Posted by: Joe Palmer | July 26, 2010

Are Christians Homophobic?


This series begins here: How to talk to a Homosexual about Christ.”

Are Christians Homophobic?

By Joe Palmer

Many people think all Christians, or at least conservative Christians, are homophobic because we teach the Biblical position that homosexuality is a sin. Wikipedia says, “Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of a perceived non-heterosexual orientation.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophobia

Homophobia literally means “fear of homosexuals.”  While the definition of homophobia has been skewed for political reasons.  The question, “Am I homophobic?” is a fair one.  Remember it simply means afraid of. I like the Wikipedia idea of irrational fear.  Fear can be rational or irrational.

As Christians we are to love all people and in theory we do. Sometimes in practice we do not.  In reflecting on this question I can honestly say that some of our fears and attitudes are irrational. We treat homosexuality differently than we do other sins. But why do we react so negatively against homosexuals?  Why do we treat their sin different from other sins?  Most importantly, is it any different than a heterosexual couple that is having sex prior to getting married?  Let me be honest and make a few suggestions.

It is an unnatural sin. –  Now I know people may argue with this, but biology proves it.  We are designed to function biologically, and sexually in male/female pairs.  The best estimates are that around 2% of our population is homosexual in orientation.[1]

When we see a heterosexual couple who are not married, walking in public holding hands, or kissing it is not as shocking because it is not unnatural. We may not even know that they aren’t married.  We won’t necessarily wonder if the rest of their relationship is appropriate. But when two homosexual show affection we notice.

We aren’t comfortable with it – Sometimes we meet someone who has a physical deformity that is glaring.  We don’t want to stare but it draws our attention. We are caught in an awkward moment of trying not to stare, and being afraid we are staring.  Once we get to know the person as a friend, we start seeing them as a person and the physical problem goes unnoticed.

In relating this to homosexuals it doesn’t mean that we have to accept/condone their homosexuality.  We must however get to know them, to be able to show them friendship, in order to be able to share the Gospel with them.  Once we know them, we will see them as a person. We will relate to them in the same way we do our friends who are living together before being married, as people God loves who are involved in a sinful lifestyle.

Homosexual are often militant – In the movie “Lord Save us from Your Followers” he showed a Christian youth convention held in San Francisco.  The Christian youth went to the courthouse to pray.  A group of protestors including some homosexuals came yelling, “Racist, sexist, anti gay, Christian fascist, go away.”

Homosexuals are definitely pushing the envelope.  They don’t want just civility. They want us to accept that their lifestyle is normal, acceptable, even Godly, if they do it in the confines of a committed relationship.  So when some of us as Christians oppose the cultural changes of their agenda we are labeled as, “sexist, anti gay, and Christian fascist.”

So what part of my fear is rational and what part is irrational?  I think it is rational as a Christian to fear the change in our society. I am afraid that we are accepting even glamorizing sin.  I am afraid of the consequences for our country and our youth. It is not rational however, for me to think of homosexuals differently than other people who sin or to fear getting to know them. Perhaps we do have to recognize that we need to do a better job of loving people in order to be able to reach the them for Christ.  Perhaps we can learn better how to value people, without condoning their lifestyle. After all Jesus did.

Next week we will answer the question, “How do I talk to a Homosexual about Christ?”


[1] According to the Center for Disease Control.  Also see research section of Wikipedia on homosexuality.  Be aware that statistics by Kinsey and skewed to reflect a bias.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf

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Responses

  1. I see both sides of your blog. However, “They want us to accept that their lifestyle is normal, acceptable, even Godly…” This stereotypical view of “They” only refers to a small population the the homosexual community. I can care less if someone approves of my relationship. I am not trying to push my views onto anyone.
    When speaking with God, he told me the rule of thumb that he lives by:
    “If you can’t accept me… Then go to hell.”
    I think this is a perfectly logical way to live.

  2. I for one am not worried about homosexuals but conservative Christians and your agenda .You want to move us as a country backwards into the 1950’s Well progressives like myself will not let that happen! If you want to believe whatever some book tells you that’s your stupid business but don’t try to put your crazy morals on the rest of us. There is no God. Supernatural divinities are the primitive’s answer to why the sun goes down at night

  3. Tmax there is no light but heat in your comments. So what exactly is stupid, crazy, about this article, or my beliefs.

    Can you argue that homosexual is natural biologically? Can you honestly say that homosexual always discuss this issue with calmness and grace.

    Be glad to hear your answer as to what created this world beside God.

    • There are so many things that are scene as Unnatural. What`s natural about artificial insemination, having a child born with a severe deformity, and out of all things: the obsession about homosexuality by many faiths. seriously?? Are there not more important stories about life, love, and God`s glory in the Bible we can focus on? No wonder people shy away from organized religion. Jesus was all about helping the less fortunate, maybe someone can start a page to promote that. And if God creates man in his own image, then he makes no mistakes, you shouldn`t repent for how God made you. And furthermore, if they needed “curing” well that`s God`s job if he chooses.

  4. Thanks for the post Joe.

    TMax you object to someone standing up for a moral position… but you are standing up for yours. Are you saying you are the only one who has a right to assert a moral position? Are homosexual activist “christianophobic” becasue they object to our viewpoint? You assert “There is no God” yet you provide no evidence. (In fact such is an unproveable proposition.)

    Adam, I would encourage you to get to know God better. Your understanding of Him seems a little skewed.
    Danny

  5. as a christian in the Lords church i do not hate the people, i hate the sin of homosexuality. Gods word clearly speaks against it , and murder, stealing, coveting, fornicating, on and on. i and my brother’s and sister’s would be more than happy to speak to a man or a woman about this sin with God’s Word in hand showing them that it is a sin and if not repented of will bringe them eternal damnation. having said that, the Church of Christ would not want our’s or anybody elses children or grandchildren seeing this perverted lifestyle in public places or events ( nor the Church for that matter ). the truth is that these men and women chose to live like this, they were in no way born like this. therefore it is a sin in need’s of repentence just like the rest of the sin’s.

    may God Bless

    Gary- martinsville va. Church of Christ

    • “I hate the sin of homosexuality” uh are you aware that malice is a sin and you just committed it by saying that? God creates man in his own image….so are you saying God made a mistake when he creates human beings that are blind, deaf, dwarfs, gay, etc.? And why on God`s green earth would someone choose to be gay?? Especially with how horribly they are bullied, beaten, abused at conversion camps, and abandoned my their families? I dont know about you, but never once in my life was I like “I think I will be straight”.

  6. While I agree that acting on homosexual impulses is a choice, I don’t agree that being gay is. I do think that it’s something you are born with, or rather grow up more comfortable identifying yourself as a homosexual man or woman.Yes, acting on it is a sin. However, I’m not sure that I would want to tell someone that they need to live their lives miserably hiding who they really are. I don’t believe that is what God wants. He wants us to be happy, and to live life following the way Jesus lived his. I think if Jesus was here, physically today, he would tell us to accept them. Not their sin, but them as an individual. They are not asking to be married in the eyes of God, the majority know that isn’t an option. They’re asking to receive the same rights as heterosexual couples. We can show them the scripture and in some cases it may change the way someone behaves, but it’s not going to change who they are. If we keep pushing their sin onto them, we;re going to push them away from the church and away from God. No one wants that. While I agree that it’s a sin because it says so in the Bible, I don’t agree that we shouldn’t welcome them into church and into our lives with open arms. Christianity is about love, or it’s supposed to be. It’s not about hate and forcing our beliefs on others. Teaching is one thing, not accepting and forcing is another. In order to show the truth, we have to live it ourselves. We have to have an open heart and understand that their life is their decision, not ours. We are only responsible for ourselves when it really comes down to it.Their sin is between them and God..as long as we have done our part, taught the gospel and lived it ourselves, then that’s what matters. God does not condone us condemning anyone. That’s not our job, that’s His.

  7. Angie, I hear this all the time, “God wants us to be happy…” and I appreciate your following words, to live a life like Jesus. The “Beatitudes” of Matt. 5 tell us, “Blessed…..” happy, content….. are those who follow a certain course in life. All sin robs us of joy, peace and contentment. From Jesus teaching in Matt. 5 we learn that God and God alone give happiness, it is a by-product of “Holiness.” God wants us to be Holy, then and only then, He will bless us with True Happiness. Ever watch “Sister Wives?” I wonder if God wants that man to be happy? His happiness comes by abusing poor women, even if they have consented to their behavior. Marrying more than one wife at a time was not new, Joe has brought out that the next domestic partner on a marriage certificate will be a goat. These are not new and were found in Lev of the Old Testament. This is were a man who slept with his animal as he would his wife were to be stoned to death. That means it was being practiced, otherwise the prohibition would not be given. God designed man, placed us in a society, and He knows what is best for us. I will follow the Bible before I follow the laws of man.

    • “All sin robs us of joy, peace, and contentment.” If you`re wise and introspective you learn from your flaws and mistakes. And for talking about the bible, you sure are assuming and judging by saying “his happiness comes by abusing poor women.” I thought we were supposed to leave judging up to God? So I totally agree that you should follow the Bible before the laws of man and read the book of James. May peace be with you.


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