I’ve known for quite a long time now that I liked guys, at least a dozen years, but it wasn’t until just recently that I actually comprehended it. For the longest time it didn’t really mean anything to me and I just assumed that I wasn’t really attracted to girls was because the ones that I knew didn’t really met my ‘list’ for what I was looking for in a wife. This heterosexual worldview was one of the 2 main reasons that it took me a long time to come to terms with my sexual orientation, but the other was that I believe for a very long time that homosexuality was sinful.
I didn’t have much of an understanding of what it was to begin with, and then growing up in a conservative environment meant that the only portrayal of queers I heard was the stereotypical one: promiscuous, alcoholic, drug abusers. If that’s what queers were like, then it was obvious that homosexuality was sinful. I didn’t even need to know that the Bible said it was sin, but of course it did and that’s what I was told by other Christians on the rare occasion it was ever mentioned.
But, thankfully, life’s not quite so simple. A natural question to ask would be why I hadn’t seriously challenged my beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality before the last couple years. My only answer is that it wasn’t that pressing of an issue, and I had questioned/examined a great many of my other beliefs and found no reason to doubt them. So since I had found the principles taught in the Bible to be so trustworthy, reliable, and accurate I assumed that what the Bible says about homosexuality must also be correct.
And you know what? I still believe that. I just happen to think that the Bible doesn’t actually say about homosexuality what most conservative Christians seem to think it says. I’m not going to give all of my reasons for taking a different interpretation (I’ll probably do that in a future post), but I will at least say what I think the Bible is actually talking about: rape, pedophilia, and prostitution, specifically pagan temple prostitution. And all that aside, there is no hint of the Bible talking about orientation, merely the acts, which were often committed by heterosexuals in ancient times (much like we see heterosexual male on male rape in today’s prisons).
Once I started getting to know some actual gay people, who happened to not fit the stereotype at all, my view about the sinfulness of homosexuality was seriously challenged. Then I started to examine what the Bible actually said and the context in which it was said, and my beliefs were revolutionized. I’m making it sound a bit simpler than it was, this all occurred over a decade, so it was no simple easy matter. However, it was most worth it.
One of the most helpful things in coming to terms with my sexual orientation and what I believe the Bible says was to met and talk with other queer Christians. It is not only possible to be queer and Christian, but to also be so while still upholding Biblical inerrancy and not devaluing or ignoring parts of Scripture.
To close out I want to add an ironic thanks to Patrick Henry College. It was/is from my professors, the staff, and other students that I have really grown into a greater appreciation for examining my beliefs and why I hold them. And they were correct when they said that there was nothing to fear in examining my beliefs because we know that the Scriptures are true and the truth of God can handle the testing. Of course I very much doubt they approve of the conclusions I’ve come to, but I can’t help thinking that they are the ones being fearful now. Conservative Christians are so determined they know for sure what the Bible says about homosexuality, and yet they won’t actually examine the Scriptures and historical evidence for themselves because if they did they would find something to fear: that they were wrong and have been leading people astray from the truth and casting others out whom Jesus would have (and does) accept with open arms.