Faith, Hope and Homosexuality
The following points form the summary to Faith, Hope and Homosexuality - a report produced in 1998 by ACUTE (the Evangelical Alliance (UK) Commission on Unity and Truth Among Evangelicals).
Faith, Hope and Homosexuality was also published by Paternoster Press (Carlisle) - ISBN 0- 9532992-0-1. The book is no longer available for purchase.
Conclusion: Affirmations and Recommendations
We are conscious that different evangelicals might apply certain of these points in different ways, but we believe that taken together, they reflect an authentic, mainstream evangelical response to homosexuality in general and sexually active homosexual partnerships in particular:
- We recognise that all of us are sinners, and that the only true hope for sinful people - whether homosexual or heterosexual - is in Jesus Christ. Our earnest prayer is that his love, truth and grace would characterise evangelical responses to debates on homosexuality, both now and in future
- We affirm that monogamous heterosexual marriage is the form of partnership uniquely intended by God for full sexual relations between people.
- We affirm God's love and concern for all humanity, including homosexual people, but believe homoerotic sexual practice to be incompatible with His will as revealed in Scripture.
- We repudiate homophobia insofar as it denotes an irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals. We do not accept, however, that to reject homoerotic sexual practice on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic.
- We deeply regret the hurt caused to lesbians and gay men by the Church's past and present hatred and rejection of them.
- We oppose moves within certain churches to accept and/or endorse sexually active homosexual partnerships as a legitimate form of Christian relationship. We stand prayerfully with those in such churches who are seeking to resist these moves on biblical grounds.
- We oppose moves within certain churches towards permitting the ordination of sexually active lesbians and gay men to ministry. We stand prayerfully with those in such denominations who are seeking to resist these moves on biblical grounds.
- We commend and encourage those homosexual Christian people who have committed themselves to chastity and celibacy. We believe that such people should be eligible for ordination and leadership within the church. Where they are members of denominations which are considering an endorsement of sexually active homosexual partnerships, we are concerned that they may feel seriously undermined.
- We call upon evangelical congregations to welcome and accept sexually active homosexual people, but to do so in the expectation that they will come in due course to see the need to change their lifestyle in accordance with biblical revelation and orthodox church teaching. We urge gentleness and patience in this process, and ongoing care even after a homosexual person renounces same-sex sexual relations.
- We commend the work of those organisations which seek to help homosexual Christians live a celibate life, and also commend those groups which responsibly assist homosexuals who wish to reorient to a heterosexual lifestyle.
- We believe habitual homoerotic sexual activity without repentance to be inconsistent with faithful church membership. Where someone is publicly promoting homoerotic sexual practice within a congregation, there may be a case for more stringent disciplinary action.
- We would resist church services of blessing for gay partnerships as unbiblical.