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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."

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (802 Responses)
  1. When

    When did 'sin' become acceptable? i see, to the non believer- yes , ofcourse it will be.

    October 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "When did 'sin' become acceptable?"

      When people started being allowed to divorce, have children outside of the marriage without being killed, get abortions because women should have the right to their bodies and not a gov't, give rights to African Americans and women. It's when people started realizing the god in the bible is one seriously evil dude and a great work of fiction.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • yemen camel

      There is nothing that can be said to unbelievers and hypocrites to make them believe. Theirs is a distorted view of life and existence that was conceived of in the mind of Satan. Believers can do nothing to alter their demented state of mind so why try (beyond basic missionary and evangelical work as mandated by God.) That is why Islam advocates segregation between the faithful and the unbelieving which I believe is a just use of discrimination. This is also why unbelievers should not have any control or influence over the lives of the faithful. a proposition whose ramifications are too extreme for serious consideration in the Western–but one which needs to be considered if these societies wish to have any hope of survival.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Observer

      "Theirs is a distorted view of life and existence that was conceived of in the mind of Satan. Believers can do nothing to alter their demented state of mind"

      So please tell us all about the talking serpents and unicorns that you believe in.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • JF

      When did it become illegal to own a slave, because according to the Bible ...

      October 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Rick

      When did the opinions of bronze age sheep buggerers become "the word of god"?

      October 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • When

      @Ok'y- So, in your mind Sin became ok when you made God evil in your eyes? really?

      kinda reminds me of a conversation I had with my 2 yr nephew not too long ago...

      Me- Johnny eat your veggies.
      Johnny- NO, I won't
      Me- huh, why?
      Johnny- My brain told me it is not good for me

      At that point it was end of conversation for me, but not for his Dad, who made him eat his veggies in his own sweet way.....

      October 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Observer

      When,

      When did hypocrisy become acceptable? When did it become acceptable to trash gays for an abomination and then ignor Ten Commandment sins like adultery by remarriage?

      October 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • When

      Hey CNN-When are ya going to carry an article on adultery?

      @Obs...This article impacts Church hence you see impassioned responses, it is not about the lifestyle that has now crept into Church leadership which is disturbing.

      PS-All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, it is upto to each one of us to seek forgiveness.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Observer

      When,

      CNN recently did a story on infidelity. All the Christians who flock to the stories on gays to spout Bible verses were so silent you could hear crickets. It's so much more fun for them to trash gay abominations than Ten Commandment Christian sins.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "@Ok'y- So, in your mind Sin became ok when you made God evil in your eyes? really?

      kinda reminds me of a conversation I had with my 2 yr nephew not too long ago..."

      No moron, religion is evil and all the gods that go with them. Religion is one of the biggest contributor to hate and violence throughout human history. If you want to talk childish than others claiming – my god is better than your god, no it's not because my god is better than yours...now that is what is ruining our societies, especially since there is no god in the first place. LMAO!

      October 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      I catch myself being a hypocrite and try and unravel where this comes from. On the divorce topic you implied the sin goes on forever when a divorced adulteress remarries. Did I get that right? My thought is we all sin but when we repent, ask for forgiveness and turn from our wicked ways the slate is clean. Certainly Jesus made a point of divorce because it is causes so much pain. I recall one man that read these verses then divorced his second wife and went back to the first wife. I can’t sort that one out and it is not my place. My override position is stop pray listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent and get right.
      So, I send gays down the street to another church if they want to get married. Not because I hate gays but, you need to turn a lot of scripture around before you promote gay marriage as glorifying God. Everyone needs to be on base on this one or it rips the church up. In which case you can be assured it does not glorify God.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "Not because I hate gays but, you need to turn a lot of scripture around before you promote gay marriage as glorifying God. Everyone needs to be on base on this one or it rips the church up. In which case you can be assured it does not glorify God."

      There is no turning the scriptures around dude it's about reading it in it's proper context. What's ripping both the church and our society apart is prejudice and bigoted people like you stuck in the past. It's the same problem women and blacks had and our society turned out just fine once the self righteous bible thumpers were proven wrong.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Red Bull

      @Ok'y

      This article is about Church leadership, which I am sure you know nothing about nor do you care anything about, keep your nose out of this article as it does not impact you and it impacts Church

      Why are you squeaking unwantonly?

      October 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • fred

      Ok'yDok'y
      If I understand you correctly we have burdened those who now live a life of celibacy because of orientation. Well, I for one am not going to tell them I was wrong, the Bible was wrong and they need to run out on the streets and jump back in their old lifestyles? Perhaps the Bible is wrong on everything for you? Is there any part of the Bible you are ok with?

      October 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Fred,
      "My thought is we all sin but when we repent, ask for forgiveness and turn from our wicked ways the slate is clean."

      Okay. So Christians can continue to live in adultery as long as they say they repent? When did it become okay for Christians to have s-x with an adulterer or adulteress as long as they said they were sorry in the past? So the "abomination" of being gay is fine to continue as long as you repent before continuing? Interesting.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Observer

      Fred,
      I'd like to answer your question for someone else: "Is there any part of the Bible you are ok with?"

      Yes, I am most "ok" with the part that is the most ignored by Christians - the Golden Rule.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "This article is about Church leadership, which I am sure you know nothing about nor do you care anything about, keep your nose out of this article as it does not impact you and it impacts Church"

      No moron the same nonsense being spewed on this thread is the same nonsense being spewed in our society. Time to take your blinders off and recognize that bigotry and prejudice has no place in the church and NO place in our society.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Red Bull

      Ok'y

      probably for your kinda iq that would be a good release...keep squeaking..gonna put you on a visual mute!

      October 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "probably for your kinda iq that would be a good release...keep squeaking..gonna put you on a visual mute"

      LMAO! Yeah, don't have a real answer so you spew more nonsense just like your religion.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • fred

      Observer,
      Are we speaking of the same verse? The verse I am thinking of does not mean you commit adultry day after day as long as you are married to a divorced adulteres. That would be like saying you can divorce your spouse because they simply looked at a hot number walking by.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Anita

      I have seen many times where someone has committed an act of hate in God’s name. God and hate don’t belong in the same sentence. If you carry hate in your heart for your brothers how can you spread a message filled with so much love and grace? We live in a society that’s filled with hate and every one is for themselves. These same people are sitting in their church benches every Sunday morning proclaiming to be Christians. Jesus’ message was about love. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I have experienced more hate from some Christians than any other group of people. There was times when I was in such darkness I no longer wanted to live.

      We have to be careful not to let the hate of others become a part of our lives. Love seems to be such a simple word yet so hard to obtain. Its easy to love someone who loves you back and has your best interest at heart, but when someone hurts or rejects us we begin to build anger and resentment which turns to hate. Only through Christ can we learn what true love is and the grace of forgiveness. It’s not caring for your spouse or children. All those are wonderful things. It’s a deeper love. It’s a second chance. It’s giving and receiving nothing in return. It’s forgiving someone you don’t feel deserves forgiveness. That kind of love can only be obtained through Christ.

      It doesn’t matter if you think homosexuality is a sin or not. You may live happily with your partner or chosen a life of celibacy. God created us in His own image and loves each and everyone of us. I pray God keeps my heart pure and helps me show love to those who didn’t have it in their heart for me. I pray that I may find the strength to forgive.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • *frank*

      "That kind of love can only be obtained through Christ."
      Wrong.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      If being remarried makes you an adulterer or adulteress, the only solution is to no longer be married. That is how you repent. Staying with someone in an adulterous relationship certainly doesn't change it. Continuing to be part of that sin should be forgotten? Hypocrisy.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Wow

      Observer – you are one patient person, how many times are you going to keep having to repeat yourself huh? Wow! Pretty sad they just don't "get" it. 😉

      October 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Graceful

      @Anita-I think you are right!, Peace!!!!

      October 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Observer

      @Wow,

      Thanks. 🙂

      October 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Zowie

      In Soviet CNN, patient observes YOU!

      October 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I stopped believing in the fundamentalists' view of good and evil a long time ago. I was driving along a road near a fundie church when the driver in front of me purposely ran over a big grounhog that was eating grass by the side of the road. Immediately after this act of barbarism, the pig pulled into the parking lot of the fundie church for his weekly dose of manure.

      Sorry, but I don't buy your crap anymore.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Scott - other

      Seems pretty fissionable for mega church pastors. Maybe Ted Haggard and bishop Long will get together and consummate a joint ministry

      October 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Scott - other

      Seems pretty fashionable for mega church pastors. Maybe Ted Haggard and bishop Long will get together and consummate a joint ministry.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • captain america

      scott-other
      when you get excited with your wit ,do you know you stutter?

      October 11, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There is much more evidence that being gay is innate than there is for the existence of any god.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  2. Scientisto

    Mr Scott in so doing you have not brought diversity of viewpoints you have introduced 'divergence' of the 'Truth'.

    October 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      I find it both appropriate and ironic that you put Truth in quotes.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "you have introduced 'divergence' of the 'Truth'."

      LMAO That's why there are different versions of the bible and many denominations. LOL!

      October 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  3. martinipaul

    The fusion of secular humanism and theism is a challenge to Christians and a body blow to atheists.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Explain this so called "body blow".

      October 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Observer

      This has NOTHING to do with atheists beliefs that there is no God. Try again.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • martinipaul

      It means atheists will be fighting religion for a very long time to come. lol!!!!!!!

      October 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: fighting religion for a long time...

      Only because of the unwarranted position religion has had for 2000+ years, not because there is any truth to religion. "The Nones" (those who do not believe in any supernatural bullshit is the fastest growing group. Accidents of geographic birth and birth rates account for the increase in the number of believers (but not overall percentage of total population).

      October 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @religions will be fighting each other and atheism for a long time to come. (yawn)

      October 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Good shot!

      October 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Goldstandard

    In the beginning he made them male and female and the twain shall become one flesh. There is no misinterpreting the definition of marriage.There may be cases where a person chooses to be celibate and serve the Lord, that will be a higher calling that an individual so chooses.

    Scott you should read the scriptures and ask God to speak to you.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Observer

      And Jesus said they should never separate except for infidelity, Doesn't matter about physical or mental abuse or anything like that.
      \
      Guess you skipped that part.

      October 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Goldstandard

      Are you called to lead the church? are you a believer? if the answer is no, then you obviously are wasting time with these inane responses

      October 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      Dude time to come into this century, marriage wasn't invented by your god or cult.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Scientisto

      'XX' and 'XY' is the union that the Creator deemed fit for society..all other combos are man made.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "'XX' and 'XY' is the union that the Creator deemed fit for society..all other combos are man made."

      LMAO! You do understand gays have that union too right? LOL!

      October 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Rainbow

      God loves all of his creation equally and he yearns to have a personal relationship with each and every one of his creation. He does not play favourites, in his eyes all his beings are equal and he is ever willing to forgive the sins. It is upto man to look up to the creator and ask him to cleanse them of any unrighteousness.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Ok'yDok'y

      "It is upto man to look up to the creator and ask him to cleanse them of any unrighteousness."

      The unrighteousness of bigotry and hate can only be cured through educating yourself on the true facts of today, not some 2000 year old outdated book.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • When

      When did 'sin' become acceptable? to the non believer- yes , ofcourse it will be.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Observer

      When,

      "When did 'sin' become acceptable? to the non believer- yes , ofcourse it will be."

      When did sin become acceptable? Why aren't you trashing all the hypocrite Christians who remarry? To the believer, yes, of course, it will be acceptable.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Ok'yDok'y,
      I believe marriage was ordained by God and is not man made. But of course one needs to accept scripture as the Word of God in order to make that connection. We cannot equate civil unions with marriage because they are not one in the same. They may be recognized as legal equivalent but not moral equivalents.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Observer

      SPA Knight,
      Marriage is a legal event with only optional religious involvement. It can occur at the home of justice of the peace, in a courthouse, on a ship, or in a drive-thru chapel performed by an Elvis impersonator.

      When a marriage falls apart, no one returns with their family and friends and stands at the altar in front of God and explains why they lied to God about promising to stay married "until death do us part". Not a chance of that happening. Nope, they head for a LAWYER. Reality not fantasy.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Rick

      SPA Knight: Then get government out of the marriage business. Civil Unions for both straights and gays. If a church wants to bless the union (or not) it is their business, not that of the government. The church blessing should be entirely ceremonial, and hold no legal standing

      October 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Look, about the only times males and females become one flesh is when a female black widow eats her mate. If Xtians can't figure out that two people are still two people while having s-x, what DO they get right?

      October 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • *frank*

      What about liver transplants? How does that work in re the metaphor?

      October 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Scott - other

      OK, so god the way god set it up in the beginning was exclusively hetro$exul. He also set it up so it was entirely ince$tual for A & E’s kids. Also for Noah’s family. No misinterpreting that either

      October 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  5. BoldGeorge

    The only thing I can think of what this gay priest will be preaching about is God's love and the love we should have for everyone, and maybe a few social issues here and there (especially against gays). You won't ever hear him preach about God's Holiness, and His Righteousness, and His Judgement on those who have not repented from their sinful lifestyles...and by sinful lifestyle, that includes all what the bible is against: s e x u a l immorality (fornication, adultery, alternate lifestyles, bestiality, pedophilia, etc), hatred toward others (that includes hatred toward gays), envy, deceit, lying, and the list goes on and on. If he does preach about any of these things, he will be a hipocrite...yes, just like a christian who preaches against hatred, yet hates someone.

    The bible won't be his companion, that's for sure.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      All Christians guilty of adultery by remarrying should be in the same category by your own theory . So "You won't ever hear them speak about God's Holiness, and His Righteousness, and His Judgement"? "If they do speak about any of these things, they will be a hypocrite"?

      So do you agree with your own theory?

      October 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Of course, divorcing and remarrying is against biblical principles. I don't know what your point is really. You are basically answering your own question. Once again...YES, Jesus spoke against divorce and said remarrying is adultery. But (and a big but at that), you could have been the biggest adulterer, a serial remarrier, the happiest gay person and the most notoious murderer, but if you repent from your sins and turn to God for salvation through Jesus Christ, you will be made anew and you will be therefore righteous in the eyes of God, but facing the consequences of sin is a different story. There is no too big of a sin that God is not willing to forgive. The only one I can think of is the sin of unbelief. Now, having said this, the Bible says that God will not be mocked. He knows your heart and if you are a true converted believer.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      You have repeated this claim about all the things that YOU think the pastor can't say about holiness, righteousness, and judgment.

      So my question for you is: do you tell your Christian friends that have remarried that they are not to talk about holiness, righteousness and judgment? Yes or no?

      October 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Hopefully I answered your question in your comment on Leviticus below.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      Have you ever once told a remarried Christian couple that they are living in adultery and should get divorced to undo the constant sin they are living in? Answer please.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  6. Observer

    Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”

    Has anyone EVER heard a Christian telling another Christian that they are going to hell for this?

    It's all HYPOCRISY. If gay-trashing Christians ACTUALLY cared about s-xual sins, they'd trash all their fellow Christians who are guilty of adultery. There are FAR FAR MORE Christians who are guilty of the Ten Commandment sin of adultery than there are total number of gays who commit an abomination like eating shellfish or using incense. It's just pick and choose hypocrisy.

    October 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • PCUS

      Sure, if this were an article on adultery there would have seen responses on that topic. Fair to keep the article and the sin in context for the responses that it evokes

      October 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Observer

      PCUS,

      Yep. Anything to avoid the point.

      (It didn't work)

      October 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Observer, I guess you are really stuck on your point of christians remarrying and not of this article. What is your point? I have a feeling you have been a christian who has divorced and remarried and are looking for an answer to your sin. Here's the answer:

      To a Christian who has decided to divorce his wife and goes through with it...yes, you are going against God's design for marriage. Are you committing adultery by remarrying somone else...yes. But, there such a thing as repentence from sin and God (and you) only knows if you truly are repented of your sin and the evidence will show from then on. There is, however, no such thing as a continual sin in the bible, just the sin of unbelief because obviously you are not a believer continously. If you remarry, you commit adultery once. Not continouos. God can forgive your divorce and your remarriage and He can also forgive your past gay lifestyle, but He cannot forgive your unbelief and your refusal to follow Him.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

      My point is HYPOCRISY. You and many Christian hypocrites are on here trashing gays when you have a MUCH LARGER problem with Christian adulterers. They live in constant sin and you PRETEND they only sinned one time by remarrying. Faulty logic like that says that for you gays only sinned one time. So it shouldn't be anymore of an issue than adulterous Christians. So why do you care so much about the abominations of gays and not dwell on the much larger problem of the Ten Commandment sin of adultery?.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      I agree with you. All sin has to be confronted and we Christians must learn to uphold God's holy standards and not our own standards. I take seriously any fellow christian who committs adultery. And I would go further to say that I firmly believe any christian who continues committing adultery as a lifestyle is in NO WAY a true believer. Even the Bible says that God himself will take care of those who under His banner are giving bad testimony to others. The bible actually says that God will vomit them. What a way to refer to lukewarm or false christians. And I tell you, I would rather befriend an unbeliever than a so-called christian who is living in sin with no remorse. Like I mentioned before, I am not perfect and I am a sinner saved by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus Christ, and the way I know God is helping me not fall is through my own choosing to follow Him through the wrod of God, the Bible. I am not a basher, nor do I condone any bashing of any sinner of any kind. To me, this priest in this article will be a hipocrite to preach on God's holiness just as a so-called adulterous christian who would preach on God's holiness while living in sin, any sin. By the way, there is a way you can live without sinning. The only way you can accompolish that is by opening your heart to Christ and His message, that unless you repent of your sins and turn to Him, you will not enter into the Kingdom of God. Opening your heart to the Bible is a good way to start.

      By the way, the bible is foolish to those with a Godless spirit.

      October 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Observer

      BoldGeorge,

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

      October 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Scott - other

      DUDE! If they weren’t hypocrites they wouldn’t wear cotton/polyester or eat shrimp

      October 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      sos how many of them little pollyestrers do it take to makes a shirt

      October 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Scott - other

      @ BoldGeorge: So I can do anything I want to: Lie, cheat, steal, murder, commit adultery as often as I want, even stoop so low as to become a televangelist as long as I say my prayers each night and ask for forgiveness? HOT DAMN!!!! No more atheist for me. I’m a Christian as of now and tomorrow I’m gon’a $crew a path 2 miles wide across this city. Just as long as I say my prayers each night I’m good to go.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  7. warmesTghosT

    The Christian Right is on the wrong side of history and the text books will reflect this. Your hate filled, misogynistic, (literally) antediluvian beliefs are on their way out, and thank GOD for that.

    That our "Christian" nation is a warmongering empire, that our financial system is heavily skewed to favor those already wealthy, that our education system is deeply flawed and ranked terribly on the global scale, and that our divorce rate has held steady at around 50% for decades...no, NONE of these things are what are going to tear apart our society. It's those silly f@ggots who want to engage in faithful and monogamous, LEGITIMATE unions with their partners...THAT is what is going to bring the US down.

    Nothing sickens me more than a Christian. Hypocrites to the end.

    October 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  8. Mommy of Mommies

    We are human beings. We are all alike in only one way.
    It requires a male and a female to produce a living offspring.
    The Love that Jesus taught is based on the solid foundation of this unwavering truth.
    He also taught that the devil has a form of love and that we must never accept the
    intentional deceit of the imposter type of love.
    I feel saddened by the fact that so many have accepted the false spirit as there guiding force.
    Victory will never be achieved by swallowing the seed of life! Guaranteed

    October 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Rick

      Sorry, Mommy, you are in no position to make this guarantee

      October 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Mommy of Mommies,
      "It requires a male and a female to produce a living offspring.
      Victory will never be achieved by swallowing the seed of life! Guaranteed"

      Gays and lesbians can reproduce so your first statement is totally irrelevent.
      Your second statement applies to gays and heteros too.

      So what was your point?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • J.W

      "swallowing the seeds of life"<<<<Gross

      October 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      And when one of you children or one of your children's children is gay, will you do you best to make them hate themselves for being born that way?

      October 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a crock of poo, and with all the usual cruddy writing the fundies always display.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  9. steveinmo

    The Presbyterian Church is not part of the true Church, and for that matter any that came out of the Catholic Church, which itself is not part of the true Church. They don't and never knew the Truth so it's expected they would do something like this.

    October 11, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Rick

      Ah....THE TRUTH. Would it be a stretch to assume that you feel that you possess this "Truth"?

      October 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Observer

      It's always entertaining to hear one Christian church say another Christian church isn't Christian. Being Christian isn't good enough for other Christians.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      EVERYONE is going to he!! according to someone else. So what is the use of trying to follow a religion? Why do you thing yours' is the right one anyway? Out of 7 billion people, how many actually believe what you believe? Why should I believe you over the billions that say you are quite wrong and are certain of it?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Anglican

      Steveinmo. The "Church" is the early body of Christ. What Church are you talking about?

      October 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Anglican

      "earthly" (sp)

      October 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      No True Scotsman!!!1!!11oneone1

      October 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      steve, you're an idiot.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Steve, you are so far removed from truth that you wouldn't recognize it if it bit you in the behind.

      October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  10. henson

    Can you spell C-O-N-F-U-S-E-D??????????????? What a shame to try to whitewash something that is biblical wrong. Either it's Christianity or it's not - don't try to integrate contemporary societal acceptance and beliefs into an already existing established Bible principal. It's a square peg trying to be pushed into a round hole. It just doesn't fit. No disrespect to any gay person. Each of us are free to choose our lifestyle - just don't try to twist my belieft to fit your choice.

    October 11, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • hippypoet

      being gay is not a choice, and if you needed someone to tell you that at this point in history then you , in my opinion, are beyond hope...just do some research about whatever you may find yourself talking about. Maybe then you won't said so ignorant! no offense!

      October 11, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • hippypoet

      sorry, i meant maybe then you won't sound so ignorant.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      To continue the "square/round" ana.logy your beliefs are like building a cart and expecting it to roll on square wheels. Time to grasp the innovative idea that round wheels make for a smoother ride. Your dogmatic and inflexible foundational beliefs are the problem here. Not that anyone expects you to realize how wrong you are. Keep your mind buried in dusty archaic principles based on myth and fantasy while we in the real world shake our heads in pity.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Rick

      Henson: If they are your sincere beliefs, how can anyone twist them?

      October 11, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Who is confused? The man who has known he was gay most of his life? The church that has now recognized that being gay is a part of who a person is, not something by which to judge him?

      Or perhaps it is you, seeing as you can not seem to comprehend that this man is who he was born to be, both gay and called to ministry. If the church he serves accepts him, who are you to say otherwise?

      October 11, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Anglican

      myweight. Very well posted. Peace.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Kevin in Atlanta

      Being gay is neither a "lifestyle" or a "choice."

      October 12, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • HellBent

      @henson, Do you trumpet your opposition to the manufacture, distribution, and consumption of mixed textiles as ferociously as you do to the hom.ose.xual "lifestyle" – whatever that means? I mean, it's either Christianity or it isn't. Unless it's you're limited, specific, conveniently cherry-picked version of Christianity.

      October 12, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  11. JT

    Oh rapture already! I'm ready for this virus called Christianity to disappear from the gene pool.

    October 11, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • hippypoet

      i am sad to tell you that an idea has no lifespan, it will live forever in the minds... the only thing we as humans can do is foster the truth instead of lies.( a.k.a. santa clause!)

      October 11, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  12. royal diadem

    This is a serious mental issue,brains must be checked.aside the sin issue,its dirty.BIG SHAME ON U

    October 11, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Duh

      "This is a serious mental issue"

      Hey uneducated moron the APA says otherwise. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • tallulah13

      I disagree,RD. Your irrational disdain for people who are different than you simply stems from ignorance, not mental problems. If you educate yourself, I have no doubt that you could become a useful member of society.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  13. royal diadem

    THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS MENTAL ISSUES.ASIDE THE SIN ASPECT,BIG SHAME ON YOU

    October 11, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The mental issue is all yours and there is no such thing as sin. Just like there is no God to sin against. It's all made up baloney.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Mirosal

      Steve, I have been saying that for years. I believe there are laws, there are crimes, and there are punishments for said crimes. But there is no such thing as "god's law" simply because there is no god to sin against.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: Fortunately you are one of us...you have a rational mind and are capable of thinking for yourself.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Okay, RD, if you insist you have mental issues, who am I to argue. Especially since you used caps lock.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  14. hippypoet

    it smells like a plot to gain more sheep to there dwindling herd! who else is being exculed...your turns next month or next year pending how much we like you! gotta love morons, they do come in all shapes and sizes..now even in fruity flavors 🙂

    October 11, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Mirosal

      If a church would admit publicly that they would welcome, without resservation, say ... a trans -exu- al named ..... Bambi into their congregation, then I'll see a church who really would love thy neighbor, as their own Jesus said that was his commandment to his followers. Amazing how everyone seems to have forgotten that simple little phrase this jesus guy uttered isn't it?

      October 11, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • MarkinFL

      There are a few such churches out there. A good friend of mine is a member of one. I'm not religious in the least and generally have a disdain for organized religion but this church could give Christianity a good name. Strange but true.

      October 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  15. Toni L

    For those of you here who are not Christian, or who have been turned away from Jesus because of "Christians" like some of the ones posting here, I apologize. Jesus didn't teach them this exclusion and hatred, but others have used His name to do so. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

    The comments here illustrate the difficulty Christ-followers like myself have in living the way we believe Jesus wants us to–with LOVE. No wonder so many people hate us without even wanting to hear anything we have to say. It is because of those who set themselves as God's bouncers–turning all but their own select few away from the doors–that so many of His children can't find their way to Him. How sad that they have so little Faith in their heavenly Parent to think He needs someone to screen his calls.

    To those who warn of Jesus' impending return and judgement of us: remember that He will be judging you, too. When He asks the one question "Did you live a life of Love?"...will you be able to answer Him truthfully?

    October 11, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Toni,
      We are talking about a church ordaining a man into a pastor position correct? A man that is openly gay which is considered a sin in Christianity if one takes the bible as a source of teaching. Let's apply a different sin to this. Let's say this man was committing adultery by with sleeping with your husband/wife and everyone in the parish was aware of it. Would you want him as pastor of your church? Perhaps he is gay but not acting on his tendencies....

      October 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "A man that is openly gay which is considered a sin in Christianity if one takes the bible as a source of teaching."
      --
      ...and one uses your translation of the bible, takes it into the same context as you do, and interprets it in the way that you do

      October 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  16. Phyl

    This is NOT God's doing...don't blame your sin on HIM...

    October 11, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      What sin has this man committed? If man is created by your god as you claim then your god made this man gay. When are people like you going to finally listen to the experts who have researched this subject in recent years and have proven that being gay is natural and not a choice? This man was born this way.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Rick

      No, I blame it on folks like you who dogmatically equate orientation with choice.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  17. Derek

    I thought the bible was pretty clear about this matter. I qoute, "Thall shall not lie with a man as if he were a woman. It is an abomination."

    October 11, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Toni L

      I thought JESUS was pretty clear with His answer to the question "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?". Do you remember that one, Derek? Or do you place the old testament–or the letters of Paul–ABOVE the words of Jesus?

      October 11, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • grumpy

      The bible isn't clear about anything. There are so many contradictions in the bible that it's impossible for anyone to follow it's words without constantly contradicting themselves.

      Besides, god didn't write the bible. Thousands of scribes did, over the course of hundreds of years. Why is that? Was god too incompetent to just give us a clear bible that everyone could understand and didn't need interpretation? He's god, for christ's sake! Didn't he know people would be fighting over it's interpretation for thousands of years? No, he's a STUPID god, without a clue as to how his subjects function.

      Sit on THAT, Derek.

      October 11, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Kevin in Atlanta

      For those of you quoting Leviticus as justification for opposing this minister's appointment, unless you are living according to every law in that book (and we all know you don't), you are displaying the very kind of shameless hypocrisy Jesus preached vehemently against.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • JT

      Christians are constantly palying catch-up with the morally superior secular society. Their stance on slavery is one such example. They finally come aboard and then pretend they were leading the change the entire time. Cults must evolve to keep the sheep coming in and the coffers overflowing.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  18. Phyl

    WRONG WRONG WRONG.....this is a sin but then again we are living in a time where most people are accepting anything....God will have HIS day....

    October 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      "His day will come" .... ok ... his day will be "tomorrow" .. and since it's literally true that tomorrow never comes, neither will this "god" of yours. Relax, we have nothing to fear but the hypocrisy of the religious who are soooo quick to condemn everyone else who isn't like themselves.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: I think bigotry is better suited to this than hypocrisy. Sad as it is...I thought their god taught them to love one another or does that only apply to those who believe as they do? It really is laughable how ignorant these people are when it comes to matters that prove the book they believe in wrong.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Rick

      No, Phyl, god will not have his day. He is a figmant of man's imagination. Time to see clearly

      October 11, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Duh

      "WRONG WRONG WRONG.....this is a sin"

      What is wrong is the brainwashing that has happened to Christians on this subject. The sin you are condemning has nothing to do with our current understanding of homosexuality plus, the word didn't exist.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  19. deleting Scripture

    Are we looking for truth in the Bible or making our own?

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/26925-deleting-scripture

    October 11, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  20. Child of Christ

    The devil is alive and doing well!! He's so happy that he's gathering more and more and more....wolves in sheep's clothing....false prophets....anti-christ's............yep....he's alive and doing very well!!! He pulled this same trick on Adam and Eve and they fell for it too.....sad.

    October 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      wait wait wait ..... don't tell me you actually BELIEVE that story??? ok let me get this straight... a naked woman, made from the rib of a man made from clay, was convinced by a talking snake to eat the fruit of a magical tree.. that REALLY happened??? and here I thought it would just make an interesting sub-plot to a Harry Potter novel. But, you're serious .. in your mind, this is true to you??????

      October 11, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Child: Devil? Adam and Eve? Wow, a little outdated on the real world? The devil is biblical and Adam and Eve didn't exist outside of the bible. I'm guessing evolution doesn't exist to you either. How old do you think our planet is? How long have humans roamed this earth for? and Which god are you referring to?

      October 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale?

      What "evil" has this minister committed? He's likely done more for others than you ever will, you wagging tongue.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • fred

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      Jesus referred to Jonah in the belly of whale/ fish because that is the scripture the Jews knew well with its all its meaning. Yes, I believe Jonah was sent by God to give the good news, repent turn from your wicked ways and follow Christ and you will be saved. Yes, I believe as Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 this is the only sign these Jews he was addressing would receive. What is so hard about that? You question the fish and miss the life lesson offered to you?
      Check your direction as proper perspective is the difference between life and death. Jesus said the eye reflects what is in the heart. You see the fish so ask yourself what was the att-itude of your heart with that comment.

      October 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're the bozo who takes the Bible as literal truth, dude. Not me.

      I don't believe that being gay is "wicked" or that it's a sin that anyone need repent.

      Prove otherwise.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:02 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.