Homosexual! Deviant! Abomination! Sodomite! Pervert! Vocabulary such as this is used every Sunday in churches across the United States of America. While the majority of believers within a conservative congregation might proudly shout “AMEN!” each time one of these terms is spouted off from behind the pulpit, others cringe as they sink further and further down into their seats. These believers sit quietly and pray that their discomfort isn’t noticeable to others; desperately hoping that the person behind the mask they wear remains undiscovered. For these believers the mask they wear is essential for them to remain a part of a faith community. This scenario is played out in the everyday lives of gay individuals that feel as though they are forced to choose between who they are and what they believe. While some wear a mask and deny their sexuality, others walk away from their faith completely. Each individual that attempts to reconcile their faith with their sexuality has a unique journey, but unfortunately not all have a happy ending.
It becomes a battle of spirituality or sexuality, but are these really the only choices for Christians that just so happen to be attracted to members of the same sex? Can one be both gay and Christian? This is quite possibly one of the most pressing questions within our society. It triggers on going debates that reach far into the depths of our country’s political system with our stance on social issues such as gay marriage and gay adoption being constantly challenged. Is gay marriage an equal rights issue that should be separated from any religious affiliation or is it a religious right issue that favors one denominational doctrine over another? This debate has created a great divide between Christian denominations. Is it possible to bridge this denominational gap? Is there a middle ground that has yet to be found and do we even want it? This paper seeks to answer these questions as well as a few others that involve the limitations placed on a gay Christian within a faith community. By presenting various research on both sides of this argument the reader will be exposed a wide range of information surrounding this issue. The objective of this paper is not to convince, but to enlighten the reader so that he or she may form his or her own opinion in an informed manner.
Denominational & Theological Differences
When compared to a majority of other religions, Christianity is a relatively new religion. Christianity was established in Israel around 30 A.D. through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the self-proclaimed Son of God. It is said that Christ was born of a virgin, lived a holy life, dedicated himself to teaching the new covenant between God and His people and ultimately through his death and resurrection, salvation is available to all who believe (Spong, 1991). This is the core belief system within the Christian church, however since this faith was established, it has been divided over and...