I've been trying to accept my sexuality (gay) as a part of me for a while now, and it has had its ups and downs. On one hand, it's not exactly what I had in mind when I started out in life and and unfortunately I have had to give up a lot: A traditional marriage where everyone attends, having biological children with me as the father, etc. On the other hand, I'm eager to accept my sexuality while having to deal with as little bigotry as possible (even though it is inevitable). I am unsure of how much information I have collected from you, so, I'll just assume none of you are psychologists, (feel free to correct me), but let's continue.
How does one be religious and gay at the same time? You know how the saying goes, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it's probably a duck". Meaning, it's very easy for people to claim to be Christians without first acting like one, let alone being one.
The Bible is without a doubt the most translated book ever created, used to twist words and suit other religions to their liking. But, having come from a non-denominational church (one thing Metriko and I have in common) sadly, I have had to give up my religion and you may be wondering, well, isn't that a good thing? Christians are known for cherry picking scripture anyway, right?
Well, let's just say a verse stuck into my mind that I am scared will happen:
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (my fursona is a wolf, haha). By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
That large block of scripture there I guess is what keeping me from being close to my religion, if only because I have yet to see churches change their view on homosexuality. And while I could go to an LGBT church, the same rules apply there too. I dunno. I guess I'm just sad that I have to let my religion go and I had to accept something that contradicts most Christians' beliefs.
Is the Bible just there to... poison new generations' minds? Is it just not true? Should I just conform to atheism? I'm not sure, and it bugs me that I can't find out and don't know all the answers. Are all gay people destined for hell too? Is there even a hell at all? Am I just talking nonsense now? These are questions that remain unanswered just like the ultimate question of "Where do you go when you die?" is.
I know you're no expert in this kind of thing, especially since most gay people I have met tend to lean towards atheism, but if I could have some form of advice, I truly would be grateful for it. And if you can give me advice to go elsewhere then I will truly do that too. Thanks for hearing me out.
Thanks for your question! I should mention that this week's advice column is not written by Viro, but instead by his religious boyfriend, Leo! Because this is such a loaded question, I want to start by saying that I can only offer my personal advice and knowledge, and I do not claim to know all of the secrets of the universe.
There are a lot of arguments out there about whether or not God liked gay people, and neither side can really come up with any definitive argument either way. I’ll start by breaking down those first verses, because neither of them are about homosexuality.
The first is a verse warning Christians of deceit and lies from the enemy. For example, a Catholic priest who takes advantage of children is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” They seem like a good man of God on the outside, but they are truly committing awful sins.
The verse never accuses you of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but rather warns you to watch out for them. The second verse that you quoted is one that is very widely debated, not just in the gay community, but in the entirety of the Christian faith. How can someone who does God’s work, and proclaims their love for God not get into heaven? It is a disturbing thought for most Christians to think about.
I encourage you to research that verse, but one of the most widely accepted interpretations of it is that God was telling Christians to make sure their motives are pure. You can do everything right, but if you are not doing it for God, you may as well not be doing it at all. The Bible emphasizes countless times that God wants to have a relationship with all of his children. That is what he values most.
Which brings me to my next, and arguably most important point: It is the thing that parents teach their kids in Sunday School, but they always forget as soon as they walk out the door of their church. It is the thing that so many churches have lost sight of. And it may sound cheesy or redundant or it may make you sick to your stomach, depending on what you had to deal with growing up, but the truth is, God loves you. It is mentioned in the Bible no less than 551 times. Homosexuality was mentioned only a handful of times. And I know your first thought is “well yeah, but it WAS mentioned” and that is fair.
The famous verse “a man shall not lie with another man the way he lies with a women” is part of the law of the Old Testament. The whole point of Jesus coming to Earth was to bring a new law. The reason Christians still have the Old Testament is to use it as a moral compass, but many Christians believe Jesus set the record straight when he came to Earth, and that His word is what we should focus on following now.
Another verse that is a popular verse used to bash homosexuals is one that plainly states homosexuality to be sexually immoral. However, when the Bible was written, the word used for homosexuality was mostly used to describe older men who molest little boys. It was not generally used to describe adult men who love other men. So, while the Bible discusses at great length how much God loves you, even saying that nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28), it never clearly condemns consensual love between two adult men.
And this is likely where I will offend some people, so be warned. Biblically speaking, any church or so-called Christian establishment that preaches hate or bigotry, is not Christian at all. Find a church that preaches love, and acceptance.
God created you the way you are, and you can’t magically become not gay. If someone is born with a disability, does God hate them? When Jesus came to Earth it was to preach love. Somewhere along the way a lot of Christians lost sight of that.
God doesn’t hate you, and he certainly won’t damn you to hell for something you don’t have control over. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to pray about it. Most of my faith comes from prayer. If you are ever unsure about what your parents are telling you, or what you see in church, ask to see the manager (that would be God).
And at this point, there are probably only one or maybe two atheists still reading, in which case, I applaud you. I know a lot of atheists in the LGBTQ+ community come from religious backgrounds and have been hurt by the church, or by religious family members.
If you have any questions, you can feel free to comment below or to reach Viro and Metriko via their contact page. If you would rather follow up directly with me, you can reach me via Telegram, where my username is @leothelion27.
Next week the advice column will be rid of filthy feline degeneracy as usual!