An analysis of the Christian view of homosexuality as based on the Bible
The Christian church has historically condemned homosexuality as sin and refused to admit homosexuals as members of the church fellowship unless they repent and attempt to live as heteroxexuals.
In recent years, growing debate over this stand has had quite a few sincere and faithful Christians wrestling with torn souls and consciences. On the one side are passionate arguments for the Christian principles of justice, mercy and spiritual humility -- requiring us to honor both homosexuals and heterosexuals as equal in the sight of God. On the other side are passionate arguments that the Christian principles of justice, mercy and spiritual humility require us to maintain the line that homosexuality is a sin, and to demand that any homosexual person repent of that sin before they can participate in the church.
After reading Stranger at the Gate, the personal account of Mel White on being Gay and Christian in America, I wrote a lengthy essay on my response. But while researching some Biblical verses, I found that there were already many, many pages of analysis on both sides of the same argument, posted on the Web.
So, not to re-invent the wheel one more time, I'm starting with links to arguments on both sides of the debate. In my summary, I will try to present thoughtful response to both sides. And I will give anyone who reads this page an opportunity for their own say on the subject.
This page is intended to develop dialogue. Dialogue implies a flowing, a consideration of the views of others, learning from each other. This page will be of no interest to people at either extreme of the argument: those who feel that they are defending human rights against sectarian hatred, or those who feel that they are defending the purity of Biblical Christianity against modern deconstruction of morality. I do hope that it will be of help to those of us in the middle, who want to understand more about both human sexuality and the work of God in human life.
This topic will not be of great interest to anyone to whom Biblical Christianity is an abstract subject. Whether the Bible does or does not require Christians to condemn homosexuality and reject unrepentant homosexuals from membership in their church is only a matter of concern to those who have a deeply rooted respect for the Christian God and the Christian Bible. Others, though, may be curious about what all the fuss is, or be looking for ways to keep the argument from harming themselves or those they care about.
Should the traditional view that the Bible condemns homosexuality be changed? Yes No Dialogue Resources Issues of Human Sexuality
Human Sexuality (admits homosexuals to the church but calls for homoesexual chastity)
Homosexuality and Bisexuality from religioustolerance.org
Salon News: The Odd Couple- A report on an historic meeting between Jerry Falwell and Mell White
(all of these links are to amazon.com -- because it has many reviews,
and because a portion of any purchases go to the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project)
New Testament and Homosexuality by Robin Scroggs
Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America, by Mel White
Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? : A Positive Christian Response by Letha Dawson Scanzoni, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott(Contributor)
The Church and the Homosexual by John J. McNeill
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture by John Shelby Spong
Living in Sin? : A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality by John Shelby Spong
The Moral Teaching of Paul : Selected Issues by Victor Paul Furnish
Homoeroticism in the Biblical World : A Historical Perspective by Martti Nissinen, Kirsi Stjedna (Translator)
Religion Is a Queer Thing : A Guide to the Christian Faith for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons by Elizabeth Stuart, Andy Braunston, Malcolm Edwards, John McMahon (Contributor), Tim Morrison (Contributor)
Homosexuality in the Church : Both Sides of the Debate by Jeffrey S. Siker (Editor)
Homosexuality and Christian Community by C. L. Seow (Editor)
Scripture and Homosexuality : Biblical Authority and the Church Today by Marion L. Soards
Homosexuality, Science, and the 'Plain Sense' of Scripture by David L. Balch (Editor)
Where the Spirit Leads : The Evolving Views of United Methodists on Homosexuality by James Rutland Wood
The Loyal Opposition : Struggling With the Church on Homosexuality by Tex Sample (Editor), Amy E. Delong (Editor)
In Defense of Heterosexuality by Stanley Keleman
A Strong Delusion by Joe Dallas
Desires in Conflict by Joe Dallas
Straight & Narrow? : Compassion & Clarity in the Homosexuality Debat e by Thomas E. Schmidt
Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth by Jeffrey Satinover
Homosexuality and American Public Life by Christopher Wolfe (Editor), William Kristol (Introduction)
The Battle for Normality : A Guide for (Self-)Therapy for Homosexuality by G. J. M. Van Den Aardweg, Gerard J. M., Phd Van Den Aardweg
Setting Love in Order : Hope and Healing for the Homosexual by Mario Bergner
The Truth About Homosexuality : The Cry of the Faithful by John F. Harvey
I am a Christian, heterosexual, woman. I was brought up very strongly influenced by three competing viewpoints: my grandmother's strong fundamentalism, my father's strong scientific humanism, and my mother's strong mysticism. It was only after my grandmother died that my grandfather converted to Christianity, and he went through a lot of thinking himself as he worked to reconcile his own mystic nature and admiration of science with the Christian Bible. I learned from him, and I did a lot of work myself in later years.
Up to about 1990, I myself believed that Christianity called me to love homosexuals as people, but to reject their sins, which included homosexuality. I also believed that homosexuals had psychological and character flaws, and were more inclined to promiscuity and cruelty than heterosexuals.
When I became homeless, I began living and working with a number of homosexuals. It seems to me that a third of homeless youth are homeless -- usually cast out of home when they "came out."
Reality is heartless on stereotypes.
The homosexuals, bisexuals and transvestites that I know now vary as much in character and personality, for good and bad, as any other group of human beings I know. They include two deeply and passionately Christian women who pour out their lives in the service of others and of social justice.
I do believe that temperance and chastity are among the fruits of the spirit. I experienced, myself, giving up promiscuity and adultery after my own Christian rebirth. However, I know gays, lesbians, bisexuals abd transgendered persons who are not promiscuous or adulterous. Many are of other faiths than Christian; some are passionately Christian. This is my own anecdotal evidence, but it is borne out by all statistical evidence I have ever read.
I've put all of this up front because it will affect how some readers will weigh my own arguments. I don't want anyone to feel I've sandbagged you: pretended to be discussing Christianity when I'm really arguing for gay rights. I'm really arguing for both. God is the most beautiful and adorable Being who exists, and it is of supreme importance to me that the love of God and the vision of God be fulfilled on Earth. I also believe that the whole subject of sexual morality in the church -- including chastity, birth control, abortion, or any sexual practices outside of those between a man and a woman within marriage -- has caused and is causing immense pain and damage to the church, society, and individuals. I believe a large part of this is due to misunderstanding about the proper spiritual priorities of a practicing Christian.
These are what I consider the proper priorities:
Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul, and love thy neighbor as thyself.
Test the spirit by its fruits.
On the following pages, I go into more detail on my own views.
Forums for discussion:
- My original essay
- A list of Biblical passages referring to sexuality, homosexuality, or Sodom
- Thoughts on the fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible
- Testing the spirits
- Thoughts on spiritual humility, and growing as a Christian
- Thoughts on living with a world that doesn't agree with you
- Chicken Soup Brigade
- Mel White's Justice Net
- Lavender Country [EXPLICIT LYRICS] Re-release of the original album recorded in Seattle on March 24, 1973.
Activism & Human Rights Page
Anitra's Home Page
Back to the last page you were