Christians and the Gay Debate

Perhaps the biggest issue facing how people view Christians and Christianity in our society has been and will continue to be homosexuality.

An ever increasing percentage of the population – including many Christians – believe that homosexuals should be allowed to legally marry, and it seems that it is only a matter of time before gay marriage is legalized in every state. Yesterday Montana became the latest state to legalize it. Other countries have already done it. This brings up a lot of questions for churches and private parties who rent out facilities for weddings and for ministers who officiate weddings as to what will happen if they refuse to participate in gay weddings out of moral obligation.

Needless to say, there is increasing pressure for Christians to change the view held by Christians for 2000 years regarding homosexual practice.

This article is one of the best informed and best thought-out pieces on this topic that I have come across. It’s worth the read:

Tragedy, Tradition and Opportunity in the Homosexual Debate

 

 

4 thoughts on “Christians and the Gay Debate

  1. I liked the article and I think it gives good advice on how the church should deal with individuals who accept their identity as being gay. The article, however, speaks of what Paul wrote as if he was acting as his own agent, not an agent (ambassador) of God. If we interpret the New Testament teaching of Paul as the word of God, does it change the context of how we respond? Maybe not, but I think it matters. He also doesn’t mention the story of Sodom and Gommorah in which God deals with homosexuality with “extreme prejudice”, to put it in contemporary terms. Pastor Chuck used to say that with God, it seemed as if the final straw for a society was when homosexual activity became rampant. I agree with the author of the article that we must learn how to be more inviting to the homosexual community without encouraging homosexual behavior, just as we would be with a heterosexual person who has committed adultery.

  2. Is the perceived influx of people who claim to be homosexual, or some variant, a result of there actually being more people who actually are, or is it just a result of a few people being very vocal in a few areas? If there are just more people who are, how did that happen? If it is a result of only a few being very vocal, why do we listen to them? I’m not trying to make a point, I just want to know.

    In the past I have had only one actual friend who was/is gay, he was gay when I met him. I didn’t ask him about being gay at all, but he did ask me about being Christian. He often wondered how I could hang out with him being a Christian, he thought that was against a Christian code of conduct or something. He knew my stance on homosexuality because he asked and he knew that I was still willing to hang out with him and be seen in public with him. We’ve since moved apart and our friendship has faded, but we talk time to time about random stuff. Anyway, that was to share my personal experience with trying to put into action what Sider is saying in his article.

    I agree that Paul’s letters should be viewed as words written by God using Paul and his experiences as the medium. I think it does change the perspective from some guy who started a bunch of churches weighting some stuff to the Creator telling you what he wants you to know because it will help you in your life. While Paul holds a lot of authority simply because of who he was, God holds so much more because of who he was, is, and will be.

    1. Seems to me that with the increasing cultural affirmation of homosexuality as a respectable lifestyle choice, many young people who are discovering their sexuality and are confused about it – and I believe that all adolescents experience some level of confusion about it – they are encouraged to seriously consider the option of being gay. Furthermore, there is a gay community and it gives a sense of identity – I believe these are all factors related to the increase of people self-identifying as homosexual in our culture. If it were less acceptable, it would be something that is more quickly dismissed by adolescents. The way it is, it is very much encouraged to our youth as an option to consider.
      Also, I believe that as it is more acceptable, then it is less hidden, giving the perception of an increase – as you mention.
      It is important to remember though that homosexuality was prevalent and somewhat acceptable (along with pedophilia and men being promiscuous with many mistresses) in Greco-Roman culture. So, homosexual behavior is not unprecedented in history, but Christianity has always historically viewed it as abberant and wrong.

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