Christian Churchs and Homosexuality

Are there any mainstream Christian churchs that say homosexuality is wrong/sinful? It is my understanding that it is only homosexual acts that are wrong/sinful since they occur outside the marriage of a man and a women.

I think that many churches are facing a crisis on the subject of homosexuality; I’ve heard it said quite a lot that “homosexuality isn’t bad, but homosexual acts are” - and I can’t think of any other situation where such a statement would be acceptable even for a moment: consider: “It’s OK to be hungry, but you must never eat” - “It’s OK to be tired, but you must remain awake indefinitely”.

I think this absurd standard arises from nothing much more than a grudging reluctance to face reality.

I think it is more an attempt to work out the “love the sinner hate the sin” attitude that they profess. Which doesn’t really work…


That is why I hate the church but not the church goers… hhmm… that sounded similar. :slight_smile:

Are people Born homosexual ? Or do they just become that way over time as they grow up ?

Im suprised that homosexuality is not discussed in the bible, Like how to deal with it.

Can you just imagine if adam and eve were gay ? I guess none of us would be around today.

to answer the OP, Assemblies of God and Foursquare most definitely say its a sin.

This gets bizarre however you explore it.

What is your definition of “homosexuality”? What exactly does the word mean? It’s not semantic nitpickery, since people who do make judgments about “homosexuality” have something in mind that they are speaking out against.

Take Aslan – a 14-year-old boy who has identified himself on open board here as bisexual. Obviously he is far too young to marry by any English-speaking country’s standards. Equally obviously, he’s passed through puberty and does have a sex drive. To what extent is he morally entitled to contemplate sex with girls without sinning? Is he supposed to take cold showers and sing “O Canada!” to himself until he reaches the magical age of consent? And having gotten there, he’ll be single – what may he legitimately feel and think and do morally as regrds love, sex, and romance until he finds the girl he will marry? And in what way are those thoughts and feelings different if we substitute “boy” for “girl” in those questions? How about one of the plethora of college students we have on the boards? What are they supposed to be feeling morally.

The Catholic Church says that the homosexual orientation is “a grave disorder” – not a sin per se, but a state of affairs conducive to sin. Just as I, descended from people with a tendency to alcoholism (some were, some were not, but all had alcoholics in their ancestry), need to be fairly cautious in my drinking and never ever “take a drink because I need one” – that way lies dependency – so too the gay person needs to avoid any inducement to sin, in the Catholic view. (A good Catholic can expand on what that “disordered” term means if he/she is willing; that’s my impression of what they mean by it.)

I get the distinct impression that, without making the formal definition above, that the evangelical protestant groups that approve of and support “ex-gay ministries” take much the same stance – homosexual acts are sins, the homosexual orientation is a condition conducive to sin, and therefore something to be “cured” both for the happiness and mental health of the gay person and to prevent the inducement to sin – removing temptation, as it were.

Obviously, many of us in the liberal and mainstream churches regard it as a condition which affects the lives of a minority of our membership, not itself a sin in any way, any more than the heterosexuality of the majority is a sin.

And just as there is an ideal towards which all heterosexuals aspire – either celibacy for a small minority, or a happy marriage with sexual fulfillment for the rest – so too are those choices available to the gay person.

Something that vanilla got very upset with me about, thanks to very poor wording on my part, is my insistence that God knew what He was doing when he created us with sexuality, and that there is nothing sinful in a teen having sexual feelings. Managing them is a different question, on which the individual needs to work out his or her own answers. But we are so created that as we progress toward adulthood, we begin the process of seeking out a life-mate and exploring what we want in such a person and what changes we are willing to make in our own lives to obtain and keep such a person – and the sex drive is a major factor in directing us towards that process.

While full-fledged sex acts are ideally limited to marriage, a relationship in which sexual desire plays a part is not so limited, nor did God intend it to be so limited – in a day and age when one married shortly after puberty, perhaps that would be true, but in today’s society, with more freedom to choose one’s life work and life mate, there is a significant gap between finding one’s sexuality and finding the person with whom one exercises it for life.

IMHO, the same rules apply to straight and to gay relationships. What Scripture condemns are things quite evil in and of themselves, but not a love-based mutual-consent-and-affection relationship between two gay men or women. These things include selfish, luxurious lifestyles that take advantage of the stranger, including sexually (the Sodom story); idolatrous fertility rites (Leviticus commands); pederasty and the prostitution of boys (the Corinthians shopping-list of sins); the search for new kicks by ennui-laden sophisticates (Romans 1); and a general sense of sex-as-taking-one-from-God that pervades much of the immorality passages throughout the New Testament.

This view is held by many Christians across the spectrum of Christian belief, but is by no means the majority view, which neither knows nor cares what a gay person may feel or think.

Well. Thank you Polycarp, that was a Christ-like thing to say.
(i will vote for you now!)

I am wondering about the 3 people I know in real life who say God has changed them.
When did they want to be changed (from gay to hetero)?
After they became christians? That might explain it.
I don’t know them well enough to get that personal.
Does anyone know anyone IRL who is gay but doesn’t Want to be?

Me, I knew when I was 5 I was straight. Its something you just know.

I attended an ELCA-sponsored (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, “the liberal lutherans”) colloquium on homosexuality a few years ago while the Church was trying to work out a “policy” on sexuality as a whole (they still haven’t come out with one - unsurprising, and perhaps wise).

Anyway, one speaker, a seminary professor, claimed that while the Biblical admonitions against homosexuality are ambiguous as to the generality of their application, the Bible is very clear (at least in the NT) that celibacy is a gift, not a mandate.

If I accept this interpretation, then I must conclude that any Church which acknowledges the “state” of homosexuality is not a choice does a great evil by imposing a requirement of celibacy on the homosexual.

I know someone who’s straight and doesn’t want to be . . . .

Off the top of my head, I understand “disordered” to mean “against the natural order.” Catholics going back to Aquinas, and IIRC, Augustine, have understood “the good” to be “that for which the thing was made” and “evil” to be “anything contrary to that for which the thing was made.” (Those definitions need a bit of extrapolation–someone once complained to me that it must be immoral to own potted plants, since plants were obviously made to reproduce. My response would be that God also made plants beautiful, so admiration of beauty would also be a function of the plant.)

Under Catholic teaching, the function of sexuality is twofold: to unite the couple in body and spirit, and to be open to reproduction (but not necessarily to reproduce per se–otherwise infertile couples couldn’t). Homosexual coupling is closed to the second of these, so homsexual sex would be considered outside the function of human sexuality. In a certain sense, it would also be considered closed to the first, in that Catholicism considers sex to be reserved for the sacrament of matrimony, but considers matrimony to be reserved for male and female couplings.

This is a whole 'nother discussion and I don’t want to hijack the thread any further, but only to answer Polycarp’s question.

To directly address the OP, I don’t know of any mainstream Christian denomination that says being homosexual - being sexually attracted to members of the same sex - is itself sinful. I think most, like the Catholic church, recognize that sexual orientation is not a choice that is consciously made.

Churches which have any formal teaching about homosexuality at all generally regard homosexual activity as contrary to the divine purpose of sex - as Res describes above - unity in marriage and (the possibility of) procreation.

With thousands of denominations and sects out there I’m sure you can find some that believe just about anything, but I don’t think you’ll find a major church that condemns anyone for their orientation alone.

vanilla, my WAG guess is that perhaps they are really bisexual, but simply choose to surpress those desires?