1) Jesus loves homosexuals.
The Bible teaches that Jesus loved every person, both homosexual and heterosexual, to the point of death.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. (Eph. 5:2)
2) Homosexual orientation is not sin.
The Bible defines sin as action (both physical and mental), not desire. As James explains, "each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin" (James 1:14-15). Sin occurs after temptation; therefore temptation is not sin. Jesus "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Furthermore, the Bible nowhere lists heterosexual orientation as a prerequisite for leadership in the church and nowhere forbids the ordination of bishops/elders with homosexual orientations. (See Ravi Zacharias' discussion of Father Henri Nouwen below.)
3) Homosexual acts are sin.
The Biblical condemnation of homosexual activity is severe and unequivocal. It is listed alongside other sins such as greed, adultery, and lying:
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God. (1 Tim. 1:9-11)
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him...Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another....Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. (Rom. 1:21-27)
(The word translated "those practicing homosexuality" in 1 Timothy 1:9-11 is defined by BAGD, the definitive Greek-English lexicon, as "a male who practices homosexuality." The word is not limited to pedophilia or prostitution. The same word is used in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in conjunction with another word which BAGD defines as "men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually." Again, this word is not limited to pedophilia or prostitution.)
4) Homosexual sin is no worse than heterosexual sin.
The Bible does not teach that all sins are equal, but the Bible does teach that the severity of a sin is determined by the disposition of the sinner, not merely by the act itself (Luke 12:47-48). Therefore, a heterosexually oriented individual who carelessly views pornography has likely committed a worse sin than a homosexually oriented individual who momentarily fails while diligently striving to be chaste.
5) Homosexual sin is 100% forgivable.
Some of the first Christians were formerly practicing homosexuals:
Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
This cleansing is not restricted to sins committed prior to conversion. In a letter to Christians, John states, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
6) Jesus calls both homosexuals and heterosexuals to deny themselves and follow him.
Jesus demands everything from us; there is nothing we possess which he will allow us to keep. He demands the dreams we have for our future, the desires we have for sexual intimacy, and even the love we have for our families:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:25-27)
Do not miss what Jesus is saying. People who carry crosses are on a one way journey. The call to carry a cross is the call to follow Jesus to the place of execution. The entire Christian life can be summed up in two words: death and resurrection. We are called to die with Christ so that we can share in His new life, the eternal life of God himself.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Paul is willing to join Jesus in death because he knows that Jesus loves him. God takes from us only in order to transform us into people who can experience infinite happiness. There is nothing we own which he does not demand of us, but there is nothing he owns which he will not give us.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)