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    Gallop:  More and More Christians View Homosexuality as “Morally Acceptable”

    Gallop:  More and More Christians View Homosexuality as “Morally Acceptable”

    According to the Houston Chronicle and a new Gallop poll:  Christians and people from other religious traditions have grown more tolerant of gays and lesbians. The percentage of Catholics calling gay relations "morally acceptable" has increased by more than a third in the past five years, up to 62 percent. More Americans also favor legalizing gay marriage.

    More from the article:

    Although America's stance on homosexuality remains a contentious social issue, nearly split nationwide, gays and lesbians are moving towards equality in some of the country's mainline Protestant denominations. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles recently ordained the church's first openly gay female bishop. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided last year to allow non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy to serve. Despite some dissenters, the ELCA has continued to seek the full inclusion of homosexual church leaders and members.

    In the survey, fewer people cited homosexuality as a personal choice rather than a factor of genetics and environment (from 41 percent in 2008 to 34 percent in 2010).

    As I've said many times before... I really think the gay/lesbian issue will be one of the biggest areas of controversy and change in the church in the next decade.  How is your church engaging/reaching/reacting to gays and lesbians?  Do you feel you need to?  How will your church hold it's theological views on homosexuality and yet minister in a world that is increasingly looking at homosexuality as a norm?

    You can read more here...

    Todd

    Comments

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    1. bman on Mon, June 21, 2010

      I’m not sure about homosexuality being “morally acceptable”, but I am a Christian and stand for same-sex marriage.  I view the marriage issue as an issue of the law, and not religion because a good portion of people are not religious who are homosexual.  Therefore, it is the American way to allow them equality in that area.

      I think Christianity has taken the wrong approach to homosexuality for far too long, and now it seems like they’re leaping off the edge in the other direction to make up for lost time or something.  My church has yet to take an official stance, I think hoping that everything will just work itself out.  But, when the time comes for something like a homosexual minister… I am positive that there will be issues, and it will not be met with the love and compassion that Jesus wants us to respond.

    2. Christopher Fontenot on Mon, June 21, 2010

      bman….You need to read Romans 1:32 in light of the entire chapter.  Your attempt at tolerance disqualifies you as a Christian in the Biblical definition.  Either you love the world or you love holiness.  You can’t ride both sides of the fence.

      Our love for the homosexual community should be demonstrated by our willingness to tell them the hard truths of the Gospel.  You cannot be a lover of sin and be a Christian. God’s Word even eliminates those who give approval and curses them as well. (Isaiah 5:20)

    3. bman on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Christopher, I’m not riding the fence.  I didn’t say that homosexuality was right.  I do think that it is a matter of unequal rights as an American citizen for them to not be allowed civil marriage by state law.  Human rights in a secular country is different than Bible-based morality.

      And “telling them the hard truths” does not mean that we should protest, hate and commit acts of violence.

    4. Eric K on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Wow, only 2 comment and someone’s passing judgment on anothers status as a Christian? That is what’s wrong with this debate. I think people are wrong for condemning gays and lesbians, but I’d never suggest they aren’t Christians.

    5. CS on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Eric K:

      “Wow, only 2 comment and someone’s passing judgment on anothers status as a Christian? That is what’s wrong with this debate. I think people are wrong for condemning gays and lesbians, but I’d never suggest they aren’t Christians.”

      You bring up something interesting, though.  At what point does one’s diverting from historical, biblical, orthodox Christianity (especially in the context of what is or is not a sin) does a person lose the right to be called a, “Christian?”  I’ll have to admit, when I saw the title of this post that said, “More and More Christians View Homosexuality as ‘Morally Acceptable,’” my initial thought was, “More and More People Who Call Themselves Christians Aren’t.”


      CS

    6. Christopher Fontenot on Mon, June 21, 2010

      bman….Homosexuals have the same rights to marriage as do you and I.  The problem is they want different or special rights.  You and I cannot marry a man, straight or gay, and neither should homosexuals.  They want the right to do something we cannot do.  That is unequal rights. 

      A Biblical Christian would never hate anyone nor commit an act of violence against anyone.  I never advocate it nor participate in it.  Baton Rouge has a Pride Fest coming up this Saturday.  I and some brothers and sisters in Christ will be there to share the Gospel with the participants.  No protest.  Just proclamation of the Gospel in a one-to-one conversation with the lost.  Some consider that protesting as well but we will not hold signs with hatred printed on them.  We will talk to them about God’s righteous standards and our failure to meet them.  We will make it personal as we walk them through the 10 Commandments in order to let them see themselves as God sees them.  We don’t even bring up the issue of homosexuality because it sets them in a defensive position from jump street.  We want them to see they have a problem at the judgment of a holy God despite their homosexuality.  When they come to the knowledge of their sin in light of the Law and come to the cross broken and repent, God will change them.

      Eric…the homosexual is condemned already.  For some reason, professing Christians want to bypass the clear Scriptural teachings of God’s Word about the judgment of God against ALL sin and tell the lost of nothing but the love of God as though we are doing them a favor.  I don’t condemn anyone while sharing the Gospel but there is condemnation because of the conscience being pricked by the revelation of sin.  Christians witnessing to the lost are usually then the target of accusations of judgmentalism and condemning attitudes but it is their conscience that is working.  Sin is sin.  Calling it a lifestyle or letting “science” define it as a genetic predisposition does not make it acceptable to God.  He defines sin and righteousness….not us and certainly not popular opinion or society.

    7. Peter Hamm on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Oh boy.

      I wonder if the church worried more about how to love the sinner, if perhaps the Holy Spirit could be freed up to do His job and convict people of whatever it is that they need to change their heart and mind about, whether gluttony, greed, or sex outside of marriage, or what have you…

    8. larry c on Mon, June 21, 2010

      The real issue to be decided is whether marriage is (a) a civil ceremony, controlled by government laws and regulations, or (b) a religious ceremony, controlled by “the” church. 

      Regarding setting up camp at gay pride, your intentions are good and it is good you don’t plan on repeating the past horrors of hateful signage, etc.  That doesn’t work any better than if gays set up camp outside church doors with scriptures written on signs about the sin of gossip, self-righteousness, gluttony, pride, worldliness, judgmentalism, hate, .............all not so uncommon sins of those of us in the church.  Nor would it work for gays to one-on-one try to convince us as we get out of our cars in the church parking lot that we should favor gay rights.  That would have exactly the same effect in changing our minds as our protests have in changing the minds of gay people; and would only gender further animosity.

      Sorry Christopher.  That will rarely, if ever, work; and one-on-one conversations regarding sin and salvation will only be effective after establishing relationship with a person.  99.9% of gays know the gospel; but need to see it working in the life of one with whom they form a friendly relationship.  For those who may feel compelled to go to gay pride events, go with the intent of forming a loving friendship with one person, and after a relationship of trust is established, and as the Holy Spirit moves, that new gay friend is more likely to become a believer.

    9. Eric K on Mon, June 21, 2010

      CS: Thats an interesting question. I tend to choose to believe others when they say they are Christians, rather than seeing if they stack up to my opinion of what makes a Christian. I look for good fruit in their lives. But in the end I trust that God will be better, more gracious, more beautiful than any of us can imagine, and that gives me hope that there will be more people in heaven than those who look like or think like me.

      Also, most Protestants differ from historical orthodoxy in many important ways. They’ve just redefined orthodoxy to fit their priorities of what’s important.

    10. CS on Mon, June 21, 2010

      larry:

      “That doesn’t work any better than if gays set up camp outside church doors with scriptures written on signs about the sin of gossip, self-righteousness, gluttony, pride, worldliness, judgmentalism, hate, .............all not so uncommon sins of those of us in the church.”

      The difference is that there’s not a thrust to get these things off of the list of sins and publicly accepted. 

      “Sorry Christopher.  That will rarely, if ever, work; and one-on-one conversations regarding sin and salvation will only be effective after establishing relationship with a person.  99.9% of gays know the gospel; but need to see it working in the life of one with whom they form a friendly relationship.”

      I don’t think that the Bible says, “For I am not ashamed of the relationships I make: for they are the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”


      CS

    11. CS on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Eric K:

      “I tend to choose to believe others when they say they are Christians, rather than seeing if they stack up to my opinion of what makes a Christian. I look for good fruit in their lives.”

      I agree with you there, in light of 1 Corinthians 13:7.  And, at the same time, I listen to what the person says.  Relevant to this conversation here, when a person cannot explain how one becomes a Christian, or is sketchy on their explanation of the Gospel, or excuses or placates sin, then I have to hit the brakes and go back to the fundamentals with them, and start looking at things more closely.


      CS

    12. jerry k on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Peter Hamm on Mon, June 21, 2010
      Oh boy.

      I wonder if the church worried more about how to love the sinner,
      ————Which church are you talking about? Certainly you don’t mean to infer all whole of the Body of Christ?

            I get sooo tried of this BLANKET thrown over THE Church as if all or the majority of local churches do NOT or don’t worry about “how to love the sinner.” The vast majority have great love for the sinner. Peter, to say that or infer that “the” church doesn’t worry about loving sinners is to fall into the talking points of the gay communities bullet points. And it just isn’t so.

    13. Peter Hamm on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Jerry K,

      I agree, in many places it isn’t so.

      However, let’s both watch this and similar spaces for a few days and see what happens…

    14. Christopher Fontenot on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Peter wrote:
      “I wonder if the church worried more about how to love the sinner, if perhaps the Holy Spirit could be freed up to do His job and convict people of whatever it is that they need to change their heart and mind about, whether gluttony, greed, or sex outside of marriage, or what have you…”

      I couldn’t agree with you more!  The greatest display of the love of the sinner is to tell them the truth about the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit’s draw of the sinner’s heart to Jesus combined with the preaching of the truth of Scripture to bring the lost to the end of themselves and to the point of realization that they are helpless to save themselves.  But make no mistake that the message is integral.

      Larry wrote:
      “Sorry Christopher.  That will rarely, if ever, work; and one-on-one conversations regarding sin and salvation will only be effective after establishing relationship with a person.  99.9% of gays know the gospel; but need to see it working in the life of one with whom they form a friendly relationship.  For those who may feel compelled to go to gay pride events, go with the intent of forming a loving friendship with one person, and after a relationship of trust is established, and as the Holy Spirit moves, that new gay friend is more likely to become a believer.”

      Larry, if what you wrote is true, how long should it take to establish this relationship?  Is it a day, a week, a month, a year, or a decade?  The question you can’t avoid is this: “If, while I delay in sharing the Gospel in an attempt to build a relationship, this person dies…where do they spend eternity?”  Are you willing to risk their eternal destination on getting them to like you?  Show me in Scripture where Jesus or any of the disciples bypassed the opportunity to preach the Gospel in an effort to “build a relationship.”  Life and death are in the balance and professing Christianity in America teaches we need to build relationships first! Un-Biblical!  I can build a relationship with a total stranger in about 30 seconds. 

      You don’t know who’s heart God is drawing and has providentially placed in your path just waiting for someone to tell them the truth.  You don’t know who prayed and asked God to give them some sort of sign of His reality and God chose you to tell them the Gospel to answer that prayer.  But instead of giving them the truth, we prefer to make them like us.  Jesus was so concerned with this very issue….but He failed because they hated His preaching so much that they crucified Him.  I’m not advocating the intentional provoking of the lost into a confrontation but if you are faithful to tell the entire truth about God’s plan of salvation then you cannot expect to be treated with kit gloves even by those with whom you have established a close relationship. (Matt 10:34-39)

    15. Kevin Harris on Mon, June 21, 2010

      Christopher F - The fact still remains that no one really cares what you have to say until they first know how much you care. I’m guessing the same is true in your life in that you hold in high regard the beliefs and opinions of those that are close to you in your life like your spouse, immediate family, and close friends. Yet I’m guessing that you could really care less if someone like me or other random people that you do not know start speaking into your life and the same will be the case for the individuals at the pride parade. You must first earn the right to speak into their lives or they will write you off as just another Bible-banging homophobe even if you are not one. The problem with this is that it is not as satisfying as the method that you are imploring that we use. Relationships do take time like you mentioned and we do not exactly know what will happen in that time, but that does not change the fact that they are necessary.
      We all know that words are very easy to say, hence the reason that it is hard to truly communicate that you love someone if tangible and measurable actions over a significant period of time do not back them up. Love is not so much a word as it is an action that is not contingent upon behavior.
      But don’t take my word for it. Go out and make some gay or lesbian friends and ask them what they think about your approach and how they feel that you could better reach individuals with the gospel. If you don’t have close gay friends, you don’t really love gay people but rather love the idea of gay people as they are more of a topic/theological argument to you than flesh and blood individuals that your have dedicated to journey with in life.

      God’s peace be with you,
      Kevin Harris

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