The Future Of Christendom
Many gays and lesbians remain partially or completely in the "closet".
They often find the Church as the last place that they would want to "come
out", because of the fear of rejection and homophobia. This is unfortunate,
because the most effective way of changing a heterosexual's beliefs about
homosexuality is for them to meet a homosexual. This is a Catch 22 situation.
We predict that over the next few decades, most Christian denominations
will gradually accept the following beliefs:
·a continuum of sexual orientation exists, from heterosexual
to bisexual to homosexual.
·adult sexual orientation is unchangeable.
·orientation is determined genetically in some people at the
time of conception.
·since sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, homosexual
and bisexual feelings are not sinful.
Eventually, all churches are expected to follow the lead of the United
Churches, Unitarian-Universalist Association, Neo-Pagan and some Native
faiths. They will accept gays, lesbians and bisexuals as full members and
as eligible for the clergy. The negative references to homosexual rape and
temple homosexual prostitution in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
will eventually be accepted as having no bearing on committed homosexual
relationships. St. Paul's apparent condemnation of homosexuality in the
Christian Scriptures (New Testament) will become regarded as a "cultural
accretion" similar to his requirement that women not speak in churches;
both will be rejected as in conflict with the basic principles of Christianity.
As with many previous issues of social change, from the abolition of
slavery to birth control to women's rights, the liberal churches will lead;
Fundamentalist churches will be the last to convert.
Consider the stance that the Southern Baptist Convention has taken over
the past 150 years on racial matters:
·it split from a larger Baptist body in 1845 over the issue
·after the civil war, the church promoted segregation of blacks
·in 1995, the Convention issued a formal apology to blacks for
the injustices supported by their church and for continuing racism within
In another 35 years, they might well issue a formal apology to homosexuals.
Eventually, sexual orientation will become a non-issue in essentially
all churches. Discrimination against minority sexual orientations will be
perceived as institutional hatred, and totally incompatible with the Gospel
message. Homosexuality and bisexuality will be recognized as a natural sexual
orientation for a minority of people.
Unfortunately, this process will take many decades to complete. In the
meantime, much suffering and many suicides will be experienced by the gay,
lesbian and bisexual community, and gay-bashing will remain at a high level.