What does Jesus think about Homosexuality?

Jesus Homosexuality
Is homosexuality a sin? It’s an age-old question, and there are people on both sides of the debate, each quoting their Bibles. How do we know who’s right? What would Jesus do if he were here with us today? Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so can we really say?

I’d like to propose that we can. Perhaps we wont be able to settle the debate over what the Bible says about homosexuality (least of all from one little blog post!) but I think there is one thing we can be sure of–Jesus loves every one of us. In fact Jesus was especially known for loving the very people that the religious people of his time had condemned and cast out. Let’s consider some facts:

There has been story after story in the news of LGBT teens committing suicide because of bullying. We have also seen a surge of news stories of kids being harassed, threatened, and even physicality assaulted. No one’s child should have to endure that. No one should feel afraid, hated, and rejected like that. These are not just a few shocking exceptional cases either. As their voices have begun to be heard, we have seen of story after story of how gay and transgender kids have felt hated, at times even hating themselves. We have heard how life for them can be a living hell, so bad that it makes some of them want to end their lives.

Also by Derek Flood: God Loves Us F**k Ups

That really should be a wake-up call for us as Christians. Regardless of where we stand on the rightness or the wrongness of being gay, none of that matters much when people are dying. We can argue over what the Bible says about homosexuality, but one thing is utterly clear: Jesus clearly teaches us to love people, not to hate them, not to make them feel hated, and not to stand by while that is happening. From the perspective of the New Testament there simply is no room for doubt on this. We know exactly where Jesus stands. He stands on the side of the least, the condemned, the vulnerable.

John’s Gospel tells the story of a women caught in adultery who was brought before Jesus. The religious leaders say to him, “The law commands that she should be stoned to death, what do you say?” Jesus bends down and draws with his finger in the dirt, and then says to them “Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone.” One by one they all leave until he is there alone with the woman. Jesus says to her “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

Now, many preachers are quick to point out that Jesus next says to her “Go and leave your life of sin.” But the real point here is that even though Jesus did consider adultery sinful, he still was the one who defended her. In fact, he was the only one there who was “without sin” and yet he did not cast a stone and did not condemn. So again, even if we think homosexuality is wrong, we know what Jesus would do in our shoes. He has drawn a line in the sand, and we need to decide what side of that line we will be on. Will we be on the side of Jesus and the one who is being condemned and threatened? Or will we stand with the religious accusers on the other side of that line? Maybe we were not the ones actually throwing those stones, but did we stand on the side of the accused and condemned and actively defend them like Jesus did? Did we actively defend and love “the least of these”? Because Jesus says that the way we treat them is the way we treat him.

Jesus never says a word about homosexuality, but there was one kind of sin that he spoke out against all the time. There was one kind of sin that got Jesus really mad. This was the sin of religious people who shut out those in need of mercy. This was the sin of people who used the Bible as a weapon. You hear Jesus saying this on page after page of the gospels. Why? Because this type of sin has the potential to damage people like few other things do. It is particularly damaging because they claim to be speaking for God. So if we really want to speak out against sin, we as Christians need to speak out against the kind of sin that Jesus did, and side with the kinds of folks he did.

What this all comes down to is we, as Christians, acting like Jesus. It’s about discerning what Jesus would want us to do right now, and the answer is clear: We need to change our priorities and focus on the critical issue of communicating love and acceptance to people–especially the very people our society so often ostracizes, condemns, and rejects. Because that is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus was known for hanging out with “sinners” and was frequently accused of being a sinner himself because of it. But that did not stop him because he cared more about those people than he cared about being judged.

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Also by Derek Flood: How Does A Red-Letter Christian Read the Bible?

If we want to follow Jesus, then we need to have that same reputation of loving to a fault. We need to be so radically accepting that we are misunderstood and judged like Jesus. If we really do love Jesus, then we need to love like he did, so much so that it seems “scandalous” in the eyes the religious folks of our day, just like it did in his day.

We have spent so much time being “balanced” in the other direction, so much time worrying about “giving the wrong impression” that it is time to shift our lopsided boat the other way. Because as long as our priority is in looking moral rather than in showing compassion and grace to those on the outside, we simply do not have the priorities of Jesus. And when we do not reflect Christ, we are giving the wrong impression.

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t ever say what I thought about whether homosexuality was wrong or right. I didn’t say because this is not about me and what I think. It’s about us as Christians learning to care about what Jesus cares about. This is not about gay rights. It is about about human rights, and that starts with the least. It is about us having the courage to stand with those who are vulnerable. It is about us saying “no” to hate, even when it is done in the name of God–no, especially when it is done in the name of God. It’s about having the guts to draw that line in the sand like Jesus did. Even when that means facing that mob ourselves.

So let’s stand alongside of LGBT individuals. Let’s let them know they are loved, they are welcomed, they are not alone. I think when we do, we will find that Jesus has been there with them for a long time now. It’s time we joined him.


Derek Flood is the author of Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross. He is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post, Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, and writes regularly at his website theRebelGod.com. A longtime voice in the post-conservative evangelical movement, Derek’s focus is on wrestling with questions of faith and doubt, violence in the Bible, relational theology, and understanding the cross from the perspective of grace and restorative justice.

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About the Author

Derek FloodDerek Flood is the author of Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross. He is a featured blogger for the Huffington PostSojourners, here at Red Letter Christians, as well as writing regularly at his website theRebelGod.com. A longtime voice in the post-conservative evangelical movement, Derek’s focus is on wrestling with questions of faith and doubt, violence in the Bible, relational theology, and understanding the cross from the perspective of grace and restorative justice. Follow Derek on Twitter @therebelgod and Facebook.View all posts by Derek Flood →

  • http://superrustyfly.wordpress.com/ Russell Purvis

    Kudos my friend. I wrote about this too. There is a vote coming up in my state on the ammendment for marriage. I think it’s important for even evangelicals to think about the implications of how we express our stance on this issue.

    http://superrustyfly.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/coercion-or-conviction-on-ammendment-for-marriage-in-nc/ 

  • Asuperman8740

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.[1](Leviticus 18:22 KJV)
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.[2](Leviticus 20:13 KJV)

    Matthew 7:6
    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    • Marnie

       Your Leviticus references are irrelevant because the question was, “What did ‘Jeus’ say about homosexuality?” Your Matthew reference follows five verses about judging and being hypocritical. That one might fit.

      • Chw777

         Jesus being a faithful Jew and teacher of the law believed and followed the Old Testament law like all faithful Jews.

        • Marnie

           so, Jesus was married? A faithful Jew would have been married. If he followed the law, why teach against it? You know, that whole eye for an eye/turn the other cheek thing. Unless Jesus was a proof-texter, too

          • Chw777

             I understand your point and dont really know the answer, but Jesus was a faithful follower of God and God’s Word. You think he wasnt? He was the only begotten son of God, the Messiah. He not only obeyed his father, but he obeyed him perfectly. Jesus fulfilled the law.

      • Keith Carr61

        Again, you want to discredit the disciples writings wheemn they were hand picked by Jesus himself. Your assertion that they are not accurate is to call Jesus himself a flake and a liar. Give my your explanation of why Jesus would allow his disciples to run around and teach false doctrine in his name???? without correcting them?? It is not possible and you are just searching for an excuse.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cameron-McIntyre/1740381990 Cameron McIntyre

      You are taking the Matthew verse outta context. The previous verses are about hypocrisy and judgement. Maybe the swine are the Pharisees, both ancient and modern.

    • Passer-by

       
      Leviticus 11:9-12 (KJV)

       9These shall ye eat of
      all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the
      waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.  10And
      all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of
      all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the
      waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:  11They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.  12Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.So if you’ve eaten shrimp, you’ve sinned as much as a homosexual. Don’t pick and choose your verses.

      • Drew

        Homosexuality is mentioned again in Romans… unless you are a liberal that reinterprets it, then it is nowhere to be found in the NT.

        • http://www.nightphoenix.com Amaranth

          Rampant lust amongst practicing idolators is mentioned in the New Testament. So is the practice of men having sex with young boys.

          I suppose I, poor misguided liberal that I am, must have missed the verse that specifically condemns the actions or existence of two consenting adults of the same sex who live together in a monogamous relationship.

          • Drew

            Yes, poor misguided political liberals who love the world and not the Word to read Romans 1:26-27 differently than others.  Thank you for admitting it.

          • Anonymous

            What’s wrong with loving the world? Your God does. Says so in John 3:16-17.

            “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through him, might be saved.” (KJV)

          • Drew

            I find it tragic and sad that so many on the Red Letter Christian website know so little of the Bible.

            1 John 2:15 says this – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  This is what I meant.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljkimpan michael j. kimpan

    excellent post, derek. really appreciate your thoughtful approach to such a divisive issue in the church. POWERFUL.

  • Drew

    Derek,

    The first two paragraphs are garbage.  Homosexuality has been seen as a sin for the entire history of Judaism and Christianity with the exception of the past twenty years when liberals decided to rewrite sections of the Bible they disagreed with.

    The rest of the article, I agree with, with the exception of the last paragraph.

    The last paragraph is not possible.  The largely secular LGBT community wants nothing less than 100% affirmation, celebration, and acceptance of their lifestyle.

    • Tim C.

      “The largely secular LGBT community wants nothing less than 100% affirmation, celebration, and acceptance of their lifestyle.” 
      This is the fundamental flaw with the lukewarm, love the sinner/hate the sin argument that this blog post promotes.  In the minds of the people you’re trying to help, you’re either all in for them, or you’re against them.  This totally makes sense, too.  Who would want an advocate that pays lip service to their well-being but secretly condemns them?  

      • Chw777

         How is loving them, condemning them? God loves all people, but hates their sin. He loved us so much when we were sinners, that he sent his only son to die for us. Jesus loved the tax collectors and sinners he hung out with. I’m sure he loved the Roman centurion who’s son he healed. Not approving of a homosexual’s sexual behavior is NOT condemning the homosexual, it is condemning the behavior. Dont you think you can disapprove of the behavior of a shoplifter and still love him? Isnt love the motivation to share the gospel with “sinners”. We love them, but dont approve of their sin. We love other believers, but dont approve of their sins either.

        • Luke

          But you fail to see that for people of the LGBTQ community, homosexuality is not a behavior, but who they are.  It cannot be separated from their behavior.  Therefore, when we say things like “love the sinner, hate the sin” we are saying we hate them, because the “sin” we are talking about is a part of who they are.  

          Ans where do you get that homosexuality is a sin?  As far as the bible goes, it is only homosexual activity that is sinful.  The bible has nothing to say about what we would call homosexual orientation today.  Which brings up an important point about how we and our churches treat LGBTQ people, because if we continue to say that you must “not be gay” to be in our churches, then we are denying Christ and his work, and saying that it is our job, not Christ’s, to get people on the right track.

          • Chw777

            When I said, homosexuality I was referring to the behavior, so I agree with you.

          • Keith Carr61

            Luke, Come on. Homosexuality is a CHOICE just as any other sin. If you want to believe that nonsense then you must apply it to pedaphiles, beastiality, cleptomaniacs, drug attics, etc….Therein lies your problem. You believe the lie therefore you cant separate the issue.
            Furthermore, your separation of the activity from the individual is absurd. To believe this is like saying a person craving drugs is a sinner vs. those who give in to the temptation and consume them. Thats why liberals get so confused, they double talk themselves into oblivion.

          • Follower

            Addicts, not attics.  Are you seriously putting homosexuality on the same moral level as pedophilia?  What next, homosexuals are like murderers?  Have you actually read the bible to any extent?  Ever taken a basic course in the formation of the New Testament, or the origins of the Old Testament?  Forgive me brother for sounding so mean, but let me ask you a question, if the Bible clearly said, in your estimation, that homosexuality was OK, would you still put homosexuality in the same cdategory as pedaphilia, cleptomania, etc., or is your moral judgement based mainly on the Biblical imperative?  God help us and protect us from hatefuleness, whatever form it takes.

        • http://www.nightphoenix.com Amaranth

          Try telling a heterosexual person that you “disapprove” of their relationship with their spouse. See how they respond to that sort of “love.”

          That’s what it feels like when you tell a homosexual person that you love them as a person but hate their “behavior”.

      • Keith Carr61

         So you admit that the LGBT crowd wants 100% affirmation…glad someone admits it but it will never happen. That is the epitomy of audacity. If  we did that then we could tell everyone its ok to practice cleptomania, beastiality, pedophelia, drug abuse etc….. IT IS A SIN. God how hard is it to understand that GOD hates sin and they are asking HIM to validate something he died to save us from. Have we really become a nation of ignorant intellects?? Questioning the constitution, Questioning the Bible. Seems to me that the more we struggle as a society with everything my generation holds sacred, the more this country spirals into the abyss. America is deteriorating at a rapid pace and its not from Conservative ideas that is sinking us like a rock.

    • Luke

      I’m sorry, but this is just not relavent.  Slavery was also considered ok for the majority of the time the bible has been around, as has the oppression of women.  “This is just how it has always been” is not a valid argument for saying how Christians should believe.  Most people who affirm LGBT people in the church are not trying to “rewrite” the bible, they are trying to better understand what the bible would have communicated when it was originally written, and what it means that those same words are authoritative today and how we are to follow them.  There is plenty that the bible “plainly” says that none of us choose to follow.  So unless you are willing to tell people who are greedy and gluttonous that they have no place in the church, or men with long hair, then let’s stop doing the same for LGBT people.

      • Drew

        Derek says whether or not homosexuality is a sin is an age-old question.  My point is that it is not; that is the definition of a relevant rebuttal.  If my rebuttal is irrelevant, so is the original statement by Derek.  Moving on…

        The point of the article is not whether or not homosexuality is a sin, so I won’t get into that debate.  The real point I was trying to make was in my third paragraph, which you ignored completely.

        • Luke

          My apologies for coming across like is any disregarding way.  It was not your historical assessment of homosexuality I took issue with, but you belief that it should set in stone how we view it today.

          • Chw777

             Should not our view of homosexuality come from God’s word, which IS set in stone?

          • Luke

            What do you mean by “set in stone”?  The original autographs of the bible?  Our translations? Our interpretations of what the bible means for us today? You see that taking the bible, which is a diverse collections of writings in different genres that were written to different people over hundreds of years long ago, and asking how we are to understand them as authoritative today, is not a set in stone process, but rather a dynamic process.  And even when you believe, like I do, that the Holy Spirit is involved in that process, how to understand the Spirit’s role in the process is not a science.  So, to say that the bible is set in stone, therefore, (insert controversial issue) is wrong, actually does injustice to the bible.  It says that we don’t have to take the bible seriously.  It says that we don’t have to ask hard questions, like how is a story, or a personal letter, written 2000 years ago. authoritative, even if we believe it is inspired?  I very much believe that the bible should be central to our church communities and that it is inspired, but HOW the bible to be used within those communities is not set in stone, and must be wrestled with by each generation of Christ followers.

          • Keith Carr61

            OMG you sound like the anal retentive folks that question the constitution……I will once again point out that God is NOT the author of confusion and to read your post concerning the Bible he wrote that JUST FOR YOU

          • Luke

            If we are to follow the bible, we have to question it, because it is not a list of laws to be followed.  Just because I believe the bible is complex does not mean I don’t believe it is true and authoritative. 

          • MAC

            As one who speaks so strongly about sin, it is ironic that you blaspheme (albeit via abbreviation) against the 10 commandments…just saying

          • jtc123

            Re: “The Bible is set in stone”. Read the footnote of your bible related to the adulterous woman story that was referenced in the article. It will say something to the effect that “This story was not in the earliest manuscripts”. Do the same for the Lord’s prayer in Matt 6. The “…for Thine is the Kingdom, power, glory forever” part was also not in the earliest manuscripts, i.e. it was added later. Genesis 1 and 2 have a differing order of creation. How did Judas die? The Bible isn’t set in stone. It isn’t in-errant. Now go find some pastor to patronize you by telling you everything is ok.

      • Keith Carr61

        If they practice greed and glutoney in the church you can bet your behind they will be called out on it. Most reasonable and intelligent people dont walk into the house of God and practice sin in the open…It shows a lack of reverence and disobedience. Many have sins that you will never know about…they dont yell and scream and cry foul and disenfranchise because they cant practice their sin. Give me a break bud…you are way out in “left” field

  • Pastor Paul

    Derek,

    Even if we want to expand the question to the Bible as a whole,  it contains a total of about 250 words in English. That’s about 0.03% of the total
    word count of the Bible. To put this in perspective, there are 570 words in the
    Bible dealing with what to do if you find mold in your home (Lev 14.33-54). The
    Bible spends 228% more time talking about mold than addressing homosexuality.

    I find that fact fascinating. It clearly wasn’t an issue for Jesus, and as to there are examples of homosexuality as an accepted practice in the post-patristic period of the early church. Most Christians have long accepted the idea of progressive revelation. We need to apply this thinking to the issue of homosexuality as well.

    • Drew

      The Bible talks a lot about sexual sins, and if homosexuality is one of those sins, than there is much more commentary about homosexuality in the Bible than 250 words.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OKXEYUTU4LOK6UAPCHNRHZNIS4 Mike

      MOST accept idea of progressive revelation??? Not true. Maybe a good number in the US, but not most in the greater body if even most in the US, which I am not convinced of.

      Jesus was a faithful Jew and did not speak about many things it seems. The authors of what we have as Scripture show NO indication of accepting homosexuality as proper behavior. I struggle with this but there is absolutely no evidence of acceptance in the Scripture. It only speaks to the behavior as not as God intends us to act, regardless of our propensity.

      Like Derek, I want to stand up against the hate. I want people to know they aren’t held captive to their desires or defined by them. I want those who have desires for other non-intended behaviors to know they can be free of that struggle. I know I will raise the ire of many when I call it a struggle and not a gift, but that only goes to the difference in understanding how our desires are not always in line with what God intends for us. It goes to how we understand the nature and noetic effect of sin. But, back to the point, what I often perceive is that my desire to protect people from bullies is inadequate unless I am also willing to say their desire is a gift to be enjoyed. I perceive people saying that by my understanding and promoting of it I am a cause of the hate.

      I will say this, Jesus words to the woman were for her ears only. Never once did he name her as one who had sinned while others could hear. I am not sure what that means, but there is something there I wrestle to understand.

      • Luke

        Mike, you say:   “But, back to the point, what I often perceive is that my desire to protect people from bullies is inadequate unless I am also willing to say their desire is a gift to be enjoyed. I perceive people saying that by my understanding and promoting of it I am a cause of the hate.”
        That is exactly what I, and many others, are saying.  That statement you gave basically says, “I know people are being bullied or oppressed, but defending them too much might make people think I am ok with what they are doing, so I will be careful.”  That sounds like you are putting your interpretation of the bible over standing with people who are being hurt.  I just don’t see how that fits with the NT narrative at all.  First, it is not our job to get people to stop sinning.  Ever.  That is up to the Holy Spirit.    Second, the church is not simply supposed to “not cause hate.”  We are supposed to be on the other end, actively seeking a world where are called to stand with those who are hurt, oppressed, hungry, shamed, etc. But we don’t do this because we are worried people might think we are condoning sin?!  Please read the Gospels. This “charge” was leveled against Jesus about every chapter.  
        We need to stop focussing on sin and start focussing on loving people.  When my time is up on this earth and I have to face God, I seriously doubt he is going to tell me “Nice life, but you were just a tad to loving and accepting of people.”  Something tells me the opposite is what I need to be worried about.  (which Jesus pretty much said in Matthew 25.)

        • Keith Carr61

          “We need to stop focussing on sin and start focussing on loving people” Wow, how contradictory of the scripture. So you are saying that preachers need to just preach about “love” and never about sin? Really? If we use your prescription for christianity then we all are going to heaven and God doesnt expect any accountabililty. Your assertion is that we have NO responsibility in teaching the gospel. We only need teach about love which will send many to hell with a ‘loving’ message. This is nonsense and is a new age progressive lie that is being spread like a plague in our churches.
          I believe the Bible actually says
          Matthew 18:15-22
          If your brother sins go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
          But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.
          If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as Gentile and a tax collector.
          Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven
          Now this doesnt sound like leaving sin out of the conversation does it?? You are contradicting the Bible. This doesnt sound like we should just ignore sin in our churches and close friends. Your argument is not scriptural and is the reason many remain in their sin thinking that “love” will get them through when in reality if they ever turn from it and accept Christ because they have been coddled in their sin, you will be held accountable and I dont think “NICE LIFE” will be what you hear.

          • Dee

            Preach the GOOD news to ALL nations. We share HIS GOOD news how He tells us but we do not save people nor do we damn them to hell with our message. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the work & result. Thank God! (:
            Jesus did NOT come into the world to condemn them but to save them. John 3:17
            If we err (and we will plenty), shouldn’t we err in loving too much.

    • Adam

      Assuming your numbers and stats are correct (I’m not going to spend time checking them) THIS IS HOW YOU DEBATE, PEOPLE.

      Thank you for demonstrating your point with verifiable evidence. 

    • Keith Carr61

      What a rediculous comparison. “It clearly wasnt an issue for Jesus”? really??? I didnt know there was a % of print that needed to be dedicated to a particular topic. I would submit that MOST people who read their Bible and understand what it says…DO not subscribe to the progressive thought process.

    • I. E.

      Pastor Paul, I am a little late to this party, but I have to tell you, my wife and I are still hurting from our cracked ribs from laughing so hard after we read your stats. If you don’t mind, I will quote them in a blog I did on my FB page a few days back regarding this topic.

  • Chris Smith

    Thanks Derek for engaging in this issue. I too have been thinking about the application of the woman caught in adultery to the issue of Homosexuality lately and the type of radical mercy and acceptance that Jesus demonstrates to a woman caught in sexual sin (qualitatively no different than homosexuality to those who hold it to be a sinful practice). I think you’ve hit the nail on the head that we don’t treat sinners the way Jesus did and that in itself is a huge condemnation of conservative evangelicalism. And while I agree with 90% of what you say in your post I do have 1 issue that bothered me.

    It is a dangerous position to take the words of Jesus in the Gospels and elevate them above the words of the other authors in Scripture. I have no problem reading Scripture in context and understanding that some things are to be taken literally and others with respect to their genre – but to take the position (and you don’t explicitly state this but your argument requires it) that we should give more credence to the words of Jesus than other parts of scripture is to deny the unity of God’s Word.

    I’m sorry to pick on this point. I did find more to agree with than disagree with in your post and I appreciate the point you are trying to make, but I needed to voice this cautions.

    Blessings,
    Chris Smith

    • Derek

       Yes, that raises a question very pertinent for this forum: Does being a “red letter Christian” mean we weigh those red letters more than, say, the black letters of Paul? That is certainly an important question that is worth wrestling through.

      • http://twitter.com/DianaHoglund Diana Hoglund

         That’s exactly what being a “red letter Christian” is about.  Obviously you’re not comfortable with that, which begs the question, why are you hanging out at redletterchristians.org? 

        • Zrallo

           Well, if that’s true, then no orthodox Christian should be hanging around redletterchristians.org, because to claim that certain passages in the Bible are more authoritative than others is to deny the Christian claim that ALL of the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God and ALL of it is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

          • Derek

            Protestant orthodoxy would not actually claim that the entire Bible (OT and NT) are equally normative for Christians today. (for example, Christians can eat BLT sandwiches and cut their sideburns)

            The issue I was raising is whether we should place more value on the words of Jesus than we would other parts of the NT. I would say no. However, we should read everything Christo-centrically, i.e. Paul is only properly understood when he is read that way. This is also a very orthodox reading (not to be confused with a fundamentalist reading).

          • Zrallo

             Absolutely you are correct, orthodox Christianity holds that certain requirements of the OT are not normative for Christians. That doesn’t mean that those passages are less authoritative, just that they do not bind us to that specific action. That is, they still function as part of the biblical text and point us to some important truth.

            I also agree that all of the NT ought to be read with the narrative of Christ in the background. Paul’s message only makes sense in light of what Christ has done for us. I don’t think that there is or has to be any inherent contradiction between the black and red letters.

          • Keith Carr61

            Of course we all have to be Biblical scholars to understand what God intended for even children to understand. Unreal. Nice mumbo jumbo  

        • Drew

           It absolutely is not, Diana.  I would suggest reading the book “Red Letter Christians” by Campolo before saying such an ignorant thing.

        • Keith Carr61

          Diana, To save yourself some trouble why dont you carry “only” the version with just the Red Letters in them and see how much sense you can make of the Bible. Secondly why dont you ask God why he bothered to ‘choose’ 12 men who you think are just mumbling idiots who were just babbling to everyone in the name of Jesus. Then why dont you ask God why he is so incompetent that he provided all this scripture form these men when it is irrelevant and confusing to people like yourself?

  • Mykus42

    I agree that we need to love the LGBT community, and to do so despite of their sin. But, I did find it interesting that the only passage from the Bible used here wasn’t included in the earliest manuscripts… It’s a cool story, but not actually scripture, believe it or not.

    • Paul Groleau

      Appreciate this article – 2 things that struck me more than anything else –
      1. “If we really do love Jesus, then we need to love like he did..so much that it seems scandalous in the eyes of the religious folks of our day” and 2. “This was the sin of the people who used the Bible as a weapon” – SO profound yet so basic to God’s teaching – conjures up the Scripture that tells us” having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof”..the power of God in us to love unconditionally – and how many of us have used the Bible as a weapon?…..gives another meaning to the twoedged sword we read about in the Epistles of Paul – it cuts or transforms – Lord teach me to love the way you did as a man – nurture within me the same compassion you had as a man that there might not be any prejudice in me …let me see them, all of them, without reservation that I might be used to further the Kinfdom of God here on earth. Lord bless – Paul Groleau

  • Keno

    So homosexuality is a sin, but molesting children, slavery, rape and sexism is not?

  • http://hopingforfigs.wordpress.com/ Michael Killick

    Derek, you wrote: ‘one thing is utterly clear: Jesus clearly teaches us to love people,
    not to hate them, not to make them feel hated, and not to stand by
    while that is happening’. The first part is true, and I for one find a lifetime of challenge in it. But I am inclined to think Jesus very often did stand by – or rather go about his own work without intervening – while others were bullied. The people of Israel were living under joint oppressions of the Romans and the religous elite – bullying would have been everywhere. We rarely if ever read that Jesus stepped in. He spoke of it to the Pharisees for their own benefit, if they might have ears to hear. The woman Jesus saved from being stoned was brought to him. Likewise the sinners Jesus associated with came to him, he didn’t go after them though in his own words he did ‘seek’ them. And if you look at how Jesus spoke regarding them it was not enitirely ‘affirming’, rather Jesus could be pretty brutally honest. Matthew’s tax collector mates were ‘sick’, the Canaanite woman and her daughter were ‘dogs’, and even Peter earned the accolade of being called ‘Satan’. Perhaps that very honesty made them able to believe that his love was also true. As for us,  I expect that taking Jesus’ line on sin will earn us plenty of enemies on both sides of every issue.

  • Chw777

    Jesus believed and followed the Old Testament laws. This tells us exactly what he believed about homosexuality. 

    • Derek

       Actually, Jesus frequently broke OT laws. He broke Sabbath laws in order to heal. He touched lepers making himself unclean. He refused to stone the woman caught in adultery even though the law commanded it. He preached that we should not follow an “eye for an eye” but instead practice love of enemies. I could go on and on.

      Why did he break these laws? Because he prioritized caring for people in need, even if that meant breaking laws. Even of that meant being accused of being a sinner and having a bad reputation among religious folks (which also happened to him).

      • Adam

        Actually, Jesus broke those laws primiarily because doing so demonstrated His divinity…the law, being devine, could only be broken by the divinity who promulgated those laws….It was Jesus’ way of saying he was God without “saying” he was God in so many words.  It was the same way that he declared he was divine by daring to tell people as he healed them, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Since every Jew knows that ‘only God can forgive sins,’ It was Jesus’ way of telling everybody who they were dealing with! So you know “the Son of Man can forgive sins!”[Lk 5:24]

      • Adam

        Actually, Jesus broke those laws primiarily because doing so demonstrated His divinity…the law, being devine, could only be broken by the divinity who promulgated those laws….It was Jesus’ way of saying he was God without “saying” he was God in so many words.  It was the same way that he declared he was divine by daring to tell people as he healed them, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Since every Jew knows that ‘only God can forgive sins,’ It was Jesus’ way of telling everybody who they were dealing with! So you know “the Son of Man can forgive sins!”[Lk 5:24]

  • Drew Two

    …and so the argument continues about what to do with “us.” Me? Pretty well left the church behind – the church that yammers on for ages, spouting theology, dissecting scripture and so on while those of us on the fringes lead lives largely devoid of intimacy in hope of the big “what if?” Enjoy your discussion from the comfort of your cosy family enclaves. I’ll see you later…

    • Drew

      I think there are parts of the Bible that make all of us uncomfortable, Drew Two, so for you to think that you’re the only one with a burden to bear would be foolish.

      • Drew Two

        “Uncomfortable”? Wow. Thanks for minimizing my pain and loneliness.

        • Drew

          Well, from the Bible itself, there is virtue in being single, because you can entirely focus on God.  Not that it is any solace; not something I could do.

          My point is that we are all called to lead radically different lives than the ones we were previously leading.  You’re not the only one to have had to do so.  I’m just trying to put it in perspective for you, let you know that others are going through different but equally challenging times.

          • Drew Two

            You’re right. It isn’t much solace (!) but I appreciate your honesty.

            Well, I’ve taken a deep breath and reminded myself that I’m not the centre of the universe. We all experience pain and difficult choices. And I’m not the sort (I hope) that believes only those with shared experiences have anything meaningful to bring to the table.

            Nonetheless, I think your comments serve (perhaps more gently than some others here) to illustrate exactly what I’m talking about.

            It seems that for many of the participants in this forum though they’re passionate about their views the discussions for them are largely academic. It’s easy for them to barrel on into the conversation without having to slow down a bit and temper their words with a little empathy.

            I don’t think that Derek is dismissing or minimizing deeply held convictions about what the bible says. I believe he’s just holding up a loving response/attitude as the greater priority or as one least equal to conviction/truth. (To be honest with you, I think most homosexuals “get” the latter part.)

          • Luke

            Drew Two, thank you for sharing.  As a straight guy I will never know all that you have experienced, but I do know from my LGBTQ friends I have seen how much we in the church need your voice, as well as the voices of others that the church has told cannot be fully welcome they conform to a certain interpretation of the bible.

            I believe in the bible, but I also believe that LGBTQ fully have a place in the church.  It is just that I don’t believe the bible is a rule book to be followed, but rather a diverse collection of literature that is inspired but also complex, and learning how to follow it is much more of an art than a science. 

            I am saddened by your experience,  but I hope and pray that those of us in the church can be willing to lay down some of our certainty about theology in order to listen to voices like yours.  

          • Drew Two

            Thanks, Luke. The older I get the less certain I am about a lot of things. Not entirely sure I even believe in God anymore though I’m trying to remain open minded and not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I get nervous around people who are absolutely certain about things, especially things metaphysical.

            It also seems to me that those who adhere to a literal (or nearly literal) interpretation of the bible in its entirety are often as selective in what passages they apply to their own lives as those that they accuse of cherry picking.

            I guess that’s why I like the idea of being a red letter Christian where the core is an unselfish, sacrificial love. I actually think having to work that out actually demands a lot more of us than ticking off a series of behavioral boxes.

          • Drew

             Hi Drew Two,

            It’s tough.  As the saying goes, “The Church is a whore, but she is my mother.”  No Church will have perfect people in it, and not very many Churches will have good theology.  There is also a lot of pressure from the world to not be a Christian.  In some parts of the world, it often involves being martyred.

            As for cherry picking passages, I think most people do that.  RLC is not immune to it; in fact, it is ripe for it.

            I hope you find a Church with good theology that also has a lot of good Christians in it, if you are already not at one.

          • Drew

            Luke,

            Not only is what you are saying not Biblical, but it could mean you are not even a Christian.  What is the point of having Scripture if you’re not going to take it seriously, if you’re going to let it be so ambiguous as to mean anything?

          • Luke

            What do you mean by biblical?  You mean your interpretation of what the bible says.  Show me where in the history of the church any particular belief in homosexuality was a standard for orthodoxy.  Yet you are claiming I might not even be a Christian because of my views on it.  This is the point that the bible becomes an idol.  I have spent a great deal of my life studying the bible and trying to understand it better. Your accusations are just not ok, unless you are the final judge of who is a christian or not.  

            And the point of having scripture is to treat the bible like the book it is, a complex collection of writings that, although inspired by God, are not a rule book for us to follow but a story for us to live into.  By making the bible a rule book, we are actually NOT taking the bible seriously, because we are not letting it be what it is but rather forcing it into modern categories of what words like “authoritative” and “truth” mean.  Are there things in there that we should follow?  Yes. But it is not so simple.  For example, do you think it is sinful for a man to have long hair? While Paul said that was “against nature” just like he said homosexuality was in Romans 1.  Why make one a standard for being a Christian and ignore the other? 

          • Drew

            If you read the Bible without trying to discern it, then I feel sorry for you.  You know as well as I do that 1 Corinthians 11:14 has richer meaning than what you simple-mindedly suggested.

          • Luke

            And I also know that Romans 1:26-28 has is more complex then the meaning we often give it.  That is exactly what I was saying, that we must discern the bible. I feel sorry for you that you believe so much in your own interpreat-ions that you must resort to name calling of other believers. 

          • Drew

            Ran out of room below.  I agree whole-heartedly that there can be a difference of opinion on many issues.  However, when it comes to Biblical authority and the value of Scripture, I won’t allow heretics to cheapen the Bible into some ambiguous “it means whatever you feel it means” garbage.  The Bible is very clear about the role of scripture.

          • Drew

            I agree with you that there is a tremendous empathy deficit in the world and on this blog.

            At the same time, we are all called to repent, which is a tough message that cannot be backed off of.  While I can have empathy for you, I also see a lot of people dealing with a lot of struggles and sin, and realize that all of us (including myself) need to continue the process of repentance and sanctification.

  • Andrew Wilkerson

    I am not one that enjoys debating online. It takes away the heart of the conversation, but, alas, I am not humanly able to sit down and chat with each and every person who is commenting on this blog post. Nevertheless, I think it’s important that what we say to each other, on here, should be out of love. A lot of comments are being made that way. Even comments that support Derek’s point of view, defend that point of view in a not-so-gentle way. Now, I understand, we all want to jump up and defend ourselves when we are threatened, but we must remember, that Jesus was silent during his trial and we should probably do the same. But, I also realize, that this discussion is about how we respond to people, people who, yes, have sin (*gasp* I used the “s” word!); ah, but, surprise, we are all sinners! (*gasp* another “s” word!) We do tend to be hypocritical, judgmental, and, sadly enough, hateful. But, we have to realize, in each of us, that’s humanity…and humanity hurts. Being human killed Jesus, for goodness sake; it’s not something that is very easy. I think Jesus realizes, still today, from his throne in Heaven, that we’re human. We mess up. We have hurts, pains, fears, sadness, just downright brokenness. That includes, yes, the LGBT community. I don’t look at those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, as the “enemy” or as “those people”, I see me in them. I see the hurt, the pain, the brokenness that I wake up to every morning in the mirror. They are my mirror. Now, does that excuse their lifestyle, no, if it does then my lifestyle should be excused and I have to admit, lust does not make me feel free or good; it hurts, because that’s my brokenness. That’s my struggle. That doesn’t make me want to cast a stone, but it also doesn’t allow me to take the passive way and let the “adulterous woman” remain in her spiritual brokenness. It urges me to do more, to be more, to be like Jesus. To bend down in the midst of her brokenness and help her up, to talk her, and get to know, but also let her know that, yeah, there’s a better life that she can lead if she let’s Jesus lead. If Jesus would have stopped at the “cast the first stone” line, the woman would have left unchanged, but he continued and did say “leave your life of sin”, not because what the Pharisees said was right, their judgment was skewed, distorted, warped, they didn’t see their reflection in the adulterous woman, if they did they would have been more gentle and loving. But, the amazing thing is this: though no other human saw their broken reflection in the adulterous, the God of the Universe saw His own reflection in her. Now, it was a twofold reflection, 1) He created her in her mother’s womb, so she was His anyway, but 2) Although he created her, his creation wasn’t complete until she saw her own reflection in Him. So, I urge everyone, 1) Look for your reflection in the LGBT community, because there is a lot of broken people there, and chances are you are a very broken person too, 2) Find God’s reflection in yourself, if you have brokenness, it’s okay, because you still have value in God’s eyes (and in my eyes too, by the way, I don’t know you, but I love you anyway!), and 3) Find your face in God’s face, to do this it means surrendering yourself, and becoming like Him, in this way, you accomplish the previous two. And in this way, you can love like Jesus.

    • Keith Carr61

      Andrew, very well articulated. It seems as though you have separated the issues and understand what many on here have tried to convey however you have stated it very well. This is only an issue because this particular ‘sin’ has grown to the point that it is ‘organized’ and now lashes out at the church. The ‘fight’ that this community talks of is being propagated by the LGBT community. It reminds me of the argument about racism. If you dont agree with black people or the president, for example, you are a racist. If I dont agree with the LGBT community, I am a homophobic, racist, nasty conservative who wont affirm their sin in my church or community or politics. I submit to you that while I respect your compassionate way you delivered this post, I also submit that very soon you will be forced into making a choice. It will be forced by the LGBT community and you will not be able to take a passive stance. An organized ‘sin’ of this magnitude will render you unable to disagree them and pressure will be put on those that disagree with them. We will see who remains after the rooster quits his crowing.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You are incapable of loving someone if you look at them and only see a broken mess that needs your specific personal translation of a book to be whole. That’s not love. Nothing in this mess of a rant is love. It’s self-righteous preaching.

      When you can look at a person, befriend them and truly appreciate them for what they are no matter what they do, then and only then can you truly say you love them.

      Christians talk like they own the concept of love, but most of you can’t even care for a person unless you’re looking at them through a filter. I may be a filthy sinner, but I don’t need a higher power to work magic in me before I can love a person, and I don’t have to see them at some specific angle.

  • Andrew Wilkerson

    I am not one that enjoys debating online. It takes away the heart of the conversation, but, alas, I am not humanly able to sit down and chat with each and every person who is commenting on this blog post. Nevertheless, I think it’s important that what we say to each other, on here, should be out of love. A lot of comments are being made that way. Even comments that support Derek’s point of view, defend that point of view in a not-so-gentle way. Now, I understand, we all want to jump up and defend ourselves when we are threatened, but we must remember, that Jesus was silent during his trial and we should probably do the same. But, I also realize, that this discussion is about how we respond to people, people who, yes, have sin (*gasp* I used the “s” word!); ah, but, surprise, we are all sinners! (*gasp* another “s” word!) We do tend to be hypocritical, judgmental, and, sadly enough, hateful. But, we have to realize, in each of us, that’s humanity…and humanity hurts. Being human killed Jesus, for goodness sake; it’s not something that is very easy. I think Jesus realizes, still today, from his throne in Heaven, that we’re human. We mess up. We have hurts, pains, fears, sadness, just downright brokenness. That includes, yes, the LGBT community. I don’t look at those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, as the “enemy” or as “those people”, I see me in them. I see the hurt, the pain, the brokenness that I wake up to every morning in the mirror. They are my mirror. Now, does that excuse their lifestyle, no, if it does then my lifestyle should be excused and I have to admit, lust does not make me feel free or good; it hurts, because that’s my brokenness. That’s my struggle. That doesn’t make me want to cast a stone, but it also doesn’t allow me to take the passive way and let the “adulterous woman” remain in her spiritual brokenness. It urges me to do more, to be more, to be like Jesus. To bend down in the midst of her brokenness and help her up, to talk her, and get to know, but also let her know that, yeah, there’s a better life that she can lead if she let’s Jesus lead. If Jesus would have stopped at the “cast the first stone” line, the woman would have left unchanged, but he continued and did say “leave your life of sin”, not because what the Pharisees said was right, their judgment was skewed, distorted, warped, they didn’t see their reflection in the adulterous woman, if they did they would have been more gentle and loving. But, the amazing thing is this: though no other human saw their broken reflection in the adulterous, the God of the Universe saw His own reflection in her. Now, it was a twofold reflection, 1) He created her in her mother’s womb, so she was His anyway, but 2) Although he created her, his creation wasn’t complete until she saw her own reflection in Him. So, I urge everyone, 1) Look for your reflection in the LGBT community, because there is a lot of broken people there, and chances are you are a very broken person too, 2) Find God’s reflection in yourself, if you have brokenness, it’s okay, because you still have value in God’s eyes (and in my eyes too, by the way, I don’t know you, but I love you anyway!), and 3) Find your face in God’s face, to do this it means surrendering yourself, and becoming like Him, in this way, you accomplish the previous two. And in this way, you can love like Jesus.

  • http://twitter.com/DianaHoglund Diana Hoglund

    After reading so many of the comments on this message, and other messages like it,I am completely saddened and disgusted at the lengths “Christians” will go to, and the energy they will expend, in order to justify their right to judge others. 

    • Drew

      It appears you are judging us as well, Diana.

      • http://twitter.com/DianaHoglund Diana Hoglund

         not really, but if that kind of circular logic is what allows you to continue, be my guest…

        • Drew

          If you have something constructive to say, say it.  If you want to trash people on this blog, don’t read it and go somewhere else.  Engage, don’t preach.

          • http://dailydumpbydave.blogspot.com/ liberaldemdave

            i recognize you!!!

            physician, heal thyself… you might wanna get that plank out of your eye before doing surgery, though. :)

          • Joel Gibbs

            Are you serious?

    • Keith Carr61

      I am disgusted that the author does not tell the truth about what the bible says about homosexuality…..If you want to tell an out and out mistruth then why would you expect to be taken seriously???????????????  The bible CLEARLY condemns the act of homosexuality and to say otherwise is a lie straight from satan himself.
      As far as people struggling with homosexuality and committing suicide it is no different than someone struggling with the sin of addiction to drugs or any other sin which often leads to tragedy. Quit spreading inaccurate information.
      Christians should never ridicule and be hateful however I will NOT have my children around a gay couple if I know they are actively gay (SHOWING UNNATURAL AFFECTION FOR THE OTHER SEX OPENLY)  My cousin is about to come out and ‘tell the world’…..will I condemn him? No…Will I tell my children he is wrong? Yes……Will my children be allowed to be around him and his ‘friend’ by themselves? NO  Time for real christians with a backbone to back up scripture and call it like it is …..SIN and no amount of “love” scripture can change the fact that God doesnt tell us to go and sin some more…but instead says go and sin NO more. 

      • http://dailydumpbydave.blogspot.com/ liberaldemdave

        wow. just…wow. how loving. you can’t even love your own cousin as yourself…how the heck you gonna love your neighbor as yourself.

        why not allow the kids to be around the couple? you do realize, don’t you, that the VAST MAJORITY of pedophiles are HETEROSEXUAL, right?

        • ssibert

          The majority of pedophiles are homosexual!

          • Guest

            The majority of rapes are male to female

      • Drew Klees

        Keith, I love your stance tough love is lost on liberals that would bring in unrelated issues as if they are applicable. I see no mention of pedophiles in your statement but somehow it was drawn into the comment below as if it was your thought originally…Keep it Biblical, that is what Jesus loves and you promote.

      • http://twitter.com/HipsterCorgi Hipster Corgi

        It is most important for us to show the love of Christ than to be right. The religious leaders who fought Christ used morality against him, but Christ was gentle and showed that love and grace was more important. Fighting with people in the name of morality is not showing the love of Christ to them. For Christians to feel justified and indignant in the name of morality is not to be walking in the example of Christ. He didn’t do that. We shouldn’t either. God will take care of the rest.

      • Anonymous

        Keep being a hypocrite, buddy. All you christianists that would deprive me of basic humanity due to your personal beliefs cherrypick verses to believe and completely ignore the rest of the book you’re screaming is “God’s law.” Further, you scream bloody murder about how my rights are an attack on your values, and thus religious persecution, but you completely ignore the very same Constitution that protects your religious freedom, which says that MY freedom means laws cannot be based on your beliefs. And we both know that you would raise every amount of hell possible if someone tried to limit your rights based on their religion, but you have no issues doing it to other people.

        Your god doesn’t exist, but if he did, he would NOT call you his follower. He would be disgusted with you. You do NOT practice what the bible says he taught. You’re the modern version of the men he condemned.

      • P.Berryman

        i am so sorry Keith Carr61,

        i must be so proud of you, you must help every homeless and poor person you see in the street, every single mother who needs help, because if you are already looking at the lower rules in the bible you must have already managed the most important law of all and love god and your neighbour fully!

        and you must already be doing all these things alongside:

        Exodus 21:7
        “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do.”

        Exodus 35:2
        “On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be sacred to you as the sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Anyone who does work on that day shall be put to death.”

        Leviticus 11
        7and the pig, which does indeed have hoofs and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud and is therefore unclean for you.
        8Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.”

        so you cant watch sports that use pig scin, you cant eat ham or bacon, you cant work on the Sabbath, and at least when you sell your daughter into slavery you can be happy knowing that she knows herself that homosexuality is wrong. that is the most important lesson she can learn!

      • mikephillipsxl

        Please, re-read the entire article. Flood is not condoning homosexuality. He’s urging us to treat sinners as Jesus did. Did Jesus preach a sermon against adultery? No, he did defend and protect the woman from the condemnation and punishment of the religious folks who were ready to kill her. And this was, in Jesus’ opinion, the best thing… for the woman, those men, and the kingdom of God.

      • Joel Gibbs

        So you’re saying that you don’t mind that gays kill themselves because they brought it upon themselves? How very Christian of you…

        And is drug addiction really a sin? Regardless, a drug addicted person is often in that state because they made a mistake and are struggling to get over this mistake. You’re essentially saying that it is okay for these people to overdose and die because they brought it upon themselves.

        Finally, you’re saying that you wouldn’t ridicule or be hateful to these people. That’s fine and dandy, but I promise you other people do ridicule them and if you aren’t stepping in to defend them, then you’re not doing your duty as a Christian. That is what this article is about. Regardless, gays are killing themselves because they are in a society with people, like you, that say they shouldn’t be accepted, so regardless of whether or not you are directly ridiculing them or not is irrelevant. By being such an ignorant butthead, you are a part of the problem. I mean, seriously, your comment really saddens me. You’re literally saying that you’re okay with people killing themselves because they are bringing it upon themselves with their sins. Well, I hate to break it to you, buddy, but we all sin.

        If you think “love” is telling somebody to stop doing drugs or to stop being gay, you’re clearly incorrect. That is not love and I suggest you read this article (and the gospels) again to find out what love really is.

      • Zach Wallace

        Fuck, you! Your words, may not be murdering physically, but these words are practically telling the LGBT community to kill them selves!!! I am a homosexual and that really fucking hurt!!!

    • Keith Carr61

      whats disgusting is that you defend sin…end of story. You are no different than the person who asks me to understand beastiality, pedaphelia etc…NO different…sin is sin so there you go, you can twist it any way you want but the bottom line is you want me to accept something that is totallly against Gods teachings.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mitch.persaud Mitch Persaud

        If you can go one day without telling a lie, I will agree with you.

      • BEARMAIL

        You don’t have to accept it. You just have to accept them.

        Sin is sin. In God’s eyes, all sins are equal as any one sin. Unless you’re somehow sin-free (and probably the second coming of Jesus in that case), you’re just as sinful as the people you’re condemning. And yet Jesus still loves and accepts you. So why do these people deserve anything less?

      • P.Berryman

        i do not defend sin, i defend sinners, as we are all sinners!! how can you be so ignorant to think that our god is only about judging?! our god is a loving, forgiving god!! he is sso amazing, he made each one of us, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made!! and if you want to come closer to god you should try strengthening your love for ALL!! God Bless you

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations on your impressive feat of strength; you handily knocked down that menacing straw man known as “judgmentalism”.  Now go find a real problem.

    • Drew Klees

      Interesting how you are sitting in judgement of others to demean them for being judgmental………sweet

    • ssibert

      Righteous judgement. We don’t want to love people into hell!

  • Tana S

    Derek,

    Thank you for the thoughtful article that clearly comes from a love-filled view of Jesus and Torah. It seems like almost daily I encounter harsh, judgmental rhetoric from Christians and non-Christians alike, so it is refreshing to read such gentle, loving thoughts focused on the gentle, loving Jesus.

  • Kunzii

    After reading some comments, i must say it saddened me as well!  Because the Sin is suddenly totaly out of Focus. Was Sin out of Focus when he approached the Woman? Not at all, he said leave and do not sin anymore. Same he told the rich guy, and the woman at the well and many other people. So my understanlding from Jesus is not to judge the person (That´s Gods business later on) but to hate and adress sin. Again not to hate the person but to hate the sin that is a persons life.
    Am I a sinner? Yes of course! Am I better then anyone else! Of course not! And it is said, that not many people would come up to me and adress sin in my life, in order for me to go to Jesus and to be renewed and cleansed from my sin by the holy spirit.
    So I think everyone needs to have his opinion on wheter Homoseuxality is a sin or not. The way we approach people (everyone) at first is not a matter of who they are. We have to meet them through Gods eyes: Loving the Person, hating the sin!

    • Derek

      Yes, we do need to address sin. When people are rejected and hated, when they are threatened, bullied, assaulted, and made to hate themselves, that is sin. When we stand by and watch, or even fuel the fire with our condemnation, that is sin. That is something Jesus says repeatedly. I hate that sin like he does.

  • graced by jesus

    Wow, how incredibly loving and accepting are we? Isn’t loving and accepting people the whole reason Christ came to earth. He’s never treated me like how you interpret his love to be. The venue aside, his love doesn’t change and if he’s got a problem with something Hes more than able to lead his sheep in His way.

  • Anonymous

    Derek, why don’t you do an article on “What does Jesus think about polygamy, incest and beastiality.” I’m serious. If homosexuality is not a behaviour, then neither are the rest. Your article didn’t answer the question you proposed? We know He would love them all. That is so lame. What would Jesus think about any of these “lifestyles” from a sociological perspective.

    • In Autumn

      Incest is abuse towards a vulnerable child, and bestiality is non-consensual. Homosexuality can occur between two consenting and well-knowing adults with no victims. There is NO comparison between Homosexual relations and Incest/Bestiality. I don’t think I need to address the polygamy thing. If you are sticking to scripture, it is practiced, unpunished, by a vast majority of your biblical heroes. I’m not sure why you decided to include that with the rest.

      • Anonymous

        What do you mean, “your Bibical heroes” Where did I say that I was a Bible believing Christian. I’m talking from a sociological aspect. Where does it say that “incest is abuse towards a vulnerable child.” I’m also talking about 2 consenting adults. Polygamy is against the law. Should it be? And I would love for you to face animal lovers and animal rights groups and tell them that animals don’t have feelings and can’t communicate. Good luck with that one. Please “IN AUTUMN” read these comments carefully, don’t assume anything about the writer, and check your facts before commenting (ie a dictionary would help)
        ROY

      • Keith Carr61

        Homosexuality occurs between two consenting adults??   So does adultry and that isnt condoned by the church either.

    • Adam

      The question isn’t what Jesus would think about these behaviors…we KNOW what he thought…what every God fearing Orthodox Jew of Jesus’ time thought…what the bible said!  The real issue that I think Derek is trying to raise with this article is how would Jesus have “responded” when confronted with what we are confronted with today, which is a “militant” LGBT community which seems bent on destroying Christian civilization.  The difference with all the bible stories mentioned (women in adultery, etc) is that those sinners were not trying to make their sin “acceptable” to a wider society.  The women caught in adultery KNEW what she was!  She didn’t look at Jesus and say “You need to accept me!”  The militant LGBT agenda is seeking society to force us to accept their sin as normative behavior.  It is not (and NEVER will be), which is why we can never agree.  So the question is, how do we respond to them with Christ-like love, given that agenda….not an easy question to answer.  And when do we get to the point (after they don’t accept Christ or stop trying at least to shove thier “lifestyle” down our throats) when we “shake the dust off our feet as we leave?”

      • Keith Carr61

        excellent

  • In Autumn

    I would like to thank Derek for giving me some faith in humanity, faith that many of the below comments makes me want to abandon. You are truly a loving, thoughtful, and upright individual.  

    • Drew

      Derek is a fence-sitter, no more, no less.

      • Derek

        The problem with comments like this (beside the fact that they are immature and mean) is that they reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the way of Jesus and the gospel. If standing on the side of the vulnerable was just passive “fence sitting” then why do you think that Jesus was killed? The fact is, active love is not passive, it is confrontational, and that is why it got religious folks mad at Jesus and why it still has a similar effect today.

        Jesus loved people to the point of it being scandalous and leading to his being condemned and executed. But he did not back down. Ask yourself why: why would he be so commited to loving even when it meant humiliation, condemnation, and suffering? Then ask yourself: am I committed to that too? Will I stand by Jesus? Do I believe in love as much as he did?

        • Dee

          Beautiful response!

  • Tim M
  • Caitalainn

    It’s funny, but this year I have been walking alongside a few people in the LGBT community and the first thing that strikes me is not their lifestyle, but ours as Christians. I agree that we need to make our priority about addressing the pain, the bullying, and let them know who we are by our love (like the old song says). The last thing anyone needs to be told when they are hurting are more hurtful things. From my experience, they know the scripture that is used against them like the back of their hand. I try to share the grace of Christ, because He came to claim us, and because His love and mercy saved me when I really needed saving. Anyone could have called me horrible things and used a ton of scripture against me, and I am straight! Scripture verses hurled at me wouldn’t have helped me. They would have only made me feel worse about myself. But a warm and loving embrace from people who were believers made me feel safe. When we try to love the way God loves, and we recognized that the Lord truly loves us, that’s when lives are transformed. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

  • Seanks

    It saddens me greatly to hear people not thinking for themselves, but instead taking something written by men hundreds of years ago so literally. Most of my LGBT friends that I know are more productive in society and have given more back to our communities (everyone in our communities) than any Christians friends that I know.  

    As for it is a “Choice” or “Lifestyle”, when was the day you Chose not to be attracted to the opposite sex?

  • http://twitter.com/BrettFishA Brett FISH Anderson

    i have not read any of the comments yet, Derek, but I just want to say i think you nailed it on the head and that if i wrote an article on the topic this is the one i would want to write – thank you!

  • editor

    I agree with you Diana, but in the UK we are about to be told that same sex unions must be seen as on a par with marriage, and the next very short step will be a legal requirement for ministers to marry those in same sex unions–or face prison. This article is very important, but it does not really help address the question we face right now.

  • Scott

    Yes, we walk in love, we speak the truth in love, we walk in obedience to God’s word. We are to be led by The Holy Spirit because he is the spirit of truth. He leads us and teaches us the truth. BUT, The Word, The Bible does address homosexuality and it is a sin. It isn’t popular these days to speak the truth: you get accused of teaching a message of hate. Christians can’t claim to love anyone if we aren’t willing to tell them the truth. 

  • Chw777

    Homosexuality is a demonic spirit. 

    • Questioning

      Ahem…. uh..  I guess that settles it. 

    • Otro tierra

      Is this what Jesus taught? Or should we put down our cross and follow you, instead?

  • Dr. John D. Abbott, Jr.

    You left out a critical part of the story about the woman found committing adultery. Jesus did not condemn her as you said, he did tell her to go and sin no more. Why leave that part out. Is it unsafe to consider he would say the same thing to the practicing homosexual?

  • Tim

    I don’t pretend to understand all the reasons why individuals choose, or otherwise find themselves, to be homosexual, and yes a genuine love for all is commanded by Jesus. 

    Hovever the militant homosexual agenda is another matter, and Christins that attempt to do the mental gymnastics justifying Homosexual “marriage” are fooling themselves.

  • Andy J. Funk

    It is entirely possible that we have entirely different minds, values, and expressions of human sexuality, and also affectionate love than that of ancient Hebrew and Greek communities. Take a look at David’s relationship with Jonathan. This relationship could very well be seen as borderline homosexual. The problem is, for people to show love and affection in that context, one was not so bound up by gender specifically “appropriate” modes of expression. Look at some European contexts even today. Men kiss on the mouth in greeting, and mutual love and respect. Our kids would be mystified at such displays, precisely because that is not “normative” practice in our North American context. Many ancient cultures did not have such gender distinctions as we have created them. This leads many trusted scholars to conclude, among other findings, that when scripture speaks of “homosexuals” and condemns them, it is referring to “offenders” who abuse in certain ways. Most Christians will refer to the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah as evidence that God hates homosexuality and that’s why they were judged…but look closely. They were judged to be wicked due to their greed and inability/unwillingness to practice hospitality to the detriment of the poor. Just some thoughts to throw in. 
    Ps. I am disappointed that there is a lack of respect in this conversation with regard to divergent views. Let’s show some charitable love for one another, shall we? That is what the bible calls “agape”. Love one another, for I have first love you; thus sayeth the Lord.  ;)
    Peace

    • Tana S

      Thank you for this, Andy, and thank you for saying it with such love and respect.  I, too, have found the lack of civil discourse here to be disconcerting. 

      • Andy J. Funk

        Appreciate it Tana S. It doesn’t seem right to the spirit of Christ to deny the voice of the “other”, however uncomfortable that makes us. I am often tempted to bully my way around in a debate room, demanding that people see it my way, but that is not a faithful Christian witness…least of all to the outside world which observes how we behave. Especially when we forget that not a single one of us has the full story, or the final word on these matters. I appreciated this article precisely because it takes the responsibility off of us to be judge over sin. We have one job…to love as Christ loved us. When all our actions are based in this command to love, then the rest is accomplished by Christ, who will judge us also.

    • Keith Carr61

      Exactly which version dont you understand????????????
      ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

      New Living Translation
      (©2007)”Do not
      practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a
      detestable sin.

      English Standard
      Version (©2001)You shall
      not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

      New American Standard
      Bible (©1995)’You shall not
      lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

      King
      James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as
      with womankind: it is abomination.

      GOD’S WORD® Translation
      (©1995)Never have sexual
      intercourse with a man as with a woman. It is disgusting.

      King James 2000 Bible
      (©2003)You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is
      abomination.

      American
      King James VersionYou shall not lie with mankind, as with
      womankind: it is abomination.

      American Standard
      VersionThou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
      abomination.

      Douay-Rheims
      BibleThou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because
      it is an abomination.

      Darby Bible
      TranslationAnd thou shalt not lie with mankind as one lieth with
      a woman: it is an abomination.

      English Revised
      VersionThou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
      abomination.

      Webster’s Bible
      TranslationThou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it
      is abomination.

      World English
      Bible”‘You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is
      detestable.

      Young’s Literal
      TranslationAnd with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a
      woman; abomination it is.

      Just as the liberal thinktanks try to distort the constitution so you are guilty of misleading Gods people. Thats a lot to be responible for. FYI…Im requited to love your soul…I dont have to like you nor do I have to pander to your favor. I view this crap for what it is blasphemy.

      • Sabrcast

        I love how people use “blasphemy” when they don’t lie what they hear or how a conversation in going.

        It’s a lot like sticking your fingers in your ears and going, “La la la la.”

        • Keith Carr61

          I love how you just took one sentence away from scriptural proof that homosexuality is a sin. Nice dodge tactic but I believe you are the one who is saying La La La La La…..If you believe it is not a sin then your problem lies with your maker, not with me.  Answer me this, since you want to dodge the issue. If homosexual activity is a genetic trait then what is your explanation for bi-sexuals? and more especially those who are gay, accept Christ as their saviour and give up the lifestyle?

          • BEARMAIL

            “Answer me this, since you want to dodge the issue. If homosexual activity is a genetic trait then what is your explanation for bi-sexuals?”

            “Answer me this, since you want to dodge the issue. If black hair is a genetic trait then what is your explanation for redheads?”

            I would also note that the article never even suggests that homosexuality is a sin. This shouldn’t be in doubt, it is explicitly stated. So is wearing mixed fabrics. Or getting a tattoo. Does this mean that anyone who wears mixed fabrics should also be condemned? Are people with tattoos barred from Heaven forever?

      • Otro tierra

        Your love for Levitical Law is clear.

        But if you insist on following a scripture passage, then you should at least understand it in context. Levitical Law condemned the physical act of “sodomy” as a “toevah” or taboo behavior (just like eating pork was a taboo behavior). 

  • Titus213

    spoken as a true Laodicean.

  • Anonymous

    Fully agreed with the article – Paul told his followers that those who were trying to dispute their gospel, didn’t understand Jesus because their hearts were too hard. Anyone who has had a gay friend or workmate and seen how excluded “Christians” have made them feel, must ask what the number one priority for a Christian should be. I seem to remember Jesus saying that LOVE  came first – NOT  being right.

    There are many lessons in history, where the most learned men have trusted their interpretations of the Bible and shown themselves to be fools. The great Martin Luther dismissed Copernicus’ findings.  He was absolutely convinced that the Bible made it so abundantly clear that the earth wasn’t round, that nobody could possibly deny it. He had a huge majority on his side in doing so.

    I have read all the various interpretations of the scriptures and my heart tells me that gay lovers, living together in a monogamous relationship of love and sharing, should not be excluded. I may be wrong – but I would prefer to be wrong in including homosexual Christians, than be wrong in pre-judging what Jesus’ opinion will be of those who were excluded from His church and those who did the excluding.
    Jesus already tells us clearly that there will be many surprises on the Last Day as to who the saved will be.

    God of course knew that people would use the Bible as a weapon against the weak and vulnerable – Perhaps some only read what they want to read. It is perhaps helpful to think about Jesus comments on those who can’t take part in a normal sexual relationship (he calls them eunachs)
    Matthew 19:11-12

    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, (normal marriage). For some are eunuchs because they were
    born that way;(gays among others) others were made that way by men;(sexually abused who can’t see sex as something beautiful) and others have renounced
    marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should
    accept it.”

    Sounds like Jesus is accepting that there are people who shouldn’t be forced into pretending that they are capable of something which they are not capable of. Jesus was all about truth and not living or telling lies. This is what made Him so dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations on your impressive feat of strength; you handily knocked down that menacing straw man known as “judgmentalism”.  By your logic, there is no point in acknowledging a vast array of serious sins.  By your logic, none of the other 62 or so books of the bible, which do not have red letters, has anything to add to the total corpus of doctrine.  Here we go again:  You know full well, but chose long ago to ignore, Romans 1, which clearly identifies homosexuality not only as a sin, but a particularly severe and distinctive one at that.  It also clearly identifies those who condone homosexuality as just as guilty.  For you to claim that there is no point in declaring the sinfulness of homosexuality is an act of condoning it.  You erroneously chastised Christians for oppressing homosexuals, when in fact such perpetrators are not Christians.  You erroneously impliedly equated Christians’ POLICY position against the homosexual agenda with a lack of Christians’ PERSONAL compassion for homosexuals.  Your misguided and unsupported opinion that Christians who condemn homosexuality are haters is a prejudice that infects you, not them.  You fabricated, out of thin air, assumptions from which you drew your conclusions.  Your conclusions were compelled by your agenda rather than objectively derived from the facts.  You have drunk the liberal Kool-Aid of substituting true righteousness, which takes moral courage, with the easy road of emotional self-righteousness and false humility, to feel good about being a hero standing up for the “human rights” of the “oppressed”.  You criticized the “go and leave your life of sin” part of the message for being overused, but have you used it at all, in a balanced way?  Have you ever encouraged homosexuals to repent of their homosexuality?  Based on your refusal to even acknowledge that homosexuality is a sin, I must presume that
    you have not, and further, have built for yourself a formidable justification against ever doing so.  The fact that your “gospel” is missing one of the essential biblical pillars, namely the preaching of repentance, is the truest refection of your personal moral tepidity.  Since you claimed that Jesus was justified in condemning religious hypocrisy, I justifiably condemn yours.

  • Deb

    Thank you for your passionate and balanced reminder of the way Jesus dealt with people and the imperative that leaves us with…
    No amount of  ranting and fear can overcome the love of God lived out – as Jesus himself showed when they tried to get rid of him

  • Andrew Padgett

    When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, he deliberately, knowingly broke the religious law, as the Pharisees interpreted and enforced it.  Before healing the hand, he asked the Pharisees a question that I believe best helps to illustrate his stated mission on earth – Jesus asked if it extending life on the Sabbath was more important than withholding it in order to avoid the appearance of doing any work.  In healing the hand, Jesus operated in grace, rather than law, and did so at the direction of the Father. 

    Jesus came to restore our relationship to God the father through the extension of grace, which he displayed continually by serving the outcasts of society.  He also taught his disciples to do the same – he sent them out to do the will of the Father, just as he  was doing.  And think about this – none of these disciples (the 12, the 70, the many others implied) were operating under salvation as we commonly understand it today – they simply did as Jesus taught them to do and they were effective.  How is it that the Father would minister through anyone still under law and – quite probably, from time to time – in apparent opposition to it (following Jesus’ example, as with the withered hand)?

    Jesus did not concern himself with following the law, he concerned himself with fulfilling the law; he understood that God had originally created Man for relationship and that Man had broken trust with the Father.  Jesus knew that he was grace incarnate, the heart of the Father extended to Man, a sacrifice to pay for sin once and for all.  Do you think that all the piddling details of the mosaic law were on God’s heart when he said “Let there be…”?  I personally believe that God’s intent was simple – love Me and love others, Jesus said it himself.  God only gave Moses the law because Israel refused direct relationship – read it for yourself in Exodus: God told Moses to bring the children to the mountain so He could come down to them.  They got scared, and God was not pleased.  That’s where this whole mess started – the law was for a bunch of fearful, disobedient children in the desert who couldn’t be away from the Father for a few days before they started creating God in images of their own choosing.

    Yep – I’m going to get flamed for this, but I firmly believe that the common religious interpretation of the purpose of the law is seriously flawed.  Remember – “the Lord our God is One”.  He is consistent within Himself; so show me how applying parts of the law today is consistent with living under grace.  Jesus questioned this when he asked the Pharisees whether it was alright to bring life on the Sabbath…

  • Anonymous

    recently wrote a post with similar sentiment that has been generating some positive discussion here :: http://mjkimpan.com/2012/05/22/two-cents-on-gay-marriage/

  • Josh

    Keith you make a good point…….

    This is an article I’m going to post for you to have a read.

    In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that homosexuality is an
    abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any
    circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, which was
    posted on the internet.

    Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s
    Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge
    with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
    lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states
    it to be an abomination… End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however,
    regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them. 1. Leviticus
    25:44 states that I may possess slaves both male and female, provided they are
    purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to
    Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians? 2. I
    would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. I
    this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? 3. I know
    that am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual
    uncleanliness -Lev.15:19~24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking
    but most women take offense. 4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice,
    I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord -Lev.1:9. The problem is my
    neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? 5.
    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly
    states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or
    should I ask the police to do it? 6. A friend of mine feels that even though
    eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev.11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of
    abomination? 7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
    have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
    vision have to be 20/20, or is there wiggle-room here? 8. Most of my male
    friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even
    though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die? 9. I know
    from Lev.11:6~8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I
    still play football if I wear gloves? 10. My uncle has a farm. He violates
    Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by
    wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).
    He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot, is it really necessary that we go to
    all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10~16.
    Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with
    people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14) I know you have studied these
    things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m
    confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is
    eternal and unchanging.

    Your adoring fan, James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of
    Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education University of Virginia

    • Drew

      Romans 1:22 says it best – although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. James Kauffman might be extremely intelligent, but he is an utter fool in the sight of God, not even able to comprehend the most basic, elementary understanding of Christianity. Jesus fulfilled the law upon his death, but the moral law still stands, as it is timeless. Homosexuality and/or marriage between one man and woman is mentioned in the OT, the Gospels, and in the non-NT Gospels. It is consistent throughout.

      • Anonymous

        So explain why you still vehemently scream about homosexuality, but you throw out the vast majority of the Old Testament laws. Being a hypocrite doesn’t make you wise.

    • Drew

      Romans 1:22 says it best – although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. James Kauffman might be extremely intelligent, but he is an utter fool in the sight of God, not even able to comprehend the most basic, elementary understanding of Christianity. Jesus fulfilled the law upon his death, but the moral law still stands, as it is timeless. Homosexuality and/or marriage between one man and woman is mentioned in the OT, the Gospels, and in the non-NT Gospels. It is consistent throughout.

  • melanie

    Thank you for emphasizing the love of Christ. This is the crux of the Gospel. I want to be this and see this more.

    In regards to what Jesus believed about homosexuality, I have a question. As I continue to read about this issue to come to a better understanding, there was an interesting comment one person made that perhaps Jesus’ quoting of “and God made them male and female” from Genesis in Mark chapter 10 was an indirect reference to Christ’s belief about sexuality. Though He wasn’t talking about the issue of homosexuality specifically, He was talking about the nature of marriage. What would the “Red Letter Christians” response to that be?

    Thank you.

  • Gary

    With all due respect, Jesus *did* use the Bible to clobber his opponents as well. “Have you not read?” (Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4)

    I agree that shutting the doors to mercy is a total no-no. But Jesus did engage in polemics from time to time. He wasn’t all flowers and butterflies. A man who preaches flowers and butterflies is too harmless to get himself crucified.

    • Drew

      Amen, but unfortunately liberals have already made up their mind that Jesus looks like the Democratic National Committee Spokesman and not like the authentic Jesus, the one who preached about love but also turned over money tables and preached about hell, repentance, and the coming judgement of all.

  • Leon

    This author is a liar. Jesus spoke of the the last days as being like that of Lot and Noah (where God DESTROYED people en mass for their sin); he spoke specifically of Sodom(y) and Gomorrah. Others as well in the NEW TESTAMENT (let alone the Old Testament) speak against this sin, Paul, Peter, etc.

    • graeme

      When Jesus returns to this earth where billions are starving while the richest of the rich have an estimated 21 Trillion to 35 Trillion dollars in tax havens (BBC news – yesterday), I’m sure his first priority will be to hunt down all the gays.
      His second, a bigger job, will be to hunt down all the hypocrites.

  • suzyq67

    I agree we are to love the homosexuals. The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is a sin. We as christians are to love the sinner, not the sin. We are not to judge, but we also cannot condone what we know is out and out sin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/americanrosie Rosie Riveter

    In your attempts to adhere to the “red letters” of the bible, you also leave out the rest of the Holy Scriptures. Try adhering to John 1:1, which are found within your precious gospels, and you’ll find that Jesus was throughout the Hebrew scriptures as well. In the Hebrew scriptures you will also find out how Jesus viewed homosexuality. You will also find it in the Epistles as well. Did not Jesus say to do all that he commanded? That would include the Hebrew scriptures as well as the inspired letters from the apostles.

  • ric

    I agree that Jesus would reach out to any sinner and love them but he also wanted them to see their sins and move away from them. We should reach out to gay people but not make their sin OK. We should not allow gay people who openly sin to serve as pastors and preachers or other core church leadership roles. We should love them, help them and support their moving away from the sin.

  • Doug

    Love gays, not tolerate them. Big difference.

  • Dan Marcus

    Certainly this will be deleted because it is evident this site only post opinions that supports its agenda. It is a closed argument with no room for growth. I pray for all of you misguided misdirected people. You are being led astray by the people who created this organization. Fortunately, no matter how you cut the cake, a man and a man or a woman and a woman can never ever experience the true joy that only a heterosexual couple can enjoy in Holy Matrimony. Anything aside from that is simply unnatural animal behavior. God gave man the ability to make choices.
    To choose an active homosexual lifestyle is to choose an unrewarding self-destructive lifestyle. I can assure you that whatever it may take, my voice, my time, all of my money. The mainstream Christian Church, the body of Christ, will never ever apologize for it’s opinion on same sex marriage or cave in to the demands of the lost Christians that are to be found in the quicksand of GLBT organizations. Dan Marcus, Gulfport Mississippi.

  • Colonel

    This is a beautiful, masterful piece. Why can’t Christians just love? Why can’t we just love unconditionally like Jesus said? Loving someone doesn’t mean you accept and condone what they do. It means you accept them as a human being; you accept that they are doing something wrong and yet they are still your brother or sister in Christ. I’ve heard my parents and pastor say so many times that “The Bible is a love story.” it is. God loves us so much it’s overwhelming. He can’t contain it, so why should we be the ones to /pick/ and /choose/ who is worthy of that love. Why are we suddenly more capable of choosing who should be loved than the creator of the universe.

    As a Christian, you should LOVE the Homeless, LOVE those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol or all kinds of sin, LOVE your enemies, LOVE people you don’t agree with, LOVE your neighbor, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, and highest of all, LOVE HIM. And if everyone is created in His image, then how can you say you love God and hate the others?

    “Come as you are, you will be loved.” Why can’t we, as a religion, take that seriously? Why can’t we accept everyone? Why do we have to berate, hate, and destroy someone so much that THEY TAKE THEIR OWN LIFE? Did God command you to kill? Did God command you to pass judgement? No. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The Golden Rule; the most simple rule we’ve been given. It comes down even simpler: “Love others”.

    Let me say that again.

    LOVE. OTHERS.

    I wish I could make this a banner across the sky, a permanent stain on the clouds.

    LOVE OTHERS.

    How can you rightly justify sending someone to their death? How can you sleep at night, knowing your words or one of your brother’s or sister’s words sent another sister or brother to their grave?

    I’m not perfect, I know this. I’m a flawed human being, but I WILL NOT judge others and I will not stand for the judgement of others based on race, gender, sexuality, status, beliefs or otherwise. I will find every single person on earth to share my love with just to make up for all the wrong Christians have committed in the name of God. He wants you to love everyone, not just who you feel comfortable loving.

    I know I might not have a huge impact, but I stand behind this article, this writer and what he’s put out there because that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    • Mr Wag

      I like your comment. But I have some questions. You say that loving someone doesn’t mean you accept and condone what they do but accept them as a human being. However, as a christian, if you are tasked with marrying a gay couple, for example, are you not condoning their sin? It’s not like it’s a secret sin that we don’t know about. They wouldn’t think they were sinning, and you’d surely be confirming this by marrying them. I wouldn’t marry someone who opening said I’m going to commit adultary moving forward because I don’t see it as a sin. I wish it were a straight forward issue but it isn’t

    • Mr Wag

      I like your comment. But I have some questions. You say that loving someone doesn’t mean you accept and condone what they do but accept them as a human being. However, as a christian, if you are tasked with marrying a gay couple, for example, are you not condoning their sin? It’s not like it’s a secret sin that we don’t know about. They wouldn’t think they were sinning, and you’d surely be confirming this by marrying them. I wouldn’t marry someone who opening said I’m going to commit adultary moving forward because I don’t see it as a sin. I wish it were a straight forward issue but it isn’t

  • Barry kundert

    First off 1Corinthians 6:9 says homosexuals will not go to heaven. The book of Hebrews as other books do not talk about what is already understood in Jewish culture. Homosexuals are detestiable unto God as said in Leviticus. Paul in New testament calls it not only a sin against God but a sin against your own body. So the reason Jesus did not talk about homosexuals was because He was raised Jewish and all Jews knew it was wrong. Now we need to stop calling it a problem and call
    it what it really is SIN!

  • Barry kundert

    First off 1Corinthians 6:9 says homosexuals will not go to heaven. The book of Hebrews as other books do not talk about what is already understood in Jewish culture. Homosexuals are detestiable unto God as said in Leviticus. Paul in New testament calls it not only a sin against God but a sin against your own body. So the reason Jesus did not talk about homosexuals was because He was raised Jewish and all Jews knew it was wrong. Now we need to stop calling it a problem and call
    it what it really is SIN!

  • George Shelby

    Have the vast majority of those who have commented completely missed the point? It is our judging itself that offends Christ the most. Can it be that when we judge others, we damage our own souls the most?

  • MrWag

    Of course, we should not judge or persecute anyone, and love all people (that’s a no brainer). However, Christians are being asked to accept homosexuality as not being sinful, for example, by marrying gay people. Jesus saw adultery as a sin. However he didn’t condemn the woman, nor ignore the sin. When the Bible talks about sin, it doesn’t mean criminal activity. It literally means missing the mark or falling short. We all fall short but the sin remains a sin until we repent. I believe that the bible, the holy spirit and nature tell us that homosexuality misses the mark. Some christians will say the opposite in favour of homsexuality because they think gay people are born that way. I do not believe, and I see no concrete evidence, that gay people are born gay, but rather something changes during their formative years. More nurture rather than nature and issues about identity etc. This view is considered idiotic in a society that has had the gay agenda forced on it. Society will no longer listen to sucg views and activists will get their way in the end. This will affect the church and Christians will suffer some persecution, but we will adapt. Christians have always been persecuted, and when this happens, the church grows. Finally, I don’t think we as christians should get bogged down in, or worry too much about these matters. They are a distraction from the message of love and hope that we need to share with those who fall short (i.e. everyone). Some will say that the only way to love gay people and bring them to christ say is to say “it’s okay”, you are not sinning. That’s the line we’re being asked to cross, but if we cross it, I believe we have really “crossed the line” with God. It’s very sad because I really want everyone to hear the message we have. I want to join the world is saying homosexuality is not a sin. That would be easier. But I know I would be lying to myself and I refuse to take the easy option.

  • I. E.

    Derek, what a beautiful article. A few days ago, I posted a similar article on my FB page. How refreshing to come across your article here albeit 8 months later. It is sad to see many Christians missing your point that we must alway act in LOVE. This is what Christ is all about. To love homosexuals do not mean to condone their lifestyles. How can we say we are Christians but refuse to do what Christ tells us to do? Luke 6:46 comes to mind “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you?”. Great article. I will copy a link to my FB page.

  • Daniel

    Jesus DID say something about Sodomy – in fact, SodomITES! He said the, along with Gomorrah would rise up and CONDEMN! Condemn “Bethsaida” and “Choraizin”. Because they would have repented. Which tells me that when the church gets hip to the actually good news Jesus preached, (not the bad news forged as “good”), Sodomites and Gomorrites WILL REPENT! Are they repenting yet? Not like they should be. Church, we’d better take this as a wake up call. We need one! We’re naked! See Revelation 3, message to the Laodiceans. Case in point of lukewarm is the way we hang men and women “out to dry”, who happen to “have a thing for each other” – I mean, they’re not even “allowed” to TOUCH each other! A man falling on another man’s neck, and kissing him is COMPLETELY SCRIPTURAL! Read that? ONE HUNDRED PER CENT SCRIPTURAL! And here we Anglo-Saxons think it’s the GOSPEL TRUTH that a guy cannot kiss another guy! It’s “Lying with mankind as with womankind” that is the problem! And guess what! Men are starved for affection, they start hugging and kissing, and seeing as, at that point, we’ve written them off as having inordinate desires, they just go all the way! Well, we are going to have to stop pretending we have it all under control and come clean! He’s willing and available with the raiment we need (and, again, WE NEED IT!) The way we threaten these poor, broken, souls with “hell-fire and brimstone” is the epitome of our hypocritical, self-righteous, PAGAN-TO-THE-CORE delusion. And, by the way, “STOP HIDING BEHIND THE BIBLE” on this one! I am sick and tired of “the Bible” being used to justify such a glaring misrepresentation of the Creator of the world, whose mercy endureth for ever. He’s creative, and any caricature that portrays him otherwise may be enthusiastically rejected WHETHER OR NOT SOMEONE INSISTS THAT “THE BIBLE SAYS SO”. And, also incidentally, THE BIBLE SAYS A LOT OF THINGS! Stop playing the “hell-fire and brimstone” Scriptures over and over like a broken record. And find me a place where it says, twenty six times in a row, “His wrath endureth for ever”, while I refer YOU to PSALM 136! (Please bear with me here, as – as I am sure is apparent – I am full of matter, and feeling the need to express myself strongly) “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me…” Psalm 69

  • jessica

    God demands us to love, whenwe love we are fullfilling all the law as Romans says. But what is Love: Answer: To do the right thing for the other person in the right way. We have to be wise as a serpent but remain innocent as a dove. About the judging – ther needs tobe another article written about judgment because the Bible calls us to JUDGE those who call themselves Christans. We are NOT to judge those who are not called chrisitans. Jesus said he has not come to condmen the world but to save it, because the world is already condemed. So our job is not to condem but to save it. But you can’t save someone if you don’t let them know that they are condmened first. Again, we must be bold enough to tell them with a humble and clear understanding that we too were once condmed ourselves. God is a god who judges and loves all at the same time, so too we must be like this but to the right people at the right time. I hope this helps someone

  • jessica

    So to hose who are in sin, whatever sin that maybe, yes come as you are but you cannot stay that way.

  • Panther

    The woman you speak of who was defended by Jesus was not “born” an adulteress. She “chose” to commit the sin of adultery. That is the difference. People are not born “gay”, “lesbian”, or “transgender”. They “choose” to commit those “sins”. This woman was bullied and about to be stoned by “religious” people, not by “saved” people. That is the difference. Those people, just like the woman, needed to be saved from their sin. Her accusers dispersed because they refused to repent of their sin. This woman was not condemned because at that moment, she was saved. So Jesus told her to go and sin no more. Her adultery was sin, just like homosexuality is sin. When we are truly saved Jesus expects us to follow Him and sin no more, to leave our life of sin. Of course, being human, we continue to sin. But doing so we break His heart. Yes, even saved people commit sin. But they know it’s sin so they hide it. People who openly practice homosexuality and are proud of it are not saved people. And by the way, Jesus condemns homosexuality because Jesus authored the Bible. He is the Word. His actual speech is in red letters in red letter edition Bibles, but He authored the whole Bible. So if you read it in the Bible, know that Jesus wrote it.

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