Rick Warren Uncertain if Homosexual Behavior is Sinful, Says ‘Gays’ Go to Heaven

Controversy is stirring over recent comments made by Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life and megachurch leader of Saddleback Church in California, who stated that homosexual behavior “might be” sinful, and that he believes homosexuals go to Heaven.

During an interview this week with the Huffington Post, Warren was asked by Marc Lamont Hill if having romantic feelings for a member of the same sex is a sin. Leading up to the question, Warren was explaining that he does not hate homosexuals, and that people should disagree politely on the subject of homosexuality.

“I have many, many gay friends, and have worked around the world with them in gay organizations to try to stop AIDS,” he said. “We’re doing ‘World AIDS Day’ this weekend at Saddleback Church. My wife and I have given millions of dollars to help people with HIV/AIDS and have worked with gay organizations on that.”

“What about the love part, though? I hear about the AIDS part,” asked Hill. “It’s not illegal to love somebody,” Warren replied.

“But you think it’s a sin,” Hill asserted. “No, it’s not a sin to love somebody,” Warren said.

“It might be a sin to have sex with them,” he added. “It might be.”

However, just moments prior, Hill aired a clip from an interview that Warren participated in on Piers Morgan this week, where Warren presented a slightly different answer. He began by responding to the question of whether or not a person can be born homosexual.

  • Connect with Christian News

“I think the jury is still out on that,” he said. “It wouldn’t bother me if there was a ‘gay gene’ found, because here’s what we know about life: I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. … I do not believe that attraction is a sin, but I do believe that some actions are sin.”

Warren stated during his interview with Hill that he believes sex outside of marriage is always sinful, however, and that he obtains his views from the Bible.

“I make no bones about it. I’m an evangelical pastor, so my source of authority is, what does the Bible say about it?” he said. “However, people will have other sources of authority.”

“Or, different readings of the Bible,” Hill injected.

“Or different readings — that’s very true,” Warren agreed.

Later during the interview, when Hill asked Warren if he believes homosexuals will go to Hell, he replied that they will not.

“No, not because they’re gay,” he said. “We go to Hell because we choose to reject the grace of God.”

When Hill asked what happens to a homosexual that accepts Jesus, Warren responded enthusiastically.

“He’s going to Heaven!” he declared. “Without a doubt.”

Warren is not the first evangelical to make the assertion, however. Earlier this year, megachurch author and speaker Joel Osteen similarly told popular talk show host Oprah that he also believes homosexuals are saved.

“Will a gay person be accepted into heaven, as you see it?,” Oprah asked Osteen. “I believe they will,” he replied.

Craig Gross of “XXXChurch” also made statements in July that he doesn’t think God would send homosexuals to Hell.

“Why do they (religious people) believe that the gay guy goes to Hell, but the fat preacher who builds some of the largest churches in the world makes it to Heaven?” Gross wrote in an online blog.

However, many Christians view statements such as these as compromise against the word of God.

“The concept of a ‘gay Christian’ is an oxymoron in light of numerous Scriptural instances wherein homosexual behavior is forbidden,” Alex Mason, policy analyst for the Family Policy Network, told Christian News Network. “One cannot live in a continual state of unrepentant sexual sin while calling themselves a Christian.”

“That’s not to say Christians can’t struggle with sin, including sexual sin,” he continued. “The Christian life as a constant struggle against sin, and just as some Christians struggle to defeat heterosexual lust, others may struggle to defeat homosexual lusts.”

Peter LaBarbera, the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, agreed. He stated that he was shocked at Rick Warren’s comments.

“You don’t want to give the impression that it’s fine and dandy to live the homosexual lifestyle and as long as I believe in Jesus, I can still go to Heaven,” he said. “It’s one thing to have attractions and [fight] that, [and another to embrace homosexual behavior].”

Mason, whose ministry operates the website HopeForHomosexuals.com, stated that Warren should have explained his beliefs further, so as not to jeopardize the eternity of valuable souls.

“Warren failed to define what it means to ‘accept Christ,’ leaving viewers with the notion that a person can simply express a ‘belief’ in Jesus’ existence without turning away from the sins He died to atone,” he lamented.

“When you accept Christ, your behavior changes,” LaBarbera said. “And the attitude is [people like Warren] don’t want to talk about changes. … We know that God changes homosexuals, so why isn’t Rick Warren saying that?”

LaBarbera also told Christian News Network that he thinks Warren is treading into very dangerous territory by insinuating that the issue of homosexual behavior is a grey area.

“What part of Romans 1 doesn’t Rick Warren understand? It’s so clear,” he said. “When you make statements like these, you end up losing the Biblical sense, and the Biblical sense is that this is an abomination.”

Mason agreed, and outlined that sin needs to be taken seriously by those who wear the name of Christ.

“Christians should not, for one moment, hesitate when asked about behaviors that Scripture clearly calls sinful,” he said. “It is impossible for anyone to legitimize or make holy what God Himself has called unholy.”

“The Apostle Paul did not hesitate to faithfully echo God’s standards in his letter to the Corinthians, wherein he included a long list of sins that will keep people from the kingdom of God, including the sin of homosexuality,” Mason continued, citing 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. “Modern preachers would do well to follow Paul’s example in condemning that which God has condemned, while also proclaiming that the only hope for sinners  — homosexual and heterosexual alike — is faith in Jesus Christ: ‘All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

LaBarbera said that Warren should not only have called homosexual behavior sin, but should have gone deeper to the root issue.

“It’s also sinful to lust after another man,” LaBarbera said. “We can’t advocate sin as believers, and we have to think about how that the person that’s struggling with homosexuality is going to hear this.”

“There is no Biblical basis for his statements,” he added. “I think Rick Warren needs to retract that [‘might be’] statement and clarify it. If he does not retract it, he has fallen into error.”

“Rick Warren has a heart for lost souls, but he seems fearful he’ll offend people he could otherwise lead to salvation by telling the truth about their sin. That may indicate an inadequate faith in God’s sovereignty, or a failure to fully believe God’s Word has the power to transform lives,” Mason concluded. “I pray he’ll find the courage to be just as determined to be the salt of the earth as he is to be a light to the world.”

Requests for comment were not returned by Saddleback Church.


Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has ChristianNews.net been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • MattS

    Which Christ does Mr. LaBarbera follow? The one I read about died for all sinners :confused:

    • mzungu writes

      Mr. LaBarbera is not confused. There are no sinners in Heaven only Hell. Keep reading and searching.

    • “The one I read about died for all sinners”

      He didn’t die so that sinners could just keep on sinning to their wicked hearts’ content. If you’ve really read about Christ from the Bible (I doubt it), you’d know that on repeated occasions, he told people to stop sinning.

      • Ben P

        So I take it that as a good Christian, you NEVER sin? Gays are perfectly accepted in Heaven so long as they accept Jesus Christ.

        Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

        • Thegen

          We do fall into sin sometimes but we strive not to sin by the grace of God through Christ. Now with regards to gays entering heaven, can you tell me where in the scriptures did you read that about part?

  • carolyn bohner

    the Bible says that in the end times, people won’t endure sound doctrine. Many people will be surprised when the rapture comes and they are still here. They will get the picture then and will blame their preacher for misleading them. They will end up being be-headed for Christ.

  • Taff Munn

    Rick Warren is an evangelist for sure BUT he is not one send from God for this one thing i am very definite. He is a one made and send of men.

    Who is on the Lord’s side???
    Let him/her stand for the Lord and echo what the scripture says

  • ken

    Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor (effeminate), nor (abusers of themselves with mankind),

    God will destroy all who remain in their sins, we are called to come out of them.

    John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
    John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

  • Man was not created homosex. He created them male and female and commanded to increase and multiply. God did not create Adam and Dave, nor Eve & Evelyn. It was Adam and Eve. If u are struggling with homo, u are demon influence, rebuke that spirit it will flee instanta, dont succum to it. After u are born again, d command is “go and sin no more”. That a popular pastor is no more sure of d stand of God’s word on sin doesnt mean people should die. He is an individual, its his headache. U, go and search d scriptures. I believe that on d last day, Homosexuals will find themselves in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone : d 2nd Death! But if dy repent, they’ll be saved like anyother repentant sinner!

  • From the Bible, Man was not created homosex. He created them male and female and commanded to increase and multiply. God did not create Adam and Dave, nor Eve & Evelyn. It was Adam and Eve. If u are struggling with homo, u are demon influence, rebuke that spirit it will flee instanta, dont succum to it. After u are born again, d command is “go and sin no more”. That a popular pastor is no more sure of d stand of God’s word on sin doesnt mean people should die. He is an individual, its his headache. U, go and search d scriptures. I believe that on d last day, Homosexuals will find themselves in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone : d 2nd Death! But if dy repent, they’ll be saved like anyother repentant sinner!

  • Richard Clinard

    I live in Georgia and our pastor presented unquestionable evidence that Rick Warren was dangerous and being less than honest in his writings and philosophy a few years ago. That pastor was treated terribly and when he confronted the executive pastor for allowing homosexuals to serve on paid staff and teach in the children’s Sunday school ministry he was forced to resign. I watched as they attempted to destroy our pastor for taking a stand against the false doctrines being taught by men like Rick Warren. Becareful pastors and leaders, Rick Warren makes book publishers alot of money and homosexuality is now the vogue life, in the church! Beware!

  • O.j

    Mr. Rick should not because of the money he receives from sinners fail to condemn their sin. Love the sinner but condemn his sin. As a watchman, if you fail to warn sinners about the eternal consequences of sin The Lord will require their blood from your hands ( Ezek.33). Homosexuality or homosexual behavior is sin and sinful. Pure and simple. It is written: “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin” (Leviticus 18:22 NLT);” Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT). When a homosexual gives his life to Christ he must stop homosexual sin, for old things (which includes homosexuality) must pass away (2Cor.5:17).

    • James Bradshaw

      The Bible also says that heterosexuals are forbidden to divorce and remarry (Luke 16:18, Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9). Do you condemn heterosexuals who have done so?

      • O.J.

        Condemn the sin and not the sinner. Condemnation of sinner is the Lord’s. Whatever Bible forbids must not be encouraged.

      • Rich

        Yes, Some of us do.

  • Philip Abraham

    This particular issue isn’t about “getting the culture to like us”. As a Christian, how can you possibly believe otherewise with regard to the issue of whether a person — homosexual or not — spends eternity with Christ? We may not agree about a person’s behavior but let’s not forget: We do not agree with our own behavior, either! That truth — that our behavior — that each other’s behavior — is, in part, a part of our problem — that is precisely the truth about ourselves that led us to salvation is Christ! It seems to border on blasphemy if we say otherwise. In other words, Rick Warren is absolutely right when, with regard to a homosexual man who accepts Christ, he declares: “He’s going to Heaven! Without a doubt.” If it’s not good for a homosexual man, it’s no good for you or I. This is nothing new- it’s the Holy Gospel of Christ Jesus, Son of God!

    The fact that I seem to be in the tiny minority here is disheartening and most alarming. This is basic stuff! Please beware of treading on holy ground lest you stumble and fall and lead others do the same.

  • Jonathan Sanders

    If you read Romans 1 referenced in the article, you can see that in reality homosexuality is more than a sin to be judged by God, but actually a judgment *by* God for those who deny the truth.

    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  • Bob

    Only those who REPENT will be in heaven. Repentance means to tun away from. If you have not turned away from sinful behavior you will not enter God’s heaven.

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1Co 6:9-11)

    • jc

      Great answer bud!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jc

    God will never put a gene in your body that will rob you from your salvation.

  • This is why America is about to perish you cannot even fellowship anymore because so many wolves in sheep clothing are leading many into hellfire! you got the false bibles,churches and christians in America that is creating vomit on Christ true body who are at least making an effort to live by the bible. America is finished!

  • RAY

    What would JESUS say? When will you take accountability for your acgion? Come on now let the true living CHRISTIANS please stand up.. Mrs.K.K

  • vietnamvet1971

    evidently rick warren for got to read 1 Corithians 6 : 9 – 11 here is a list of Sins that will keep people from entering GOD’S Kingdom.

    Galatians 5 : 19- 21 again confirms the above Sins.

    Repent or Perish.

  • jack klassen

    If Rob Ford get’s ‘Born Again’ will he go to Heaven? Just wondering!

  • Hi. When sin came into the world, everything changed. People died off hundreds of years earlier, women experienced pain in childbirth, men had to fight thorns and thistles and other issues in the field. Satan knows the Word and so he just added a little lie in with the truth in order to get Adam and Eve to sin, because sin separated them from God and that’s what he wanted. . I believe that genetic mutations and other types of malfunctions in the structure of cells occurred which altered body, mind and soul of humans. Sin is worse however, than a mutated gene. Sin destroys the spirit. The spirit is made of incorruptible dna, and so humanoids spirits live forever. When a person dies they go to heaven or hell. This is more important to me than what happens in the physical realm or body. In short, even if a “gay gene’ or “fat gene” or “alcoholic gene” exists the real issue to me is what it does to the spirit. I personally do not believe a “gay gene” exists any more than a “lust” gene exists. The bottom line is gays, adulterers, drunkards, gluttons, all go to hell if they don’t get saved and delivered. Christians sin sometimes because they become disconnected to the vine, Jesus Christ. However to live in a perpetual state of sin separates from God and a person loses their salvation. It’s called backsliding. I am not going to dumb down my conscience to please people. God is the only one I seek to please. I need to know your stand on sin. I need to hear your stance of ongoing sin and what that does to a persons spirit man. I attend a church sometimes where your program Celebrate Recovery is held. So it is very important to me to know what you believe because it does effect my decision on whether or not I go back there. Thank you!

  • Bob Handley

    We tend to forget that Jesus died for all sinners…past, present and future. Whether homosexuals are born that way or not, is irrelevant. They become a homosexual by choice and no other way. They had better read Romans 1, as the Lord considers such a sin as an abomination. One must realize that they are a sinner before the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will draw them to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as their personal Saviour. Anyone, especially born-again Christians, say that homosexuality is ok is greatly mistaken. It is a born-again Christians responsibility to confront those who are homosexual and give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, otherwise if they don’t accept Jesus as their personal saviour, then they will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20). How shall we treat a homosexual? Like any sinner…you give them the Gospel and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin.

    • mark

      “Whether homosexuals are born that way or not, is irrelevant. They become a homosexual by choice and no other way. ”

      ? Lol. You make no sense.

  • Gabe Gman

    Christianity and Islam are completely immoral and useless. Why do you people persist on promulgating needlessly divisive ideas that get people killed. Can someone answer me!?

    • Thegen

      With all due respect, why do you say that Christianity is completely immoral and useless?

  • J wass

    How About we all stop bickering about it and let Jesus decide. Not one of you have the right to judge him or anyone else. Amazes me how Christians are the worst of those who judge. I think you all should just read an article and keep your thoughts to yourselves. Those of you who said you don’t sin, are liars… and guess what. You get a ticket to hell as well.
    Get over yourselves…

    • Thegen

      Jesus already did, you can search it in the scriptures, its all in there. And let me ask you, who’s judging who? That’s a strong word to defend something that is obviously morally unacceptable. A same-sex couple having sexual intercourse is simply objectionable. Anybody can always shout “don’t judge me” in defense of their indulgence, good or bad. Besides, for you to say that “Christians are the worst of those who judge” is way of judging and discriminating the whole group. Now, look whose judging?

  • km

    I firmly believe that same sex relations is a sin. Coming from a born again debaucherist that lifestyle can be SAVED! Loving is NOT a sin..acting on it is! If you are a true believer in Christ Jesus “a new creation..the old has passed away.. The new is here”.

  • Ali Branch

    It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭12-13‬ NLT) Paul is saying I have no place in judging those who are outside of God. But those who proclaim Christ he has been given authority by Christ to tell them when they are indeed wrong. I am a Christian I love God and I’ve accepted him as my savior. A lot of people don’t have a true understanding of what that means it means i no longer wish to please my flesh or my desires I desire what God wants I want to please his heart I don’t wish to hold on to my life anymore I have given him my self and he can do what he wished I desperately crave righteousness because that means I can be near him. Something happened in my heart and I don’t want to follow my sinful ways anymore. I do sin but it hurts my heart bc I know he doesn’t like it but I ask him to forgive and cleanse me. I’m not judging anyone if you’re proclaiming Jesus proclaim the whole one. Why would God send his son to die if we were ok the way we are? A lot of people accept Christ but don’t truly repent. Have you really accepted him if you have no desire to change? I personally don’t believe so. It’s one thing for me to apologize to someone I hurt then do it again and it’s another to say sorry truly mean it and try not to ever heart them again. True repentance doesn’t happen until we realize that we really are wrong. I thank for my pastors I didn’t realize how scarce this world is of people who don’t truly know what it means to be saved.

  • BigRedJim

    IF Mr. Warren means that gays go to heaven, if they repent, turning from their sin to Jesus then he is correct. BUT if Mr. Warren is saying that gays get to go to heaven without repentance he is a false teacher and he should be ignored. IF Mr. Warren reads his Bible and is unsure as to whether homosexuality is sin he has a comprehension problem, because the Bible is crystal clear that homosexuality is sin, God destroyed two cites because of it.

  • Larry Sullivan

    If you love the same sex in a way that you love love the opposite sex, That is a sin. Read Romans in the Bible. No Man should lay with a mas as if he was a woman. And anyone living a gay life style will never ENTER HEAVEN. The will burn in Hell for ever. God loves all but he hates SIN. And living s gay life style is a SIN.

  • Franklin Sr.

    Mr. Warren states he is uncertain if homosexual behavior is sinful. Mr. Warren, i am certain that you should not be in the position you are in; you are certainly a wolf in sheeps clothing. People beware of this man.

  • Fallenman4Jesus

    Once again, another spineless “pastor” has shown himself – false prophet. Who will stand bold for the Lord?!?!

  • PaulMonday

    People who practice gay & lesbianism, Bible called them ” people with a reprobate mind” and the do things which are not convenient Romansv1:28, the Bible also say in Roman 1:27, that men who burned in passion toward one another, and women who likewise women who burned in passion toward one anothe and doing that which is unseemly are in error will received a car eco pence for that, Rick Should come out in clear terms and condern sodohmy, God destroy the very of Sodom &:Gomarah because of Gay & lesbianism, I respect Rick, I am one of his resouch person for His Church resouch person in Nigeria among the Book Vary team, I was one of his team to Sierra Leone, let us say the true & condemned what ever the Bible condemned Rev Dr Paul Monday Chom, Commander General , Mission for Africa Chaplain Corps, MACCORPS

  • Rachel Nichols

    In addition to Romans 1, Rick Warren needs to read Romans 6:15-16. Christ suffered and died to free us from sin. The Holy Spirit deigns to live in us when we are saved. Why remain slaves and hostages to sin when the ransom has been paid?