Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Being Gay in God's Eyes A guest post by Ryan

An Introduction To Sin
What causes people to go to hell is sin. Pure and simple, Sin is the reason we cannot share an eternal life with God in heaven. We were created to be beings of worship unto God, to live our life in the service of Him and to spread His good word (Bible) to the other people of the world. This task of spreading God's word is called the Great Commission.

When we do something that is against God or His word, that is a sin. Now the Bible says that all sin is equal. If you sleep with 14 men in one night or if you shoot your next door neighbor, or if you steal a loaf of bread or even if you use God's name in vain. These are all sin's and although our society has placed different values and punishments on these acts (or none at all), God sees them all equally bad: They are all sins.

The Bible also says that EVERYONE sins. There will never be anyone, in our lives, that does not sin. Nobody is perfect. Some are notably better than others by example. Some people are ravaged drug users who kill people all the time and some people live fairly decent lives but might slip up every once in a while. Both parties have sinned and both must repent.

Repenting is easy and hard at the same time. All you need do to remove a sin from your slate is to ask God to forgive you for it by naming Jesus Christ as your personal savior and thank him for dying for your sins. God will forgive you of your sin no problem, but you MUST mean it! And God knows whether you mean it or not. If you say you're sorry, but then you turn around and do it again, well you are then sinful again. Back to square one.

Introducing Homosexuality
Now that I have covered the basics of sin, let's talk about homosexuality and bisexuality.  For The Bible doesn't really address Bisexuality too much other than when it is addressing homosexuality, but since bisexuality would still involve two people of the same sex interacting in a sexual way, we are going to deal only with homosexual acts and the Bible's take on them.

You no doubt have heard from someone in your life that the Bible, and thus God, does not like homosexual behavior. Black and White right? No room for argument? You have probably heard of Sodom and Gomorrah, Romans, Corinthians, and Leviticus and you no doubt have felt persecuted because of the things they books say about being homosexual. Well the time for the guilty feeling is over. Before I go into the reason it is over you need to understand a few rules about discussing the Bible:

1. The Bible, while conceived by God and written with His guidance has not always been interpreted using His guidance. It has also not always been interpreted for the purposes of good people.

2.Some things in the Bible refer to cultural topics that are not relatable to present day life in a word for word sense. My example is this: in First Corinthians is says that women should not cut their hair. This was because back then, if women cut their hair, they were viewed to be whores and evil doers and that is not the kind of people that God wants spreading his gospel. If a whore came up to you and said, "Repent!" You would laugh and walk away, but in today's world, cutting women's hair does not have this same effect. But some things do. The lesson can still be applied to our lives and thus it IS relevant, but it should not be applied word for word.

3.No person on the planet can be 100% sure that something they read in the Bible is perfectly translated and that they understand that translation perfectly. Only through much study and reading can you begin to unravel the true meanings behind every word written in the Bible, but through this guide you can gain some understanding and get a good idea of where to start reading!

Being Open To New Ideas
Most people in the Christian world are set in their ways. Some are accepting of homosexuality, some are not but all seem locked into what they believe. This is not always a bad thing when it comes to being a spiritual person, but knowing that you could always be wrong is what leads us to continue studying and learning. So do not push your beliefs, whatever they may come to be, on other Christians, but offer what you have learned to them and if they seem open to learn and discuss, share your opinions and what you believe.

Many times in the Bible various leaders have been shown that what they thought was God's will, was truly not correct. It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law. These men were Godly and just, but they were wrong. So if the Apostle Paul could be wrong, if you are faced with an argument from another Christian, simply inform them that they could be as well!

Always have your mind open to what God can show you and teach you. The word of God is a powerful tool, but it can be misunderstood and hard to read at times. Take your time and study it, seek advice, but seek literary advice. Ask what words mean and what the original translations were, but do not seek out teachings on what scriptures mean for your life. That is something only God can tell you through prayer and study.

The Scriptures
When people talk about Homosexuality in the bible they refer to a certain set of scriptures scattered throughout the various books. I have taken the liberty to compile these scriptures here to save yourself the time of looking them all up!
Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (NIV)
Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "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 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV).
1 Corinthians 6:11 - "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (NIV)

Romans 1:26-27 - "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (NIV)

In addition to the above scriptures in the book of Genesis, Chapter 19 is talks about God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Debate
I am not going to tell you what is right and what is wrong. I will nto tell you because I do not know for sure. I only know what feels right to me after studying this topic for many years I can only assume to believe what God has led me to believe, but you must study His word and decide for yourself.

The scriptures listed before have been used harshly by the church in the past. Many people have been shunned, discriminated against, hated and attacked on the basis of these scriptures. You are reading words that infuriate people, that drive them to become angry and forceful. Because of this I caution you not to take these words lightly: Do not force your beliefs or what you read here onto other people.

When looking at the Leviticus scriptures the debate it something fierce. Some scholars believe as the church does, that these scriptures indicate homosexuality to be an abomination. Some believe otherwise that these scriptures talk, when taken down to their Greek translations, refer more to pagan temple rituals than common sexual acts.

As far as the Corinthian scriptures are concerned a similar debate rages on. Some believe that the Greek translation for Homosexual Offenders is actually male prostitutes. However, some argue that this would be a repeat, as Paul had already written male prostitutes into the verse.

The Romans scripture is also believed by some to refer to prostitution and not necessarily homosexual acts.

Most leading scholars outside major denominations believe that Sodom and Gomorrah's demise was caused by incest like relationships, bestiality and orgies and group sex.

Something To Think About
Jesus never talks about same sex relationships during his entire time on Earth, he does say to love everyone though. Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality meaning that they offer no opinion or guidance whatsoever. Out of over one million verses in the entire Bible, only six or seven mention homosexuality in any way and they do not speak of it in the context we know it in today.

You can see by the information I have presented that the topic is far from black and white. Nobody can tell you that being gay is wrong because it never says being attracted to another man is a sin. So as far as your feelings go, they are fine and dandy. As for your actions, you have to read the Bible and study what it says, then you need to pray.

Only God can tell you what is right and wrong. But I can tell you what I prayed every night when I was a teenager dealing with the guilt of loving God and wanting to be a good Christian, but also being attracted to guys.

"Dear lord, you know my heart. You know the desires within me and the dreams I have. I love you Lord more than anything and I want your will to be done in my life. But I feel as though I have a burden upon me that I cannot remove without help. If it is sinful and wrong for me to feel this way and want these things than help me to ignore them or rid my heart of them completely, but if it is not a sin then put that feeling upon my heart so that I may love someone and be with someone I care about. In your name I pray, Amen."

Know this: The Bible never says anything bad about two people loving each other and wanting to be together. Nowhere in the whole book of books does it say that a man should not love another man, or a woman another woman. Love is what God is all about. Of hope faith and love the greatest is love! And God never makes you to be something he does not like.

It is my time to present to you my findings, or what I have decided is the right course for me. What God has led me to believe is that a monogamous relationship with a man who cares for me and that I care for in return is a wonderful thing. I have come to believe that the Bible was translated in a time when two men were not meant to be together and thus the translation reflected that. But now I think that if God created me to love another man then as long as it is not lustful, and it is not promiscuous, that it is just and that I will not be judged sinful for doing so.

So live your life in a decent way, be a good person and love who you are with. Ask for forgiveness when you mess up and read the Bible for yourself so that you can form a whole hearted faith in the Lord.

Thanks for your time

Written by Ryan from Ryan's Portal
With questions or comments, please email me at Ryanasralph@gmail.com


Drew said...

Very good post Ryan and Biki!

I don't necessarily agree with all the points in it but that's just a matter of personal opinion.

Looking forward to more posts!



Anonymous said...

We need to talk Ryan

Ryan said...

Ethan, do you chat on yahoo or MSN?