Christian Theology and Homosexuality
Direction #1:   (Side A)


What this direction is:

The word ‘reconcile’ means to restore to friendship or
harmony as in “reconciled the factions” or to settle or
resolve something such as ‘to reconcile differences’.  
The question here is how to reconcile one's orientation
and sexual practice with one's faith.   

Christians who have come to a Side A position have
concluded that  scripture affirms same sex sexual
activity withing the context of same sex marriage.

Therefore this direction is a choice to act on those
attractions based on one's personal religious beliefs.  
This position is not an anything goes position but
instead confines sexual activity to marriage or its
equivalent






Why you would want to go this direction:

People who choose this direction feel that God has
made them this way therefore they should celebrate
what God has made.  Also some people have tried the
other direction and have wearied emotionally,
financially, and spiritually of continuing in it.  They have
come to a place where they have decided to ‘accept
themselves as being gay or lesbian’.  


Ultimately this is an issue of conscience in seeking an
answer to the questions:  ‘What is God telling me to
do?’, ‘What does the Bible say about this?’ and ‘What is
my identity in Christ?’


How you would go this direction:

As a Christian one would study the scriptures and
various resources to figure out what the scriptures are
saying on this issue.  For those who choose this
direction some have stayed in their traditional church,
others, due to pressures from their church, or there own
discomfort in those churches, choose instead to attend
gay-affirming churches.  Others, sadly, leave church
fellowship altogether.

It should be noted that churches that affirm this direction
typically encourage committed relationships over
casual sex.  They do not typically have an ‘anything goes
mentality’.  Other beliefs such as justification by faith in
Jesus Christ, the deity of Christ, and belief in the trinity
often remain intact.









What is Side A's theological viewpoint ?

Space does not permit a full discussion of how one
interprets scripture to go this direction.  I will give a
detailed analysis in future pages on this web site.  
However here is a brief overview..

Sodom and Gomorrah:

Generally, for persons on this side of the divide, the
Sodom and Gomorrah story is looked on as a story of
rape similar to what can be found in
Judges 19.  
Additionally  a concordance study of the word ‘Sodom’
throughout scripture reveals that the ‘sin of Sodom’
involved more than sexual practice or rape.  One such
example is found in
Ezekiel 16:46-50.  



Leviticus 18:22  and 20:13 (ref)

The prohibitions of Leviticus 18 and 20 are looked on
as part of an old holiness code that no longer applies
today.  The prohibitions against male same-sex sex are
regarded as actually being against male shrine
prostitution.  Additionally, it is noted that other
prohibitions from these chapters are no longer enforced
such as: how one trims their beard, planting two kinds
of seed in a field, having sex with a woman during her
period, not having tattoos, etc.



Romans 1:26-27 passage  (in context)


The famous Romans 1 passage is looked at in terms
of idolatry and with the idea that the condemnation was
on heterosexuals acting like homosexuals as part of
idol worship which would be unnatural.  The cultural
context, per this view, is the pagan idolatry of the day
which included various sex acts including same-sex
sex performed by heterosexuals in a lustful frenzy.  
Therefore this is not relevant to a homosexual
orientation.  Additonaly, many gay and lesbian people
do not match that pattern given here in Romans 1 of
refusing to glorify God or be thankful.  Nor are they
lustful.  Many in fact have had long term committed
relationships and do glorify God.




I Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10

In  passages found in I Corinthians and I Timothy the
translation of the original words are questioned.
This is based on the fact that the compound word
'
arsenokoites' that Paul uses is not used elsewhere in
Greek literature of that time period which makes its
meaning unclear.  A compound word can mean
something different than the individual words (such as
the word "butterfly")  This word is translated various
ways in various bibles.. See this
site for a further
exploration of this word.

Malakos is another word from I Corinthians .  Its original
meaning is "soft" but is later interpreted as  
homosexual.  See this
site to see the shift in translation
over the years of this word


Homosexuality misunderstood in bible times

One may also find in this viewpoint that there is a
general belief that people in biblical times did not
understand homosexuality as we know it today.  The
acts condemned in scripture were appropriately
condemned but are not the same as consenual loving
relationships seen in gay and lesbian couples today.



Risks of going this direction:

Whenever we modify our bible view to match our
personal view we need to be careful.  We usually seek
to shape ourselves after scripture rather than the other
way around.  Those who embrace this view note that
there have been times when Christians have changed
their view of scripture.  They give the examples of
slavery issues, segregation issues, divorce and
remarriage issues, war issues, interracial marriage
issues, woman’s rights issues, etc.  The question in all
this is: ‘Is this an issue about which someone should
change their view of scripture.’  There is always the
danger of putting words in God’s mouth which he did
not say in which case one would be going against God.  

The other risks of going this direction are the lack of
acceptance of friends and/or family and/or church who
disagree with your decision.  Along with this is the
admittedly prejudiced reaction of society towards openly
gay and lesbian individuals.

Benefits of going this direction:

The benefits of going this direction are that the
individual usually feels a freedom in living their life that
they feel, in their conscience, God intended them to live.  
Many do maintain a devout faith in Christ and seek to
live a life in service to Him.
Direction #2: (Side B)


What this direction is:

The word ‘reconcile’ means to restore to friendship or
harmony as in “reconciled the factions” or to settle or
resolve something such as ‘to reconcile differences’.  
The question here is how to reconcile one's orientation
and sexual practice with one's faith.     

Christians who have come to a Side B position have
concluded  that the scripture does not condone same
sex sex.  

Therefore this direction is a choice not to act on those
attractions, based on one's personal religious beliefs.  
(Note: This view is not saying that same sex attraction
/orientation is a choice.  Rather, this is a choice not to
act on those same sex attractions).  It involves bringing
one’s sexual practice (not necessarily one’s attractions)
in line with one’s personal understanding of their faith.   




Why you would want to go this direction:

People typically choose to go this direction because of
their personal religious beliefs.  They feel that their
attractions are out of sync with their beliefs.  They may
also feel unhappy in their orientation.  Others feel
pressured by their church to go this direction.  Others
are threatened with disownment by their families if they
don’t choose this direction.  Others wish to avoid
societal rejection.

Ultimately this is an issue of conscience in seeking an
answer to the questions:  ‘What is God telling me to
do?’ ‘What does the Bible say about this?’ and ‘What is
my identity in Christ?’


How you would go this direction:

There are several ways that people pursue this
direction.  Some have chosen to be celibate.  This is
comparable to the position of those Christians who do
not feel they should remarry.  It is also similar to the
position of the heterosexual who decides to be chaste
(no sex before marriage).  While a person may have
strong feelings for another they choose not to act on
those feelings.  It should be noted here that feelings
and emotions by themselves are not sin.  Emotions are
a barometer of the soul.  Our emotions tell us what is
going on inside of us.  Disciplining how one responds
to one’s emotions is different than suppression of
emotion.  As for celibacy, scripture tells us that there are
some who are called to a life of singleness.  

Others choose to attempt to live an appearance of a
heterosexual life style by marrying and having a family.  
This is called a
mixed orientation marriage.  This can
result in much heartache for the spouse and family
especially if in later years the person gives up on
this approach.



What is Side B's theological viewpoint?

Space does not permit a full discussion of how one
interprets scripture to go this direction. I will give a
detailed analysis in future pages on this web site.  
However here is a brief overview..

Sodom and Gomorrah:

Generally, for Christian lgbt individuals this is actually
an area where I find more agreement in lgbt Side A /
Side B Christian circles with many on Side B typically
regarding the Sodom and Gomorrah account as not
relevant to today's discussion of homosexuality.  They,
like their Side A brothers and sisters, regard it as a story
of rape that is not relevant to today's discussion of
homosexuality.  See the references on the Side A side
for examples.  

Leviticus 18:22  and 20:13 (ref)

These passages are typically interpreted as written
though the penalty of Leviticus 20:13 is no longer
enforced (just as the death penalty for adultery is no
longer enforced).  While it is true that there are some
prohibitions in these chapters that are no longer
enforced today, the sexual ones typically are enforced
such as prohibitions against incest, bestiality, and
adultery.  There is no reason seen for interpreting the
prohibitions as part of a ceremonial holiness code or
as referring to male shrine prostitution.


Romans 1:26-27 passage  (in context)


The Romans chapter 1 passage is interpreted as
written.  No cause is seen to assume that Paul is
talking about Roman idolatry exclusively.  Paul makes
no distinction between this kind of behavior and
idolatrous behavior.  Additionally, the laundry list of sins
in Romans 1 that Paul gives are no less sinful outside
of an idolatrous context.  While it is true that many Side
A gay and lesbian people do glorify God, lgbt individuals
who are Side B believe that being celibate (not having
same-sex sex) honors the instructions of this passage.
It should also be noted that the intent of this passage,
as seen in Romans 2 and 3 is to show that all have
sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  As such, a
warning against judging others is found in
Romans 2.
Therefore, the use of this passage to judge and
condemn others is biblically inappropriate

I Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10

They believe the original words in I Corinthians 6 and in
I Timothy refer to same gender sexual activity.  This is
based on the fact that the compound word
'
arsenokoites' that Paul created here comes from two
words in Leviticus 20:13 in the Greek Old Testament.  
These words are:
arseno, which means male; and
koites, which means bed or  perhaps marriage bed.




Malakos is another word from I Corinthians.  It means
soft.  The use of this word to describe homosexual is  
questionable.



Homosexuality misunderstood in bible times??

Every sexual activity is explored in the bible.  It is hard to
justify that same-sex activity is not understood by the
bible times and culture.






Risks of going this direction:

Some would say that by doing this you are
unnecessarily denying yourself what God has for you.
For those that choose the path of faking a heterosexual
lifestyle and having a family, the risk is the potential
falling apart of the relationship and/or the
disillusionment of the spouse in all of this, in other
words -  a lot of heartache for both people.  Other risks
are when individuals attempt to suppress their
emotions rather than control how to act on those
emotions.  Christians down through the ages have
mistakenly tried to suppress their desires on a variety of
issues.  This can lead to significant problems.  








Benefits of going this direction:

The benefits of this are a clear personal conscience
before God (for what this person believes is right),
continuance of relationship with their family of origin (if
that was at risk), and continuance of acceptance in the
faith community you are in (if that is what they require).
Direction #1: (Side A)  ( Nontraditional Christian View): Research and reconcile your Biblical understanding
with your orientation and/or sexual practice.  In saying this I am not  claiming that one’s mind is already made up
before they approach the bible.  I am saying that many who found nothing but condemnation from the church for
both their identity and their sexual practice re-assessed scripture through intensive research.  In this case they
concluded that the traditional view was not correct and that God affirmed same-sex relationships.


Direction #2: (Side B) ( ‘Traditional’ Christian View): Research and reconcile your sexual practice  with the
traditional (more literal) Biblical view.   In saying this I am not  claiming that one’s mind is already made up before
they approach the bible.  I am saying that many who found nothing but condemnation from the church for both their
identity and their sexual practice re-assessed scripture through intensive research.  In this case these folks
concluded that while it was not a sin to be gay it was not biblical to have same sex sexual relationships.

Note:  There is also a different view called Side X which seeks to change orientation typically through an exgay
ministry.  I do not support
exgay ministries.  For more on this click here.

                                           Lets explore these in further detail:      
Side A and Side B  General Overview
On this page I am going to give you a very quick and general overview of the two positions (Side A and Side B).   I
will go into further detail on these positions on future pages.
The views and theology expressed on these pages
are for information only
.  I am explaining the views here so you understand the various theological and ideological
positions.  
Christian Theology and Sexual Orientation