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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 • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. MRS

    Look folks you either believe God's Word or you don't. I would pray you wake up before it's too late for you. But please don't try to apply some misguided rationale for your disbelief. Just accept that you choose not to believe. You don't have to defend yourself to anyone or condemn someone else who does believe. If you feel a need to explain why you don't believe I would suggest that you are not fully convinced that there is no God. Why not explore what the Bible teaches with an open mind. Will it kill you? This life really is black and white. There is no grey.

    July 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • jwt

      So you say that not believing in god is wrong. A common enough belief – like the one about how unbelievers go to hell. Full
      of sh!t.

      One believes or not that is how it is. If one believes there are thousands of gods to believe in as well. There is no reason to believe in god – life is as full with or without it. One has to wonder why people like you abolutely insist that non-believersa re wrong? Perhaps it is you that has enough doubt that you threaten people with a fake punishment.

      July 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • David

      First of all, I would like to thank “MRS” for this comment, very well put. There is a God, and there is only one God. He has provided mountains (literally) of evidence of His divine existence. His guidance to us on what is sin and what is not has been clearly explained as well. For the author to compare baptism and gay marriage only makes me question his true comprehension of God’s word. Peter spoke of baptism and the path to God being open to anyone, but the structure and framework for marriage was never opened up to “anyone who wishes to get married”. Remember God hates the sin…not the sinner.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • midwest rail

      @ David – there are thousands of civil ceremonies every day that have no hint of religion involved, yet they are still called marriages.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course there's grey. Always has been. You just lack the will to understand that not everything is black and white. It's too much intellectual work for you. It's much easier to just stick your fingers in your ears and pay no attention to anyone else's thinking on matters of theology. Easier to go to some thumper church where the preacher tells you that all gays will go to hell. It makes it easier for you to be disgusted by them; you've been absolved by God.

      July 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Bob

      They wont read the Bible they might actually become intelligent and know something of value.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I've read it, you idiot. Now answer the question.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's been my experience that posts containing such asinine phrases as "Look, folks", "Wake up, people", "Nuff said", and "Case closed" are usually full of sh!t. Your post reinforces my belief that people who post such idiocy are morons.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Sally

      Gay behavior was long established as a s-in, long before the ten commandments and the old covenant came into existence – and was reiterated as a sin after the old covenant ended. Just because it is not mentioned – does not mean it is important...don't fool yourself. God made it very clear that a man should not lay with a man – nor a woman and woman. S-in is s-in. God also made Himself fairly clear when He said that we are to honour our mother and father – didn't mention father and father....

      July 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • jwt

      A simple point Sally – even though not all christians agree with you anyway.

      People who do not believe in your god do not have to follow the so called rules of your god. Those rules are only for you.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Sally, hom.os.exuals were accepted members of many pre-christian societies, including ancient Greece and Rome, and many New World and Polynesian cultures. This acceptance generally ended only after the arrival of christians. Ignorance may comfort you, but people who want to know the truth look at the facts. And the simple fact is that there is more evidence that hom.os.exuality is innate than there is evidence of the existence of any god.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Sally

      Wow JWT and Tallulah – you are still saying the same stuff you said ten pages back......Tallulah you must be blind....if you cannot look all around and see the existence of God that is very sad

      July 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • jwt

      Well Sally you seem to have a rather hard time understanding it so we are saying it slower and in small words.

      Your god is NOT our god. We have no NEED for a god nor a desire for one.

      Your sins are not our sins. Gay is fine.

      Darn there is a two sylable word there. Still I hope it is clear for you.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • totally worship too, but more then you

      YEAH.... LETS GO.. PRAISE BE TO THE LORD!.......which one?

      July 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • jwt

      Well the gods of bob, sally lorraine and HS and Mrs are out. I'd go with thor and his ever cool hammer.

      July 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  2. JP

    Is homosexuality a sin?

    Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.

    Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.

    Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.

    Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.

    Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin. Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.

    Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.

    By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.

    If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality, then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other" and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?

    July 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • MRS

      Sin is sin. There is no debate. There are no degrees or rationale to deny it. God has defined it for us. It is up to us to obey or disobey. Disobedience without confession and repentance and claiming redemption through the awful sacrifice of Jesus will condemn you to eternity in hell.

      July 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      MRS=zealot

      July 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • jwt

      Obviously there is a lot of debate over the isue of gay marriage and sin. Not even all christians agree. please remember that your god's rules etc apply to you and you alone. They do not apply to other people. Thus there is no down side to not believing in your imagination.

      July 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Reading the Bible in context of scripture says gay is wrong and very plainly tells us that a normal relationship is between man and woman. When a person is a drunk, addicted to drugs or similar to Jerry Sandusky holding down a job and what we see as a normal life who did it hurt? We only now find out the cost many years later and how many years do these people live with this inside of them? What decisions did these attributes of their life influence? You have no idea unless you look into the life and examine every aspect of it that is until it all falls down. So how are we to assess the cost of gay marriage? Gays like anyone previously can dedicate their lives to God and that would be a good thing. Go to church worship and do anything a normal person would, but they must not hold any position in the church only as congregates. There is no reasoning or justification for any sin and a Godly life is one that follows the scripture and Gods word. Very slick Jp just a smooth lie and human reasoning. As for flat rules on morals there aren’t that many you just fall in the ones that God says are a abomination. Also with God Spirit in a person they won’t have trouble living to those standards. Its not lets lower the standards to be able to live its lets change our lives to live up to the standard that is true morals. If you lower the standards then why be Christian at all make your own religion many have done it slick and who knows you may make millions.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob, every time you post you bolster the argument in favor of gay marriage.

      You really should stop until you learn to write something that makes any sense at all.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's one for you, Boob and your pal MRS: If h0mos3xuality is such an 'abomination', why isn't it included in the Commandments? Don't bother citing anything about adultery; that won't do. If gay marriage were legal everywhere, fewer gays would be committing 'adultery'. Certainly they wouldn't be committing it any more than straights do.

      So, answer. Why isn't it part of the Commandments you value so highly?

      July 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your silence speaks volumes. You morons don't have the first idea how to answer, do you?

      Guess what? Neither does your god.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  3. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    Remember this throughout this article.

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    July 3, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  4. YeahRight

    "Experts only said they cant judge deviant behavior so if your ok being gay then your ok, Same smoke and mirrors for the churches get a group of gay churches together and lets write a apology note that way we might be able to further our cause."

    Wow you are such a liar that it's actually hysterical and entertaining to see what crap you'll come up with next. LMAO! 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.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Bob

      OK Yeaqh cut and paste dont work what is the definition then?????

      July 3, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  5. Janet

    "Do I hate gays, no...I have some very close friends that I have had for over 30 years that are gay, but I think they will be accountable for their life styles...Thats the thing about Christianity, we are held accountable, its not an everything goes belief.."

    The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  6. Jeannine

    "Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body."

    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.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  7. John

    "Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a woman for hire is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.""

    Some 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

    July 3, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  8. James

    Another preacher preaching what ever goes is ok with Christianity....If your going to preach Christianity based on the Bible, then you might as well forget gay marriages are ok...If you want to twist it around then thats up to you...Paul said, "The Berens were of noble charachter because they didn't believe what they heard, but they took what they heard and confirmed it with the Bible...So its like the Yen or Yang...Its either Gods church or Satans Church...Can't be any other way...Do I hate gays, no...I have some very close friends that I have had for over 30 years that are gay, but I think they will be accountable for their life styles...Thats the thing about Christianity, we are held accountable, its not an everything goes belief...Its rules we have to follow...And rules we will be held accountable....So maybe this preacher needs to start a dfferent faith or religion....One where there are no rules and where its people are not accountable for their actions...

    July 3, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, can it. No one cares what you believe.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • TC

      "Another preacher preaching what ever goes is ok with Christianity....If your going to preach Christianity based on the Bible, then you might as well forget gay marriages are ok..."

      No, It's another preacher preaching that a loving relationship between two people that God chose to create as gay is okay. And, Yes, marriage is indeed okay.

      That's a far cry from "anything."

      July 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  9. Bob

    Terrorism/gay agenda is defined as political violence in an asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce terror and psychic fear (sometimes indiscriminate) through the violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols). Such acts are meant to send a message from an illicit clandestine organization. The purpose of terrorism is to exploit the media in order to achieve maximum attainable publicity as an amplifying force multiplier in order to influence the targeted audience(s) in order to reach short- and midterm political goals and/or desired long-term end states."

    July 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cut and paste. You have mastered it.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Thanks at least you taught me this lead by example proves right again

      July 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Good grief, are you still ranting on this, Bob ? You seriously need a new hobby, this one can't be good for your blood pressure, trying to keep track of all the lies and disinformation you've spammed these boards with.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • myweightinwords

      "Terrorism/gay agenda is defined as political violence in an asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce terror and psychic fear (sometimes indiscriminate) through the violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols).

      So, you are equating a gay couple wanting equal rights to terrorism now? That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Especially considering the terror is usually targeted AT gay folks. You do remember Matthew Shepard, right? And the hundreds of others like him who have been beaten, r.ap.ed, ostracized and bullied?

      If we're going to address the metaphor properly, it would be the ho.mo.phobes and hate mongers who are terrorists and the gay community their victims.

      " Such acts are meant to send a message from an illicit clandestine organization. The purpose of terrorism is to exploit the media in order to achieve maximum attainable publicity as an amplifying force multiplier in order to influence the targeted audience(s) in order to reach short- and midterm political goals and/or desired long-term end states."

      So, you think there's some secret "illicit clandestine organization" of gay people? Is it a global conspiracy, or just a national one?

      July 3, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Bob

      Yup if you look at the definition you will see it fits terrorist if yo want to make it personal thats up to you

      July 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good 'ol faux Christian Bob, once again drawing the wrong conclusion from basic information, and doing so on purpose. Delusional, disingenuous, and definitely the poster child for a non-Christian existence.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • TC

      That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

      Try again.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      By which definition of terrorist, Bob?

      A human being requesting the same basic human rights is the same thing as a suicide bomber on an airplane in your mind?

      I'm not sure I even have words to respond to that.

      July 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  10. Bob

    Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a woman for hire is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. Do you remember that God said I made them man and woman this is the spiritual side of marriage God looks at us in marriage as one person. So if God condemned gays and He created man and woman to be fruitful and multiply and He considers us one person and we are made in His image how many tenants of God does gay marriage violate?
    Gen 3:16 To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."
    Gen 3:17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
    Dan 11:37 "He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah.

      Lather, rinse, repeat.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • jwt

      Holy Spirit within!!! Holy spirit batman it's time for an exorcism.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  11. Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Biseixual and Transgender (LiGBiT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who asisures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Hoimoseixuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on seixual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    -to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on seixual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compasision toward humanity;

    –to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    –to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    –to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on seixual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Bob

      Very interesting mr proclamation but with no name, no church, no scriptures, its no way gay enjoy the day. There is no support for gays in the Bible. I love when the misleading post malicious uninformed garbage.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More cow flop from the Boob. You've already been informed as to the authors of the proclamation, and now you're going to pretend you don't know?

      You're such a liar.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Very interesting mr proclamation but with no name, no church, no scriptures, its no way gay enjoy the day. There is no support for gays in the Bible. I love when the misleading post malicious uninformed garbage."

      Well DUH, you were informed on the other thread that it's a letter that was signed by a hundred pastors as an apology to the gay community. Thanks for proving to the world how clueless you are and what really bad reading comprehension skills you have! LMAO!

      July 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Bob

      Anyone could have written this just like John John if it was him he was a pastor gay and misleading. Just more smoke and mirrors from the gay support staff.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Anyone could have written this just like John John if it was him he was a pastor gay and misleading."

      Wow are you one clueless idiot. Bishop John is married to a women and over a hundred pastors who signed it weren't Bishop John. Duh! Do your homework moron.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The last homework Boob did was his 4th grade book report.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Bob

      I don't know who Bishop John is but he will be judged for going against and teaching against what the Bible says. What a loss and sad really sad. I really don't want to know him either just another lost clergy teaching others to do the same.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, he won't.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • jwt

      Lots of different views of god bob. Sad for you to have yours is all. Fortunately fewer and fewer people think like you all the time.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  12. YeahRight

    "you to lead a normal life"

    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."

    July 2, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Bob

      Yeah: Can’t come up with anything new on his own so he continues to cut and paste this post. There are no new facts the Bible doesn't condone gay marriage or gay behavior. These people deceive and have not a clue to what the Bible really says they haven’t even read it only skimmed through enough to pick something that would support what they say. Even this might be giving them to much credit so if you read what is written and this also includes john below. Know that they are deceived and want you to be the same all to make their point. They don’t care for truth they care only for their own selfish motives you could go to hell for all they care just as long as you support them and their ideals.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Yeah: Can’t come up with anything new on his own so he continues to cut and paste this post."

      You are such a hypocrite all you have to do is look to see that is EXACTLY what you've been doing. Duh! You can't handle the fact that hundreds of thousands of experts have proven you WRONG! Your prejudice and bigotry isn't based on real facts but is only based on your ego, which according to the bible means you're the work of the devil. ;-)

      July 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Bob

      yeah Experts only said they cant judge deviant behavior so if your ok being gay then your ok, Same smoke and mirrors for the churches get a group of gay churches together and lets write a apology note that way we might be able to further our cause. Did you get John John to write a letter too

      July 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • jwt

      God of bob – something that should be taken in vain.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  13. John

    "Gods laws made a way for the cleansing of sin"

    Some 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.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  14. Bob

    Gods laws made a way for the cleansing of sin this had to be done at the temple. Now that there is no temple and God doesn't change according to you how do we deal with the sin issue if there is no Jesus.
    You cannot take one sentence in Daniel either when he is talking about the end times and try to make it fit what you want. Most of the vision that Daniel saw has not happened yet. Daniel in dealing with the end times gave us a idea what to look for but this satan/antichrist, has not been revealed to us yet. Also antichrist in the end times will bring peace to the lands. He will get to be a leader because of the calamity the world will be in.
    The other real problem is you don’t believe in the Bible or Jesus and yet you are using them to try to prove a point against the Bible. Try to find some other proof of your argument because the contradiction makes your argument impossible and makes you less than a nut.

    July 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More drivel from the usual source of cow flop.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Oh wait the antichrist is here and in her hormonal obnoxious overload tom right on top of things and with the intellectual comments I see.

      July 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • jwt

      Your laws of your god do not apply to non-believers of your god and your version of those laws.

      July 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor Boob. What a moron.

      July 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  15. Lorraine Voss

    jwt, lol,yes get your popcorn ready for His righteousness is near, as in Isaiah 51 vs. 5, and read the whole chapter of Isaiah 51, YHWHs will, will be done. And remember in Malachi 3v6, YHWH does not change any of His words, and in Amos 3 vs. 7, He does 'nothing' without His prophets is how we are guided into His truth. Praise YHWH, the only savior, and redeemer, as He tells us in Isaiah 49 vs. 26, and Isaiah 60 vs. 16, and in Isaiah 43 vs. 11, YHWH says, besides Him, YHWH there is no savior.

    July 1, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah. And blah some more.

      July 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • jwt

      It would be like watching the snow that was standard broadcast materian after 1am in the old days.

      At any rate – not going to happen – your god is non existant.

      July 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  16. Lorraine Voss

    Bob, obviously you can't read, and did not look up the meaning of, or did not read the book of Daniel, and his prophesied vision of the future. This prophesy in Daniel 11 vs. 39, tells of how this new strange god with a strong hold, meaning with force, and we all know from history, that christianity was forced by Constantine, and legalized in 311bce, that he acknowledge, and increased with glory, and that will rule over many for gain, sounds like control, and gain to me.As many of these popes, and priest, have so much money, but the flocks are paying for it. And, in Daniel 11 vs. 38 this was prophesied as a god that his fathers, meaning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of the original covenant knew not of, and that was also prophesied by Moses, in Duet. 32 vs. 17. Then, in Daniel 11 vs. 43, this is of islam, another strange god ruling over many for gain, and control, these, and other idolatry, not of YHWH were all prophesied by Daniel of our future demise of religions. For YHWH the Creator, is spiritual, and the connection, the creator of all life, He does not condone religions, idols, these are pagan, and not of righteousness, love, and peace, of His law of life, in Deut.32 vs. 45-47 is for all people to live our best life in righteousness, for all nations, as the future prophesy reads in Isaiah 56. And in Hosea 6 vs. 1-3, tells us of this time frame, in the 4th kingdom of man, when many will awaken to the real truth of YHWH. This is just as Daniel prophesied as well in Daniel 2 vs. 40. YHWHs prophets all connect with truth. This time try looking this up yourself, or at least read, and praise YHWH, in His name.

    July 1, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  17. Bob

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/2AT_bMuFBfs

    July 1, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • midwest rail

      Obsessed much ?

      July 1, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • jwt

      more than a little based on that bs.

      July 1, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Lorraine Voss

      bob, gay is just another truth of the times, get over it, the book of remembrance gives us this truth in Jeremiah 50 vs. 37,38, of men being as women, and people being mad about their idols in the future generations. This book reveals what is going on today since the days of old, for people have not changed from their selfishness, and puffed up pride until this day. These are the times, what it is is what it is, and it all will be revenged in the day of YHWH, as prophesied in Malachi 4 people, and bobby. YHWH Bless.

      July 1, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  18. Bob

    Yeah Wow thanks , that is such a shame I really thought there would be hope for you to lead a normal life but I guess just like alcoholics some do relapse. Ill say a prayer for you.

    June 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Let us know when you have a clue what "normal" is, you moronic azz.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Lorraine Voss

      Bob this scripture is a scripture prophesy of the future generations, telling the truth of what is going on today, in Jeremiah 50 vs. 37,38, 'men will become as women', and 'people will be mad about their idols' in the latter days, now days. So it was prophesied for the men, and women to become this way gays today. YHWH knows all, and will address this, and other iniquities in His day. Do you even read this book of remembrance, the so call Ot, in Malachi 3v16, before you make a comment, or have you just learned from that Nt not true book, how to just 'believe' anything, and not 'know' its truth?

      July 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  19. Lorraine Voss

    Well Bob, and others check your own resources, and look it up, the meaning of The book of Daniel, and in Daniel 11 vs. 39,43, that tells us of this antichrist that rules over many, prophesied for this generation the fourth kingdom in the vision of Daniel 2 vs. 40, of mankind, and his future. The only one that I see, and I'm sure everyone else can see that who is ruling over many, and for gain, are jesus, and islam today, whom Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew not of, and these, and all religions are idolatry. Along with the preachers, popes, pastors, and elders with jets, and not 1, but 3, or more mansions, and islamic rulers with castles, sounds like gain to me, or just plain greed.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Loraine it gets pretty bad when even the atheists and gays know you are full of feces. To many drugs?????

      June 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • JWT

      Don't get too excited bob – we think the same thing of you.

      June 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  20. YeahRight

    "http://exodusinternational.org/"

    Oh by the way the male founder of Exodus has since resigned and is happily married to another man, and they have kids that they send to an all-gay Christian summer camp. LMAO!

    June 29, 2012 at 2:35 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.