10/14/08

Lesbian Apologetics: A Bible Study

by: Sinnerviewer

Without going into detail about my life story, I at least want to start by saying I have had a 16 year experience steeped in evangelical Christianity. Part of me trying to “fix” myself was seeking some help from God. He didn’t “fix” me. One of my old pastors told me, as I was being branded an apostate, that it was because I didn’t pray sincerely enough. The truth, in fact, was that I spent every single day in prayer, often on my face in tears, begging for Him to make me "normal".

God didn't fix me because I wasn’t broken. God made me this way and He doesn’t make mistakes.

Sadly, my coming out involved my church announcing my "sin" in a public worship service that the leadership felt would be good to have my children attend. They weren’t even going to tell me about it. I found out and had my Dad take my kids to his cabin for the weekend so that they didn’t have to be there.


I knew I needed to know more about why these people, who all used to be very good friends of mine, were not only not speaking to me, but even lying about me in court so that I would lose custody of my kids. What makes them believe that being gay makes you a bad person and not fit to be a parent, even after those people used to say that I was the best mother they knew – one even asking me to take her 5 children in the event of her death? Why did they feel the need to disfellowship me in a public service instead of just letting me resign as a member?

I had a nice meeting one day with a sweet pastor of an open and affirming church. This pastor gave me a book by Daniel A. Helminiak called “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality”. I was told that the book was a little bit “brainy” and “dry” but I did not find it that way. After all, I had been studying systematic theology for several years trying to make sense of my faith the way that the evangelical churches that I went to were presenting it.

Reading the book has given me a righteous indignation about how the Bible is continuously misinterpreted. Not only in the past, but right now and on a daily basis. It also makes me furious for God that so many people are too lazy to study the Bible for themselves, but believe what they hear being preached and then go act out the hatred that they are taught to perpetuate because they think they are pleasing God. They think that rejecting me and my friendship will please God because the "theology" they learn teaches them to ignore what Jesus called the second greatest commandment: to love others as much as you love yourself.

In a nutshell, the literal interpreters are extremely reluctant to accept any historical context if it changes a scripture’s meaning from what they are used to it being. When something doesn't fit a literal interpretation, they will use the historical/cultural context as an excuse not to take it literally (such as ignoring Jesus telling people to gouge out their eyes if they lust). Otherwise, if they can use it to their advantage, they will literally interpret.

An example: Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

These verses are what the early church used to justify burning “heretics” at the stake for trying to teach that the world was really round, not flat. The church argued that “the earth was formless” meant that it was flat. To admit that it might be round would have discredited them among the uneducated and they would lose power.

Now that we have proof that the earth is not flat, the church has accepted it as round and we no longer kill people for saying so. Still, they are not willing to accept new scientific or historical evidence that sheds light on certain scriptures because the meaning changes and it messes up their systematic theology and they would have to admit that they are not right about everything.

I am going to be writing a series of articles for you all to read about what their arguments are in the Bible against homosexuality. Then, I am going to show you why God loves you just the way you are and how you can have an intelligent debate that should get them to stop and think about what they believe and why they believe it. I will try to have them once a week until we work our way through each argument. I will be using a lot of this book as my jump-off point so if you’d like to read along, go grab yourself a copy and read along with me.

When we finish and you have kept up, you should be able to deliver some serious lesbian apologetics to any person who believes in a literal interpretation of scriptures. You should be able to, in a spirit of love, reach out to them and help them become more loving and gentle, just as Jesus would be. And if you can’t, at least you’ll force them to run back to their pastor (instead of their Bible) and ask some questions so that they don’t look like a fool again.

Don’t miss any of these “lessons” – subscribe to Lesbiatopia today.

22 comments:

Fiesty Charlie said...

Can't wait to walk with your for awhile on this journey. You are just the tops in my book and I love you the way God made you.

Sweet Melissa said...

My Christian background caused me to stay closeted & struggle internally year after year. I'm so glad you're educating everyone on this. I know it made me feel better to hear the way the word has been twisted.

Smart chicks are so hot...especially mine. ;)

~Sweet Melissa

Teresita said...

Don't forget, when you address Romans 1:26 where Paul calls lesbianism unnatural, that he goes on to call long hair for men unnatural also, which is funny given the traditional image of Christ as a long-haired dude.

Renee Gannon said...

This is an excellent article and I completely agree with you on all points made. There is an incredible documentary called "For the Bible Tells Me So" which explores that ways that conservative Christians have continuously misinterpreted and misused the Bible against Homosexuality to support their own justifications that it is wrong.

I very much look forward to your articles and I think they will be a welcomed addition to the site. Anything that can broadens people's outlook on spirituality, in any aspect, is always a step in the right direction.

Jess said...

I read that book back in the late 90s when I first came out. What a great little book!

I'm not a Christian, but was raised in the church and once feared that I was damned to hades for being gay. I no longer have any religious beliefs or affiliations, but recommend this book to any LGBT Christians out there who need some reassurance.

Anonymous said...

A seminal GBLTQ theologian is John J. McNeill, who literally 'wrote the book' on Queer Theology. He has a number of books out. He is a former Jesuit Priest, and a Doctor of Philosophy and a Doctor of Psychology. His most recent writings are quite phenomenal and not only claim that folks who do not fit into binary sexualities are not just children of God, but chosen to spread God's word of love and inclusion. Check him out, you will be amazed at this prophet's insights.

Wayne John said...

This is exactly why I think everyone should just keep their religion to themselves. There are too many people in this world that will do this because they feel the NEED to or HAVE to, when in fact they really don't.

Thanks for bringing the religious double-standard to your blog. I'm looking forward to a good church bashing, since that is really what they need. A good spanking.

Anonymous said...

Cool. I'm looking forward to reading the whole series.

Wouldn't it be nice if the series were picked up by a mainstream publication and it could become a public dialogue?

This is an important discussion and I appreciate its being addressed.

- Dasein9

Liz said...

I am so excited to see this! I am a devote Christian and the dealing with being gay is hard at times. I think if this all goes well I will reccomend that my Christian friends read this book when I start coming out to them more and more.

Nulaanne said...

This is a good topic that you have brought up. I to was raised evanjelical Christian, and have had a hard time dealing with being a lesbian. I am one of the churches worst nightmares, I read and question and study everything they try and a put out there. I have been asked not to come back to a few churches because of that. I am looking forward to reading these articals.

Anonymous said...

I dunno...
I sorta turned my back on Christianity--not because of my sexuality, but just because of the Bible in general.
But that's me.
I'm glad you've found a way to be you as well as Christian. :)

Awake In Rochester said...

I'm sorry that you had such a difficult time with your Christian community. It must have been heart breaking. Some Christians need a reminded not to "cast the first stone". Jn 8:7

I have the same book by Daniel A. Helminiak. It's the best book that I have read on the subject. It is simple, straight forward, but covers the main points.

Anonymous said...

The word also says to hate the sin but love the sinner. What your doing is still a sin, and yes God still loves you. But God cannot live with sin. He will love you but he can't call you his own if you don't change your ways.

Sweet Melissa said...

I often wonder if any of our gay peeps frequent church websites to leave comments. It seems there are so many so called, "straight" folks that frequent gay sites in the name of religion & leave anonymous comments. Intersting isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I have been in a relationship for the past 4 years. I am a firm believer in my religion, but I'm not all gung-ho about it. My partner recently decided that she no longer wanted to be sexually active because of our religion. Our intimate moments together made it all seem more special. I feel like there's an emptiness inside me and nothing feels the same. Could someone give me some feedback? Sorry to babble!

Thanks

Kathy said...

Thank you so much for your article! It reminds me that I'm not the only one who has gone through similar experiences.

Being sent to a heaven filled with self-righteous bigots would be eternal punishment for me!

p.s. there are several great sources on the internet showing what the original context and meaning were in Aramaic/Greek!

Anonymous said...

Leviticus 20:13

King James Bible
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV): "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind it is abomination."

Romans 1:24-32:





24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

http://bible.com/bibleanswers_result.php?id=246

Rev.Mark Alan Pendergraft

Sinnerviewer said...

Thank you, Rev. Pendergraft, for illustrating my point. That was PERFECT!

Anonymous said...

I think the question is fairly meaningful, and I don't mean to disparage your argument, but I think you might want to question the scientific evidence you're finding.

The scientific evidence that people are 'born gay' is actually evidence that people can be born with a predisposition or drive towards homosexuality. Whether or not that is true does not impact the morality of the act.

The reason I argue this, is that there are a number of predisposed genetic behaviors which are without a doubt sinful. Examples would include alcoholism, rape, and violence.

It would be fair for me to mention at this point that I struggle with inborn drives as well. I have a psychological condition which remains undiagnosed, but is borderline between sociopathy and autistic spectrum disorder.

Either way, I have an incredibly difficult time connecting with people, and often have difficulty empathizing. I have rage issues, when stimuli hit me the wrong way, and sometimes I lash out at people for no reason.

But no matter how hard it is, I have no excuse for those behaviors. It is vitally important that God made me this way, but not because it condones my behavior. It means that God has given me this challenge to overcome, and that He has chosen to challenge me to make something better of myself than what the world tells me I'll become.

I've been afraid, recently, that I'll find out I'm a sociopath. That my symptoms will match clearly... I go back and forth on what I truly am.

But no matter what my condition is, I have no excuse before God. Genetic, predisposed, whatever, I am who I am.

I'm not saying that your desires are like my rage. I am saying that just because you were born 'like that' doesn't mean it's okay. It just means that YOU are okay. Which is a pretty nice thing to know, I guess. :)

As far as arguments for the irrelevancy of particular verses in the Bible... that's really up to you to decide. Just be careful.

Anonymous said...

The bible literally says being gay is an abomination.
And quite frankly, it'd be hard to misinterpreted that.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

There it directly states that homosexuals will not get into heaven.
What say you now?

Sinnerviewer said...

The fact that you want to know what I say leads me to believe that you are likely a very lonely person who needs attention and that perhaps your walk with the Lord isn't as fulfilling to you as you might have hoped it would be.

The Bible says to put a knife to your throat if you're given to gluttony (Prov. 23:2). Do they allow people who are overweight in your church or do you urge them to obey the scriptures and kill themselves? Do you call for laws to ensure that a woman is a virgin on her wedding night or be put to death? That's also in the Bible. So is killing disrespectful kids. Where do you stand on these issues? Or do you recognize that some of these Biblical mandates are not the will of God but rather cultural norms of those ancient times?

I know it's much easier to listen to your pastor preach the simplistic message of "God said it. I believe it. That settles it." because it absolves you of any responsibility to attempt to read the scriptures in light of cultural and historical context. Who would not prefer to just be a parrot and squawk what someone who you think is smarter than you says each Sunday and hope that it gets you another jewel in your crown when you get to Heaven? But please consider this:

1 Corinthinas 13:13 says "And now these 3 remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." If you really believe that gays are going to hell, why not help their lives here be a little bit nicer by not being so hateful towards them because God chose to create them differently? That verse says that LOVE is GREATER than FAITH. Stop being a pharasee and go hug a gay!

Anonymous said...

Sinnerviewer,

There is so much you overlook and misunderstand about The Bible, your last post jumped from one part of the Bible to the next without The Understanding of its meaning or point. Do not think gay people are the only ones who must repent meaning to put away their sins, in other words stop being with the same sex or go to hell. So many are just inline and as bad as being gay, Christian Women who think they are divorced yet their One and Only Husband is still alive they are as if they sleep with a new partner everyday as they have no right to marry anyone but Their First less he is no more. I say this with all my heart and all my love, Repent and drop to your needs and Obey GOD. I Love you all. Amen.

Rev.Mark Alan Pendergraft
Church of Theater Arts
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Church-of-Theater-Arts/169665813079317

Note: Christ said forgive and Love but I will say till you repent your heart changes and you Do GOD'S WILL you will not see HEAVEN and hell will be your path. I Pray that you all hear my words and seek GOD'S TRUTH and are SAVED. Amen.

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