I was recently asked how I could be a Bible-believing Christian and believe what I do about homosexuality. This is not the first time I’ve been asked this. It’s kind of becoming a thing for me. The sting gets less sharp each time, and I’m really praying that my heart doesn’t harden further either. This isn’t in a response to a particular person, but it’s something I think about a lot, because like I said, this question is brought to me frequently. I’m not judging whether people who ask me this are really Christians. I really want to express an answer to them. I can see how some people find my beliefs and my faith to be in competition.
What people don’t understand is that I can be a Christian and question the Bible and how it affects people’s lives. It’s the same as looking around a world filled with murder, rape, disease, and death, and question if God really is love. The questioning doesn’t mean I’ve stopped believing. It means I’m wrestling.
The Bible is not easy to swallow and even harder to digest. Sure, there are parts that are sweet, but there are others that are as bitter as gall. I can’t just numbly accept the fact that God frequently ordered His followers to commit genocide, and I can’t just accept the excuse that “Things were different in the Old Testament.” Was God just pissed off back then? Took a few hundred years to cool off and then sent Jesus, who was all nice and loved everyone? No. God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and so I wrestle.
What people don’t understand is that there are different ways to interpret the Bible. I personally don’t think that it’s “Biblical” to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Knowing Jesus, I just don’t see him shutting an oven, crossing his arms and being all, “Sorry, bro, no homo.” People keep saying that Jesus “offended” people with the truth, but they always neglect to clarify who Jesus offended. He always offended the Pharisees. Today, those would be pastors, evangelical celebrities, members of the 700 club, and the Religious Right. He wouldn’t have looked at a woman who had gotten drunk and been raped and say, “Well, I’m sorry, but if you didn’t dress like that…” He wouldn’t respond to a new restriction on abortion by tweeting a picture of a coat hanger. He wouldn’t stick pamphlets about gay marriage into kids’ Halloween bags. He would do things that surprise the people who claim to know Him best. That’s where I want to have “an open mind.” I don’t want to miss Him because I have this preconceived notion of where He walks.
People used the same arguments against gay marriage for racial discrimination, and while I’m not saying sexuality and race are equal in every way, the point is the Bible has been misread before and I’m just very interested in figuring out what the heck certain parts of the Bible are talking about, even beyond sexuality. Religion and “Bible-believing Christians” have caused centuries of injustice so I want to be cautious before I claim a specific opinion is God-breathed and infallible.
I can be a Bible-believing Christian while still questioning everything because being a Christian never depended on one’s certainty of doctrine. It depends on love. I can be a Christian because at the end of the day, after oceans of doubt and questions have washed over me, I still choose to swim towards the horizon towards Jesus. Very rarely are people brought to Christ because they heard a Christian saying things like, “That’s just how it is. It’s not me, it’s the Bible. It’s sin, plain and simple. I’m just telling you the truth.” People are brought to Christ because of love.