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As I was raised: God is all-loving, and He wants us to be all-loving too.

But, as you may know, homosexuals—particularly in America—have been shown hatred, and even violence (1)(2)(3)(4) from some members of the Christian community. The Wikipedia article on Christianity and homosexuality suggests some of the views from various denominations, but it's largest claim remains unsupported (i.e. that "most Christian denominations welcome people attracted to the same sex, but teach that homosexual relationships and sexual acts are sinful." Check the references, they are broken links or only refer to the Methodist Church, so they don't speak for "most Christian denominations").

As I dug deeper into the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, I saw some passages which indicated that homosexuality might be a sin, but the articles are poorly written and lack verifiable citations. Either way, I wasn't able to find any indication that God condones violence by mankind towards homosexuals. You would think that those who so vehemently hate homosexuals would also think that homosexuals are going to Hell when they die; that their fate will be gruesome enough such that anything a human does to add to it prematurely would be like kicking someone who's already dead. Maybe they really haven't thought that one through?

So I'm curious if there is any Biblical support for the idea that God wants us to be cruel to homosexuals (or anyone for that matter). Please carefully note that I'm not merely asking if the Bible is against homosexuality; I'm asking if there is a basis for showing hatred towards others, particularly gays.

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We should love those that hate us, Jesus hung out with those outcast, he hung out with those despised, and loved all. If we follow his example, we won't hate anyone, but, unfortunately, Jesus as a role-model seems to be outdated. –  James Black Sep 23 '11 at 1:49
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I'm not at all sure I'd agree with particularly in America. The worst Christian persecution of gay people is probably in Africa, particularly Uganda. That is, admittedly, partly incited by American preachers, but we can't lay all the blame in the USA. –  TRiG Oct 17 '11 at 22:02
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This question should be completely rewritten to admit that there are a very few people who claim to be Christians who show this kind of hatred. Christians themselves are quite hated as well, oftentimes much worse, not for hating homosexuals, which they do not, but for merely believing that homosexuality is one of many things which the Bible classifies as immoral. –  Narnian Apr 1 at 20:48
    
@TRiG There is also much Islamic influence in Africa, which has led to much persecution of many people groups, including homosexuals. –  fredsbend Jun 24 at 22:12
    
To close voters, I'm not sure this is off-topic or primarily opinion based. It is very clearly asking for Biblical Basis, which is a format that his been traditionally accepted on this site. When self-identified Christians hold signs that say "God hates Gays" I think is is perfectly fair to ask for a Biblical basis for that. –  fredsbend Jun 24 at 22:14

6 Answers 6

up vote 23 down vote accepted

In general

Romans 12:16-21 (ESV)
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If we have the choice, we should live in peace with all and be good to everyone. Even if they're evil. Even if they're our enemy.

Specifically regarding homosexuals

The Bible condemns homosexual acts, not having homosexual temptations. We can't judge anyone for what they didn't choose -- even Jesus was tempted, so temptations are not sin.

We don't know for sure if you can be born a homosexual, but it's certainly possible (even probable, science seems to tell us). That's all the more reason to try and be understanding with homosexual people. Do note that being born one way or another is no excuse for sinning, and we shouldn't act like the Bible approves of homosexual relationships and activities.

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See also: Should biblical laws apply to non-Christians? –  dancek Sep 23 '11 at 0:33

As St. Isaac the Syrian says we should not hate the sinner but the sin: we should hate homosexuality as an act but not the people that fell to this sin.

Love sinners, but hate their deeds, and do not disdain sinners for their failings, so that you yourself do not fall into the temptation in which they abide... Do not be angry at anyone and do not hate anyone, neither for their faith, nor for their shameful deeds... Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty... Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them.

St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 57,90

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P.S.: I'm Greek Orthodox.

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This is a good message to send, although I fear that humans through their own natural tendencies may lose sight of the divide between sin and sinner. –  stoicfury Nov 6 at 1:41

Read Romans 1-2 (that's chapters one and two), which contain verses quoted to condemn homosexuality. You will see that Paul is making a point that in condemning we are judging and are guilty of plenty of our own sins.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Romans 2:1

Consider also:

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20

We are explicitly taught to love everyone:

11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

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If we are taught to love everyone, why does God kill lots of people? Also, if God made everyone, he must have made the people he kills as well, which seems silly because he obviously knew how they would behave when he made them in the first place. How does one reconcile God's clearly irrational and violent behavior in the Old Testament with his noticeably softer approach in the New Testament? You say God wants us to love everyone, but sometimes it sure doesn't seem like it in the Bible... –  stoicfury Jun 25 at 4:12

Mark 12:31 NIV

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.

What is important is that it does NOT say, "love your neighbor as yourself, if he believes like you do". Also, I would suggest that it would be against Jesus' teachings to even consider to hate someone because they do not have the same life rules as you.

While I believe that homosexual sexual activities are unnatural, it is not my job to judge the people who commit these acts. I have better things to occupy my thoughts.

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Hatred should not be shown towards anyone.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 NKJV)

Being Homosexual IS a punishment of itself.

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 1:27 NKJV)

Some of the Early Church was Homosexual

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. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV)

We have been given specific instruction on how to deal with Homosexuals OUTSIDE THE BODY who are sexually immoral.

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. (1 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV)

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 NKJV)

We have been given specific instruction on how to deal with Homosexuals IN THE BODY who CONTINUE IN SEXUAL IMMORALITY

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 NKJV)

So instruction was also given to the church.

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV)

And also an example of sexual immorality was given to show exactly how to handle it

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-2 NKJV)

Delivery of the Punishment

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:4-5 NKJV)

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 NKJV)

So no there is no Biblical basis for hating homosexuals. For God fulfills the law.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17 NKJV)

Therefore since in God's opinion Homosexuality is a detestable act.

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. (Leviticus 20:13 NKJV)

God will deliver the punishment

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 NKJV)

For He is the one to deliver the death penalty

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.” (John 8:7 NKJV)

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In your very last sentence, you write "For he is the one to deliver the death penalty". I'm presuming you mean to capitalizing the "he" to "He", implying God is the one to deliver the punishment. What you quote (both as you wrote it and in the Bible itself, "let HIM throw a stone..." is uncapitalized, implying not God doing the throwing but a human being. So that quote would suggest that — in whatever example of punishment that is referring to — humankind should deliver the punishment... –  stoicfury Apr 1 at 19:32
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A larger problem I have with your answer is that you quote a wide range of Biblical passages out of context to support your claims, many of which do not directly support what you are saying. Take the first sentence, for example: "Hatred should not be shown towards anyone." A quote from the Bible saying "For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" does not mean that no one should show hatred to anyone. It means that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... The context of that passage talks about Israelites and non-Israelites being equal... –  stoicfury Apr 1 at 19:43
    
@stoicfury At the time for the stoning, Jesus prays “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” implying for God do the throwing. For the Father has decided to complete the law. "He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Revelation 13:10 NKJV) and no long us "To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either." (Luke 6:29) So no only God is to deliver now. –  Only he is good. Apr 1 at 20:50
    
Who will render to every man according to his deeds (Romans 2:6 NKJV) –  Only he is good. Apr 1 at 20:52
    
@stoicfury perhaps I should have included "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice." (Ephesians 4:31 NKJV) and the reason why is because "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 NKJV) –  Only he is good. Apr 1 at 20:57

First off, a point of terminology. There is no Biblical (or historical, for that matter) basis for the existence of "homosexual people" in the first place. The concept of "sexual orientation" as an inherent trait seems to be a modern concept, invented for political purposes and unsupported by objective facts.

The Bible condemns homosexual acts in very strong terms. However, it does not condone taking the punishment for even the most sinful of acts into one's own hands, nor is violence or hatred against others permitted. The Sermon on the Mount makes it quite clear that, as even such small bits of hate as angry words can lead to sins as great as murder, that they should be avoided entirely in order to follow the principles of the Gospel. In fact, Jesus places such strong importance on this principle that he places reconciliation and the avoidance of anger and conflict even above such weighty matters as bringing an offering/donation to the house of the Lord:

Matthew 5:21-24

21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

It's also worth noting that, while violence against "homosexual people" by religious people tends to get a lot of coverage in the media, government statistics show that the greatest source of violence against homosexuals by far is domestic violence, perpetrated by their own partners. Why this is, and why it is not covered more widely by the media, is the subject of a different question, most likely for a different site.

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Re: Your last paragraph on domestic violence. My understanding is that most domestic violence against lesbians is at the hands of former, male partners. This does count as "domestic violence", but it also contradicts the point you're making. Do you have any studies to back up your claim? –  TRiG May 14 '12 at 22:10
    
Sexual orientation is not a "modern concept". Hindu scriptures have talked about homosexuality and gender variance, calling temptation a "spiritual goal of life". –  Vibhav Pant Mar 17 at 20:26

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