People are Leaving Church because of Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues

Among Americans who left their childhood religion and are now religiously unaffiliated, about one-quarter say negative teachings about or treatment of gay and lesbian people was a somewhat important (14%) or very important (10%) factor in their decision to disaffiliate. Among Millennials who no longer identify with their childhood religion, nearly one-third say that negative teachings about, or treatment of, gay and lesbian people was either a somewhat important (17%) or very important (14%) factor in their disaffiliation from religion.



4 thoughts on “People are Leaving Church because of Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues

  1. Yes, Jesus never mentions homosexuality. Both “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality”, the idea of identifying a person’s identity by who they are sexually active with, is a new that began in the 19th century. These categories have led to much confusion in society. The message of identity we find in Scripture, however, is that we are made in the image of God, and can recognize that we are a child of God through faith. This message places great value in a person, unlike the sexual categories. In the world, we receive our identity from others, from the expectations of friends and colleagues, from the labels society puts upon us, and from the influence of family. Through the cross, those identities are pushed aside in order to become part of the Kingdom of God. To become Christian is to receive a new identity. You no longer allow others to tell you who you are. Christ now claims you and instructs you. A Christian is one who has “put on Christ.” As Christians, we need to speak out against linking sexual practice (both heterosexual and homosexual) with identity. The “sex=identity” idea has done much damage to the emotional well being of those in society. The message is that if you don’t have sex and act upon sexual instincts, then you are not human. The Bible, however, sees sex as incredibly powerful and beautiful, yet at the same time says that one can be a human being without engaging in it. The church, when explaining it’s sexual ethic, has taken the identity terms of heterosexuality and homosexuality, which has corrupted our message and left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
    While speaking against the “sex=identity” mentality and the message that not having sex makes one not human, the Bible describes sex as a beautiful gift that is used within the unique marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Both male and female, created in the image of God, come together and through the love expressed in sex, open the door to new life being created (although life does not always come about). Jesus in Matthew 19 upholds this image of marriage, and the church needs to uphold this image. Any type of sexual intercourse, both same sex and opposite sex, falls outside of this Biblical paradigm. We also need to understand that the world around us will not always uphold that image, and that civil law operates differently than what the church teaches (something both Jesus and Paul point to). The church needs to advocate for those who are disenfranchised in society, while also critiquing society when it needs to. In this case, this means advocating for the recognition of legal rights for people of the same sex who want to build a life together (preferably without using the term “marriage”, but if the nation chooses to use that term, we will let God judge whether that was the right or wrong way to do so), yet at the same time, we need to speak out against the idea of defining the identity of people by their sexuality and the message that people have not control over their sexual actions.

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