No Homosexual Lifestyle???

In August of last year, the darling of the progressive Christian world, John Pavlovitz, wrote a post titled Repeat After Me: “There is No Such Thing as a “Homosexual Lifestyle.”  What?!? No homosexual lifestyle? I find that hard to believe. I mean, if there’s no “homosexual lifestyle”, that means I’ve been an asshole for absolutely no reason whatsoever. That is a turn of events I just cannot accept.

Look, there are numerous places where the Bible plainly states homosexuality is a sin. Here are a few of those places:

  • In Leviticus 18:22, God told Moses that men shouldn’t lie with men as they do with women because that is an abomination. Of course, a few chapters earlier, God also told Moses that the people shouldn’t eat pork and shrimp. But, I love pork and shrimp, so I ignore that part. Thank you, God, for the miracle of proof-texting!
  • In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul said that “homosexuals” won’t “inherit the kingdom of God”. Yes, I know the word “homosexual” doesn’t appear in the Bible until the middle of the 20th century. But, the words that have been rendered as “homosexual” are slang terms and we really don’t know what they mean. But, hey, if we don’t know what Paul meant, what’s wrong with interpreting it in a way that benefits us “normal”, straight folks?
  • In Romans 1:26-28, Paul tells us that men and women gave up natural, God-ordained relations and defiled themselves with icky, same-sex shenanigans and were promptly punished for it. Sure, in the very next chapter, Paul tells us that God condemns the kind of judgement he just threw out, but that doesn’t help my case, so I’m ignoring it.

Seriously, is this man, this “pastor”, trying to tell me that my deeply held religious belief about the homosexuals, based on a Bible verses that have been few proof-texted and cherry-picked within an inch of their life, is wrong? Really?

According to Pavlovitz, “We all have a gender identity and a sexual orientation and these things all fall along a vast and complicated continuum. It is this specific combination of both how we see ourselves and who we are drawn to that form this essential part of who we are.” Oh, come on, “gender identity” and “sexual orientation”? Everyone knows God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And, Eve was always Eve, not Steve who decided he was Eve. No less an authority than the Southern Baptist Convention backs this up in their resolution “On Transgender Identity”. How could that many Baptists be wrong about something like this?

He also says that the Christians are holding onto “the prejudices and fears our faith inherited 3500 years ago when we didn’t know what we know now” and is “deliberately choosing to not know now; preferring religion to reality”. Well, of course we are. Otherwise we might have to change. And, if there’s one thing we don’t do very well, it’s change.

Look, the bottom line is that accepting homosexuality as innate and not a “lifestyle” is just another step onto the slippery slope that will ultimately lead Christians to live by the teachings of Jesus and start loving our neighbor and turning the other cheek. God only knows where that could lead.

  • John Masters

    Love it. Well said.

  • Valeria T

    1. Re Leviticus 18:22. Homosexual men generally don’t “lie” with women, so that’s a no-brainer–even if it weren’t a caution against using sexual power as a worshiping tool a la the “pagans.”

    2. Paul’s letters may or may not be useful as “literally” interpreted. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6, why specify “male prostitutes”? Is there something misogynistic there? Why specify the person earning a living with the only resource available and not the rich guy soliciting the prostitute? If you’re referring to sodomy, be aware that’s a fairly recent term (13th century) for an activity that wasn’t limited to Sodom and wasn’t considered by God to be the worst sin of the sinners in Sodom (which was denying hospitality to strangers). 1 Corinthians 6 actually has no mention of what we know as “homosexuality” at all.

    3. In Romans 1, there’s no mention of people making an intelligent, informed choice to sin. You’ll notice, however, starting with V 24, that Paul states that all (or almost all) people, Jew and Greek, acted so stupidly and foolishly, wantonly following their hormonally-driven passions, that, without attempting to straighten out their sorry asses, *God gave them up* to their iniquity, although the Jews had “the Law” to guide them. Goal: Gleefully watch the “lawbreakers” burn eternally in the Inferno that Dante would graciously invent for the Church in the 14th century? Not according to Romans 2. Romans 2 cautions AGAINST judging the folks listed in Romans 1:26-31, unless you’re judging yourself, in which case judgment and repentance is encouraged. All of this discourse comes in the middle of Paul’s thoughts on “should Gentiles be required to convert to Judaism and follow the Law, including circumcision, or can they be accepted in the Kingdom of God with their foreskins intact?” Seems to me that the folks who read this as a condemnation of homosexuals have wandered far afield from the point of the letter.

    • JoelRieves

      Apply context and critical thinking skills when reading the Bible? What are you, some kind of liberal or something?