RECONCILING FAITH AND SEXUALITY

RECONCILING FAITH AND SEXUALITY

I have wanted to write about this topic for a while but I have held back for a number of reasons.

I do not want anyone to think I am trying to force an opinion, so I will try as much as possible to break it down. Even if I go off point, just stay with me.

This topic remains a serious issue for people of faith (Christians or Muslims) who are in the LGBT community – the struggle to hold on to a faith that has seen them through the highs and the lows. On one side, the religious people are telling them eternal damnation awaits them, and on the other side their LGBT brothers and sisters are calling them confused and hypocritical.

The Christ-believing ones among them go to church or they read their bibles and they see it written in clear text:

“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13

Oh and there is this one:

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26-27

There are other scriptures that talk about homosexuality and they are not very flattering. This is the reason why it is hard for anyone to reconcile their faith with their sexuality.

But here is the deal. What is faith? How do you expect someone raised in a particular religion for decades to walk away because of sexuality? The Bible states clearly that it is important to deny yourself and focus on Heaven (Sorry I have been away from the Church for so long I am finding it hard to quote scripture).

This is how I reconcile my faith and sexuality. I believe there is a God that holds the entire universe together. I believe in the Historical Christ. I do not think the Bible is invalid; however I feel it was written from the experiences of different people who lived in a different time. Quick example, there are things one is not supposed to eat as a Jew in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, God tells Peter to eat them. Different times. Different actions.

Based on that I pick and choose – the same way I look at the history books and learn from the good and the bad is the same way I read the Bible. There are different accounts of the Biafran war. The way an Igbo man will give his account is different from the way a Hausa man will give his account. It does not invalidate their accounts. It is just written from different experiences.

There is no blueprint or guide when it comes to faith and sexuality, but everyone will have to make a decision someday on what they want to live by. What is important is finding what works for you and living by it.

If you feel you cannot find a way to reconcile your faith and your sexuality, it is OK. Some people have found a way to and it is fine. In the end, the Bible has said, “Nothing can separate you from the love of God.” And that is good enough for me.

To further buttress my point, here is a video from The Rhodes Brothers channel, a vlog update titled: CAN YOU BE GAY AND GO TO CHURCH?

Written by Tony Odekunle-Brown

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38 Comments

  1. Keredim
    September 18, 08:05 Reply

    Thanks for this, TOB. ??????????

    Religion is a very personal thing and how we choose to navigate it is down to each individual.

    This choice should be respected by others within the community and Gay members not feel unwelcome.

    Thanks again TOB??????

  2. GOld
    September 18, 08:54 Reply

    Wow thanks Tony. Because I’m gay and a Christian doesn’t make me a hypocrite.

    Thanks for this insightful piece.

  3. lonz
    September 18, 11:41 Reply

    Such contortions to fit what doesnt fit. If it were left to the bible you’d be dead. That you try so badly to fit into said religion is sad and deeply disturbing.

    Though you have every right to do so. I ask gently, why visit a place you are not welcomed, not wanted and despised.

    • Keredim
      September 18, 13:09 Reply

      “I ask gently, why visit a place you are not welcomed, not wanted and despised.”

      but he left the church where he didn’t feel welcomed, for one where he feels welcome?

    • Pink Panther
      September 18, 14:52 Reply

      And so when he finds a church like the one governed by the Archbishop of Wales, where gay people are accepted, you won’t be so judgmental of his faith, yes? 🙂

    • Dark_Side
      September 18, 15:46 Reply

      It is sad and deeply disturbing. Please allow it kill you…

  4. Dimkpa
    September 18, 12:54 Reply

    To be honest I have been thinking anew about the issue of religion and homosexuality. I realise that faith or having a belief is important to a lot of people. Although I have given up on religion, it may be something a great many people may never come to do. In that light, I have asked myself if it is possible for people of LGBTQ community to have faith and exist comfortably in Church or mosque or whatever, and I really don’t see why not. If everyone else can, why not gay people.

    It all depends on what you want to believe. People pick and choose these days what they want from the Bible. It is a fact that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality or gay people, so people can take solace in that. As for the other antigay sentiments in the Bible, either the passages or the authors have other injunctions which are quite embarrassing and cringe-inducing given the modern day we live in and this calls into question how seriously we should abide by the antigay sentiments. A believer can then decide to disregard that statement if he so chooses.

    I remember thinking in the days when the bill was passed and everyone was justifying it with religion, that Jesus identified with the people in the margins of society- prostitutes, tax-collectors and etc. He said his ministry was to those people and he used the analogy of sick people and doctors (Even though this may suggest that he wanted to cure them). He also told the story of the good samaritan to illustrate how we should treat people that our community has considered enemies or unlovable. All that brought me to the conclusion that if Jesus were here today, he would certainly embrace gay people and not cast them out like the churches that represent him do. It is funny but sad that WWJD has become part of popular culture but the people that wear them haven’t the slightest clue how Jesus would actually behave.

    Churches in some areas have started embracing gay people and women as clergy and are the better for it. Variety will always spice things up. Unfortunately our churches are championing hatred and damaging lives in the name of spirituality.

    For me though, the Bible, which is the book of the religion I know is such a book of absolutes in its admonitions to be spotless and not be lukewarm that once I find one thing questionable, improbable or out right impossible, I discard the whole and treat it just like another work of literature. And of course,

    • Dimkpa
      September 18, 13:02 Reply

      …and of course I have found many.

      In the interest of equality, if there are gay and straight atheists, then there should be gay and straight believers. But to those who wish to continue in faith, it may be worthwhile to find a tolerant church that believes what you do and does not condemn you at the slightest opportunity. Existing in a congregation that threatens you with fire and brimstone at every opportunity is for me too much pain and can only be justified if in some way you get pleasure from that.

      • Pink Panther
        September 18, 14:50 Reply

        This is quite the stunning about-turn, Dimkpa. 🙂

      • DarkSide
        September 18, 15:49 Reply

        This realization is what it means to “live and let live”.

        Take note people…

      • Peak
        September 18, 16:27 Reply

        **Pulls out and dusts the “head groupie” badge from the dumpster where I tossed it after the last 2 successive post and carefully lay it in the box labelled “for reconsideration”**

        #Thepowerofnursinganopenmind
        #Keepinganopenmindiskey
        #Itsnotforyoudoesntmeanitswrong
        #Knowledgebringslight
        #Understandingcomeswhenyouopenurselftoit
        #Thereissuchathingaslearnunlearnandrelearn
        #Miracleshappenwhenweopenourminds
        #Itdoesnthavetobeyourwayforittobeaway
        #Whenunderstandingmeetshislonglostbrothercalledwisdom

        • DarkSide
          September 18, 16:48 Reply

          And Peak bursts into tongues!
          Thank you Dimkpa
          For giving Peak a spiritual orgasm…

    • Tony Odekunle-Brown
      September 18, 19:51 Reply

      I really like your perspective on this issue. In the end, every gay Christian needs to decide if they want to be among congregation that has condemned them to hell or be a part of the progressives. The ones that understand that culture is evolving and we have to evolve too.

  5. chuck
    September 18, 14:29 Reply

    If you can pick and choose on homosexuality, what else can you pick and choose on? Can I disregard the other parts too as it fits my inclinations?

    The whole thing is incoherent.

      • Chuck
        September 18, 16:59 Reply

        Where are your receipts?

        • DarkSide
          September 18, 18:13 Reply

          Child, try harder. You can do better.

          • Chuck
            September 18, 20:10 Reply

            I argue with reason and evidence. Clearly, you don’t. You think this is about catty comebacks

            • DarkSide
              September 18, 21:45 Reply

              That would be awesome…if you were capable of reason. Child, i see how you have deluded yourself into thinking you some toy-lord of logic. But not only does your logic fail woefully almost ALL of the time, your lack of social grace and/or empathy makes it abundantly clear, that you are an almost-smart sociopath waiting to be unleashed. KD was/is simply your opportunity…

              Enjoy…

              and keep up the ad hominem…

              • Keredim
                September 18, 22:28 Reply

                Chei…..Biko its Sunday o!!?

                • chuck
                  September 19, 02:49 Reply

                  You’re the one who just went on an ad hominem rant.

                  • DarkSide
                    September 19, 08:16 Reply

                    Yes I did. But you started it with your first comment. And you do it all the time. Call it Justice…

  6. posh666
    September 18, 15:43 Reply

    I have learnt not to bother myself about what my holy book says and just live my life the best way possible I can.While also observing my five times daily prayers and ramadan…To each is own my life my choice.

    I just do what i’m comfortable with and what makes me sleep at night.

    If for some reasons I dont pray before going to bed I wont find sleep and I will be very restless,if i’m horny and really want to feel a male body next to mine I go for it!

    • Chuck
      September 18, 20:12 Reply

      I would love to hear more of your stories, Posh666

  7. posh666
    September 18, 15:46 Reply

    I have learnt that in this world no one is perfect.I have come in contact with so many pastors aND malams some intimately sef who will be condemning the gay lifestyle and the next thing you see is them sucking off a young boys dick while begging him to fuck them real good…Its a crazy world

  8. emperor
    September 18, 16:31 Reply

    Personally, this write up has made me more confused than enlightened.
    If faith is truly summed up to be a personal thing, why should I have to pick and choose in a holy book to fit in a community who doesn’t want me. Trying to redefine the rules of a religion to satisfy my own ways seems so much hardwork for nothing.
    Try find a setting that accepts you the way you are.

    • Tony Odekunle-Brown
      September 18, 20:04 Reply

      I am sorry it is confusing. It is not the intention. However, I am not picking and choosing because I feel like it. I am doing it because I understand the context that the Bible was written. It was written by people and it is based on their experiences. It would only make sense to discern what to take and what to drop.

      Ultimately, the Bible is meant to be a guide for living and not a rule book. I hope that puts things in perspective.

  9. INDIGENE
    September 18, 23:24 Reply

    Am Gay and I believe in Faith and religion… And you know what else I believe? that the bible should not decide how we live!

  10. Sinnex
    September 19, 00:36 Reply

    What happened to his lips?

    Looks like they were stung by a bee.

    Caused quite a distraction.

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