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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. Louis

    Remind me to post my article on why Islam and the Koran have been misquoted and twisted into being presented as anti-gay

    July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Me

      Why do you have to be reminded? Just post it and be done.

      July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  2. rcw

    The issue is not tradition alone, are men's interpretation, it is whether the Bible is God's word and whether it is to authoritive over our lives. To mention how people fail to live up to Bible merely points out the problems in the church today and does not give a justification to go further contrary to what God has given in the Bible. To even quote past church leaders without testing their words against the Bible would be in error. If we use the Bible to justify ourselves in places and discount the rest, we are no better (if not worse) than those who disregard it all together.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  3. Will

    The Bible is full of contradictions and provides a basis for people to interpret it in different ways. Those who want to justify there beliefs and values can find passages which do just that. We don't need to go to a seminary to know this.

    Why do people always want to shoot the messenger when the message disagrees with what they believe?

    And Joe Blow – maybe you should change your nickname? Do people call you Mr. Blow?

    July 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Steve K

    the last few years have shown that long hair is the glory of a woman (glory=beauty here), but of course, it is not necessary for women to have long hair. It's nice to watch, though.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  5. Brooklyn Boy

    Who cares what the bible says? It's all mythology anyway. Might as well use the Harry Potter books as a moral guide.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      Brooklyn, that is your belief and I respect your right to have such. The problem in this case, however, is that the author is claiming that somethings are not covered in the text of a specific book (in this case, the Christian Bible) and using his degree as a basis for expertise. However, anyone with a conservative upbringing in the Bible, regardless of current belief structure, can show his statements as counter to reality (as to the topic's inclusion in the book). And with some exceptions, I think you'll find that in the negative responses with regard to this article, there is not the attempt at conversion to a belief system, merely clarification on the contents of that belief system's contract.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  6. steve

    The author does forget to mention Jesus' many references to marriage between a man and a woman. In fact, the church is described as the bride for Christ, meaning that earthly marriage is a microcosm of the Great Marriage in heaven with Christ. There is far more about marriage in the New Testament than Paul's comment. The author doesn't seem to understand some deeper theology. Or he simply has an agenda.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Karrie

      I was just about to type a similar response. Interesting read, certainly, but the author is taking scripture out of context and leaving out other scriptural references just as he accuses 'gay marriage opposers' of doing. Looks like I'm not the only one living a 'double standard'.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      He is obviously subterfuging by withholding other scripture references (see an example in my post below): yes, he has his own agenda.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Nadine

      you're a bit sad, calling a PhD from Yale divinity a person who is ignorant of deeper issues. As far as the Bible is concerned, Jesus never married. By your reasoning, this would imply that marriage is an inferior way of life to not marrying. You are bending scripture just as much as you believe the writer is. I know your beliefs are deeply entrenched, but a good start for community is to accept that we all have beliefs that we bring to reading scripture.

      July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      Nadine, a couple things:
      1. You are absolutely right in your last sentence.
      2. According to the website, the YDS only gives masters degrees. Besides that, even after graduatiing from an ivy grad program I will still say that a degree is just a degree, nothing more. It means that he/I sat through some lectures and wrote a couple papers for instructors with their own biases.
      3. Either he is ignorant of the two verses in leviticus I already mentioned, or he is hiding them, or he is using some other Bible than the one accepted by most Christian churches (as least the English speaking ones) for 400 years (regardless of the version, the verses are in leviticus)

      July 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      Oh yeah, one more thing..... the Bible, to my knowledge (and no, I don't know much) doesnt say that Jesus never married, nor that he never "knew" a woman.... It just doesn't say one way or the other.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  7. MAJBSK

    Inconvenient Verses: Leviticus 18:20, Leviticus 20:13. I guess the Yale bible doesn't have that book. But this young man's credibility is shot when he speaks of the first 1500 years of Christianity, ending in the year 390. Interesting math by which 1500 years can be squeezed into a period of under 400.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • allergictostupidpeople

      I suggest you withdraw your mathematical 'genius' statement, it's ridicule if you're assuming the author says so. Think again. Don't try to act so smart when you're actually dim-witted.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Maine Liberal

      1500 years into 400 is nothing. the earh and billions of years were squeezed into 7 days

      July 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      Actually, if YOU read it, his statement was that the first 1500 years of Christianity the thought was that celebacy was morally superior to marriage, a thought that was then challenged in the year 390. So, where was my understanding and counter-statement "dim"? Try again.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Nadine

      Leviticus also encourages slavery and polygamy among several other things we find distasteful today. And do you keep kosher?

      July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      No, I don't keep kosher, as the unclean beasts of leviticus are in Peter's vision declared clean. However, my beliefs (which are not the beliefs under which I was raised) are not the topic: my only point of contention is that what the author claimed about his source is a lie/ignorance. What he says is not in the book, is. What you (or society) does with the references the author ignores/hides is up to you as an individual. I have several friends who are not straight, and several friends who are promiscuous, and several friends who are.....and I have sin too. The author can believe what he wants and act as he wants, but I'd rather his statements of fact (as to what the Christian Bible doesn't say) be factual, and start his discussion, if he wishes to use that particular book, from there.

      July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • MAJBSK

      (as for the slavery, it is regulated by good treatment, by pay, and by release to freedom. While the word slave is used, the laws around it direct my attention to the historical idea of indentured service. Polygamy–in my brief look previously to find the verses I referenced below– seemed to be specifically in the case of a dead husband and for two reasons: 1. to further the line of the woman in the dead husband's name and 2. to provide a house and livelihood for the woman in a male-dominated-even chauvinist-society. In both cases by the brother of the dead husband. Again, that was just from what I remembered from my quick scan for the other two verses, so I very well may have missed some other cases.)

      July 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Christian

      "And do you keep kosher?"

      Leviticus law is for Jews, not gentiles, not Christians. We have two laws:

      Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind and soul.
      Love your neighbor as yourself.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Sara

      Your reply via Leviticus is ludicrous. Unless you've never worn blended clothes, think we should stone people and follow every other levitical law it's ridiculous to suggest we should be concerned about a "man lying with a man" while we ignore all the commands surrounding it. Your reply exactly embodies what this article addresses – Christians picking and choosing which verses they will strictly adhere to and which they will ignore and a custom of the time.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  8. Phil Malham Jr

    Okay, Okay, Okay....We can all quote parts of the Bible that we agree with or like. The point is that gay people do not pro-create.......so unless they adopt thay are not being productive to our society or culture as far as bearing children to be the next generation. Also, if gay couple adopt. what kind of example are they presenting to their children ? Are they simply forwarding the gay agenda ? As far as I'm concerned, people can and will do what they wish behind closed doors, what bothers me is what they think they can do in public. No matter what anybody thinks and says, in the momenment, we all have to answer to our maker in the end. What excuse are you going to give GOD when he asks " Why did you partake in that behavior ? What excuse will you all give him then....that it was your right.........? No excuse is going to be good enough when you answer GOD........

    July 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Derek Joseph Welch

      Phil– you're kidding right now, right? a) you brought God into it. God doesn't factor into American law. b) you describe a "gay agenda"–which as far as I know seeks equal rights for gays and then has an ABBA concert scheduled to celebrate. that's it. c) are you seriously concerned that humans are not procreating enough? can you do me a favor and Google world population growth? we have too many people as it is! d) what "public" things are gays doing to bother you? holding hands? kissing? things that millions of straight couples do daily? e) God doesn't think that "it was [their] right" to be gay? but it's your right to restrict their basic human freedoms? Yikes.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Corey

      Your argument might actually be sensible if you were saying that only people who are able to procreate can get married. If you have no problem with people who are infertile, or for any other reason are unable to have children, getting married than your argument is really only Hypocracy.

      Which is also a sin.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • dj

      " Why did you partake in that behavior ? Because I was born this way, you could stopped it, no? Could you have stopped those planes from flying into the twin towers? Could you have stopped Casey Anthony from killing her baby? Ok, I'll stop.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Sam

      "All Christians must speak up! Evil flourishes when good men remain silent!"

      Yes and when you do all your ignorance and hate becomes really apparent which is why Christians are so bad for this country.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • LOL

      "The same is true with ho.mos3xuality."

      Gays are born gay, there is nothing unnatural about it. They are ent-itled to the same love and intimacy as straight people. It's been shown they are God's creation and are ent-itled to the same benefits as straights, they need to be saved and marry their partners before god and no se-x till they have wed.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Cranky Old Guy

    Deut. 19:21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
    Exodus 21:23-25 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

    Old testament rules. How is this consistent with the teachings of Jesus
    Matthew 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
    Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • AntiSimpleton

      Cranky Old Guy: Simple, the old testament passages deal with the state jurisdiction, the new testament passages deal with the individual. The state has different authority than church, individual, or family

      July 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Todd

      Just kill your uppity kids and be done with all this.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cranky Old Guy

      Anti, your comments make sense. No one has explained it to me that way before.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Sam

    Bible condamns a lot, the reason why some people are so alarmed is because unlike divorce – we still see it as an unfortunate event in most cases, being gay is now not only "not wrong", it's right, honored, celebrated. It turned from "un-natural", "perverted", to "should be proud of", "love", ... etc... I am not saying being gay is good or bad, I am being neutral, and seeing it from both perspectives~ so cease your fires "bible-lover", cutural ethics, and passionate liberals. =)

    July 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • LOL

      "Christians would do the same if someone were trying to normalize adultery or what not."

      They did normalize adultery by allowing divorce not on the basis of unchast-ity. "It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unc-ast-ity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

      Duh!

      July 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  11. pat

    The Ancient Greeks before Christ did not allow marriage between a man and a woman unless they were of child bearing age. Generally 21-50 for a man and 15 to 40 for a woman.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  12. AnotherDisciple

    Someone made the point the author must have just gotten out of seminary to which I wholeheartedly agree based on his commentary. The lack of any Scriptural foundation for his arguments is so obvious. He relies way too much on the quotes of fallen and fallible men rather than the inerrant and infallible word of God. The one point that is true is the point that the community that opposes gay marriage is not infallible, but that includes everyone of us. No matter how much of a rational or logical or practical argument we try to make for those things that the bible clearly teaches to be sin, they remain just that, sin. And there is only one remedy for sin, and that is salvation, not rationale or logic or praticality.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Not inerrant

      The bible is not inerrant so please stop saying that it is. It isn't you are relying on what you have been taught by fallen men as well. 1 Samuel 21. 1-5 says that David ate the shewbread when Ahimelec was the high priest, Mark chapter 2 26 says it was in the days when Abiathar the high priest. The son of God didn't know who the high priest was? It doesn't just say in the days of Abiathar the high priest but clearly in 1 Samuel Ahimelec was. Mark says that Jesus was cruicified the day after the Passover meal Mark 14.12 15.25 but John says it was the day before the Passover meal. John19.14 Paul says after he was converted he did not go to Juresalem to see those that were before him. Galatians 1.16-17 Yet in Acts 9.26 it says that was the first thing he did after leaving Damascus. We all know Jesus said the mustard seed was the smallest seed but it isn't nor does it produce the greatest shrub. The bible may have truth, but it is not inerrrant because Pope Leo the 13th declared it to be so. Stop believing everything you are taught and study for yourself.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Sara

      @ AnotherDisciple – see my response above. You are claiming that we can just simply follow the Bible word for word and everything will be fine. But I'm betting you don't do that. And neither do I. It's time to use some discernment and understand that we, Christians, are always interpreting the Bible, trying to understand what it says. Do you think women should be silent? Do you think you or I need to cover our heads in God's presence? There are dozens of verses that we dismiss as no longer culturally applicable. The same arguments, scripturally based, can be made for why the verses about being gay should be dismissed as archaic. But the biggest issue here is the church, the body of Christ, taking a stand against people they should be loving. Consider that.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • AnotherDisciple

      @notinerrant, you must have some legitimate proof that the bible is not the inerrant word of God in order to make such a definitive statement.
      @Sara, if you are assuming my statement is solely based on what I was taught your argument is completely off base.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • LinCA

      @AnotherDisciple

      You said "He relies way too much on the quotes of fallen and fallible men rather than the inerrant and infallible word of God."

      With that you make the following claims:
      – There are one or more gods.
      – There exists a god as described by you. The christian god, I presume.
      – There is an inerrant and infallible writing, attributed to your god.

      Please provide verifiable evidence for these claims. If you can't, your entire argument is merely your opinion. And you know what they say about opinions.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • AnotherDisciple

      @LinCA, there has been so much verifiable evidence presented throughout the history of man yet it has not convinced those like you who continue to ask for more evidence. I presume no matter how much evidence is presented it will not change your mind. And by the way, you are right in those are the clams that I am making. If you would take the time to actually do your own research rather than asking for someone else to present more evidence, I believe you would be convinced and convicted of the truth.

      July 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • LinCA

      @AnotherDisciple

      You said "there has been so much verifiable evidence presented throughout the history of man yet it has not convinced those like you who continue to ask for more evidence. I presume no matter how much evidence is presented it will not change your mind. And by the way, you are right in those are the clams that I am making. If you would take the time to actually do your own research rather than asking for someone else to present more evidence, I believe you would be convinced and convicted of the truth."
      I have done my research and found the evidence lacking. Nonexistent, actually. Clearly, I can't find it.

      Since you are making the claim, not only that your god exists, but that there's been verifiable evidence presented, please help me out and point me to some. All I ask for is one single piece that shows that your god exists. Hell, I'll take one piece that shows that any god exists.

      You won't because you can't. You can't because there is none. There is none because your god doesn't exist.

      July 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  13. checkyofacts

    LOL! This kid is DEFINITELY a recent seminary grad! (If you've been to seminary you probably know what I mean).

    July 7, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Bernadette Brooten

      And you obviously are not a seminary grad at all if you think we can just dismiss the views of Augustine or Aquinas because "those are views of imperfect men."

      As usual, conservatives respond not with counterarguments but with ad hominem attacks.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  14. checkyofacts

    "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.”

    Here is the problem with both of these quotes: Are these statements from the Bible or opinions of imperfect men? The Bible is infallible. The men who study the Bible (although well-intentioned and God-fearing) – not so much.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • AnotherDisciple

      Amen!

      July 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • OpenYourMind

      The Bible is infallible? From where do you derive this "fact"? The Bible consists of stories written by men not by God himself. Men are fallible so are their products.

      July 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  15. job

    God never changes. If He hates it and punished it in the old testament He still hates it and punishes it (Romans 1). It has been sin in the sight of God. God tells is as it is as a good doctor tells the diagnosis. The good thing is through Jesus Christ salvation is available to anyone who believes.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • myweightinwords

      You should maybe go back and re-read the bible. God changes all the time. He is said to "repent" even. He thunders on about destroying everything, then changes his mind and lets a few people escape. His favorite human beings beg him for something and he changes his mind and lets them have what they desire.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • AnotherDisciple

      @myweightinwords, you should go back and read your bible because God never changes His character, nor His principles (you can read His word here).

      July 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Todd

      So slavery is a good idea? How about killing uppity kids, or those who eat shrimp? Touch a pig? Die. Not a virgin when you are married? Die.

      Grow up.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Mike from Maine

    One last point on Morality. I often hear people ask "without religion or the bible, who decides what is moral?" The answers seems obvious to me. Those actions that we all (secular and non secular alike) agree are immoral have a common thread. They have REAL consequences and victims. They have negative effects on a persons well being today. There is a massive difference between REAL consequences and biblical consequences. Most Judicial laws that we live by in the United States of America are there to protect the week and the innocent from becoming victims. To illustrate my point lets look at the Laws that coincide with biblical teaching.

    1. Thou shall not steal – REAL consequences and a Victim
    2. Thou shall not lie – REAL consequences and a Victim
    3. Thou shall not kill – REAL consequences and a Victim

    These are the only three of the ten commandments that are against the law in the United States. Although there are arcane laws on the book in different states (mostly in the South) against sodomy I would ask when the last time they were used? Beside's these examples I am not aware of any other laws that we have that are based on the 'laws of the bible" but I'd be happy for someone to point them out to me if I am incorrect. Specifically if they don't meet my above criteria "REAL consequences and a Victim"

    However of the other side of the argument, we do have Laws in the United States of America that are in fact a direct contradiction to the teachings of the bible that we know are immoral. The best example of this is slavery. This is roundly accepted in the bible and is even in one of the ten commandments. You know the one about thought crime, Thou shall not covet they neighbors wife, ox, male or female slave..... I find it outrageous to think that christians can easily overlook the fact that someone wrote a book claiming to be the word of god and somehow missed the fact that "owning" another person is morally reprehensible. Again we see that with slavery we have REAL consequences and a Victim, Thus it is illegal in the United States to OWN another human being.

    This brings me to my final point. Sodomy between two consenting adults of any se-x-ual orientation neither has a Victim or real consequence and therefore does not meet the criteria for being immoral. We have lived without the bible for thousands of years and prospered and we will continue well after it has fallen into antiquity. We don't need any book, much less the bible to tell us what is moral or immoral. We just need to ask ourselves, am I hurting somebody?

    July 7, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Mike from Maine

      Im glad you feel free to ignore the facts I presented as well as the well thought our reasoning behind my point of view. So I can only suggest that if you find it WRONG, than I suggest you don't engage in the activity. Some people think it feel really good, so what. Here's where I don't understand about your logic. If these "sinners" repent, accept god, stop their sinning or never act upon it ( as you have suggested if you are gay but don't act on it you can be a welcome christian ) then they will go to heaven. Then when you die and go to heaven you will be surrounded by all the gay people you hated when you were alive on Earth. Here's what I suggest, keep your mouth shut and let them all take the express train downtown. Then you will have heaven all to your self!! Deal?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • AnotherDisciple

      You are "hurting somebody" if you perpetuate this argurment and this behavior. You are hurting anyone you lead to believe this argument or the behavior is not sinful. Just because the laws of men don't fully address the issue does not make it any more acceptable in the eyes of a holy God. His word is the final authority on the matter and it will be the "measuring stick" by which judgment will be made.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • LOL

      "You are "hurting somebody" if you perpetuate this argurment and this behavior. You are hurting anyone you lead to believe this argument or the behavior is not sinful."

      It's not sinful. What we now know about gays and that they are born this way means they are a creation of God. The men who wrote the bible didn't know that and what they were calling sinful was pagan se-x worshiping a pagan god, male prot-itution and ra-pe. That has nothing to do with the saved married gay relationships we have today.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Victor

      Mike, Mike.
      Your entire narrative is wrong, dreadfully. With such a book as the Bible, you must know it thoroughly before criticizing it. It is obvious that you are arguing based on your feelings, not fact. You speak about much in your comments. There are at least 20 separate topics in your discussion (Law itself is centered on at least three topics: e.g., time, place, and source) and too much to address separately. My response to your comments is not meant to suggest that I am smart and you are not, but to ask you sincerely to reconsider all the points you have advanced.

      Apparently you are looking for literal expressions in the Bible as a basis for your comments or interpretations. That is the wrong approach to the Bible. On any one topic, the Bible is a giant asymmetric mosaic. Any one point must fit into that mosaic harmoniously. Every aspect of all points in the mosaic (or giant jigsaw puzzle of ideas) must converge on a singular point of truth. This is why men and women who are knowledgeable about the Bible, and there are many, study the bible throughout their lives. Men and women have studied the bible or 60-90 years only to admit at the end of their lives that they would need two or three more lifetimes to cover all the maters in the bible in their purity, depth, and breadth. The Bible is not a simple book. It is intentionally complex and deep. God Himself, through the mouth of the Apostle Paul, the riches of Christ as the Gospel are unsearchable (Eph. 3:8). The good things that God has promised for us are unsearchably rich (such as "Peace") as well as the cautions. I repeat, the Bible is not simple in its scope. It is simple in intent but complex in expression.

      I will comment on one matter in your narrative specifically: EVERY nation throughout history that has lived without the BIBLE has been destroyed either from within or without sooner or later. By destroyed I mean not that all its people have been wiped out, but that its either dominance or prominence was nullified and eliminated, and replaced. Search history yourself to see that this is true. Then start mourning for the USA.

      Peace be to you,

      July 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Carson

      "EVERY nation throughout history that has lived without the BIBLE has been destroyed either from within or without sooner or later. By destroyed I mean not that all its people have been wiped out, but that its either dominance or prominence was nullified and eliminated, and replaced. Search history yourself to see that this is true. Then start mourning for the USA."

      LOL! I'll be dancing in the streets knowing the USA is not a Christians nation. Christians are too full of hate and bigotry that only brings down this great nation. What is hilarious about your comment is if you look at religions around the world Christians don't have a very big hold on this planet so if your God was as vengeful as you claim why aren't they destroyed yet...LOL!

      Christianity 29% – 32%
      Islam 19% – 23%
      Buddhism 7% – 23%
      Hinduism 14%

      July 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mike from Maine

      Carson,
      As we look back at history you are right to say that all the once great civilizations that have come before us no longer exist. But I will remind you that in comparison the USA is but an infant. My question was with regard to how it was possible for any civilization to thrive without the bible, if it is the only place we can look to understand morality. Without a concept for morality we could never be considered "civilized".
      verb [ trans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( civilized)
      bring (a place or people) to a stage of social, cultural, and moral development considered to be more advanced : a civilized society.
      I am certain that one day the same will happen to the USA. I'm as certain about that as I am that one day I to shall pass. That is part of an evolutionary process. If and when that does happen, sometime from now people will sift through what is left of our civilization and learn from our past to create an even better version. What I fear, and for good reason, is that religion will not be our salvation but our downfall.

      July 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  17. fred

    If Jesus was gay why was that not included in the charges brought up against him
    Jesus was a Jew and an openly gay Jew was toast so he would need to be deceitful
    Jesus was without sin yet you call him a for ni cator
    The apostles would never have given their lives for a lie
    In all the accounts of the mocking of Jesus not one was se xual
    If Jesus had committed just one sin then the foundation of sacrifice is blown and the Bible is a bad story at best.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Ray

      You are totally and completely right!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Allan

      fred the bible is just a book taken from other pagan religions including the story of Jesus it just another book of myths.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      It's blasphemy pure and simple. They are lashing out at the religion they feel condemns them.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Sue

      Joe, what punishment does your bible set for this particular mortal sin? Since your religion claims that we are all sinners even without it, does it get you more time in eternal punishment (eternity + delta), or do the local hell furnace temperatures just get turned up a notch by your loving god?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      What particular mortal sin: hom.os3xuality or blasphemy? All sin can be redeemed through our Lord Jesus except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Also, when it comes to sin, there are no gradations, the sodomite is the same as the murder, and eternity in hell is enternity in hell – the same punishment for all sinners.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Sam

      "the sodomite is the same as the murder, and eternity in hell is enternity in hell – the same punishment for all sinners."

      All those men in the world that have to repent for getting a BJ and if they don't they'll burn in hell. LMAO! Oh and women don't forget if your man goes down on you....you need to repent to or burn in hell! LOL!

      July 7, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  18. Bernadette Brooten

    Another point is that the Bible only condemns gay relations that aren't loving and mutual and that are exploitative. The Bible is really a gay rights manifesto if you read it properly. Jesus and his disciples were a bunch of gay guys hanging out.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • fred

      You are kidding right?

      July 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Bernadette Brooten

      No I'm not. Jesus and his disciples were really the first gay rights activists if you read the Bible properly.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Joe Blow from Idaho

      @Bernadette Brooten

      How about reading the bible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than "reading it correctly" according to you and the base desires of ho.mos3xuals?

      July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Sam

      "How about reading the bible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than "reading it correctly" according to you and the base desires of ho.mos3xuals?"

      So, if the person is reading with guidance from the Holy Spirit but it doesn't agree with your interpretation Joe then they are simply wrong. I think your interpretation is wrong because you are so full of hate and not the Holy Spirit.

      July 7, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  19. AvdBerg

    Obviously there is a right and a wrong. For a better understanding who is right or wrong and a spiritual analysis of the issue we invite you to read the latest item on the Current Events page of the website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca
    All of the other pages and articles of the website explain in detail how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  20. Jack Stacey

    Did Jesus have a penis?

    July 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
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About this blog

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.