Are Christians homophobic due to the teachings of the Bible? It is a simple and point blank question with a somewhat involved answer. To approach this, I will start with a story that brought this topic to my mind and continue from there defining some points.
I have been into the genre of music referred to as metal since I was in junior high school. As I grew older, I found friends and good times in attending metal concerts, specifically hardcore metal. One hardcore band that I still love today is called For Today, and is actually an evangelical Christian hardcore band. This band is fairly popular, and has a good sized following in a musical arena and community that is typically much departed from the Christian church. Approximately two years ago, one of the guitarists made comments that have been decried as homophobic, and the fallout following this led to his departure from the band only a day later. Here is part of his message, the rest relating more to political things. “Don’t be deceived, homosexuality is a sin. This sin with all other sins is what Jesus died for. He conquered so that we would be free. No such thing as a gay Christian, the same as there is no such thing as a Christian who loves his sin.” Now two years ago is a long time for something like this, but one of my old hardcore friends was calling For Today homophobic on social media and it confused me, so I investigated. Is this comment homophobic? Is he spouting his own thoughts or what the Bible teaches?
First, let us take a quick look at what homophobia is. Webster defines it as “the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” This leaves me to wonder however, is this the way we commonly use the word homophobia? In my experience, it most commonly refers to fearing or despising a group of people or specific individuals. In other words, a human target is usually needed for homophobia. Now let us look real quick at what the Bible says. Romans 1:27 states, “and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” So we see that homosexuality is not congruent with the teachings of the Bible.
With these things in mind, let us connect the dots and see where we end up. The Bible has a clear stance about the act of homosexuality and that it is a sinful action and falls in line with all other such defined sins. However, what is the Bible’s response to sin and people who commit sin? James 4:12 states, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” It is clear throughout scripture that it is to God and God alone to punish sin. What is God’s response? Rather than anger or hate, God rather desires to have all people forgiven, loved and changed by a true relationship with Him. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) So I would ask those who call Christians homophobic for stating what the Bible says to consider the bigger picture.