I think it’s time we really delved into the topic of Side A vs. Side B gay Christians [terms that have been coined by GCN (The Gay Christian Network)]. You may be wondering what this means; here are the basics.
Side A gay Christians believe that God is a-ok with homosexual, monogamous relationships. They believe that the Bible has been misinterpreted, giving false reason to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
Side B gay Christians believe that being gay is genetic, and they completely identify as LGBT. However, they see their same-sex attraction as a call to celibacy. After all, a person’s sexuality is not at all defined by what they do in the bedroom. Even if one is celibate, one still identifies as gay. Side B gay Christians interpret Scripture to mean that they should not physically act out their desires.
Here at COC, we support both views, and attempt to give adequate resources for both schools of thought. We refuse to promote one viewpoint over another. And here’s why: Both Side A and Side B friends have wonderful reasons to support their beliefs. Some feel absolutely sure that God blesses their monogamous gay relationship. Some are in same-sex relationships, but commit to celibacy. And some commit to single-hood altogether. And frankly, what a person believes on the topic of homosexuality does not determine their admittance into heaven. Don’t agree? It’s ok… it took me some time, too. But let’s start with a fresh look at the Bible.
Conservative Christians in America are widely known for their stance that homosexuality is a sin. If you’ve grown up with that world view, then it seems pretty cut and dry. “The preacher said it, so the Bible must mean it, and it’s my job to tell the homosexual masses to beware of hell.” They mean well. I can sympathize with this group, because it’s how I was raised. It was how I felt, even for some time after I realized I was gay! But here’s the deal… there comes a point in every Christian’s life when they must read the Bible for themselves. We cannot simply rely on second-hand faith. If we all did that, we’d still be using the Bible to justify slavery in America. But times have changed, haven’t they? We now know things we didn’t back then. And the same goes for this issue. Education is the key. (Now there’s a sentence you’ll hear quite often around here.) The fact of the matter is… when you begin looking at the Scriptures as a whole, rather than cherry-picking them, you will find that the 6 “clobber passages” used to condemn homosexuals have been interpreted incorrectly (throughout the centuries) from the original Hebrew and Greek, and almost always taken out of cultural context. In majority, the New Testament passages are referring to types of pagan worship practices (which included sexual intercourse with temple prostitutes) and a Greek word that Paul invented: arsenokoitai (appearing only a handful of times in history; not to mention no one knows what it really means). That’s a far cry from homosexuality as we understand it today. But don’t take my word for it. Discover it for yourself!
I want to share a resource that has helped me immensely in my studies and research. Dr. Rembert S. Truluck was a Doctor of Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY (1968). He was a Southern Baptist preacher from 1953-1973, and a Professor of Religion at Baptist College of Charleston, SC in 1973-1981. After almost 30 years of service in the Kingdom, Dr. Truluck was outed as gay. He resigned, moved to Atlanta, and authored a book entitled, “Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse”. This is perhaps the most comprehensive look at what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. Below, I have listed the six passages commonly used to condemn LGBT’s. Click on the link to read the exegetical breakdown of each Scripture. I recommend that you read each Biblical chapter (and in some instances, the entire book) before reading Dr. Truluck’s notes.
***I apologize for the inconvenience, but the links below are no longer working. It seems that the original website has been taken down. In the meantime, I’m working on finding another resource to site Dr. Truluck’s notes.***
I wish you happy studying, as you embark on your personal journey of faith. I might add that this journey will be a continuous one. For those of you who are gay Christians trying to harmonize your faith and sexuality, know that God is with you every step of the way. What you believe today may not be what you believe tomorrow… but He meets you where you are. For those of you who are straight Christians attempting to determine your beliefs on this topic, I thank you for your willingness to delve deeper.
Know why you believe what you believe. Don’t simply believe it because it’s what you’ve been told.