I feel like I have had this conversation more times than I can count. When I really think about it though, these ideas have only passed through my lips on three, maybe four, occasions. Please don’t think that this is unexplored, though. I have spent a great deal of time turning this around in my mind to make sure that it does indeed fit in with my Christian faith. Before I get too far, I feel that it is important to note that this post does notd explore this idea in full. It is not intended to – I just want to clarify this idea for future discussion. For those familiar with this subject, I am sure that you will recognize the name of Wesley Hill. I have drawn much encouragement and information from his work which you can find here.
While cultural and Christian sentiment is changing, I still hear on a very regular basis that it is impossible for a person to be both a Christian and gay at the same time. I remember having that conversation with my first roommate in college. “A gay Christian cannot exist,” he said. “That just doesn’t work, because it isn’t natural.”
I was encouraged yesterday though, when younger Christian friend of mine said that he thought a Christian could actually be gay. That gives me hope that a true understanding for this subject is starting to come about. Now please, don’t get up in arms when I say that there can be such a thing as a “gay Christian.” I don’t mean what you are probably assuming. I choose to use the term “gay Christian” because it works much better in conversation. Let me explain myself.
No matter what I experience in this life, you will ever hear me say that living the homosexual lifestyle is right. I think it is impossible to explain away the parts of scripture that condemn it. (Romans 1:26,27; 1 Corinthians 6:9) Now please, I say this with love, understand my heart. Homosexuality is wrong; it is a sin.
However, there is still room in Christianity for someone who identifies as gay. There is one verse in particular that gives hope to us who are Christians but at the same time cannot deny our emotions for the same sex:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
This verse has become my mantra. “But such were some of you.” The Bible clearly condemns the homosexual lifestyle. But it does not condemn those who are tempted by it. In fact, it offers hope and encouragement: “But such were some of you.” I once read that “where you are is not who you are,” and that is true. As a born-again Christian, I have been (and often still am) at the place where I find other guys attractive. I’m not sure that I will ever get over that. I used to feel guilt for this. I remember many nights crying out to the ceiling – asking God why I had to deal with this. Why me? As cliché as that question sounds.
Now though, I can realize that my identity is not found in the things I am going through. My identity is found in my savior, Jesus Christ. While I may struggle with homosexual desires, I will not live them out – because I have been washed. I am new in Christ. My same-sex attraction does not define me.
So when I use the words “gay Christian” please understand it to be this: I am a Christian who has been washed by the blood of Christ. I condemn the homosexual lifestyle as wrong, but still face the reality that I am fallen and tempted by it. Christ has given all for me, and I am committing to give this part of myself to him.