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My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
The author backs same-sex marriage because of his faith, not in spite of it.
May 19th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.

What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.

A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.

During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.

After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.

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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).

His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.

Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.

The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!

I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.

The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.

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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.

I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.

It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.

The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. Lorraine Voss

    TKO, ISAIAH 57, TO ALL. WHEN YOU'RE PUFFED UP, AND WICKED YOU JUST CAN'T GET IT. PRAISE UNTO YHWH THE (LORD) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, JEREMIAH 23 vs. 1-8, HIS ARM, HIS MOVEMENT IS IN PROGRESS RIGHT NOW PEOPLE.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • JWT

      The Hulk will kick his ass back to where it belongs.

      June 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • HULK

      HULK IS STRONGEST THERE IS!

      June 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • TLF2380428829312

      Lorraine sounds puffed up and wicked. I guess she isn't getting any.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  2. YeahRight

    "http://exodusinternational.org/"

    Yo moron, it's why they issued this statement. Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Not even your Christ can cure them. DUH! You just can't handle that gays are a normal part of human sexuality.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  3. Bob

    Yeah The Bible is not supposed to be mans interpretation its the Spirit. So just like all your other bravado just boils down to you don’t know jack. As for changed gay behavior maybe you need to talk to Exodus and maybe you will have a different stance. I left the link for them below good luck with your problem
    http://exodusinternational.org/

    June 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • JWT

      Excuse me while I go puke and wash my eyes out with soap.

      At least they agree people don't choose to be gay.

      June 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Obsession is a mental disorder. Seek help.

      June 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Peter

      “The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9 percent of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction. The vast majority of people that I know do still experience some level of same-sex attraction.” – Exodus International leader Alan Chambers

      June 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  4. YeahRight

    "To heck with everyone else and anything that speaks truth. "

    This is the REAL truth. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. 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. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  5. YeahRight

    Michael is deceived and doesn't know anything about the Bible and probably listens to Johns sermons where he talks about not only gay relations being ok but any sort of relations as being ok and heartily applauds it probably is because he himself is gay and has created god in his own image. -LIE

    So if you are gay come here and tell real Christians what bigots they are because they can live the truth. -LIE, ALL Christians are sinners in society, look at all those adulterers and LIARS out there. ;-)

    Heck today everyone is there own god right, and if you don’t agree with someone elses ideas then you are whatever descriptive slanderous word that they want to describe you with. -LIE, you need to look at the definition of a bigot. Duh!

    Yet this is not a hate crime either because it’s not against gays. -LIE, yes it is again look up the definition of hate. Duh!

    Slander the Bible distort it and conform it to your own personal god work and then it will all be ok. -LIE – they are showing the truth about the bible, it’s called reading comprehension 101 putting the writers into historical perspective. Duh!

    To heck with everyone else and anything that speaks truth. -LIE you’re not speaking the truth which is why the hundred of thousands of experts have proven you wrong by stating being gay is NOT a choice, it’s NOT a mental illness and it CAN’T be voluntarily changed.

    If its truth were not happy till it’s a lie and fits my way of life. -LIE the hundreds of thousands of experts have proven you wrong. Your ego can’t take it so you continue to make up lies.

    With all this said don’t forget it doesn't matter if you haven’t read the Bible from cover to cover several times anyone who listens to someone else is a authority and it allows them to bad mouth the real Christians because as we all know all it takes is to listen to someone not live it or have a true relationship with God to comment on being a Christian. Did you even read what you wrote, you have proven you don’t know the REAL truth about the bible or about gays. DUH! </b

    June 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  6. Bob

    Michael is deceived and doesn't know anything about the Bible and probably listens to Johns sermons where he talks about not only gay relations being ok but any sort of relations as being ok and heartily applauds it probably is because he himself is gay and has created god in his own image. So if you are gay come here and tell real Christians what bigots they are because they can live the truth. If you can’t conform to Gods rules then make one of your own. Heck today everyone is there own god right, and if you don’t agree with someone elses ideas then you are whatever descriptive slanderous word that they want to describe you with. Yet this is not a hate crime either because it’s not against gays. Slander the Bible distort it and conform it to your own personal god work and then it will all be ok. Its not you that has a problem just the rest of the world,, so I’m ok,, so there’s no problem just like the APA said about gay behavior. To heck with everyone else and anything that speaks truth. If its truth were not happy till it’s a lie and fits my way of life. With all this said don’t forget it doesn't matter if you haven’t read the Bible from cover to cover several times anyone who listens to someone else is a authority and it allows them to bad mouth the real Christians because as we all know all it takes is to listen to someone not live it or have a true relationship with God to comment on being a Christian. Knowledge of the Bible and God today don’t count its more how do you feel.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Voss and Micheal what a great combination one thinks Jesus is the Antichrist and the other thinks anything is ok as long as your happy with it.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • JWT

      Only the authors of each piece of the bible could tell us what they meant in the original. The translaters would have to explain their translations to us. After that it is all about interpretation, studying other others of the times, other works (if any) by the same author, knowledge of hinstory in the time the works were writter, AND the times in which the stories are based.

      You need all of that to even have a clue as to wthat the book means. And even then there will be contradictions and unclearity. There is no one perfectly clear translation and interpretation.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • relic

      Bingo Bob!! He is a confused nutjob. Be on Team A or Team B....know what you believe in!! Have some credibility for a change!! These paciflying slobs who try and say – "da bibl worcs for us too"......Grow Up!!!

      June 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  7. Michael

    This one goes out to all you fundamentalist Christians out there. Selah! I may be too narrow addressing this to just the fundamentalists. Many traditional Christians also fit the bill. Really, it’s anyone who believes that homosexuality is a sin, and that somehow God, infinite and eternal creator and sustainer of the very Universe, is ‘against’ a tiny human behavior that harms no one. So, in other words, uneducated and ridiculous people everywhere.

    Officially, the majority of Christian churches say that homosexual behavior is a sin, thus proving that the theologians behind those churches don’t understand their own Bible. There are a whole bunch of goofball laws written down in the Old Testament that everyone ignores. Why is being bigoted toward homosexuals the one people latch onto?

    The various Christian brands go through the Old Testament, picking and choosing the parts they consider cool. No one accepts the whole thing. No one. I mean, when was the last time a cheating spouse was actually put to death in keeping with the commandments of the Bible?

    Using the Old Testament to determine if something is a sin is simply a matter of human and not godly opinion. It’s meaningless and certainly not ‘the word of God’. His teachings aren’t some basket of fruit for you to pick over. You either have to accept the old law in its entirety and start killing lots and lots of people or reject it in its entirety. Hand-picking the stuff you like is bogus, especially when you only pick the stuff that seems to legitimize your meanness to other people.

    So the Old Testament is out.

    Before we all start playing REM’s “Losing My Religion,” consider this denying someone the right to marry is not Christian, and certainly not American.

    The people who are opposed to gay marriage, and by extension, gayness itself have no excuse. They are bigots and bigots alone. They can’t use their special book to justify their hate, even according to the special book itself. They have no one to thank but themselves. They take the Lord’s name in vain and feel righteous about it

    Yes, they take the Lord’s name in vain. Most people believe incorrectly that this commandment is about cussing, but it’s not. It’s about using God for yourself, for your own vain (personal) ends. They hold the Bible in the air and use it like a bitch to bolster their own prejudices and bigotry and hate and that is vanity, all is vanity.

    The teachings of Christ are plain enough: love and forgiveness, tolerance and healing, acceptance and rebellion. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing more needed. Add what you will to it, it still won’t be from the Christ. It will come from your own (black?) heart.

    Jesus Christ is the origin of the word ‘Christian’. Perhaps we should pray about that a bit more.

    Today’s Christians tend to be followers, accepting of the notion that religion is just a box built by someone else into which they must stuff their spirit. They are naive and willingly line up like lemmings wherever told. They have a casual ignorance that tells them the Beast will come in the obvious guise of science or secularism or liberality. They cannot conceive of the Father of Lies actually lying to them.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Michael

      Sinclair Lewis said that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying the cross. When the Beast comes to the world, you can bet your sweet ass he will be thumping the Bible and preaching a hate disguised as love.

      June 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Lorraine Voss

      Michael, I do agree with your post, many of us pick, and choose what we want to serve ourselves when it comes to this book, and it is wrong. As you said, we might as well go back to the OT rules, and begin killing those who disobey, but in these times we have been given the mercy, and grace of YHWH the Creator of all life through Moses as taught in Exodus 33 vs. 11-19. Also, today many 'believe' that a mere man can make these decisions, and news flash uh, NO. These laws will be done again, the right way, in the time of the coming of the Holy One, His righteousness is near, as in Isaiah 51 vs. 5-7, a future prophecy, and as in Zechariah 13 vs.1-3, another future prophecy, it teaches us that in this new kingdom we will be cleansed, and there will be no need for any teaching for all will know YHWH. So, yes today we are doing whatever we want, and calling it right, as prophesied we would, taught in Malachi 3 vs. 3-15. YHWHs vengeance is upon us in Isaiah 34 vs. 8. He will also sanctify His name as He tells us in Ezekiel 6 vs. 22,23, for yes they the ones teaching today have lied not only about His name, but about His law of life, misleading the people as it is said in Malachi 2, Jeremiah 23 vs. 1-5, and Ezekiel 20, of the misleading priest, popes, pastors, and elders are all taking advantage of the grace, and mercy of the Creator YHWH, for control, and gain of the flocks, just as YHWH knew they would, and He will magnify Himself off of their lies, and deceit in His day of return. We all will know then who's in charge of this world, for if one would take a good look the sword is upon us now, and all is going just as was taught in Jeremiah 25, if we leave YHWH. According to the future prophecy in Daniel 12 vs. 1-3, of the great destruction,being gay should be, and will be the least of folks problems soon. As I have said, neither the liar, thief, adulterers, wicked, evil, etc.ones will be accepted into this new kingdom, so I have no idea why many here are against being gay, they all need to look in the mirror, they too have something going on one way or another, for it is inevitable when you stray away from the law of righteousness, love, and peace of YHWH, that was designed by Him for us to live our best life as Moses told us in Deut. 32 vs. 45-47, and Deut. chapters 30, 31, and 32. There is nothing old about this book, the 'book of remembrance' to R E M E M B E R in Malachi 3v16, we are still not doing what was mapped out for us since then, and until this day, so why is mayhem, and any other mishaps in this world be a surprise for people today? We are no difference today, than the people Moses was with, we have the same blindness, pride, and vanities.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • relic

      Michael – you are the worst kind to deal with. Everything is vanilla – there are no absolutes in your world. Your take on Christianity is deceitful and full of your twists and spins. Tell me something....do you agree with Muslim doctrines..?? Would you like to be a Muslim..? didn't think so....next do you hate them as a people because of your differing views..?? Do you have any idea how easy it is to take down your notion of bigotry......The majority of Christians do not hate anyone – but do not agree with the gay life......just as many gays would not choose the christian life – right!!?? People like you pride yourself on these little ideologies that you make feel better and sleep at night.....stupid and sad. Anyone can throw the word love around like you did and quote the bible inaccuratly and feel smug – like I am on the right team – yah!! But you are decieveing yourself and others. You have clearly shown that you nothing about Christianity at all, or the bible. You are a fake

      June 30, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • YeahRight

      ".The majority of Christians do not hate anyone – but do not agree with the gay life......just as many gays would not choose the christian life – right!!?"

      No you're wrong moron, it's why there are thousands of gay friendly churches and there are gay clergy. Keep showing the world how CLUELESS you are on this subject. Duh!

      July 2, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Anyone can throw the word love around like you did and quote the bible inaccuratly and feel smug – like I am on the right team – yah!! But you are decieveing yourself and others. You have clearly shown that you nothing about Christianity at all, or the bible. You are a fake"

      The reason you say that is because it is YOU who is clueless. Duh!

      July 2, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  8. Matthew

    "your gay you would disagree, if you are deceived or making money off gays you would also disagree but its not about opinion its about what the Bible says."

    Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  9. YeahRight

    "It's hard to believe you idiots are still on about this. Gay marriage will almost certainly become a reality, regardless of your approval. "

    I agree. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

    The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

    A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  10. Jeannine

    The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

    Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding..

    It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • TLF2380428829312

      Haters gonna hate.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  11. Primewonk

    I'm willing to pony-up fifty bucks to watch a death-cage match between Bob and Lorraine's gods.

    I bet we can even get that guy who says "Let's get ready to Rumble!".

    June 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • JWT

      I'll bring the popcorn.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Primitivewhine

      Whoever wins will be declared the champion and takes home the crown. Do you have somebody to match with the champion? Too bad, you don't!

      June 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • JWT

      The HULK rules all.

      June 29, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • RTW

      Unfortunately, hulk isn't your god, OR..is he?

      June 30, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • JWT

      He's as real as any other god.

      June 30, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • RTW

      Yet, he's not yours.

      June 30, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • JWT

      I don't have any gods. There is no need for them.

      June 30, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • TLF2380428829312

      Heck, I'm fresh out of gods myself. Can't seem to find any real ones anywhere.
      All I see is schizophrenic cults everywhere but not a single god backing up anything any of them are saying.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  12. Lorraine Voss

    JWT, YHWH is the spirituality of the strong one of all Creation of all life, righteousness, love, and peace, for all, not some, and it's connection. Whether you like it or not, if you are breathing you are in. YHWH Bless.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • JWT

      You are as delusional as bob. Your version of god is non-existant, wll so is every other version too. Thus your god has no sway on me at all. The sooner you accept that the better.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Bob

      Yup its connection all right, I Am the Way the Truth and the Life NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me. Thats the connection. Did you not read everyone that cries Lord Lord will be saved or wide is the road that leads to destruction.

      June 29, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Funny that you dweebs were convinced that complaints about my posts would result in my being banned from posting here or anywhere else on CNN.

    Doesn't look like you boobs have much influence, does it?

    It is to laugh that you dreamed you did.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Daffy Duck

      Ha ha very funny ha ha it is to laugh!

      June 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  14. Rudyardk - the final post.

    Out of the web came Rudyard.
    Scanned Tom Tom's scathing posts.

    Became interested
    In the mind behind the
    Ridiculing facade.
    Down I plunged.

    Daylight I missed.
    Old those posts became,
    Though Tom Tom is obviously bright...in a dark way.

    Clues I left
    Over and over.
    Most certainly Tom Tom has deciphered.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tom is bored by you.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It's hard to believe you idiots are still on about this. Gay marriage will almost certainly become a reality, regardless of your approval.

    Don't you have anything better to worry about?

    June 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Too bad for you, most (if not all) SCOTUS judges have sworn on the bible. "So help me God"

      June 29, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what?

      The SCOTUS ruled on R v W, honey. Or are you too stupid to know what that is?

      June 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      What's the connection? Are gays now into abortion? TOOL BAG?

      June 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  16. Bob

    Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    Rom 1:27 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 indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
    Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    Rom 1:32 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
    Co 7:2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.
    1Co 7:3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
    1Co 7:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
    1Co 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    1Co 7:6 But this I say by way of concession, not of command.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • JWT

      What it means bob is for you not to be gay. It says nothing about anyone else.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "What it means bob is for you not to be gay. It says nothing about anyone else."

      Actually none of what he posted is about gay people as we know and understand it today. Romans 23 shows they were worshiping a pagan god using sex, and Corinthians is has nothing about a loving gay relationship in it. Bob doesn't understand the definition of fornication and prejudice scribes added the word homosexual later but the real translation was male prostitute. Again, NOTHING to about gay people as we know and understand it today. Bob's posts prove he's a homophobic bigot.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • YO, Wrong!

      How about Leviticus 20:13.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • YeahRight

      "How about Leviticus 20:13."

      LMAO! Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. So are you going to tell women now they have to marry their rapists and all the other sins listed in that particular scriptures? Duh!

      June 29, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • JWT

      Belief can create its own reality. We each as individuals will believe what we want to within reality as we experience it. If Bob wants to believe that being gay is a problem in his personal view of religion he is of course free to do so. Equally we recognize that these beliefs apply only to Bob and that Bob's beliefs do not apply to other people.

      The minsters and christians that I know and have known all state with clarity that jesus is all about love and helping. This is a message that all of us can understand and apply in life regardless of whether or not we believe in god. It brings benefit to ourselves and to our community. There have been no messages about sin, certainly none about gays.

      We must aklso temper what we know and goodness with reality. At one time it was a mercy to kill the badly wounded (especially those with deep stomach wounds) on the battefield. It was a mercy to prevent the deep suffering that would follow. Today with advances in medicine this is not longer (with a few exceptions) the case. The morality of the situation has changed.

      Bob is certainly correct in that his personal view of gay is a sin. He derives this from his personal understandings of the bible. His views are neither universal nor held to be accurate by the majority, and in fact fewer and fewer people agree with either the view or the teachings of the bible on this topic as time passes. His desires to limit the lives of gays and to descriminate against them, can in no way be attributed to the teachings of jesus.

      In other words bob you are a bigot because you want to be one.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • YO, Wrong!

      Is Leviticus 20:13 talks about marrying your rapist, Dimbulb?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • YO, Wrong!

      *Does, rather

      June 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  17. John

    "Lev_18:22"

    LSome argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • luke

      Bishop Frankenberry at it again. You have all of the makings for a superb cult leader......

      June 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you, dear, have all the makings of a village idiot.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • relic

      Tom Tom you would defend someone like Bishop John wouldn't you...???? Your track record also defends John Travolta as well.....interesting and scarey. What about coach Sandusky – will you defend him too??

      June 30, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      troll alert.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  18. YeahRight

    "Lev_18:22 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
    The following verse denotes relationship"

    This shows how clueless Bob is about the bible. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. So are you going to tell women now they have to marry their rapists and all the other sins listed in that particular scriptures? Duh!

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. 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. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  19. Bob

    If you want a gay relationship thats on you just dont say there is approval for it in the Bible ,,,,there isn't
    Lev_18:22 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
    The following verse denotes relationship
    Lev_20:13 'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

    June 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • JWT

      Thats your opinion bob, other christians hold different and at least equal opinions.

      June 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Christians I know disagree with you, Bob. You're not the authority on what the Bible says or means. You can't even manage to read simple words: why would anyone imagine you are capable of interpreting anything more complex than "Dick and Jane"?

      June 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Bob

      yup if your gay you would disagree, if you are deceived or making money off gays you would also disagree but its not about opinion its about what the Bible says.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • JWT

      Opinion – well there is your opinion bob – then there is reaity. You are welcome to your opinion of course. We are welcome to think you are out to lunch.

      Personally I could never support a god that was a bigot. Or his followers like you that are also bigots since they support their god's bigotry.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, how stupid are you? I'm not gay and I don't "make money off gays". I simply have no problem with gays marrying. Why do you?

      June 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I forgot. Bob's so stupid he STILL can't grasp the concept of possessives versus contractions.

      Poor Bob.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      How does it affect you if gays are not allowed to marry?

      June 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is wrong. It is wrong just as slavery was wrong. That's how it affects me.

      June 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Unfortunately, the majority of American consti.tuents and apparently, with the SCOTUS judges who all have sworned on the Bible (where Lev. 20:13 is clearly printed) upon assumption of office believe (complete) otherwise when it comes to same-se.x marriage. (www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76081.html for example)

      Now are you going to ask them how (same-se.x marriage) it affect their lives?

      June 30, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • relic

      Tom Tom – "the christians you know".....hahahahahahehehe......which ones would they be by the way?? I have a pretty good pic in my mind...hahahahehehe

      June 30, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TOOOOOL! Ahhahhhahahhah! "Sworned"? Are you kidding?

      What a complete idiot.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  20. Melvin

    The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling- are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

    June 28, 2012 at 3:58 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.