LGBTQ and Christianity

Published by DonDavidson on

This past weekend 31 members of a white nationalist group were arrested in Idaho[1] before they were able to disrupt a Pride celebration by the LGBTQ community.[2] I wonder if any of those 31 claim to be Christians.

In Topeka, Kansas, Westboro Baptist Church members routinely protest against homosexuals by holding signs that say “God Hates You” and “God Hates Fags.”

In Watauga, Texas (a suburb of Fort Worth), a preacher at Stedfast Baptist Church told his congregation that homosexuals should be charged with the crime of homosexuality, tried, convicted, and then “lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”[3]

Is this what Christianity teaches? Is this what Jesus stood for? My answer is an emphatic “No.”

Jesus told us that the second most important commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)[4] He also told us to “love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) If we love our enemies, we should show them kindness, not hatred or meanness. Scripture leaves no room for hating homosexuals or transgender people or anyone else—God loves them and so must we.

And if they are outside the church, we are not even to judge them. Paul made that abundantly clear in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, where he says: “For what business of mine is it to judge outsiders? . . . those who are outside, God judges.”

But what of those who claim to be Christians? Shall we exclude them from God’s church? That is a harder question, and one that each denomination and each congregation must decide. But I have trouble believing that Jesus would exclude them. I believe he would instead try to nourish their faith and help them grow in spiritual maturity, which is difficult to do outside the church.

Many claim that homosexual conduct is a sin. Perhaps it is, although I have heard it argued otherwise.[5] Since I am not seminary-trained and am not fluent in either Hebrew or Greek, I’m not sure I’m qualified to render a definitive judgment on that particular question. So I will keep my own personal opinion to myself.

But we are all sinners, are we not? (See Romans 3:23.) Malachi 2:16 quotes God as saying, “I hate divorce.” Should we exclude divorced people from the church?  Paul condemns a great many things as sinful and/or ungodly, including gossip, envy, greed, deceit, slander, strife, jealousy, selfishness, arrogance, drunkenness, outbursts of anger, etc.[6] Shall we exclude everyone from the church who behaves in any of these ways? If we did that, every church would be empty.

We Christians would all be better off if we worried about the logs in our own eyes rather than the specks in other people’s eyes. (Matthew 7:1-5)

So why are some people so filled with hate toward the LGBTQ community that they would travel hundreds of miles and risk arrest just to disrupt a Pride celebration? Let’s talk about that next week.

I talk about this and other sex-related topics in more detail in “Let’s Talk About Sex,” which is Chapter 9 of my book, Beyond Shallow Faith. You can read part of that chapter here, and you can find a description of the book here.

[1]. Only one of the 31 was actually from Idaho. The rest came from nine other states, including at least 7 from Texas.

[2]. LGTBQ stands for Lesbian-Gay-Transgender-Bisexual-Queer.

[3]. You can listen to the sermon here: The remark in question is at about time 1:02:10 (out of 1:26:49). The sermon is filled with a lot of additional ignorant and hateful invective against homosexuals, including conflating homosexuality with pedophilia—by which he means child molestation, which is technically different—beginning at about time 41:00.

[4]. The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 teaches that a ‘neighbor” is anyone who needs our love and kindness. The Samaritan, who would have had no love for the Jews, nevertheless helped the injured Jewish man because he was in need.  

[5]. Some scholars believe the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual conduct actually refers to pederasty and/or male temple prostitution, rather than homosexual acts between consenting adults.

[6]. See, for example, Romans 1:28-31, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Timothy 3:11 and 5:13.


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