Last updated on: 3/19/2008 2:26:00 PM PST
Does Christianity Accept Same-Sex Behavior?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Journal of Homosexuality, in its Jan. 9, 2005 article, "The Bible on Homosexuality; Exploring its Meaning and Authority" by Kenneth A. Locke, PhD, reported:
"This paper evaluates the Bible's statements on homoeroticism by explaining their historical, cultural, linguistic and narrative contexts. It finds that while the Bible is silent on matters of orientation, it does seem to adopt a negative attitude toward at least male same-sex sexual encounters. This finding, however, is in itself irrelevant unless it is related to how communities use and make sense of the Bible. There are many biblical prohibitions and condemnations that are ignored by even the most fundamentalist Christian groups. Whether the biblical passages on homoeroticism are treated authoritatively or not rests ultimately on the outlook and interpretive framework used by a Christian community to make coherent sense of the Bible."
Jan. 9, 2005 - Journal of Homosexuality
"Until very recently, all Christian branches agreed that same-sex activity was immoral because of their age-old understanding of God's will taught in the scriptures.
Most of the world's Christian bodies maintain that belief. But in the last quarter-century, liberal scholars from some so-called 'mainline' Protestant denominations in Europe and North America have argued against traditional Bible interpretations, often in books from church publishing houses. They say the Bible's overwhelming overall message is loving and acceptance and justice for all people.
This has gradually influenced leadership circles in the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and United Methodist Church. Yet the new biblical theories have failed to convince legions of rank and file American churchgoers.
To go to the source of the argument, two biblical passages are crucial:
Aug. 15, 2003 - Associated Press
Walter Wink, ThD, Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary, wrote in a 2003 article:
"The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is simply that the Bible has no sexual ethic. There is no Biblical sex ethic. Instead, it exhibits a variety of sexual mores, some of which changed over the thousand year span of biblical history. Mores are unreflective customs accepted by a given community. Many of the practices that the Bible prohibits, we allow, and many that it allows, we prohibit. The Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in any given country, or culture, or period.
Christian morality, after all, is not a iron chastity belt for repressing urges, but a way of expressing the integrity of our relationship with God. It is the attempt to discover a manner of living that is consistent with who God created us to be. For those of same-sex orientation, as for heterosexuals, being moral means rejecting sexual mores that violate their own integrity and that of others, and attempting to discover what it would mean to live by the love ethic of Jesus...
Where the Bible mentions homosexual behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether that Biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well, and nowhere attacked it as unjust. Are we prepared to argue today that slavery is biblically justified?...
In the light of that [God's] supernal compassion, whatever our position on gays, the gospel's imperative to love, care for, and be identified with their sufferings is unmistakably clear."
2003 - Walter Wink, ThD
Faris Malik, Manager of the Muslim-oriented gay websites, "Born Eunuchs" and "Queer Jihad," wrote in 1999, as published on his website:
"Regardless of what homosexual Christians may feel today... it is clear that in the fourth century they were identified as powerful enemies of Catholic doctrine... the early supporters of the Nicene creed saw homosexual men as dangerous rivals.
Clement of Alexandria had defined the eunuch as one not unable, but unwilling to have sex [with women]... Now, in the fourth century Epiphanius of Salamis claims the born eunuchs [homosexuals] are incapable of doing anything sexual 'because they lack the divinely created organs of generation...'
This reduction of eunuch status to a physical defect is but one churchman's tactic (eventually superseding all others) within a general fourth-century ecclesiastical strategy to deprive physically whole, natural eunuchs, i.e. homosexual men, of their religious credibility...
Having once established power over imperial legislation regarding religion, Catholic authorities never looked back. With the outlawing of heresies, enforced by imperial power, no one was in a position to contradict the established doctrine of the Church. If the Church decided that Jesus meant only persons suffering from anatomical birth defects in Matthew 19:12, who would have been in a position to object? If the now imperial Church found that a homosexual engaging in his own natural sexuality was guilty of the sin of Sodom, who would stand up to argue? Rather, the Church continued to use the oppression of homosexuals...as a tool to consolidate power."
1999 - Faris Malik
The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) wrote in a Mar. 1996 church statement on homosexuality:
"How should we respond when a person announces that he is a homosexual or she is a lesbian and that scientific evidence 'proves' he or she was 'born that way'? How do we react when persons who do not share our beliefs accuse us of being intolerant or unmerciful when we insist that erotic feelings toward a person of the same sex are irregular and that any sexual behavior of that nature is sinful?...
[T]he devil, who has no body, seeks to persuade mortals to corrupt their bodies by 'choos[ing] eternal death, according to the will of the flesh... which giveth the spirit of the defile power to captivate, to bring [them] down to hell, that he may reign over [them] in his own kingdom.'
The First Presidency had declared that 'there is a distinction between  immoral thoughts and feelings and  participating in either immoral heterosexual or any homosexual behavior.'...
[W]e should distinguish between (1) homosexual (or lesbian) 'thoughts and feelings' (which should be resisted and redirected), and (2) 'homosexual behavior' (which is a serious sin)...
All of us have some feelings we did not choose, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we still have the power to resist and reform our feelings (as needed) and to assure that they do not lead us to entertain inappropriate thoughts or to engage in sinful behavior."
Mar. 1996 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
Joe Dallas, Founder and Program Director of Genesis Counseling, wrote in a 1996 article, published on his website:
"Homosexuality may not have been mentioned by Jesus-many other sexual variations were not, either. But He could not have spelled out the standard for sexual expression more clearly: male to female, joined as God intended them to be. He cannot be assumed to have approved of anything less...
Love is not enough to justify a relationship. An unmarried Christian couple may be very much in love; if they become sexually involved before marriage, it will still be sin, no matter how much love went into it. And it will still be wrong. A married man can fall deeply in love with a woman other than his wife; that will never sanctify adultery.
Likewise, two men, or women, may be in love. Their love may run very deep, they may pledge fidelity to each other and live as happily as any married heterosexual couple. Again, that will not, of itself, justify a homosexual relationship. Scripture places boundaries on human relationships, offering no compromise, even if love is present and desires to cross those boundaries. If a form of sexual relating is wrong, it remains wrong no matter what degree of love goes along with it."
1996 - Joe Dallas