I am a female in love with another woman. Will God punish me for that?
I want to take the time to answer this question as carefully and as respectfully as I can as it embarks on a subject that no matter how you answer it there will always be someone who will have an objection to your response.
This subject is so controversial that most churches will not even address it. That is unfortunate because I’m sure there are many people like yourself that have this same question. It amazes me how many Christians, especially Pastors if they do address the issue will skirt the word of God in an attempt to obey the commandment from Jesus to “not judge one another”. Recently the Pope responded to the subject of homosexual priests by saying “who am I to judge?” I believe this is a total misunderstanding of this commandment. Most preachers and church Pastors do not address this subject in an attempt to not offend anyone, or not divide the church.
Now I realize, there are some, how should I put it “overzealous” Christians that would love to quote the many verses that speak about this subject without giving any explanation as to the reasons for them. I am not going to take that approach. I will give as honest and respectful an answer as I can, based upon prayer, my studies and beliefs. However I will for the sake of God’s righteousness and for those interested, quote God’s word directly at the end of this response. So that His word will be the final response to this very tough question.
One of the reasons God created the relationship between a man and a woman is so the emotional needs of each other could be satisfied in a way that could not be done by themselves as individuals.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen 1:18
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Gen 1: 20-22
This unique, God ordained and sacred relationship is a gift from God to His creation. To turn to each other in love and know that that this love is, a testimony to His creation being in the Image of Himself. He created that union between a man and a woman. One of the biggest issues in the world today is as time goes by and our world view changes, we think that our lives should change accordingly. We develop as humans and understand our environment more (or should I say differently) so that what was considered as the ‘norm’ of years past must go away and change with time. To a point and in some circumstances of our lives, this is true, however the absurdity of thinking that this logic should pertain to the scared, ordained things of God is absolutely wrong. I must agree with a statement I heard from a well know Christian Apologist who stated “We are so concerned with recognizing a persons right we forget to recognize what’s right.” Just because a world view comes up with the idea that something is ok, does not and should not justify the implementation of such a world view into our lives. If someone were to decide it’s ok to marry your pet should we respond with “who am I to judge”?
I am stating these things to give you a rationale as to what I’m about to say to you now. That is, the most direct answer to your question is, I don’t believe He will punish us for feelings that appear to be natural to us, however if when one comes to know what God’s word says on this subject and you CHOOSE to keep living in this manner, then yes, like all things that go against God’s word, we will be held accountable for those actions. Now as I indicated in the beginning of my response, this is a delicate and controversial subject and there are several common responses to the above statements. Let me try to anticipate some of them and provide answers to those as well.
1. I can’t help how I feel, this is how God made me
2. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is who I am.
3. I live a good Christian life, I help others, love my neighbor, love my enemies, I am not judgmental. I find it hard to believe God would punish me for this. He wouldn’t be the God He says He is if He did.
First: “I can’t help how I feel; this is how God made me”
I agree with the first part of this, your feelings are not by choice, however believe it or not, God did NOT make you this way. He would not intentionally make you a certain way and then condemn you for it. That would go against everything we do know about Him;
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” James 1:13
Your feelings are part of the fallen state we all live in. Yes there are those who will have these tendencies more than others. What you choose to do about it should be your main concern. We should pray for the suppression of any feelings of thoughts that may go against God’s word.
Second; “ Homosexuality is NOT a choice, it is who I am.”
Again, I agree the feelings may seem natural to you, but as I have said, if you intentionally stay in a same sex relationship, you are making a choice. Henri Nouwen, was a professor of pastoral theology at Yale Divinity School. Originally an ordained Catholic priest. He admitted he was a homosexual in his writings, but to be obedient to God’s word, he CHOSE to never pursue those feelings. So, yes, there is in fact a choice relating to these matters.
Third; I live a good Christian life, I help others, love my neighbor, love my enemies, I am not judgmental. I find it hard to believe God would punish me for this. He wouldn't be the God He says He is if He did.
As with many of the things in our lives we often feel our decisions have the right intentions. And when we are told that our decisions go against God’s word, it makes us feel uncomfortable so we try to justify it by saying “I’m a good person and I find it hard to believe he would find fault in me. Also, that He wouldn’t be the God He says He is if He did that.”
The reality is, He wouldn’t be the God He says He is if He didn’t discipline us. He would be a liar. Something that is just not possible. Just because something about God’s word makes us feel uncomfortable doesn’t negate its truth.
The issue of ‘not judging someone’ is sometimes argued by looking at the story in the book of John where the religious leaders brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery before Jesus to be judged. Jesus ignored them at first. When they kept asking Him He responded. The verses are;
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you…..” John 8:7- 11 (emphasis added)
People often use these verses as proof we should not judge one another. However if you notice, they take a common approach to biblical interpretation of finding only the verse (or in this case part of the verse) that supports their reasoning.
If you continue to read the remaining part of verse 11 Jesus said “….go and sin no more.” Jesus RECOGNIZED her sin and COMMANDED her to not to continue in it. He did not accept it. Now I realize we do not have the same authority as Jesus and no, we are not supposed to Judge. But the point here is that we should do what Jesus did. Show the person compassion, show the person love by lovingly telling them what God’s word says on this or any particular situation. What we are are not supposed to do is skirt God’s word by accepting something in order to obey the commandment to not ‘judge one another’. There’s a difference. After that, what they do with this knowledge is between them and God.
Now for all those who may ask, where in the Bible it specifically speaks about this subject, I would be remiss if I didn’t quote the word of God on this subject. As I stated above, just stating these verses without any further thought or explanation is wrong. I hope I have avoided that problem. So to that end (not inclusive of all) here they are:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Lev 18:21
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Lev 20:13
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6:9-10
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Romans 1:26:27
I would like to make one other point. If you have been or are in this situation, does this mean your condemned for life? No. In verse 11 of 1Corinthians chapter 6, it reads;
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor. 6:11
This and all sin can be forgiven, if one truly repents (turn away) from it.
So, in closing, may I suggest to you that the fact that you are a Christian and you are asking this question, that maybe it is the Holy Spirit prompting you that something in your life needs to be addressed. I would also suggest that you pray. If you already are doing this, then continue to do so. Ask God to help you with this and suppress any wrongful ideas, thoughts or actions in your life. Knowing He does not necessarily answer prayers in the time frame we would like, He assures us if you pray in earnest, He will hear you. God bless.