Christian denominations and homosexuality
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominational_positions_on_homo sexuality]List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]There is no consensus within Christianity about: The nature of homosexuality,
What Bible passages mean about homosexuality, or
What policies to enforce about gay and lesbian members, candidates for ordination. commitment rituals or study programs.
The response of Christian faith groups to homosexuality varies greatly, depending mainly upon their position in the liberal - fundamentalist continuum. More liberal denominations and Christians tend to view homosexuality as a civil rights matter; they generally believe it is fixed, unchosen, normal, natural, and morally neutral sexual orientation for a minority of adults. More conservative denominations and Christians tend to view homosexuality as a profound evil; they generally believe it is changeable, chosen, abnormal, unnatural and immoral behavior, regardless of the nature of the relationship.
The more liberal denominations, like the United Church of Christ, have changing their positions on homosexuality, in recent years, to adopt a more inclusive stance.
Mainline denominations such as the Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians are actively debating the question. A future church schism may result., particularly in the case of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and Episcopal Church. USA. Similar splits have occurred in the past over human slavery, whether women should be ordained, and certain theological debates.
More conservative denominations are taking no significant action to change their beliefs and policies at this time.
Fundamentalist denominations commit significant effort against homosexuality and homosexual rights. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention expelled three of their congregations who had conducted a study of homosexuality, had concluded that the denomination's beliefs were invalid, and who welcomed gays and lesbians as members.
The Anglican Communion has been divided over the issue of homosexuality. The Church of England, the mother church of the Communion, currently maintains (according to the statement Issues in Human Sexuality) that same-sex partnerships are acceptable for laypersons but gay clergy are expected to be abstinent. The Lambeth Conference of 1998 called homosexuality "incompatible with Scripture" but this remains a purely advisory guideline as there are no communion-wide legislative bodies in the Anglican Church. On the other hand, the Episcopal Church, which is the American body (province) of the Anglican Communion, approved (2003) Gene Robinson to be the bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire. Bishop Gene Robinson is the first openly gay (non-celibate) clergy to be ordained to the episcopate (http://www.nhepiscopal.org/BishopSearch/index.htm, http://www.nhepiscopal.org/bishop/bishop.html).
However, there are a number of Baptist churches, particularly in the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, that have more inclusive views. The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, a group of some 50 churches and organizations, is committed to the "full inclusion" of gay and lesbian persons in their churches. This "full inclusion" may or may not include approbation of same-sex sexual conduct.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes clear that same-gender attraction is not sinful and no one should blamed for it, but that a few people have been able to overcome it. However, it considers homoerotic thoughts, feelings and behaviors to be a problem that everyone can and should overcome. Homosexual activity is considered a serious sin on par or greater than other sexual activity outside of a legal, heterosexual marriage. They have encouraged their members to reach out to homosexuals with love and understanding, which has sparked criticism and protests from more conservative churches. In 2007, they produced God Loveth His Children, a pamphlet whose stated purpose is to help LGB members.The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran church body in the United States, as of August 21, 2009, voted 559 to 451 in favor of allowing non-celibate gays to become ordained ministers. During the national meeting in 2005, delegates voted against a measure that would have allowed non-celibate gay ordination and the blessing of same-sex unions by 503 against to 490 in favor. ELCA Lutheran policy states that LGBT individuals are welcome and encouraged to become members and participate in the life of the congregation. The ELCA does not have a policy against same-sex unions, nor does it have a rite for blessing those unions, but leaves the question up to pastoral care. ELCA congregations that specifically embrace GLBT persons are called Reconciling in Christ congregations. The group Lutherans Concerned supports the inclusion of LGBT members in Lutheran churches in the ELCA and ELCIC. All other Lutheran churches in the United States oppose ordination and marriage of homosexuals.
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LC-MS), the second largest Lutheran church in the United States at 2.4 million members, does not ordain homosexuals. The LCMS Synodical President Kieschnick officially registered the objections of the LC-MS at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to this change in the historic position of the Christian church.
In 2006, Lionel Ketola became the first person in a same-sex marriage to be appointed vicar (intern) of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada congregation. This occurred at  in Newmarket, Ontario. Later that year, the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC voted to allow a "local option" for blessing same-sex unions. The national church, which had previously rejected such a proposal, proceeded to assert that it alone had the authority to make such a decision. The National Church Council agreed in a September ruling, but promised to bring forward another motion authorising the local option for approval at the 2007 National Convention.
Most Lutheran state churches in Germany, Lutheranism's country of origin, are also liberal, viewing homosexuality as moral and allow gay and lesbian clergy. But the Lutheran churches in Germany are also divided on the issue of blessing same-sex unions. In general, very few churches in the more rural parishes (Baden, Saxonia, Hesse-Waldeck) are in favor of blessing same-sex unions while the urban churches do allow them (Hanover, Rhineland, Westfalia, Brunswick, Oldenburg, Berlin-Brandenburg, Bremen, Northelbia...). Nevertheless, all the state churches agree that gay and lesbian individuals are welcome as members, and that any kind of persecution is unacceptable.
The Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Scandinavia, also members of the Lutheran World Federation, are also liberal in their position on homosexuality and view homosexuality as moral. In Sweden (Church of Sweden) the Lutheran church allowed 2006 blessings of same-sex unions and permit gay clergy. A notable bishop is the KG Hammar, former Archbishop of Uppsala and primate of the Church of Sweden, has been very vocal in supporting gay and lesbian Lutherans. In 2009 Eva Brunne, an open lesbian women, was elect as bishop in Stockholm, Church of Sweden. The Church of Norway is divided, with 6 of 11 bishops accepting homosexual practice as moral, even though the church officially rejects it.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is divided on issue, but many of its most well known bishops have expressed their acceptance for homosexuality. Also some theologians related to church have supported gay-marriages.
The smaller and more conservative denominations of the International Lutheran Council and Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference do not sanction same-sex partnerships among the clergy or laity.The Metropolitan Community Church is an international fellowship of Christian congregations. It is considered by many to be a full mainline denomination or communion. There are currently 300 congregations in 22 countries, and the Fellowship has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Acceptance of homosexuality is an important part of its theology.
The Metropolitan Community Church was instrumental in the first legal challenges to the heterosexual legal definition of marriage in Ontario (see Same-sex marriage in Ontario). Two couples used an old legal procedure called reading the banns to marry without a licence. When same-sex marriage was legalized in Ontario, their marriages were recognized..... I guess none of these people are 'Christians'....The Old Catholic Churches in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands view homosexuality as moral, permit gay and lesbian priests, and bless gay couples. These should not be confused with the Roman Catholic Church, nor should one confuse the positions of the Old Roman Catholics (traditional Old Catholics) with those of traditionalist Roman Catholic groups who hold the identical position of the Roman Catholic Church.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK
Who here thinks Jallman and Goobieman need to get a room?