Homosexuality And Christianity
Christian denominations hold a variety of views on the issues of sexual orientation and homosexuality, ranging from total condemnation to complete acceptance. Abrahamic religions, such as Christianity, traditionally condemn male homosexual behavior, although many denominations have instead developed accepting views. Additionally, not all members of a denomination necessarily support their church's condemnatory or accepting views on homosexuality.
Denominations that oppose homosexuality include the Roman Catholic Church the Eastern Orthodox churches and some mainline Protestant denominations, such as the Methodist churches, Reformed Church in America the American Baptist Church, as well as Conservative Evangelical organizations and churches, such as the Evangelical Alliance, the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention. Many Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God, as well as Restorationist churches, like Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, also take the position that homosexual activity is immoral. Other Christian denominations do not view monogamous same-sex relationships as sinful or immoral, and may bless such unions and consider them marriages. These include the United Church of Canada, and the United Church of Christ., all German Lutheran, reformed and united churches in EKD, all Swiss reformed churches, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Iceland and the Church of Norway. The Church of Finland also allows prayer for same-sex couples. In particular, the Metropolitan Community Church was founded specifically to serve the Christian LGBT community. The Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals (GAAAP), traces its roots back to 1980, making it the oldest LGBT-affirming Apostolic Pentecostal denomination in existence. Another such organization is the Affirming Pentecostal Church International, currently the largest affirming Pentecostal organization, with churches in the US, UK, Central and South America, Europe and Africa.
Some denominations state opposing positions. Various parts of the Lutheran Church hold stances on the issue ranging from declaring homosexual acts as sin to acceptance of homosexual relationships. For example, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, the Lutheran Church of Australia, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod recognize homosexual behavior as intrinsically sinful and seek to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations. However, the Church of Sweden conducts same-sex marriages, while the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America opens the ministry of the Church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships. The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is also much like Lutheranism in regards to homosexuality. For example, the Friends United Meeting and the Evangelical Friends International believe that sexual relations are condoned only in marriage, which they define to be between a man and a woman. However, the Friends General Conference and the Friends in Great Britain approve of same-sex marriage. Most of the Anglican Communion does not approve of homosexual activity, with the exception of the Episcopal Church, which is facing a possible exclusion from international Anglican bodies over the issue.
In addition, some Christian denominations such as the Moravian Church, believe that the Holy Bible speaks negatively of homosexual acts, although it is still working on establishing policy for the issue of ordination and homosexuality as research on the matter continues.
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