02/02/2017 04:53 SAST | Updated 02/02/2017 04:53 SAST

Don't Blame God or the Bible, We Hate Because We Want To

All we do is condemn people, but the Bible tells me in my brokenness that God doesn't condemn me.

Media personality Somizi Mhlongo
Mabuti Kali / Gallo Images
Media personality Somizi Mhlongo

Let me start off by saying I am in no way trying to be smart. Please hear my heart when you read this because I only ask questions to learn and have better understanding, it is in no way about me being smart or thinking I'm right. So all I ask for room to ask and for you to correct me where I am wrong. I just had to put this disclaimer out there.

So here we go.

Over the past weeks, there has been debate on social media about homosexuality and what the Bible and God have to say about it and it has caused me to have a few questions. Let me start here, I am a Christian and the Bible forms the foundation and the basis of how I live my life.

The simplest answer for me is clearly to say what the Bible says to be truth. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul lists homosexuality along other sins, so it's not unique by itself in the statement "do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God". When you read this scripture, you see that Paul doesn't rank them in turns of which is worse, he says all of these people will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches on homosexuality, the way it teaches about every other sin, but what is it that causes people to be hateful, because what I know about God, is not hate. The Bible tells us that God sent His Son to die for us on the cross, all of us. Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. God saw us in our deprivation and love (John 3:16) caused Him to spare us.

So, what is it that causes people to have hate towards homosexual people? I mean, what is it that causes people, when they read the Word, to be filled with hate and therefore be homophobic? I mean the Bible doesn't teach us to be homophobes, it really doesn't.

Please don't tell me about "I hate the sin and not the person" because you are literally hating the person. Could people be confusing what the Bible says about homosexuality to mean they must be hateful? Why is the response hate when it comes to homosexuals and not other sins?

When it comes to homosexuals, "punishment" is carried out by people. The Bible tells me that the wages of sin are death but the rest of us sinners aren't being killed for sleeping around. Someone on Twitter said that homosexual people "pay for their sins" in their social and economic lives and for as long as gay people pay with their lives for being gay, we can never say all sins are equal.

Are all sins are equal? In Matthew 5:21-28, Jesus equates committing adultery with having lust in your heart and committing murder with having hatred in your heart. However, does this mean the sins are equal? It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible's statement, "For the wages of sin is death ..." (Romans 6:23), applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed. In the same regard to both eternal consequences and salvation, all sins are the same.

Jesus died to pay the penalty for sin (1 John 2:2). Jesus died for all of our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus' statement from the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30), means that the penalty for sin is paid in full. The word translated "it is finished" is one word in the Greek: tetelestai. So, are all sins equal to God? I think yes and no. In severity? No. In penalty? Yes. In forgivability? Yes. The "if" at the beginning of 1 John 1:9 indicates a condition: if we "confess."

My belief is that to say homosexuality is a sin is not homophobic. That would mean the Bible teaches us to discriminate against people and it doesn't, I have never learnt that from the Bible. But I gather the issue isn't that people say that, I think the issue is all the extra things people add on that are hateful, like comparing people to animals, saying they should be killed, thrown in jail, be fired or kicked out of restaurants, that's homophobic. Saying "stealing is wrong" in church has never created an environment that leads to thieves getting harassed, raped or killed.

It's not what is being said, rather how it's being said.

I believe that people have read the Word, applied their own worldly hate while being imperfect human beings to create homophobia. That was us, as people, not the bible and definitely not God. So many people feeling exonerated from their homophobia because now the focus is on the church. Now you are blaming the Bible and the church as if it doesn't take a human mind to choose which verses are worth following or not and how they personally want to respond and condemn other sins.

Also, these analogies that people draw to make their point about homosexuality makes no sense to me. Gay people aren't saying premarital sex is unnatural and drawing analogies with animals to support their bias. Because it wouldn't make sense. Also, this idea that homosexual people shouldn't go to church makes even less sense. Is it unimaginable to some of us that a gay person would seek to maintain a relationship with God? The same way we all do?

A couple of months ago we were all united against racism in the church. We are the same people who won't give up our space to racism, sexism and any other ism, yet are confused as to why gay people won't give up going to church or restaurants either. We refer to sections of the Bible where homosexuality is a sin instead of outright condemning homophobia, which the Bible doesn't teach.

All we do is condemn people, when the very same Bible tells me in my brokenness that God doesn't condemn me, much like the Word, which convicts me so I can align myself with the ways of God.

I feel like in all of this we are missing the point. Can we just admit that we are broken? And I don't mean that when the Word says "we are new creations in Christ" it's not true, because it is, but rather that we know that we are broken. I don't think its sin to be broken. It's the result of sin to be broken.

So don't hear me isolating it as the worst of all sins. It is part of a brokenness that I share. Pride is a problem. Fear is a problem. Lust is a problem.It's about making God Lord in everything, not just in our sexuality.

All I know is homophobia is wrong. God is love. I need to love my neighbour, which means right next to me, that means me too, level ground. We need to be compassionate. The Bible is my guide and it convicts where I fall short. It doesn't condemn. The point of the Gospel is salvation for all man.

I personally, do not have a heaven or a hell to condemn people to and I won't do it.