Recently, I have had a perspective shift. I have always wanted to be able to live fully as a gay Christian man but I could never justify it for myself. There would always be doubt, or fear, or just the fact I could not justify the text of the Bible with my own life. Through reading a book this week, that has changed. In the past, I have gone in circles from accepting my sexuality and faith fully to denying myself of sexual pleasure with other men. Hopefully I can continue to remind myself of this time and continue to live a life of acceptance of both my faith and my sexuality. The book I was/am reading is God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality by Jay Michaelson (It was one of the recommendations for the book discussion). Never has a book changed my life more than this one (I would say a close second would be Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer but that is another post). He makes a case that prohibiting our sexuality, “the closest”, and trying to change our sexuality are all against Biblical teachings and principles.
The point that hit me the strongest was his new look on the Creation of Adam and Eve. I had never heard his interpretation before. In order for this to make sense, forget all of what has been taught on Adam and Eve and sexuality from Genesis. Though I have not fully figured it out, I thought it was a very interesting perspective. Hopefully it can show more about God and who He is. Michaelson made the point from Genesis 2:18 that everyone should have a companion, whether gay or straight, as the verse states: ” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (NLT). Personally, I had thought about this before but he went deeper than that. Here’s the rest of the passage so Michaelson’s logic can be followed more easily.
Genesis 2:18-25: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame (NLT).
He went on to say, that God brought all of the animals of Creation to Adam to name BUT to ALSO find a companion, making the point that finding a companion was the main focus and God letting Adam name all of Creation secondary. God did not right off the bat give Adam Eve and told them to multiply but looked through all of His Creation for a companion. When there was not a companion in the animals of God’s creation, God created Eve from Adam’s rib. Michaelson makes the conclusion from these verses that God has a companion for everyone, whether gay or straight. Eve was specifically for Adam and God knew that they would be best for each other. He also knew He eventually needed to populate the earth with humans. Hopefully this makes sense to all my readers.
Some questions I have been pondering from this is that Genesis 1 is a summary of all of Creation. Genesis 2 specifically goes into the Creation of humans. Genesis 1:11-12 says “Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good” (NLT.) Why would God give Adam a companion (or helper in the NLT) that was an animal if His intent was for them to continue to procreate the kinds that they were? It only references this for plants but in nature we see it in plants, animals, and humans. That leads me to the question of when was human sex created? When was animal sex created?
Another thing I ponder is Michaelson universally uses that God gives a suitable to every individual person, meaning that gay relationships would be accepted by God and fully justified to have sexual relations, when he interprets God giving Adam Eve but in Genesis 1:27-28 ” So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
My question is why do we not take “be fruitful and multiply” universally, which would condemn same sex relationships?
There is also looking at animal homosexuality vs. human sexuality. Animals do not have a soul so they do not commune with God like humans nor do they live under rules. I just wonder what animal homosexuality has to tell us about human sexuality. Is it also a consequence of sin or is it just natural? Michaelson makes the point that homosexuality is natural simply because we see it in nature – in animals.
These two verses also remind all of us that we were created in the image of God. God has no gender, no sexuality. Male and female, gay and straight are all ways of showing more about who God is. I get a little bit angry when conservative Christians force their children into gender roles. Gender roles, as we know them today, were not created by God. They were created by humans. The NIV translates the word “effeminate” as being a sin. I would argue that God is effeminate. God can show himself as effeminate. We are created in the image of God, according to Genesis, and since God did not have any gender why do we feel the need to live strictly to gender roles? We need to live how God wants us to live, without being so obsessed with how masculine or feminine we are.
I leave my readers with my one thought that I had this morning: Never apologize for the way God created you. As gay men, we may get discouraged or be afraid for being open about who we really are but God wants us to live in truth for Jesus is Truth. I challenge all of us, myself as well, to stay strong in God and the way He created us and to be who we honestly are as much as we can.