Is the Bible homophobic?
How could I be a Christian when the Bible was telling me that evolution isn’t real, women aren’t equal to men, and homosexuality is a sin?
For me, it was a bit difficult growing up and reading the Bible, especially when I was taught that every word of the Bible was word from God (i.e. verbal, plenary inspiration) and so therefore the Bible must be completely inerrant and infallible. The God of love that I felt I knew was not a God Who would deny science, encourage patriarchy, and marginalize people for their sexuality, but who was I to disagree with the Bible or question its writings? That made me a bad Christian, right? We aren’t supposed to question the Bible or have any doubts, right?
I’ll admit though, for most of my life, I could just skip over the verses in the Bible that I wasn’t so sure about. None of them seemed to really impact my life too, too much to the point where I needed to figure things out. It wasn’t until my younger brother, who is my best friend and probably my favorite person in this world, came out as gay. Those special Bible passages, the ones so commonly used to condemn homosexuality, rang in my head as I contemplated his coming out. How could I, as a devout Christian woman, love the God of the Bible with all my heart while also loving my brother in the best way possible?
And so the research began. Then that research turned into research for myself as I realized my own sexuality, and here we are. I won’t go into each one of the following passages in extreme depth because there are people who are way more qualified than me to do so. However, I am beyond happy to say that, along with many others, I believe there is nothing in the Bible that condemns anyone of the LGBTQIA+ community, and that God supports, loves, and wants to know every person no matter their sexuality. Yes, the Bible was inspired by God, but it was written by humans in a very specific culture and context, and it would be good for all of us to recognize the God-given inspiration of the Bible as well as its humanity.
Here are a few of those special Bible verses that tend to be used to condemn same-sex relations and what they are actually condemning:
A. Genesis 9:20-27 & Genesis 19:1-11
-The story of Noah and Ham and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah which condemn rape/attempted rape.
i. Also Judges 19:15-28
B. Leviticus 18:22 & Leviticus 20:13
-Levitical laws condemning prostitution and idolatry.
C. 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, 1 Timothy 1:10, & Romans 1:26-27
-Part of Paul’s writings condemning prostitution, idolatry, and pederasty.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the things condemned in the passages above are things that should definitely be condemned and that totally make sense as to why God would condemn them. There are many resources that look deeper into the meaning and history of these passages, and I highly recommend checking them out if you are interested.
I can honestly say that the Bible and the God Who speaks through it have changed my life. The Bible is full of incredible guidance, teachings, stories, examples, and so much more. The Bible points me towards God and towards God’s Will for my life. God, through the Bible, inspires me, comforts me, encourages me, sees me, and loves me in amazing ways, ways I never thought possible. And it was through research, reading and more reading, asking lots of questions, and prayer and reflection that I have gotten to meet God through the Bible and have gotten to better understand both the power and humanity of such an incredible book.
So don’t be afraid to question and study the Bible. Our God is not a God Who is afraid of our questions but rather welcomes them. When someone is using the Bible to advocate for hate, oppression, rejection of facts, or evil, know that is not from God and not the God of our faith. The Bible was written by humans, is read by humans, and continues to be interpreted by humans. No wonder things get a little messy sometimes.
I could continue on forever but I won’t. I believe that explaining why the Bible is important and how it changes your life is something better figured out on one’s own. Let the Bible mean something different to you than to me. Let the Bible speak to you in ways I wouldn’t appreciate the same way. Let the Bible meet you where you are and hold your heart the way you need. Let the Bible bring you close to God not farther away from God and don’t let anyone mess that up for you.
That Christian Lesbian