Most emails to the Gay Christians Best Friend website have questions already answered in the book, Key to Biblical Understanding. For a full and proper response to your questions, I urge you to get and read the book.
I'm glad you're asking questions; it shows you're thinking.
(Gramatical mistakes in readers' emails are not corrected. Gramatical mistakes in my answers are my own fault.)
Choosing to be Homosexual
From W. N.:
I just had some questions. I love your website. It is very true many Christians are not doing there job. They are not loving or accepting and that grieves me but are you saying that God doesn't mind people choosing homosexuality? What about Romans 1:27? I have many gay friends and I love them but there sin is sin. God loves them too but he expects repentance right?
What you asked is or should be a Christian's first question. If homosexuality is not a choice, then it cannot be a sin. If it is not a sin, then your Biblical interpretation is wrong and you have judged people to be sinners when God himself has made no such judgment.
This question is so important that I've devoted an entire chapter in my book to its answer, Key to Biblical Doctrine, Chapter 13, "Romans 1:16 - 2:2."
Before I answer your question, let me pose one to you: When did you choose to be heterosexual? Please write me and tell me when you chose to be a heterosexual, and how you felt when you made that choice. But if you never chose to be heterosexual, then why do you put the burden of choosing on other people? Jesus spoke about doing this to other people in Matthew 23:1, "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
Gay people did not chose to be gay. God made them that way. God blessed them with the gift of being gay, just as he blessed you with the gift of being heterosexual. The choice gay people make is to choose to be who they are created to be and to stop denying themselves and God. It's a terrible burden to deny ones own central core being simply because other people call it "sin."
The current, popular interpretation of Romans chapter 1 is almost totally incorrect. (Don't be surprised; it's been done before. Interpretations of scripture change frequently with the passage of time.) The author shows that while current theologians teach it is talking about gentiles and homosexuals, in fact a close and proper examination of that passage shows it is actually talking about the Jews and their wholesale abandonment of God for pagan religions. This is not a new interpretation of the Bible; it is a close analysis and word-for-word examination of what is actually said.
Best wishes, Jerry B.
Using the Term "Gay Marriage"
From J.R. (Longdon, UK):
The only thing I have against 'gay marriage' is something you don't mention, namely the use of the word 'marriage'. Look up 'marriage' in any dictionary and you'll see what I mean. I'm against playing fast and loose with language, which is what the phrase 'gay marriage' does. When words start meaning something new, and there is no satisfactory alternative, we (ie mankind) communicate less efficiently, which is 'a bad thing' and is to be resisted, say I.
The two principal definitions of 'marriage' in the Oxford English Dictionary (and I mean the largest OED, which is on my bookshelf -- is it on yours? :-) ) are:
So, can't another word be found, to replace 'marriage'? If an existing word can't be found, invent a new word -- it happens all the time! If need be, the United Nations could run a competition!
1. The condition of being a husband or wife.
2a. ... the ceremony or procedure by which two persons are made husband and wife.
I'm afraid you're going to lose this one – not because you're wrong but because you're just not going to get what you want. A lot of people also dislike the word "gay" meaning homosexual, but nobody's come up with a generally-accepted better term.
Language evolves. It grows. You speak English today not as it was a thousand years ago but as it is today. Words change in their meaning. They acquire new usages and old usages drop off. If you spoke a language that did not change, then you would be speaking a dead language, like Latin. Expanding the dictionary definition of marriage to include gay people is normal language growth.
Dictionaries DO NOT present word definitions as they should be used. Dictionaries present word definitions as they are currently being used by the general population. Dictionaries do not set the standard; they accept and reflect the standard set by native speakers.
The true sin against language, I think, is when someone twists a word to mean the opposite of what it does mean. That is, to call murder "mercy," and to call war "peace." The Bible talks about that in Isaiah 5:20, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
The problem with not using "marriage" with the word "gay" is that "marriage" is written into our law.
Tax responsibilities and benefits are based on the word "marriage." Inheirtance rights are based on the word "marriage." Insurance benefits are based on "marriage." To adopt legally the term "gay marriage" will immediatley resolve many legal problems gay couples face in society today.
Best wishes, Jerry B.