Conservative Christianity’s struggle with homosexuality may be more common than many like to admit.

When the topic of discussion is homosexuals in the church, mainline denominations automatically come to mind. Most mainline churches have caucuses organized around the issue. Groups such as Affirmation (United Methodists) and Presbyterians (PCUSA) for Lesbian and Gay Concerns have pushed for full acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, including the ordination of active homosexuals.

In more theologically conservative circles, homosexuality is not nearly so visible, at least as a debatable issue. Virtually all conservative denominations and evangelical colleges are on record as regarding homosexual behavior unbiblical. Yet there are some who maintain that the percentage of homosexually inclined persons in conservative church circles is no different from the percentage of such people in liberal denominations or in society at large. (The most commonly cited figures are 4 to 10 percent for men and 3 to 4 percent for women.)

“We’re not just talking about people in the pews,” said Ralph Blair of the New York City-based Evangelicals Concerned. “I know of people in high positions in the evangelical church—pastors, denominational and parachurch leaders, publishers, best-selling authors—who are homosexual but who realize that to disclose this would ruin their careers.”

Blair started Evangelicals Concerned in 1976 on the premise that there is no inconsistency between the Christian faith and a monogamous homosexual lifestyle. The organization now has more than 20 chapters nationwide. Except when it comes to homosexuality, it affirms the fundamental tenets of evangelical faith.

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