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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. christine

    Surprising that the Bible is not required reading at Yale Divinity School. To understanding God's word you must read the Bible, and then you will understand.! You must read it from cover to cover, I recommend the ESV or NIV. May the Holy Spirit set your heart on fire with truth.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • LOL

      christine the truth is something YOU don't want to hear. Being gay is not a sin because God created them. Human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, s-exual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior s-exual experience. Psychologists do not consider s-exual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed. 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that ho-mos-exuality, in and itself, is not as-sociated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Ho-mos-exuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information. Studies comparing groups of children raised by ho-mos-exual and by heteros-exual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's s-exual orientation does not indicate their children's.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kyle

      The bible was written by man, not god. Additionally, if it were somehow given to us in god's unaltered hand, why would humans then alter it to suit their own needs by rewriting it or even creating new versions of it? That's right, because it's the word of man, not god. Furthermore, not every American is christian and christian views should not be forced on everyone. If you have different views that's great...but as true followers of christ are you not taught to respect peoples' differences? How about live and let live?

      July 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • ummmm

      "Surprising that the Bible is not required reading at Yale Divinity School."

      Making up lies is a sin moron.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • EGYPTIAN

      This answer is for Kyle,
      If the Bible was written by man, how come it has information that man never knew when it was written, that is besides the 1000s of prophecies that have and are happening, I will mention a couple for you:
      A round earth:- Isaiah 40:22 "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."
      Earth orbit -Job 26:7 "He stretches out the north over empty space;He hangs the earth on nothing".
      and this one for you: Atomic weapons:
      Zechariah 14:12 " And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:

      Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
      Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
      And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.

      And yes it is a discription of a war against Israel that will happen (soon) in the latter days as described in Ezekiel 38 and on.
      Blessings,
      EGYPTIAN

      July 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Observer

      EGYPTIAN,
      You might want to read a real science book and math books rather than rely on a completely unreliable source like the Bible. The Bible, for instance says that the ratio pi equals 3. Nope.

      Your example of the circle of the earth doesn't support the intelligence of the Bible, but actually shows it to be WRONG.
      The earth is NOT a circle. It is a SPHERE. It's identical to the idea that a rectangle is not a box. You need to learn the difference between FLAT two-dimensional objects and 3-dimensional objects. The Bible was WRONG.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • herocrest

      This answer is for Observer:
      Egyptian didn't say the bible called the earth a circle, it reads the circle "OF" the earth. Earth is a sphere as an object. The circle of the earth refers to the earth's perimeter.

      July 28, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Observer

      herocrest,

      Matthew 14:8 "Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”

      You can't do that on a SPHERE, but you can on a FLAT circle earth.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Those passages certainly don't describe a sphere without radical shoehorning. But even if they did, so what? There's evidence that the ancient Egyptians (the people the Jews had lived among for a few hundred years) had figured out that the earth was a sphere and even calculated it's circu-mference as much as 5000 years ago.

      I find it interesting that the passage you claim describes nuclear weapons claims itself to be describing a plague, and completely omits the actual most obvious effect of nuclear weapons: the massive explosion and accompanying firestorm. Sounds like more shoehorning.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  2. Trouble

    Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    28 And just as they did not see fit [u]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, [v]haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • LOL

      Now pickup a history book so you can get the true meaning on what you posted. It's talking about paganism, worshiping a pagan god using s-ex and idolatry.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Dwayne

      fwiw – you do realize, per the Bible, ALL fornication, outside of marriage, is a sin. yes?

      July 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Observer

      "unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful"

      Yep. All of it applies to heteros, too.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  3. Mike

    Most of Mr. Dudley's arguments cite the opinions of various theologians and authors throughout the ages, but opinion is not biblical orthodoxy. Just because the church is more lax now on things like divorce doesn't mean it is OK (it's obviously not an unforgivable sin either). Yale is but one of many "prestigious" seminaries whose theology is utterly bankrupt. I wonder what its founders would think? It's too bad Mr. Dudley's Christian faith was neutered to the point that it is basically worthless. Why bother having any faith if the tripe he spouts is true? If he is wrong the consequences could be serious.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Rachel

      Nice way to side-step all of his arguments and go for the ad hominems. Shows how thoughtful you are.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • LOL

      Rachel, LOL – he also just showed the author was right. LMAO!

      July 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Dwayne

      so... if two consenting adults are allowed to be in love and married, per the Bible... then religion is worthless?

      sounds like a doctrine of hate to me, about as anti-Christian as you can get.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  4. itseasy

    why was sodom & gomorrah destroyed? "unnatural" = not condoned/created by/agreeable to God. He created a woman for adam and their original purpose was to populate the earth. gays can't do that. now his purpose is for all to learn about his soon to come Kingdom, where, again, the conditions created in the garden will be restored for all time so no adam & steve. sorry. just do what you want to do and leave the Bible and God out of it cause clearly he does not condemn it.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • itseasy

      condone it

      July 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Please try again.

      What did the Bible say was the "sin of Sodom and her daughters"?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • LOL

      Keep trying it shows you don't even know the true definition of sodomy, an-al or or-al copul-ation with a member of the opposite se-x. it is also about ra-pe since the people in the house would not consent to being used for other peoples amusement using s-ex. It has nothing to do with what we NOW know about gays.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • J

      Ezekial 16:49
      American King James Version
      Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • GodPot

      "pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness" Well if that was what it was destroyed for, watch out bible belt...

      July 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Observer

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

      Was Sodom destroyed because they were Republicans?

      July 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  5. casey

    grasp at straws much?

    July 27, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Ummm

      Obviously you do.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Rachel

    Best Op-Ed ever! Pass it on!!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  7. Jiji

    OMG this guy went to Yale! And he disagrees with me! wow, yale's standards must be much lower. everyone who goes there should come out agreeing with my beliefs!!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  8. omega

    You went to Yale Div? I can't believe it! You are utterly ignorant about Christian history.

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

    And then throw out some specious argument about a divergence of opinion on when life begins. Good Lord. You only have to read a few early Christian writers to see the Church has always been against abortion.

    You graduated from Yale? It's standards must be slipping.

    July 27, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • hmmmm

      The church might have been against it in the past but many of today's Christians are apathetic. It's funny your judging him on going to Yale but yet he did get accepted. What college did you graduate from your local community college with your logic....

      July 27, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Jesus Follower

      He's saying that the belief central to pro-life activism - that life begins at conception– was not held by the vast majority of theologians in the past. And while the church has always opposed abortion, it's because they've opposed all contraception, not because they thought it was murder.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible never mentions abortion.

      There's actually more in the Bible to SUPPORT abortion than there is to oppose it.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Jaja

      You're the one who's ignorant of christian history.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • J.W

      I think you are right Observer. The Bible does not mention abortion specifically. Where does it support abortion?

      July 27, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • ahemahem

      Talk about a conversation going sideways! Yes, the "church" (a misnomer in this use, because there have always been a variety of viewpoints) has generally opposed abortion, but to claim that it was based on anti-contraception is anachronistic.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jesus Follower

      Really? You think its anachronistic to say past theologians opposed contraception? If so, then all I can say is: go back to college and come back when you know what you're talking about.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  9. Jesus Follower

    JOnathan Dudley is a heretic!!!!!!

    July 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • flyingfish

      misled by the likes of those who insist upon Q – Jesus! – the primacy of Christ alone Lad! ❤ †

      July 28, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  10. Truth Hurts

    test

    July 26, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  11. David Griffin

    so tell us all when in your studies at Yale you decided you were gay, and that celibacy makes you less of a degenerate deviant pervert?

    "Christianity" existed since the Days of Adam, the first Man, and all the Ancient Prophets and their people were Christians..

    You going back to the 1200 years After Christ's Mortal Death is giving any study in Christianity...

    You are simply a gay little boy who needs a very wide door before coming out of his closet. hence, you even went to Christian studies school, as it served the dual purpose of both giving you some credibility against that which you fear to be gay before, and that which gives you secret access to small boys.. Please tell us all about the views of gayness your pedophilic priest or pastor had which sent you to follow in his footsteps

    July 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Observer

      David Griffin,

      Is your level of intelligence so low that you are accusing the author of being a pedophile?

      July 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • ...

      the criticism coming from the christians here speaks for itself. there not even an attempt to hide the prejudice

      July 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  12. Beatrice

    No one would focus on my se-xua-lity

    July 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  13. walker2913

    Why do Christians assume their rules apply to everybody? I'm not in your club, so don't hold me to your rules! Anymore than the laws of Iowa apply to me, here in Missouri.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • GodPot

      They believe you want to be in their club because they are just so cool, and they keep claiming they started everything so everything belongs to them so if you are not in their club then you don't get to have anything. Their God made the universe, their God saved all man, their God built heaven and keeps a tight watch on the gates, their God founded America through the "patriot's" he used to clear out the prior inhabitants because let's face it, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca certainly couldn't have made the universe...

      July 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • flyingfish

      omnipotent omniscient omnipresence – God Jesus and their Holy Spirit – ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened – I dare you

      July 28, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  14. Chad

    I loved this approach to religion!
    So calculating.
    I wonder if one day they will figure out how Mary got impregnated using a scientific and heuristically sound approach.
    Its weird that no one has ever inquired as to how Mary actually got pregnant, maybe Joseph, maybe ra-pe by Roman soldiers (very possible), I just hope one day we can separate church and state and get real insight into crazy questions.

    July 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • GodPot

      Well, based on all of Christendom's depictions, paintings, statues and relief's you would have to think Jesus' father was Roman, I mean just look at that skin color and that long straight hair.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • fred

      Chad,
      The Bible sets those who do not beleive in a circle to chase their own ends which they do. Unfortunatley Christians sometimes follow their own thread in the bible also and end up with the wrong answer. The clue is what are you seeking because God lets you find it every time

      July 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  15. racnem

    Observer: The mosaic law is no longer in effect since Christ brought a new covenant. We can eat lobster and shrimp now. Yeah!!!!!!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Where does it say that laws against gays were excluded? Did Christ say they should stay in effect?

      What about the commands against women speaking in church?

      Just pick and choose.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Chris

      Read Romans 1. And yes, it is in the New Testament...

      July 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Observer

      Chris,
      Exact quotes please.

      Jesus said that man should not separate couples joined by God.
      Do you believe that divorces should not be allowed except for infidelity or do you pick and choose from the Bible?

      July 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Chris – I do not believe he asked if it was in the NT, but asked if Jesus said anything about it, which he did not. You cite Romans which was not, as i'm sure you know, written by Christ, infact none of the books of the bible were (you might think there would be some part of the book he claimed to have authored that had been penned by him while he was on earth and able to write a few things down). If you knew anything about your precious book you would know Christ supposedly left man with 2 new laws that did away with the rest of the law. They can be found in Mark 12:29 – ""Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

      July 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • fred

      @GodPot,
      You said "you might think there would be some part of the book he claimed to have authored " Jesus wrote all he had to write to an unbelieving sinful generation. When the woman was caught in adultry Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand and everyone knew and walked away with a whimper. The sinner was told "neither do I condem you now go and sin no more. The problem today is we do not even know what sin is yet alone hang our head in shame.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • fred

      @GodPot,
      You said "you might think there would be some part of the book he claimed to have authored " Jesus wrote all he had to write to an unbelieving sinful generation. When the woman was caught in adultry Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand and everyone knew and walked away with a whimper. The sinner was told "neitheer do I condemn you now go and sin no more. The problem today is we do not even know what sin is yet alone hang our head in shame.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Fred – "Jesus wrote all he had to write to an unbelieving sinful generation." So you are saying that an account of Jesus writing something in the sand written by a 3rd party at least 50 years after the event is "all he had to write" to get us to believe he is the creator of the universe? It's like saying "Hey, my brother could beat everyone in the world at basketball, even all the pro players, he'd dunk right over there heads! But he can't play right now to show you, and to even ask him to show you would be a slap in his face cause he's just so awesome, though you will likely never get to see him play, but don't you doubt me, he's the best..." You claim your God is so awesome and is the author of the bible, and yet while the man Jesus existed he wrote NOTHING down that has survived to this day, all we have are third parties claiming God used them to write stuff down instead of writing anything himself. If I was the creator of the universe and had a specific plan for my creation and wanted them to follow my guidelines and laws, I would certainly be able to be a bit more specific in doing so than cryptic messages, often sent to raving lunatics, who write them down and pass them on to people who have to attempt to decipher my intent, and spead out the messages over 1500 years. It's like some long perverse version of the game telephone where we at the end have to base our lives on what we think was said and intended and the penalty for getting it wrong is eternal torture. Fun Fun...

      July 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • flyingfish

      and NC BBQ

      July 28, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  16. KO

    The hypocrisy here is that a Yale trained Divinity school graduate is making a argument on philosophical and moral grounds for something that is clearly forbidden by God, who set the standard of morality for mankind. Arguing hypocrisy by Christians in this is a pot calling the kettle black. This person should not try to pull a speck out of Christians eyes if there is a 2×4 in their own eye. The serpent in the Garden of Eden was able to decieve Eve by questioning God's authority to set standards to live by and this arguement is doing the same. This person goes where Angels fear to tread: Questioning Gods authority.

    In most cases where Jesus healed a person or forgave sins, he followed up with the command "Go and sin no more". Just like a parent, the only thing GOD requires of his kids is obedience. Scripure calls adultry and fornication a sin against one's own body. Sin is sin, whether it is against ourselves, another person or GOD.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Ed Roberts

      Great article with a killer ending!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Arguing hypocrisy by Christians in this is a pot calling the kettle black. This person should not try to pull a speck out of Christians eyes if there is a 2×4 in their own eye."

      Where in his article do you detect the 2×4? Are you saying that because he is making the argument that Christians tend to downplay certain sin's like gluttony or drunkeness or lying, which carry the same penalties as h0m0s3xuality in the bible, that he must have some giant sin in his eye so he shouldn't point out how hypocritical you are?

      If you are a Christian, odd's are you have broken "Ceasars" vehicle laws by speeding, told lot's of little white lies, eaten way to much at thanksgiving a time or two, had one to many drinks every now and then and possibly cursed, stolen, coveted and been jealous. If so then why focus all your condemnation on people who were born with an attraction to their same gender. That is the point of this article, and a well made point at that, though for some of you it might be a wee too sharp and poke you right in the eye.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • LOL

      What you can't comprehend is being gay is not a sin because they are born that way. It's been shown through science and psychology that s-exual orientation is not a choice, it's can't be changed. God created gay people. What the bible does condemn is male prot-itution, ra-pe and idolatry, not being gay as we know and understand it today. It's why the laws in the US are changing and gays deserve the same civil rights as everyone else.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • KO

      The hypocrisy is that this person is touting his seminary education to argue a biblical point citing biblical passages, while demonstrating that he does not believe what the bible says. A seminary education is the study of the word of GOD and if one does not belive the word of GOD to be truth, everything that person teaches is suspect. Teachers of the Word are commanded in scripture to "Rightly divide the Word of truth". Teachers to not only correctly interpret scripture, he needs to correctly teach it. The Greek word translated Righlty Divinging means to keep straight. This is not truth. False teachers are numbered by legions through the centuries and this is just one more. This person is tickling the ears of those that want to use it to justify their own ends.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Observer

      KO,

      Everyone inteprets the Bible differently because in addition to many good morals, it also contains errors, contradictions, hypocrisy, and nonsense.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  17. bobb Billy

    Gays are pedophiles.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Observer

      H0m0phobes are ignorant people who have no facts to back up their nonsense.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pamelahaley

      Straight white christian men are statutory rapists, pedophiles, philanderers, sperm donors and drunken wife abusers. Go back to your coal mine, Hick.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • LOL

      You just proved you don't know how to use a dictionary, time to go back to grade school and start over.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  18. Jacob

    All of this is truly sad, by God's grace we are saved and that grace is thourgh Jesus Christ. The only begotten Son of God, He died on the cross for all of our sins past present and future and He was raised from the dead in body not in spirit. He wishes all of us to be reconciled back to him and that means for us to believe in him and by believing in him we turn away from our transgressions. We are all sinners! On this particular subject please read 1Cor. 6:9-7:40. This should be self explainitory. Remember grace does not give us a free license to sin look at the adulterous women John 8:3-9, the key is to ask for forgivness whcih is freely given and go and do commit that sin again.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • LOL

      Gays are being married before God so they can live by the truths in the bible. What you are not comprehending is through science we have been shown that God has created gays just like he has created all mankind. What the bible is condemning is not what we now know about gay people. What it is condemning is male prosti-itution, ra-pe and idolatry. To understand the true meaning of the scriptures you have to put it into historical context and not take literally, that is reading comprehension 101.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  19. www

    I guess you are saying Christians must eat the whole bible and not part of it. Present the full gospel and not part of it. Agree...But not all christians are selective, we have to work within relevance also. Point is timeless principles should not be ignored but what is more damaging a haircut or transgender surgery where a person is led to the point of no return?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Observer

      www,
      "But not all christians are selective,"

      ALL Christians are selective. EVERYONE is selective. Some are just more willing to admit it than others.

      As long as everyone is selective, they can choose to foster hatred or they can choose to foster the love of the Golden Rule. Obviously, many prefer the former.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • ...

      Amen, observer!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • jean

      Unless someone is forcing you to have a transgender surgery, it is none of your concern.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  20. Ian

    You're right Rick G, God is loving and forgiving. However, God is also Holy, Perfect, and Just. You may want to keep those attributes of God in mind as well. With regards to Jonathan Dudley's article, it just another example how Yale has produced another liberal spit of a brat that thinks he knows more than everyone else. How arrogant! It's obvious he didn't have to pay for his own education. When making an argument for what God states you should refer to his Word, instead of the refering to the faulty and frail church forefathers. What a moron!

    July 26, 2011 at 5:42 am |
    • Observer

      Ian,

      Your comments are nothing but unproveable accusations and assumptions and ignorant name-calling. It's certainly nothing like Jesus would have said. There sure are a lot of Christian hypocrites, which was the author's point. It's just more proof he was right.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Eh?

      Thank you Observer. Exactly what I was thinking.

      Really Ian? The author didn't pay for his own schooling? I'm not sure if that was quite apparent in this article...nor were the other finger-pointing/name-calling arguments that you had made. Try to include some facts/examples to support your accusations. It would definitely help in making your post seem less like a defensive retort with no sustenance and more like a viable point. Also...please try not to end off your posts with name-calling.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
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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.