I am an evangelical Christian.
I'm proud of my faith. My salvation defines me more than anything else. My relationship with God affects everything I do. I try to keep the Lord in mind when I make life decisions, and attempt to treat others in a Christ-like fashion. (Attempt. Trust me: I am far from perfect.)
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When I was born again, my life got better. I was changed. I was given a more eternal perspective; granted forgiveness, followed by peace, in Christ's sacrifice on the cross for my sins; blessed with a hunger to improve myself. Because of my faith, I am transformed. And I love to talk about it.
Well, y'know. Except in a few circumstances... The super-uncomfortable, overwhelmingly complex ones.
To be honest, in the beginning, I wasn't sure about writing this piece. I usually don't mind giving my opinions on a range of topics, especially involving Christianity. However, this issue is far more complicated than anything I've ever been able to verbalize. But I decided to do it, to write about homosexuality just after New York's historic vote to legalize gay marriage, because I think the Christian view on the subject is widely misunderstood. New York State Approves Gay Marriage
Christians get a lot of flack for holier-than-thou attitudes and gay-basher mentalities. And while I think too many use the Lord's name to mistreat others, the real evangelical perspective on homosexuality has been muddled.
Let's try to clear it up. Let's start with the Bible.
Christians see the Bible as the holy and inspired Word of God, and accept it as 100 percent fact. So, it should be simple. Turn to the Bible and find answers about homosexuality. Easy, right? ...Um, yeah. Not hardly. That just sparks a whole lot of debate. Why Gay Rights Make Me Proud (Even Though I'm Straight)
Recently, there have been so many questions and arguments about what the Great Book really says on the matter. First, though, everyone needs to stop assuming that the Bible says one thing but implies another. (This is what got Doomsday predictor Harold Camping into a bit of trouble back in May, remember?) There is no code. God says what He means.
And the Bible is very clear on the matter of homosexuality: Male-with-male and female-with-female unions were never apart of God's plan for humanity, and they don't please Him.
From the very beginning of the Old Testament, God's view is explicit. Leviticus 18:22 says, "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin" (NLT). The sentiment is reiterated in 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." Does The Bible Really Condone Homosexuality, Premarital Sex?
"Put to death" and "blood on heads" seems like pretty clear dissatisfaction to me. But let's go a step further.
Much has been made about these verses as Old Testament ideology—that they're just outdated. It's true that Jesus never specifically talked about homosexuality in the Gospels. He never sat down with his disciples and said, "Don't do it," or gave a sermon in front of the masses declaring his adamant disapproval. Somehow, that invites speculation that maybe Jesus, the Son of God, didn't care so much.
As the Evangelical Presbyterian Church's teaching on homosexuality is quick to point out, "Jesus did not refer directly to homosexuality. However, our Lord made clear that He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. He not only fulfilled it, He strengthened it." As Messiah, Jesus fulfilled 332 separate prophesies laid out in the Old Testament to show his supreme authority as ruler of heaven and earth. Rest assured, he was concerned about the teachings in the Old Testament. He fulfilled them. The New and Old Testament are intricately linked. We cannot throw out what the Old Testament says because it's more convenient to new-age thinking.
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