Every day it seems that the majority of religious-based headlines surround some controversy over LGBTQ issues and Christianity, but are these issues coming from Christians or are they simply being overhyped by the media?
Are LGBTQ Issues Overblown by Christians or Overhyped by Media?
Where are the issues of the LGBTQ community ranks in terms of importance among Christians depends on who you talk to? Clearly, some are more tolerant than others.
Importance Rank of Homosexuality in the Bible
Clearly, the Bible ranks some sins as more serious than others. The top 10 types of sins the Bible warns us about are:
Worshiping other gods, idol worship, misuse of God’s name, not keeping the Sabbath day holy, not honoring your parents, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, and coveting
Mark 7:21-22 lists: “evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.”
“All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.”
– 1 John 5:17
Homosexuality is Not in the Ten Commandments
There is one thing you don’t hear Christians talking about very often, but the proof is right there in Scripture in the Ten Commandments.
That’s right, in terms of the really bad sins – homosexuality didn’t make the top ten.
If homosexuality was a major offense to God, one would presume it would have made the top ten, or the list would have been expanded, to say, a top twelve.
It may be that some Christians are giving homosexuality more importance or significance in the grand scheme of things than God did.
Jesus Didn’t Discuss Homosexuality
Jesus never discussed homosexuality in any of his teachings. It is not a topic of discussion found in his words, which are only found in the first four Gospels of the New Testament.
The closest Jesus came to the subject is this:
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”
– Matthew 15:19–20
However, it is important to note that the omission of direct words about homosexuality does not mean that Jesus didn’t have an opinion on it, nor does it mean that he was not in condemnation of it.
For example, this statement by Jesus towards marriage and divorce:
“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus Wanted his Followers to Love Everyone
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
– John 13:34
One thing that is abundantly observant among some Christians is outright hatred towards the LGBTQ community, and at the very least, intolerance.
But both of those attitudes are in direct opposition to what Jesus taught. Some of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible are the numerous instances where Jesus preached about love.
Jesus was asked what the two greatest commandments are.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus makes it clear, that if you follow these two commandments, all of the Ten Commandments will fall into place naturally.
The apostle Paul taught tolerance:
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”
– Ephesians 4:2
“For All Have Sinned And Fall Short Of The Glory Of God,”
Everyone sins and there are all kinds of sins. Some people sin every day. Homosexuality is but one of many types of sins.
That is not to excuse it, but to simply make the point that some people overreact where it resides on the hierarchy of sins.
Jesus reminds us that everyone sins. When the Pharisees were going to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery – Jesus stopped the punishment.
“And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'”
They put down the stones because they realized they weren’t innocent themselves. All of us need to take Jesus’ words to heart here and look in the mirror at our own lives before we judge others.
Is the Media Overhyping the LGBTQ Issue?
The success of media relies on sensationalism and fear. We may be getting a false impression of these stories simply because they are published more.
Certainly, the issue of the LGBTQ is dividing not only Christians – but denominations. Most notably is the potential division of the United Methodist Church over divided beliefs on LGBTQ support.