Homosexuality within the church essay

If one were to ask your stance on homosexuality within the Christian church and

your reasoning behind your views, how would you answer them? I find that most

Christians I have talked with take a rather conservative, traditional view and base their

beliefs upon a few key passages in the Bible – I Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:3-5;

Colossians 3:5-6; Jude 5-7 and about a dozen more.

The basic problem with limiting your view to these various scriptures is that

homosexuals who claim to be Christians use these same passages in defense. Many claim

that these passages have been translated incorrectly from their original texts (Hebrew and

An exhaustive study by Pastor Ken Coulter which has been published by Logos

Ministries under the title Dispelling the Myth, attempts to prove that throughout the

centuries the translations of the original texts have been incorrect. For example,

I Corinthians 6:9 is translated in the New King James Version as follows:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor

The Greek words malakos arsenokoitai are translated into the modern word

homosexual in this particular translation. However, Coulter makes the statement that

malakos has a double meaning. The first of which means “softness,” the second describes

a character flaw which he translates as meaning “weak willed” or “easily beguiled.”

Arsenokoitai has been translated several different ways. Coulter says that the true

meaning is a mystery, but that it could mean a “male prostitute who takes an active role.”

He also claims that there were many other words in the Greek that the apostle Paul could

have used to make his meaning clearer if he was referring to homosexuality. What Coulter

doesn’t say is that Paul’s meaning was not lost on the audience to whom he was

Coulter’s claim is that the correct translation should be a “sex addict.” Personally,

I find the meaning fairly simple to see. A soft, weak willed, male prostitute who takes an

With arguments like these, homosexuals are attacking the validity of the Bible and

its translations. They are also bringing up verses like Colossians 3:11-12 which says:

…where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised,

barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore,

as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness,

humility, meekness, long-suffering;

Using this verse they are showing that in Christ, we are all the same and we should treat

each other as such. They claim that homosexuality is an “orientation” and should be

treated like ethnicity (neither Greek nor Jew).

The research of Dean H. Hamer, Ph. D. has also been used as a defense for

homosexuality being innate rather than a conscious decision. Hamer claimed that he had

discovered the gene connected to homosexuality in an experimental study he conducted in

1993. In 1999, however, a team of researchers at the University of Western Ontario, in a

more extensive study, could not find the gene Hamer said he had found. This was

obviously less publicized than Hamer’s claims.

The issue now facing the church is whether or not homosexuals should be

accepted into the church, married by the church, and/or ordained within the church.

Christendom has been split on this issue for quite sometime now. The more liberal sects

have already accepted homosexuality into their churches. The conservative churches have

refrained on the basis of correct interpretation of the Bible.

The Religious Liberty issue that arises revolves around the autonomy of the

church. Most denominations have taken the stance that they will take no stance, hence,

they leave the decision to the individual churches within their denomination.

The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has made it their official

policy that “Gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to

participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in

America.”1 In their 1993 Conference of Bishops they stated that they “do not approve” of

performing a ceremony of blessing for same-sex couples. “Nevertheless, (they) express

trust in…those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian

What they mean by “trust” is left to interpretation. A liberal interpretation could

see this policy as an opening for the individual church to allow ceremonies between

homosexual couples. Even a conservative interpretation leaves the door ajar for such a

ceremony to commence. Once that door is opened, liberals could easily use a precedent to

The Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. recently rejected a recommendation to lift a

ban on the ordination of practicing homosexuals. Instead, they voted to call for a two

year study on the issue. Their official statement of the assembly was that “No church

should insist that gay and lesbian people need therapy to change their orientation, nor

should it inhibit or discourage those who are unhappy with or confused about their sexual

orientation from seeking therapy they believe will be helpful.”3

Again, indecisiveness leads to individual churches within the denomination

deciding for themselves. Their official statement also provides conclusive evidence of

their toleration for the homosexual lifestyle. This can be used by liberals to reform the

On a side note, Jane Spahr, a pastor in San Rafael, CA won the “Women of Faith”

award at the assembly. She is a strong advocate for the ordination of gays and lesbians.

Recognizing liberals within the denomination only opens another door to apostasy.

On September 14, 1997, Reverend Jimmy Creech, pastor of the First United

Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, presided over an unauthorized ceremony between

a female homosexual couple. He was given a church trial where he was acquitted by one

vote. The official policy of the United Methodist Church is that “Ceremonies that

celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be

conducted in our churches.”4 So, why was Creech acquitted?

On January 16, 1999, one hundred clergy belonging to the United Methodist

Church presided over another ceremony involving two homosexual males. According to

Reverend Don Fado of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento, “this was an

act of compassion….what Jesus himself would do.”5

The previous trial set a precedent for the denomination. Liberal reformers

interpreted the decision as an open door for the commencement of ceremonies between

homosexual couples. The one hundred clergy presiding over the second ceremony was a

political statement and a challenge to the denomination to officially change their policy.

The allowance of autonomous churches within denominations has allowed liberal

interpretations of scripture to infest denominations that were once very sound and biblical.

These false teachings are precisely what the author of Hebrews was talking about:

Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.

The question, then, that must be asked is, “when an autonomous church takes

liberty to interpret scripture in a radical way, is it the denomination’s duty to infringe on

the rights of the church?” I believe it is.

The ultimate authority on all issues of life and church conduct is scripture. The

Bible clearly states that when false doctrines are introduced into the church, it is the

church’s duty to rebuke and discipline the wayward Christian.

For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached,

or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a

different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with

it!…For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming

I feel this applies to individual churches within denominations as well. When an

autonomous church teaches a false doctrine, it is the denominations duty to rebuke and

discipline the apostate church and if necessary, remove the church from the denomination.

This is where the “liberal” denominations have gone wrong. Their allowance for

the teachings of false doctrines within their churches has opened the door for these same

false teachings to infest the entire denomination.

This is why I feel the problem of homosexuality within the church is an issue of

Religious Liberty. If it weren’t for the liberal denominations allowing autonomy to take

precedence over biblical authority, the liberal/conservative split within the church may

Grant it, this does not just apply to homosexuality alone. Other false doctrines and

sins are to be treated in the same manner. But for the sake of this paper, I dealt only with

this issue. I realize that it is not just the issue of homosexuality that has split the church,

With this in mind, I leave you with one final verse that deals with sexuality and

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such

sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles – that a man

has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather

mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among

you…In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered

together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit

may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do

you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge

out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump…


Coulter, Ken. Compiled and Edited by Ellis, Bob. Dispelling the Myth. Logos Ministries,

What the Bible Says About Homosexuality.

Scriptures They Never Bring Up.


Angier, Natalie. Report Suggests Homosexuality is Linked to Genes. New York Times:
July 16, 1993.

Goode, Erica. Study Questions Gene Influence on Male Homosexuality. New York
Times: April 23, 1999.

Clarification Regarding Same-sex Blessings and Ongoing Deliberation Concerning
Homosexuality. from ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop, May 2000

Homosexuality at issue for PCUSA, Reformed.


What the United Methodist Church Teaches About Homosexuality. Schell, Clifford.


Homosexuality and the UM Church. O’Neil, Ray.


The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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