24 July 2022  |

Despite the traditional interpretation of a scattering of “clobber texts” that are assumed to prohibit gender nonconformity and same-sex sexual relationships, the Bible gives little to no direct guidance about how LGBTQ+ individuals should be treated by believers, and certainly does not support condemning such individuals as sinful. From New Testament times until quite recently, LGBTQ+ individuals were simply assumed to be engaging in self-chosen, sinful, deviant behavior that was abhorrent to God, and thus such individuals needed to be excluded from the community of believers. More recently, as it has become clearer that being gay or trans is inborn, and therefore not a choice, the church has made room for some LGBTQ+ individuals, at least in the North American Division, if they remain celibate for life.

Given that being LGBTQ+ is largely inborn, heavily influenced by an individual’s genetics, it seems unfair to place the burden of celibacy on such individuals as a requirement for church membership. Since being gay or trans is biologically normal, and there are no inherent moral arguments against gender nonconformity or same-sex sexual behavior, LGBTQ+ individuals should be allowed to embody who they are, including being allowed to marry whom they choose. By requiring trans individuals to forgo gender transition and demanding that gay individuals remain celibate, we are asking them to not do what is natural for them. Rather than looking down on LGBTQ+ individuals as being sinful when they embody who they are, we should be celebrating the diversity of gender and sexual expression that has resulted from the genetic systems God created. By recognizing the naturalness of the full spectrum of gender and sexual variation in humans we affirm the humanity of all individuals and recognize that each of us is beloved of God, just as we are.


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