Sexuality and Christianity

Few issues cause as much division in today's church as issues related to sex outside of marriage and homosexual relationships. Though nothing appears to be as divisive, gender issues are actually just a litmus test of the deeper issue: Biblical Authority. Conservative Christians argue that the Bible clearly states that God shows us that the only right place for a sexual relationship is in a marriage between a man and a woman, and that outside of this, it is a sin against God. Some liberal Christians deem that sex outside a marriage, including homosexual relationships are not wrong if they are between two loving partners. They argue that a 'trajectory' is outlined in Scripture, revealing God's ever expanding love and encompassing of what was once forbidden.

In the developed world, especially North-Western Europe and North America, some church denominations have embraced the liberal viewpoint often causing large splits in congregations. One of the major developments in recent years has been in the Episcopal Church of the USA, in which an openly practicing homosexual man, Gene Robinson was ordained as a bishop. This has caused enormous divide within the Anglican Communion and resulted in 2008 in a conference (GAFCON) being called to rival the once in a decade Lambeth Conference. This may be leading to a schism.

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