Gay Christian Middle Ground?

2/21 Update: Rygel at Coming Out Clean posted the following:
I think it's pretty clear what the Bible says about the "defining act" of being gay. It's stated in black and white in Leviticus 18:22. I was brought up in a religious family and I don't have any doubt that same-sex sex is a sin. Being gay doesn't necessarily mean you have to have sex just as being straight doesn't. Spiritually it's a struggle but I'm not lying to myself. Being gay is NOT a sin but the ACT of being gay is.
I applaud Rygel's courage in making this statement and wonder what you all think about it?

2/19 Update: My wife has offered a middle ground statement:
The church welcomes homosexuals but will not perform marriages for homosexuals.
I feel that this statement is incomplete. Can we truly welcome gays and restrict marriage ... or is this just Christian rhetoric? Please let me know what you think and how you might revise a statement like this.

2/18: I posted the following recently at Julie's place:
I wonder if there is a totally different perspective on gays in the church ... I wonder if there is any sort of middle ground at all? On one extreme I see an all-out war by fundamentalists on homosexuals. On the other extreme I see an all-out quest for full acceptance of homosexuality by gay Christians.

I guess I don't see a middle ground ... I don't have one and I wonder if anyone has one.
I post it here to see if you all know of a middle ground or are we just left with the extremes?


  1. I know a couple of ladies who are gay. The subject came up after some vandals hit their house. I told them that I did not agree with the gay life style and I though it was wrong. But I was there to help them because they were my friends.

  2. Bob, what would you consider middle ground to mean? I think of segregation as the South's "attempt" at middle ground for separating the races.

    To me, the best we can probably do is to not limit homosexual rights in the secular public sphere and to allow individual churches to determine what they believe about homosexuality and to practice accordingly.

    Do you envision something else?


  3. Maybe middle ground can be best understood addressing another volatile issue: abortion. There are extremes on this one - life defined by conception vs life defined by birth. Should we throw up our hands and say that there is no middle ground or should we be looking at infant/fetus viability (outside the womb) as a middle ground ... or some other criteria to restrict abortions?

    I simply do not accept that there is no middle ground and equating sexual orientation with race or ethnicity does not help because it is an extreme view.

    Here is a middle ground statement that my wife has offered:

    The church welcomes homosexuals but will not perform marriages for homosexuals.

    I think I will post this one and see if some of you all can help me refine this statement.

  4. When you say "welcomes gay people" do you mean that you welcome them as God's children, which they are? Good. Are you then saying that their sexual acting-out (not their desires) is therefore okay, it's not sin? Oh.

    Real welcome would be acknowledging that they have a sin against sexuality, just like I have one against greed, and you have one against temperance (examples here only, I'm not pointing at anyone), and they are welcome to bring their sin to the hospital for sinners.

  5. KB,

    Here are my thoughts. I've got a gay cousin, several gay/lesbian friends and have met some others via Blogging. Jesus loves them just as much as he loves me. Of course he'd welcome them into his church - so we should too.

    The question is: is it a sin to be a homosexual? Well, no. Is it natural? Well, no. It's not how God designed things to be.

    But the SIN part is the acting out and having sex based on your homosexual desires - just like its a sin for me to have sex based on my heterosexual desires (since I am not married).

    But the main point I want to make is that the majority of men/women I know that are homosexual don't want to be. They don't revel in it like those flamboyant gays you see running around in "gay pride" parades. There is a deep sadness in most of them because they've lived a lifetime of feeling "different" and some have been ridiculed or rejected. I also believe it's very possible for a homosexual to change...not easy, but possible. I've known it to happen.

    So back to the question of middle ground...I think its all middle ground in a way.

    I think we need to love people, even those who are hard to love. If we are going to ask a gay guy to leave church - then we better ask all the guys who are having sex with women to leave too. And all the people that cheat a bit on their taxes or are full of jealousy or get the idea.

    To me, abortion is a black and white...I don't see how anyone can find a middle ground there.

  6. "I think we need to love people, even those who are hard to love. If we are going to ask a gay guy to leave church - then we better ask all the guys who are having sex with women to leave too. And all the people that cheat a bit on their taxes or are full of jealousy or get the idea."

    Barbara, I like this. This is the ground I should always stand on whether its in the middle, to the left or to the right!

  7. Well... my response would've been similar to the bit that Missy quoted from Barbara. So you can add me to that list!

    The question is how should we treat an adulterer? How should we treat a liar?

    It's very hard to not get caught up in the politicization of the homosexual debate. Once we get into the politics of it all, it's easy to lose sight of the spiritual side of things. That's where our heads and hearts should be...

  8. Can't we make the argument just from the biological side of things, to keep from freaking people out with "God talk?"

    What are our bodies designed to do? How does same-sex-behavior honor that design? (We all know where the design comes from, of course, but we don't have to argue that!) What is the purpose of sexual appetite? To encourage us to create new life. How does same-sex-behavior or any extramarital behavior (or for that matter contraceptive behavior) frustrate that appetite?

    See, we never mentioned The Big Guy and what are the responses to those arguments?

  9. I'm gay and I just posted a related post on my blog:

    I'm a Seventh-day Adventist, and unfortunately in my church and many others they turn a blind-eye to gay people, members or not.

    No one openly condemns gay people but no one acknowledges their presence in the midst of the church either.

    The church should be a place where gay members can be comfortable about their desires and that's the only way religion can step in and help people like me. If not, we're left to our own methods of fighting temptation, which is ever-present, and more often than not, we fail.

  10. Rygel, should we ever feel comfortable about any desire to sin? If I have a murderous desire that is never acted upon, should I be comfortable with it? I guess if the desire never goes away and I keep from acting on it, I have to find a way of living life and finding peace with who I am. I am just thinking here. And I think I just convinced myself to agree with you. You are probably just as conflicted, if not more, than me here!

    I think that we should not condemn one another, regardless of what our individual desires may be, and we should be comfortable in that each of us are sinners and full of sinful desires.

    But should the church still teach against the sins that come from these desires (personally, I say yes), should it refuse to perform civil union ceremonies (personally, I say yes), should a Christian refuse to attend one of these unions (personally I say, do not randomly attend :), but if it is someone close you you, go)?? What do you think?


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