Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Gay Christians Shouldn’t Just Leave the Church; They Should Leave the Faith

Recently, The Friendly Atheist published an article breaking down a fictitious interview on Christianity Today between a pastor (Pastor Jones) and a gay Christian (Todd). It gave a lot of good critiques, but I want to add a couple things they missed.

Todd: Some friends say that the Bible condemns homosexuality, and others say it does not. I hear some evangelicals accept monogamous gay marriage, based on the argument that the Bible simply does not address monogamous same-sex relationships, but I hear most evangelical churches insisting that marriage is only between a man and woman.
Jones:
 We worship a God who speaks into the dark areas of our lives with enough moral clarity that we can understand the rough outlines of how he wants us to seek him, in purity and holiness. The Bible has much more to say about heterosexual sin in all its crazy varieties than it does about homosexual sin, but in every place where homosexual conduct is mentioned, most clearly in Leviticus 18:2220:13Romans 1:26-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9, it is clearly condemned.
From my own research on this issue, I have found that there isn't a single Christian denomination that preaches homosexuality is alright.
-There are some that say it isn't a sin to be gay, only to act on it. (This is not the majority opinion due to verses like 
Matthew 5:27)
-There are some denominations that don't mandate doctrine, and thus, their churches can choose their own theology. (such as United Church of Christ)

At the heart of Christianity is the belief that each person is "broken." Nobody is perfect. We all have our faults and everybody struggles with different things. Of course, even if you are a saint among sinners, you are still "broken" thanks to your inherited "original sin." Regardless, the only way to be "mended" is through Jesus. Whether or not this is a healthy way to think about yourself or others could be debated on its own. The issue I want to drive at is the fact that every top-down, theology-minded denomination believes homosexuality is a type of "brokenness."

I find this to be horribly untrue. To equate homosexuality with the other sins like murder and theft is to see a human being in the wrong light. This is the same light the anti-choice crowd embraces as they work against the empowerment of women and oppose their emancipation from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. Is sexual reproduction all a person is good for?! Is it how you measure their contributions?

Addressing the latter type of church I mentioned earlier: Is it really worth twisting countless verses and ignoring countless more so you can continue to view the bible as the word of god while living as an open and active gay person? So many gay people have found it harmful to try and have the cake and eat it too. Maybe you haven't given it thought, but to quote a recent campaign by the Center For Inquiry "Millions are living happily without religion." If you still cling because you assume you can't have hope or happiness without religion, you would be wrong.

Todd: Well, I'm grateful for this information, but I can't say that you have solved things for me.Jones: I apologize if my own inadequacy, mediocre scholarship, or lack of Christian maturity have failed you in any way. But Christian maturity is not about solving things; it is about faithfulness. We are confronted in this area with the uncertainty of our paths, the modesty of our knowledge, and the mystery of the human condition. My appreciation of these uncertainties has only grown over the years.
To me, this is the worst thing a person could do. If it's not possible to reconcile your faith with reality, don't just believe anyway. Don't so casually throw away your rationality, self-respect, or happiness.

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