Would Jesus Discriminate?

Biblical Evidence

Can two people of the same sex live in committed, loving relationship with the blessing of God?

As we grapple with this question, we will look at two sets of Scriptures: those that affirm gay and lesbian people, and those that are traditionally used to condemn gay people.

Ruth loved Naomi as Adam loved Eve. (Genesis 2:24, Ruth 1:14)

The same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 2:24 to describe how Adam felt about Eve (and how spouses are supposed to feel toward each other) is used in Ruth 1:14 to describe how Ruth felt about Naomi. Her feelings are celebrated, not condemned.

And throughout Christian history, Ruth's vow to Naomi has been used to illustrate the nature of the marriage covenant. These words are often read at Christian wedding ceremonies and used in sermons to illustrate the ideal love that spouses should have for one another. The fact that these words were originally spoken by one woman to another tells us a lot about how God feels about same-gender relationships.

Jesus said some are born gay. (Matthew 19:10-12)

Here Jesus refers to "eunuchs who have been so from birth." This terminology ("born eunuchs") was used in the ancient world to refer to homosexual men. Jesus indicates that being a "born eunuch" is a gift from God.

The early church welcomed a gay man. (Acts 8:26-40)

In the ancient world, eunuchs were widely associated with homosexuality. Here a self-avowed eunuch is welcomed in to the early church without any concerns about his sexual orientation. He was welcomed on the same basis as other people – his faith in Jesus Christ.

David loved Jonathan more than women. (II Samuel 1:26)

At Jonathan’s funeral, David declares that he loved Jonathan more than any woman. This is just one of several Bible passages that describe and celebrate an intense love between these two men that went well beyond friendship.

 

Idol Worship and Rejection of God. (Romans 1:21-28)

In these verses, Paul condemns idol worshippers and God haters. According to Paul, these “God haters” experiment with gay sex only as a way of seeking new thrills or in cultic worship. Clearly, he is not speaking about modern, innately gay and lesbian people, who love God and want to honor God while living with integrity as who they are.

Israel's Holiness Code. (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13)

The chapters that contain these verses are clearly identified as speaking against practices involved in cultic idol worship. The entire passages are generally accepted as not applying to modern Christian life.

What was the sin of Sodom? (Genesis 19 and Jude 7)

The Genesis 19 account of Sodom and Gomorrah is a story of attempted gang rape of two "outsiders." It says nothing about loving gay relationships, and actually condemns the sort of violence sometimes done to gays and lesbians. Jude 7 talks about a first century Jewish legend that the women of Sodom had sex with male angels. Since it is about heterosexual sex between angels and humans, it clearly has nothing to do with gay relationships.

No fems? No fairies? (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10)

The words sometimes translated "effeminate" and “homosexual” in these passages are obscure and difficult to translate. The first word identifies someone who is morally weak, and has nothing to do with nellie gay men. The second word probably means “people who use power to obtain sex,” though the word is so rare that a confident translation is impossible. Neither word refers specifically to gay men or lesbians.

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Good Hope MCC is an inclusive Christian Community in Cape Town, South Africa. Whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender:
You are made in God's image and are welcome at our Church!