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It seems that the religious community has something new to look forward to. Melissa M. Wilcox is a religious studies professor that the University of California at Riverside. She is launching a new academic journal exploring the connections between religion, gender, and sexuality. QTR: A Journal of Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion is slated to begin publication in 2023. Its focus will be to explore Christianity, Buddhism, Jewish communities and other faith groups through a queer and trans studies lens.
Wilcox explains that the journal will feature queer and trans approaches to sacred texts, as well as ways trans and queer people have created their own religious spaces. The idea is to promote research done by liberal academics that demonstrates how a lot of queer and trans individuals are actually involved in religion, and that it is only certain groups of intolerant religious individuals who are working against the inclusion of homosexuals in religious life.
In addition to the journal, they also plan to develop a website that will include audio interviews, podcasts, poetry, and fiction. Needless to say, religious studies professors at other schools are also excited about the prospect of this new resource, and believe that the advent of this journal will help the world to be better informed about what is going on in the homosexual religious community. Their hope is change hearts and minds.
One of the prominent themes of the article announcing this new venture is the belief that certain religious “elites” have created a hostile religious environment for queer and trans people – particularly “white evangelical Protestants.” The journal supporters claim is that white evangelical Protestants, in particular, have marginalized queer and trans individuals by not accepting them into their churches.
At this point it seems necessary to straighten out some serious misconceptions. Reality is not as this groups claims it to be.
First, Christians do not hate queer people. The homosexual community, along with all of their supporters, define disagreement as hate. That is simply false. In fact, the truth is just the opposite. The Bible does define homosexual behavior as sin, but it defines a lot of other things as sin as well. Based on Christian beliefs, the problem with homosexual behavior is not that it is some unique category of conduct that is especially egregious, but that it simply represents sinful behavior. Based on Christian beliefs, sin is sin no matter what category it falls into. And the problem with sin is that it separates people from God.
The concern of Christians is not that queer and trans people are queer and trans, but that they are sinners in need of forgiveness and salvation. They don’t get special status because society has deemed homosexuality to be an acceptable practice, nor do they rate special condemnation because of their particular sexual sins. The primary concern is that they come to know a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
With that explanation, we need to understand why those who promote the cause of queer and trans people are so convinced that Christians hate them. They believe Christians are haters because they have an entirely different set of worldview beliefs that not only advocates different values, but even an entirely different source for determining what is moral vs. what is immoral. According to their beliefs, anyone who considers homosexuality a sin is immoral. It is not true, of course, but that is what they believe. And with that as a starting point, it is easy to see why they label Christians as haters.
For Christians, on the other hand, God Himself is the source for what is right and wrong. He created the natural universe to operate in a particular way, created mankind, then revealed to us Himself and His ways. When it comes to humanity, He created human beings male and female, and did it in such a way as to make them complementary creatures and capable of reproducing.
Now if that was all, then those promoting homosexuality might have a point. But that is not all. In addition to being complementary creatures and capable of reproducing, God also made human beings spiritual creatures with the capacity to engage Him in a personal relationship. However, that relationship also exists in a particular way – a way which He has revealed to mankind through the Bible. And according to the Bible, homosexual behavior is a sin.
Those who promote homosexual behavior, though, do not regard the Bible as an authoritative source of knowledge about God. While some may claim to be Christians and attempt to use the Bible to support their beliefs, they take it upon themselves to interpret it in ways that do not correspond to what is actually written in it. Their bottom line beliefs are actually their own personal moral preferences, and they only use the Bible as a source for proof texting out of context verses in an attempt to support their actual beliefs. In truth, they are CINOs – Christian in name only.
The fact is, Christians don’t hate queer and trans people. In fact, they love them enough to tell them the truth about the person of God, the nature of man, and how to enter into an eternal personal relationship with a loving Savior. It is only in that relationship that individuals will ever know eternity in heaven with Him.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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