Thursday, July 26, 2012


Jessica and I have always talked about how we want to give a deeper explanation of our views on homosexuality as Christians. Every time we see facebook posts, tweets, articles, and headlines on the subject the views are always exaggerated (as one should expect), and saturated in the belief that the marginal extremists hold the same opinions as the whole. But it wasn’t until the most recent chick-fil-a debacle that we decided maybe we could voice our thoughts and they might actually be helpful. This is not a defense of chick-fil-a. We don’t know Dan Cathy or the exact views he has. We don’t know every organization he gives money to: what they do, who the leadership is, what their views are, etc. But we are Christians, which is the title that Mr. Cathy and those non-profits share. We have the same bible. Interpretation of it can vary to multiple degrees, but the heart of God does not. This subject could be covered in a small book, so we’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

The following statements are what we hold as our beliefs as Christians based on our interpretation of the bible, our relationship with God, and our relationship experience in the world which is all guided by the Holy Spirit:

1. Christians are not anti-Gay or homophobic. Anti- means “opposed to.” We are not against or opposed to gay people. Gay people are not our enemies. A phobia is an irrational fear or aversion to something. We are not afraid of any LGBT people or homosexuality. However, the word homophobia has taken on a broader definition in our culture: negative feelings towards or hate of homosexuals. Those are untrue as well.

2. Christians believe that marriage is an invention of God. God created a man and a woman. He created them for each other’s joy, for each other’s help, for a way to see His love for us in a very specific relationship on earth. He created them for procreation. The bride and groom metaphor is the defining example of the relationship between Jesus and the body of Christians on earth. Because of those beliefs we don’t “see” gay people as being married to each other. We can see a civil union and contract of partnership. This affects taxes, insurance, medical rules, and a multitude of other legalities. But as far as the term “marriage” goes: the man/woman relationship representing the relationship between Christ and His Church; It’s not the same to us. What the government defines as marriage is not what a Christian defines as marriage - so whatever the government decides does not change what Christians believe. It is not that we are trying to discount relationships or show rudeness toward gay people, but it is that we have a specific definition of the word marriage that we get from the bible.

3. We believe homosexuality is a sin. Sins are the thoughts/actions of humans that cause separation between us and God. We believe they are not of God and only of evil. This is where the tension starts to build. And this is where the word “tolerance” starts to get overused and skewed (I’d like to expand on my feelings about “tolerance” in another post). Christians say homosexuality is a flaw that God can “fix”. This is what some of the organizations work towards and why many people have said that chick-fil-a supports “hate groups.” This will be very hard for a non-christian to ever understand, but the source of wanting to “free” people from homosexuality is LOVE. I will try and explain our view:

As Christians, the ultimate in life is communion with God. Sin cannot be in the presence of God. That is where Jesus comes in. He paid for our sin in His death on the cross, and by rising again he also gave us the power to rise from our physical deaths and live eternally with God. On earth, when people find out about this truth and turn to it as their life purpose they begin to move further from sin and closer to God (we call this sanctification). A simple example is an athlete: the more he/she practices - mistakes become fewer. Once a Christian realizes that the purpose of life is to be with God, and if they love people, then they truly want those people to have the same thing. The same with sharing favorite music, food, tv shows with friends - You want to share these things because you know it will benefit them to have it in their life. To want to “free” someone from homosexuality is the wrong way to think about it. The purpose is to connect someone with God, and as a result someone is freed from their sins.

An example: Say I have a dear friend that I love, and they are not a Christian. Because I love them I want them to know God more than anything. When they see the truth of God and trust in Jesus I am ecstatic for them. Then they start to move closer to God by the sanctifying of the Holy Spirit. They begin to see little lies, cheating, and treating people with disdain, etc in their lives and that it hinders their relationship with God. They’ve also always been gay, but as they move closer to God in reading scripture, prayer, and counsel with friends, they see that it also hinders their relationship with God. Albeit, in a deeper way because it is a constant identity, and not just specific actions in time. Over time, by the power of God, they either begin to see attractiveness in the opposite sex, or they simply decide to be celibate so as not to sin against God - because their relationship with God is more important than their own desires (desires of their flesh).

That is an example of what a Christian would say is being “freed” from homosexuality. It isn’t that we hate homosexuals and think they’re gross and want people to stop doing it so we can like them. It’s that we love them and want them to find joy in God and we know that sin blocks that.

As Christians we believe that we have desires of the flesh and desires of the Spirit. Desires of the flesh are the temptations that lead us to sin, whereas desires of the Spirit are the guidance by which God leads us in sanctification. A desire of the flesh/temptation is not sin unless it is acted upon. We are all born with different leanings and capacities for sin, and all of these are consequences of the fall. Whether it be the desire to steal, lie, engage in sexual immorality, or any other sinful desire. We believe homosexuality is just one of the many ways a person can sin in a sexually immoral way. It is no different than premarital sex, addiction to pornography, adultery, etc.

The ultimate issue is that the Christian belief says homosexuality is a sin, and is “wrong” before God. Yes, our bible says it. The root word for sexual sin in the bible is usually the greek word “pornea” which is a single word that includes all sexual activity other than sex between a married man and woman. So, even though the word “homosexual” may not be explicitly stated, it is very clearly implicitly stated. Here’s a dumb example: If one day extraterrestrials come to earth - a sexual relationship with them is sin against God, though that is obviously not explicitly stated in the bible.

We do not hate gay people. We love gay people. We do believe homosexuality is just one of many sins. If it comes off as hostile, intolerant, or anti-equality, then that is a backlash we face. Our allegiance is to our God and His word, and though we fail all the time we try to love all people the way that Jesus did.