We recently did an Uliza video on where the word “homosexual” came from in the Bible. Consequently, we received a lot of feedback on this video. In one of the comments, an individual claimed to be a ‘gay Christian’. We thought it was interesting that someone would call themselves a gay Christian. We, therefore, opted to respond to this matter. Is it really possible for one who is a Christian to be gay?
What’s a ‘gay Christian’?
Firstly, we need to clarify what being a ‘gay Christian’ could imply.
Implication 1 – One could say that a ‘gay Christian’ is a person that has a same-sex attraction that leads them to actively pursue dating relationships with the goal of marriage and sex yet also claiming to be a believer of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
Implication 2 – Also, to some, a ‘gay Christian’ refers to someone with a same-sex attraction but does not actively pursue dating relationships with the goal of marriage and sex because they know that doing so is sinful.
Many times, the people who refer to themselves as ‘gay Christians’ refer to our first implication; they have a same-sex attraction and actively live a gay lifestyle while at the same time calling themselves Christians. Does the Bible support this?
To address the individuals fitting our first implication, we will go back to the scriptures, which plainly inform us that homosexuality is a sin (Genesis 19:5, Judges 19:22, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If homosexuality is a sin and the scriptures tell us that Christians should not practise a lifestyle of sin (1 John 3:4-10), then one can not be a ‘gay Christian’ according to our first implication. From the Word of God, those who turn to Christ must cease living in sin (1 John 2:4, 1 John 2:9, 3 John 11). There are some who, upon reading this, will feel frustrated and angry. Such declarations are bound to make some feel condemned because of the widespread belief that some are born with same-sex attraction. My aim is not to condemn. My goal is to debunk the notion that one can be a Christian yet live in defiance of what the Bible openly instructs.
What is the sin of homosexuality?
Before going any further, may we clarify and understand what homosexuality is according to the Bible. The Holy scriptures explain that the practice of homosexuality is sinful. However, struggling with the urges of same-sex attraction is not sin. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, the word “practice” is used to qualify the sin of homosexuality itself. Also, in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, the term “lie” is used to express the act of homosexuality. Finally, Romans 1:26-27 uses “committing shameless acts” to refer to the sinfulness and shame associated with homosexuality. A word of caution though: I don’t believe that we should dismiss homosexuality with the I- have-not-practised-it-therefore-I-have-not-sinned attitude. Lust is a more common sin taken much less seriously in comparison to homosexuality. However, Christ warns, in Matthew 5:27-28, that looking at another lustfully is committing adultery. All sexual sin, including lust, is just as grave as homosexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Expounding a little more, we definitely have an inherent affinity to sin. So when it comes to same-sex attraction, we can explore replacing the word ‘attraction’ with ‘temptation’. We then ask Are we sinning every time we face temptation? The answer is no. We know all too well how Christ, our perfect Lord and Saviour, was tempted (Mark 1:13, Luke 4:1-13), yet he did not sin ( Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22). Therefore, since we have established that facing temptation is not sin, struggling with same-sex attraction should not be termed sin. A temptation transforms into sin when it stops being distasteful and instead becomes a delicacy to the soul.
Can anyone be a gay Christian?
What we have just tackled perfectly aligns with the second implication of ‘gay Christianity’ suggested in the earlier paragraphs. A regenerate person can indeed struggle with same-sex attraction. But this does not make them a ‘gay Christian’. The connotation given by this phrase leans more towards the first implication we laid across. Christians who have had their sins forgiven in Christ must not still identify with their past sins because they now have a new identity. Oh, what a joyful thing (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:20-24, 1 Peter 2:9-10)! It would seem odd for a former drunkard turned Christian to still refer to himself as a “drunk Christian” or a former porn addict to say they’re a “lustful Christian.” How then can one be a ‘gay Christian’? Purporting such is to mock the living Word of God. When we come to Christ and put our faith in him, we become Christians; continually being formed into his likeness and none other.
Considering how glorious and set apart God is compared to anything else is another way of destroying arguments and lofty opinions supporting ‘gay Christianity’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We must realize that as Christians, the fact that God owns us—that we are his children—is the most important thing about us. With this in mind, we can appreciate and enjoy the riches that God has lavished upon us in Jesus Christ, his Son (1 John 3:1).
As Christians, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are living in the already but not yet (1 John 3:2). The reality of our expected future with Christ is not yet with us, but it sure is bound to come. Therefore, we must be careful to fix our eyes on Christ and not lose ourselves in the temporal sinful pleasures of this present age. Things like sexual attraction, whether heterosexual or homosexual, will all end here. We will certainly be fools to hold on tightly to such while aware of the glorious eternal reality that awaits us. Like Paul, may we make so much of Christ that we count everything else as loss (Philippians 3:8). May our ultimate joy and hope be wholly found in Jesus Christ and not our sexual orientation.