Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Monday, April 03, 2006

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Can Gays be Christians?

On a visit to Jim Johnson's Straight not Narrow blog, I noticed that he was having a discussion at the Strang Group on the topic of To Be Gay...and Christian?

Jim, who attends a gay affirming Christian church, didn't take too kindly to the idea expressed that a person can't be both.

I chimed in with a few comments of my own:

Jim Johnson,

Thanks for your excellent defense of the true meaning of Christ's teachings. When Christ commanded us to "love our neighbors as we love ourselves" He didn't exclude our friends and neighbors who are gay.

Maz,

Since you live in England, you might be interested in Courage, the Church of England's ex-gay program. Fortunately many US churches are coming around to this same view, like the one Jim Johnson attends. Since sexual orientation cannot be changed, we need to provide the Christian fellowship experience for our lesbian and gay church goers.

Maz,

It's not so much about interpreting the scripture as it is about facing the reality of gay existence. All those years of prayer and repentance and the believers they worked with were just as gay as when they started. This confirms the universal understanding that being gay is an innate characteristic, not a choice, and therefore cannot be changed.

So the question then becomes, how do we treat our fellow gay and lesbian Christians. I would treat them as I would all of God's children, like neighbors, the way Jesus taught us.

Brother B,

I'm not sure why you might group homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, and alcoholics together. Being gay is an innate condition, while the latter three are conditions one may or may not acquire later in life. The Courage program I referred to above, with its prayers and repentance, failed to change what is an essential part of a person's basic make up.

So I'm still curious as to how Christians should treat our gay and lesbian neighbors. What is our Plan B since Plan A doesn't work? For example, if a lesbian couple and their two children move in down the block, how would we respond if we ran into them buying school clothes for the kids at the local Wal-Mart, or met them at the parent teachers conference at our child's school? Would we look after their and their children's spiritual needs by inviting them to join the fellowship of our church?

BTW I agree that discipline is a good thing. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy, the four years of discipline was certainly beneficial.

ThroneofGrace ,

We all have our demons, that's for sure, many of our own making. But I don't see how being born one way or another would qualify. There's nothing intrinsically good or bad about being born gay any more than it is being born male or female. It's how we live our lives that is important. We won't exclude all women from redemption. Why would we exclude all gays? If a gay couple is raising a family, don't they deserve the same community support that all families do?

Macy,

There is no dispute among health, mental health and education professionals that sexual orientation is determined by genetic and hormonal factors that occur during prenatal development. Those who claim otherwise have consistently refused to subject these treatments to rigorous scientific research which would test the veracity of what hey are claiming. In contrast, there are many studies which highlight the great harm that is done by trying to convince someone to pretend to be something they are not. The American Psychiatric Association considers the harm that the attempt to change one's sexual orientation can do makes these practices unethical.

DavidB said: "All attempts to prove some genetic link to homosexuality have been disproven, not that they aren't trying."

There is always some confusion about a genetic link and actually finding the genes involved.

It is not necessary to find the genes involved to prove a genetic link. The genes for eye color, for example have yet to be found, but we know that eye color is inherited. Sexual orientation follows the same pattern of heredity as handedness.

More importantly, homosexuality was removed by the APA after two decades of studies found no relation between children's upbringing and a person's adult orientation. If there isn't even a correlation, then one can't possibly cause the other. With no environment causes evident, it has to be genetic by default.

JGrubbs wrote,

This is the same APA that prior to 1973 had homosexuality listed as a mental disorder in their books.

Well, no, that was the other APA. In any case, here's how these changes came about:
Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information. In the past the studies of gay, lesbian and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about these people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue.

Science continually revises and updates it's practices based on the latest research. Cancer treatments today are much better than those of thirty years ago. Churches are also free to update their practices based on the realities that science provides us. Some do and some don't.

There is no "gay gene"!

Well, actually, there doesn't have to be a gay gene at all! Orientation could simply depend on the selection between sets of genes we already have.

DavidB,

Your said, "Everytime there's a [gene] study with "proof", that study is examined by the scientific community and rejected for a number of reasons."

I'm not getting my point across, I see. The gene studies you refer to have nothing to do with the fact that orientation is innate which is the conclusion of over 50 years of research that lead to the delisting of homosexuality from the DSM over 30 years ago.

Finding a gene might be "nice," but, like eye color or handedness (did you read the paper I referred to above), establishing genetic links is not dependent on finding the location of the specific gene.

Ooh, there's more, I can't keep up. Check it out yourself.

16 Comments:

At 4/03/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

What does a "gay gene" have to do with what the Bible says is sin?

 
At 4/03/2006 5:32 PM, Anonymous John said...

Gary,

The discovery of a gay gene would further the evidence that the writers of the bible were mistaken.

 
At 4/03/2006 6:02 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

John, a gay gene doesn't prove anything with regard to the Bible being right or wrong... The Bible says, plainly and clearly, that homosexual behaviour is sin. Bill is that your belief here, the discovery of a gay gene is further evidence that God is mistaken?--- my question, specifically, to Bill was in light of the comments he was making on another discussion... you can't be living in a homosexual relationship and affirming homosexual behavior and profess to be a Christian as well--!

 
At 4/03/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

how would a gay gene disprove, (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

 
At 4/03/2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Gary, you might wish to check out www.truthsetsfree.net, to see that things aren't nearly as clear-cut as you might think.

 
At 4/03/2006 7:27 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

Christine, I checked out the site. The site had two guys holding hands on a banner at the top, undoubtedly a 'gay-christian' site. How does that site tie in to what the Bible says about homosexual behavior?

 
At 4/03/2006 7:41 PM, Anonymous John said...

Gary,

I agree with you that the language in 1 Corithians is abundantly clear. Everything we know about gay people, however, very clearly shows that Paul is simply mistaken.

Nothing against God, but his spokespeople have not proven to be reliable.

The original question Bill raised is "can gays be Christians"

The answer is beyond clear. Of course they can.

In fact every gay person I know is a Chistian.

 
At 4/03/2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Bill Ware said...

As I mentioned in this post, I don't believe there is a single gay gene or even a few. A gay identical twin is only 22% likely to have a twin who is gay. A single gene would raise that considerably.

Yet genes effct everything, so the genetic factors involved are likely to be diverse and multifuntional like those for haededness. If not, evolution would have eliminated gays long ago.

Due to this complexity, gay children appear in near random fashion. Parents need to know that having a gay child has nothing to do with child rearing or bad things can happen.

If we did find these genes, then this would simply enlighten us about yet another aspect of God marvelous creation.

What about the Bible? The Bible must always be read in the light of objective reality. That's why we agree that the erath revolves around the sun and not the other way around. The only God is the God of reality and this includes the reality of the universe He created.

We applaud our scientists for presenting us with more details of the wonders He has provided us.

God is never mistaken because God and reality are one.

 
At 4/03/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

Bill, when I say God, I am talking about the God that is revealed in the Bible... two didn't conversations going on here... I thought the conversation was about sin and homosexuality...to be honest with you genes don't prove a thing in this arguement... you have yet to answer the question what does a gene have to do with what the Bible says about sin in particular the sin of homosexuality?!?!

at least someone in your camp is being honest here... John says:

"I agree with you that the language in 1 Corithians is abundantly clear."

That is the point I am trying to make...

John,

what exactly do you mean by, "Everything we know about gay people, however, very clearly shows that Paul is simply mistaken."


You said the original question is can gays be Christian, my answer to that is not if they believe what the Bible teaches about sin--

Don't think I am on a pedestal pointing a finger, quite the contrary... I am just like everyone in this world who was born into sin (genes and all)... God moved into my life and showed me my need for a Savior... that is why Jesus came into this world to save us and reconcile us to Himself... we have no claim on this salvation it is all of God Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast". My hope is that you will respond to the gospel, see your sin for what it is and repent (turn away from sin and towards God).

 
At 4/03/2006 8:45 PM, Blogger DuWayne Brayton said...

garydavisonjr,

The bible is also quite clear that woman should not speak out in church, under pain of death. Have you ever tried to get a woman in church to shut up? I haven't, but if your church is anything like mine it would probably be a dangerous proposition.

- - -

The word is quite clear that anyone can become a Christian. God accepts and loves us just the way he made us. Sin is ultimately between me and God. When I sin the Holy Spirit gives me a little conviction and lets me know. The bible is a great place to get the general will of God but it is touched and changed in so many places by followers of God that one really has to pray and open themselves to the Spirit to find the way.

- - -

As for a gay gene. Genes play a role in who we are and who we become. I believe that a lot of personality traits and behaviours can be passed on thorugh the genes. It does not mean that a specific gene necessarily causes that behaviour. The genes can simply sculpt the synapses and as the synaptic responses interact with each other they form the personality. Thus why even twins with minimal genetic variance don't act exactly the same or have even teh same personality. It also can explain natural tendencies towards homosexuality.

 
At 4/03/2006 8:58 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

Mr. Brayton, the Bible says that women are not to hold a position of authority (teach) over men. As polictically incorrect as that may sound, that is what the Bible says...

You are correct the Bible says that anyone can become a Christian... I like the way you said that, "can become"... that is quite true, anyone that puts off the old self, repents of his/her sin and trust in Jesus as their savior.

The whole gay gene thing holds no water... we are ALL born sinners of some sort... we will ALL have to stand and give an account of our actions here... what are we going to say, but God you made me that way--??

We ALL have the opportunity to repent and deny ourselves and turn to God for help and for salvation. What is sad is that most of us love our sin more than we love God.

 
At 4/03/2006 9:22 PM, Blogger GaryDavisonJr. said...

Mr. Ware, after a quick perusal of your sight, I have come to the conclusion that you don't believe in the God of the Bible... My mistake there...
I will back off with this:
We are all sinners (homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, old, young, religious, irreligious) we all are living under the affects of a depraved mind (Rom. 3:9-10). So we all need a Savior. Please don't reject this precious gift of salvation--Take the time to read this article on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 
At 4/04/2006 1:15 AM, Blogger Robert Bayn said...

I always find it interesting how Evangelicals, seem to know right where that verse on Homosexaulity is, but can't remember the one on, divorce, sleeping in the same bed as a woman on her period, shrimp, love thy neighbour as thyself, the greatest of these is charity, nope but as they got the Gays are sinners one, everything is A OK!

 
At 4/04/2006 7:18 AM, Blogger Bill Ware said...

Robert,

Yes, they do have an uncanny ability to focus their attention on one area while avoiding all others.

It reminds me of the 2004 presidential election. It doesn't matter how the administration's various policies are a national disaster, as long as they would keep gays from getting married, that's all that mattered.

In the mean time, the national debt now exceeds eight trillion dollars.

 
At 4/04/2006 7:25 AM, Anonymous John said...

I think all of us who call ourselves Christians do exactly the same thing.

We develop our moral code based on what we think Jesus would have us do.

Then we see things in the Bible that conflict with our code, so we immediately (wanting to believe that the Bible is the Word of God) say, "the Bible can't really mean THAT"

So we either try to find evidence that the BIble does not mean what it says, or we simply ignore the parts we don't like.

 
At 4/05/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger Bill Ware said...

I was taught to look at the Bible as a whole, focusing on the New Testament, and in particular the Gospels. What did Jesus do? What did Jesus say?

So many times we read that Jesus started out, "Ye have heard it said by men of old... this, yet I say unto you...that," where this and that are opposite things.

Look, I was told, at Jesus' words and His actions. Find in these instructions the principles to live by. If some verse here or there, even those written by Moses or Paul, is in conflict with Christ's teachings, then it is an error committed by these human beings who are just as fallible as we are.

Those today who quote this verse and that one to condemn others, whom they disagree with, are no difference the those Pharisees in His day who upheld every jot and tittle of the law, yet lacked human compassion for others.

 

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