Can a Gay Person be Acceptable to God
Without Changing His Orientation?
This is written in response to the person who wrote,
"I fail to see how you have come to the conclusion that God does accept practicing homosexuality... I'm a 'love the sinner, hate the sin' type of Christian and I think you are preaching a falsehood. Yes God is
a God of love but also one of justice and law. I believe that the bible is the word of God and is divinely inspired. To say that the bible doesn't say anything about acting on gay
lustful desires is very much far from the truth. Leviticus 20:13 says that it is 'detestable' the fact the bible is Gods words means that in His eyes thats what it is. The same as any
sexual sin it is a sin against the body - 1 Corinthians 6:18 "..... all other sin is outside of the body but the sexually immoral sins against his own body." This means that when it says in
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that the body is His temple, you are sinning against God when you defile His temple by sexual sin of any kind..."
Regarding the question about whether homosexuals can please God, since the Bible calls homosexuality sin. I will first refer you to the book, Key to Biblical Doctrine by Jerald L. Brown. It is a thorough, biblically based, book that deals with that very question. Much of what I say here is further explained in that book.
The first thing we need to do is lay the groundwork that there is a possibility that your interpretation (understanding) of the Bible could be wrong (just as mine could be wrong). Nobody is 100% right in everything. Everybody is making a mistake somewhere along the line. That is true of Bible doctrine as well as of anything else in life. The problem is, nobody knows where he is wrong. If he knew, he would immediately correct his error and then be right in everything again.
The church has been wrong in some of their major doctrines, although they based them on the Bible, science and logical thinking. They still came to the wrong conclusion. And by wrong conclusion, I mean a dishonoring-God type conclusion. I’ll give you a couple of examples, but first I’ll talk a bit about “the church.” As you probably know, there is a church organization, such as Catholics, Baptists, and so on. There is also a church which is the body of Christ; that is, it’s the world of believers who love God, have accepted Jesus as their lord and savior and follow Him. In this email, as in real life, I may refer to either one as “the church” and depend on you to know the difference by the context.
Churches disagree with each other, although they tend to cling to God and Jesus. So, Baptists don’t have the same doctrines as the Methodists, or Catholics, or Seventh-Day Adventists. Some churches are affirming and accepting of gays and some are not. Many Lutheran churches and Episcopal churches – as well as some Baptists – accept gay Christians on an equal footing. I have a Baptist background. I’m guessing you are not a member of one of those churches that accept gays. I think you are probably a member of one of the churches that reject gay Christians.
Now, back to previous erroneous church doctrines.
One of the doctrines based on the Bible was that of a geo-centric universe (AD 250-1550). That is, the sun, moon and stars revolve around earth. That’s what the Bible says. (See www.lookingup.us/rel/thesun.php.) That’s what science said at that time. (See Ptolemaic theory). It was logical, because you can actually “see” the universe rise in the east and move to the west. That doctrine was sacred, because it put mankind in the center of God’s creation, which is logical if you believe that God created man and loved him so much He sent his Son to die for us. When the Reformation happened, this doctrine passed from the Catholics to the Protestants. Both believed it. They believed it so strongly that the Catholic church threatened to kill anyone who opposed it (See Galileo Galilei). The Protestants condemned anyone who did not believe it, because it diminished God not to believe it.
And yet... they were wrong.
The church (that is some churches, including Baptist churches) believed in and justified American slavery (AD 1615-1865). They justified it from the Bible. They supported those who practiced it. They preached it from the pulpit. They taught that the black race was inferior, akin to animals, and God always intended black people to be slaves of white people. Today we are horrified at something like that. And yet, it was a church as a doctrine.
And... they were wrong.
If you ask them today were they wrong then, the church would say “Yes.” But if you asked them at that time, they would say “No,” and certainly condemn you to hell if you did not agree with them. Jesus faced the same fallacy in Matthew 23:29-32. The Jews of that day said their forefathers were wrong to kill the prophets, and they would not have done so in their day. Jesus condemned them as being children of the people who murdered the prophets.
It’s the same way with homosexuality. Today people can condemn it from the Bible, from logic and perhaps even from science. But they are wrong in their doctrine. If you ask them today, “Are you wrong?” they will say No, because they can prove they are right from the Bible... but it’s only their interpretation of the Bible. And they are fearfully wrong.
If you can understand that you might be wrong when it comes to homosexuality and the Bible, then God can work with you and you are beginning to grow spiritually.
If the current interpretation of the Bible is correct among those who condemn homosexuality, then they have a Bible that contradicts itself. Let’s take 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 as an example. (NIV) “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders... will inherit the kingdom of God.” The KJV says “effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind”
Before we go further, I want to point out something else to you. One of the great mistakes people make is to interpret the Bible in light of today’s culture instead of in the culture of the age in which it was written. For example, the KJV interprets qadesh as “sodomite” (male homosexual), although that is not what it means at all. The translators mistranslated that word from the old Hebrew into their own culture, and it did not fit. The verse is Deuteronomy 23:17, (KJV) “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” There you go, sexually immoral people (whores) and homosexuals (sodomites). And yet, that is totally wrong. The word “whore” is qedeshah and “sodomite” is qadesh. The woman is a female temple prostitute for a fertility god and the man is a male temple prostitute for a fertility god. These people were worshiping a foreign god in a sexual way. God called that “spiritual adultery” when practiced by Jewish people who belonged to YHWH. And yet, it was translated into English in such a way as to make us think God was talking about simple prostitutes and gays who walk on Santa Monica Avenue in Los Angeles – without regard to worshipping a pagan fertility god.
Likewise, "abomination," from Leviticus 20:13, (towebah) means "ritually impure," such as unclean food or mixed marriages. (Harper's Bible Dictionary).
Christians use the words “sexual immorality” taken from 1 Cor. 6:9, Eph 5:3, etc., but they give their own definition to it without regard to what Paul or Jesus meant. Christians today think it applies to any sex whatsoever outside of marriage. But that’s not what Jesus or Paul said. In 1 Cor 5, it means incest with your stepmother. Rape is also sexual immorality. Sexual activity in the worship of a foreign god is sexual immorality. Not one of the uses of “sexual immorality” in the Bible has to have the definition Christians give it today, nor does it have to apply to homosexuality as we understand it today. In those biblical cases, it always resulted in the physical or spiritual harm of another person. The phrase “sexual immorality” as used today does not have to always result in harm to another person, either physically or spiritually.
Some people quote the scripture, 1 Cor 6:18 (NIV) “he who sins sexually sins against his own body.“ It does not say “against God” nor does it say “against Jesus.” If a person goes out and has indiscriminate sex and comes down with AIDS or syphilis or something, do you think that is sinning against his own body? Do you think it’s possible for a person (let’s say a married preacher who picks up a prostitute and gets syphilis) to really and truly love God and be saved, but in fact he has sinned against his own body and even against his wife? Yet some people quote 1 Cor 6:18 to read “against God” rather than “against his own body.”
So now, back to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. By today’s translation, it says gay people cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. By “Kingdom of God,” I think it means heaven. Gay people cannot go to heaven. And that means Gay people cannot be saved. Is that what you think? Do you think gay people cannot be saved? Or do you think gay people can be saved if they believe in Jesus, but gay acts are still sinful and God condemns it? If you believe that, then you don’t believe your own Bible. You’re making allowances against your own Bible in order to justify what you think, your own personal doctrine. The Bible very clearly says (or is translated to say) homosexual offenders will not inherit the kingdom of God. So if your personal opinion is that gays can get to heaven if they accept Jesus, then you are contradicting the Bible.
If that verse is translated correctly, then another part of the Bible is wrong. Hebrews 7:25 (KJV) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Another place says, John 6:37, (KJV) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Another way to put that is, “Those who come to Me, I will reject for no reason whatsoever.”
So which is it? Are gay people barred from heaven? Or can they be saved? If you believe the current application of 1 Corinthians 6:9, then gay people are rejected by God. If you believe Hebrews 7:25 and John 6:37, then you believe gay people can be saved and get to heaven.
This is the point where some Christians say, “Gay activity is a sin, just like murder. You cannot continue to be a murderer (i.e. continue murdering) and be a Christian. In the same way, you cannot have homosexual activity and be a Christian.” The problem there is that the two are not even closely related. A murderer murders because he hates or cares less. A gay person has gay sex because he loves. It’s the hatred that’s a sin. One hurts another person. The other helps, supports and nurtures the other person.
God gave allowance for humans to execute criminals (murderers and kidnappers) and to kill in the execution of a war. Clearly, the mere fact of killing someone is not always a sin. But Jesus said, Matthew 5:13, (NIV) “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” If you hate someone in your heart, that is the sin. It is a spiritual sin.
What is sex? It is absolutely nothing more than skin touching skin, usually done in a loving way. It is not murder. It is not inflicting pain. The Bible says God is a Spirit (John 4:24). The flesh dies and turns to dust. The earth itself will pass away. But God is eternal, and our soul is everlasting (for so God made our souls). Any sex whatsoever by itself is meaningless, neither good nor bad. But if it’s done with love, or with hate, or with pride, that makes the difference between sexual sin and sexual non-sin.
Here is something you need to adjust your thinking to. People are not homosexuals because they engage in homosexual acts. Instead, they engage in homosexual acts because they are homosexual. Whether they are gay at birth or become gay shortly thereafter, scientists have shown that the homosexual orientation is firmly fixed shortly after birth and is irreversible. It’s not a decision we make. The only decision homosexuals make is whether they will deny their nature for their entire lives (and live a miserable life) or accommodate their nature.
To tell a gay he cannot engage in gay activity is not the same as telling a murderer he may not murder. It is akin to telling a black man he may not be black any longer, and that he is sinning if he remains black. You can see what sort of a sin that would be, to tell someone to stop being what they are or else God will hate them, and you can see that is the type of sin Christians today are engaging in when they attack gay people for being gay.
I’ve told you about qadesh and qedeshah. It would be reasonable for you to ask, “How can I be expected to know ancient foreign languages and “secret” meanings in the Bible?” God – Jesus – made a way for that, and I can answer the question.
Matthew 22:35-40, (NIV) “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Did you understand that? First of all, it was Jesus who said it. Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Lord and King of earth, He said it in his authority as God. This is something to which you better pay attention. God’s not joking here.
Second, Jesus quoted the Old Testament. In other words, this doctrine has always been in force, even since the creation.
Third, Jesus said ALL the law and ALL the prophets depend on those two commands. Everything else written in the Old Testament are just examples of how to perform those two things. It is God’s entire desire and command to us. Love God first and foremost, and love each other just as we love ourselves.
You don’t have to understand foreign languages or be a Bible scholar; you just need to love your neighbor as yourself. That’s all God requires of you.
If a person were to say, “God hates you because you are gay and you’re going to hell because of that,” would you call that a sin? Yet that is the exact sin Christians are doing today when it comes to gay people, especially to gay Christians who are seeking God with their heart.
Jesus also said, John 13:34-35, (KJV) “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” People will know you are God’s child and Jesus’ disciple if you love gays. It is not based on how many gays you bar from heaven and cast into hell.
Jesus was condemned by religious leaders for being friends with prostitutes and tax collectors. I suppose that if being homosexual was as big a thing then as it is now, he would probably be condemned for being a friend of gays, too.
I hope that answers your question, and you’re able to see things in a better light today.