This has been adapted, modified, and edited. I wrote this blog post about 3 years ago. It shows part of my experience in accepting what being gay meant, and what it meant for my relationship with God.
So. I guess this kind of was on my mind today. I know that title seems very obvious. It seems obvious because people identify themselves as gay all the time. But there has always been a question of whether they “actually” exist. Meaning, do they actually just choose to be gay? Or do they develop into being gay? Or did God create them gay? Did God intend for them to be gay? and if he did, then why is it a sin for them to pursue who God created them to pursue?
Before I “knew” any gay people (I know, and am convinced I know gay people who just didn’t come out to me for various reasons), my thought was always that seems so unnatural.
Homosexuals are ‘unnatural’
The reason homosexuality felt unnatural, and the idea of it disgusted me was because I was always told I was going to marry a man, we were all going to find a person of the opposite gender and marry them. Then life would be beautiful and satisfying. Therefore, when I think of women marrying women, it felt uncomfortable and strange, because in the culture I grew up in, it was.
This started to change when I took this class in college called Sociology of Sexuality. In this class we discussed how genders are actually cultural and social constructs. Meaning, that aside from the obvious biological differences between a man and a woman, what makes a man “manly” or a woman “womanly” is all just what the culture says it is. Our culture says the color blue is for boys, pink is for girl. Trucks are for boys, dolls are for girls. Girls can cry, boys can’t cry. This is because of American cultures’ influence on us, and our fitting of people in boxes.
We also read a book called “The End of Sexual Identity” which discussed the spectrum of sexual identity and how the lines are really blurred as far as sexual identity. Meaning, you may feel like you need to fit into being strictly straight or gay, but there is a spectrum that starts from straight and ends at gay. So you could be “straight” but potentially have some attraction to the same sex. Which means you aren’t fully straight, but not gay either. Our society likes things all neatly packaged in little boxes such as “straight”, “bisexual” or “gay” each which mean 3 clearly different things. But humans are much more complex than that and therefore not all of us fit into those three categories neatly. Most of us actually force ourselves into those boxes.
This discussion and reading of the book really challenged my view of God and whether or not he could create a homosexual. Obviously, prior to reading this, I believed that being gay was just a choice. Slowly I started to question “who would ever choose to be gay? Not because it’s awful or terrible, but just because life is so much easier if you just fit in the box that society tells you to fit into- being straight”. The other problem with choosing to be gay is: did straight people choose to be straight then? I started thinking about Adam and Eve, and how they were the first “marriage”. Some people think that Adam and Eve were the only two humans on earth at that time, but then where did all the other people come from when God destroyed the earth? Also, I started thinking about the animals and how God only saved one of each gender when he destroyed the earth with the flood. I questioned whether homosexuality was present in the ‘natural’ world with animals, which it is. It’s interesting because sexuality is actually very diverse in the natural world outside of humans. Why was it so constricted to heterosexuality in our own world?
Did God create Gay People?
We all have personality traits, ideas, thoughts, desires, and passions. I personally don’t think that I picked these traits. As if I had a line up of ideas or thoughts and chose what I wanted my strengths to be, desires to be, or passions to be. I believe that these gifts, strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits were given to me by God. I believe that my desires and passions were not choices, but rather through God’s work and developing me to be more like Christ, he’s instilled those passions and desires within me.
For example, one of my passions is to see brokenness restored. Through my family, through growing up around special needs kids, through God’s work in changing my heart and bringing me out of depression, I desire to see the brokenness of this world restored. I have eyes to see the world the way it is and I want to see restoration. I don’t think that that desire came from within me and myself. I believe that was God’s plan to give me that passion. I think God created me for a purpose and I think that everything he created within me has a purpose as well.
I started thinking about God, who he is aside from the creation of homosexuals. One big thing that I realized about God is his creativity. I mean, look at anyone around you. The hair, the the eyes, nose, height, skin color, hair color, and that’s literally just scratching the surface. On top of that, think about God’s creativity in creating personality, thoughts, thinking patterns, dreams, aspirations, desires, loves, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Could he not extend his creativity to those who are attracted to the same sex? It just didn’t make sense to me that that was the one place where God cut off his creativity- in creating only straight people.
Homosexuality is a Sin and a Choice
I also thought that homosexuality was just a sin that you either indulged in or you didn’t indulge in. Like alcoholism, pornography, drugs, etc. This is what I was taught. That it’s just a temptation that we must abstain from and avoid at all costs. But I don’t believe God makes alcoholics, drug addicts, porn addicts, etc. I don’t believe God is like well this person is going to be an alcoholic, this person is going to be a drug addict, and this person is going to be gay. I believe that those sins are sins chosen by people. They fall into those sins where gays don’t know of a time that they weren’t attracted to the same sex. Taking the example of alcoholism, alcoholics have the hope of knowing they haven’t always been an alcoholic. Gays don’t. Gay people have always been gay, it’s not like all of a sudden they began “indulging” in being attracted to the same-sex.
I don’t want to shut this down too hard, because this is ‘Side B’ of the homosexuality debate, and there are very good Biblical reasons supporting it. I’ve realized that the Side A and Side B are more of personal decisions for each side. But my struggle with Side B is that I compared alcoholism, pornography, drugs, lying, and any other sin to same-sex, committed relationships, and there really is no comparison. Not only is alcoholism shameful to admit, most alcoholics aren’t willing to admit it. For homosexuals, admitting that you are LGBTQ is actually freeing to admit.
I also had to think about sin. What does sin do? It destroys. It destroys something. Your physical body, your spiritual relationship with God, the relationships around you, whatever it is, it leaves you alone, stranded, and broken. Why then, when I would say “I’m bisexual, attracted to men and women” did I feel free and more full? Why did I feel like my relationship to God was deeper because I was able to accept his love for me to my bones, not just what I thought was right and wrong?
Sins also make sense. It makes logical sense to not tell a lie, to not hate someone, to not get drunk all the time or do drugs, to not seek God first in your life. Those sins make sense. There is never a time where you can be an alcoholic and not destroy something. But homosexuality and having a committed, same-sex relationship with someone doesn’t destroy your body, it could destroy your relationship with God (I’d argue that would partially have to do with how the church reacts to homosexuality today…). But all in all, being gay does not destroy anything. Basically, I don’t see how homosexuality could be destructive aside from any other straight relationship. A straight relationship could be considered a sin as well if put in the right context. I struggled to find the real difference between a straight relationship and a same sex relationship. Any destruction a same-sex relationship could do was the same destruction a straight relationship could do.
I’m not asking you to change your mind, nor am I asking you to read this blindly. I’m asking you to see another side, to understand the possibilities of other ideas that maybe you weren’t taught growing up, or maybe that the church historically hasn’t embraced. God is beyond all of that- beyond the church, the other possibilities. He is the mastermind behind us, his creation, and he is vastly greater than we could ever imagine. Could he not have created a diverse group of people with different desires, loves, passions, and thoughts?
Whether you want to ignore the ostracized gay community of this world, or embrace them for who they are, they exist and there really is nothing you can do to get rid of them. God created them that way, and God has a plan for each of them, just like he has a plan for you. For some that may mean celibacy, for some that may mean seeking same-sex relationships, but either way they are there. There is a reason they are here, and God is calling us to love them with his love no matter what you think about them as people. He has called us to love, the greatest commandment and often the most challenging commandment- to love one another.