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Comparison of six views of homosexuality with regard to:

God's expectations for homosexuals, faith groups, and society

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The six viewpoints, from:

bullet  "Condemnation" -- the most conservative and traditional -- to
bullet "Liberation" -- the most liberal --

are actually stereotypes. They don't necessarily fit the opinions of individual people. Many will hold beliefs that combine more than one viewpoint.

Presenting data in this way emphasizes that there are more sets of beliefs than the two extreme views that one hears so often in the media.

bullet One sentence description (repeated):
Viewpoint Description or main emphasis
"Abomination" Homosexuality is profoundly immoral at all times.
"Change is expected" Homosexuals can change their sexual orientation, with effort
"Celibacy is expected" Homosexuals must either change or be celibate.
"Marginally acceptable" Committed homosexual relationships are the least awful option.
"Equality" Seek equal rights. Homosexuality, is morally neutral.
"Liberation" Reinterpret the Bible. Homophobia, not being lesgay, is the main evil.

bullet God's expectations of homosexuals:
ViewpointGod's expectations of homosexuals
"Abomination"Acknowledgement of their sin, repentance, renounce their earlier choice of the homosexual lifestyle, trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, resist further temptation to sin, regain their original heterosexual desires, and marry a person of the opposite sex.
"Change is expected"Repentance, seek counseling through a Christian source, seek to restore their gender identity. Become a heterosexual and either marry, or choose celibacy.
"Celibacy is expected"Cessation of all homosexual behavior. This is followed by:
bullet For youths: counseling and seeking spiritual healing.
bullet For bisexual adults: consideration of the possibility of marriage -- a very difficult option, but potentially rewarding.
bullet For the vast majority of homosexuals: celibacy.
"Marginally acceptable"Acknowledge that one's homosexuality is disordered. Attempt to become heterosexual via therapy, counseling and prayer. In the vast majority of cases, this is impossible; celibacy is the next option to consider. If this is unachievable, the last resort and least desirable option is to consider a loving, committed same-sex relationship, in spite of the moral compromises that this necessitates.
"Equality"Recognize that one's homosexual orientation is immutable, is a gift of God, and is normal and natural for a minority of adults. Chose a single lifestyle or attempt to form a single committed loving, same-sex relationship. All behavior is to be free of exploitive behavior, coercion, dishonesty, lack of authenticity, and promiscuity. Help other gays and lesbians to make these same choices.
"Liberation"As for the Equality viewpoint, the first step is to recognize that one's homosexual orientation is immutable. It is a gift of God, and is normal and natural for a minority of adults. Work towards the reform of Christianity so that themes of justice and love are emphasized, and homophobia rejected. Cooperate with other oppressed groups -- women, the poor, the transgender, immigrants, etc., seeking a society based on caring, liberty and justice for all. Seek same-sex relationships that are authentic and free of manipulation and dishonesty.

bullet God's expectations of faith groups with respect to homosexuality:
ViewpointGod's expectations of faith groups
  1. Condemn homosexuality at every opportunity.
  2. Stubbornly resist any attempts to legitimize and accept homosexual behavior
  3. Expel all unrepentant homosexuals from churches.
  4. Urge gays and lesbians to seek counseling and spiritual healing of their condition.
  5. Support ex-gays -- those who have successfully escaped from the homosexual lifestyle.
"Change is expected"
  1. Condemn homosexual behavior at every opportunity.
  2. Proclaim God's promise to cure homosexuals from their disorder and disability.
  3. Educate gays and lesbians concerning the availability of reparative therapy and services of transformational ministries.
  4. Accept some individuals with a homosexual orientation into fellowship -- specifically those who are celibate and those who are struggling to escape from homosexuality.
"Celibacy is expected"
  1. Proclaim that homosexual behavior is against God's will.
  2. Treat homosexual sin in the same way as any other serious sin.
  3. Urge gays and lesbians to seek healing of their homosexuality.
  4. If healing is impossible, urge celibacy as the only option.
"Marginally acceptable"
  1. Proclaim God's intention that sexual activity be limited to opposite-sex marriage.
  2. Support homosexuals who are seeking healing.
  3. If healing fails, urge them to try celibacy as the preferred option.
  4. If this is unattainable, urge them to seek a loving, committed, supportive same-sex relationship.
  5. Deny same-sex relationships the blessing of the church, as this would detract from the status of opposite-sex marriage.
"Equality "
  1. Confess past homophobic attitudes and actions.
  2. Eliminate any residual homophobia left in the church.
  3. Expose misinformation that is being spread about homosexuality, particularly that distributed by other Christian groups.
  4. Promote a society that:
    bullet Accepts homosexual and bisexual orientation as normal and natural sexual expressions
    bullet Is free of oppression of sexual minorities, and
    bullet Encourages same-sex marriage among homosexuals.
  5. Welcome gays, lesbians and bisexuals into the church as full members, leaders, and clergy.
  6. Create church rituals, patterned after existing marriage ceremonies, which recognize and bless same-sex relationships.
"Liberation"Same as the "equality" viewpoint.

bullet God's expectations of society, with respect to homosexuality
ViewpointGod's expectations of society
  1. Civil law must reflect God's revealed moral law: Homosexual behavior must be re-criminalized, hate-crime legislation and civil rights laws repealed, and sex-ex classes in schools modified to teach that homosexuality is disordered, abnormal, unnatural, sinful, and degenerate.
  2. New legislation and structures are needed to prevent the tolerance or promotion of homosexuality.
  3. Commit effort to protect the public -- particularly vulnerable children -- from predatory homosexuals.
  4. Prepare for God's "righteous wrath and a retributive judgment" 2 which will pour out on the land, and affect just and unjust alike, if society does not actively oppress and discriminate against homosexuals.
"Change is expected"
  1. Work towards a society which neither affirms or legitimizes the homosexual lifestyle, nor actively oppresses homosexuals.
  2. Repeal laws giving "special rights" as a protected class to homosexuals in the area of civil rights, hate-crimes, employment discrimination, accommodation discrimination, etc.
  3. Preserve marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
  4. Encourage homosexuals to seek a cure for their disordered condition through reparative therapy and/or the efforts of transformational ministries.
  5. Develop a culture which expects and encourages a minority of homosexuals -- those who cannot be cured -- to remain celibate.
"Celibacy is expected"
  1. Repeal laws which criminalize private homosexual behavior among adults, or limit their access to accommodation or employment.
  2. Oppose laws allowing same-sex marriage and others which affirm or legitimize homosexual behavior.
  3. Encourage homosexuals to seek a cure for their disordered condition through reparative therapy and/or the efforts of transformational ministries
  4. Develop a culture which expects and encourages the vast majority of homosexuals -- those who cannot be cured -- to remain celibate.
"Marginally acceptable"
  1. Repeal laws which criminalize private homosexual behavior among adults.
  2. Pass laws to prevent discrimination against homosexuals in accommodation and employment.
  3. Oppose laws allowing same-sex marriage and others which "...imply any moral correspondence between homosexual partnerships and heterosexual marriage." 3
  4. Encourage homosexuals to seek a cure for their disordered condition through reparative therapy and/or the efforts of transformational ministries
  5. Develop a culture which expects the vast majority of homosexuals -- those who cannot be cured -- to:
    bullet choose to remain celibate, or:
    bullet If this is impossible, to try to enter into a loving, committed same-sex relationship.
  1. Repeal laws which criminalize private homosexual behavior among adults.
  2. Pass laws to prevent discrimination against homosexuals in accommodation and employment, to protect them against hate-crimes, and to allow them to enter into same-sex marriages.
  3. Encourage and facilitate therapy for those gays, lesbians and bisexuals who have internalized society's homophobia or who have difficulty accepting their sexual orientation.
  4. Modify sex-ed classes in schools to teach the moral equivalent of homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual orientations, and the full diversity of family structures.
"Liberation"Same as the "equality" viewpoint.

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Useful references:

  1. L.R. Holben, "What Christians think about homosexuality: Six representative viewpoints," Bibal Press, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
  2. Ibid, Page 45.
  3. Ibid, Page 144.

* Quoted in Reference 1.

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Home > Conflict > Homosexuality > > Religious impact > Six views > here

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Copyright 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-SEP-19
Latest update: 2004-SEP-19

Author: B.A. Robinson

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