homosexuality

The Real Meaning of the Rainbow

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Two years ago, I remember sitting in the Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma as people crowded around the TVs to watch and celebrate the legalization of gay marriage. I figured there would be a celebration this year on the anniversary of that day. Instead, a whole month was dedicated to LGBTQIA+ pride. You can see it everywhere: social media, pride parades, TV, movies, magazines. As a Christian, I obviously do not condone homosexuality or any of the other lifestyles included in LGBTQIA+. I believe the Bible when it calls them sinful. Of the many issues I have with pride month, one of the biggest is their adaptation of the rainbow from a Biblical symbol to a symbol of gay pride.

Earlier this month, a Google doodle celebrated a gay man named Gilbert Baker, who came up with the concept for the modern day pride flag. It started with 8 stripes, but has since been cut down to six. The remaining colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Baker assigned a meaning to each color. Red is life, orange is healing, yellow is sunlight, green is nature, blue is serenity, and violet is spirit. None of those color meanings are bad. What I believe is bad is that the rainbow flag represents something unbiblical, even though the rainbow was originally a Biblical symbol.

Let’s go back in time for a moment to after the flood that destroyed God’s original creation, except for Noah and his family. In Genesis 9, God makes a covenant with Noah that is represented by the rainbow.

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with…every living creature on earth…Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood…”And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Genesis 9:8-15)

Whenever I see a rainbow, I thank God for not flooding the earth and destroying all creation, even though I am a sinner not worthy of saving. But it’s more than that. Rainbows remind me not only of God’s covenant with Noah, but also of all the other promises he made in the Bible. They remind me of God’s everlasting love and faithfulness and forgiveness.

That is why it’s insulting to see such a sacred symbol waved around in celebration of sin. I feel like I can’t use the colors of the rainbow without people thinking I’m supporting gay rights. I’m not. I just like the rainbow because of what it represents to me (and also because it’s pretty).

I know this is a controversial topic and that I probably have an unpopular opinion. But I felt the need to share this because I wanted to stand up for God. I’m sure that it’s upsetting to him, too, to see the sign of his covenant misused in such a way.

I’m not expecting anything to change. I know that the rainbow will continue to be the symbol of gay pride. I only hope that it will also continue to be remembered as a sign of God’s covenent, and of his love.

Wait for it…

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In my Introduction to Mass Communication class we have an assignment where we are supposed to create an outline for an argument. We can choose whatever topic we want for the argument. I was thinking about what topic to structure my argument around and, when I passed a poster about consent, the idea popped into my head to do it over why people shouldn’t have sex before marriage. I quickly realized that I couldn’t actually use that topic because there isn’t really any solid evidence that waiting until marriage to have sex is scientifically better than not waiting. Which got me thinking about why I believe in saving myself for marriage when there are plenty of people who don’t and still do just fine. For me, it all goes back to the Bible, God’s Word. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” God designed sex to be between a man and a woman in the confines of marriage. Our bodies are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and we are not to defile them by being sexually immoral. Having sex outside of marriage, including with a prostitute (verses 15-17), is known as sexual immorality. Sex was not designed to be solely a physical experience. It was not designed as a “next level” to keep boyfriends and girlfriends from breaking up (and it doesn’t). It was designed to be a physical and emotional experience between a man and his wife to fulfill the desires that God created us with (1 Corinthians 7:2-3). Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) is a book of songs/poems written by Solomon about the intimacy between a husband and wife. If you read through it, you’ll notice that, unlike most writings about sex today, it isn’t focused solely on the physical aspect of sex. It talks about romance and love and intimacy: things that aren’t always present during pre-marital sex. Another function of sex is, of course, to reproduce. In Genesis 1:28, God tells Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” Unmarried couples can get pregnant but, as I’m sure you know, that raises a lot of complications that neither party really wants. This is also why homosexuality is unnatural. Two men together and two women together cannot reproduce. That, alone, should be an obvious indicator that homosexuality is not right. It’s like trying to put together a puzzle with pieces that don’t fit. You’re never going to get it right (Romans 1:26-27). Anyway, back to why sex is best in marriage. Although having sex outside of marriage may not produce any obvious consequences, waiting until marriage allows for a deeper connection between husband and wife. Why? Simply put, because neither of them have any point of reference, so they are completely content with how it feels, both physically and emotionally, to have sex with their spouse. Besides, delayed gratification can be a good thing. If you have to wait for a long time to get something, it feels even better when you finally get it. Another reason sex is best saved for marriage is because marriage was designed to last a lifetime (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). If a boyfriend and girlfriend have sex, they are still just as likely to break up because there’s nothing tying them to each other. Not a ring or a document or a vow. They can have sex and then break up. In fact, people do it all the time. In the Taylor Swift song Fifteen, one line goes, “Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind.” That happens. People change their minds. The thing is, though, when two people are married, rather than just dating, they are less likely to change their mind and file for a divorce because it’s more difficult and complicated than simply breaking up. Plus, when two people decide to get married, it is usually a decision that is made after thoughtful consideration. Meaning that they both can’t imagine spending their lives without the other. There are plenty of people who have sex with multiple partners outside of marriage, therefore devaluing sex. If you have sex a lot before you get married, then once you get married sex between you and your spouse isn’t go to be as special because 1) it will be nothing new for you and 2) you’ll probably be tempted to compare them to your previous sexual partners (and if they don’t measure up you may be disappointed, which isn’t fair for your spouse). Sex isn’t meant to be recreational. It wasn’t designed to be an activity or a pastime. No, it is an intimate experience designed to deepen spouse’s love for and connection with one another. I’ve talked a lot about God’s design for sex. How do you think He feels when people have sex outside of marriage, therefore going against His design? Think of it like this: right now I am typing this on a laptop. Laptops are designed to allow people to have portable access to the their pictures, music, videos, games, documents, the Internet, and etc. How do you think the manufacturer of the laptop, in my case, Apple, would feel if they found out that I used my laptop as a pillow or a fly-swatter or a seat cushion or a door stop? They would probably be mad and sad that their product was being used as something other than what it was designed for. That’s how God feels when we have sex outside of marriage or with someone of the same gender (but that’s for a different post). All this being said, if you’ve had sex before marriage, you aren’t a horrible person that can’t be loved by God. This post is not meant to call you out and make you feel bad. I am simply stating my Biblically based opinion. God still loves you just the same and will forgive you if only you ask (1 John 1:9). I just feel like my opinion is an unpopular one that isn’t heard very often. So I wanted to make it heard. All these posters around my campus talking about what does and does not count as consent just sadden me. The only acceptable form of consent should be a wedding ring.

Love the Sinner, Not the Sin

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In response to today’s court ruling legalizing gay marriage in the U.S., I’d like to share my opinion. God loves everyone. No exceptions. That being said, he doesn’t love our sin. Think of it this way: God feels the same way about sinners as we do about burgers that give us indigestion. He loves them but He doesn’t love what they do. Homosexuality is a sin. The Bible says so. It was homosexuality that led to the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just because the homosexuals are celebrating sin doesn’t mean we should stop loving them. If anything, it means we should love them more. They need us to show them the love of God. If we go on persecuting them, then they’ll go on believing that God is a God of hatred. That’s not true. God wants us to love homosexuals just as he does. As I’m typing this, I’m sitting in a room with a gay guy who I have come to know over the past few weeks. He is a very kind man. He has a wonderful personality. Being gay doesn’t make him any less amazing. We all sin. None of us should be identified by our sin. Imagine having to constantly wear a sticker with your biggest sin on it. Imagine being called by that sin. Would you like that? No. Then why is it that we look at homosexuals and only think ‘gay?’ They are so much more than that! They have personalities! They have talents and passions! Just like the rest of us. The only difference is that they wear their sin on their sleeve, without realizing it’s a sin. Our job is not to point out that sin and terrorize them for it. No! Our job is to show them God’s love. However, God does want us to confront them about their sin. Galatians 6:1 says, “If someone is caught in any sin, you as a follower of Christ should restore that person with a gentle spirit.” Gentle spirit. Do it with love! Not condemnation! I will admit that I have had a bitter attitude towards homosexuals in the past. Except I see now that won’t change anything. Love will. God’s love will.