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My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
June 21st, 2011
10:10 AM ET

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics.

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.

Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.

I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”

Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”

In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.

I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.

But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.

The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.

Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.

Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”

Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.

It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.

And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.

The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”

The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”

Indeed it is.

On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.

Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.

Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.

So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (6,474 Responses)
  1. wayland

    men cannot ( be ) with men don't you get it ( what is wrong with that iat is not right ( do you want your son to see two men ) in the bed kissing ( wake up )!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Sybaris

      why would you care what another person does with their organ in the privacy of their bed?

      Why are you trying to dictate what other people do?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  2. JJ

    "Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own." – So a perfect holy God changed his mind from the Old Testament to the new? I'm confused. That's nonsensical. Seems like Yale abandoned the beauty of Jonathan Edwards teachings. Sad.

    I think the author of this needs to just realize he doesn't want to trust and believe in a holy God who is perfect and the sola scriptura so he has forced his own relative worldview into scripture for his agenda. The irony.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Dolores

      The OT also says not to eat pork or shrimp and not to wear clothes of mixed fibers, but Christians no longer hold to those stances. The Pharisees in the NT got bogged down by enforcing letter of the law but Jesus always sided with those who are hurting. I believe we need to balance the letter of the law with the Spirit. Every one has the right to love and be loved.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  3. Reality

    "Abrahamics" (e.g. Mark from Middle River and Rainer Braendlein) believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences and Abrahamic and other religious traditions said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  4. Colin

    Even the most forgiving of believer must get a little susp.icious at the fact that the one personality trait that is supposedly valued above all others by god is blind, uncritical, unthinking, unquestioning accetpance of its existence.

    Now, what personality trait would be so valued above any other if the whole thing was made up, hhmmmm........

    June 22, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Colin

      😀

      Peace...

      June 22, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Colin

      Hey Peace, where u been, dude? I though you must have gone to jail (again)....:-)

      June 22, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Peacey
      What Colin said. Where ya been dude ? 😈

      June 22, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  5. Jesus

    The bible is a work of fiction. Its contents were written by man, and man decided which of his writings to include/exclude.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  6. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    ._

    June 22, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  7. ipevin

    i like what you said last88 the problem i see is that a lot of pride gets in the way for sincere people to accurately study the bible.. i once studied with a man and i showed him in his own king james reference bible that the saints are the 144,00 that would share rulership from heaven with christ jesus during the millenial reign and he got mad and slammed his bible shut and never wanted to study again

    June 22, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  8. ken

    Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. So there is more than one verse in the Bible that discusses this subject.
    Abomination defined as –noun
    1. anything abominable; anything greatly disliked or abhorred.
    2. intense aversion or loathing; detestation: He regarded lying with abomination.
    3. a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, habit, etc.: Spitting in public is an abomination.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Ken, are "sins" equal or are some worse than others? If not equal, then which is considered the worse one?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • ipevin

      ken very good point in bringing in the levitical law but a lot of people dont even read the so called old testiment and there in lies the problem because all scripture is inspired of god and beneficial for teaching and reproving so that the man of god may be completely equipped for every good work

      June 22, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • ipevin

      johnquest the only--–unforgiveable sin is blasphemy against the holy spirit and the only way you can blasphemy against the holy spirit is if you accurately(notice the word accurately) KNOW THE TRUTH AND THEN OPPOSE IT

      June 22, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • JohnQuest

      ipevin, that's what I thought I read, then why all the hype about who someone else sleeps with?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • JOregon

      I won't argue that it is a sin, it is. For me the issue is hypocrisy.
      Many of those same churches that protest loudest about gays will put their blessing on an adulterous marriage.
      Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
      Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
      These churches will attempt to put God's blessing on an adulterous marriage by preforming the marriage in church.
      I think God will be much angrier with those that think they can give God's blessing on sin than he will be on those that sin.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Jeff B.

      Correct Ken.
      THAT is why the author is quick to say "new" Testament, ignoring the FACT that Jesus belived in, and practiced the "Old" Testament.
      It sounds like the last sentence of the article "Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own." is EXACTLY what the author is doing.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • wayland

      amen!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Steve

      You are correct that it says that, but did you look at the context of the whole chapter? It is an abomination because it was done in the worship of other another god. The same chapter also talks about incest being wrong. Read through it carefully and you will note that it doesn't say anything about a father having relations with his daughter. This is because it was about property rights, not morality. The same book of the Bible also says not to mix fabrics in clothing. How much of your clothing is poly-cotton blend, or are you picking and choosing verses without looking at the greater context?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Jeff B.

      wow, Steve...there are So many inaccuracies in your post. I would lOVE to address them but I'm off to work – YOU read the Chapter in Lev. (You obviously havent).

      June 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • JohnQuest

      It still doesn't answer the question of why an all powerful being outside of time and space would care who a "mere mortal" human being sleeps with. Seriously, Why would a God care about such a thing that cannot possible have any effect on him/her/it (or you and I for that matter)?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Cynic

      Leviticus 11 also indicates what creatures should not be eaten, and that eating them is an abomination. Are you still eating pork and shellfish? If so, why?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Brother Allen

      Speaking as an Augustinian Brother I feel I must remind people that Leviticus Law is in the Old Testament and was rendered obsolete by the New Testament after Christ's resurrection. Therefore people who chose to use incomplete passages from the Old Testament are not paying attention to what comes before or after Lev chapter 20.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  9. ipevin

    thank you boodro!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  10. las88

    The fundamental problem with the author's argument is that instead of using the Bible to support his argument (he does use some), he uses interpretation from men throughout history (and how that has changed). If you want to find something in the Bible to support what you believe (about anything) you can find it. It's all in the way each person interprets what he reads, which is based on their education, upbringing, desires, and end goal. Our problems with each other are really a matter of diverse interpretation and everyone believing – they've got it right. For some reason, as "tolerant" as our society is, we seem to be entirely intolerant of anyone who believes anything other than what we believe – that includes Atheists and Christians!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  11. ipevin

    rainer nobody condems gay people. we are all drawn out and inticed by our own desires and when the desire becomes fertile it gives birth to si just as the disciple james says and the apostle paul tells us to judge noone and jesus told us not to judge its our own conscience that judges us against the accurate knowledge of the scriptures. paul even acknowledged that some in the corinthian congregation were formaly gay. but they allowed gods word to help them make needed changes. do your research before you post

    June 22, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  12. JOregon

    "For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church."
    Jonathan Dudley makes a common mistake. Catholicism does not equal Christianity, it is only one flavor of Christianity. I would argue it is a church that has long wandered off the path.
    Other than that I would agree a Christian is not supposed to run around pointing out the sins of others – that was never the gospel.
    I wish people would look at their hand when they are pointing so they would see those other 3 fingers are pointing right back at them.
    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    The Good News (Gospel) was deliverance from sin. Both the penalty of eternal death and the grip of sin in life.
    1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    Yes the image of the long haired Jesus is no more Jesus than it is Judas.
    Jesus never had long hair, it would have been a sin.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  13. nodule

    I see nothing but pawns and fools.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  14. Erin

    Halleluia, Jonathan! Thank you for this logical, well-thought-out report. I have noticed in the past few years, the anti-gay people I know retreating more and not being as outspoken with their opinions. I think we are starting to shift away from the bigotry; it is no longer "in vogue" to profess to be anti-gay. Other parts of the country are still stuck in a time warp, but I think overall we are pushing ahead toward a more inclusive, enlightened society!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  15. cds

    Apparently Yale Divinity School doesn't teach how to read texts in context (or perhaps they make a special exception for the Bible?). The contexts of Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 11 are very different, and the arguments Paul makes in both passages are not the same. Just read the epistles.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    Romans Chapter 1:

    God's power and divinity we can realize, when we watch the creation (remember a majestic sunset). Regretably we don't adore God but serve our self-made idols: We hoard riches, we are Workaholics, some of us adore the acient idols like Ahura Mazda, etc.. We don't adore the creator, but our idols, that is our basic sin, which seperates us from God and Life.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      There his a whole range of sins, causing God's wrath:

      In Romans Chapter 1 St. Paul doesn't blame us solely for sins like gayness, but also for a whole range of sins:

      29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

      30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

      31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

      June 22, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You condemn gays? Don't forget to condemn yourself!

      Everybody, who condemns gay people, should be aware that gayness is just one of a range of sins, which causes God's wrath. Everybody, who condemns gays, should also condemn himself, because we all commit sins.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Should we downplay sin now? God forbid!

      What we ar ought to do? We are all under God's wrath, not solely the gays. The solution we can find in Romans Chapter 3:
      We can become righteous by faith. We are supposed to believe in Jesus Christ. He has borne our sins on the cross, in order to make possible redemption and forgiveness. Just believe and get baptized and you will have it (infant baptism is valid and is not allowed to be repeated).

      June 22, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • richunix

      Two thousand years ago. Multiple Religions were the cultural norm. The belief in multiple GODs was widely acceptable and only varied by type (and special abilities) depending the region you were from. None of the stories were ever PROVEN (BAR NONE) and always written well after the events. The only thing that changed was the names used. From Sumerian times the God “An” to the current Christian name “YAWEH”. Really the only thing that changed was the “story teller”. To improve his or her deity, the writer creates wondrous feats of magic that go beyond basic physical laws. You will find the very same Creation (according to the Sumerian) stories written thousand years earlier, only the name has changed to meet the current God. Of course when questioned the standard answer has been “God says so” . But yet they question believer’s of other religious sects like the Jehovah Witness and Morons as “whack –jobs” , but fail to see they are no different. The major difference is modern man has proven through scientific exam the laws of nature and how man really works and YES we evolved from lower forms of life and YES Apes are our distance cousin (deal with it).

      I’m not interested in changing anyone beliefs, that is for you to decide. If believing in whatever you wish to believe make you feel better about yourself, please continue. But stop with trying to make the stories sound if they are true. No ONE (BAR NONE) has ever seen any God (outside of the occasional burring bush and always alone), parted the Red Sea or the Jewish Sea of Reeds or even a damn pond or turned to stone, pillar of salt or into your favorite color. If you tried (and a few have) to use any of the stories mention in the bible as a test of scientific theory or used in court for defense the angel Satan made me do it, or God said so, who are you to say “He’s lying”

      I’m very happy with my life and YES I know I’m going to die as it is very much a part of life. I’m not so vain or fearful about what will happen that I need stories to comfort my fears. I know I will live forever, I can see it everyday with the next generation and I sigh with relief, that they will make the world a better place. Enjoy your life, do what you can to make it better, don’t live in fear of unknown.

      Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      June 22, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You may say: "Oh, that is fine, Jesus died for me and has borne my sins, I will start to sin more, in order to get more grace!"

      This is a satanic thought and would mean the perversion of the gospel, my friend.

      The truth: Jesus died for you, in order to set you free. He wants to deliver you. He wants to cure you from your sins and maladies (some diseases are caused by sin). Don't keep on sinning. Try to overcome sin by all means.

      After we have started to believe, we have become able to overcome sin, because at baptism the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was dedicated to us. Your old man of sin has died together with Jesus and you have resurrected with Jesus to a new life. Believe and grasp it.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • richunix

      JESUS Rainer, do you seen Elvis on your Reffrigerator this morning? Maybe you may need to up your meds, cuz what you are taking is not working.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • dwordisclear

      richunix- It seems to me you have all the answers...Continue to live your wonderful Godless life here on earth. Let me warn you though, 1,000 years from now it won't seem so wonderful as you will continue to say to yourself eternally, I wish I could've taken those Christians seriously.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Colin

      Richunix. As you will see from dword is clear, you have just been threatened with the whole " believe what I say or burn" nonsense. See my post below. You gotta love the theists. How quickly they retreat to silly threats. Pascal's Wager usually follows

      June 22, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @dwordisclear

      Good morning Sir, I appreciate your comment.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Rainer
      Could you explain to us what you mean by "There his a whole range of sins, causing God's wrath:"
      If god exists as an eternal ("timeless") being, then for god to go from state "a", ie "non-wrathful", (pre-sinned against), to a state "b", "wrathful", due to whatever, or as you say caused by the sins of it's creatures, implies a temporal change, and also an emotional (angry), (also a temporal process) response. Is the creator subject to it's creature, (space-time) ?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • dwordisclear

      None of us will ever be able to fully understand God, yet the Bible tells enough about Him, at least what He wants us to know. God is eternal and infinity, thus unlike us, He is able to display all of His attributes all the time at the same time. He is loving, wrathful, mercifull, just....so on all at once. Since we are limited to time and space it is quite difficult for any of us to fully comprehend that aspect of God. That's why the Bible tells us, we need to be able to be born of the Spirit, to at least be able to have some sort of idea of who God really is in accordance to His word!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Bucky Ball

      Hi,

      dear Bucky Ball, don't sophisticate, life is yet tiresome enough.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Ya that's what I thought.
      "God works in mysterious ways".
      That's what you said yesterday. One of these days you will wake with a start and say to yourself, "OMG, what was I thinking ?".
      At what point do you suspend your reason?
      Clearly you are a smart guy, and you can and do think for yourself about some things. But at some point you chose to stop, and say, "That's it". ("Don't sophisticate"), (BTW there is no English verb "sophisticate", but I think I get your meaning). Am interested in how you make the decision to suspend rationality, and how you make the decision to establish the point at which that is to be done. I would bet you don't buy that there really is a Flying Spaghetti Monster, but you do posit other "irrational" things. How do you filter some in, and some out ?
      Thanks. Hope the weather is good over there today.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Fordham Jock

      @Rainer

      life is yet tiresome enough
      ------------------------------------–

      Are you depressed or just annoyed by questions you can't answer ?

      June 22, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      dwordisclear
      "He is able to display all of His attributes all the time at the same time. He is loving, wrathful, mercifull, just....so on all at once"

      Why would he need to be wrathful "all the time at the same time, all at once" before the sin was committed ?
      Was he "wrathful" 3,000,000 years before he created the sinner ? Or is he just pi'ssed off all the time ?
      "All the time" implies moment to moment "change". I submit the "wrathful" thing is just yet another anthropomorphic projection of human emotions onto a (supposed) supreme being, and in fact, when examined, is meaningless.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • dwordisclear

      Bucky Ball– Once again, God is timeless and time does not apply to Him like it does to us.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Boodro

      @Bucky Ball
      I will attempt to answer your question in that God can be thought of as a Father. And every good father loves through mercy, kindheartedness, forgiveness, understanding, affection....etc. However every good father must also rebuke and correct out of a desire to see their children LIVE. Any good father would be filled with a righteous indignation while attempting to correct a child who is insistent upon being disobedient to his warnings.

      Having said that, i will say on Rainer's behalf (he can correct me if I'm mistaken) that Socrates like arguments like the one you are trying to make will only lead to pointless philosophical debates, which are old and tired. You cant get to calculus without first coming to agreement on basic algebra. If we don't agree with the premise and problem of sin in our lives and the need to be rescued from it, then there is no point in any further discussion. All those fighting to properly define love know that.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Budroo
      " will only lead to pointless philosophical debates, which are old and tired."
      -- Pointless is your opinion, "old and tired" is beside the point. The question is whether they have been settled, and how. My point is that we have NOT agreed on the premises, and in fact have assumed that they are correct, and (while you, as a rare example seem to have examined some of the premises), almost everyone has not, ever.
      "You cant get to calculus without first coming to agreement on basic algebra."
      -- I don;t see this as an apt analogy, as I have no problem with either algebra, or it's logic, or the calculus, both of which are demonstrably verrifiable. "Sin" is not.
      "problem of sin in our lives and the need to be rescued from it, then there is no point in any further discussion. All those fighting to properly define love know that."
      -- That's an amazing statement. What are you doing here ? If the only people you want to talk to are those who agree with you, then there are better places to go, as almost all of those on these boards have many different opinions on almost everything, and many many of them don't accept your premise, or worldview.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Boodro

      @Bucky Ball
      With all due respect, your responses validate my original statement in that attempting to be so deep derails conversation to things of little importance. I find it interesting that you addressed every point except the answer to your original question about the Father's state of being. All my other points were simply to shed light on what Rainer probably did not want to say because he knew what addressing those type of questions would lead to. Arguing for the sake of arguing to the point where you forget what you were even talking about.

      I don't think you understand the last point. This article was written within the context of the church (traditional Bible, God, Christ...etc) You think that all people professing to love God think the same and agree on the same points? You think that Paul in his letters to Ephesians, Corinth, Romans etc was writing to a bunch of non-believers? If you don't particularly believe in the basics of Christianity then I have to flip the question back on you and ask. What are you doing here? Useful discussion cannot take place without basic agreeable terms. Hence the calculus/algebra analogy. Lets take this to email. this discussion is good and you are obviously very learned. "Cpuconsultants@yahoo.com".

      June 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  17. ipevin

    colin the punishment of sin was death. not some toture chamber we all die as a result of sin we dont get tormented as those who twist the scriptures want you to belive. the clergy uses that to try and scare people into their churches

    June 22, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Colin

      Ipevin – whether hell exists, what happens there, whether Limbo (still) exists, whether it has all the various levels, whether pergatory exiists and whether heaven exists depends on the year and the believer.

      Let's face it, when the whole thing is made up in the first palce, you can flash these magic kingdoms in and out of exitence at your whim.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  18. ipevin

    rich you are in for a rude awakening jesus never had long hair thatwas just some italian model posing to be jesus.Jesus was not a nazerite. He never took a nazerite vow that is why he was able to drink wine.Those who take nazerite vows cannot drink wine.The reason jesus was called the nazerene was because he was born in nazereth. because people dont do proper research they say and do things to twist the scriptures to their own demise

    June 22, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  19. ipevin

    rich you are in for a rude awakening

    June 22, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Colin

      Ah, the whole believe or burn theory, one of the sillier Christian superst-itions. It allows believers to smugly tell non-believers they’ll get their “comeuppance,” like Ipevin just did.

      Think it through, though. You don’t have to kill, you don’t have to steal, you don’t even have to litter. All you have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and he will inflict a punishment on you an infinite times worse than the death penalty….and he loves you.

      Dark Ages nonsense.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  20. Awesome

    Ok so long hair is a sin and is "Un-Christian". All the people that run around shrieking "JESUS IS ALIVE!!" need to go find him, and tell him to get a haircut.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:36 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.