Quite a number of years ago at a church where I was a member, I had several conversations with an older gentleman who attended the church, but was an avowed atheist. The reason he attended church regularly was to argue against what he thought was the ridiculousness of religion, a belief in God, and the oppressive nature of Christianity. And argue he did, at every opportunity where there was open discussion about the Bible, whether in Sunday School or Bible study. He also bent over backwards to outdo the churchgoers in good works to show that there was really no advantage to their being Christians since people, in general, were basically good.
He had a whole list of why he hated Christianity and the idea of our God, but one of his arguments upset me to no end. His view was that Christianity promoted a lack of masculinity in men. Yes, that’s right–he thought the Bible and its teachings emasculated men. That’s why, according to him, there are so many homosexuals–both in and out of the closet–in Christian churches everywhere. Then he proceeded to give me examples of scriptures that promote homosexuality. Some of the ones he quoted, and his opinions about them, are as follows:
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:3
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 2 Samuel 2:26
The atheist saw this as proving that Jonathan and David were gay on each other. He didn’t think it was possible for a man to love another man as his own soul or for a man to consider another man’s love as going beyond the love of a woman unless there was some hanky panky going on. Since in his opinion they were having a gay fling and the Bible spoke positively of their relationship, the Bible was promoting homosexuality.
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Luke 17:34
His question of this passage was how can two men be in a bed unless they’re sexual partners? Again he felt the Bible promoted homosexuality because one of the gay guys was caught up in the rapture.
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved … He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? John 13:23, 25
In the atheist’s eyes, it wasn’t normal for a man to lay on the chest of another man unless they were both gay. He took John’s reference to Jesus loving him as John’s admission that they were a gay couple. This, of course, was the argument he made which offended me the most.
Oddly enough, these are the same arguments used by gay rights activists who call themselves Christians to promote their acceptance in Christian congregations. I argued with the atheist that these scriptures in no way promoted homosexuality but were a testimony that the unconditional, non-sexual, spiritual love that God helps cultivate in our hearts for others, whether they are the same or opposite gender, is a love that goes deeper than any other love. Since he was atheist it was impossible for him to understand this since “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” [1 Corinthians 2:14]
Being a nonbeliever, he was reading the scriptures with eisegesis (reading into it his own ideas) as opposed to exegesis (reading to get an explanation or understanding from it). He was an educated man, but his education lacked the understanding of non-Western cultures. In Asia, Africa, and a few other parts of the world it is normal for heterosexual men to greet each other with a kiss or walk down the street holding hands and to sleep in the same bed if the economic conditions can’t afford the luxuries of the Western world. The Bible was written by ancient southwest Asians and much of that culture is reflected in the scriptures. Many Western customs and ways of thinking cannot be applied to the Bible. It is a book with standards we are called by God to conform to, not a book where we make God conform to our standards.
Gay rights activists are just as wrong with their arguments when they use these scriptures to promote their sin as acceptable. When asked about God’s punishment for Sodom and Gomorrah and Paul’s writings against such behavior, it is argued that the people of Sodom were punished for their violation of other people’s rights by attempting to rape the angels or that they were punished for their pride, gluttony, idleness, and not helping the poor, as stated in Ezekiel 16. They also argue that Paul spoke against sexual immorality which is different from homosexuality. According to them, sexual partners of the same sex who are in a consensual relationship are fine. Sexual immorality, based on their understanding, is when people cheat on their partners or force others to have sex with them or when a person is out to have a whole bunch of sex partners without wanting to commit.
But both the atheist and activists are incorrect. Even if all of the states in the U.S. legalize “gay marriage” and other gay rights, homosexuality will still be a sin in God’s eyes. It has always been God’s intention for men and women to have sex with the opposite gender in the confines of a husband [male]/wife [female] relationship, and this will always be his intention as long as the present Earth stands. And by male and female, I mean those who are born with the chromosomes that determine their gender, not those who change their outward appearance or switch out their body parts for artificial ones in an attempt to pass themselves off as the opposite gender.
Does that mean we should hate them? No, of course not. Jesus died for homosexuals as much as he died for the rest of us who were born in sin and deserve hell. Homosexuality is just as wrong as adultery or lying.
We are commanded by Christ to love even those who are considered enemies. We should hate a person’s sins and not the sinner. That means we can interact socially with the unsaved homosexual while at the same time not condoning or agreeing with their behavior. Those who accept Jesus as their Lord and were involved in this way of life should turn their backs on it. Now that their life belongs to Christ, they are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So yes, there are gay sinners in the Bible, but the Bible speaks against such behavior. No, there aren’t any gay saints mentioned in the Bible. Although there are some saved people in the church who struggle with their flesh in this area, God calls them to forsake it. And, no, neither Jesus Christ our Lord, nor any of his disciples, were gay.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–