also be in love. He is kind, faithful, good, compassionate, caring etc etc & will eventually save the world!!
“Can a Christian be Gay?” “Can a Christian be an addict?” I am not sure that I can see a difference in the answer to those questions. As someone on my own recovery journey seems like the focus on Connection (living loved – not duty) is more hope-filled space to dwell in than trying to second guess God’s view of behavior. I do choose to celebrate His Presence and let His truth “label me – not my struggles. Somewhere in there transformation and living again is “happening”.
Wayne – thanks for taking on this topic. I, too, have watched the upheaval in our society and faith community and it grieves me
To be transparent, I have changed my thinking on the topic as well. I’ll spare picking a side. But here is what I will say I no longer believe it is a choice. I support monogamous love between consenting adults. I do not think society can deprive people from the right to live and make decisions about how their money or health should be decided
Most of all I hope we will give up the hateful accusations thrown at the gay community. Regardless of what we may or may not think, surely we are called to love. And we need to let go our selective outrage over seeming struggles that others have
I don’t know if the issue will ever be settled. But loving the other is something we can do today
Pondering your thoughts… (smile)
Wow, Wayne! Thank you for touching this in such a beautiful and loving way.
Although I am not LGBTQ, I have friends who are and their struggle hurts me deeply. I have wrestled with Papa over this for years, primarily due to the “religious teachings” I grew up in.
Through the years and through hours spent talking with Gay friends and family, and even more in prayer and listening for Papa I have come to so many of the conclusions you do here.
God asks me to love the PERSON, period.
He doesn’t ask me to judge them.
He doesn’t need me to change them.
He certainly doesn’t want me to be rude or condescending in any way.
He wants us to love. Period.
Love the gay person,
even the murderer.
He wants us to LOVE His children.
I struggled for a very long time about the whole “is homosexuality a sin” question. I learned somewhere (maybe from you) that the original word for “sin” was an archery term used for “missing the mark”. I LOVE that. Because I KNOW that Papa Loves every one of us – no matter what! He wants the very best for us. He delights in our joy! And I also know that our JOY is the bullseye – His desire – and therefore Homosexual acts will not lead us to the most joy-filled life. No matter how accepting society becomes of homosexuality, it still will never lead to the most fulfilled life. So now, I see homosexuality as “missing the mark” for the most fulfilled life. It doesn’t mean that the gay person is unlovable or unloved! It’s certainly not that God turns his back on them! It simply means that their life is not as fulfilled as it could be. I think it hurts Papa to see his gay children suffer too.
There is a very definite disservice being done to Papa’s kingdom as Christians stay in their judgement and condemn these souls. I have a very dear friend who’s twin brother is gay. This beautiful young woman has an incredible heart for people but is terrified to attend any “church” for fear of the condescending looks and words she would receive when those members found out her brother is gay. She doesn’t want her young boys to be taught that her brother is “bad”. He is her twin, her “womb-mate”. She loves him very much. She cannot bear the judgement of “church” on him, so she stays away. It’s a sad consequence of the years of the “church’s” stance on this issue. I love the conversations that we have had and I love to tell her how much God loves her brother, and her too. We must LOVE, everyone.
I love how you end this podcast. It’s not my place to change people. It’s my place to love them. Papa can change them IF he desires – and if not, He still loves them and needs me to love them too. My desire is to LOVE them with the love I have received and to give them the grace I’ve been given. The rest of it – well that’s between Papa and them.
I love this one.
Like your thoughts Leah, particularly the ones quoted below.
He wants us to love. Period.
Love the gay person,
even the murderer.
This was a great podcast – thank you!
This is an area of social tension that God has helped me understand more clearly throughout my life. I was raised in a fundamentalist church congregation (that label was part of the official name) and learned how to deliver a large dose of condemnation toward others. Then I spent a decade in the Episcopal denomination and only left in 2003 after they chose a gay bishop.
Over the last 6 months, a friend has been challenging me on my beliefs about homosexuality. He has been studying this topic for quite a while and spent most of the last 2 months researching and writing about different ways to understand the scripture passages that appear (esp. in some recent translations) to condemn homosexuality. As someone who takes the Bible seriously, I now believe that there’s a reasonable doubt that any scriptural authority would condemn committed, monogamous homosexual couples. (Isn’t that the standard for a successful defense? The prosecutor has a much higher obligation to show conclusive proof.)
I encourage you to read the result of my friend’s research (warning, it’s long) and make up your own mind: http://www.gaymarriageandthebible.com
Wayne, a very relevant and timely podcast.
I don’t know if you or anyone one else here were aware, but recently two brothers announced to their family (and the world) via the internet that they were gay, and the video went viral. In response, the father said he would continue to love them and have them in his life.
I believe that practicing homosexuals have a strong sense of what they are doing is wrong, no one has to tell them, they know in their hearts and in their consciousness. I agree with you Wayne, being gay is not a sin, but acting on sinful impulses resulting from being gay, is. Its akin to a ‘straight’ person who is married who has an extramarital affair. Different sins, but the same struggle.
Leah, I like how you listed how loving the gay person is exactly like loving people with other sins. Being gay is NOT the unpardonable sin. In the Bible, it is listed among other sins which are part of our fallen condition.
Thank you for your podcast, our family has had this discussion recently,
We have been on a journey of of loving people and some of those people God has put in our lives have been a gay couple, so we struggled with the whole thing and came to pretty much the same conclusions that you came to.
It has been interesting talking to other Christian friends who have a difficult time with us having a gay couple over for dinner and holidays.
God is showing us love in many new ways, and we love hearing the podcasts and how God is showing so many others the same kind of thing he is showing our family.
Love many of the comments also. God is good
I’ve been listening for about two years now. This is the first time I’ve written to you. I know you get flooded with comments each week, but I had to thank you for your thoughts on homosexuality. Although I have never struggled with that aspect of life, I have a perspective that I’d like to offer.
I agree that having desires that oppose godly living is not sin, it is temptation. Rather, it is acting on the sinful desire that constitutes sin. Jesus said that lusting after a woman was adultery. The desire for the woman is not sin, but entertaining lustful thoughts is sin. We all struggle with sinful desires; what we do with those desires tells the tale.
For the longest time I parroted the teaching that homosexuality was a choice. That was the party line. I have come to a very different position of late. That change in perspective is more the fruit of study than acquiescing to the modern culture. I have removed the theological glasses that colored my worldview and now see things quite differently.
I believe that sin is genetic, not just spiritual. The Bible tells us that, ”Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12) Most Christians, even pastors I have known, simply think that sin is this spiritual non-entity that affects us, but is not part of our physical being. Jesus’ birth needed to be the product of a virgin conceiving because the sin nature is passed down through the father to the children. I think that sin affects our physical body, not just our spirits. I would not be surprised to hear, in the days to come, that scientists identify genes that are related to all manner of what we call sin. That doesn’t remove responsibility, but it does make sense out of what we see all around us. People deal with individual predilections; some are predisposed to anger, addiction, immorality, stealing, etc. I believe that these are as much genetically based, as they are issues of choice.
We all are born into this world with a bent toward “the sin that so easily besets”. Each person struggles with sinful behaviors, but most have their own particular sinful issue that plagues them. How we deal with those impulses and desires is the crux of living like Jesus.
For most who struggle with it, same sex affection is not a choice they made. However, it can be a chosen lifestyle, but then all sinful desires can become lifestyles. As a pastor I saw Christians elevate gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins, to an art form and a lifestyle. I have come to understand that Jesus sees all sinful acts and lifestyles the same; they keep us from becoming more like him. They block the road to intimacy with Father. Christians need to come to the place where they see acts of gossip in the same light as homosexual acts. They need to recognize that being proud that they are not gay is as distasteful to Jesus as murder. For too long the ‘church’ has adopted the position of the “Pharisee who prayed with himself, saying, Lord I thank you that I am not like other men”…like this homosexual.
I learned a long time ago that if you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer. Can a homosexual be a Christian? That’s the wrong question. Can a person who struggles with same sex affection be a Christian? Absolutely! Can any of us be Christians who adopt a lifestyle that is antagonistic to Christian values? What did Jesus say? Perhaps the better question for daily living is: am I judging others as I want to be judged, in keeping with the gospel of grace?
Chris you said, ” Can a homosexual be a Christian? That’s the wrong question. Can a person who struggles with same sex affection be a Christian?
I’m pretty sure both are the same. you just worded it differently.
So many things change when we finally allow ourselves to believe the Father loves us . . . even once held religiously-defined terms take on a new shape when backlit by his love. Take sin for instance, in the light of his love sin becomes a symptom of brokenness instead of the disease itself. Jesus saw our brokenness as not knowing the Father and came to heal our disease by showing us the his heart. Once his spirit of love heals our brokenness, the symptom of sin gradually resolves itself.
Love that Kent!
So many things change when we finally allow ourselves to believe the Father loves us . . . even once held religiously-defined terms take on a new shape when backlit by his love. Take sin for instance, in the light of his love sin becomes a symptom of brokenness instead of the disease itself.
LOL… Didnt mean to send that yet.
I just love that phrase – backlit by His love!
I’m gonna use that if you don’t mind! Good stuff!
Sin loses it’s strength when we truly know how much we are loved! Literally, it becomes almost irrelevant- doesn’t it?!
Love gives us the light to see the person… not the sin. Backlit! Love it!
Thank you for your courage to speak on such a sensitive subject. For many years my circle of friends was always in the local church so I did not know anyone that was gay until a few years ago. But then I met Nick (and others) and it was like putting faces and hearts to dehumanized labels. I don’t particularly feel the need to put them into a prayer category of “falling short” when they pursue their gender orientation, although I can understand that perspective. But I’ve come to a different path regarding this—a path which remains for me most faithful to the heart of Christianity. I choose to devote my time and energies to seeing and celebrating the image of God stamped upon every person no matter their gender orientation. I need never to feel threatened by truth and goodness that I find in unlikely places and I seek to be the guardian of my own faith journey not others. People of faith and goodwill can disagree on serious, fundamental issues—but we need to be careful to preserve that goodwill between us, to believe in the other person’s right to hold their opposing opinion, and to trust in that person’s faithful working out of God’s call in their own life. Thank you for enabling the discussion on this subject. It gives me hope to hear folks seeking to build not burn the bridges of those who are trying to mend with a community that has seen a lot of pain and sorrow. God’s grace and peace to you.
For clarity: Not the same Tom that commented previously.
Conversation on this topic reminds me of attempts to clarify what it means to respect someone. The definitions runs from being kind, civil and non-threatening, to “accepting” an idea and/or person, agreeing with it and the person and being willing to assist in promoting and furthering that idea and the person associating with it.
In this case,the question can be asked, what does it mean to love another person in the context of disagreements. If an idea, opinion or personal belief does not directly affect us in terms of relationship with that person (although perhaps very little doesn’t), the stakes may not be as high. I would start by noting that listening and pursuing understanding are always a good idea. Understanding does not necessitate agreement. In fact, it usually requires the tolerance of disagreement. But then, one can ask, what does tolerance mean, or more importantly, what will it look like and what are the implications. I think of Jesus being known for friendship with, and loving, “sinners”. Prostitutes are mentioned, but I suspect Jesus did not attend orgies,or with due reverence, offer to help “pimp them”.
It is interesting to look at homosexuality (not to be confused with same gender attraction), or the homosexual lifestyle (acting out sexually on interpersonal attractions), in the context of what is often the subject of this website and Wayne’s areas of focus, namely the “organization” of church. On a broader level, what does one do when interaction with a person and their behaviour(s) can lead to direct or implied conclusions that one is agreeing with a particular activity that in fact one disagrees with based on one’s understanding and interpretation of the bible. More to the point, what does one do when an openly practicing homosexual wants to participate in activities officially connected to an organization. Or Wayne, what if you were to be considering an associate with the work you are involved in, but the person is a practicing homosexual and in fact wants to promote their position on these matters as part of the “ministry” the two of you would be engaged in?
The part I find most disconcerting is the apparent need for anyone to associate their identity to their sexuality. In this context, I observe the apparent need to affirm this identity (and often promote it) in what sometimes culminates in taking and expressing “pride” in this description of identity. AS Christians, our identity is found in Christ and hopefully this results in humility (I become less of the focus and the light is shone increasingly of God’s glory).
As relates to same sex marriage, it is my opinion that the most clever strategy employed was changing the issue from one of definition, to one of rights. Same gender unions or partnerships should be given all the rights that this nature of relationship is given by our society and the laws and procedures we live under.
Sorry if I’m rambling, but I return to wanting to hear more discussion on what it specifically means, but also does not necessarily entail, to love and respect someone as Christ loved us. We are after all,to love as we have been loved. So I guess “how did God love us?” (Please don’t say unconditionally….smile).
May God give us all wisdom as we pursue understanding inside of the dynamic of relationship.
The church has been wrong about a few important social issues and the last 250 years have seen the majority of the church reverse positions on:
– is slavery acceptable / is the Negro race the the cursed offspring of Noah’s grandson
– should Jews be treated differently / are modern Jews responsible for the crucifixion
– should women have the same legal rights as men / does Eve’s sin still haunt modern women
Even though there are passages in the Bible that Christians used to defend those positions, the church decided to change the way we understand the Bible.
Is it possible that many of us have been mis-understanding the Bible as it relates to same-sex relationships?
I believe there is a huge difference spiritually between the rampantly promiscuous gay culture made (in)famous in the later parts of the previous century and a same-sex marriage – two monogamous adults in a committed life-long relationship (I know one gay man, and know of several others, who have been “married” far longer than I have).
I encourage you to read the site I linked to above (see my comment from the 23rd) and consider whether you can understand a few passages in the Bible differently than you do now.
I realize that many Christians are not ready to make this jump yet, and that is ok – God is taking us on our own journeys through different paths at different times. The most important aspect is to not lose sight of our unity under Christ.
May God grant us a full measure of his peace (both harmony and tranquility), grace, and love!
Thanks for the reply Jeremy. I read most of the article you suggested (and you’re right…it is long…smile). I can say I understood the analysis provided, but I can’t say I ended up at agreement. Analysis, word studies and such can be useful, but implications and conclusions can differ from person to person.
I am not unaware that I believe the Holy Spirit operates in all matters that our journey’s touch, but everyone who claims belief and trust in God would reasonably assert this. Having said that, after making attempts to drill down into any issue I seek truth on, I try to come back to a bird’s eye overview of all that I have considered and try to discern “what passed the smell test” if you will, or what resonates with and within my soul. (I think this is important in view of my opinion that just about anything can be proof texted with a particular person’s views, beliefs, agenda and interpretations being at work in the process). To be sure, some issues and elements of the faith seem more easily discerned, but I never cease to be amazed at the positions and beliefs some attempt to advance as truth – of course I am speaking in a general sense.
In fairness to your interest to engage, I can tell you my opinion that same gender marriage is oxymoronic and/or a contradiction in terms, did not change. However, I thank you because I believe my understanding of the issues, interpretations and conflicting positions is enhanced. Most importantly, my understanding of individuals with differing beliefs has deepened and has, and hope will continue to, increased the empathy and connectedness I experience toward them. I trust this will facilitate my desire and actioning of looking to love others in meaningful ways that go beyond emotional warm feelings and condescending cliches.
We truly are all children of God (including saved or unsaved) and journey together. I am happy to leave the judging to God because I know he will do whatever that involves with absolute grace and love, intent on redeeming anything and everything for those that freely choose to allow him to do so in their lives. God’s wrath is against sin, not his creation, and I am even more happy to leave all behavioural transformation to him. It is simply my desire to allow his love to grow in relationship to and with him and to let that love flow to others.
Thanks for listening.
Sorry, just one more comment.I firmly believe that love is never conditional on the part of the giver of love. However, it seems to stand to reason that love is conditional on the part of the receiver. This is because we have free will. For instance, God has provided complete forgiveness, but he does not force it on us. We can choose whether we will receive if freely. By the same token we cannot dictate conditions on him for the receiving of that gift. My dilemma is that it seems to me that in the case at hand, practicing homosexuals sometime seem to require that my acceptance of them, and/or for loving them, is predicated on acceptance or affirmation of their behavioural choices as relates to sexuality.
The answer to ‘How did God love us’, is that he sent His son, Jesus, to live with us, and die for us.
Jesus is our model on how we are supposed to love. Two examples of the effectiveness of His love are the reactions of the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7: 36-50) and the thief on the cross (Luke 23: 26-43). They both knew the nature of their sin, but still believed they were not beyond God’s forgiveness.
Thanks Ron. I don’t think anyone would disagree with what you say.
My question was more intended to reflect my desire to see more discussion (not necessarily here) occurring about what it means to love each other, and what that looks like. I trust it makes sense that this is important when we are interacting with those we have disagreements with (of course Jesus went even further encouraging love for persons we would downright characterize as enemies!).
How should we respond when someone we disagree with ties our agreement with them to the legitimacy of our desire and attempts to love them. On the other hand, I must be satisfied with the reality that I must be willing to have my attempts to love someone rejected and in fact ridiculed or attacked. God would understand something of that dynamic.
Agreeing to disagree may be easier said than done, graciously. What it should look like can bring increased disagreement, and soon trying to love, respect and accepting each other becomes increasingly challenging. May God’s grace guide our attempts to reflect his love.
Again, Tom, I go no further than Jesus on your further questioning, in the Sermon on the Mount. There is a ‘breaking point’ where there is a letting go of a relationship, when there is a disagreement (Matthew 18;15-20). Romans 1:24 spells it out explicitly when it says God ‘gave them over’.
I don’t think we can go beyond God in our love for other people when they continue to reject us. Yes it is heartbreaking to say the least. But I can’t imagine how much more God’s heart breaks when people reject Him, and plunge headlong further into sin.
Thank-you for discussing this very important subject. It’s a no brainer for me to treat those of the gay lifestyle with respect and love — this is what God would want. Afterall we are told to love our enemies (not that I consider them enemies).
I especially admire those who have same sex attraction and don’t act on their feelings. I would love more discussion on why marriage between a man and woman reflects God’s plan.
Hi JKB. The following is the Genesis account to which I ascribe as God’s plan. Genesis 2:18-24. It describes how the sexes came to be, why woman was created, and a “therefore” that provides the ongoing outcome of that event.
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
This scripture provides what God’s intent is in my mind. When in doubt, I return to what the truth is as expressed through scripture. This returns me to the bedrock when I am being swayed but the views of the world.
Of course, I have to believe that what the Bible says is truth. I have looked fairly carefully at this scripture and the subject of gender in the Bible. As much as man wants to rework scripture for their convenience, this verse is pretty foundational and can’t really be tinkered with. To me the reason why man and woman come together is to return to the oneness that originally existed, something not possible with the 2 of the same sex coming together. There is no “oneness” possible because the other half IS the opposite sex.
That’s a brief synopsis for what keeps me from acting on my feelings.
I love the scripture and I think it is one of the best opportunities God is using to show us his loving Character. But the bible is not equal with God and it´s not “Gods Word” in meaning of his personally spoken one to one word which is written down. It took thousands of years and many many God loving people who discussed, interpreted and prayed about many more different scriptures. Please, I absolutely don´t want to make the bible bad in any way. But there is a ranking. First God and his personal contact to us, than the bible which is pointing to him and his love. We often can´t take a sentence without interpreting it before the original context and culture. In my understanding of the scripture, the original meaning of Adam means man – human being. And this wonderful description of the creation tells us about a loving Abba who know, that his creation was made for community and the need of it to survive.
Eva was NOT (in my understanding and translation) a helper made for Adam. This is a typical and very patriarchal translation. It means more a needed complement to survive. It is much more than a “helping hand” – how derogative. Eva, women or in a greater context every our fellows around us are made as a rescue from our selfish self, from our isolation.
And because of this please don´t take sentences out of the whole meaning and make the bible small. It is much deeper than we will ever know. I think the meaning of this wonderful creation story is a description of Gods affection, love and supply for his creation. Not a construction-manual from IKEA how God created the different gender and who has wich task. Anyway, I think the greatest fulness of godly partnership comes from two people – who are centered with their needs, hopes and identity in God – an in the best case enjoy it grateful as woman and man.
I` am glad about reading that people more and more don´t damn other people because they are not the standard.
I´am sad about what the main context of this post seems to be instead of … and … It is – sorry – still full of discrimination.
[…Love the gay person, the homeless, the alcoholic, the promiscuous, the liar, the cheat, even the murderer…].
Named in ONE sentence!
Can you imaging how it hurts even it was not intended? We love you … even you are a degenerated person … like a murderer.
I ám a cancer.
Do you know how it feel?
Trying, and trying and trying to be “normal”, praying, crying, shouting to God. Silence.
Do you know how it feel to live abstinent the whole life? To live without physical tenderness because my christian stamping would damn it? I can´t claim that anybody of you can understand me. But do you really know what you expect from me? Graciously you accept I am an ill or degenerated person who “perhaps had really” no choice. And often in the past I hoped this by myself too, instead of be a hopeless outcast person damned by God. But that is not enough – you withhold me what you claim for yourself as normality – human closeness. Could you endure what you are expected so easily from others by branding it as sin?
I find my rest and affection more and more in Abba. T h a n k y o u G o d ! With less and less performance. With decreasing shame about myself. I still live bodily abstinent. There is still a great longing for a human partnership and tenderness.
Perhaps Abba takes away this longing. Perhaps I´will be like you – one day. Perhaps.
The primary reason man and woman are married is procreation, it is God’s plan for the human race, otherwise, it doesn’t survive. The man-man and woman-woman unions fall short of that plan.
Those who follow Jesus understand that a servant is no greater than His master. Jesus, mockingly stamped as ‘King of the Jews’, was considered hopeless and outcast by society, not by God. And neither are the gay person, the homeless, the alcoholic, the promiscuous, the liar, the cheat, even the murderer.
Jesus went as far as feeling forsaken by God, but it wasn’t a permanent state. Neither it is for the list named here. And Jesus was from the line of David, who was a murderer. We can’t discount a fact in someone’s life to say that God would condemn that person. That is simply not true.
I understand how this makes you feel. My daughter has expressed the same things to me when she hears messages on this subject. As I posted she feels God made her this way and then said it was wrong. With my whole heart I want to understand and love everyone as they are. I would appreciate your insight into how to express love without being offensive.
I would love to hear your story if you wouldn’t mind sharing. I am still growing and not because I am flawless but because my heart is breaking in so many ways. I just want Jesus and to walk with him in every way.
Thank you Wayne for this talk. My daughter has come out and as a Christian I have struggled with the thought she would never come to God. I cried when you said I could celebrate with her if she married. That is what I was hoping but didn’t know if it was Gods heart. I have prayed over and over about this and ask God to show me how to move forward. She is angry with God because she feels he created her this way and then said it was wrong. I love her so much and know God does as well.
Hello on this marriage thing. It is all very simple and awesome at the same time. Sounds a lot like God.
Angels can’t do it, nor animals. Just men and women. We have sex and sometimes a new life is created. That life is unlike any other form of life in creation. It has a spirit life that is eternal. Only men and women were given this ability to bring a new soul into existence. That is the mark. If we have sex with ourselves we miss the mark. If we have sex with anyone we should ask if we are missing the mark. Can we miss the mark with our spouse? Of course we can. I’m not going legal here and saying that sex is only for reproduction like I have heard some very sad pastors teach. I just want to point out that what an amazing thing this sex is and what an amazing power we have with it. To create and to destroy. Is it any wonder Satan wants to kill and destroy any good that sex can be? If a new spirit comes into existence at the instant of conception why wouldn’t the dark side want to destroy and kill it.
I very much agree that a previous person pointed out that we are all born with and grow up with many different desires that can cause us to miss the mark on a very regular basis. So how about we just deal with our relationship with ABBA and try to help others do the same.
Remember, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother (sister).
I am late to this conversation, but I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Imagine my surprise when one of the godliest friends I had in college confided in me, and only me, that he was attracted to guys. The problem was his: we were in a denomination and in a culture of horrible hate regarding homosexuals. He was mourning the fact that he would never marry, have children, or know sexual love in the way he wanted. He wasn’t leaving the church, but he did not know how to stay either. I felt honored to help carry this burden — though it was brief in time — because he graduated college, and I have no idea want became of his life. I have prayed for him over the decades not for freedom I’m his attractions, but for freedom in Christ, growth in Christ, etc. Of course, this set in motion a questioning in me: why is the Church not addressing this issue, nor embracing people who are different? It never seemed ok to me to be a “Christian Club” on Sunday mornings. Your gracious “talk” today really meant a lot to me. God bless.