If Homosexual Acts Are Wrong, Must Gays Repent to Receive Grace?

Greetings to everyone arriving for the Consultation on Re-Imagining the Relationship Between Evangelicals and Gays.  If you’re just joining the conversation, it is best to go to the Guide document and find links to all the relevant articles and stories.  We will also post links and reflections here on the Cross and Culture blog.  If you are an expert in this subject and want to contribute, or have a story you would like to add, please feel free to email EvangelicalPortal@patheos.com.  The Consultation will continue for at least two weeks, and longer if necessary.  At the same time, we will continue to post articles of other kinds.

This morning, an interesting question was raised at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog.  For those who believe that homosexuality is against the will of God: without equating homosexuality and polygamy, is there at least a parallel insofar as these are forms of familial organization that run against the will of God?  And if so, what does it tell us that the forefathers of the Jewish and Christian faiths were polygamists who apparently lived their lives and never recognized the error of their ways?  If they were allowed to live with this habitual sin and still (presumably) enjoyed God’s grace and good favor, must it be conceded that homosexuals can do the same?  Should those who believe that homosexuality is against the will of God therefore conclude, as Michael Patton does in this article in our Consultation, that those who give themselves to homosexual relationships throughout their lives, without repenting, can nonetheless be saved?

For those who believe there is nothing wrong with homosexual relationships, this of course is not an issue.  For those who do, to clarify the problem, it is this.  Homosexual desires may not be wrong, but homosexuals actions, and thus relationships including those actions, are.  Certainly sinners can be saved, but can people who never recognize and never confess their sins be saved?  Do gay Christians on some level know that their actions are wrong, such that they are persisting in their sin defiantly?  And can a person who sins defiantly be saved?

i will prescind from sharing my own thoughts at this point.  What do *you* think?

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