Jesus Loves YOU
BY Theresa Seeber
Many of us have been told that the Bible teaches we are in sin for being gay. Some of us have been taught that to pursue even a monogamous same-sex relationship is sin, whereas some have even been told that our very orientation, although out of our control, is sinful. There have even been those in the Body of Christ who have insisted that if we do not change either our orientation (as if we could do that), or our lifestyle, we will burn in hell for it eternally. My friends, I am here to stand against that kind of oppression, in the Name of Jesus, and offer a gift of freedom to you.
Jesus loves you. He loves you. And He loves you just the way you are. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that people go to hell for being gay. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that being gay is a sin at all. There is disagreement over whether or not the Bible teaches that to pursue a relationship with a member of the same sex is a sin. Personally, I don’t believe it does, and I discuss that more in detail below. Either way, our orientation is not a sin. Furthermore, Jesus does not hate you for being gay. He does not insist you cry out to Him to “take the gay away.” I am so sorry that many of us have been taught that He has. I believe that some of those people who have conveyed that message to us, although wrong, were acting in what they felt to be righteousness (rather than self-righteousness) and love (rather than hate). I understand that many were not. But that doesn’t change the way Jesus sees you. He loves you! He loves you, He likes you, and He knows you are special because He created you. He has a warm, soft place for you in His heart, and He desires to hold you and caress you there in that place, and whisper in your ear that there is hope. That regardless of what His people have said and done to hurt you, they were not always acting as ambassadors of His… even when they thought they were. He desires to tell you that His love is constant, and that His love never fails. Ever.
There are verses that talk about same-sex relations, but many are in disagreement over what they mean. For instance, in the Old Testament, there is a passage which talks about men and women exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones. In this passage, we see men and women going to the temple of a false god and worshipping it through engaging in sexual activities. The people exchange their natural relations for unnatural ones, women turning to women and men to men. Okay, what is your natural inclination? Granted, the majority of society is “straight” so for the most part that is unnatural. But that does not differentiate toward the people who, for them, same-sex attraction is what comes naturally. It is not a blanket statement against homosexuality. It is a narrative about the worship of that false god in its temple, and God’s plea for his people to not behave that way. Which way? He is not exhorting them to not have sex with people of the same gender, He is urging them not to offer their sexuality up for a false god. He is urging them not to engage in promiscuity, which is wrong in any context, but especially in idol worship. He is urging them not to exchange their natural desires for unnatural ones. Be true to your sexual self, and do not parade it about for idols. Idol worship seems so strange to us, but in that day it was a serious temptation. We are talking about an ancient manuscript, written by ancient people in ancient times. We cannot pretend to fully grasp it. (Don’t misunderstand me here. I believe the Bible was written by men and women of God for men and women to know God. It is beautiful and holy. But we don’t fully understand it, and that is okay.)
There are more portions of the Bible that people use to try to make the point that being gay is a sin. I could go on for a very long time about this, but I would offer instead this link http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php at the Gay Christian Network, in which Justin digs deeply into the verses that have been used against us and explores them in their original context, as well as the greater context of the passages in which they are found. Like Justin, I once believed that to be gay was a sin. I have been blessed to find many who are re-evaluating the Bible in regards to this subject, because many, many people have been hurt, despised and oppressed as a result of faulty understandings of the Bible. I am so very sorry if you are one of them. I wish I could wash your pain away, and convince you that you are loved by your Creator. That there is hope for your life and for your future. God loves you. Jesus loves you. Unconditionally, amazingly, faithfully. He loves you. He loves you!
I want to end with an exhortation. Historically, as the GLBT community has been shunned by the people of Christ, have been convinced that they are out of God’s graces, there have been many who have flung themselves into a lifestyle of promiscuity. Many have determined that the Bible must not be valid if it presumes to tell me that my orientation, although not chosen, is a sin. That it must not be valid if it presumes to tell me that my committed, loving relationship is vile because the one I love and am devoted to is the same gender as me. I understand, as one who was very promiscuous at one point in my life, that there are many reasons we do this and one of them is to ease the pain we carry. To relieve the loneliness. But when we do that we hurt more than ourselves. We hurt others too. We perpetuate a feeling in society that the GLBT community is all about sex with anyone we can get our hands on. I would ask you to cry out to God in your loneliness, and to ask Him to provide you with community and love and yes, even romance. We must overcome the prejudices about us, must rise up out of the oppression and stand tall. We can, I honestly believe, only do that if we rely on the strength of He who knows us best, who loves us most, who is strong enough to vanquish any foe. Even an unseen one.
Theresa Seeber is a bisexual woman in California, happily married to a wonderful man named David. They have four awesome children, who Theresa homeschools. She is passionate about bringing the love of Jesus to the hurting people of the world, and adamant that the Kingdom of God is not something we must wait until the afterlife to attain. She blogs at http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com/ where she recently wrote a post called “If you are gay, know this: Jesus loves you.” Just after high school she was encouraged to “pray away the gay” and thought God had delivered her. He had, indeed, delivered her from many of the lustful temptations she had been struggling with, and she then inadvertently went “into the closet” thinking she was no longer bisexual. Theresa recently came back out.