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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : A Sincere Question About Homosexuality and Christianity » A Sincere Question About Homosexuality and Christianity

A Sincere Question About Homosexuality and Christianity

Rusty - October 10, 2006

I’m probably just ignorant so please let me know if that’s the case but there’s something that doesn’t make sense to me. Why do other Christian faiths reject homosexuality as an acceptable form of sexuality? I mean, Mormons at least have a fairly legitimate reason (the eternal family/procreation thing) but all I can think of for Christians is the few proof-textable passages in the Bible (and from what I understand there seems to be disagreement about what those verses actually mean anyway.)

Whether or not you agree with the Mormon doctrine of eternal families you have to admit that it’s a much more logical rejection of homosexuality than a few obscure verses in the Bible, right? Or am I missing something?

NOTE: Please know that I’m not advocating the rejection of homosexuals nor am I trying to justify the way homosexuals have been treated by either mainstream Christianity or Mormons, I would just like to explore the different approaches to the issue. Also know that my ‘delete comment’ sensibility is raised for this post so please don’t be a jerk.

17 Comments »

  1. I think mainstream christianity is known for taking verses in the Bible literally. In fact many seem to delight in making a big deal out of obscure verses.

    I think there are enough Biblical verses and or stories which make it clear that homosexuality is wrong. The law of Moses is quite clear on the prohibitions of sexual relations.

    That being said, I’ve had several as employees and they are great people. It’s too bad their “sin” shows like it does on many, but our “sins” we can hide better. If I wore a sign around my neck listing my sins I wonder how I’d be treated?

    Comment by don — October 10, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  2. Rusty,

    In the LDS topical guide of King James version of the bible there are 8 references to homosexuality. There are only 12 references to adultery. I’d say most any Christian church would have plenty of Biblical warrant to consider homosexuality a sin basically on par with adultery.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 10, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

  3. Catholic belief is that God designed marriage in a specific way, between one man and one woman, and that’s the only way it’s supposed to be. We believe that it is taught in the Bible, and is abundantly clear in Church teaching from the earliest centuries to the present day.

    Also, the procreative aspect of marriage is extremely important in the Catholic faith (as you can already tell if you know we prohibit contraception and abortion). The family has a sacramental character, as it signifies the inner life of the Triune God: two persons know and love one another, and a third proceeds from that union. A marriage that is not between man and woman cannot do this, and is not a marriage at all (likewise marriages that are not consentual, permanent, etc.).

    Comment by Brad Haas — October 10, 2006 @ 12:39 pm

  4. Don, Geoff,
    Okay, I understand that most interpretations of those verses in the Bible suggest homosexuality is wrong. I guess I feel like Mormons have a ‘why’ (we consider homosexuality a sin) whereas those verses in the Bible don’t give a ‘why’, they just say it’s wrong. Therefore the Christian’s only reasoning for opposing homosexuality is “because the Bible says so.” Yes, I know that we do the same thing with many commandments as well, this one just seems like it needs more explanation (because, you know, it’s a HUGE segment of people that are automatically “condemned to hell” just for being born a certain way.)

    Brad,
    It seems that what you’re saying is that your beliefs are very similar to Mormons’ minus the part about eternal procreation. In other words, it’s all about the procreation and the natural development of the human species and because homosexuality can’t procreate it’s neither natural nor approved by God. Is that about right?

    Comment by Rusty — October 10, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  5. Rusty,

    Most of Christianity believes in creation ex nihilo not in eternal existence and progression. So all it takes is for God (through the Bible) to say homosexuality is a sin for for Christian churches to accept it. The “why” question isn’t really all that relevant to most people because the answer is “because God said so”. Plus, since much of the Christian world believes that people are saved by grace and and not by what they do it is probably inaccurate to say “it’s a HUGE segment of people that are automatically “condemned to hell” just for being born a certain way.” Each religion has nuanced answers to these questions so these sweeping generalizations you are making don’t seem very productive to me.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 10, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

  6. Geoff, you’re saying they all have nuanced answers but then you’re saying that they all believe it comes down to ‘because God says so.’ Which is it? Brad’s answer seems a little more nuanced than ‘because God says so’.

    Comment by Rusty — October 10, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  7. You have to consider the affirmations of heterosexual couples, not just the prohibitions against homosexuality, Sodom, etc. In other words, Adam and Eve is endorsed and we don’t get positive examples of Adam and Steve.

    The whole thing falls apart for all Christians, including Mormons, because it’s obvious to an objective person that homosexuality isn’t a choice. Being homosexual isn’t any odder than being left handed, blue eyed, having red hair, etc. Moreover, when you see the advantages a few homosexuals bring to organizational endevours, it’s hard to argue they’re reproductively disadvantaged, since the genes of their heterosexual clansmen share in any group advantage.

    OK BKP, have at me.

    Comment by Steve EM — October 10, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

  8. Geoff,

    How many verses address fornication?

    Comment by a random John — October 10, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

  9. “OK BKP, have at me.”

    Sorry Steve, I’m afraid I’m not channeling him today. You may be out of luck.

    Comment by Seth R. — October 10, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

  10. Rusty,

    Well I’m saying that creation ex nihilo makes “because God said so” a pretty viable fallback position. If we are all simple creations of God then he has a lot of say in what is right and what is wrong. (This as opposed to the notion that God adheres to Universal principles.) But just because one has a fallback position does not mean one has to use it. I get the impression that there are all sorts of theological explanations like those Brad mentioned to explain the belief that homosexuality is morally wrong. And I think like Brad’s they largely mirror the reasons we have. Our explanations arise out of our core theology (such as it is) and other Christians get their explanations from their core theologies as well (often hearkening back to creeds).

    I am curious why you think Mormons have an advantage in explaining why homosexuality is wrong though. I didn’t understand this comment from the post: “I mean, Mormons at least have a fairly legitimate reason (the eternal family/procreation thing)”

    arJ – Why are you asking me? Why not go look it up yourself?

    Comment by Geoff J — October 10, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  11. I guess I’m largely looking at a bigger picture, an eternal perspective (eternal progression, eternal procreation, becoming like God). With that in mind our reasoning seems to make a little more sense than a belief in the lack of eternal families/procreation. Maybe I’m seeing this a little too simply though.

    BTW, I’m not saying we are morally superior to other Christians, I’m just saying that our doctrine makes more sense (as an explanation as to why we consider homosexual behavior to be wrong) to me than the others. That’s all.

    Comment by Rusty — October 10, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  12. I’m lazy.

    Comment by a random John — October 10, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

  13. I’m taking a series on Romans at my local presbyterian church. Last week we did chapter 1; verses 26 and 27 were read as condemning homosexuality.

    Comment by Johnna — October 11, 2006 @ 1:59 am

  14. Christian faiths simply pick and choose what biblical prohibitions they believe should be morally binding. Therefore, the various denominations are not basing their morality on the Bible, but on some other criteria. Otherwise, we would all be forbidden to divorce, and homosexual activity would be a capital crime.

    If various christian denominations allow women to speak in church, which is at odds with the Bible, then they must feel that they are being guided by some other authority, perhaps the Holy Spirit, for their position.

    Comment by Steven B — October 12, 2006 @ 4:17 am

  15. I agree with Steve. And what about that prohibition against mixed fabrics? Almost every LDS would be stoned if we enforced that one. Or what about the big one – divorce. The Saviour does not minces words in Matthew 19 but somehow we casually disregard that.

    Comment by Michael — October 12, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  16. So why is it many Christian religions have latched onto homosexuality instead of mixing fabrics, divorce or certain rules involving women.

    Comment by jjohnsen — October 13, 2006 @ 11:02 am

  17. Rusty: With that in mind our reasoning seems to make a little more sense than a belief in the lack of eternal families/procreation. Maybe I’m seeing this a little too simply though.

    For many gay Mormons, this one included, LDS reasoning is essentially a different shade of the same color. It still feels arbitrary and largely cultural.

    Comment by Chris Williams — November 1, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

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