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October 10th, 2011
03:49 PM ET

First openly gay pastor ordained in the PCUSA speaks

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - It was nearly three decades in the making, but the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has ordained its first openly gay pastor. The Rev. Scott Anderson was ordained Saturday at Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Madison, Wisconsin.

"It's an exciting time for me personally to be the first openly gay person ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and it's a big moment for our church that has has excluded gays and lesbians for so many decades, so it's a new day for us," Anderson told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.

Anderson had previously been a Presbyterian pastor but left the ministry in 1990 after he was outed by congregants.

At the time, the church required pastors, deacons and elders "to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness," according to its constitution, known as the Book of Order.

Anderson was in a homosexual relationship that violated the church's policy at the time.

"I had been a Presbyterian pastor for eight years, and when I left, I never thought this day would come in my lifetime. God has brought a variety of surprises to my life, and this certainly is the biggest one," Anderson said.

The PCUSA formally changed its ordination policy after a majority of presbyteries, or regional groups of churches, approved the change. The move went into effect in July.

An amendment was passed at the General Assembly, or churchwide governing meeting, last year to remove the marriage language from the church's constitution and insert, "Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life."

A letter from church leaders posted on the church's official website explaining the changes called the matter "a Presbyterian family struggle."

The move led Carmen Fowler LaBerge of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, which opposed changing the ordination standards, to set aside her ordination. She wrote in a commentary posted on the committee's website, "I will joyfully serve as your sister in Christ in the PCUSA without the benefit of institutional ordination credentials and without the burden of a denomination’s corporate guilt. I hereby humbly set aside my ordination as a matter of conscience before the Lord."

"I think what's happening in the Presbyterian church is happening also in the Christian church across our nation right now," Anderson told Malveaux. "Our church is recognizing there are a variety of viewpoints on scripture. There's no longer a right viewpoint and a wrong viewpoint but several faithful viewpoints, one of which includes me in terms of being a minister in the Presbyterian church. So we're honoring a diversity of viewpoints in our church."

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Content Partner • Homosexuality • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (802 Responses)
  1. Casey

    James – The Bible is not just, "A law book," to me. It is God's Word as interpretted by men. I use it to guide my life and my relationship with Jesus.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Observer

    Everyone is free to pick and choose the sins they want to trash and those they want to ignor. Good example.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I don't know why azzholes like BG and Tina can't just shut the eff up and let God do the judging and condemning. What is your problem, you little dweebs? Were you the same little twerps who tattled on everyone else when you were in 3rd grade, hoping that by doing so you could suck up to the teacher and get brownie points? You think your god is that small?

    Idiots.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • I am GOD!

      I have judged and I now condem you as you have not sent me money. You are the new Jim Jones.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Greg

      The problem is that you become a hypocrite, by claiming your a Christian, but your not going to follow what the bible states. How can you preach to others what you don't believe?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Greg, it's YOU'RE, you idiot, first off. And secondly, I never claimed I was a Christian. Now learn to read and write, and maybe I'll consider your spew worthy of note.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  4. scott

    are we still allowed to say idiot in this country?

    October 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  5. scott

    p.s. this guy looks like an idiot gay or not.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  6. scott

    when my church started accepting openly gay people I quit the church.I have that right since the one world government we are now living under wants to eliminate God and make its own rules.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Quack!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Casey

    leslie – You say that 1 Corinthians 6:9 condemns h o m o s e x u a l i ty. The King James translation states, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

    This does not refer to h o m o s e x ua l i ty. It may condemn effeminate men, but there are effeminate straight and gay men just as there are masculine straight and gay men.

    You also mention Romans 1:26-27. The key passage here says, "Even their women exchanged natural s e x u al relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.."

    H o m o s e x u a l i t y is a natural part of human s e x u a l i ty (for verification, check out the APA website). This reference is talking about h e t e r o s e x u a l people who gave up their natural orientation to have s e x with people of the same gender. It is not talking about g a y people who naturally are attracted to people of the same gender.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • pbsat

      "Naturally attracted"? Haven't you read that by nature, humans are sinners? It doesn't help if you interpret it to suit your "nature" and convenience.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • James

      Casey... Just stop. Okay? Just stop while you're ahead... You're probably one of those people who have read the Bible top the bottom, but you haven't put it all together yet. To you, it's just a law book.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Casey

      pbsat – I am not interpretting scripture to suit my, "Nature and convenience." I am interpretting it using reason, as Jesus did.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Ivan

      Isaiah 5:20 says: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness". Casey I've never seen such a wicked justification for sin. Surely your conscience condemns the Scripture twisting you just engaged in. Shame on you.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • James

      Ivan, careful! The majority is going to digitally stone you for speaking this vile truth!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Casey

      Ivan – I am not twisting Scripture. I am using reason to interpret Scripture, the same as Jesus did.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Casey

      James – The Bible is not just, "A law book," to me. It is God's Word as interpretted by men. I use it to guide my life and my relationship with Jesus.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Observer

      Ivan,

      Why is being gay such a big deal to Christians? There are far far more Christians guilty of adultery than there are total number of gays. Don't you care about the MUCH BIGGER problem?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Z

      Effeminacy describes traits in a human male that are more often associated with stereotypically feminine nature, behavior, mannerisms, style or gender roles rather than masculine nature, behavior, mannerisms, style or roles. Effeminacy comes from the Latin, ex which is "out," and femina which means woman; it means "to be like a woman."

      9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • AnhTuan

      Casey, can you tell me why did God take one of the Adam's ribs to create Eve, instead of creating another man for Adam?

      In a gay marriage, who is the husband, and who is the wife? How can you fulfill the role of husband and wife? How can they multiply? How can you apply Proverbs 31 to married couple? etc...

      Concerning the church, God commanded the husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. How do you apply this commandment of God?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • James

      I'm imaging Casey would say that the "rib" is figurative, and the female was just for the sole purpose of procreating.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Observer

      AnhTuan

      "How can they multiply?"

      Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Read a basic book on biology. The Bible won't help you with science at all.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Raspberry

      Z,

      Yup, the words of old Paul of Tarsus again... a ranting, raving, misanthropic, misogynistic, body-hating (and probably self-hating gay) zealot and control-freak.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Z

      @raspberry, Paul was Saul, someone who seeks the death of all followers of Christ. In our Lord's love, blinded him, open his eyes, and show him the true meaning of our Lord's love. Not about what our flesh & bones may want, but how to share God's love to everyone to the end of the world. To live is for Christ and to die is to live. words of wisdom.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • leslie thomas

      God loves the sinner, this can never change, the fact that a person is gay is not the sin but rather the action that is taken to fill the lust of our flesh. Men with men or women with women is wrong. it is a sin and God is perfectly clear on this matter., you read it yourself. God turns them over to a mind void of understanding.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • J.W

      Casey is right. The original version did not use the word ho.mose.xuality. That was added in a later translation.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  8. shawn

    a gay pastor?? wow whats next?? a killer pastor??

    October 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • anonymous

      Why not a drug addict pastor who has not intention of getting clean? It's the same thing to me, openly sinning with absolutely no repentance or desire to mature in God.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • James

      Yeah, pedophile pastor is next. I don't see where the Bible condemns that either... "explicitly"

      October 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Observer

      James,

      Is there anywhere in the Bible where it condemns molesting children, or did so many priests do no wrong?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      That's what you get for putting mere human mortals on a holy pedestal.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • James

      Observer: I was being sarcastic. I forgot, we already have pedophile pastors. I think a lot of people here forget we're all sinners, but these sort of articles celebrate sin.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Observer

      James,

      Can you or anyone else answer my question?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  9. I am GOD!

    I have written in Tyrone 9:6-5 “Buttocks shall pop in arpeggios of lust. Ye may join in for 90% of your income each month.”

    October 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  10. leslie thomas

    Just read your bible and ask God for help that He may open your eyes to the truth. It is written That if you seek Me with all your heart you will find Me.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      And if we seek in our hearts the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we will find that also. You can think what you wish but it doesn't make it reality.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:41 am |
  11. Ivan

    Hello CNN readers up way too late. I have good news and bad news. Bad news: James 2:9-10 says if we break just one commandment we've broken them all. Like haning from a 10 link chain. Only takes one broken link to fall. Have you lied? Stolen? Used God's name in cursing? (the God who has given you life, 10,000 taste buds to enjoy your fav food) Ever looked with lust? (God says that's adultery of the heart!). Les, if we were to die tonight and face a Holy God, he wouldn't see us as good, but rather Lying, Thieving, Blasphemous, Adulterers at heart. If God is good he must punish law breakers, otherwise He's not good and Holy, He's wicked and corrupt and lets law breakers go free.

    Here's the good news: But God made a way for his love and justice to meet. 2000 yrs ago God became a man, kept the law you and I broke, then laid His life down as a sacrifice and offering for our sin. It was a legal transaction, you and I broke the law of God, Jesus paid our fine in His lifes blood. What God commands us to do is repent and trust in Christ alone. Transfer the faith you're putting in your good life (which the commandments show we're not so good!) to the life of the spotless, sinless Lamb of God (Jesus). Do it today and God will give you a new heart with new desires–it's called being born again. The sin you used to love you'll grow to hate, because it's what nailed your Saviour to the cross. Remember, repent and trust the Savior today...He will save you!

    October 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Mary

      Amen!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • I am GOD!

      Prove it! Send me all of your money!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • leslie thomas

      Amen, i trusted Christ as my Savior 30 years ago and He has never let me down. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Anglican

      Peace

      October 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • shawn

      so if we go kill the innocents since God died for our sins and we will go to heaven?? give me a break you freak! i rather go worship a buda then your so called many god!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • A believer in Christ

      Shawn, you killed more than just an innocent...your sin killed the Son of GOD! You need a Saviour just like the rest of us. Besides, 1John 3:15 says if you've had hatred in your heart you are a murderer. Repent and trust Christ today!

      October 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Raspberry

      What kind of hideous god require suffering, blood and death to appease its hurt feelings? Blech!

      October 11, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Z

      @raspberry, why dont you look at yourself as someone who commits constant sin. He is perfect in all his ways, He should of destroy us all with one snap of His fingers. but He does not, because He is full of love, and forgiveness. Waiting for his children to come back to Him, and admit our wrongs.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @Z: If he is so full of “love and forgiveness” why did he anialate the world of Noah and why does he kill so many children each day with disease? If we commit “constant sin” what sets us apart from Sodom and Gomorra and why did they get anilated but we don’t?

      October 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Raspberry

      Z,

      If you consider bloodthirsty vengeance as "perfect", you have a few screws loose.

      October 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  12. leslie thomas

    It is written that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not lest the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should shine in upon them.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • I am GOD!

      It is also written that "When the Brown Eye winks the whole room stinks!"

      October 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  13. Pastor Mike Palevo

    This has been the plan from the beginning! If you can't extinguish Christianity, then infiltrate it! It works! Carnal Christianity, which is completely ignorant of their Bible allows such lifestyles that are clearly un-Biblical and un-Godly. It's the plan!

    October 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Anglican

      Love God and neighbor. Block the Good News from the children of God, and drown your self. God loves all.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • James

      QFT! People think of Satan as "in your face", but let's try subtle.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  14. leslie thomas

    Read 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and romans 1: 27-32

    bet you wont hear gay ministers speak on this portion of scripture. We have come to the place in history where we now call evil good and good evil.

    Jon 3:3

    October 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt you hear anything that doesn't conform to your views. You are blind and deaf.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Corinthians (11:6) also says “For if a woman does not cover her head (while praying), let her also have her hair cut
      off”.

      So what is your point?

      October 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • pbsat

      The point is you Observe, but don't understand, lest you be converted and be righteous. Sad.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Observer

      pbsat,

      I do understand. Like most people, I can recognize the hypocrisy of it. The SAME book said to cut off women's hair in church if they leave their head uncovered while praying.

      So should we believe and follow EVERYTHING that Corinthians says? Yes or no?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • pbsat

      Observer, you are right about hypocrisy. There is plenty of it. As the Lord said, "by you alone is My name blasphemed...". The Word is consistent. What varies is our interpretation and adoption. What's written in the book of Corinthians is clear, that women cover their head, if it's not shaved. Otherwise, it's disgraceful to her. Presenting this plainly is unpopular in many "church" circles, but that's what Bible says and if we want to get it right, we need to follow it.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Observer

      pbsat,

      Since the Ten Commandments are so critical to Christians, should they follow the corollary to it and kill everyone who works on the Sabbath?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Ministers don't speak about a large majority of the bible. It doesn't make for good church attendance and if Christians realize what else is actually written in the bible.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  15. I am GOD!

    Send me money NOW or I will damn you.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  16. Sam I Am

    It has to be asked... Does the communion statement "Take and eat this in rememberance of me" have a different meaning or presentation now?

    October 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you been tested for FAS?

      October 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Nope. It still has the creepy overtone of cannibalism where devoted followers "eat the body of Christ" and "drink the blood of Christ". If anyone else did that, it would be called the work of Satan.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Wait.. maybe that's what happened to Jesus Christ! They ate him and sipped up his blood! It all makes sense now.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  17. Jason

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
    (2Ti 4:3-4). Obviously scripture does not approve of this. Question: If this lifestyle is of the truth, why do you need the WHOLE world, and the government(s) to pass amendments to accept it? LAWS CANNOT LEGISLATE BEHAVIOR. Finally, gays, lesbians, pedophiles, murderers, pimps, adulterers, thieves can all come into the church. . . . . however anyone practicing in these categories should NEVER be in leadership of the church. Because if the truth be told, EVERYONE who has accepted Christ as Lord, were at some point or another, experts in those categories. But they were cleansed and then sanctified, and then justified in Jesus. (1Cor. 6:11)

    October 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Ivan

      Agree with everything Jason, but wouldn't the justified preceed the sanctification?

      October 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Jason

      You're right Ivan. I stand corrected.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  18. Casey

    Anglican – God's peace and blessings to you as well.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  19. BoldGeorge

    I am a Christian and I am NOT a gaybasher by any means (yes, you can be both, a Christian and a non gaybasher), nor do I condone. But the Bible crystal clearly forbids alternate lifestyles, just like it forbids fornication, adultery, bestiality, idolatry, and unbelief. You can be a gay priest if you want to, but you CANNOT say you are following God's Word. I do not know (nor do I wish to know) what this priest will be preaching about at the pulpit. I'm sure it will be only about God's love for everyone, not about His holiness, not about His righteousness, not about His wrath to come upon the unrepentant sinner, and certainly not about His truthfulness.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You aren't the final authority, dude. Your interpretation (or that of your preacher) isn't infallible. Get off it and stop pretending to know the mind of god. You're an abomination.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Anglican

      @ BoldGeorge. If your daughter were to become pregnant outside of marriage, would you be the first to stone her? If you are male, do you shave or wear a blended suit?

      October 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • romanash

      BoldGeorge: you are correct in all that you say. Everyone focuses on God's love and eliminates all His other attributes. It will only be a matter of time before those who uphold God's word will end up being the minority and openly persecuted. Sin is sin and no amount of love or laws or general acceptance will change that fact. God is immutable and so is His word.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, then, we'll see you in hell, won't we,you judgmental little twerp?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      TOM TOM:
      Of course I'm not the final authority...God's Word is. And my preacher and I are not infallible, you got that one right too. The Bible is. But that I'm an abomination, you got that one wrong. To know what is an abomination, read this Bible verse (and keep in mind, it's straight from the Bible, not me): Leviticus 18:22

      October 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • pbsat

      Why rattle without reading the Bible? It doesn't take a Bible "Authority", just reading and understanding. Try it.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      Can all your adulterous remarried fellow Christians "say you are following God's Word" or "talk about God's holiness, about His righteousness, His wrath to come upon the unrepentant sinner, and about His truthfulness."?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a crock. BG, you blow-job, you wouldn't know what to make of any literature if someone else didn't tell you what it meant. You don't know what God thinks. You couldn't comprehend the brain of a sparrow, you nitwit.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's hilarious when the illiterate refer to Leviticus but neglect to note ALL of the sins it describes. I wonder, BJ, um, I mean, BG, do you wear clothing of mixed fibers? Hmmm?

      You're an idiot.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • James

      I see Satan is at work tonight :/

      October 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Ok, I understand that what we christians may comment in here will always sound foolish and judgemental. But let me state this: no TRUE CHRISTIAN can never and will never hate a gay person or any other sinner for that matter. We are sinners too, saved by God's grace. And let me put it a little 'sweeter' for all to comprehend and grasp: All fornicators, adulterers, gays, idolators, and all sinners alike CAN enter the kingdom of God...IF THERE IS TRUE REPENTANCE from our sins and if we turn from our old ways and seek the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Because the fact is, we cannot make it on our own. I cannot, you cannot, no one can. Faith through Jesus Christ can only get us into heaven. Our human efforts fall very short for God's holy standard, but holding on to His Grace through Jesus Christ and trusting Him until the day He calls us willl GUARANTEE us our eternal dwelling with our Savior.

      Now, if you still think these words are not of love, then you may never know what true love is.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I know what true love is and it's got nothing to do with your spew, BG. If you and your pal Tina were really loving, you wouldn't be here condemning anyone else for not adhering to your narrow little views of god. You'd be out doing Christ's work and ministering to the needy, the lonely, the homeless, the poor.

      Get off your fat can and stop blathering your cr*p here and go do what you should have been doing already.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      Could you answer my question?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Good advice, but who says I'm not doing any of those things already? You see, when it comes to ministering and doing what Christ did, it's not just about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the poor and so and so on. I agree with you, those are extremely important and loving things to do just like Christ did, but it goes beyond that. I can't just stop at feeding the hungry or helping out a brother in need. The most important thing that needs to be rescued, above all else is the soul. He/she needs to hear the message of salvation, just as Christ preached. So, please, don't cut yourself short by just advising me to go do what Jesus did by helping the needy. Jesus' most important purpose of all was to free us from God's wrath and judgement. If you think I'm being judgemental, just wait and see God's judgemental power. On second thought, please don't wait and see. That's all I'm trying to say here. There's no need to insult me or try to degrade me in any way. Besides, it won't help your cause one bit.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • BoldGeorge

      OBSERVER:
      "Can all your adulterous remarried fellow Christians "say you are following God's Word" or "talk about God's holiness, about His righteousness, His wrath to come upon the unrepentant sinner, and about His truthfulness?"

      I do not know of any adulterous fellow chistians at this moment that can say anything about me. But my fellow repentant christians can testify of my repentance and conversion to Christ. But I DO NOT boast about any of it. I am just a sinner who has been saved by God's grace. I can only look and trust upon Jesus for guidance through His word. I am so grateful He has saved me and that is why I am and will continue to share my faith to others. It's the least I can do to show my gratefulness. And the most I can do is turn from my old sinful ways.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,
      I will take your word for it that you don't know one single Christian who divorced and remarried (and their previous spouse didn't commit adultery).

      If your religion makes your life better, then don't use it to make someone's life worse.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • BoldGeorge

      I apologize if I didn't make myself clear enough. Of course I do know of many christians who have been divorced and remarried or have had adulterous affairs in the past (and perhaps committed other 'grave' sins). As a matter of fact, I even know of a christian who use to be gay himself. They have all since repentented of their sinful ways and are currently following Christ and living gratefully serving God, trying to help the needy, feed the hungry, consoling the lonely and most of all, bringing them to Christ. What I do not know is of any current true Christian who is practicing adultery or a true Christian who is on the verge of divorce or remarrying. I do not know of any. A true Christian wouldn't be going through any of that, but instead would be following the Word of God to avoid going through any that. Hey, converting to Christ doesn't mean you won't ever sin or will become perfect. But a true Christian can be seen by the way he/she lives his/her life trying to please God and follow Christ by avoiding getting into situations that will lead them to fall again. A true Christian will seek to learn God's word the bible, and live by it. That's all.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  20. Casey

    everettreb – Interpretting the Bible using reason and putting Scripture in cultural and historical context is not "Twisting," God's Word. Jesus did not interpret Scripture literally. If he did, he would have stoned the woman caught in adultery and would not have allowed his apostles to pick wheat on the sabbath. Jesus applied Scripture using reason and compassion. Using reason to understand the cultural influences in the Bible is what allows us to differentiate between cultural norms which no longer apply and spiritual truths which do. If we did not use reason when reading and interpreting Scripture, people would still use Scripture to defend slavery.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • john D

      Casey, what a fantastic comment! so true!
      Thanks for bringing reason to the conversation!

      October 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • leslie thomas

      Casey, you have to understand that since we are dead in sin ,how can we understand what is written? in order for the Spirit of God to reveal the truth in scripture to us we need to be made alive. That can only be done through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Misinterpretation IsHate

      Well said again, Casey! But there are none so blind as those who *Will Not* See! They have only one agenda of hate disguised as being in defense of words which in actuality do not speak to a person's same gender orientation or affection but to something else. Theologians and other learned people have brought this out time and time again yet without the continued condemnation of LGBT people the far right wingers would have little else to do since they do not know how to practice Love as Jesus taught them they should do.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Yes, He interpreted it literally, but Grace is above the Law. What did He tell her when she left. "go and sin no more." It is one thing to have desires and temptations, and to sin, it is another altogether to say the practice of Sin is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Truth is not dictated by culture, but by the Word of God, and Christ taught this: "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Luke 13:3

      October 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Bythe SameToken

      @Bob, then by that same token it surely is the case that far more Straight people will be in Hell than their LGBT counterparts which only number about 10% since divorces, coveting a neighbor's wife, s e x outside marriage, etc. surely covers more Straight people. Yet, by telling them to "Go and Sin No More", do they listen to that or continue in their Het er o Se x ual Sin because it feels good to do so? Can you assure me that they don't continue and are therefore more moral than LGBT persons?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:22 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.