How Can I Be Gay, and Call Myself A Christian?


A friend of mine has started this hashtag, that many people use in solidarity, as we proclaim our faith, and also proclaim our sexuality.

That same friend also is the President of an organization called Faith In America, whose ultimate goal is “to end decades and centuries of using religious teachings to justify marginalizing and discriminating against others.”

We want Christians to stop calling homosexuality a sin. We want people to understand what kind of damage has been in done in millions and millions of people’s lives. People have not understood how harmful this is, and we want to see the world change.

So how can I be gay, and call myself a Christian?

I cannot tell you how many people have asked me, and are continuing to ask the question, of how to reconcile their faith with who they are as an LGBT person, or in wanting to support people in their lives, that are LGBT.

This is a huge hurdle in our time and culture, and it is one that we must continue to address to see change, although it is not the first hurdle we have had as a people of faith.

So where do I start? I start with what I think is the biggest problem in Western Evangelical Christian culture, today: Worshipping the Bible. I believe one of the biggest mistakes Christians have made throughout history, which has led to most of our troubles, has been worshipping the Bible as much, if not more, than we worship Jesus.

The Bible is beautiful… but the Bible is messy.

A beautiful way to see this big, collection of books, is to understand that it is something put together by different writers, over thousands of years, in different times and places, as they have understood God to move throughout history. There is so much to learn from that. A beautiful way to see the Gospel stories is to see the stories of Jesus, and how people witnessed The Divine move. That is what we have chosen to follow, and put our faith in.

Putting our faith in thinking that something put together hundreds, to thousands of years after each letter was written, or put together, was somehow done by God, inerrant, or infallible, is a terrible way to look at the Bible. In fact, it’s a whole different leap of faith, and different thing to put your faith into, which has nothing to do with what it means to be a Christian. A follower of Jesus.

You have to jump through a lot of hoops to try to pretend that there aren’t contradictions all through the Bible.

You have to jump through a lot of hoops, and take a huge leap of faith, to believe that God wrote every word in the Bible, and put it together the way it was.

But that is how most of us were raised in the church, and it has probably done more to push people away from the church, than anything I can think of. It has been the cause of what has torn apart families, and destroyed so many lives.

I think about what kind of effect it has had on me, and how hard it has been to be able to accept myself.

We probably all know stories, whether it came down to homosexuality, or something else, of how this Bible worship has torn apart friends and family.

I don’t believe that makes it any less beautiful. I actually believe this makes it feel a lot more real. They could have done a lot better job at swaying us against slavery, for or against predestination, etc., if the point was having the Bible be written by God, or without error.

But we have to start there before we are ever going to be able to fully understand why we have had so much trouble accepting LGBT persons in the church, condemning slavery, or believing that women were equal to men. I could go on…

For the sake of this in particular, from here, we will use homosexuality. Having Google as a tool now, anyone who is interested, can find out rather quickly that homosexual wasn’t a word until the late 1800’s.

So why is it that the Bible we were given, that was written thousands of years before that, is telling us that God calls it an abomination.

Starts to get confusing, doesn’t it?

The quick answer is that what those writers were talking about then, is not what we are talking about now, when we talk about committed, loving relationships between 2 people of the same sex.

Jesus never talks about it.

But if you were to ask Paul in his time and culture, I don’t know if he would have been for that. I don’t know if he would have understood enough to have had an insightful answer. But I also don’t believe, from his writings, that he understood why slavery was an abomination, or that women were equal to men. I still love Paul. I believe Paul was a huge advocate for the message of Jesus, and I believe we can gain a lot of wisdom from his letters, that we now deem Scripture.

If I would have understood this when I was growing up, I could have understood more about myself, been able to accept myself, and I would have been able to keep from making such a mess of relationships in my life. I truly believe we are hurting people by the toxic theology of condemning same sex relationships, and I believe we have a chance to change this.

With all of that said, I’m still in love with Jesus. I love the stories of Jesus, and I love putting my faith into believing they are true. There is, of course, no proof. But I hope. I believe. I believe in his message. I believe that loving God and loving your neighbor are the 2 most important commands we have been given. I believe, as Paul said, that in loving your neighbor, you are fulfilling the commandment to love God with everything you have. That is my belief as a gay man, and as a Christian.

Grace & Peace,

Comments 6

  1. I am a Christian who also happens to be gay. I write it that way because these two things are not in conflict with each other. Most of my life was lived in the ministry as a youth pastor, discipleship pastor and Christian school teacher. When I came out in my 50’s, I lost a lot of people who could not reconcile that there are people who identify this way not by some choice they make but just as a reality of life. This reality of life does not preclude anyone following Jesus in faith. I agree that what we see being written about in the Bible is not addressing the situation we have today with the difference in sexual orientations. Doing a little cultural and historical study can help one see that. We have to be willing to follow Jesus’ command to love God and to love others. There is no place for such hurtful prejudice, exclusion and treatment.

  2. As a Christian mother who has a son who is gay I am saddened at the way the church and Christians have handled the issue of same sex relationships. When our theology is producing depression, despair, self loathing, hopelessness and self harm we have to assume we have gotten it wrong.

    Of course you can be gay and Christian and you can date and fall in love and get married and have a family and your life and relationship and family have the same potential to be life giving to you and honoring to God as any heterosexual marriage.

    As you said – there is nothing in scripture that condemns the kind of relationship that my gay son wants to have and there is nothing in scripture that would support the idea of mandated celibacy for LGBT people.

    Here is a short piece that explains in simple terms the verses that Christians typically use to condemn same sex relationships. Christians who refuse to consider original language and historical context can no longer be taken seriously in regards to this conversation.

  3. What a wonderful discussion to have. I am gay. I am Christian. In my faith, I believe that Jesus cares less about who we love and more about how we treat those we love and interact with. If I believe what I have been taught all these years as a Christian, I believe everyone was created with a purpose. If, as I have been taught, God does not make junk, then he created me for a reason. What if one of my purposes is to help people question the teachings that they have been taught all their life. Maybe it is possible to be Gay and still have a Christian faith. Finally I will close with my New Year’s resolution every year. “I will use the Bible as a guide book for my life not a judgment tool for the lives of others.” Grace and peace to all.

  4. Omg Trey!! You have no idea how much relieve I feel as a gay Christian.. it has always felt like I’m some kind of plague or still an outcast at a church where everyone is accepted but it’s not true… I love worshiping God giving him praise and following Jesus and how he would do things and react. But this right here has me feeling more joy and gives me more the ability to keep moving with my faith no matter what gay or not. We are here to serve the same God and Christ. In the end, what happens if this all another test from God about accepting and loving people choice?

  5. Thank you so much for stepping out and continuing to share your faith. I confess, I don’t listen to your music (well, that could change now!), and merely stumbled upon you by doing a google search for gay Christian music artists. I was also raised in a conservative, Christian home but came out to my family 12 years ago, my sophomore year of Bible college. To this day, it is still a struggle for my family to accept me as a gay man, let alone a gay Christian. Add to that, I am a gay, Christian, Church Music and Worship leader. I miss my roots in Pentecostalism. But I am not welcome there, so moved on to serve churches where the topic of homosexuality is not a matter. Thank you for taking part in discussion of the church being more open to dialog. I would love to be a part of that somehow, some day. I laid a lot of my identity aside by embracing who I am. Your story encourages me to press on–to continue being authentic, and to keep believing and trusting that God still has a plan for me, despite my sexuality. I have struggled to believe there is a plan lately. Thank you again, so much. You are so articulate and I will be keeping up with your Facebook and twitter to see what new doors God opens for you. Thank you for still believing. Because of your witness, I know MANY others will believe again. Peace to you! God bless!

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