A new app called Our Bible is set to roll out this fall. The app is reported to feature “at least 20 Bibles and more than 300 devotional readings, meditation exercises, articles and podcasts” with the target audience being “LGBTQ Christians and others who feel marginalized by mainstream Christianity.” This app is to be “a digital space for LGBTQ people to explore their own spiritual practice without having to surrender any part of their identity.”
With so much that is biblically wrong with this app and the idea behind it, it’s hard to know where to begin. First, let’s start with a simple exercise. Let’s take out “LGBTQ people” and insert a different sinful “identity” in its place. The app now becomes:
A digital space for adulterous people to explore their own spiritual practice without having to surrender any part of their identity.
A digital space for habitual liars or gossips to explore their own spiritual practice without having to surrender any part of their identity.
These examples show the absurdity of what the creators of this app are saying. They are ignoring the very heart of the message of Christianity, that we become born again (John 3:3)—become new creatures—and gain a brand-new identity when we turn to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Authentic Christianity is all about dying to your old identity (John 12:24; Romans 6:1; Galatians 5:24) as a sinful creature in rebellion against God (Romans 6:6) and becoming a new person in Christ Jesus. We don’t get to pick what our “own spiritual practice” will be—we have been called to holiness (1 Peter 1:14–16) and to living according to the Word of God (John 14:15).
The article announcing this app goes on to say,
When Christian schools and other institutions exclude LGBTQ people, it leaves LGBTQ Christians with a difficult choice between hiding their identity in religious spaces or giving up the social support of those groups. (emphasis added)
This completely ignores the third and only biblical option—renouncing your sin and living for righteousness as we’ve been called to do as Christians (Romans 6:12–14)! Will Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction or feelings of gender dysphoria have to battle with their sinful desires? Well, Romans 7 (along with other references) makes it very clear that Christians can still struggle with sin. But, unlike unbelievers, we have the Holy Spirit to help us fight the temptation to sin, and we are no longer slaves to our old sinful nature (Romans 6:17–18).
These professing believers are trying to find their identity in their sexuality and gender rather than submitting totally to Jesus Christ. But we are no longer defined by our sin when we are Christians. We are defined by Christ who lives in us. There should be no such thing as an LGBTQ Christian any more than there should be a drunkard Christian, liar Christian, or adulterer Christian. We are simply Christians, and our identity is not in the sinful desires that we all still have (though Christians are given strength to restrain ourselves [1 Corinthians 10:13]), but in the one who died for our sin and gave us new life (1 Corinthians 6:9–20).
The article includes this quote from a minister involved with the project:
Every Sunday, young LGBTQ people are going to services and they’re hearing messages not of their perfection, not of how good they are, but that there’s something wrong with them. Those messages are antithetical to the Biblical text.
I would encourage this minister to open the Bible and take a look at its text! Here’s just a small sampling of verses I think would be good for him to read.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. (Genesis 8:21)
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19).
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. (Mark 7:21–23)
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:26–32)
I assert that it’s this minister’s message of “you’re good just as you are” that is “antithetical to the Biblical text,” instead of the true message of our need for repentance and forgiveness in Christ. God’s Word certainly says so! If they’re “good” and “perfect,” how would they recognize their need of a Savior? Could such messages, though well intentioned, be “comforting” these young men and women in the present but all the while leading them to a Christ-less eternity? That’s not biblical love!
These professing believers who are encouraging and enabling fellow Christians to live according to their sinful passions and desires should listen carefully to this warning from God’s Word:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1)
Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, a former feminist activist and practicing lesbian, has a compelling testimony of coming to Christ and leaving her LGBTQ identity behind. She spoke at our Answers for Women’s Conference a few years ago, and her session is available alone or together with the rest of the Embrace conference talks. I encourage you to listen to her moving testimony and advice for lovingly reaching out to those in the LGBTQ community with the good news of the gospel.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.