In God's eyes, is the practice of homosexuality the worst sin a person can commit? John Piper, founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minnesota, shared his thoughts on the controversial issue in a recent blog post.
First, Piper explained that sins of greed and pride and selfishness and anger are more widespread than the sin of homosexuality. Because such sins are "more subtle and disguise themselves more easily as acceptable", Piper believes that "millions more people are ruined in this life and the next through greed and covetousness, through pride, through selfishness, through excessive anger than are ruined through same-sex orientation or through homosexual behavior."
He added, "I would add the social miseries brought about through those sins are also vastly greater in scope than any brought about through homosexual sin."
The "Don't Waste Your Life" author said there are three primary reasons homosexuality is a particularly hot issue in Christian circles.
"The reason for the attention that homosexual behavior is getting is not because it destroys more people, but because 1. it makes news, 2. it's a public sin with forceful advocates, and 3. it is peculiarly contrary to nature," Piper said. "Those of us who believe that same-sex orientation is a distortion of nature and that it may result in sinful homosexual intercourse are called upon, like I'm being called upon right now, to record answers to questions like this and therefore be public about this."
Nevertheless, Piper concluded by emphasizing that Jesus Christ came into the world "to save sinners - heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners, greedy, proud, selfish, angry sinners and sinners who commit homosexual acts."
"We all need the same Savior, and the blood of Christ is sufficient to wash away every sin and remove all judgment and bring us to everlasting healing and joy," Piper added.
A 2014 General Social Survey conducted by NORC and the University of Chicago found that over 50 percent of Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Orthodox Christians, and black Protestants all separately said that homosexuality should be accepted by society, but only 36 percent of Evangelical Protestants, 36 percent of Mormons, and 16 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses agreed.
In total, 54 percent of all Christians agreed with homosexuality being accepted by society, which is up by 10 points from 2007.
"Changing attitudes about homosexuality are linked to the same generational forces helping to reshape religious identity and practice in the United States, with millennials expressing far more acceptance of homosexuality than older adults do," the report stated.
The report corroborates a later study from the Pew Research Center, which found that 54 percent of all Christians surveyed agreed that homosexuality should be accepted by society. Over half of all Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Orthodox Christians and African-American Protestant respondents said they believe that homosexuality should be accepted in society, while only 36 percent of evangelical Protestants, 36 percent of Mormons and 16 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses agreed.