In an interview with Parade magazine, Elton John reportedly claimed that “Jesus was a…gay man.” Here’s the link to the quote as reported online by Pete Samson of The Sun.
I thought Dan Brown–author of the Da Vinci Code–said that Jesus was married and had children.
It’s amazing what we do with Jesus and how we turn him into something we want him to be. Usually we either respect Jesus, as Elton John seems to do if you read the rest of his interview, or else we think of Jesus as a fraud as Dan Brown almost certainly does. When we see him as a fraud, we lie about him and fictionalize things in order to lead people away from faith in the biblical depiction of Jesus. That’s what Dan Brown has done in his novels.
But Elton John has made a similar mistake even though it likely comes from a different motive. He remakes Jesus in his own image. Elton John is so certain that practicing homosexuality is acceptable to God that, to him, Jesus must have approved of it. Now, how he gets so carried away as to say that Jesus himself was homosexual is evidence that he hasn’t read his bible very thoroughly.
Sure, Jesus’ closest friends were men, and Scripture refers to Jesus’ love for them, but the Greek word for love used in those contexts is not the Greek word for erotic or sexual love. Plus, the bible says that Jesus loved and loves us all. That doesn’t make him gay any more than it makes him the secret husband of Mary Magdalene.
The same bible that says homosexuality is a sin also condemns the practice of having sex outside of a marriage relationship. Since Scripture teaches that Jesus lived without sin, we must conclude that Jesus never had sex with anyone. But I’m getting off track here.
I was just really struck by Elton John’s claim and the reasons why somebody would say such a thing. It’s disheartening to know that millions of people admire the compassion and wisdom of Jesus but refuse to accept his hard sayings. Too many of us search for loopholes around his condemnation of sexual sins, materialism, and self-centeredness. And when we only believe in an abridged, condensed version of Jesus, we’re really only believing in an idol of our own creation whether we call it Jesus or not.
May we all be as compassionate as Jesus. May we also be as morally defined as Jesus calls us to be–even if this means we’re out of the cultural mainstream in our society.