How should churches react to members who struggle with homosexuality?

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  1. Thom Hunter profile image61
    Thom Hunterposted 13 years ago


    If you've read my writing, you know that I am a Christian who struggled for years with unwanted same-sex attraction and now write about it frequently, mainly because I know it is an issue of importance to many Christians and their families.  I'm curious as to whether you think churches have surrendered to culture on this issue.

    Do you think your church is prepared to respond with the truth of Scripture and the compassion of Christ?  Or, do you think your church limits itself to proclaiming the church member to be an abomination and a target for removal?  Or, the third option:  has your church just given in to culture on this issue and become "gay-friendly?"

    1. profile image0
      StevenCrimiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, if you look at the history of the bible, many facets of the scripture have been significantly altered by several christian leaders. Just look at the different versions of bibles we have available: King James, New international Version, New American Standard, and so forth. In addition, all these current interpretations of the meaning of God and Jesus are vastly different from the Codex Sinaiticus, a Greek bible found in 1844 that was thousands of years old. In this book, there are two more books in the New Testament, Jesus never requests God to forgive humans when he was at the cross, and the stories show different behaviors coming from Jesus (for instance, most versions say he was compassionate towards the leper healer, while the Codex says he was angry) (Draper). You can look this all up. Also, there is a major consensus amongst scholars that in the original version of Sodom and Gomorrah, the city was burned based on a lack of hospitality, not homosexuality. It was only changed right around the era of Constantine.

      But just think about it, would God really condemn homosexuality? If the topic was so tabooed, why is mentioned only three times in the entire text? Also, why does research by various psychiatrists, social workers, and psychologist indicate that homosexuality is not a "abhorrent" form of sexuality, but a normal expression of one? Gay couples are just as capable of forming loving and bonding relationships as heterosexual couples are.

      Moreover, do read the bible? Haven't you noticed the various contradictions that are inherent within the book? For instance, why in Genesis do people who are manipulative, deceptive always win in God's favor while the innocent suffer? Isn't that against one of Jesus main teachings? After all he does make the following warning about such people in Mathew 7:15: "Be aware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but are really ravenous wolves." 

      So definitely take what I have to say into consideration and do some more research. Don't take what the bible and pastors have to say on the subject. Obviously, what they have to say is nonsensical, biased, and unfounded in terms of the vitality of homosexuality.

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Frank Houston was a church leader that sexually abused young men attempting to "drive the spirit of homosexually" out of them.

      1. profile image0
        Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        many christians believe homosexuality is an evil spirit (as well as mental illness, disbelief...)

  2. chigoiyke profile image62
    chigoiykeposted 13 years ago

    If we are talking about the church here, then there is nothing like compassion on homosexuality. The bible - the christian guide - is clearly against homosexuality. So if its the church of God, homosexuality is where it is meant to be - a taboo in christiandom. We cannot configure it to soothe anybody. As far as am concerned homosexuality is for suckers. Sorry folks.. My 2 cents.

    1. Friendlyword profile image61
      Friendlywordposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Homosexuals are suckers! Aint that the truth!!!
      But enough about your intimate knowledge of homosexual sex.
      Straight men are horrified by the thought of homosexual sex.  Straight men wrote the bible.  Straight men lied and said God thinks homosexuals are an abomination. Therefore the Bible and the Christian church are an Abomination before God!

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      where do people that are hermaphrodites (not sure if that is PC) fit?  Will they be damned whichever side they take.  And yes, there are plenty of animals in nature that are hermaphrodites and some animals can even undergo a sex change (eg anemonefish like "Nemo")

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        That's a person who really has a dilemma or crisis of indentity, unlike the majority of people who choose to say they're born with a sexual dilemma!

        A hermaphrodite would have a legitimate reason for a sex-change (or sex-identity) operation.   Unless perhaps they were blessed enough to find a mate who would be able to deal with the situation as it stood.  Or would just not be a big part of that person's we mature, too, sex becomes less of a focus in our lives, or at least many people find that to be true.

        I will say this-----humans have very little control over how we look or what our bodies are shaped like..

        But what we DO have control over is our thought processes and our decisions that constitute what actions we take.

        No, they wouldn't be "damned whichever side they take".  No one is damned if they recognize and Love the Creator for who He is and that Christ died for them also.

        1. Ron Montgomery profile image60
          Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          This is a subject you know absolutely nothing about, and yet you can't resist replying everytime it's brought up.  Is there some deeper meaning in this for you?

          1. profile image0
            Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I could ask the same of you, Ron!  LOL

            And how do you know I don't know anything about it?   Hint----a person doesn't have to BE something in order to KNOW about it and know whether it's right or wrong, or understand the dilemma that another human being faces.  For instance, I don't have to go out and rob a store in order to know that thieving is wrong;  I don't have to be personally in a crisis in order to understand that other people also go through crises in their lives.

            By the way, I went to Church this past weekend.   Aren't you vewwwy proud of me?   I always hunger for your opinion, although I'm usually quite disappointed when you offer it.  I must be a bad girl.....or a glutton for punishment roll

        2. profile image0
          Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          a lot of hermaphrodites want to stay as they are - not get a sex change - that is who they are.  It is humans that came up with the idea that only male or female exist, not variations

  3. kess profile image60
    kessposted 13 years ago

    God's will is to rid ourselves from Sin within ...

    How then can one accomplish such, when all he does is to look for it in others?

    As long as you seek to point out sin in another you would be lock in it yourself.

    But if you seek to see good in all things,then you would see God and gain your FREEDOM

  4. chigoiyke profile image62
    chigoiykeposted 13 years ago

    Sorry I really cannot see good in all things

  5. Mighty Mom profile image78
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    Hello Thom,
    The pain in your struggle is apparent in your writing. You talk of "unwanted same-sex attraction."
    And yet your conflict seems to come from fear that by acting on the attraction you will be viewed as an "abomination" and "removed" from your church. Not from the attraction itself.
    How and why would you (or anyone) want to belong to a church that condemns you thus?
    Do you intend to spend your entire life here on earth living a lie? Is that not against the teachings of the church as well?

    There are many denominations out there who are tolerant and welcoming. For your own sanity, why not check them out rather than feel judged?

    BTW, there is a huge amount of hypocrisy in churches on the issue of homosexuality. Not just the Catholic church (which is notorious).
    God is LOVE. I hope you will find that LOVE in a church that accepts you for who you are. MM

  6. couturepopcafe profile image59
    couturepopcafeposted 13 years ago

    If one follows Christian values, believes the Bible is the guidebook of how to live, then he must realize that it's not being gay that is the sin.  The sin is acting upon the impulse.

    The Bible forbids sex before marriage, stealing, lying, disrespecting parents, murder, etc.  Everyone in the church has done something or thought of doing something that is an abomination to the Christian God.  A liar is as bad as a murderer.  The difference is that homosexuality cannot always be easily hidden.  Lying can. 

    Any church which denounces a member for being gay is not a true Christian church and should be made publicly accountable in front of the entire congregation at the busiest service on Sunday.  They would do well to be reminded of the story of the hypocrite.

    1. Jerami profile image57
      Jeramiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      All sinners are welcomed to come to church and find help conquering their weaknesses.   
           Church is not supposed to be a mutual appreciation of our sins  Club.   
          If I do not agree with the rules of an organization and have no plans of changing.     
          Why do I want to go there?

          It is the same for AA meetings.   Alcoholics are welcome to come in and work through their problem.  But the problem gotta stay out side the doors. 
         Cause everyone is working to conquer their problem. If ya walk in the door and start saying I'm drunk and don't have a problem with it! ...  they are going to ask you to leave.

          The Church has the same rights.
          If ya don't think that your drinking is a problem?
          Why go to the AA meeting?

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      the bible also says not to eat pork and get tattoos.  wonder how many christians are fond of bacon and eggs or have tattoos?

      1. aguasilver profile image70
        aguasilverposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Once again we find that the OT is being used to castigate the NT, and generally speaking the rule is that if an OT command is NOT reiterated in the NT, then we can ignore it.

        In the NT we are given freedom over foods and Christ states clearly THREE times that it's not what goes into our bodies that defiles us, it's what comes out of our mouths.

        Tattoos are generally unmentioned in the NT, so any Christian who wanted one could have one, and I know believers who have Christian tattoos, which is appropriate as a tattoo is a branding mark, used originally to identify your slaves, so having one that says 'Jesus is Lord over all' would make sense.... but maybe some of the tattoos I have seen would be questionable, but not forbidden.

        I know of Hells Angels who have come to faith tattooed to the hilt, and they are accepted and go on to have powerful witness ministries.

        Don't sweat the small stuff.

        Now to get back to the thread...

        Believers should treat all sinners equally, with love and respect, but with the clear knowledge expressed that deliberate sin is incompatible with leading a Christian life.

        If our objective is to stop sinning, and we give authority to God to deal with our sins, then we will sin less, and less and eventually be able to stop our deliberate sin.

        1. profile image0
          Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          is tithing mentioned in the NT?

          1. aguasilver profile image70
            aguasilverposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            No, but that's a too short answer!

            I'm due to write a hub about that, and I did have a good forum post I wrote on it, which was almost a hub...If I can find it, I'll repost it here!


            Found it, from three weeks ago....

            My church membership record is held in the Lambs book of Life, that's the only membership role I need be listed on.

            If your church is a social club in reality, then you should pay membership fees to keep it open, but God does NOT require us to pay subscriptions, and anybody who believes that 'tithing' religiously will bring prosperity has followed the wrong gods and the wrong leaders.

            In the New Testament tithing is not required or proscribed, the last mention is in Malachi 3, it is not reiterated in the NT.

            Abraham paid a tithe first, to Melchesidech, a 'form' of Christ in the OT, but he ONLY paid it once (by the record) and he ONLY paid it on the 'spoils' he had taken in battle.

            Tithes have always been payable on the 'increase' i.e. if you started the year with 1000 sheep, and ended the year with 1200, you 'tithed' 20 sheep (and the best ones) to the Levites for temple sacrifice.

            We no longer have a Levite priesthood, nor a temple to send our sheep to.

            Besides which, God requires a LIVING sacrifice from us, our obedience to His word.

            Having said that, God does require that we see the truth that ALL of what He provides is from Him, to use in His service, and not ours to use as we like.

            God has no problem with our living well, as long as we honour Him with our lives, and listen to Him when He tells us to assist in His kingdom plans, in other words, we must use (or be prepared to use) ALL of His resources for others, IF He calls us to do so, which He does do on occasion to see whether we or He owns the cash we are custodians of on His behalf.

            Speaking from experience I can tell you that God gives and God takes away, that you cannot out give God, that God can bless you pressed down and overflowing, or reduce you to eating grass like the animals of the field, for a season, and HOW you get treated is dependent upon HOW you handle what God gives you to manage on His behalf.

            I also know that what we achieve here on earth has no bearing on what our worth may be in eternity, you cannot buy eternal life, nor earn it, nor donate enough to secure it.

            1. profile image0
              Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              a lot of churches make a very good income from tithes - Hillsong needs an armoured truck each week from the takings.  Destiny church - their founding pastors live extravagent lifestyles

        2. Beelzedad profile image58
          Beelzedadposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I can not and probably never will understand this contradiction.

          The ultimate word, the revealed truth, a one and only god giving his laws and commandments to his flock, telling them to live and breathe every last bit of it with all their strength and determination, never to find folly or stray from its ultimateness... only to have it revoked and supplanted for a 'more and improved' ultimate word, revealed truth, yaddy, yaddy, yaddy... the former being null and void, long to be vanquished to the garbage bin of recycled faiths, ignored. Oh, the humanity!!!

          I went to this seminar once in which the speakers main topic was that of effort. One of the things he pointed out was the fact that effort can be turned on in the same amount of time it takes to snap ones fingers. He went on to provide irrefutable evidence to support his theory. And, he was right!


          1. aguasilver profile image70
            aguasilverposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            When you write a new agreement, it replaces previous versions of that agreement, except where the new agreement reiterates clauses or sections of the old agreement.

            The new REPLACES the old, even if certain sections remain in the new.... relatively simple if you have studied common law and apply common sense.

            1. Beelzedad profile image58
              Beelzedadposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              LOL! How easy and convenient to forget that those who were under the contractual agreement of the Old were obviously under the impression that contract was forever, as it was the ultimate word of their god.

              The New not only violates the terms of the Old in that respect, but it also changes various clauses and primary codes of conduct for it's beneficiaries.

              Common sense indeed. LOL! big_smile

            2. profile image0
              Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              does make sense for a god that's the same yesterday, today and forever

              1. aguasilver profile image70
                aguasilverposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Actually you will find that Christ is mentioned through the OT and the NT covenant is indicated.

        3. Mark Knowles profile image57
          Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

    3. donotfear profile image83
      donotfearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I would like to make a comparison here.

      We all have "sin" in our lives, whether we're Christians or not. To say you're without sin, or 'forbidden impulses' is a lie.  Okay, so I sin, I do bad things. Consciously & subconsciously. So what is sin?  Sin is what is forbidden.  Displeasing to God.  The apple from the Tree in the garden was forbidden, right? We're given this set of rules, commandments which mold our mores & values for our culture. The guide book for life.

      So we each have our certain weaknesses, "forbidden things", which we struggle with daily.  We possess a God given instinct to know right from wrong, that little voice inside that reminds us "Uh-oh". If that instinct is modeled positively, then we learn to act on it & make a choice to 'do or not to do'.

      We have a choice to act on the impulse or not to act. My "big sin" is alcohol comsumption.  I know that if I take one drink, I'll go off the wagon & it will become a full-fledged relapse into the 'sin pit'.  One drink is not a sin for many, many people.  One drink for me is the doorway to total 'death', within. So what do I do?  I have this urge, this craving to drink the wine, but I don't ACT on the urge because I know the RESULT of my action, which would lead to 'death' for me. If I give in to the impulse to drink, I open myself up for more consumption, thus leading to total relapse & withdrawal from my "norms". The craving within is just there, it's my "sin thing".  For others it is different things.

      Some may lust for another person's spouse. Some steal, lie excessively, etc. You know the deal.  So what I'm saying is if the senses within you lusts for the same sex, does something tell you (that still small voice inside) that it's 'forbidden' or 'not natural'? Yet when it becomes overpowering, we feel the 'don't do it' darts hitting us from every direction, the guilt eats us up......then we, bammo!  Give in to the desire, indulge, fulfilling that need.  Then what happens?  It gets easier & easier to fall into it becoming a full-fledged "sin pit" or whatever you want to call it. 

      The desire within is real. It's there. It's difficult. The question is to act or not to act. Sin, or not to sin. Each person answers to it indiviually. It's between you & God, as you know Him.  Mine is alcohol. His is homosexual desires.  Hers is pathalogical lying. Act, or don't act?  You have a choice, which will it be?

      I say accept one regardless of what his "sin" is. If he's gay, he has those tendencies.  If he's alcoholic, he has those tendencies. We all struggle with such. It doesn't mean to promote the sin as 'okay' 'acceptable' & 'do it anyway'.  It means "We'll help you with your struggles".
      Church is a hospital for all who seek help.

      1. aguasilver profile image70
        aguasilverposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Excellent response, thank you for your honesty and obvious care.

  7. sunnymayor profile image59
    sunnymayorposted 13 years ago

    you spoke wisely  and i really like your  message, but the only thing that is  without Christ no one can see the lord , holiness is required from  every one  who like to go heaven.psalms 15.1 to 5, and  Hebrew 12 .14, matthew5 .16,, please God is not a liar that  he should lie. thanks and hope to hear from you soon,,, happy weekend 

  8. Mighty Mom profile image78
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    You are incorrect about AA meetings. The whole idea is to bring your drinking problem INTO the meeting for help from the fellowship! If someone walks into an AA meeting and proclaims "I'm drunk and I don't have a problem with it!" that person would still be welcomed. They would not be asked to leave. They would likely be asked to listen to what others say rather than dominating the meeting (which is wont to happen when someone is drinking). They would certainly be told, "keep coming back."

    Drinkers find their way into AA meetings all the time and are not yet ready to make changes in their lives. They may be court-ordered or ordered by a chemical dependency program to attend AA meetings. The attitude inside the meetings is, "We hope you hear something today that makes you WANT to come back."
    No judgment. That's where AA differs from church.
    Oh yes -- and gay drunks are just as wellcome as straight ones.

    1. Jerami profile image57
      Jeramiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I have never heard of a person bringing their bottle into an AA meeting. 

         I think that would be frowned upon.
         Even though the OP may have focused on Homosexuality ...
      I wasn't. 

          Regardless of what a persons thing is!  If a group of people makes ya feel unwelcome,  Why would ya want to be there??

           I found out a long time ago that some people does not enjoy my presence.   

      I  don't care who   you/I am or what  your/my  thing is ......
      There are some people that do not like you/me.
      Who are you/Imeto expect "THEM" to conform to me/you??

          I try to get control over my bubble and you are welcome to yours.    Some times that just gotta be left alone.

  9. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 13 years ago

    As far as the original question of the thread....first of all, a homosexual person should not be accepted as an actual Church member unless they're a non-practicing homosexual.  But to go to Church...anyone should be able to go to Church anytimge they wish to, as long as they don't behave in an unGodly manner.  A lesbian or gay couple should be allowed in Church congregation, but not if they're openly exhibiting actions or words that give the false idea that homosexuality is okay, or in some way being a bad example to impressionable youths.   The whole idea of going to Church is (or should be) to see souls given over to Christ and to GIVE one's soul to Christ, not just to be a "member" of a Church body.


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