Homosexuality Within the Church

Table of Content

If someone were to ask for your opinion on homosexuality in the Christian church and why you hold that view, how would you respond? From my conversations with numerous Christians, it appears that they typically uphold a more conservative and traditional position. They often reference specific Bible verses as support for their beliefs, such as I Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:3-5; Colossians 3:5-6; Jude 5-7, among others.

The main problem with relying exclusively on these scriptures is that some Christians who are homosexual interpret the same passages to back their beliefs. They claim that throughout history, the translations of these passages from the original Hebrew texts have been inaccurate. Pastor Ken Coulter’s comprehensive study, titled Dispelling the Myth and published by Logos Ministries, seeks to prove the inaccuracy of these translations over time.

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The New King James Version shows translation variations, notably in I Corinthians 6:9. The verse reads, “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 homosexuals.” According to this version, malakos and arsenokoitai in Greek are understood to pertain to homosexuality. However, Coulter contends that malakos has a twofold meaning.

The first term denotes “softness,” while the second pertains to a character weakness, which can be understood as being “weak-willed” or “easily deceived.” Arsenokoitai has been interpreted in various ways. Coulter suggests that its actual meaning remains uncertain, but it could potentially signify a “male prostitute who takes a proactive role.” He additionally argues that if the apostle Paul intended to refer to homosexuality, there were alternative Greek words available to him which would have made his intention clearer.

Coulter contends that the audience correctly understood Paul’s intended message, which supports a literal translation as a “sex addict.” From my perspective, I interpret it to mean someone who engages in male prostitution and lacks self-control while being submissive. The LGBTQ+ community presents these arguments to challenge the validity of the Bible and its interpretations. They also cite passages such as Colossians 3:11-12, emphasizing the significance of treating all individuals equally regardless of their background or any other distinguishing trait. Instead, Christ’s presence should be found in every person.

The text stresses the importance of embracing qualities like compassion, benevolence, modesty, gentleness, and patience as we are chosen by God and considered holy and beloved. It emphasizes that in Christ, equality exists among all individuals, regardless of their background or orientation. The argument put forth suggests that homosexuality should be seen as a natural inclination similar to ethnicity (regardless of whether one is Greek or Jewish).

Dean H. Hamer, Ph. D.’s research supports the concept of homosexuality as an innate characteristic rather than a conscious decision. In 1993, Hamer performed an experiment and discovered a gene linked to homosexuality. However, in 1999, scientists at the University of Western Ontario tried to reproduce Hamer’s results in a more extensive study but could not succeed. Despite this discrepancy, Hamer’s assertions received greater recognition compared to the opposing research.

The acceptance, marriage, and ordination of homosexuals is a contentious subject within the church. It has long been a source of division among Christians. While some progressive sects have embraced homosexuality in their churches, conservative churches have rejected it based on their interpretation of biblical teachings. The autonomy of the church plays a significant role in this debate as it pertains to Religious Liberty. Certain denominations have opted not to take a definitive stance on this issue, instead granting individual churches within their organization the freedom to make their own decisions.

The ELCA’s official policy invites and embraces gay and lesbian individuals, recognizing that they are created by God, and encourages their full participation in its congregations.

At their 1993 Conference of Bishops, it was made clear that performing a ritual to bless same-sex couples is not approved. Nevertheless, they also express faith in pastors and congregations who are supportive of the LGBT community. The precise meaning of their “trust” can be interpreted differently.

Both liberal and conservative interpretations of this policy could potentially allow for the possibility of ceremonies between homosexual couples taking place within individual churches. The recent rejection by The Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. to lift a ban on ordaining practicing homosexuals may provide a precedent for future debates on this matter.

Instead of insisting that gay and lesbian individuals require therapy to change their sexual orientation or discouraging those who are unhappy with or confused about their sexual orientation from seeking therapy they believe will be beneficial, the assembly decided to call for a two-year study on the matter.

Once again, individual churches within the denomination are given the freedom to make their own decisions due to indecisiveness. The denomination’s official statement also demonstrates their acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, providing a potential opportunity for liberals to bring about change. Additionally, Jane Spahr, a pastor in San Rafael, CA, who strongly supports the ordination of gays and lesbians, was honored with the “Women of Faith” prize at the assembly. Recognizing the presence of liberals within the denomination ultimately contributes to increasing apostasy.

Reverend Jimmy Creech, the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, conducted a ceremony between a female homosexual couple on September 14, 1997. This act was considered unauthorized by the church and led to Creech facing a church trial. Despite the official policy of the United Methodist Church prohibiting ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions, Creech was acquitted by a narrow one-vote margin.

Why was Creech acquitted? On January 16, 1999, one hundred clergy from the United Methodist Church conducted a ceremony for two gay men. Reverend Don Fado from St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento stated that this act was an expression of compassion and aligned with what Jesus would do.

The denomination’s previous trial established a precedent. The decision was seen by liberal reformers as an opportunity to begin conducting ceremonies between homosexual couples. The second ceremony, presided over by one hundred clergy members, served as both a political statement and a challenge to the denomination to officially revise their policy. The inclusion of autonomous churches within denominations has enabled the infiltration of liberal interpretations of scripture into once solid and biblical denominations.

These teachings that are false are exactly what the author of Hebrews was referring to: Do not be swayed by differing and peculiar doctrines. Therefore, the inquiry that needs to be posed is, “When a self-governing church chooses to interpret scripture in an extreme manner, should the denomination intervene and restrict the church’s rights?” I am of the opinion that they should. Scripture is the ultimate authority in all matters concerning life and the behavior of the church.

The Bible clearly states that it is the responsibility of the church to rebuke and discipline wayward Christians when false doctrines are introduced. This includes preaching about another Jesus, receiving a different spirit, or accepting a different gospel. It is important to address these issues, as false apostles and deceitful workers can emerge. This principle applies to individual churches within denominations as well. If an autonomous church teaches false doctrine, it is the duty of the denomination to rebuke and discipline the apostate church and potentially remove it from the denomination. Unfortunately, “liberal” denominations have erred in allowing false doctrines to be taught in their churches. This has allowed these false teachings to spread throughout the entire denomination. This is why I believe that the issue of homosexuality within the church relates to the concept of Religious Liberty.

The split within the church between liberal and conservative denominations is due to the prioritization of autonomy over biblical authority. This divide is not exclusive to homosexuality but also applies to other false doctrines and sins. However, in this paper, I specifically address the issue of homosexuality. I acknowledge that the church’s division extends beyond this issue. As a closing thought, I share the verse: “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 father’s 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.


  1. Coulter, Ken. Compiled and Edited by Ellis, Bob. Dispelling the Myth. Logos Ministries, 1997.
  2. What the Bible Says About Homosexuality. www.milepost1.com/~gaydad/FAQ/WHATBIBLESAYS.html
  3. Scriptures They Never Bring Up. www.spiritualfruits.com/scriptures.html
  4. Angier, Natalie. Report Suggests Homosexuality is Linked to Genes. New York Times: July 16, 1993.
  5. Goode, Erica. Study Questions Gene Influence on Male Homosexuality. New York Times: April 23, 1999.
  6. Clarification Regarding Same-sex Blessings and Ongoing Deliberation Concerning Homosexuality. from ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop, May 2000 www.elca.org/ob/samesex.html
  7. Homosexuality at issue for PCUSA, Reformed. www.thelutheran.org/9908/page52.html
  8. What the United Methodist Church Teaches About Homosexuality. Schell, Clifford. www.gbgm-umc.org/pwvfumc/message/creech.html
  9. Homosexuality and the UM Church. O’Neil, Ray. www.goodnewsmag.org/the_latest/homo022499.htm
  10. The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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