Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Testimony From a Gay Evangelical Christian

I found this testimony from a gay evangelical Christian to be very moving.  Moving testimony does not settle all issues in complex ethical questions, of course.  It is no substitute for biblical, theological,  and ethical reflection. (My own meager attempts in this direction can be found here. )  But I think we short-circuit the process of ethical discernment when we do not add in such testimony.  It not only matters if and how we read Scripture, but with whom we read Scripture.  I propose that we who are heterosexual Christians should read Scripture with the testimony of gay Christians in mind.


April 8, 2009 - Posted by | GLBT issues, testimony


  1. Terry Gross interviewed Mike and Mel White on yesterday’s show (link). Mel White spent years as a fundamentalist and closet homosexual before reconciling his sexuality with his theology. The interview comes around to elements of his testimony at several points. Also very moving.

    Comment by jimgetz | April 8, 2009

  2. There is a glaring inconsistency in the way modern Christians approach “the gay problem.” Verses alleged to condemn gay and lesbian partnerships are rarely viewed in their cultural, historical and religious context.

    Refusing to unpack the clobber passages in light of the actual situation they addressed when given only leads to the false conclusions which cause so much spiritual damage to gays and lesbians.

    There is a Biblically faithful, hermeneutically consistent understanding of the texts of terror which honors our Lord and Savior without resorting to demonizing gays and lesbians.

    Rick Brentlinger

    Comment by Rick Brentlinger | April 9, 2009

  3. Hi, Jim. Yes, Mel’s great testimony is told in Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. It combines pretty good biblical and theological reflection with Mel’s testimony, too. I highly recommend it.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | April 9, 2009

  4. I hope I demonstrated that in my small study on the matter, Rick. I’ll have to check out your blog.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | April 9, 2009

  5. We need to concentrate lesser on sexual orientation and much more on love. Jesus never addressed the subject of homosexuality to my knowledge. His message was about love and mercy….

    Comment by Paul | April 9, 2009

  6. Psul, it’s POSSIBLE (by no means certain) that Jesus had a cryptic, but positive , word for gays and lesbians.


    But if this is not accurate, then you’re right: Jesus said nothing on the topic.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | April 9, 2009

  7. Michael-

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. The historical evidence is irrefutably strong that the world of the New Testament, including the Roman government, regarded at least some eunuchs as capable of reproduction.

    I devote four pages of my website to Eunuchs and what the ancient world understood that term to mean.

    In my opinion, the Hebrew word, saris, and the Greek word, eunouchizo, both included the group of people we now refer to as homosexual. I document this beginning at the Link below.
    Your brother in Christ,

    Rick Brentlinger

    Comment by Rick Brentlinger | April 9, 2009

  8. Give me a break–there is no way to read Romans 1 and not conclude that Paul condemned homosexuality as a sin. that’s why the best “gay theologians” just admit it and say, in effect, “so much the worse for Paul, he’s a homophobe.” But this, “Paul would be OK with homosexual practice if it is long-term monogomous blah blah blah” is nonsense–no, nonsense on stilts. Richard Hays demolished that revisionist argument a long time ago.

    Jesus never said anything on the topic–SO WHAT!. he also never said anything about bestiality. i don’t think we should conclude from his silence on that particular subject, that Jesus would condone sex with animals. Or would he?

    Comment by zbone | April 10, 2009

  9. zbone-

    Give me a break–there is no way to read Romans 1 and not conclude that Paul condemned homosexuality as a sin.

    In my book, I present 15 interpretations of the Romans 1:26-27 passage. The Richard Hayes viewpoint is a recent invention and most assuredly not the viewpoint of early Christians about Romans.

    Aristides, the brilliant heterosexual Christian preacher, a native Greek speaker and intimately familiar with Roman and Christian culture, within 57 years of the writing of Romans, linked Paul’s words to shrine prostitution.

    Your idea that Romans is a clear universal condemnation of homosexuality does not become true simple because you hold the mistaken belief that it is old. Historical facts testify against your beliefs.

    Rick Brentlinger

    Comment by Rick Brentlinger | April 10, 2009

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