What is the issue with homosexuality?

The Christian Reformed Church, like many other more conservative and evangelical churches, holds to the teaching that, although it is definitely not sinful to be attracted to the same-sex, acting on those attractions through a sexual relation is sin. The reasons given tend to be the normativity of the male-female relationship, as well as specific biblical texts.  The Bible appears to condemn men having sex together (Lev 18:22 and 1 Cor. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10) and homosexual desires seem to be a consequence of sin (Rom 1:18-32). Although there are arguments justifying committed homosexual relationships (e.g., Justin Lee from Gay Christian Network), most Christians believe that the Bible says it is a sin for those who are gay to enter into same-sex relationships.

Do Christian grad students have significant difficulties with the traditional Christian position? I don’t think so. In fact, I think many hold a similar position as that given by the Christian Reformed Church.

At the same time, I think Christian grad students have been influenced by the tolerance of the university environment and would be more likely than the general church population to be more tolerant of  Christians in same-sex relationships. I think they would also find it difficult to condemn non-Christians acting upon their homosexual desires, recognizing that we do not live in a Christian society and so people cannot be condemned for not following our understanding of biblical norms. Last, but not least, we would have a hard time hearing Christians speaking negatively of those with same-sex attractions, as we realize that few people would actively have chosen the burden of being gay (especially Christians).

So even though Christian grad students generally hold to the same theological position as most other Christians, they feel alienated by the conversation about this within the general Christian church. The church seems to be doing poorly with regard to all the issues mentioned in the previous paragraph. Furthermore, the church has presented very few answers about how one shares the good news of the Bible with those who are gay; instead, the church is more loudly heard as saying that the Bible condemns gays simply for being who they are.

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