I did a lot of research, and believe me there is a ton of material out there. I read every book and article I could get my hands on. I studied every Greek and Hebrew word on the subject. I so badly wanted to find a loophole that gave me any sort of peace. But every time I thought I found one, it was just wasn’t substantiated enough. And was I willing to take that risk?
In the midst of my search, I realized that I wasn’t alone. There are many others who were also looking for that loophole. In fact there are whole ministries founded on the notion that we’re misinterpreting the Bible. I also noticed how many people have begun to view the Bible as outdated, archaic, and irrelevant. It no longer holds much weight in an argument.
Anyone who knows me will know that I tend me be a very skeptical person. I don’t just blindly follow. What if everything I’ve learned about God and the Bible isn’t accurate? What if a bunch of religious men decided to teach things a certain way and everyone just followed suit? What if the church was just full of judgmental people who didn’t want me to be true to who I was?
I had begun to convince myself that because of God’s great love, that He would in fact bless same-sex relationships. I had convinced myself that the verses condemning homosexuality were misunderstood. But the one thing I couldn’t shake was how difficult it was to prove such an idea. It wasn’t a matter of opinion, or preference, or culture. It was a matter of taking something that God has declared to be sin, and making it not so.
The biggest thing I learned through my journey is that there is a danger when we begin to view the Bible through the lens of our own desires. We can make it say anything we want it to say. Rather than allowing the Word of God to dictate our lives, we aim to find ways to validate our flesh, and satisfy our wants.
I began to question everything. Maybe God made me this way. And if He did, then He loves me just the way I am. Then I thought that this was just my cross to bear. I started to accept it and embrace it as something that I would live with for the rest of my life. When we really want something, we’ll either find some way for the Bible to justify it, or we’ll reject the Bible altogether, claiming it to be just a religious book that people made up.
I felt a lot of shame over my confused sexuality. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was afraid of what they would say, what they would think of me. So I went on fighting alone. And even worse, I convinced myself I would never be set free. I had a choice to make. I could be miserable in my current state, I could live a gay lifestyle, or I could put my beliefs to the test, that I serve a God who can transform, and change, and heal.
There was a moment I decided that I didn’t care what other people thought of the Bible. I didn’t care whether or not they believed it. Truly understanding the Bible requires an intimate relationship with its author, one that I had been neglecting because I didn’t feel worthy. But when you get to know the heart of God, you begin to understand the heartbeat of His Word. And no amount of research could change the tone that there is nothing in the Bible that suggests God has created us (or wants us) to be gay.
Although the English word “homosexuality” didn’t exist in Bible times, the concept did. (I left no stone un turned when trying to figure out what all the words meant). God only condemns the concept. But not in the judgmental way that many Christians believe it to be. Our identity is found in Christ alone. God’s plans for us, and His desires for us are always perfect.
But God never celebrates it, never recommends it, never glorifies it. When Paul talks about it, he’s not making a suggestion, or offering an opinion. He’s outright declaring it to be sin.
I simply couldn’t find a way to around all that. No amount of gay-affirming articles helped me. But here’s the key to understand. God absolutely did still love me. He didn’t look at me as worse off than everyone else. And therein lies the problem. The one thing religion has falsely taught us is that homosexuality is the worst sin imaginable. How could someone in my shoes feel anything but terror when it came to dealing with what I was going through?
If you’re dealing with same-sex attraction, you are not a horrible person. You aren’t an abomination to God. You are still loved by Him. The shame you’re feeling isn’t from God. But here’s the best part. You don’t have to live with guilt or shame or confusion. You don’t have to be ashamed. It is possible to be change. How do I know? Because it happened to me.
I had to make a decision. I had to decide that I wanted to change. It wasn’t just going to happen. I had to have faith that the Word of God is true. I had to believe that His promises are true. I had to believe that He has what’s best for me, and there’s nothing on this earth, no relationship, no lifestyle that could make me happier than Jesus can.
I had to come to that conclusion on my own. God hadn’t created me to be gay. That wasn’t His plan for me. I’ll never forget when I began to experience true freedom. I heard a song called Unstoppable Love. And it just floored me. I wasn’t some despicable person. I wasn’t unworthy of God’s love. Jesus died for me, to set me free. And yet here I was living in bondage, and fear, and shame.
There is a mighty, powerful God who can do anything. It’s not a myth, or a nice story, or a false idea. God is true and real. Through Jesus Christ and the power of the Spirit, my life was changed. It’s possible if you want it. I would rather risk being wrong and lose nothing, than risk living wrong and lose everything.
“No sin, no shame, no past, no pain, can separate me from Your love”. (Unstoppable Love by Jesus Culture)
*If you or someone who you know is experiencing same-sex attraction, or any LGBTQ situation, please contact me. You’re not alone. God doesn’t hate you.*