#1 – GOD’S LOVE HAS NO STRINGS ATTACHED FOR ANYONE.
The Bible tells us that God is love and that God loves all humans. The Old Testament refers to God’s love for us as steadfast love. This matches up nicely with Paul’s assertion in the New Testament that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Indeed in the Gospels, Jesus tells us to love like God does, without condition.
As the church was wrestling with who should be allowed into the community, Peter was shown by God that we, “should not call anyone profane or unclean.” All of this can be understood to mean that God loves everyone without regard to human hang-ups (including those relating to homosexuals). In other words, God’s love has no strings attached. God loves everyone, and the Church should too.
#2 – THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY FULLY ACCEPTED NON-HETEROSEXUALS – MODERN CHRISTIANS SHOULD TOO.
In the Book of Acts (8:26-39) God sent Phillip to meet, convert, baptize and welcome into the early Christian community an Ethiopian Eunuch. This person would be considered transgender and non-heterosexual today. This non-heterosexual individual was the very subject and aim of God who guided Philip to baptize and welcome the Eunuch joyfully and eagerly into the community of Christ. The early Christian community fully accepted non-heterosexuals – modern Christians should too.
#3 – HOMOSEXUALITY AS AN INCONTROVERTIBLE PART OF CREATION IS IRREFUTABLY GOOD.
Modern medical, psychological, and science communities overwhelming agree that homosexuality is not a disorder or a disease. These conclusions are based on clear, convincing evidence and reason, through the gifts of science and logic that God has given us.
These conclusions mean that Homosexuality is a part of creation not a deviance from it. Genesis 1:31 tells us that when God completed creation, “God saw everything that [God] had made, and indeed, it was very good.” This verse literally and inescapably means that ALL of creation is good. It also means that homosexuality, as an incontrovertible part of creation, is therefore irrefutably good.
#4 – THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH WAS NOT WRITTEN TO CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY.
The first purportedly anti-homosexual text in the Bible is in Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this story the towns’ men want “to know” the foreign messengers that Lot has taken in. The literal meaning of “to know” means just what it says. So one could read the story to mean that the men just wanted to know the foreigners.
But literalists don’t read it literally. They (and others) read “to know” as a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Fair enough, but in the ancient world, such sexual intercourse in a story like this is about control and power. For a man to forcibly penetrate someone without consent was to make them subordinate by making them womanly. Those who choose to read “to know” as an
ancient euphemism for sex must also accept the ancient meaning that the men in the story seek to forcibly and violently make the messengers subordinates.
Simply put, Genesis 19 is about condemning rape, and cannot fairly be said to prohibit consensual homosexual relationships. Accordingly, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah does not condemn homosexuality.
#5 – ANCIENT PURITY LAWS OF LEVITICUS WERE INTENDED TO APPLY IN ANCIENT ISRAEL, NOT TO US.
Although many purity laws are ignored by modern Christians, some nonetheless seek to invoke Ancient Israel’s purity laws to claim homosexuality is unclean and therefore forbidden in America.
Specifically invoked are Leviticus 18 (22) and 20 (13) which expressly prohibit a man “[lying] with a male as with a woman…” These laws, however, are in chapters that expressly assert the laws there are only applicable in Israel (e.g., “Say further to the people of Israel [or any who] who reside in Israel…” Lev 20:2). Consequently, the prohibitions were never meant to apply outside of Israel and we don’t live in Israel.
In addition, the whole premise of these laws was to keep males from being made unclean and we don’t follow other ancient Biblical cleanliness laws so there is no reason to otherwise follow these.
#6 – LESBIANISM IS NOT ADDRESSED, AND THEREFORE NOT PROHIBITED BY ANY TEXT IN THE BIBLE.
Romans 1:26 is the only verse in the Bible that some church leaders claim condemns Lesbianism. But that verse nowhere refers to Lesbians. What it mentions is heterosexual women having what Paul thought was unnatural sex. “Their women exchanged natural
intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another.”
Unlike his reference to men (in the next verses), Paul does not indicate he is talking about women having same sex intercourse; that’s because his condemnation is aimed at heterosexual women who were having, “natural intercourse” and then exchanging it for “unnatural intercourse” in the same way that men were having sex with men.
In other words, it is about women choosing to have non-coital sex with men in ways Paul thought were unnatural. Paul is not addressing intercourse between female adults, but types of acts between women and men.
#7 – PAUL CONDEMNS SEXUAL ASSAULT, NOT CONSENSUAL GAY RELATIONS IN ROMANS.
In Romans (1:26-27) Paul wrote, “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” With respect to men, Paul is most likely addressing non-consensual sex acts (which are shameful) by otherwise heterosexual men on men.
He probably does not call them unnatural acts because his reference is not to consensual relational intercourse, but sexual assault. Wealthy Greco-Roman men proved their power and domination by penetrating lower class males of any age. Paul may have left out the “unnatural” label for the men’s passion because he was not criticizing the victims who had no choice in the acts; rather he was criticizing the wealthy for their acts of penetration of unwilling males. Paul is condemning male-on-male sexual assault and rape, not consensual Gay relations.
#8 – IN CORINTHIANS, PAUL IS CONDEMNING OVERSEXED MALES AND APPEARS TO CONDEMN THOSE WHO COMMIT SEXUAL ASSAULT.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 modern translations indicate that Paul wrote, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers – none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NRSV)
Some church leaders focus on the terms “male prostitutes” and “sodomites” claiming they mean a clear condemnation of Gays. But those two terms are translations made through a modern homophobic lens. The King James Version does not use “male prostitutes,” it uses the word, “effeminate.” The King James Version also does not use “sodomite,” it uses the curious phrase
“abusers of themselves with mankind.”
The English is confusing because Paul wrote in Greek. The Greek word translated as “male prostitute” is malakas which literally
means “softy.” In Paul’s day, it was a derogatory term for men who had so much sex they depleted their male prowess. They’re “effeminate” because of too much sexual activity – of any kind. So the term malakas denotes being oversexed in general; it does not condemn homosexuality.
The Greek word translated as “sodomite” in the modern text is arseno-koites – which literally means “man penetrating.” Some scholars think that Paul may again be referring to the Greco-Roman practice that allowed elite males to penetrate anyone to
show their dominance, but no one knows exactly what Paul means by this term. Meaning that it cannot be fairly concluded that it refers to homosexuality.
Paul condemns oversexed males and also appears to condemn those who commit sexual assault, but it cannot be said that he clearly condemned homosexuality in these verses.
#9 – I TIMOTHY CANNOT FAIRLY BE SAID TO CONDEMN GAYS.
A vice list is found in 1 Timothy 1:10 that, in Modern English translations, refers to sodomites and so some church leaders claim it clearly condemns Gays. But the translations are made through a modern homophobic lens. As mentioned in Number 8, the Greek word translated as “sodomite” in the modern text is arseno-koites – which literally means “man penetrating.”
The author of Timothy may be referring to the Greco-Roman practice that allowed elite males to penetrate anyone to show their dominance, but no one knows exactly what is meant by this term and it cannot be fairly concluded that it refers to homosexuality. Accordingly, I Timothy cannot fairly be said to condemn Gays.
#10 – CHRISTIANS CAN BELIEVE BIBLICAL PROHIBITIONS MAY BE IGNORED.
So there you have it; nine reasons that show God’s love has no strings attached for LGBTQ+. And you know what? Even if there were verses in the Bible that deem homosexuality unclean or impure, such provisions may be ignored. Why? Well for one thing, Peter was shown by God that we “should not call anyone profane or unclean.”
Another reason is that there are lots of non-harm-to-others prohibitions in the Bible that churches ignore. For instance, no one seriously argues that we have to treat as sinners and second class citizens those who violate Biblical prohibitions against: charging interest on loans; hiring clergy with disabilities; letting women talk or lead at church; treating aliens differently than citizens; divorce; or, more to the point, other purity prohibitions like shaving, body piercing, eating pork, wearing mixed fibers, “unnatural” heterosexual sex, not washing after emissions or marrying who the Bible says we must marry. We don’t hear a clamor about these laws because we have decided that they no longer apply and so ignore them. They don’t relate to harm, but to “cleanliness.”
Finally, Paul in Romans 1 does not list homosexuals as worthy of death but does list the gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless and the ruthless. No one clamors that Paul must be literally followed in this regard, as he himself indicates that we are not to judge others because of that list!
Since Christians have long chosen not to comply with other Biblical laws, Christians can also similarly and safely choose to ignore Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality, assuming they exist. (#4 – #9 suggest that none exist.)