But new research from the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia suggests that those who want to keep the church defined by very narrow parameters are straying from well established Christian tradition.
In a campaign comment ahead of today's election in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has condemned Archbishop Rowan Williams as lacking a "moral compass" and said that gays in the church are a sign of "moral degeneracy".
Much religion is dripping in sacrificial language, says Keith Walton. The appeasement of the gods is a common theme in many traditions. But in the biblical tradition, love that does justice becomes the core of a new perspective, based on a different understanding of who God is.
The Chinese government has given permission for special distribution of booklets of the Gospels, copies of the New Testament and full Bibles during the Olympic Games, but other concerns about freedom of speech and expression remain.
Challenges facing Christians today are too strong for a divided church, said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia in Egypt recently, as he called for church unity both locally and globally.
Have many American Christians forgotten the distinction between discipleship and partisanship, asks Martin E. marty, looking at some authors who unpack the complex relationship between Christian faith and political reality.