Survey finds faith similarities between gays, heterosexuals

There are fewer differences between the outlook of heterosexuals and homosexuals on Christianity than what is often illustrated in popular culture, according to a study released by The Barna Group. The Christian research organization discovered that the roughly 3 percent of Americans who label themselves as gay have many views which strikingly match up with majority heterosexual – or straight – views of faith and religion. There were some areas of very strong similarities, such as: • A small minority of people in both groups believe that Satan is real. • Identical percentages of these groups feel they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others who believe differently. • Similar amounts of people from each group contend that good people can earn their way into heaven through good works. • Rates of house church participation are about the same for both groups. On other measures, gays were less participatory in traditional Christian beliefs and activities, but far from absent. Most adults from both groups said faith was important driving force in the life, 72 percent for straights and 60 percent for gays. In specific identity with Christianity, there was an 85-70 advantage for straight people, but still a vast majority of gays still identify with the Christian faith. How that faith is interpreted, however, is different. For example, straights were twice as likely to believe in the literal nature of biblical teaching, while gays gay were more inclined to see God as indicator of a greater degree of self-actualization in other lifestyle areas. The study concludes that the notion of gays being completely outside of Christianity is false. “People who portray gay adults as godless, hedonistic, Christian bashers are not working with the facts,” Barna Group President George Barna said. “A substantial majority of gays cite their faith as a central facet of their life, consider themselves to be Christian, and claim to have some type of meaningful personal commitment to Jesus Christ active in their life today. “It is interesting to see that most homosexuals, who have some history within the Christian Church, have rejected orthodox biblical teachings and principles – but, in many cases, to nearly the same degree that the heterosexual Christian population has rejected those same teachings and principles. Although there are clearly some substantial differences in the religious beliefs and practices of the straight and gay populations, there may be less of a spiritual gap between straights and gays than many Americans would assume.” Link: Full Barna Group study:

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