Can LGBTQ Supporters Be Saved?

Randal Rouser made an interesting video where he presents a dilemma for fundamentalists: “If belief in same-sex relationships suffice to no longer make one a Christian, then this either entails that support for monogamous same-sex relationships is worse than support for antebellum slavery or it entails that Christians who supported antebellum slavery were actually an entirely different religion.”

Before I delve into my reply, let’s formulate the antecedent clause in that quote and make some distinctions:

~C: If x accepts LGBTQ+, then necessarily, x is not a Christian.

What does it mean to say someone is not a Christian? If I said, “X cannot accept LGBTQ+ and be consistent with Christianity,” then this would be a question of ideological consistency. You may hold a belief that’s inconsistent with the Scriptures, but this does not entail that you are not saved. The salvific question, by contrast, asks “Can you believe LGBTQ is good and still be saved?” This is a question of our justification before God.

The Dilemma Examined

I’m with Randal in that the answer to the salvific question should obviously be yes. If your salvation depended on whether you believed homosexuality is immoral, then this is not salvation in Christ alone but salvation in Christ + [some conservative belief]. This is not the gospel but legalism, and anyone who promotes this should be ashamed. It’s very easy to conceive of a genuine believer who lacked access to certain parts of the Bible and happened to believe homosexuality is permissible. Or maybe this person grew up indoctrinated as to how to interpret the relevant passages of Scripture. None of this is outside the realm of possibility.

Nevertheless, I do take issue with Randal’s dilemma. First, I just do not see how this is a dilemma. His fundamentalist opponent can simply say, “Well slavery is not explicitly forbidden in Scripture but homosexuality is. They’re not equivalent beliefs.” And I think this would be a fair point, but still wrong because what you perceive as “explicit” is going to depend on your tradition, church, and interpretation. That a woman should cover their hair in church seems “explicit” but many Christians differ on this. The fundamentalist could modify their contention to say, “Whatever is explicit and orthodox” and this would probably suffice to escape the dilemma.

Reconstructing the Thesis

Second, even if his dilemma succeeds in refuting ~C, we can reconstruct a fairly plausible thesis:

~C*: If x knows Scripture condemns homosexuality but rejects God's teaching or would reject it if they came to know God taught that, then x is probably not a Christian and is practicing a different religion.

Here I am making both an ideological and salvific claim. To be clear, this salvific claim is based on probability because we cannot know for certain whether someone is saved, only God can. After all, a genuine believer might be unable to accept it at first because they were strongly conditioned to accept homosexuality, but after some time God may soften their hearts to accept His truth. The crucial assumption here is that Scripture clearly does in fact condemn homosexuality. I will not defend that thesis here, except to say that is quite evident from Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Leviticus 18:22, etc. If you want a rigorous academic defense, you can read Gagnon’s book The Bible and Homosexual Practice .

To see how this thesis is true, ask any supporter of homosexuality what they would do if they came to judgement day and God said, “I condemn homosexuality in all of its forms.” More often than not they would vehemently reject God entirely. The reason? They are convinced that their moral judgement is superior. In their eyes, God saying that is equivalent to saying, “I condone rape in all of its forms.” Clearly a God that said this cannot be God! Or if He is, then this God has it all wrong!

According to their very own reasoning, God’s position on homosexuality is in fact essential to the truth of Christianity. In other words, a Christianity* that’s pro LGBTQ+ is a substantially different religion from a Christianity that’s for traditional sexual norms. If this were not the case, how can you explain the difference in truth values? Traditional Christianity is false, by their lights, but Christianity* is true. They must be substantially different in order to have different truth values.


Thus, contrary to Randal Rouser, we can safely conclude that ~C* is true. Of course a pro-LGBTQ person can be saved, but unfortunately it is quite unlikely. This is because LGBTQ does not come out of a vacuum but out of an ideology that is fundamentally opposed to traditional Christianity. This ideology is their meta-religion.

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