On the weekend of January 10–11, 2015, about 1,500 people gathered in Portland, Oregon, for the annual gathering of “LGBT. Christians” organized by the Gay Christian Network. Brandan Robertson was there and reported on the conference. I would like to comment on his report.
Robertson is (in his words) the “national spokesperson” for the organization “Evangelicals for Marriage Equality” (EME). He states that EME exists,
to help change hearts and minds of evangelical Christians on the issue of same-sex civil marriage. . . . We make the case that you can be a faithful Bible-believing evangelical while supporting the right of same-sex couples to be civilly married in the United States and that whatever your theology might be, it shouldn’t dictate what you should believe politically and socially about this.
He also tells us in the MSNBC clip that “The latest poll shows that 43% of millennial evangelicals now support same-sex marriage, which is mind-blowing.” Mind-blowing indeed! But is it something to rejoice about, as Robertson and those 1,500 conferees did, or something to weep over?
He opens his report about the conference this way:
Four years ago I didn’t think it was possible to be both Gay and Christian. Those identities were diametrically opposed in my mind. To be gay was to have adopted a false identity rooted in sin and to be Christian was to find ones identity in Jesus Christ alone. So any attempt to mesh these two radical identities seemed to be futile to me. One canceled the other. You were either gay and opposed to Christianity, or a Christian and opposed to homosexuality. There was no other option.
It is strange that as a professing evangelical Christian who presumably reads the Bible, Robertson would think back then that it was “impossible” for a person to be a Christian and a homosexual. In 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, Paul rebukes the Corinthians for tolerating a Christian man who was in an immoral relationship with his father’s wife. In fact, much of the New Testament was written to address sinful behavior and wrong doctrine in the first-century church. The question is not, can a person be a Christian and a homosexual? The answer is, of course. There are thousands of people in America and many other countries who are both homosexual and Christian. The question is rather, can a person be a faithful follower of Christ and a practicing homosexual? The biblical answer to that is, absolutely not, just as Robertson thought in 2011. More