Bishop TD Jakes on sexuality: 'We have to wrestle with these issues in the church, not follow society'

We have to wrestle theologically with LGBT issues in the Church, and not simply follow where society leads, Bishop TD Jakes has said.

In an interview with Huffington Post Live, Jakes said his own views on homosexuality are "evolved and evolving", but avoided explicitly stating his beliefs. He did say, however, that the views of Christians in general are often caricatured and simplified, to their detriment.

"In mainstream America, anybody who doesn't agree with you, we have a derogatory name to call you. And I think it oversimplifies the complexity of text [the Bible]," he said.

"The fact that you have fidelity to the Scriptures...does not mean that you are necessarily homophobic," Jakes added. "But yet in mainstream America, anybody who doesn't line up with the particular worldview, we give them a name to ostracise them.

"This name calling does not depict the struggle that many people have theologically. I think the argument has to be theological and not sociological. The fact that the world has turned that way does not mean that the Word has changed that way."

Acknowledging that homosexuality is a "real complex issue", Jakes said Christians have struggled with tensions between sexuality and spirituality since the early Church.

"Paul spends a lot of time wrestling back and forth, trying to understand should a woman wear a head covering, should you cut your hair. I mean, they grappled back then and we're grappling now because we're humans and we are flawed and we're not God," he explained.

"Once you understand you're not God, you leave yourself an 'out' clause to grow."

He also said each church needs room to form and preach its own views on LGBT issues, and that every Christian should find a place of worship where their views align with the teaching.

"The church should have the right to have its own convictions and values; if you don't like those convictions and values [and] you totally disagree with it, don't try to change my house, move into your own...and find somebody who gets what you get about faith."