Christian teachings & beliefs on
by fundamentalist, other evangelical, Roman
mainline, & liberal/progressive groups
In most essays in this web site, we compare and contrast very conservative
and very liberal viewpoints on each topic. Here, because of the complexity and
importance of the topic, we will describe five separate viewpoints by Christians of
the nature and morality of sexual orientation and same-gender sexual behavior. The viewpoints also apply to the liberal and conservative wings of many other religions.
We concentrate on Christianity because there are almost 60 North Americans who identify themselves as Christian for each adherent to Judaism -- the next largest religion.
Approaches differ among the various denominations of Christianity:
Religious and social conservatives have generally used their negative interpretation of the six or seven "clobber" passages in the Bible to condemn all same-gender behavior by lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGBs), no matter what the nature of the relationship.
Liberal and progressive Christians have alternate interpretations of the same passages that are morally neutral or positve towards LGB orientation and behavior. They give greater weight to the findings of psychologists, psychiatrists, human sexuality researchers, and others. Most accept homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual orientations and behaviors as intrinsically morally neutral but capable of serious sinful misuse where lack of consent, force, manipulation, absense of safety, or the possibility of unwanted pregnancy are involved.
Mainline Christian denominations are split between conservative and liberal views on homosexual and bisexual orientation and behavior. Most are undergoing major internal stresses over "the issue;" some may experience a schism as they did in decades past over human slavery and female ordination..
Jim W. Martyn, "A Plea for Christian Understanding & Support of Human
Rights" at: http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/ Although written for a Canadian audience, and containing some Canadian
political references, the message is universal. Unfortunately, this essay
appears to be no longer on the Internet.
Dr. Rembert S. Truluck, "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse"
is "a response to the abusive use of the Bible against Gays and Lesbians and all
others oppressed and alienated by religion." See: http://www.truluck.com
Christopher Levan, "Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? In an
honest approach to the scriptures, the challenge is to suspend biases,"
Edmonton Journal, 1995-MAY-27. Online at: http://www.ualberta.ca/
The Reconciling Congregation Program publishes and distribute a
pair of books: "Claiming the Promise Bible Study: An Ecumenical
Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality." One is a
study book, the other a leader's guide. They "can be used for group
or individual study. Planned for seven one- to two-hour sessions."