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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. b4bigbang

    Anyone want to weigh in on the bise xuals and polyamorous people? Have the experts done the research and declared them normal?

    If those are also normal, then should the govt give the same breaks/benefits to them and allow alternate type marriages for them as well?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Observer

      Human s3xuality has many different manifestations. Those are just part of them.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Joe FluffyBunnies

      Any sexual behavior that does not hurt others and only involves consenting adults is fine. It's only that lovely Christian uptight obsession with sex that makes so many harmless things "sins". And truthfully, any God who is as obsessed with foreskins as the Abrahamic god is going to have all sorts of weird hang-ups. And it is butting into the private lives of strangers, where you don't belong, so mind your own business and take your Christian neuroses and go fluck yourself.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Care to elaborate? I take it from your answer that bi and poly are just two more manifestations of normal se xual behavior, right?
      And even if they are normal, do you think that they should enjoy all the legal enti tlements that couples currently enjoy or do you think the possible legal entanglements/consequences stemming from these relationships might give the govt the right to say no to these people?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Observer

      b4bigbang,

      With gay marriage headed toward universality in the U.S., bi's should be able to marry either gender. Who cares?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Get Real

      b4,

      If a bi person wants to marry one of each gender, then it would be polygamy. And yes, there are legal/contractual mazes that would have to be figured out.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Psych Drs, child advocates, adoption agencies, legislators, judges, attorneys, etc care I suppose.
      So no thought should go into this at all? After all, the experts had to research the gay thing to ok it for adopting kids – should they do the same for these other relationships?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Observer

      b4bigbang,

      Polygamy and polyandry are against the law. No one is pushing to change that. Totally different topic.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • tallulah13

      Love is generally the basis of marriage. If a bis.exual person wishes to marry, it should be to the person they love and wish to share a life with. I hardly think gender matters, as long as both partners are consenting adults. And I really don't see a problem with polygamy, again as long as all parties are consenting and of age. It probably makes more financial sense to have multiple partners working toward a common goal.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The issue with plural marriage, whether it is the somewhat traditional understanding of one man, multiple women, or the more modernized take that can be any mix of men and women together, is in the complexity of financial and legal entangling of more than two lives. There are issues with taxes and insurances, not to mention making sure that if the marriage fails all parties are treated equally and the children are taken care of.

      In my experience, poly families tend to be more stable for the children, particularly if there is one adult able to stay home to parent the children while the other adults work. Personally, I would have no problem with plural marriages being legalized, provided the issues surrounding the money and taxes can be resolved in some way that is fair.

      In the one big poly family I know, with 5 adults involved, two of the couples are legally married, and they have a complex contract worked out for the sharing of the house and land between the five of them, as well as dealing with the children and family "money". When it comes to taxes, each of the married couples files together and the woman who isn't married files single, though she does claim two of the children.

      July 16, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  2. Janed

    It's really disturbing when people use Christ to try and prove political points! Christ did not come for political reasons.To be a Christian you MUST believe that Jesus Christ is divine-that is, he died for our sins, rose from the dead, and is part of GOD. If you don't believe that, then you are not a Christian. There is no such thing as a Christian who just believes Christ was just a really smart, cool, love guru and it's enough to just follow his TEACHINGS. Nope. For Christians, this belief in Christ's divinity is the ONLY way to eternal life after death. That is THE message we hope others will receive and believe.

    True believers in Christ as humanity's savior must settle their own morality with God-it's between Him and them. So, if you are gay and you believe in gay marriage and some Christian or Muslim or anyone else doesn't believe in it, then what do you care? Honestly?

    And for those who aren't Christian, it's safe to assume you haven't read the Bible all the way through, nor studied it's authors, nor its history because even many Christians haven't. Therefore, you have no true basis for making intelligent arguments on Judaism OR Christianity. And before anyone comes back at me for saying things I haven't practiced myself, just let me tell you I've spent 30 years studying other religions and if asked by someone I talk to, I can and will tell you calmly and intelligently why I have become a true believer in Christianity over other religions.

    Janed

    July 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Janed, is canned, you're busted. Judaism does not follow Jesus Christ. They follow satan.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There is no proof of any god. This is why I don't believe in Zeus, Osiris, Odin, your god, or any of the literally thousands of gods worshiped by humans throughout history. There is no proof that the bible is anything more than a collection of middle-eastern myths, derived from oral tradition, edited by men with a definite agenda, transcribed repeatedly and translated by individuals of varying skill. It's great that you found something you personally believe in, but there is no rational reason for anyone to believe in any god.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Bob

      janed
      While I agree with you in the most part I don't think you are as read as you say or don't really understand the demonic things that Jesus talked about. This is a real problem while most understand the Bible they don’t understand the demonic realm where most of this is coming from. Therefore cannot muster a effective counter attack. While Christ didn't come for political reasons the political process and religious process is what Jesus fought against. He only stated that His Kingdom was not of this earth and didn't want to overthrow the Current government structure. In asking the reason why gay want acceptance of gay marriage or even their lifestyle you ask why the demonic wants the divine acceptance. It is a battle in the spirit that we see that satan was thrown out of heaven because he wanted to be equal with God. Since then we see the enemy at work in even world situations to accomplish his goals and he works through people. What we see here in the distortions of the Bible is taking the word of God in vain and trampling underfoot the Holy things of God. This is because the standard the Bible is burning their conscience and they cannot stand it and rather than change, they change the standard this is the understanding that the devil counterfeits everything of God and is not happy till all that God has setup is destroyed or distorted. Gays have marriage right now in the form of civil unions but that is not good enough. They are not happy unless that term that God setup applies to them. They as people are no different than another but in the acceptance of sin and the propagation of it rather than conforming to the Bible would seek to transform everything to their likening. Essentially making the world more suited for demonic activity. Don’t fall into the trap to know everything the Bible says but be ignorant of the battle and not really have a understanding the real truth of your faith. All Christians need to hear this, arise sleeper don’t be lulled into false acceptance. KNOW WHO YOU SERVE.

      July 16, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Bob

      Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
      Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
      Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
      Eph 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

      July 16, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Bob

      Rom 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
      Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
      Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
      Rom 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
      Rom 7:9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;
      Rom 7:10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
      Rom 7:11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
      Rom 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
      Rom 7:13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
      Rom 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
      Rom 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
      Rom 7:16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.
      Rom 7:17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
      Rom 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
      Rom 7:19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
      Rom 7:20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
      Rom 7:21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
      Rom 7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
      Rom 7:23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
      Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
      Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

      July 16, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • myweightinwords

      And for those who aren't Christian, it's safe to assume you haven't read the Bible all the way through, nor studied it's authors, nor its history because even many Christians haven't.

      That would be an incorrect assumption. Most of the non-Christians I know are very cognizant of the bible, its teachings, its history, and many can quote it extensively.

      For me personally, it was this exact study that led me OUT of Christianity.

      Therefore, you have no true basis for making intelligent arguments on Judaism OR Christianity.

      And again, you would be wrong. One can study a religion, know a great many things about it, and not believe in it. Having studied it, and many, many other religions, I can hold my own in most conversations regarding religious things.

      And before anyone comes back at me for saying things I haven't practiced myself, just let me tell you I've spent 30 years studying other religions and if asked by someone I talk to, I can and will tell you calmly and intelligently why I have become a true believer in Christianity over other religions.

      Good for you. Why then do you assume that those of us who are not Christian haven't done the same, and merely come to different conclusions than you did?

      July 16, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  3. 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.

    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.

    July 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Michael, you too are a phony. My post is being blocked, but, you're NO Christian.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'HeavenSent' is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      July 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus, who hung around with 12 men, NEVER trashed gays, but he sure had a lot of bad things to say about heteros.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  4. Matthew

    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.

    July 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes it is Matthew. You're no Christian if you believe otherwise.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  5. Melvin

    "Sin.......period."

    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.

    July 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • HeavenSent

      What? Is every liar on this article tonight telling lies about Jesus' truth. Ho-mo-s-3x-uality is a sin. That's it. Evil spirits entered the person during some trauma in their early childhood.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Also, notice that h-o-m-o-s4xuality sky rocketed from the 1960s on.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's due to Jesus' truth being yanked out of school.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible says being gay is an abomination like eating lobster.

      It takes heteros to be able to commit a TEN COMMANDMENT sin of adultery.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Observer

      It the removal of the Ten Commandments from schools is causing our morals to collapse, that just shows what a failure our churches and Christians have been in their own indoctrination.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  6. csx

    Sin.......period.

    July 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • another fizzle

      But men don't have periods so it cannot be a sin that way.

      July 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The womens' role was to ensure men focused on Jesus' truth. Proof, that they dropped the ball.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  7. Bob

    Gen 30:23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. "God has removed my disgrace," she said.

    July 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  8. Bob

    Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make human beings in Our image, to be like Us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground."
    Gen 1:27 So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
    Gen 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground."
    Gen 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and He brought her to the man.
    Gen 2:23 "At last!" the man exclaimed. "This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken from 'man.'"
    Gen 2:24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
    Gen 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
    Gen_2:24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
    Eph 5:31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."
    Mar 10:7 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
    Mar 10:8 and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one,
    Mar 10:9 let no one split apart what God has joined together."

    July 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Gen 1:27 So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them."

      And.... your god created gay people too but you're ego which is filled with prejudice and bigotry it won't allow you to acknowledge that – so people don't bother reading further all Bob does is post LIES! It's why so many pastors and churches are now coming forward stating being gay is NOT a sin. Plus, homosexuality has been documented in over 1500 other species on this planet. The experts around the world have stated 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 15, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      God didn't create Gay people. The media creates acceptance of their trauma. Evil spirits entered them when they were vulnerable from their trauma.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Denise

      http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/16/same-sex_behavior_common_in_animals/

      Bit o' reality denial going on there for you HS. Care to try again, but this time, keeping the facts in mind?

      July 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  9. 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 God.

    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 14, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • HeavenSent

      JP. Congratulations. You now have become Jesus' enemy by changing scriptures. Instead of reading what Jesus wrote, you're changing what you want Him to write.

      Typical ego in full swing. EGO means Erase God OUT.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Observer

      What did Jesus and his 12 men say about gays? Nothing bad.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  10. 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."

    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 14, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The liars that follow the scribes and pharisees that crucified Jesus Christ are telling gays not to pay attention to Jesus' truth.

      Follow the liars and burn in the eternal flames.

      These scribes and pharisees, along with the phony rabbis and priests are going to burn in the eternal flames.

      Don't be one that follows the liars. Get a KJV of the Bible and read Jesus' truth yourselves and become one of His sheep that hear His voice.

      July 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • YeahRight

      "The liars that follow the scribes and pharisees that crucified Jesus Christ are telling gays not to pay attention to Jesus' truth.

      Follow the liars and burn in the eternal flames. "

      You're the liar and you have to love your judgements. LMAO! You don't know what the REAL truth is. 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 14, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • jwt

      There are so many truths – how is one supposed to know which truth is more truthful than the other truths.

      July 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      YeahRight, your lists of folks that change what Jesus had Holy men scribe to what they want them to have scribed are going to fry as enemies against Jesus. This is a serious offense.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  11. Elaine

    "Jude"

    Jude does not define exactly what sexual "perversion" he is referred to here. It seems to be sexual in nature, because it is coupled with a condemnation of fornication. Jude was referring to:

    -The intent of the mob to rape the angels. Rape is a clear perversion of God-given sexuality.

    -The fact that the angels were non-human. This would have made their sin of rape even worse; bes tiality would have been involved.

    July 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Elaine, you're a liar that follows the scribes and pharisees that crucified Jesus.

      July 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Elaine, you're a liar that follows the scribes and pharisees that crucified Jesus."

      You're the liar and you have to love your judgements. LMAO! You don't know what the REAL truth is.

      July 14, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  12. John

    "David and alike are trying to tell us that gays marriage and gay fornication is ok which is a lie and once you read this you can continue to read the rest."

    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 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus does call h-om-o-s4xuality an abomination. Stop telling Jesus what He had Holy men scribe, changing to what man wants Him to have scribed. Read the rest of His truth and you'll understand why h-o-mo-s4xuality is an abomination,

      July 16, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      Chapter and verse for that quote.

      We'll wait.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, I'm not jumping through hoops because you're bored. A gay person knows exactly what scriptures say their conduct is an abomination.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      That's okay. We already knew you just MADE IT UP.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  13. Bob

    Below are the first few verses that will put the whole thing in context just like today David and alike are trying to tell us that gays marriage and gay fornication is ok which is a lie and once you read this you can continue to read the rest.
    Jud 1:3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people.
    Jud 1:4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live,,,, immoral lives..... The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
    ud 1:5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later He destroyed those who did not remain faithful.
    Jud 1:6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
    Jud 1:7 And don't forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of
    syx perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God's judgment.
    He used examples of the angels to tell the people what would happen to those that would use Gods grace as a license to sin. As the people in Sodom and Gomorrah did also.

    July 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And what your bible says doesn't matter when it comes to federal law.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • midwest rail

      hawaiiguest – good luck, but I'm not sure you could get Bob's attention with a sledge hammer.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • jwt

      Not only does it not matter in the least to federal law – it meatters even less to those who don't want or need it to say anything.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "syx perversion"

      Being gay isn't a perversion. 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 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • HeavenSent

      hawaiiguest, although we have to abide by the laws of the land, when we die, it's Jesus' rules and regulation that is higher than man's. Life is a test from God. Someone who's gay needs to rid themselves of the sins of the lust of the flesh, plus, they may have demons working on them. Remember, Jesus' healed those of demons. That's the first step. Second is to read His truth (the Bible) and pay attention to what He had Holy men scribe, not what they want them to have scribed. Big difference ... of reading His truth versus reading what you want Him to have scribed. Most important is to get a support group of true Christians surrounding you to help guide them through Jesus' truth. There are real church's that work with gay folks that are in the Holy Spirit.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Observer

      Heaven Sent,

      Why are you picking on gays where there are FAR FAR MORE Christian adulterers?

      Any answer other than pick-and-choose hypocrisy?

      July 16, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  14. David

    The eighth, and final scripture comes from Jude 1:6-7. This passage recounts the story of the angels who long ago "did not keep their positions" in the spiritual realm, but left that which was natural for them to cohabit with women (Genesis 6:1-4). Their ensuing offspring were considered an abomination to God.

    Jude 1:6-7 (ASV)

    “And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, having in like manner with these given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”

    Jude 1:6-7 (NIV)

    "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."

    This scripture is rarely used any more against homosexuality because it is understood by most to mean that the angels were leaving what was “natural” for them (i.e. their spiritual plain) to cohabit with humans. This union between “strange flesh” was considered out of God’s intended order of things.

    In like manner the entire male population of Sodom (physical beings) wanted to rape these angelic messengers (spiritual beings). This was something that not only was a horrific crime but like Jude, out of the natural order of things. We can only imagine the supernatural power such spiritual beings have. Who is mortal man to stand in their way if God did not restrain them, or us, from such liaisons? We can only speculate that the men of Sodom hoped to receive some sort of supernatural power from these unearthly visitors by raping them. Remember – the primary religions of the day were the fertility cults that believed, as part of their religious rites, that sexual relations with another somehow conveyed a portion of that person’s strength and power to you. In the case of temple prostitutes, having sex with one would convey to the participant a blessing from the god the temple prostitute was a proxy for.

    This scripture is mentioned because it is still used on occasion against homosexuality by those who interpret the words "strange flesh" to infer homosexuality. This is a speculative leap at best! Nowhere do we see any reference to homosexuality. Instead these Scriptures, and their related cross-references, make it abundantly clear that the “strange flesh” being discussed here relates to spiritual beings having sexual relations with physical beings. In addition, those of us who are gay would quickly point out that making love with others of our own sex is what is natural for us. Conversely, sexual relations with the opposite sex is the "strange" and “unnatural” act for us.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Bob

      The fact that these men hoped to have relations with the angels and that never happened nor could happen and that the angels didn't have flesh as we know it and that the city was already judged because the men in the past had gone "past tense even" after strange flesh would make it the fact that they had already done this act before the angels even appeared. It also said revile angelic majesties which would mean that in this occasion they were so blinded by their lust that they repulsed or assailed the angels no where did it state that there was intercourse or that it was even a option. So no where did it state that angels came into Sodom before this so these men would not have any hope or understanding of mating with angles. So we are understanding that the term strange flesh is in fact gay relations.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • YeahRight

      "So we are understanding that the term strange flesh is in fact gay relations."

      Again you're lying to try and justify your unfounded prejudice and bigotry. Gays only make up 10% of the population and there is absolutely NO way the entire town was gay. Duh! Keep proving to the world your poor reading comprehension skills. LMAO!

      July 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      OD'y. Even if it is true that 10% (if not less) of the total population admits to being gay, the folks in Sodom and Gomorrah were 100% unrighteous. NOTHING was worth saving as far as God was concerned. As we know, Lot and his family had connections and were spared.

      OD'y, do you know God? Do you go to Church? Are you gay? Are you married? Own a home? Live with your parents?

      July 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "OD'y. Even if it is true that 10% (if not less) of the total population admits to being gay, the folks in Sodom and Gomorrah were 100% unrighteous. NOTHING was worth saving as far as God was concerned. As we know, Lot and his family had connections and were spared.

      OD'y, do you know God? Do you go to Church? Are you gay? Are you married? Own a home? Live with your parents?"

      Thanks for proving the point it has NOTHING to do with gays as we know and understand it today. Obviously from your last question you live with your parents, don't have a job which is why you are so uneducated. Duh!

      July 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      Well......OD'y.... You said, "There is absolutely NO way the entire town was g ay." Bible says: All the men from every part of the city of Sodom - both young and old - surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have s 3x with them."

      It's true. Maybe not all of them were g ay –just 10% (or less) who knows.

      So here is the picture of Sodom with Lot and company: Men, young and old, gather around Lots house causing a ruckus at night. The women, young ladies and small children are home, but you can be sure they can hear what is going on. We have a picture of a very scary and violent occasion here with Lot and company.

      What though, is going on during a regular day? Do we really know? The Bible says that hom os3xual ity was a characteristic of the men of Sodom. If that indeed were the case, no one living in Sodom is surprised at all by what is going on down the street from them. I think you get the picture....I'm sure the gay 10% (or less, but it could me more) love one another. I'm sure the straight 90% (or more, but it could be less) may be living with a woman, hence the young children.

      History says that hom os3xual ity was a CHARACTERISTIC of Sodom even during the regular part of the day, which means it was a regular part of the day to day living conditions for these folks. A common sight.

      The WHOLE town is found to be unrighteous by God. ALL of it. God doesn't like what is going on here! What are these children and young people learning from their surroundings? Obviously something more then just a one nighter of beating up on Lot and his guests, for sure!

      OD'y, God is awsome and He cares about how we live and what we do with our life. He has standards and He doesn't look the other way when perversion creeps in and people call it normal.

      Your guesses are incorrect for me.

      Do you believe in God? Tell us.

      July 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • John

      "The Bible says that hom os3xual ity was a characteristic of the men of Sodom"

      They were being violent moron, that's rape and has nothing to do with what we now understand about the loving long term committed relationships of gay people, its the same as straights. They have children, own homes, pay their taxes, they aren't going around forcing themselves on others. Duhhhhhh!!!!

      July 14, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • YeahRight

      ""The Bible says that hom os3xual ity was a characteristic of the men of Sodom"

      They were being violent moron, that's rape and has nothing to do with what we now understand about the loving long term committed relationships of gay people, its the same as straights. They have children, own homes, pay their taxes, they aren't going around forcing themselves on others. Duhhhhhh!!!!"

      Hey no copying now, that should have been my line, but I don't believe they'll get it their prejudice is too deep and blacken their hearts already. They're nothing like their Christ.

      July 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • HeavenSent

      David, first, read the King James Version only. The rest of the versions have been twisted and contorted. The KJV allows you to go back to the original manuscript. Second, stop telling Jesus want you wanted Him to have scribed, read what He had scribed.

      Read the following in the KJV:

      Levitcus 18:22

      Levitcus 20:13
      Deuteronomy 19:15
      Romans 1:26-28
      1 Timothy 1:8-11
      1 Corinthians 6:9-11

      Amen.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Observer

      Heaven Sent,

      Leviticus also says (Lev. 20:9) "If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”.

      So what was your point, if any?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  15. Jeannine

    "The rewards that I have receive far outweigh anything that I may have had to give up"

    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 13, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  16. YeahRight

    "Really if you change His word you are trying to change Jesus who is the Word. "

    The point is Bob no one is changing what is written in the bible, what they are pointing out to you is that you are reading your own prejudice and bigotry into the scriptures against the gay community.. There is no way the writers of the bible understood sexual orientation the way we do today because it wasn't studied back then. The experts have proven that what was written about gays in the past were done by bias and prejudice people, that includes some of the writers in the bible. These experts are stating that 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 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • HeavenSent

      YeahRight, give it a rest. Jesus is specific about the gay lifestyle is an abomination. Instead of ignoring His truth, why not learn His truth what He wants for us and from us.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Observer

      Heaven Sent,

      What exactly did Jesus say? Why won't you answer the question?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  17. YeahRight

    "those that would try to distort the Bible would do so to alleviate their own guilt"

    This is a lie because many that are posting the REAL truth about the gay community are straights so there is not alleviating guilt involved. You think everyone who is in support of civil rights for gays is gay and you are WRONG.!

    July 13, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • HeavenSent

      YeahRight, straight folks twisting and contorting Jesus' truth are just as guilty as gay folks twisting and contorting Jesus' truth. They all become His enemies. People need to read what He had scribed, not what they want Him to have scribed.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  18. Bob

    As I think about the back and forth that is happening here I am wish sometimes that God was like the big corporations that if you violated the contract terms of employment that you would be fired. This is a immediate and noticeable rebuff that you did or said something wrong. But then I also remember that none would probably make it into heaven. But God doesn’t work this way and its not until the very end of our life that most really realize the mistakes they have done in life. The Bible promises us that the rewards and punishments will be waiting for us. When I became a Christian I looked at the contract between me and God and understood by faith the agreement and understood that I would break that agreement at times and also have forgiveness when I did. This was done by faith in the work that God did through Jesus. But I always knew the rules and what to live by and if something happened in my life the Spirit would remind me that I needed to ask forgiveness or make amends. I never wanted to change the rules in the Bible because even if you change words you will not change the rewards or punishment. I also know that I wanted a solid guide to meditate on and think about that would lead me to a greater knowledge of who I serve. I know I can’t live to the standards that God has set and no man can but I have faith in Him, I don’t need to bend or change the rules. Heck if I did it would only add more confusion which I want less of. I am not God either I wouldn’t dream of having the disrespect of changing His Word. Really if you change His word you are trying to change Jesus who is the Word. The other thing is He looks after His word to make sure it performs all that He intended it to. God has made time and made all the things of this world how amazing is it that those that would try to distort the Bible would do so to alleviate their own guilt rather than embrace the word so that it would do what it is supposed to do. That is drive us to God in hopes of redemption and a life with Him. He is the author and finisher of our faith not the Bible. God is not the Bible but the Bible is a piece of God. I love the word I love the promises of God I love the revelation of God to His own. He is not dead and He still does move in the lives of those that know Him. It’s not about religion but relationship. I would say this the Christian religion is based upon the Bible if you don’t like the words of the Bible and feel condemned why don’t you go make your own religion instead of trying to basterdise Christianity. But its all about feelings isn’t it, and if you feel bad then it must be bad but that is the farthest from the truth sometimes. To change how you feel sometimes we have to change how we act and the standard that shows us is the Bible. Have faith He is faithful and able to complete a good work in us. That is what matters if you don’t pin point the problem then you will never come to the solution. The rewards that I have receive far outweigh anything that I may have had to give up. Anyone who comes on this site can see the logic put up and distortions that are tried to be put as fact. Be prepared for this as it will get worse since those talked about here dont really know what the Bible says and continue to post other peoples wrong ideas and lies about what it says.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Good post Bob.

      Amen.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Observer

      There are people like Heaven Sent who claim to know the Bible but can't give you quotes. Do you know what Jesus said about gays?

      July 16, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  19. John

    "The rewards that I have receive far outweigh anything that I may have had to give up"

    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 13, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      John, you're a typical person that is blinded by your sins that wants to change what Jesus had Holy men scribe instead of reading what He had them scribe. Changing his truth to man made lies just allows you to stay on that wide path to destruction.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  20. YeahRight

    "instead of trying to basterdise Christianity"

    The only one doing that is you Bob, you're the one that is in denial that no where in the bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple. You're continue lies, prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community proves you do not follow the teachings of your Christ.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      YeahRight, no matter how much you want to change His truth written in scriptures, being gay is an abomination and you are on the wide path to destruction. Reading His truth as written is the first step.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:15 am |
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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.