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(Note: I know this may start a firestorm, so I will be careful here.)

I believe that the Bible states that homosexuality is immoral.

I also believe that it does NOT condemn them to hell (a sin is a sin is a sin), when a person receives Christ in them they are saved and ALL their sins are forgiven.

Some faithful Christians believe that it is not a sin to be homosexual and I would like to know the line of reasoning and/or Scripture passages that they use as their basis.

Also, I would like this to be about the sin of homosexuality, not about the people/culture of homosexuals (i.e. stereotypes about homosexuals, et al).

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related to (but not a duplicate of, I believe) What does the bible say about homosexuality? –  Richard Aug 24 '11 at 18:50
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I feel that the Bible is clear on many things that are sinful. Unrepentant practicing homosexuality being just one. I realize that homosexuality is a contentious topic. I believe that homosexuality is by no means an exceptionally bad "sin" compared to others and find it frustrating that it is often singled out. –  Tom Duckering Aug 25 '11 at 1:56
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First, let's get the terminology straight. We should differentiate between "homosexuality" as the word is understood today, and homosexual acts, which is a different matter. –  Mason Wheeler Aug 25 '11 at 2:32
    
Who said they "Believe" it is moral..I personally think they "Know" it's immoral. However, They want to inherit the lords kingdom. So they "Practice" the "Most" important commandments. There's two of them... The "Most" important one is this.. (Love) thy lord with all of your heart, mind and strength..an the second is "Equally" important. (Love) your neighbor as yourself.... (No) other commandments is greater than these.. Mark 12:28-31 NLT.... Maybe they "Know" its immoral..but yet they still try to practice the (Most) important commandments given. –  user10314 Apr 1 at 16:24

4 Answers 4

up vote 67 down vote accepted

The question asks "Why do some Christians believe it is moral to be a homosexual?" Because clearly, some do. This is not the place to hold forth on your own beliefs on the matter, this is Stack Exchange, where we answer the question posed.

Potentially Valid Reasons

  • Many Christians believe that "being" homosexual (having homosexual sexual tendencies to some degree - remember bisexuals exist too) is not sinful in and of itself, but that having sex with another same-sex person is a sinful act. So a chaste homosexual is as holy as anyone else who's not sinning. Though most of us sin a lot of the time, so it kinda sounds stupid when you put it that way. I know I've repented of lust then lusted again; that's the human condition. And homosexual acts are simply a sin like any other, from gossip to lying; most of the current firestorm about homosexuality specifically is political and bigotry related, not religion related.

  • Some Christians believe that the Biblical passages regarding homosexuality are misapplied/badly translated and therefore do not speak against what we would today regard as "otherwise moral" homosexual practice.

  • Some Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant in concept but not literally inerrant, and that there is a lot of cultural baggage associated with it that has to be sifted out. There are a lot of things we do/don't do partially based on this understanding (rejection of slavery, for instance).

  • Related to the previous point, some Christians believe that just as Jesus obsoleted the Law in favor of the love of God and the Golden Rule, we should look at the "big picture" and not focus on lists of sinful acts. Because, to be honest, the Bible says a lot of things. The OT says to not eat shrimp; that ban is not one most modern Christians recognize. If you love God and your neighbor, then the specifics which were intended to generally point you in that direction are not needed any more. Some Christians would say that the rejection of legalism and embrace of a more direct relationship with God (which is more complex than any set of rules) was the main point Jesus was trying to get across to us during his life.

  • The church I'm in has better theologians on staff that I, and they say it's OK. Some denominations officially accept homosexuality in whole or in part. For a good overview of different Christian teachings on homosexuality, see wikipedia.

Mostly Invalid Reasons

There are probably other reasons; those previously listed are the ones I feel have a halfway decent foundation. The illogical/unfounded reasons one might hear are:

  • "But they're born that way." People are born with all kinds of tendencies including alcoholism, gambling, etc. - that's a particular thorn/burden for them, not some "get out of sin free" card. In fact, I assume that there probably is some kind of genetically related predisposition to homosexuality (which of course doesn't map to 100% of practicing homosexuals, there's some practicing by choice and some refraining by choice) but even if there is, it has no relation to the morality of the act. If genetically I have a high testosterone level and am lustful in general, can I just get a mulligan on adultery? No, of course not; this is an odd argument that is applied to no other sin.

  • "Oh, who cares what the Bible/church says?" This of course is a difficult position to hold about anything for a Christian. And if you're of another/no faith, we love you and all, but our worldview is guided by those things you reject, so that opinion is of limited help to someone wrestling with this problem from our worldview. One can argue that the Holy Spirit has guided them to this understanding, which is fine, though in general we are asked to test our perception of the Spirit's guidance by the Scriptures and church to verify it's God speaking and not that we went off our meds last week.

  • "I know a homosexual and they're not a bad person." This is someone unclear on Christianity's teachings in general, unaware that even good people sin and require repentance. The demonization of homosexuals by the more hateful elements in society actually feed this one; once someone meets a homosexual and sees that they don't have little goat horns and rape babies, they assume they were probably lied to 100% and reject even honest Biblical critique. Understandable, but not logical.

The polarization of society on this topic makes a lot of the usual Scriptural measuring sticks difficult to use. We are encouraged by culture and the media to think of things in terms of "right side/wrong side", so when we try to apply, say, "By their fruits you will know them," we see some homosexuals who clearly favor a licentious and ungodly lifestyle, but others who seem as normal as anyone's parents, just gay. And similarly we see some Christians with balanced views on the topic but plenty who are spouting hate and other clearly unchristian stuff as well. Which "side" is right? That's a false dichotomy that leads to confusion. My one contribution to this discussion is that I think we need to reject what the world is trying to tell us about which faction/football team we're on and, like God does, address it on an individual basis. There's a lot of judging around this topic based on the extreme activities of the exceptionally disturbed on one side or the other.

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+1 for actually answering the question –  karategeek6 Aug 31 '11 at 14:48
    
Saying basically the same thing, but at greater length: huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-janet-edwards/…. –  TRiG Sep 26 '11 at 18:37
    
I think it's unclear what the difference between the last invalid reason and the legitimate doctrine that you will know them by their fruits. The latter is often used as part of the defense of the second valid argument, at least, according to @TRiG's Huffpo article. –  trlkly Jul 30 at 23:45

Why do some Christians believe it is moral to be a homosexual?

If "some" includes me, I can give you my answer.

I consider myself Christian, not because of "believing" things, but because I was raised that way and because of how I live and relate to others. I don't look to scripture or church authority to tell me what to think. I do think scripture is important for shaping us for the better. I don't think God had a typewriter, and I don't look to scripture for facts or laws.

On the subject of homosexuality, some people are born that way. What's more, people form intimate loving responsible relationships. That's what they do; they don't need anyone else's permission. Other people will approve or disapprove for whatever reasons they have, but ultimately people are responsible for their own lives. Morality, to me, is about being good to people, not about passing judgement on how others live.

Somewhere in the new testament it says something like "the law is written in your heart". I happen to agree with that.

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Being raised in a Christian home isn't what makes you a Christian. Also even those who believe in Scripture as an authority don't think God had a typewriter, so that's a straw man argument. Scripture claims to be full of facts and laws, so if you don't look to it for those, you have to look past what it claims to be. As to your last point, the NT goes on to say that there are NO people who actually can or do obey that law written on their heart by nature, they all break it because our hearts are deceitful. –  Caleb Sep 18 '11 at 18:39
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Being a Christian is about a solution for what to do with hearts that have transgressed that law written on our hearts, and it is not something we can ever do on our own. That's where saving grace and then belief and repentance come in. –  Caleb Sep 18 '11 at 18:41
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@Caleb: So there's a rule to tell who's a Christian and who isn't? I don't remember asking. –  Mike Dunlavey Sep 22 '11 at 0:13
    
Upvoting, not because I think these are great arguments, but because it answers the question. –  Andres Riofrio May 10 '12 at 2:00

When reading this question, and the answers that follow, several scriptures came to mind regarding God's feelings. I will list those first.

The last scripture in my answer, I believe may actually answer the question rather directly.

The first was Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

This scripture clearly asks us, beseeches us actually, to strive to be that which is other than simply acceptable in our culture, but to be holy and acceptable to God.

God makes His views clear for us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

This scripture is also clear regarding God's feelings toward homosexuality. The following verse,

1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

This gives us all hope. We are all sinners.

To answer the question, "Why do some Christians believe it is moral to be homosexual?"

We have been warned about the Deceptions of False Teachers in;

2 Peter 2:18-19
For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

There is, unfortunately, a tendency to turn from "unpopular" scripture to attract greater numbers into congregations. There has also been serious discussion of removing the word "virgin" from scripture in regard to Christ's birth for the purpose of attracting more church members.

It seems apparent that some Christians believe homosexuality is moral because they are being fed by false teachers. Scripture is clear.

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+1 for "Scripture is clear." –  Andrei Rinea Feb 1 '12 at 19:41
    
This answers the question "Why do some Christians believe it is moral to be a homosexual?", and in general, "Why do some Christians believe things that most other Christians don't?" but if you read the full post, he is asking about what arguments they use to support their position, not why it is possible for them to have such a position. –  Andres Riofrio May 10 '12 at 1:58

Could it be that some Christians recognize that the Bible was written thousands of years ago, in a very different culture, and it needs to be viewed in a more modern light? Just as owning slaves was allowed in Biblical times, yet would be viewed as sinful today. I think people might also note that the only way to find something declaring homosexuality to be sinful is to search through the bible word by word with the express purpose of finding something that justifies that predetermined view. It certainly isn't declared sinful in a prominent place, such as the ten commandments.

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So, something that was allowed but is now illegal should be taken in the same like as something that (biblically) has always been immoral? If you can link to doctrine, it will improve your answer and save it from the probability of being flagged and deleted later. –  Richard Oct 23 '11 at 18:49
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One need hardly search that closely -- homosexual acts are denounced as sin quite prominently. Many people try to explain away these references as being no longer relevant or not inspired or various other things, but saying its hard to find in the text is a pretty week argument when many people would be glad to take you on an exhaustive tour (not a short ride). In fact part of the reason this is a contentious issue is that it sometimes seems singled out by Scripture as especially heinous among sinful acts. –  Caleb Oct 23 '11 at 18:50
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Also, you might be interested in this question: What does the Bible say about homosexuality? –  Richard Oct 23 '11 at 18:50
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I don't see how citing doctrine or scripture helps with this question. The question is not "What does Christianity say...", but rather "Why do some Christians believe..." Clearly, some Christians don't accept the Biblical statements that have been cited. The question is why? I think the answer is that many people do not accept the Bible or Church doctrine as the only sources of truth. Both have clearly been wrong on moral issues before (e.g. witch hunts, inquisitions, slavery...) and Christ's overall message to humanity was to treat people with love and compassion, not to persecute them. –  Mark Oct 25 '11 at 16:37

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