Comparison of six views of
homosexuality with regard to:
Differentiating morally between orientation & behavior.
Groups which support the various viewpoints.
The six viewpoints, from:
|| "Condemnation" -- the most conservative and
traditional -- to
||"Liberation" -- the most liberal --
stereotypes. They don't necessarily fit the opinions of individual people. Many
will hold beliefs that combine more than one viewpoint.
in this way emphasizes that there are more sets of beliefs than the two extreme views that
one hears so often in the media.
||One sentence description (repeated):
||Description or main emphasis
||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.
homosexual relationships are the least awful option.
||Seek equal rights. Homosexuality, is morally neutral.
||Reinterpret the Bible. Homophobia, not being lesgay, is the main evil.
||Moral difference between homosexual orientation and behavior:|
|Viewpoint||Moral difference between homosexual orientation &
|"Abomination"||There is no such thing as homosexual orientation, because everyone
is is fundamentally heterosexual. However, due to addiction and a
perverted mind, homosexuals trapped in that lifestyle do lust for
same-sex activity. There is no moral difference between homosexual
feelings and behavior. Both are very serious sins:|
||Romans 1:24 condemns men and women who simply desire same-sex
sexual encounters. It refers to: "....uncleanness through the
lusts of their own hearts."
||Romans 1:26 condemns men for homosexual feelings: They "burned
in their lust one toward another."
||Jesus equated sexual lust with behavior in Matthew 5:28 when he
said: "That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
committed adultery with her already in his heart."
|"Change is expected"||Those who hold this viewpoint are divided on the existence of sexual
orientation. However, many do not regard the mere presence of homosexual
desires as sinful. They would not by themselves prevent a person from
being saved. However homosexual behavior is
profoundly sinful. Thus, one can differentiate morally between desire and
|"Celibacy is expected"||There is a major difference between orientation and behavior. Since
a homosexual orientation is not chosen, having such an orientation with
its accompanying longings is not sinful. However, homosexual acts are
always disordered and intrinsically evil.|
|"Marginally acceptable"||There is a major difference between orientation and behavior. Having
a homosexual orientation is free of sin because it is not chosen and, in
the vast majority of cases, cannot be changed. However, homosexual
behavior is chosen and is inherently sinful. Sexual activity in a committed
loving relationship is less sinful than is promiscuity.|
|"Equality"||There can be a major difference between orientation and behavior,
depending upon the context of the latter. One's sexual orientation,
whether it be homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual, is fixed and unchosen. It is as sinless as
having red hair or blue eyes. Sexual behavior, whether same-sex or
opposite-sex, is morally neutral. It can be free of sin if it is
consensual, non-coercive, safe, and within a loving committed
relationship. Otherwise it is morally unacceptable. |
|"Liberation"||One's sexual orientation is not a moral factor. Thus, the question
is meaningless. "Morality is not a matter of what we do with our
genitals, but of the compassion, caring and practical justice we bring
to our dealings with one another." 2 Thus, sexual behavior -- whether same-sex or
opposite-sex, can be moral or immoral, depending upon its context.|
||Groups supporting the various viewpoints:|
|Viewpoint||Groups supporting the various viewpoints
|"Abomination"||This is the most conservative point of view and is held by
individuals and groups at the extreme right wing of Christianity. That
this includes many unaffiliated Fundamentalist churches, and the
Southern Baptist Convention. 4 Among para-church
organizations which support this viewpoint are the American Family
the Traditional Values Coalition, 6 and -- before its dissolution in 1989 -- the
|"Change is expected"||This viewpoint is held by many Charismatic, Pentecostal,
Fundamentalist and other Evangelical churches. Para-church organizations
that support this position include Exodus Global Alliance, 7Focus on the Family,
8 Love in Action,
Stream Ministry, and other transformational ministries. 10|
|"Celibacy is expected"||This is the most recent position taught by the
Roman Catholic Church. Several mainline Protestant Christian
denominations officially accept this viewpoint, but are heavily split on
the issue between conservatives and liberals. Converting to a more liberal position or
schism are distinct possibilities. The largest denominations which hold this
viewpoint include the
Episcopal Church, USA;
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
Presbyterian Church (USA); and United
Methodist Church. The only major para-church group who promotes this
viewpoint is believed to be Courage, 11
a Roman Catholic group which supports homosexuals in a celibate lifestyle. |
|"Marginally acceptable"||There are no known denominations or para-church organizations which
promote this viewpoint. These beliefs are primarily found among some
individual liberal Evangelical and some mainline pastors and other
|"Equality "||Supporters of this viewpoint include:|
||The United Church of Christ.
||The United Church of Canada,
||The Unitarian Universalist Association.
||Individual liberal pastors and other church leaders.
||Most of the para-church homosexual support organizations
associated with the major denominations -- like Affirmation (two
groups), Dignity, Evangelicals Concerned, GLAD, Integrity,
Interweave Continental, Lutherans Concerned, and More Light Presbyterians. 12-20
|"Liberation"||Supporters of this viewpoint include:|
||The more liberal membership and clergy of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
||The Evangelical Anglican Church in America. 22
L.R. Holben, "What Christians think about homosexuality: Six
representative viewpoints," Bibal Press, (1999).
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
Will Leckie, "The courage to love: A gay priest stands up for his
beliefs," Bantam Doubleday, (1996). Quoted in Reference 1.
- According to L.R. Holben, op. cit.
The Southern Baptist Convention has an official home page at:
The American Family Association has an official home page at:
The Traditional Values Coalition is an inter-denominational public
policy organization which deals with abortion access, equal rights for
homosexuals, and other hot topics. Their official home page is at:
Exodus Global Alliance (Exodus International before 2004)
offers "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."
They have an official home page at:
Focus on the Family is a Fundamentalist public policy group that
provides literature, a web site, conferences, radio programs, and magazines.
Their web site is at: http://www.family.org/
Love in Action offers a support group, conferences, residential
programs and intensive programs for individuals and their families who suffer
from homosexuality and other problems. They have an official home page at:
Desert Stream Ministries ministers "the Life of Jesus to the
sexually & relationally broken." Their official home page at:
Courage is a support group for Roman Catholics. The have chapters
worldwide. Their home page is at:
Affirmation is a support group for gay and lesbian Mormons. See:
Affirmation is also the name of an activist caucus of United
Methodist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. See:
Dignity is a support group for Roman Catholics. See:
Evangelicals Concerned is a support group for Evangelical Christians.
The Gay, Lesbian and Addirming Disciples Alliance (GLAD) is a support
group for members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). See:
Integrity is a support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender Episcopalians. See:
Interweave Continental: Unitarian Universalists for Bisexual, Gay,
Lesbian and Transgender Concerns has a home page at:
Lutherans Concerned is a support group primarily for Lutherans. See:
More Light Presbyterians is a support group for
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches is "a
worldwide fellowship of Christian churches with a special outreach to the
world's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. See:
Evangelical Anglican Church in America appears to be a very small,
liberal offshoot of the Episcopal Church, USA. See:
Copyright © 2004 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2004-SEP-19
Latest update: 2004-SEP-19
Author: B.A. Robinson