Would Jesus Hang Out With Gay People Too?
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Would Jesus hang out with homosexuals? Is there a way we can know?1

We know that Jesus associated with the outcasts of his day. Luke 15:1-2 is very clear that he not only associated with tax collectors and sinners, he ate with them. He went to their dinner parties (Matt 11: 19) to such an extent he was called a glutton and winebibber.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Not only that, but at one of the parties he accepted and defended the adoration of a woman known to be a “sinner,” and we can probably guess what that meant. (Luke 7:36-50)

Samaritans were regarded as having a corrupt religion and questionable ethnic background. Jews hated them and would not talk to them unless absolutely necessary. They took pains to detour around Samaritans settlements when they traveled. But Jesus purposely traveled to a Samaritan city to spend considerable time talking to a woman. And that was while the woman was still in a life of sin. (John 4:5-32)

Religious people condemned Jesus because He associated “with sinners” who were an “abomination to the Lord.” And that probably damaged His credibility with the Pharisees and Scribes.

There are various kinds of social outcasts in our society too, but I would like to focus on just one group that is often excluded from society in conservative Christian churches, including Seventh-day Adventist churches – gay people, also often called homosexuals. Sermons reference homosexuality as one of the signs of the last days, and pastors seem to use the word “abomination” exclusively in referring to homosexuality. Thus, often the only way we know to deal with gay people is to ignore or condemn them.

It seems to me that the example Jesus showed during his life for those who were outcasts demonstrated compassion and concern while they were yet sinners. He reserved His condemnation for professed religious conservatives whom He denounced as hypocrites! 2

So we must wonder, if He were here today, in person, would Jesus associate with homosexuals, visit in their homes and go to their parties? Or would He only associate with “good” church people?

What do you think?

And what about our churches? Do we make gay people feel welcome? Do we treat them as our equals? Can they see the love of God in us? Would we invite a gay couple home for dinner? And I’m not just asking whether or not we would make “redeemed” homosexuals, such as those found on Coming Out Ministries or Beholding His Love Ministries feel welcome. I’m asking whether we would do the same for someone who made us feel uncomfortable, while we’re thinking, “he’s probably gay.” Do we honestly welcome an obvious gay couple to our church?

If we have to answer No to these questions, how can we expect gay people to trust God enough to surrender their sexuality to Him? How can we expect gay people to trust God with obedience when we make Him appear to be unloving and judgmental by the way we act as His representatives? They already know the “abomination” texts in the Bible. What they don’t know for sure is whether or not God really loves them. And that’s why so many just abandon the church and, ultimately, God. Some commit suicide for lack of hope.

We often fear the people who are different. And if we associate the different with an “abomination to the Lord,” we feel righteous about avoiding such people. But is that the way of Christ? I read that …

The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. 3

If I understand this correctly, the last message – which is the message we are to give – is a a revelation of God’s character of love in our own lives and character. Seems to me that means that we are to act out the love of God in our relationship with those around us. It’s the same old message as found in John 3:16 proclaimed not just in words, but in lives.

But it’s hard to love people who make us uneasy. To banish the unease, it is helpful to purposely get to know gay people close-up. In case you don’t know of gay neighbors to invite into your home, you may visit with six gay people through the magic of a movie. It is called “Seventh-Gay Adventist,” and some of you may have heard of it.

Now I don’t agree with some of the views expressed in the movie, especially those of the first person featured – a Seventh-day Adventist pastor who left his wife and family to fulfil what he saw as his own needs. In my view, that’s no more honorable than a straight person committing adultery. And I don’t agree with the way he interprets the Bible. But I don’t need to agree with him to empathize with his longing for a relationship with the Lord and the church body. And the movie does get better. It provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of several gay people who also identify as Seventh-day Adventists. We may not agree with them, but I hope we can all learn to understand them a bit better – and learn to allow Christ to use us to love the next gay person (or gay couple) that we meet.

Here’s how you can download this award-winning movie for free – on your computer, your tablet or your phone:

  • Go to the buy page of the Seventh-Gay Adventist movie site.
  • When you are there, select the “Regular Version $9.99” (not the Deluxe Version $14.99) and click on it.
  • You will be taken to a payment page, with the most obvious choice being “Pay $9.99.” But right above that, you will see a link called “Use code.” Choose that link and put in the code “ssnet2014” without quotation marks.
  • This will be treated as a “purchase,” and you will receive an email that will allow you to stream the film to a computer, mobile device, smartphone, etc. You can also download it and play it at a higher quality. Choose whatever works for you.
  • And, yes, you may share this code. But there are a limited number of free copies available. So it’s best not to procrastinate. (Note, you can get your download link now and watch the movie later when you have the 100 min or so it take to watch it.)

I believe God wants us to love the outcasts of society before they get their act cleaned up. After all, He’s still working on me. Jesus promised to make his followers “fishers of men” not “cleaners of men.” Our job is to bring them to Him. Christ’s job is to clean them up. And He will surely do it, if we allow ourselves to be channels of His love.

After watching the movie, you may still wonder about all those “abomination” texts. If so, please read, “What Is an Abomination to the Lord.” And if you’re wondering what the sins of Sodom really were, please do read, “Sins of Sodom – What the Bible Really Says.”

And then there’s a story that demonstrates how to love a gay family member or friend. It’s the story of Christopher Yuan and his mother.

I want the madness of this planet to end. I want Jesus to come, but I also know that before He can come, He needs us to demonstrate to the world what He is really like – a wonderfully loving God who wants nothing more than to see us happy, healthy and holy – both here and in the hereafter.


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  1. The statements in this post are intended to be in harmony with the 2012 Seventh-day Adventist Official Statements on Homosexuality and Same-sex Unions, and nothing in this essay should be construed as being contrary to those statements.
  2. See for instance, Matt. 22:18; Matt. 23:13-30
  3. Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415
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Would Jesus Hang Out With Gay People Too? — 184 Comments

  1. I am thankful for the testimony of people who testified that they are struggling with inclinations and thoughts which they have not overcome. I want to say specifically to those two people (if we read the comments we would see their testimonies)that God's grace is sufficient for you. Keep your hands in His and he will do the rest. If, like He said to the Apostle Paul, he would not remove the thorns in your flesh, His grace is still sufficient.

    Now to the other faithful SDAs who think that we must overcome before Christ can save us. I am thinking about a whoremongering leader by the name of Samson whom He saved even in the throes of his suicide. I am wondering if Samson had overcome his whoremongering thoughts before he died. He obviously did not overcome them shortly before because he slipped back into sin after judging the people of God for about 20 years. What I am sure about is that God saved him, because his name is mentioned in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews. If he had not overcome his whoremongering thoughts and God saved him, then how can we limit God's ability to save the gay person who has not overcome his inclinations when God returns?

    Like(5)
    • Struggling against natural inclination is not sin. Yielding to temptation and transgressing God's law is sin. We are born sinners and through faith in God's grace are able to gain the victory over sin. Faith leads to a full surrender of our own will and accepting God's will. We are told to "fight the good fight" and to be found "striving against sin". "Draw near to God" and "resist the devil" are not just passive ideas to only be mentally accepted.

      We cannot make assumptions concerning what is not revealed. It took a long while for Samson's hair to grow again, longer than the brief account in Judges takes to read, and his prayer of faith tells me he had confidence in God's salvation and acceptance of his complete repentance. Just put yourself in his place, doing the work of a beast with your eyes gone. I can't imagine he didn't see much more clearly his sin, keeping in mind that the Holy Spirit was ever-present.

      Like(4)
  2. Thank you for this blog. My younger son and I watched this last night. It truly makes you think about how others feel who society would deem as an outcast. I have learned a long time ago to always love others no matter what they do or who they are as a person and we teach our children that as well. I was put to the test last summer on practicing what I preached. I didn't have to deal with the issue of homosexuality, but with the murder of my brother by another inmate that made national news. I had to forgive him, love him, and accept him as someone needing the love of Jesus. So, I know the need of exemplifying love to others no matter what, I must be like my Savior. This is going to be an Ays program for our church . We have youth and adults who are struggling with this and also family members and friends. We are going to show the video and then do a discussion with a panel of the local pastors, Ay leader and youth.

    Like(8)
    • I definitely agree with doing this program for AYS and involving various dept. of the church.
      We will follow through with that suggestion. Many Adventist Churches feel uncomfortable with the topic. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us through these uncharted waters.

      Like(0)
      • Don, I suggest familiarizing yourself with material at GLAdventist.org and GLOW.cc before showing the movie and hosting a discussion so that you may be prepared to present biblical solutions during the discussion.

        The implied conclusion of the movie is that gay marriage is the solution to homosexuality. But that is a self-indulgent view which does not harmonize with Christ's call to self-denial and cross-bearing. Christ's call is the polar opposite of the thinking that "if God made me this way, He must be okay with me indulging my propensities."

        I highly recommend I recommend this vesper presentation by Pastor Michael Kelly at Oakwood University on Relationships, Opposite Sex, Same Sex, Homosexuality and ... Among other things, he deals with the relationship between David and Jonathan.

        If you cannot show both videos, I recommend choosing the one by Pastor Kelly, since it is quite balanced.

        I also recomment Rosaria Butterfield's interview on youtube for you to see - not necessarily for the AY meeting. (You'll have to decide.)

        Like(2)
  3. Apparently the subject of our humanity, as it relates to gender and sexuality, is an area begging for more understanding, especially within the religious community. The scripture tells us that God made humans male and female (Gen 1:27), a concept that's also reinforced elsewhere in the animal and plant world. We understand that the Creator had a specific intent in mind for the male/female design which was to be "fruitful and multiply..." (Gen 1:28). We know that the physical anatomy of males and females and the attraction they feel, make this possible for the most part. We've come to expect certain behaviors to agree with a specific gender and we generally believe that behavior is a matter of our choice.

    How many of us chose our gender at birth? We just kind of found ourselves male or female...under normal circumstances. What about the abnormal circumstance when an individual is BORN, what used to be called hermaphrodite, now more commonly referred to as ambiguous genitalia? Perhaps, this physical abnormality may present us an opportunity to temper our sometimes rigid beliefs about individuals' "choices" with respect to gender attraction. Is it possible that Scripture might have been telling us something about our human nature that we might have "chosen" not to believe?(Jer 17:9 ; Jer 13:23; Isaiah 44:20). None of us have chosen our gender or skin complexion (I've chosen male and brown:)) and just maybe Scripture is telling us we don't "choose" our choices either, since the fall of Adam. Fortunately, some of our choices are "kept in line" by parental, religious and other social influences as well as our nations' legal systems while others, like the tomb-dwelling man Jesus met, can't be bound "not even with chains"(Mk 5:3-4). We're hard-wired for language but are our regional accents our "choice" or not?

    Thanks to the kindness of an almighty Creator, those of us who can as well as those who can't be bound, are presented with an opportunity for REAL freedom for ALL "those who are oppressed" (Lk 4:18 NKJV)!! Yes, we must speak the truth to each other about all aspects of our human experience that fall short of our Creator's will for us as a specie (1 Cor 6:9-10; Rev 21:8). However, we may need to be aware that our sexuality flows from the same place as our fea, lying, covetousness, drunkenness and, our old nemesis, unbelief. TRUE freedom comes to Adam's descendants when, and ONLY when, the One who declared Himself a sight-restoring, oppressed-liberating, broken-heart(mind)-healing Redeemer comes into our death experience and restores life (Lk 4:18, 21). While not all dead corpses stink, all,to be useful, NEED life. Fortunately for me I was only born brown and not with ambiguous genitalia or sexuality, but there's plenty that places me in the same place of need as homosexuals(Gal 6:1-2). Thank God, that the One who meets sinners (Lk 19:2-5) in their place of need (Philippians 2:5-8) also sends humans with minds like His (v.5) to do a similar work. Promised from the Old Testament (Ezek 11:19-20), the REALITY of the New Covenant (Heb 8:10) is indeed "good tidings of great joy which will be to ALL people"(Lk 2:10)!

    Like(2)
  4. A lot of the posts here remind me of arguing rabbis. Truly, a lot of you know the words but you don't know the meaning.

    A woman got herself into a bit of trouble with the law over physical abuse with her kids. The police took out an AVO against her and she was not able to return home to her family until things were resolved through the courts.

    I took this woman in because she had nowhere to go. I didn't condone what she did, but I fed her and supported her for the fourteen months it took to sort this out. While she was under my roof, I did my best to make sure she maintained contact with her husband and kids. I did what I could to ensure her marriage survived this. I also prayed.

    Today she is back living with her husband and kids, she is also now a baptised member of our church. Her son was recently baptised as well.

    All I did was take her in and lived my life. When she asked questions about my faith, I said enough to satisfy her curiosity. Eyebrows were raised by some at church over this. A male church member having a non related married woman living in his house. I am sure she would have been happy for them to taker her in. I told the pastor and the elders why she was living in my house and I assured them that I was protecting this woman's fidelity with her husband.

    When she started coming to church with me, a few of the ladies took her under their wing. It was because she was loved with Christ's love that she started taking Bible studies that led to her accepting Jesus as her saviour.

    I don't want to be boastful, though this is what Christ calls us to do. Read Matthew chapters 5 through to 7. This is the expanded version of the commandments of God, Exodus 20 is only the summarised version.

    All we need to do is keep God's commandments. The summary of the summary is: Love god with all your heart and mind; Love your neighbour as yourself. This is what it is about. If other people have their agenda of selfishness, the fight becomes God's, not yours.

    Like(9)
  5. Dear Inge,
    thank you very much for your article and for addressing a topic like this with great concern for the protagonists of such a delicate issue and for giving us the opportunity to go directly to the font.

    Solomon once wrote: "For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's house for love, it would be utterly scorned."

    Personally I don't see big difference between hetero love and homosexual love: both love are powerful, genuine, self sacrificing, overwhelming, compassionate, caring, ... The same love I feel for my wife, a gay person feels for his partner; the good I receive from my hetero relationship, very similarly a gay receives from his. In one word, the love a gay person feels for his lover is very like the one spoken here by Solomon. That's why, I think, we should be careful and ask ourselves some few questions before we sentence someone to perdition if he/she accepts his/her gay condition and decide to live in accordance with it.

    As far as I know, statistics say that it is around 8-10% the number of those who thanks to prayers, psychologists, friends, or case, change their gay sexual orientation to a hetero one. Excluding those who have homosexual intercourse for vice and those gay who have a promiscuous sexual conduct, it remains a big number of people that in spite of prayers, psychologists, friends... won't change their condition anyhow and most probably gay will die.

    It is clear to me the Bible condemns homosexuality because it was considered a vice or an abominable pagan spiritual practice the Jews should avoid absolutely. But do the Bible authors consider homosexuality in its complexity, as we came to know today (or it came to happen recently), making distinction between the vice and a true feeling of love?

    I know that homosexuality does not respond to the ideal of Creation. We live in a world completely upset by the effects of sin from the core of our being. But also lions, in their beauty, don't correspond to the ideal of creation, yet not for this we expect them to become vegetarian! In the same way, very often, human "necessities" exceed God's prohibitions or intentions.

    In many occasions God agreed to give what in origin he didn't contemplate: after the flood God gave man meat to eat, in the desert God gave meat to His people just because they got tired of manna; He agreed to give them a king even though He was not of that opinion, He let them have slaves, go to war...

    Most of our patriarchs were used to the detestable practice of concubinage and polygamy: even these cultural practices do not respond the ideal of creation but God allowed them, making the patriarchs, anyway, fathers and builders of our faith. To David, Nathan, the prophet, said that God would have given him even more wives than those He already gave him, if he pleased!!

    Jesus seems to confirm this delicate way of thinking speaking of David when he was hungry of bread. The high priest Ahimelech simply gave him of the bread that was determined to priests alone: he didn't suggest David to kneel and pray (with him) God to make the miracle; he didn't pretend David to exercise his faith till a starving death. God's Church has never been the place for ascetics and heroes, but of jars of clay that with their defects in sincerity proclaim the love and wisdom of God.

    There are human cultural barriers to which God Himself submit. In the ancient Sanctuary there was no place for eunuchs and women (and divorced people I imagine). Today, it is not like this fortunately. Paul himself, who was the greatest theologian of the N.T., commanded women to be silent and submitted to men; for him fathers could decide to give their daughters in marriage or not... I am sure the apostle Paul had nothing against women but if we read 1 Tim 2:11-15 and we judge it with our today's knowledge of gender equality I don't know which adjective to use to judge what he wrote there! This should not get us surprised, that is normal: Paul was a man of his time! What must surprise us, instead is Gal 3:28! Therefore, it does not marvel me if he believed that homosexuals were an abomination: simply it was the common way of thinking.

    The great sympathy shown by your article (and many others who posted) could be supported, in my opinion, by a even stronger theological sympathy. If we don't, we risk to grow up children of God, yes, loved by us but repressed and filled of destructive and unnecessary feelings of guilt.

    Like(2)
    • G'day Daniele,

      I read what you posted and my heart cries out for it. But the heart can be a deceitful thing and I dare not consider it.

      I find myself like Paul caught between two natures, Romans 7:14-25. The first real relationship I had was with another male. We were sexually active at the time. The guilt I experienced forced me to break off the relationship. The other person was so heart broken because of it. I shudder to think I hurt him. He couldn't understand how I felt. I loved him with all my heart but the guilt was too much for me. It was a few years after this that Jesus called me to his side.

      When I think back on those times, I question myself whether I could have brought glory to God in the circumstance of that first relationship. Solomon was right when he speaks of love and jealousy.

      In a heterosexual relationship, the protocols of society protect the relationship to a degree. If you are a man married to a woman you would ask questions if your woman was constantly hanging around other men. If you are a woman married to a man you would ask questions if your man was constantly hanging around other women. In a same sex relationship the social protocols have been removed. It requires a trust far greater than you would find in a heterosexual relationship. It is my opinion that this is the reason for a higher incidence of domestic abuse in gay relationships when compared to heterosexual relationships. I could be totally wrong, but this is what I have reasoned out.

      Is it possible for a same sex relationship to survive a life time?

      Yes it is possible but the odds are against it. God is a compassionate God and at the intellectual level I recognise His wisdom in what He has created. My heart screams out in conflict with this though and sometimes the loneliness is unbearable. All I can do is trust in my God and let Him guide me along in my journey.

      Like(2)
  6. Inge,
    I have been enjoying reading the various comments especially yours, however on your comment dated Feb 22nd you stared "I think the important thing for gay people is to recognize that these stimuli are not sinful in and of themselves". This statement challenged me. Are you saying that the thought to engage in homosexual activity is not in and of itself wrong? From my limited understanding of the Bible we will be judged by God for our thoughts, words and deeds. If thoughts to steal and fornicate are not spiritually and morally wholesome for the kleptocrats and womanizers, how do you explain the statement.
    I look forward to your usually insightful and sincere posts.

    Like(2)
    • Michael, I thank you for asking so that I can clarify what I mean. I am definitely not saying "that the thought to engage in homosexual activity is not in and of itself wrong." It is wrong.

      What I am saying is that the unbidden visual stimuli to which males are prone is not sin. Not being a male, I can only trust that what I read, have been told and have observed as a married woman is true: Males are primarily sexually stimulated by sight, and this stimulus comes without conscious thought. (I've even read that some males can get an erection by looking at a beautiful car!) The stimulus from seeing a beautiful woman, pleasurable as it may be, is not sin. It becomes sin only when the mind is engaged and follows through with lust - imagining some kind of sexual contact. (Matt 5:28) I believe that the secret for overcoming the impulse to lust is to view the beautiful woman as a child of God whom the Savior yearns to draw to Himself.

      For gay males, the same thing is true when they see attractive men. The stimulus is unbidden, coming without conscious input. That is not sin! Far too many gay men agonize over their "sin," feeling condemned for what they did not choose. They are not sinning as long as they submit their sexuality to Christ and choose to view the other man as a child of God whom the Savior yearns to draw to Himself. However, since the Bible does not sanction any male-to-male sexual activity, "the thought to engage in homosexual activity" is sin.

      Can you see the difference?

      Martin Luther is credited with the saying that "You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair," meaning that you cannot keep impulses/passing thoughts from entering your mind, but you can choose not to entertain them.

      I realize I have mentioned only men. That's because female sexuality works a bit differently. But the same principle holds true. Unbidden impulses are not sin. Only as we imagine a wrong act, i.e. lust, do we sin.

      I believe it is also important to note that intimate same-sex friendships are not sin. In fact, paradoxically as it may seem, I understand that they can be an antidote to same-sex lust. Ideally the friendship is with a heterosexual person. But there's something about the familiarity and ordinariness of a long-standing friendship that reduces lust, even though that doesn't mean that temptation goes away. David and Jonathan had an intimate friendship, but the gay theology that makes them "gay" is clearly wrong. In their culture it would have meant death to act as they did if they had been suspected of being homosexual. And if David were gay, he would not have sinned with Bathsheba!

      It is unfortunate that western society does not value male-to-male friendships. In the book Purity & Passion, Rich Ghent and Jim Childerston argue persuasively that intimate male friendships enhance sexual relations in marriage. Therapists treating gay males also share that male-to-male friendships reduce the tendency towards promiscuous homosexual encounters.

      The bottom line is that Christ understands the sexual struggles of single persons. He was single Himself during the most hormone-driven years of a man's life. And I believe He has a special regard for those struggling with a homosexual orientation because, while on this earth, He demonstrated a special interest in the outcasts of Jewish society.

      Like(3)
  7. It is natural that we are disgusted with homosexuality and the people that flaunt it. Many good Christian people and even people who don't have a religious bone in their body are revolted by such things.

    I as a celibate gay christian man have been at the receiving end of such hatred as long as I can remember. God's solution to this is to look at the people who carry such rancor in their hearts toward me and my kind is to FORGIVE FORGIVE FORGIVE -for they know not what they do!!! There is peace to choose to look at any and everyone with the same eyes that JESUS looks at the Ones HE died for.

    We are to look at sin with hatred. but not the sinner. Problem is that when it comes to gays (esp. those who flaunt and help move society to accept it as normal) we see them as one in the same as their disgusting acts/thoughts. Paul called himself the worst of sinners not because he did worse things than others but because he knows how important it is to esteem others higher than himself. To see his own beam in his eye to live and spread the GOSPEL.

    The first time I set foot in a SDA church at age 12 I learned God hated homosexuals and the quote of the day bandied around in the 1970's was 'gays should be lined up and shot!' and 'they should be put on an island where they will die off.'

    The devil tried his best to do me in with hatred from Christians, and the devil does his best to turn away so many other gays from a GOD Who is not repulsed by them, but loves them with an everlasting Love -like HE loves You All. The reason why Christians don't think JESUS hung around homosexuals in a Centurion/ Administration Occupied (lived, worked, played) Gay-Eros-influenced Roman culture planted in Israel is beyond me. If you know many gays as deeply as I do, you can testify that gays would be hanging around JESUS and nowhere in Jesus words you hear to a person 'BUZZ OFF!'

    Apparently there is an 'us' and the 'them' theology ruling hearts. Don't you realize that we ALL are the same. gays and straights . . Only God can enlarge the hearts to look upon gays better than selves.

    GOD bless you all. :)

    Like(10)
    • Steve,
      Your comments are reasonable and you come across as very conscientious. Given your views why is it important or necessary to label yourself "gay?" Considering the association of the label with a movement which opposes some of what you believe, is it not better to view yourself as a Christian who acknowledges certain undesirable tendencies, like all of us do in various ways, and most of us without labeling ourselves?

      As well does it not reinforce in the mind that the inclination is 'normal,' and that one might be very comfortable with it? Might it also communicate that God is not able to reverse the propensity or in some way inhibit belief that one may fully overcome?

      We have all sorts of inherited and cultivated tendencies, but we look forward and claim something better, even before it becomes a reality, because we believe the report of the Lord, and not those who say we are stuck or doomed (Psalm 23:3; Luke 1:37).

      Like(5)
      • Hugh,
        You asked a very good question of why would a gay person who is now a christian would still call himself gay.

        Well I will share a few reasons that you may not agree with or understand and that is ok. What I am expressing are very personal and tender so consider this an honour :) It has to do with COMMUNITY

        1. We are liars when we say we have no sin. 1 John 1:10 It's very important in fellowship to tell the truth of ourselves with each other. It is up to ourselves what to share and what not to share with others. It cannot and should not be dictated by another. In that sharing we constantly focus on JESUS loving where we are now and loving us all to completion

        2. To find safety in fellowship. A Body of Christ is called to be a safe place for trust to build and connection to be formed and to find encouragement (Heb 10:25) and accountability. Fellowship brings growth and healing and in this process even a closer walk with each other and GOD. Are you safe to share a struggle with without condemning or showing self-righteousness?

        3. Why do I tell others I'm gay? It is not a sin to be gay. The sin is lust in the mind and acting on it, just like with heterosexuals.
        It is a great way to share my Testimony. After all it relates directly to How Jesus Saved Me! A Sinner! And between you and me and all who see this, telling people in some circles that we are Christians evokes 2000 years of violence, fraud, scandals, abuse, misogyny and hatemongering. And even today some churches do that. Some are very aware of all that baggage and avoid us Christians at all costs

        4. To go back to the God's Word in 1 John 1:8-10: It does great damage to struggling gays to assert oneself as being completely healed of my homosexuality by calling myself "straight" or "ex-gay."
        If it is true, by all means sound the trumpet, let the pigeons loose! But in most cases, even ex-gays who marry an opposite sex partner and sire children, still struggle with attraction to the same sex. And that attraction may never go away until the other side of eternity.
        To say that same-sex attraction just goes away gives a a false impression. It is an excruciatingly soul destroying life to be gay and seeking the elusive 'sainthood' of heterosexuality and not finding it but comparing your walk with ex-gays who announce they are TADA! I'M STRAIGHT while it is not true.
        Speaking particularly of ex-gay ministries: Many have killed themselves because of no hope and others have cut or tried to cut off their genitalia in desperation. My gay brothers and sister deserve the TRUTH of SANCTIFICATION. It's not overnight or necessarily complete at sudden death.

        4. There is healing when you share the inner parts of yourself, when you look into another's eyes and see JESUS (non-condemnation) IN THE FLESH. There is freedom in that and JESUS IS GLORIFIED!

        There are other reasons outside of these 4 entirely on another level, but I chose to share these because it strikes at the heart of how GOD deals with us in relationship and calls us to do and be the same towards others. I am sure I gave you enough to chew on.

        On a even more personal note of my long hard walk -- it's nice to stop the busybodies from wondering why I am not married yet or the dreaded awkward ringing of the bell, "I've got a nice girl I want you to meet!"

        I will get even more deep with you, my friend and brother in Christ. I can't tell you how many times I got to know good people in the past and formed bonds and rejoiced in the LORD together to only be suddenly avoided because they got wind of the fact that I AM GAY (and therefore demon possessed, as some believe, and they cant hang around a walking, talking demon-controlled homo expelling green split pea soup vomit). I find it best to be upfront early on to avoid such devastating disappointment of being rejected by someone I though to be a soul brother. If I'm upfront and thought to be a castaway by them, it is is better for both parties emotionally.

        And on a preachy side note...
        Gossiping/backbiting would stop or greatly be lessened if we told the talebearer how disgusted and repulsed we are by their backbiting and character-assassinating sins (just like many freely do with homosexuals). Ellen White calls it cannibalism, which sounds pretty evil to me. Can we deny fellowship to those people who do so wickedly and have some credibility in the gay community??? ...

        OK off my soapbox :) God bless you all and be with you as you reflect and pray where your sin is in this. IF JESUS be lifted up, He will draw all gay men and women.

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        • There is a difference between being a "sinner by birth" and "sinner by choice". We cannot do anything about the first, because of our first parents- Adam and Eve choice. But the second, we have to answer to God at the Judgment.

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      • Thank you for that wonderful testimony Steve. @Hugh you said

        (As well does it not reinforce in the mind that the inclination is 'normal,' and that one might be very comfortable with it? Might it also communicate that God is not able to reverse the propensity or in some way inhibit belief that one may fully overcome?)

        Hugh being gay is not a propensity, so to speak, like addiction. It is something different entirely. It's not a habit people pick up. It's not a choice either. No one would choose that. A life of judgment, bullying, being ostracized from family, friends, church and community.

        I have known of many who tried to pray the gay away and it didn't happen, only God knows why. We live in a fallen world and do not have all the answers on why people are gay, they just are. Born that way if you will. Steve says he is a gay Christian, if he were to say otherwise it would be a lie. Are people suppose to lie to make others feel comfortable?

        Heterosexuals have no idea what is like to be gay and we fear what we do not understand. God understands and that is enough, we don't have to understand, but what we can do is love. That is what Jesus wants us to do -- love with a greater capacity beyond ourselves. Forget your preconceived notions and labels and just love, otherwise you can get caught up in that, and love goes by the waste side.

        We are suppose to bring people to the lord not repel them, and the only way to do that is show them how loved they are by God and Christians. Do your thoughts and ideas on this look like Jesus? Jesus just loved us, all of us. He has no conditions on his love for us, but man does.

        With all the sins and abominations, why is this the worst for so many??? If you think being gay is a sin that is, I however do not. Being born a certain way is not a sin, the acts anyone of us can do is. Let's stop judging others and let them have their own personal relationship and journey with God, and let's love and support them in it. Now that looks like Jesus. God Bless!

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        • Felicia, to me it seems that you might have things a bit confused when you say, “Hugh being gay is not a propensity, so to speak, like addiction.” A propensity is a bent to something, a kind of gravitational force that is pulling on us in a particular direction and in our use of the term it is not because of a choice. Both homosexuality and many addictions often come from a propensity that we are born with just like any sin is but in some cases it is a clear choice rather than a propensity. For those cases there is no excuse.

          I believe in spite of propensities we still have a choice and in a lot of cases that is something we must battle with for the rest of our lives. That is why being a part of an environment of sin is so miserable. It is like trying to run up a sand dune while someone is constantly pushing you down.

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          • I think you're right, Tyler, that being gay is a "propensity," that is not chosen, but just is, and I believe that's what Felicia meant, judging by the rest of her comment.

            The choice we have is regarding how we deal with our propensities, not about the innate propensities themselves. We can choose to submit our propensities to God and be obedient, or we can choose to yield to our sinful propensities.

            Seeing that sexuality is a very powerful part of human individuality, I have seen a lot of gay people expressing discouragement at the thought of never being able to express their sexuality in a relationship.

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        • Felicia, you wrote; "Heterosexuals have no idea what is like to be gay..." I would say that is not completely true. It's simply having a natural attraction to something God disproves of. That would be true for every person born on this earth since Adam and Eve sinned, according to several passages of scripture. Heterosexuals might not have the attraction to the same gender, but the attraction is just as real, and can often be out of place with God's plan. Homosexuality is not the only way to transgress God's will sexually.

          Just wanted to point that out. The whole purpose of this post is that sin exists in every way possible and none are exempt, but all are promised "the grace of God that brings salvation". Jesus does not draw a line for whom He is willing to save from sin.

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        • Felicia, I get what you're saying regarding Heteros don't know what it's like to be gay.

          Growing up gay in a straight world and finding out you're not like them as a youngster is scary and shocking. And pretending you're like them takes away all your energy - always looking over your own shoulder and checking off lists so you won't be discovered for who you are!!!

          MOST STRAIGHTS DON'T DEAL WITH THAT AND CANT RELATE ! (sorry for caps)
          Love your thoughts.
          God bless you.

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  8. It's quite interesting reading all the comments concerning the so called "Gay" issues. I remember reading, that Jesus was tempted in all points. Hey guys, He never sinned. If you call your self being different, that's ok, (sin not) Let it go and let God.
    In this world we are confronted with all kinds of situations, you don't have to give in. Give it all to the one who can handle it. That is, to a loving Saviour, who knows how we are but can save all of us.

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    • Myrtharyn, could you please explain why you refer to the "so called 'Gay' issues'?

      Do you not believe there there are people who are attracted to the same sex just as you are (presumably) attracted to the opposite sex?

      What do you see as the purpose of God in establishing a church community? Does the community have any responsibility to its members in terms of support and encouragement? Or should we just tell each other to just "let it go and let God."

      It would be really helpful if you could share with our gay brothers and sisters how you "let it go and let God" in your own life. They can be encouraged that it is possible by seeing what God has done in the lives of others. What did you "let go and let God"? Are you experiencing complete victory over sin?

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  9. Thanks Inge for posting this; it needs to be discussed.

    We have so much to learn about the character of God. How great his love is for us. We can't fathom that kind of love here in this world, not until we get to heaven. The Creator of the universe giving his only son to die so we can live. Not only die but to be tortured and murdered by the very children He created. It's bigger than we know.

    It took time for me to get the right picture of God. He is a God of love and compassion not a God of fire and brimstone, a lie Satan perpetuates. God is not checking off a list of wrongs but checking off a list of love. When people come to realize that kind of love, and feel worthy of it, that is when they will start seeing the worth in everyone, and how worthy and deserving everyone is in receiving that love. It makes you view things in a different light. Now I look at everyone, even people I don't like or understand and say "that is a child of God and He loves them wholeheartedly without question. He died for that person." It changed my life.

    When you look at someone and know that Jesus died for that person, He died for them, no if, and's, or but's. Then who am I to judge, say, or think anything negative. It minimizes what Jesus did when we do that; we have no right. In other words, when we do that, we are basically saying what Christ did for all us is no big deal. That can't feel very good to Christ-- peoples attitudes about others.

    Remember what Jesus's greatest commandment was? (Matt 22:37-38) It was love, love for him and our neighbor, period. It something that needs to be worked on daily, but so worth it. God Bless you, Inge, you are doing wonderful things here :)

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  10. [This comment is based on Matt. 9:9-17; Mark 2:14-22; Luke 5:27-39 as interpreted by Ellen White in Desire of Ages, Chapter 28]
    I heard when it comes to personalizing the Scriptures, we are to insert ourselves in the story when GOD HIMSELF walked the Earth.

    So this is what I have done with this chapter from the Desire of Ages, pp.272-274, in paraphrasing and condensing it for myself:

    Of the people in Palestine, none were more hated than the gays. Their flaunting and open sin and gay parades were a continual irritation to the Jews ... And the gays were promoting their lifestyle as normal and even demanded to be treated like the straights and to be able to get married to each other. A gay who was proud of his state was looked upon as betraying God's natural state of creation. He was despised as an apostate and was classed with the vilest of society.

    To this class belonged Steve Wicher, who, after the four disciples at Gennesaret, was the next to be called to Christ's service. The Pharisees had judged Steve according to his orientation, but Jesus saw in this man a heart open for the reception of truth. Steve had listened to the Saviour's teaching. As the convicting Spirit of God revealed his sinfulness, he longed to seek help from Christ; but he was accustomed to the exclusiveness of the rabbis, and had no thought that this Great Teacher would notice him.

    Marching at the Gay and Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Pride Parade, the gay dude saw Jesus approaching. Great was his astonishment to hear the words addressed to himself, "Follow Me."

    Steve "left all, rose up, and followed Him." There was no hesitation, no questioning, no thought of the self-indulgent gay lifestyle to be exchanged for self-denying celibacy and purity of heart. It was enough for him that he was to be with Jesus, that he might listen to His words, and unite with Him in His work.

    Principle is always exacting. No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. No man who makes any reserve can be the disciple of Christ, much less can he be His colaborer. When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow HIM.

    The calling of Steve to be one of Christ's disciples excited great indignation. For a religious teacher to choose a an openly gay dude as one of his immediate attendants was an offense against the religious, social, and national customs. By appealing to the prejudices of the people the Pharisees hoped to turn the current of popular feeling against Jesus.

    Among the gay community a widespread interest was created. Their hearts were drawn toward the divine Teacher. In the joy of his new discipleship, Steve longed to bring his former associates to Jesus. Accordingly he made a feast at his own house, and called together his relatives, gays and flamboyant drag queen friends. Not only were gays included, but many others who were of doubtful reputation, and were forbidden by Law by their more scrupulous neighbors.

    The entertainment was given in honor of Jesus, and He did not hesitate to accept the courtesy. He well knew that this would give offense to the Pharisaic party, and would also compromise Him in the eyes of the people. But no question of policy could influence His movements. With Him external distinctions weighed nothing. That which appealed to His heart was a soul thirsting for the water of life.

    Jesus sat as an honored guest at the table of the gays, by His sympathy and social kindliness showing that He recognized the dignity of gays and lesbians; and they longed to become worthy of His confidence. Upon their thirsty hearts His words fell with blessed, life-giving power. New impulses were awakened, and the possibility of a new life opened to these outcasts of society.

    At such gatherings as this, not a few were impressed by the Saviour's teaching who did not acknowledge Him until after His ascension. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, and three thousand were converted in a day, there were among them many who first heard the truth at the glittery table of the homosexuals, and some of these became messengers of the gospel. To Steve himself the example of Jesus at the feast was a constant lesson. The despised flaming homosexual became one of the most devoted evangelists, in his own ministry following closely in his Master's steps.

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  11. Inge, I would like to thank you. Good bless you in your ministry.

    To the others with their genuine questions and to the supportive commenters, it has been a real blessing. It makes the struggle worth it.

    My goal in life is to live a life that my Jesus approves of. I make many mistakes along the way. I think it was Leo Tolstoy who said, “If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! ”. So it is with the Christian walk on the journey to Heaven.

    When I hear some of the remarks from other Christians, I find it very discouraging. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just give up the struggle and just follow my inclinations. So I sway from side to side along the path. It is you people who give encouraging words and truly show the love of Christ that makes the walk along the road of life a beautiful thing. It gives me encouragement. It enables me to walk the next few steps towards my goal.

    Over the years I have learned to be cynical. But I find walking with God and hearing from people who care, allow me to see past my own cynicism.

    I might be gay, but by the grace of God I am on a journey to Heaven. I am looking forward to meeting you all there.

    Thank you.

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    • I love the way Jesus did his ministry. To all He says "go and sins no more". While Jesus loves the SINNER, he hates SIN. No matter the sin, God said He hates sin, sin must be given up. God has the power to change us(sinners) and make us become like Him(saints). We read sin shall not rise again in that new heaven and new earth. Read Romans 1:21-32, and Rev 22:14-15.

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    • David, I really like this paragraph in your reply. If only all of us would have as the primary goal of our lives that Jesus could approve of our lives, the Lord would soon come to take us home.

      I suspect that none of us walk a straight forward path on the way home. We all stagger drunkenly, so to speak:

      My goal in life is to live a life that my Jesus approves of. I make many mistakes along the way. I think it was Leo Tolstoy who said, “If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! ”. So it is with the Christian walk on the journey to Heaven.

      I gain courage from this assurance:

      The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by th tendency of the habitual words and acts." (Steps to Christ, pp. 57-58)
      It tells me that it's the overall direction of our lives - whether or not we are moving closer to Christ and home - that counts. Often we may stagger, but let us stagger forwards. :)

      This, too, has helped me:

      There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1 (Steps to Christ, p. 64)

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  12. Please note: If you are going to respond to the first bit of what I say, make sure that you show evidence that you have read the last bit. This comment is a bit longer than what I usually write so you will need to scroll down a bit.

    I think that it is fair to say that our attitude to people who have gender orientation problems is very much determined by our view of the causality of the problem.

    • If you think that God has created each of us perfectly male or female and that it is a choice as to whether you behave as a male or female, then you will see and form of same gender attraction as sinful.
    • If you think that a person's sexuality is determined by causes over which a person has no control, then you will probably be more understanding of the issues that people have with their sexuality.

    Now a bit of personal history:

    I grew up on a farm where we kept sheep and cows. One of the jobs that I used to help out with as a kid was the castration of male lambs (Just accept that is part of farming practice - this is not a discussion on animal rights). Occasionally we would find a lamb that had both male and female eternal genitalia. Of course Dad and I discussed the situation - the farm was a great biology lesson book - and I learned from quite early on that things could go wrong with gender.

    I went to a boys' high school during my puberty years and observed and took part in typical adolescent interaction. There was the usual horseplay (those of you who remember your teenage years will know what I mean), and it quickly became clear to me that I was heterosexual but that some of the other boys in the school were not. Activities that disgusted me and that I wanted no part in held a particular attraction for a small number of others.

    I became a teacher and became very much aware of the human cost of gender orientation issues in the church and have gone to some length to be aware of the problem and compassionate towards those who struggle with their sexuality.

    Research:

    I have not followed the scholastic papers on this research - that is both costly and time consuming - but I have taken the time to read reputable news articles and listen to experts who have to deal with sex orientation issues. So I will pass on what I have heard.

    Our perception of our sexuality is built on a number of factors:

    Genetics: Obviously there are genes that carry information about our sexual organs and how they are placed and function and so on. Genes also influence the brain, which controls most of our sexuality. Some of the genetic information is obvious and well understood but some of it is diffuse and it will be some time before we reach a full understanding of the coding.
    Hormonal development: As a person develops both in the womb and during childhood and adolescence, changes in body development occur as the result of hormone releases. These released should happen at particular times in the development of the person, but sometimes they may go off either at the wrong time, or out of sequence. This messes with the development process. We know about the obvious ones like giantism and so on, but the ones that affect or sexual development are still not well understood. We do know that trauma and other environmental factors may change the trigger times for hormonal development.
    Environmental and cultural influences: This is often very vague. There are a couple of documented situations - some children in some cultures do not show external genitalia until puberty. It is almost as if the gonad migration that should occur before birth has been delayed. Some of the expectations of puberty behaviour are based on culture.

    The significant thing that I think that has happened in research is that we are now aware that the idea that our sexuality is determined by a single defining factor is wrong. That is one reason that that early research was flawed. There was nothing wrong with the research at the time, it is just that subsequent research has shown the limitations of early research. That is the nature of discovery research.

    We have ample evidence that the human body can be born defective, or develop defectively in areas other than gender. We accept that can happen, and is not a choice of the person concerned. We should not make an exception for gender attraction issues.

    Human Compassion
    The main issue that is at stake in this discussion is who we should feel compassionate for and how we should express that compassion.

    I do not feel comfortable standing on my high moral ground just because I am a heterosexual monogamous male and condemning those whose perception of their sexuality is different from mine. Jesus did not stand in heaven and say, "If you are good enough and behave yourselves, you will eventually get to be where I am standing." He got down among the sinners (He hung out with them - if you want to use that terminology) and he suffered with them. And just maybe that is what he expects us to do.

    A senior Adventist administrator once said to me, regarding discussions such as this, that only those people who have close friends or family members who are gay should be allowed to comment. I know what he meant. At that particular time we had both had colleagues who were dismissed from Adventist employ for "inappropriate lifestyle choices."

    Like some of the others who have taken part in this discussion I have been round long enough to have seen friends, colleagues, and family members struggle with same-sex attraction. In many cases these folk were Seventh-day Adventists. I have seen the whole spectrum of responses - celibacy, trans-gender changes, heterosexual marriage, and, unfortunately, suicide. These folk are not the nameless homosexuals that you read about or see on TV. They are people I know by name and with whom I interact.

    Condemnation is not going to work; I have only got compassion left.

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    • I appreciate and relate to Maurice's sharing from 1st hand experience. My mother loves all over my sister and niece, despises the sin but like God tells her, Love God and love our fellow man. So she just loves all over them as she know Jesus would. So should everyone else, and be like Jesus, allowing Him to live His life through them, and they will be NOT judgmental about something that in the end, is between God and that beloved person. Gay or straight, we all come on bended knee before God to give account of ourselves. Remove that plank out of your eye before trying to remove the speck of dust from your neighbour's eye!

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  13. As complicated as this subject is for spectators it's is a lot more complex for individuals it involves. myself included. sure it's contentious too, but as a group there is always some kind of it.

    As a gay man with a strict Adventist upbringing, it's torturous to learn that "saved by grace" doesn't apply to me.

    While the circles i was brought up in didn't proclaim that, it has been by and large what you hear in most denominational churches.

    Yes there are the verses we are reminded of go and sin no more, being saved from our sin, then the "gay verses" gen 19, lev 18, romans 1, 1 Cor 6, etc.

    the verses are pulled out and presented in a way that if it was say wearing clothes of more than one fibre, or cutting hair, or men shaving their face, it would be used to exclude them from being christians.

    Then another similar subject, divorce and remarriage. Growing up, the grownups would always denounce remarriage; fast forward to when i am a responsible age, with one or two exceptions they are divorced and mostly remarried.

    On a theological level, it seems like the church of the apostles where various figures required the converts to be jewish, be required to keep the laws of moses, and be circumcised in order to get a look in at being christians.

    on circumcision, Paul tells us that it doesn't matter that whats more important is what it represents circumcision of the heart, and another place he (Gal 3 28) in Christ Neither Jew nor Greek, slaves nor free, males or female. i think as a denomination we have a long way to go on treating perspective members similarly, i recently was in a sabbath school where we were talking about the church on jewellery dress and worship music.
    the minister stated that if the church enforced a dress code there would be hardly any baptisms, telling.

    in Christian love
    Elias

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    • Elias, I'm so sorry that you've gotten the impression "that 'saved by grace' doesn't apply to me." I hope that's really only what you see some portraying and that you don't see that as reality. We all have struggles. Thank God that His grace is strong enough to give us victory in every area of life. And His grace is for you, too.

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      • Yes John,

        It's not a church wide exception. if this analogy makes sense here goes. growing up in conservative crowds, the conferences were seen to be out of control liberals. Other times and people have decried them for being out of touch, out dated conservatives.

        In a group, say you emphasise saved by grace alone, person 2 denounces you for ignoring sanctification or calling out person 3 on sin, Person 2 emphasises striving to be like Jesus. now personally it's inappropriate for a person seeking to be like Jesus to censuring, minimising person 3.

        As christians from left and right, sanctification isn't an over night experience. the problem of "calling out sin" is him(or her) without sin throw the first stone. (John 8 7)
        and part 2 is (Romans 2;1) there is no excuse for judgement, you get self condemnation since you do the same things.

        God is our solution in all this, so focusing on yours or my failings is a distraction. I need to make Him the central part of my life and personal religion. I think how long it takes to understand various things, months years etc. on a personal note, i've read various books on the Bible, homosexuality and church. the "verses" (GENESIS 19 (cf. 18:20)
        LEVITICUS 18:22 (20:13)DEUTERONOMY 23:17-18,ROMANS 1:26-27
        I CORINTHIANS 6:9 & TIMOTHY 1:10 feature in all of them, the law of moses, the dietary laws, the purity laws etc. as non Adventist perspectives, one common verdict was the levitical laws are irrelevant to christians. this was a non answer since we denounce unclean food and keep the sabbath. As a denomination, we don't enforce the remaining part of law of moses, or laws of the Jews.
        grooming laws were Israel specific, in the last comment circumcision as a requirement, we don't regulate either.

        Trust God

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  14. I think it is ironic that this discussion of sexuality has arisen within the study theme of "Discipleship". Since Inge posed the initial question of "Would Jesus Hang Out With Gay People Too?", we may need to ask ourselves, "what is my (individual) responsibility to people in need of discipleship?". Since it is Jesus who invites us to "follow Me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19), then we need to be educated by His High Priestly example. In Mt 8:1-4, a leper approaches Jesus and requests healing. Is Jesus "grossed out" by this man's approach? Not only is He not "grossed out", He (gasp) touches him! He touches him while declaring His desire for the man's cleansing. In agreement with the Mosaic law he directs him to go and show himself to the priest. In Acts 10, God clearly does a work in Cornelius (Acts 10:2,15,28) and sends him (figuratively) to the "priest", Peter. It was the now previously prejudiced Peter, under inspiration who later wrote 1 Pt 2:9. The priests in the wilderness Tabernacle not only killed animals and sprinkled blood on behalf of the guilty, Leviticus 13-15 instructed priests in their other duty as community doctor/health official. These priests, who interestingly were priests by birth, were required to have repeated contact with lepers (and some potential ones). Not only did these lepers come to the priests (Lev 13:2) but the priests also had to go to the "hang out" of the isolated (Lev 14:3). If we believe that 1 Pt 2:9 applies to us as God's professed people, then our first responsibility is to ensure we're of correct "birth" to practice. Then we'd better be educated in preparation for practice. Then in accordance with our education, are we to practice. May the High Priest find us only competent practitioners.

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  15. He will meet them, too, but tell them kindly, explainers God's way of sexuality, not worldly.
    He will tell you to follow His word, not your own way. Jesus know the book of exodus and Deuteronomy about homosexual. Jesus know the result of homosexual by God. You have a right of choice, but he did not force it, but pray for you to follow God's way of sexuality.

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    • Jason, as I study the Bible, I see that Christ mingled with men (hung out with them), ministered to their needs (healed them, fed them, answered their questions), and only then did he bid them follow Him.

      I don't see Jesus spending much time telling sinners what not to do - other than in his rebukes of the religious leaders. But He did not condemn the outcasts of society. They already felt condemned. They needed to experience His love, and He mingled with them so He could minister to their needs. When they sensed His holiness and purity, they felt their sinfulness by contrast. He gave them courage by expressing the confidence that they could "go and sin no more" (as He did with Mary) and He expressed the confidence that they could be His true followers (as He did with Matthew).

      If we associate with people only to tell them that they are wrong, we are not following the example of Christ. We are missing the steps of mingling with them to do them good. We are missing the step of demonstrating that we are their friends.

      Preaching to people without making friends with them first is never going to work. Only the methods of Jesus will bring any sinner to repentance. If we think people need to allow Jesus to live His life of purity in us and to love others through us.

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  16. I have read the article, and the comments and I have watched the video. You know after reading the comments I am left wondering if we have forgotten that God is also a God of justice. Mercy and justice work together, but sometimes we tend to think that mercy is the here all and end all.

    One thing that has been reinforced from the discussion and presentations is all sin is sin. There is magnitude of sins and degrees of punishment, but we were not given the duty of gauging someone else’s sins. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination, and it also says that lying lips are an abomination. Both obviously are terrible sins, as are all other sins.

    One comment says that we have propensities, another inherited tendencies. This is true one person may be struggling with lying, another with stealing, another with evil surmising, hypocrisy, pornography, but what we must always remember is this, God never blesses us in sin and He will never save us in sin. We have an overcoming work to do and it must be done for us to be saved. Remember, when Jesus presents the redeemed to His Father He says these are they who have overcome. Sadly we cuddle some sins even within our own breasts, as we condemn others, this is wrong but it does not change the fact that homosexuality is also wrong.

    We often say much more than we realize with the words we leave unspoken or the idea that is transmitted by what is said. To say that one cannot change is to say that God has limited power. To say one was born homosexual is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently. To say that time have change and so people are now naturally homosexual is to say that God has no control over how things develop.

    Yes Jesus was tempted as we are and He did not sin! This is important. He came to be our example and if His example does not apply today then we hope in vain.

    If I have a problem with lying, say I lie when I feel threatened and want to protect myself, does this change that it is a sin. Would I have had to spend all my life overcoming it? Yes likely I would. Must I overcome it? Yes I must because if I do not, truth is I will not have a place in God’s kingdom. The simple truth is we must love God more than all things. From the beginning the battle was really about obedience. Do we obey God or do we try to make others and God accept us in sin? The same applies to all sins, so yes we love the sinner but we hate the sin and that means always letting it be known that God is love and mercy and justice too. We must love more than else or we will never choose to obey Him.

    Like(8)
    • Thank you for your comment, Keisha.

      You wrote, among other things ...

      To say that one cannot change is to say that God has limited power. To say one was born homosexual is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently.

      Firstly, I don't know what you mean by "change." God is in the business of changing us into His image, so, if we submit to Him as our Lord, we will be continually changing - whether we are homosexually or heterosexually oriented.

      But you may be referring to changing a sexual orientation. And that is a different matter, because there is some pretty solid evidence that a homosexual orientation is very much part of a person's nature - the same sinful human nature we all possess.

      You might as well say "To say one was born a sinner is to say that God is cruel for making people like that then expect them to live differently." The fact, however, is Adam and Eve were created perfect, but everyone since then has been born with the effects of sin. I don't know about you, Keisha, but I wasn't born perfect. Some imperfections are visible, others are invisible. Some are in my mind, some in my body.

      You may be the only exception on this planet, but as far as I know, none of us are born perfect. And a homosexual orientation is just one of the regrettable results of sin.

      But God made provision for the terrible emergency of sin. He came to be one of us and die in our place. As a result He can give us the victory over both our acquired and inherited impulses to sin. But that doesn't take give take our sinful nature away. Likewise, I know many gays who are faithful to their wives or who are living single lives of purity by the grace of God. But God doesn't take their homosexual orientation away.

      It's not easy to be a gay Adventist when most of the church, and the pastors as well, are ignorant on the subject of homosexuality and make no distinction between a homosexual orientation and engaging in same-sex sex.

      The facts are: Some heterosexuals engage in gay sex, but that doesn't make them homosexual.
      Some homosexuals are heterosexually married and have children, but that doesn't take away their same-sex attraction.

      The original question was whether or not Jesus would associate with gay people, and I trust that you recognize that Jesus associates with all sinners in order to draw them to Himself. Note that,

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

      There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. (Ministry of Healing, p. 143)

      I suspect that you may be uncomfortable with my suggestion that homosexual sex is sin like any other sin, and you conclude that I don't take homosexual sex seriously enough. But that's not the case. I think we don't take our sins seriously enough. Instead we like to look at other people's sins and think we are just a little better, thus committing the sin of spiritual pride. And that's the very sin that makes us nearly impervious to the grace of God - the only thing that will save anybody.

      Like(7)
  17. Yes. Jesus WOULD hang out with gay people. He would hear when they call, He would meet with them, He would eat with them and certainly --He would never pass them by.
    Jesus loves us all so very much..... He loves us, accepts us, forgives all of our sin no matter what that might be. He does however, come into our 'hearts home' and rearranges the furniture-- actually He throws an awful lot of it away.
    If I were a kleptomaniac, nymphomaniac, homicidal maniac, greedy, full of pride...etc.... Jesus would love me indeed, but He would tell me to step away from my sin.
    I notice that this issue of acceptance in the churched community seems to have ramped up in response to the ramping up of the gay agenda in the media. We need to remain steadfast in showing the love of Christ to all people but, be equally resolute in standing up for the principles of the Bible.
    Isn't it interesting that Christians are becoming the counter-culture in the world. Quickly we have become the ones described as unaccepting,
    unloving, intolerant. Christianity is becoming the new ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE. Let us remember whose ground we are on and what is at stake for each one of us . Pray, submit, pray some more.

    Like(5)
    • I think Jesus would have eaten and been in the company of gay people. Everybody lives with a choice. If discover that they are gay, they have to make a choice. Keep up the lifestyle or change. It might take some time but God able to give power to overcome.

      I had a close childhood friend that I think was gay, the sister is still living, both were church people too. I did not handle this discovery well.

      A former SDA that turned out to be gay and the friend was a Marine and another race too.

      We all need prayer.

      Like(2)
  18. Many of the comments under this blog post have touched on appropriate relationships between people, and in that spirit, I recommend this vesper presentation by Pastor Michael Kelly at Oakwood University on Relationships, Opposite Sex, Same Sex, Homosexuality and ... Among other things, he deals with the relationship between David and Jonathan.

    This is aimed at young adults, and if you do not appreciate "real" language regarding relationships, please don't bother to view this video.

    While Michael explains the causes of homosexuality a bit differently than I do, he does recognize that biological and environmental factors work together to form a homosexual orientation. I appreciate his final point - that we need safe environments for life change to take place. Unfortunately most churches currently do not offer such an environment for persons dealing with sexuality issues.

    Apparently we expect people to change before they come to church! If we have the mind of Jesus, we will make our churches safe to come with their troubles.

    Like(5)
  19. Here's a great commentary written by Willie and Elaine Oliver on dealing with an issue of a gay wedding. It is called, "The Wedding Invitation" from the "Relationship Rx" column in the July/August 2013 issue of Message Magazine. It is a response to the question of how to treat an invitation to a wedding of two gay partners.

    Like(2)
  20. On working with homosexuals. As a retired pastor I think back to when I worked with gay men. They begged me to baptize them into the church and would cry like a baby when I turned them down. It was heart wrenching to say the lease.

    I believed then and now that we must show loving care to all who wish to come to Christ. We must treat them as Christ would. In His ministry Jesus would say. "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more." I believe that that concept still applies today. However it is not our place to decide just what the outcome should be in individual cases.

    I turned those folks down because they - for whatever reason - decided to not apply that statement of Jesus.

    Like(2)
    • Glenn, I believe we are all agreed that we need to surrender our lives to Jesus. But I'm wondering what you understand by applying "the statement of Jesus." Could you please explain?

      Have you not sinned since you were baptized?

      Like(1)
    • Dear Glenn,

      Where does the work of the Holy Spirit fit in with your decision, not to tender to His flock and allow Him to work out His life in him or her, rather than for you and I to decide how an individual should comply with "that" statement? In Hebrews 5 it talks about our spiritual immaturity, so I take from this, our walk with Jesus is about growing in him, from a "milk to solids" experience, coping with change that the Holy Spirit will effect in our lives, if we let him, gradually. But, it is the individual choice, a gift from God, to make that change. So, to turn anyone away from Jesus in the manner you describe, I would ask the question, where does the Holy Spirit fit into making such a decision? If as a disciple, with our witness modelled on Jesus example, would He have done the same?

      God Bless, ulalei

      Like(0)
  21. "but simon didn't know what GOD and JESUS are really like-kind and merciful. Simon thought that Homosexuals should be pointed out and avoided' Messiah pg. 309 (paraphrased)

    It is distressing to me to see many comments that think gays are different from them. Somehow Jesus would be avoiding them or gays themselves would run the other way if JESUS is seen coming down the dusty roads of Palestine.

    Have theses people even met the real JESUS? Ellen White has some very direct comments on how Christians should act towards sinners( HOMOSEXUALS).

    I want to say to all the gay people here (Christian or not) to not to listen to such foolishness. It is the devil's plan for you to place no hope in CHRIST. And the devil will even use CHRIST's CHILDREN, if he can, to turn you all away. JESUS is full of non-condemnation and love for you. HE would have died for you even if you were the only Homosexual on earth. God is not ruled by our culture or prejudices or fears or ignorance. Please take that into consideration when reading the comments.

    Like(3)
  22. I've read the many comments, and the question that I am asking, is this really about mingling with Gay people? or is this an acceptance of Gay people coming to church, and church fully accepting that this gay couple who is legally married should be accepted in the fellowship and be able to practice and live their lives like any other married couple? Because if the question was straightforward as mingling with gays, Jesus would have no problem dealing with that, cause he loves all mankind regardless of their status, but make no joke, he does not tolerate gay or heterosexual sins. SO should gays come to church as a couple or if they are dating, and be accepted fully in the fellowship?

    Like(0)
    • Hi Elizabeth,

      My concern is that we demonstrate the love of God to gay people the way Jesus did.

      Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

      There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p. 143)

      Among other things, this would mean that we minister to their needs and demonstrate that we love them before trying to tell them what they ought to do.

      I am not advocating changing our church membership policy.

      You wrote,

      but make no joke, he does not tolerate gay or heterosexual sins

      It seems to me that Christ does not cast us off when we are still full of sins. Instead, He draws us close to Himself and cleans us up when we submit our will to His. (We need to remember that the sin of pride is every bit as hateful to him as sexual sins. Ellen White likened the sin of gossip to cannibalism, and that sin does not seem to be absent in the church.)

      To your specific inquiry re gays coming to church "as a couple," I say, praise the Lord that they do come! And do your best to demonstrate the love of God to them and minister to their needs. When you have established a basis of friendship, and they ask for baptism, then is the time to go through the baptismal vows one by one and ask if they will surrender their own desires in favor of God's requirements. The same rules apply to all who asks for baptism.

      On the other hand, no one is to be excluded from attending our worship services on the basis of the amount of sin in their lives (as if we could judge accurately). Our churches are supposed to be hospitals for sinners, and they can only be that if we recognize our responsibility to minister the love of Jesus to all who come.

      Like(4)
  23. I understand the use of the statement of Christ when He said to go and sin no more. That applies to you and me today. Of course we cannot judge others - that is not our job here on earth. However if an individual openly decided not to follow the teachings of Christ and His word, it would be wise to allow them to make their decision for themselves.

    Like(1)
    • Hi Glenn,

      Thank you for your reply. I believe you meant this as a reply to my reply to your previous comment. Now I just want to make sure I understand what you required of those gay men who asked for baptism.

      In the case of gay people, if they refuse to surrender themselves fully to Christ, including their sexuality, that would, indeed, mean that they are not ready for baptism, and it would not be right to baptize them.

      However, you wrote,

      They begged me to baptize them into the church and would cry like a baby when I turned them down.

      That did not sound like rebellion to me, and I was wondering what you required of them. I will share a bit of my experience with gay people below.

      I have known gay couples who lived together for many years, while being faithful to God's sexual standards. One couple lived together for over 35 years before one partner died. They had actually owned a couple of gay bars in San Francisco. One of them was a former Adventist who had been rather badly treated and misguided by the church and then plunged into life in the gay community. When he could resist the call of God no longer, he came back to the church and brought his Roman Catholic partner with him. The church accepted the sincerity of their profession, without requiring them to split up their assets and live on separate properties. They served the church faithfully for years before the original Adventist man died. I can see how they might have been placed in a real dilemma if the pastor who baptized them had required them to split up and split up their assets as a requirement for baptism. (That would be the pastor's personal interpretation of biblical standards, rather than a biblical requirement.) As it was, I knew the couple for years, and I know that they kept each other faithful. The love and respect they had for each other actually prevented them from engaging in sex.

      The congregation did not regularly ask them whether they were living celibately. (They were.) We do not regularly ask our heterosexual members whether they are living in sexual purity, including abstention from pornography. (And pornography would surely fall into the category of lusting.) We leave it as a matter between them and God. There is no reason to have a different standard for those with a homosexual orientation.

      I know of another two gay men who do not advertise themselves as a "gay couple" but simply call each other friends. Due to the financial hardship of one of them, they are currently sharing housing. It is the best solution for them both. Yet some would consider them "living in sin" simply because they are both homosexually oriented. I don't believe God sees them that way. He sees not only at the choices in their lives, but also the intention of their hearts. And I believe that they may be closer to His heart than some of us more conventional Adventists.

      Like(6)
  24. To me one of the best examples of how Jesus treated sinners is the way He treated Judas. Perhaps one of the most outstanding things is that He never openly rebuked Judas even though He could have (Jn 12:6). There is more to the story though. While He never pointed fingers He did rebuke Judas personally when he complained about Mary’s anointing of Jesus but He did so in a way that the other disciples didn’t perceive it.

    For the purposes of this thread I think we need to understand that while He was painfully kind to Judas He did so for many reasons especially when it came to the other disciples’ respect of Judas. Jesus adhered to His own advice, “The servants said to him,`Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said,`No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest’” (Mat 13:28-30 NKJV).

    What Jesus did do was to mildly discourage Judas at the beginning when he was in the process of joining the group as Ellen White said:

    While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, “Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:19, 20
    Judas believed Jesus to be the Messiah; and by joining the apostles, he hoped to secure a high position in the new kingdom. This hope Jesus designed to cut off by the statement of His poverty.
    The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly. (The Desire of Ages, p. 293.2-293.1)

    To me that is the same as welcoming sinners to church but requiring a bit more to join the church through baptism. It also says that we are not to bring unrepentant sinners into full fellowship until there is some sign of repentance and that is where I see the relationship of the gay community to the church.

    Like(3)
  25. Glenn, I would like to ask one very pointed question concerning the discussion you and Inge are having for the sake of clarification.

    You said that even though the gay people begged you to baptize them you came to the decision not to honor their request. My question is exactly what was it that brought you to that decision? In other words was it something they said or did or was it something having to do solely with a particular theological position on your part? Or was it a little of both?

    Like(4)
  26. Thanks, Grace, for pointing us to this interview with Rosaria Butterfield. She reminds me so much of a dear friend that it was a delight to watch the interview.

    It's a good counterpoint to the Seventh-Gay Adventist movie. :)

    Like(1)
  27. In your post its mentioned that, "God who wants nothing more than to see us happy, healthy and holy – both here and in the hereafter."
    True , "Happy is the people who's God is the lord" And as far as the healthy and holy, "...forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases..." Psalm 144:15 and 103:2,3 respectively.
    Isn't that what Jesus came to do? John 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." speaking of those that were once in sin, and were now free from it.
    1Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 'effeminate', nor 'abusers of themselves' with mankind (homosexuals, as they had no such term back then), Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
    "And such 'were' some of you:" They were once a certain way, but now they have been changed. Surrendered to God.
    ! Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be 'in' Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."There is hope for any one who is slave to sin. Romans 6:2, "... How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
    That's what Jesus did on the cross, He crucified the sin nature, so we don't have to live in it any longer. "How shall we?" Big question! Here's the answer! We should not live any longer, 'therein'. This is the way to get these "three blessings"of happy, healthy and holy. Because we have the new creation way of living now, thanks to the 'Cross'. Romans 4:25, "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." Nailed to the tree and rose from the dead, securing our (just as if I never sinned) position. For without both ingredients, ! Corinthians 15:17, would be a grim reality, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins."
    But we believe the gospel record that He rose from the dead, and forever lives. So we are now dead to sin and no longer servants of it. John 8:34, Jesus said, "Truly I say unto you, whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin."
    Why did Jesus come, to "hang out"? Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life,.." John 10:10.

    Like(0)
    • Thanks for your comment, Don. It is helpful to remember that language and concepts have changed. When we mention gay people/homosexuals today, we are referring to people who are intrinsically attracted to their own sex, rather than the opposite sex - even if they are virgins. In other words, the term does not necessarily imply sexual activity or even sexual fantasy. It is just a statement of sexual orientation, just like "heterosexual" is.

      In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives a very hopeful message - that it is possible for those who once engaged in immorality of various kinds to be "washed, sanctified, and justified." That message is for you and me with our sinful nature as well as those for whom a homosexual orientation is part of their sinful nature.

      Did you take the opportunity to view the vesper presentation by Pastor Michael Kelly at Oakwood University on Relationships, Opposite Sex, Same Sex, Homosexuality and ... on Youtube? If not, I recommend that you do. His presentation is quite balanced.

      Like(1)

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