Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Many Christian groups condemn homosexuality as a sin, pointing to specific passages in the Bible and traditional Christian views on sexuality and marriage.

How do these groups handle the question of whether a person can be both a practicing homosexual and also a Christian?

Are there any additional steps required? Do these groups teach that it would be sinful to continue practicing after one became a Christian?

share|improve this question
There are too many Christian groups that "condemn homosexuality as a sin" for you to get a comprehensive answer. Many (most?) groups will agree with AffableGeek, but some might not. You would do well to ask about specific Christian groups (Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, etc.) –  Andres Riofrio Jul 25 '13 at 7:23

5 Answers 5

1. What you "are" is irrelevant

Let us first distinguish between being a member of a class - in this case homosexuals - and engaging in any sort of behavior. For many people, being a member of the class "homosexual" means having feelings in one direction or another. In no event would a "temptation" towards a certain behavior be taken as exclusion.

James makes it clear that temptation itself is not sin.

Galatians also makes it clear that being a member of any class is irrelevant:

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

At the risk of self promotion, look at this answer for more.

2. What you do is irrelevant

Even without broaching the question of whether or not homosexual activity is sin, this question still be categorically answered "Of Course you can!"

The primary message of the Gospel is grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor - the free gift that he bestows in which he says "You are forgiven"

Remember that before God ALL MEN ARE SINNERS. As Isaiah 64:2 says, eve "our righteousness is as filthy rags" in God's sight. There is simply no person that God loves more than any other - he is "no respecter of persons"

Furthermore, as Ephesians 2:8-9 states,

"For by grace you are saved through faith - it is NOT through any work of your own, lest any man should boast." Since there is nothing that you do to earn your salvation, your status is irrelevant.

3. Whether or not you continue in homosexuality is the only question

Once one is a Christian, one is expected to grow in Christ - to become more Christ-like. Here is where as you mature, you may want to put these things away. But, understand, obedience comes out of love and desire to be more like Christ.

As Jesus says in John 14:12 "If you love me, keep my commandments." It is explicitly not "Do what I say so that I will love you."

Under no circumstances should one believe they need to get clean before being washed by Jesus!

Finally, what you probably want to ask is "Is Homosexuality a Sin" This question has been asked here and here. Gene Robinson, the Episcopalian bishop of New Hampshire who left his wife for another man likes to argue Acts 10 - (Let no man declare unclean what God has declared clean) - that God is doing a new thing. I personally don't think God's word has changed on that matter - but I bring it up to say that Christians debate the matter.

In any case, sin is irrelevant. God's grace is what is important.

Of course you can be whatever you want and be a Christian. The question is whether or not God will leave you that way.

share|improve this answer
I would only modify point 3 to be "whether or not you continue in a homosexual lifestyle is the only question." Becoming a Christian will probably not change your "what you 'are'". –  thursdaysgeek Feb 14 '12 at 0:11
"...sin is irrelevant." If so, then why did Christ have to die? I don't think sin is ever irrelevant. I totally agree with you that God's grace is sufficient to cover any sin (except the unpardonable sin, which is in a different category altogether), and I agree that God will not leave the sinner where he is, but move him towards Christ. But sanctification is 100% God, 100% man; unlike justification, which is 100% God. –  Adrian Keister Jul 22 '13 at 14:12
@AdrianKeister I read that more as "no sin is relevant in the face of grace." the whole message is that you don't have to "get clean" before you "get cleaned" –  wax eagle Jul 22 '13 at 17:54
@wax eagle: Very good, I agree. I am just a bit leery of some pastors I could name (but won't), who focus on the monergism of justification to the exclusion of the synergism of sanctification. And of course, there are those who do the opposite. I believe that the heart of the gospel is the former, and I will defend that vigorously. However, as James tells us, the latter is also part and parcel of our salvation. The balanced middle road is the correct, biblical one, I deem. –  Adrian Keister Jul 22 '13 at 17:58
This only really answers if you can be a homosexual and become a christian. That's not what is asked. –  Lennart Regebro Oct 14 '13 at 8:51

The Apostle Paul seems to address this particular question quite specifically:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV

Here, homosexuality is mentioned along with quite a few other things like adulterers, thieves, and even greedy people.

So, it seems that no matter what anyone has ever been or done, that person can still be washed, sanctified, and justified (declared righteous) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This person will become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), be indwelt by the very Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), and become a child of God (John 1:12-13).

As a child of God whose body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, God calls us to live a holy life. Such a life should be free from all of the things Paul mentions. Thus the thief should steal no more, the drunkard should become sober, the adulterer should be faithful to his wife, the greedy person should become a generous giver, and the sexually immoral should live in purity.

So, from one perspective (but not all) that takes a literal reading of Scripture, anyone can become a Christian--a mass murderer, a rapist, a thief, a greedy person, an adulterer, or someone who practices homosexuality. Once a person has come to Christ, though, God desires them to live a holy life and indicates that certain things should no longer be practiced.

share|improve this answer

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50 NIV)

Man is composed of flesh, soul, and spirit. The spirit preserves and fashions the temple of flesh. Between these two is the soul. When the soul follows the spirit, is raised up by it, but sometimes it sympathizes with the flesh, and falls into carnal lusts.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Gal 5:16 NIV)

Those then, as many as they be, who have not that which saves and forms us into eternal life, shall be called, "flesh and blood" for they do not have the Spirit of God in themselves. Men of this type are spoken of by the Lord as "dead".

But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Matt 8:22 NIV)

He calls them dead because they have not the Spirit that quickens a man.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV)

On the other hand, as many as fear God and trust in His Son's advent, and who through faith do establish the Spirit of God in their hearts,-such men as these shall be properly called both "pure," and "spiritual," and "those living to God," because they possess the Spirit of the Father, who purifies man, and raises him up to the life of God.

No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God. (Romans 2:29 NIV)

For as the Lord has testified:

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41 NIV)

So "the flesh is weak," but also "the spirit is willing." For the spirit is capable of working out its own suggestions.

Therefore, if anyone were to mix the ready inclination of the Spirit, to be as it were, a stimulus to the infirmity of the flesh, it inevitably follows that what is strong will prevail over the weak, so that the weakness of the flesh will be absorbed by the strength of the Spirit; and that the man in whom this takes place cannot in that case be carnal, but Spiritual, because of the fellowship of the Spirit.

Therefore the martyrs bear their witness, and despise death, not after the infirmity of the flesh, but because of the readiness of the Spirit. For when the infirmity of the flesh is absorbed, it exhibits the Spirit as powerful; and again, when the Spirit absorbs the weakness [of the flesh], it possesses the flesh as an inheritance in itself, and from both of these is formed a living man,-living, indeed, because he partakes of the Spirit, but man, because of the substance of flesh.

The flesh, therefore, when destitute of the Spirit of God, is dead, not having life, and cannot possess the kingdom of God: as it is irrational blood, like water poured out upon the ground.

As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. (1 Cor 15:48 NIV)

In the case of Martyrs the rational blood is preserved by God for the avenging of those that shed it.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

The flesh possessed by the Spirit, forgetful indeed of what belongs to it, and adopting the quality of the Spirit, being made conformable to the Word of God.

And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:49 NIV)

What, therefore, is the earthly? That which was fashioned. And what is the heavenly? The Spirit.

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6 NIV)

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4 NIV)

...He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5 NIV)

The apostle exhorts us through faith and chaste conversation to preserve the Spirit of God.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV)

Unless having become non-participators of the Divine Spirit, we lose the kingdom of heaven.

But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12 NIV)

And he exclaims:

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50 NIV)

Speaking strictly, we would say that the flesh does not inherit, but is inherited; as also the Lord declares:

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 NIV)

As if in the future kingdom, the earth, from where exists the substance of our flesh, is to be possessed by inheritance. This is the reason for His wishing the temple (the flesh) to be clean, that the Spirit of God may take delight therein, as a bridegroom with a bride. As, therefore in old Jewish tradition, the bride cannot be said to wed, but to be wedded, when the bridegroom comes and takes her, so also the flesh cannot by itself possess the kingdom of God by inheritance; but it can be taken for an inheritance into the kingdom of God. For a living person inherits the goods of the deceased; and it is one thing to inherit, another to be inherited. The former rules, and exercises power over, and orders the things inherited at his will; but the latter things are in a state of subjection, are under order, and are ruled over by him who has obtained the inheritance.

What, therefore, is it that lives? The Spirit of God, doubtless. What, again, are the possessions of the deceased? The various parts of the man, surely, which rot in the earth. But these are inherited by the Spirit when they are translated into the kingdom of heaven. For this cause, too, did Christ die. That the Gospel covenant being manifested and known to the whole world, might in the first place set free His slaves; and then afterwards, as I have already shown, might constitute them heirs of His property, when the Spirit possesses them by inheritance. For he who lives inherits, but the flesh is inherited. In order that we may not lose life by losing that Spirit which possesses us, the apostle, exhorting us to the communion of the Spirit, has said, according to reason, in those words already quoted, "That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Just as if he were to say, "Do not err; for unless the Word of God dwell with, and the Spirit of the Father be in you, and if you shall live frivolously and carelessly as if you were this only, viz., mere flesh and blood, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God."

So no. A homosexual sympathizes and is in communion with the flesh, and therefore does not have the Spirit. For the flesh is not buried with Jesus. Nor are the sins covered.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Romans 6:5 NIV)

So if the imperishable never inherits the perishable. The perishable remains perishable and perishes.

Then death and the grave were thrown into the second death. (Revelation 20:14 De-Analogized)

[1] Chapter IX

share|improve this answer
3 things. 1. This is a lot of text to quote with no original wording. Please exposit on why this is relevant. Don't make me read 4 giant paragraphs that may or may not be relevant. Treat this like a research paper and use shorter quotations with more text about the point you're trying to make. 2. Please link to your source. 3. If you're going to qoute, please use the quotation syntax in markdown >. –  wax eagle Feb 10 '14 at 13:11
The point is made by the full quotation and adequately explains why a homosexual can not be a Christian. I do not know how to use the quotation syntax. –  Only he is good. Feb 10 '14 at 13:21
Take a look at Affable's answer here. He explains in his own words his answer, and then peppers in quotations to support his answer. That's how answers should look, dumping a block of text and telling the reader "you figure it out" isn't helpful. I didn't even know your thesis until you told me in a comment. Introduction with a thesis, body, conclusion with a strong summation of your point. That's good research writing. –  wax eagle Feb 10 '14 at 13:25
How to do the quoting syntax? –  Only he is good. Feb 10 '14 at 13:26
Much better. Thanks –  wax eagle Feb 10 '14 at 15:11

As for just your header question, the answer is simple - no.
My answer to your next question will explain more detailed about it.

As for your next questions in the body (How do these groups handle the question of whether a person can be both a homosexual and also a Christian? & Are there any additional steps required?), I explain to you here:
All the christian should seek, is to be approved by the Father. And the approval we can get only by doing His will. (This is where I fully agree with you that all the christians should do what the Bible says to do, apply all the divine principles in their day-to-day life.) And the faith needs to be proven, as we can see from the last part of this verse: Genesis 17:1

When A′bram got to be ninety-nine years old, then Jehovah appeared to A′bram and said to him: “I am God Almighty. Walk before me and prove yourself faultless.


Abram was ninety-nine years old when the LORD appeared to him again and said, "I am God All-Powerful. If you obey me and always do right,

The word of God in the Bible clearly states that the homosexuality is detestable to God eyes, and that God therefore condemns homosexuality.
It's clearly explained in Richard's posted answer on another related question.

Being christian is not easy, specially as we are imperfect and being taunted and tempted by Satan the Devil day by day, as this wicked system of things draws closer to its conclusion. Now you may want to do some BIG changes in your life, as per to be approved and allowed into His new upcoming Kingdom in a restored paradise.
God is All-Powerful. Just pray for He give you the Holy Spirit to help you to dress up with the new personality. Be specific, ask. And you'll be heard. Pray from your whole heart, whole mind and whole soul full of faith and hope (not doubt). And remember, God is kind to patient, faithful and discreet servant. May God Bless You!

As for your last question Do these groups teach that it would be sinful to continue practicing after one became a Christian?, there are no fitting answer (As from my point of understanding). And that is because one cannot become a Christian until he\she completes certain requirements, stop being homosexual in this case.

I just genuinely want to help you. In any case I want you to have your own opinion and to decide for yourself, instead of accepting my or other people viewpoints and understandings (regardless of what the majority or the authority has to say).

share|improve this answer
I'm afraid you have fallen into a common trap which AffableGeek correctly described. You are assuming that you have to fix everything in your life before you can become a Christian. This is not the case. You are also failing to address the question of whether "being a homosexual" is defined by actions or by orientation. Even the most conservative branch of Christianity should be aware that having a homosexual orientation is not a sin of itself, and failing to point that out gives an entirely false view of Christianity. –  DJClayworth Jul 23 '13 at 16:46
Different groups of Christians have different ways to accept themselves of being as such. While most of the "christians" do not even do what the Christ was doing or/and what Christ was telling to do. Only to attend the christian meetings does not make one to be the christian. Nor the reading and remembering every verse from the Bible. I'm not assuming, I am sure of what I'm talking. There is a group of Christian peoples doing just like that. And the question "How do these GROUPS handle the question..." is in harmony with my answer. The group I represent is not a part of this world. –  Gediminas Jeremiah Gudelis Jul 23 '13 at 18:23
Let he who is without sin... –  Wikis Jul 30 '13 at 10:12

Honestly your question is a little vague. Homosexuals like heterosexuals comes in a variety of states ranging from hyper sexuality to asexuality. Also there are gender identification differences in some Homosexuals.

Scientist have yet to find a homosexual attraction genetic basis. There are known psychological triggers of homosexual and bisexual attraction most of them are unpleasant. Primarily heterosexual attraction occurs in the majority of the population so it is difficult to isolate one group of shared traits psychological or genetic which trigger it.

I'll come back to this in a moment.

Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

As I've said before and so repeated the Bible promotes absence or conscious asexuality. We are commanded (and we all pray he was speaking figuratively) to pluck from ourselves that which offends. Until one is married conscious sexuality even sexual thoughts (which last more than a moment) are offensives against Christ and sin.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The scriptures are clear there are certain things which we must not practice. Galatians 5 and 1 Corinthians 6 are go to scriptures for identifying if you are acting becoming of your salvation. Some groups like Calvinism claim that if you do not act becoming of your salvation then you are not actually saved. Catholicism also places a major emphasis on works like baptism and confession. This we can say for sure based on Galatians 5 and 1 Corinthians 6 any group which draws it legitimacy from the Bible can not rightly from the Bible condone sin. Those who do ignore the scripture in favor of tradition may condone whatever sins they see fit. Antinomianism (and its child extreme grace) omit scriptures like those from Romans 6:1 from their readings of the scripture.

Pro 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

There is nothing in the Bible which tells us about the autonomic functions of our body. No one is ever condemned for things which they or someone else could not control. No one in the Bible is condemned for going to the restroom, dying, becoming sick, winning or losing. God acknowledges that we are mortal humans so He empowers us by the Holy Spirit to control our bodies to some extent. I do not see anywhere in the scripture where those who fail to by faith control their blood pressure and die as a result are condemned nor do I see anything in the scripture where someone having a uncontrolled state of sexual arousal would be condemned. In male anatomy God created a sac which hold gamete which in most men must be removed by sexual autonomic functions at least. It is possible to argue that any non-autonomic conscious state of sexual arousal not involving another person or things is or isn't sin. We really are not told in the scripture and so it is left up to the individuals heart based on if they know the to good and do it not.

Lets look at what the Bible means when it says homosexual.

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

G733 ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs ar-sen-ok-oy'-tace

From G730 and G2845; a sodomite: - abuser of (that defile) self with mankind.

G730 ἄῤῥην, αρσην arrhēn arsēn ar'-hrane, ar'-sane

Probably from G142; male (as stronger for lifting): - male, man.

G2845 κοίτη koitē koy'-tay

From G2749; a couch; by extension cohabitation; by implication the male sperm: - bed, chambering, X conceive.

There are two Greak words which form the word sodomite used 1Co 6:9, G730 which refers to men and G2845 which literally refers to being laid or having sex with a man. With this word which is repeated oft in scripture the Bible condemns those who do as such with reservation. Men and by extension also women who are sexual with those of the same gender mentally or physically are in sin without question. Those who happen to have an autonomic attraction to the same gender but never consciously express it mentally or physically are not condemned by the Bible.

Being born with an attraction or having circumstances happen which cause you to have an attraction does not mean you are damned. Your only damned if you practice the sin which you happen to be afflicted with a predisposition toward, just like those who have a predisposition for rage and murder. All the actions of sexuality are rightly a choice and you can choose not to give in.

However a specific kind of personality associated with homosexuality is condemned by the Bible: Effeminacy. (As an aside Any Rand's personality type of objectism, anti-altruism or APD is also condemned as equally evil)

G3120 μαλακός malakos mal-ak-os'

Of uncertain affinity; soft, that is, fine (clothing); figuratively a catamite: - effeminate, soft.

Wikipedia: In its modern usage the term catamite refers to the passive partner in anal intercourse.

Effeminacy means that you are of uncertain affiliation with ones gender. The effeminate person looks or acts in a way which could be associated with the opposite gender. It also means looking or acting like you are the passive partner in anal intercourse.

In conclusion to be a believer you must choose to be consciously asexual until you are married to someone of the opposite sex. All those who do practice sexuality outside marriage to the opposite sex could not be saved (you cannot be a Bible Believing Christian and always ignore Christ your something but your not following the Bible) and definitely are displeasing the Master.

share|improve this answer
If the Bible promotes abstinence or asexuality, what is the Song of Solomon doing in there? –  Affable Geek Jan 15 at 0:56

protected by wax eagle Nov 4 '13 at 12:42

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.