Dr. William Lane Craig, a renowned Christian apologist, has said in a recent interview following an Apologetics Canada Conference that the church is losing the battle against being branded as hateful for its traditional stance on homosexuality.
"The cultural attitudes towards homosexual activity have undergone a sea change in recent years so that now someone that holds to a biblical view that homosexual behavior is immoral is regarded as bigoted, narrow-minded and really a wicked person – that is a huge change. It is just another challenge. It's extremely significant and unfortunately it seems like the church is on the losing end of this battle," Craig told CanadianChristianity.com.
The research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif., who has written over 30 books defending Christian beliefs, said that Hollywood likes to paint "very happy faces" on the pro-gay movement, but it doesn't expose "the very shocking facts about the pathological and emotional damage that this lifestyle involves."
Conservative Christian beliefs, which Craig defends, state that sexual intimacy is only intended within the confines of heterosexual marriage.
"It may well be the case that just as our culture's attitude to pre-marital sex and co-habitation have completely changed from say the 1950s, so our culture's attitude towards homosexual behavior may also change and become widely accepted. In both cases, faithful Christians have to say that the culture is simply wrong and this represents a moral decline in Western culture and that a biblical ethic for sexuality will reserve sexual intimacy for monogamous heterosexual married relationship," the apologist added.
Others disagree and argue that practicing gay people are not going against God, and that the Bible does not condemn monogamous gay relationships. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who say that being gay is a choice and there is no such thing as "gay Christians," arguing that the two are incompatible.
When asked if one can be both a homosexual and a Christian, Craig responded:
"Certainly you can, I don't think there's any doubt about that. What you shouldn't be is a confessing Christian and a practicing homosexual. What the Bible condemns is not a homosexual orientation – that's largely out of your control from what homosexuals tell us."
The research professor insisted that it is not the orientation that matters, but the behavior. He noted that heterosexual people engaging in pre-marital sexual acts are equally guilty according to the Bible.
Craig rejected the hate label being placed on the church for its refusal to embrace homosexual practice, however, and argued that if one speaks out against heterosexual pre-marital sex they are never accused of hatred against single people.
"You see that heterosexual single people who engage in premarital sexual intercourse are doing something just as wrong as homosexuals and yet I don't think that people would think that I have some sort of hatred or prejudice against single people, that would be absurd," the Christian apologist argued.