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In any discussion of these matters, we must never lose sight of the fact that all men and women, of every age and ethnicity, are created in the image of God and are thus deserving of the respect and dignity that this truth demands.

That being said, what are the primary categories of belief when it comes to the moral status of same-sex attraction?

First, some insist that same sex attraction is God-given and should be happily embraced by those who experience it. It is not sinful to feel such attraction to someone of the same gender, nor is it sinful to engage in physical intimacy with another of the same gender.

Those who embrace this view within the professing Christian community do typically insist that any same sex intimacy should be monogamous. They also firmly oppose any ministry methods, be it prayer, counseling, deliverance, teaching, etc., that would seek to enable a person to change their sexual orientation. They are strongly opposed to any form of so-called “conversion” therapy. They also believe that same-sex attracted persons should self-identify as gay. This has come to be identified as Side A.

Second, a different perspective is taken by those who believe that their sexual “orientation” or attraction to someone of the same gender is largely unchangeable and should be viewed much like one understands race or nationality.

They typically agree with the first view that any attempt to “convert” someone from homosexuality to heterosexuality is misguided and will prove largely unsuccessful, even damaging. They also believe that they should identify as a “gay Christian”. However, unlike the previous view, they insist that physical, sexual intimacy between two people of the same sex is sinful. They are committed to remaining sexually chaste throughout life. This has come to be identified as Side B and is represented by those involved with the Revoice conference.

Third, a significant variation on the second position above, and the one that I embrace, is that one’s sense of personal identity should never be tied to sinful attraction. We should never use our sinful desires as a way of identifying ourselves. Whereas we name our sin, we are not named by it. Thus, these do not refer to themselves as “gay” Christians, any more than one would identify himself/herself as an “adulterous” Christian or a “greedy” Christian or a “lustful” Christian.

They would also maintain that it is possible, by God’s transforming grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, for a same-sex attracted person to experience, over time, victory over illicit desires and attractions. There is no guarantee that sanctification leads to attractions for the opposite sex. One can have victory over illicit attractions without becoming attracted to the opposite sex. Some develop those attractions, but some don't. Thus, it is possible for a same-sex attracted person to experience, over time, a transformation in their desires from homosexual to heterosexual. However, even if such change should not occur, they are committed to living a sexually chaste life.

There is also debate over whether it is only the sexual act of same-sex intimacy that is sinful or if the very existence of the desire for same-sex intimacy is itself sinful. Is it merely the deed of same-sex intimacy or also the desire for it that is to be regarded as sinful? On this, see Col. 3:5-7; 1 Peter 2:11. Many contend that there is a difference between being “tempted” by same-sex intimacy, on the one hand, and experiencing an inclination or longing or desire for it, on the other. The former is not necessarily sinful (although it could be), whereas the latter always is.

Most evangelical churches and denominations would not admit into full membership a person who embraces Side A. There is disagreement on Side B. Some would receive such an individual into full membership, while others would refrain from doing so if the person insists on embracing their “identity” as a “gay” Christian. Most, if not all, evangelical churches would receive into full membership someone who experiences same-sex attraction but believes that such an experience is sinful and is committed to not indulging in same-sex intimacy.

There is disagreement even among evangelicals as to whether a person in category three is qualified to serve in ordained pastoral ministry. Some insist that the mere presence of such disordered desires, even if never acted upon, disqualifies a man or woman from serving in full-time Christian ministry. Others would argue that as long as a person acknowledges that such desires are sinful and should be “put to death” (Col. 3:5; 1 Peter 2:11) and does not act upon them, he/she is qualified to serve in some form of full-time ministry. I would probably align myself with this latter view.



I’m reading Kingdom Come- it’s outstanding. Asking for your thoughts on the Preterist view of Luke 17- how it supposedly proves that there’s no separation between AD 70 and “that day”.
Given the current legality of same-sex marriage (which IMHO highlights the problem of giving the power of marriage to the state when it should belong to the church), while churches don't wish to have members openly in same-sex relationships, they better have a strategy for what to do when someone converts who's not only experiencing same sex attraction but is in a legally binding relationship for such.

Oh, and given the current direction of things, it seems likely that in the next few years churches will also have to have an answer for what to do when polygamists walk in the door.

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