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
doesnt say is that Pauls meaning was not lost on the audience to whom he was
Coulters 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 Hamers 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. Marks 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 denominations 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
churchs 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 werent 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 fathers 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. ONeil, Ray.
The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson Publishers.