Do 7 Bible Quotes Really Support Homosexuality? Don’t Believe It

bible-quotes-gayBy Joe Perez

Whoever headlined this video “7 Bible Quotes In Support Of Same Sex Relationships, By Arielle Scarcella And Matthew Vines” ought to be just a little bit ashamed. Maybe it was the editors at HuffPo, not Arielle or Matthew (I don’t know). Not a single one of the supposed quotes is actually what it is purported to be, and if the gay movement is ever going to change minds and convince religionists then throwing out sensational but misleading content up online is not the smartest thing to do.

Don’t believe me? Check out the video and judge for yourself. Plainly there are no verses which say “Gay marriage? A-Okay!”, just notions that if you buy into them all give you a few reasons to take the Bible’s anti-gay passages with more of a grain of salt. For instance, you have probably heard that the Bible’s story of Sodom and Gomorrah probably wasn’t really about condemning gay sex. That’s true. But the notion that the story actually supports gay rights or same-sex marriage is bizarre.

The title “7 Bible-based Reasons Why Same Sex Relationships Aren’t the Sin Described by Contemporary Christians” would have been a better choice. Some people really benefit from this sort of discussion, though I have to admit that I haven’t been personally all that  interested in this topic in over 20 years. Even in my spiritual autobiography Soulfully Gay I do not discuss the topic of what the Bible says about homosexuality in more than a sentence or two. And I am  (a self-identified Integral) Christian.

Why is this? In a nutshell, once you accept the premise of spiritual evolution — that humankind’s spiritual and religious expressions evolve over time and Spirit is the source and telos of our collective evolution — then the notion that the Bible got some things wrong or said some things that are not acceptable to us today is perfectly fine in a sense. It would be more than amazing if a 2,000 or 3,000 year-old book mirrored our current understanding of topics such as slavery, women’s rights, democracy, or gay rights — in fact it would be IMPOSSIBLE. No book from antiquity in ANY culture has ever mirrored our modern world’s current views of social ethics or personal ethics because those views simply had not yet evolved in the collective consciousness.

I take it for granted that the Bible is a source of great wisdom and as an act of faith I accept that it is unique and estimable revelation of God, but I do not hold it to an impossible standard. Therefore I don’t need to strain to read patently anti-gay or homophobic Bible passages as “really” secretly pro-gay and homosexual-loving stories in disguise. That is not necessary to believe at all, and attempts by some well-intentioned gay writers to force a neat modern perspective into a premodern mold have never been fully persuasive in my view. In fact they’re a bit offensive.

At best, arguments such as Vines’s can help people to see that the Bible is actually silent about contemporary questions of sexual ethics because our notions of sexual orientation and identity have arisen in a different historical context. It’s important to understand that, but silence does not equal approval or support. If people wrote books explaining that the Bible really didn’t condone slavery, people would balk. The Bible condoned slavery. Accept that fact and evolve your faith if you find it disturbing.

Whatever you choose to believe about whether the Bible condemns homosexuality or not, accept the notion that human consciousness evolves and you soon lose your attachment to “proving” that you are right about the Bible and other people are wrong. You can accept that the Bible contains error according to our contemporary views because all books of antiquity have error when you attempt to hold them up to modern standards. Either Spirit is alive in the world and guiding us into fuller truth or it isn’t. That is the key choice of faith, not proving that this is so or that is so according to texts in one of dozens of ancient holy scriptures and classical masterpieces.

As a Christian who comes to his faith from an Integral and Evolutionary approach, I choose to believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding humankind into a greater and fuller and deeper Love for all beings and understanding of gays as having equal dignity. And my spirituality is not limited to Christian understandings, so I believe that Spirit is evolving within all religions and secular/scientific philosophies as well. What do you believe?

About Joe Perez

Chief Blogger, Gay Spirituality. Joe Perez is a Seattle-based author, blogger, poet, language creator, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Integral Wisdom. His spiritual memoir Soulfully Gay is published by Integral Books/Shambhala. He is an Honors graduate of Harvard University and has earned a Certificate in Integral Leadership from Pacific Integral. [Full Bio].

  • Jason Fair

    Thank you, Joe, for this well-written, thoughtful, and appropriate article!! I currently play piano/keyboard on a worship team at a Free Methodist Church in Oil City, PA (where recently the ban on gay marriage was finally lifted!!). As you said, I too am a self-identified Christian, and, would add, all religions. I find it hard in the world we live in today, as divisions/borders/separations between members of the human race are dissolving, to constrict myself to one set of prescribed “beliefs.” I try to adhere to the main teaching of Jesus Christ: LOVE EVERYONE!! As a gay man attending and actively involved in a Christian church, this article was breath of fresh air, clarifying some of my own beliefs and helping me to articulate them. The Free Methodist denomination has been at the head of the line supporting equal rights (in fact, anti-slavery is how “Free” was added to its name), such as race and gender, but has dropped the ball when it comes to the LGBTQ community. As I mentioned, the new gay marriage law is sure to spark some debate, and hopefully, loving discussion on this topic. Thanks again for sharing your Light and Truth!!

    Much love,
    Jason Fair

  • Liar In Chief

    Don’t be deceived by this guy or anyone else that states homosexuality isn’t a sin because it is. The devil uses people too just as God does to speak things.

    • Matt Leary

      Just like wearing mixed fabrics, getting tattoos, or growing your hair, maybe it should considered something that was fulfilled by Christ’s sacrifice. The Law of Christ is Love.

  • Bob Rowe

    God is immutable. He does not evolve or change. Christians are called to “die to ourselves” and the Word of God sets a standard of sexual purity for ALL believers. None of it is easy. If you are not willing to put your homosexuality on the cross along with all your behaviors in order to follow Christ you do not understand His calling. This article just rationalizes your behavior which is clearly more important for you to cleave to than the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. I accompany this comment with a prayer for your soul.

    • Matt Leary

      Maintaining silence isn’t easy, either.