Why do Christians have mixed views on homosexuality?

On one end of the spectrum, Christians who strongly believe that homosexuality is wrong can be extremely vocal about their views and may act in ways that reinforce the stereotypes of being “homophobic” or “bigoted”. Their harsh response may suggest they think homosexual people are in some way worse sinners, forgetting that all are unworthy in God’s sight (Romans 3:23). Those who have received the unmerited favour of God cannot afford to hate others for their sin.

On the other end of the spectrum, Christians who are extremely sympathetic towards homosexual people may subscribe to current beliefs about the biological nature of homosexuality. They often assume that the church needs to keep pace with changing socio-cultural norms and scientific discoveries in order to remain relevant.

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What is the Church’s problem with homosexuality?

The Church as a whole has a hard time coming to terms with homosexuality, especially in balancing compassion and truth.1 On the one hand, homosexual bishops and pastors are being appointed, even in major denominations. 2/3/4 On the other hand, respected Christian leaders have been speaking up against homosexuality. There are several types of churches that emerge based on the way they deal with this issue:5

Q17

Rebellious Church: defies and rewrites scriptural teachings to fit popular beliefs and opinion; openly homosexual members may be politically active and use the church to promote the gay agenda.

Uncommitted Church: neither helps practising homosexuals out of their sin nor teaches a message that would convict them of sin; leaders are misleading with no clear scriptural guidance and direction on the issue.

Permissive Church: heavy on compassion with some of the best community programs, e.g., for AIDS sufferers, but short on truth (ignores scriptural teachings); offers help to those who want to continue in sexual sin and provides no comfort for those who seek help in overcoming homosexuality.

Ignorant Church: believes that homosexual involvement is wrong; acknowledges those who want help should be helped, but don’t know how.

Judgmental/Hypocritical Church: errs on the side of truth without compassion; only embraces those who can resolve their struggles and issues outside the church without tainting the church image; doesn’t welcome homosexuals who’ve “come out”.

Instead, we need to be a healing Church that balances biblical truth about homosexuality with the compassion of God towards homosexual people. We should commit to assist men and women in overcoming homosexuality as they would any other life-dominating sin by reaching out with mercy, grace and support, as well as truth and discipline.

Endnotes
1. Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality(Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2004)
2. Jonathan Petre, First Gay Bishop is Appointed by Anglican Church (The Telegraph, 6 August 2003)
3. Tim Castle, Church of England Ends Ban on Gay Bishops (Reuters, 4 January 2013)
5Mona Riley and Brad Sargent, Unwanted Harvest (Broadman & Holman, October 1995)