Can I be gay and Christian?
Yes. Absolutely. 100 percent. Any way you want to say it, it’s okay to be gay and Christian. Where the argument comes into play here is whether or not you believe God condemns or sanctifies gay relationships. As Gay Christian Network refers to it, there are ‘Side A’ Christians and ‘Side B’ Christians. Side A Christians believe that God sanctifies loving, committed same sex relationships, while Side B Christians believe that gays are called to celibacy and that God condemns gay relationships. There isn’t a true right or wrong, and it depends on your denomination and what you think it means to be Christian. But there are no true Christian sects that condemn gay people for being gay.
I thought Leviticus called homosexuality an ‘abomination’?
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 both state that is is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. It does not condemn being gay. There’s a big difference here. Leviticus had 613 rules that the Pharisees followed. It condemns shaving, wearing mixed fabrics, interbreeding animals, tattoos, mixing seeds in a field, and many other things.
The New Testament tells us over and over again that the rules of the Old Testament no longer apply. Like the vision Peter had when God lowered down the sheet full of forbidden animals and he told Peter to eat them, and when Peter refuses, God says “Don’t call unclean what I have made clean.” (Acts 10:9-16)
Abomination was the King James’ translations of a Hebrew word that meant ‘something forbidden’, in this case, to the Israelites. Eagles and shellfish were called abominations because they weren’t allowed to be eaten. Some things that Leviticus says we would still follow today (like eating eagles), but America would be in a troubled spot if eagles were still considered ‘abominations’.
Both Side A Christians and Side B Christians, (see above question) would agree that Leviticus condemns gay sex, but does not condemn being gay. They would both also agree that Leviticus condemns a lot of things that we no longer condemn today and probably isn’t the best place to go to for moral guidance. Where the sides disagree is whether or not gay relationships are condemned, not just because of what is said in Leviticus, but because of how their Christian denomination interprets it. There is a lot more to this debate, so if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Above all, remember that God would never make you an abomination, and that He loves you.
Doesn’t 1 Corinthians 6:9 condemn homosexuality?
See this post!
Were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed for being gay?
Click here or here for the answer!
What does Romans 1:26-27 say about homosexuality?
Read this post!
What are ‘ex-gay ministries?’
An ex-gay ministry is a movement to try and change a person’s sexual orientation based on therapy sessions, medicines, or even aversion or shock treatment. These are psychologically, and sometimes physically, damaging to a gay person. Ex-gay treatment has been deemed dangerous by many leading organizations as these statements will show:
“The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or conversion therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation. In doing so, the APA joins many other professional organizations that either oppose or are critical of ‘reparative’ therapies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.
“The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone ‘reparative therapy’ report that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.”
— American Psychiatric Association
“Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”
— American Academy of Pediatrics
“Research findings suggest that efforts to repair homosexuals are nothing more than social prejudice garbed in psychological accouterments.”
“For over three decades, the consensus of the mental-health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the positions espoused by NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) and so-called conversion therapies is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”
— American Psychological Association
Former ex-gay leaders from Exodus, one of the largest ex-gay ministries, have even come out and apologized, stating that they did not see any of their patients become heterosexual.
Are there any support groups for LGBT Christians?
For any LGBT Christians faced with ex-gay ministries, there is help at Beyond Ex-Gay. Gay Christian Network also has a website and youtube videos to help with some of the hard questions I’ve answered above. They also share views of both side A Christians and side B Christians. Courage is a Catholic organization that wishes to help LGBT Christians stay celibate (if you’re on side B) and they do not wish to change your sexual orientation. Personally though, I’m a little cautious about their work because I read the Member Testimonies and most were very stereotypical about gay people (such as a man with an absent father and an overbearing mother), and almost all of them had gay people living very promiscuous and drug-filled lives.