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

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

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

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

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

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

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

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. YeahRight

    "God knows better than man and puts restrictions on us for our protection, its prompted by love not to be a despot ruler over us. Lev. 18:22-25 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. ‘Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it."

    This just shows how stupid some of the posters are. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. Duh!

    August 12, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  2. Lorraine

    Bob, well, its unfortunate that any of us thinks that YHWH has to show us something first, or get us to know Him in order for Him to receive love from us, we should know Him, have we forgotten?, and not that He hasn't already given us the best gift of all, 'Life' and then gave us a map as to how to live it wholesomely, a healthy way to live, with peace, and righteousness for all, but we refused it. He surrounded us with a beauty that cannot ever be replaced of the living waters, the sky, and the green earth, and all of its marvelous creatures, but we don't take care of that properly either, so this is why I say our suffering is our own fault.

    And, with all that He has given us, we still feel the need to say that we do not know Him, YHWH, that we need to be given even more from Him, why, how selfish of us. All of the praise is for YHWH our Creator, and our only savior, and redeemer, the only one who can deliver us from out of His hands, none else can do this for us, or else He would not say it, in Isaiah 43:13, and in Isaiah 49:26. Praise YHWH.

    August 12, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Bob

      While what you say is ideal it is not reality, That is why God even had to send Moses to Israel, even then God had to continue to show Israel His power and control of the natural. You know like I do that they didn't even know who He was. Well that only worked a bit better and the Old Testament is filled with Israels unfaithfulness. This is why we have a new and better way. It was what God wants what we need, now there is no excuse for not walking with God. In the Old Testament it says let each man have his wife and the wife have her husband and each ones body does not belong to them but to their spouse. He said don't deny each other so that sin will not have a chance in them. If sin will creep in with a husband and wife that know each other and have physical contact what will happen with sin to a unseen but known God? Rules and regulations only holdup for so long especially when confronted with needs and desires and of course spiritual blindness. Why did Jesus show healing and casting out of demons? So that not only the words of the Messiah would be fulfilled but so also Gods power over the enemy and nature would also be shown. This was done not only to heal but for belief and faith. I am not religious and really don't like rules and regulations that religion puts on you. Some do have their basis in truth but I need help with life and I also need God to be personal. This I have and it is much more God than me that keeps me on the straight and narrow. It is by the power of His Spirit and my relationship with Him that allows me the confidence and power to walk as Jesus said we should. I can ask a question and it will be answered I am not left guessing. When I pray for people I see changes and healing and their questions answered. When I am down it is God that picks me up. My part is the decision is to accept the way He has made and every day seek and fellowship with Him and bring all things to Him. Like a loving Father we get things worked out. I love the times in the Old Testament when God says let us reason this out. It shows a loving and caring God mindful that we are but dust yet that He is always faithful. While I see the personality of God in the Old Testament I can now have a relationship with God and know Him first hand. He is truly amazing and worthy of all our praise so kind gentle and loving.The beauty of God is beyond compare there are no words to describe it. The closest any description comes to it is when people die see the light and feel a love and caring that they don't want to leave. He cares about every situation and person. His ability to help His children has never changed His ability to be personal with them has. Also He has taken back from satan what man surrendered in the Garden of Eden. So I praise Him today for all that He has done and continues to do. To know Him is to love Him.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Bob

      Lorraine while I applaud your control remember what God said no flesh shall inherit the Kingdom of God. It is the flesh that sets its desires against the Spirit and the Spirit sets its desires against the flesh. I know God in my Spirit but I also know sin in my flesh, By Gods power I have the ability to control and die to the flesh with all its desires and the choice not to give into it. This is what this whole post is about. This is what God helps us with and can change our very desires from the heart out not from the outside in. This is the cleansing of the heart it is what the indwelling Spirit of God helps us with, this is why we do have hope to walk as Jesus said and not to distort the Bible to our own fleshly desires. When we distort rather than conform it only reflects our lack of faith and shallow walk with Him. Gods arm is not so short it cannot save we only need to seek Him. This is why a walk close to Him is so important we need all the gifts and power that God has promised us. We need to be able to walk with Him, but it is not in the flesh we have this power it is in the spirit and its Gods Spirit in union with ours that gives us the ability to do so. we do not perfect the spirit by the flesh but perfect the flesh by the spirit. This is why we need a intimate relationship with God because in the flesh we know the rules but do not have the ability to keep them. In the Spirit we can and do have the ability to conform and it is our Spirit that God is jealous for. It is by the Spirit we have true knowledge and help of and from God. This vessel will not go on forever but our spirits will, so which do you want to control you? which really has true life in them? Which will make it into the Kingdom of heaven and which does God speak to?? Why sow to the flesh where there is no life rather sow to the spirit so that you can have life eternal.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Lorraine

      Bob, this is the problem with people who do religions, or idols, they make excuses just to get out of doing what YHWH wants from them, saying it is not realistic, trying to do right. See right is the abstraction here, its just too hard. Well, I do not see what is so hard about 10 commandments, and to honor the one day that YHWH rested from doing it all for us, and for once a year to acknowledge the passover in Exodus 12. Yes, Moses was the first of the people witnessing YHWH, this is enough for myself, but I suppose you are right about people today, needing to see again who's who here, and as I've said, and is written in future prophecy, YHWHs righteousness is near, in Isaiah 51:5, and then people will discern which way they will go, as prophesied in Malachi 3:18, and Malachi 4:5,6. For this all will be similar to the time of the coming out of Egypt, again prophesied in Isaiah chapters, 60, 62,65. YHWH Bless.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Bob

      Lorraine did you know Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer,
      a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman
      a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter."

      August 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, when did you first realize you were gay? Lorraine, when did YOU first realize Bob was gay?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  3. Douglas

    God knows better than man and puts restrictions on us for our protection, its prompted by love not to be a despot ruler over us. Lev. 18:22-25 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. ‘Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. ‘For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.” This is nothing new, it is ancient, and God spoke a warning against this behavior long ago. Should we not heed it, or those who practice this will reap the same punishment.

    August 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Thanks for proving to the world you have no clue about the bible what it means to be gay. Duh! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      August 12, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Robert

      "Lev. 18:22-25 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination."

      Christians don't follow Leviticus any more the reason Christians don't follow it is because Christ didn't follow it either, in many particulars – he touched lepers and bleeding women and dead bodies among other breaches of the Leviticus code.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  4. Lorraine

    Lorraine

    Bob, I am aware that YHWH is love, and righteousness, this is all I have been expressing that we as a world need to connect, and do what is right by one another, and love, and do, and care for each other, this is YHWH. His spirituality of love, and righteousness, and peace for all not just a few selected, but all, no matter who they are.

    Since our birth within His womb we are loved, all of us Jeremiah 16, but we went astray giving His praise unto another, and this is why we have a world of in difference, suffering, greed, imposed poverty, perversion, etc.our own fault going astray. All praise is to YHWH, and to do His law of righteousness, it is the best life for us to prolong our lives, and our children's lives. Praise YHWH.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |

    Bob

    It's not going to matter soon anyway, don't you know that YHWH is allowing all of this, people doing idolatry, going astray, or being against Him in any kind of way, this is all to magnify Him in His return, For His righteousnes is near, Isaiah 51:5, in the latter days we shall consider it perfectly! Jeremiah 23:20.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Reading the posts of you two morons is like watching a silent movie featuring the Keystone Cops.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Lorraine

      ESPECIALLY WHAT WE DID IN EZEKIEL 16, FROM OUR BIRTH WE WERE LOVED, THEN WE WENT ASTRAY!!

      EZEKIEL 16..

      August 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bob

      Loraine
      Time is indeed very short,,,, The ability to give up our own desires only comes when we can put aside those desires for His. This in itself is unnatural for we are all selfish and want our own ways. All those who accepted and live for Jesus have crucified the flesh and it becomes His will that is achieved through us. We now have a God that is personal and inside us. The Spirit of God is the one that reveals what He says and brings the experience of His love, hope, and power. No one will give up their own desires unless led by someone they trust and hope in and have a better promise in. No one can love someone they don't know and unless the Love of God is revealed personally to us we will never truly love Him and learn how to love others.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boob and Loopy, get a room and rub one out, already.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  5. Douglas

    GLBTQ Celibacy......living without condemnation.
    GLBTQ Celibacy.....a healthy alternative to the abyss of STDs and "superbugs".
    GLBTQ Celibacy.....a movement that is trending and gaining increased momentum as folks get on board.
    GLBTQ Celibacy.....the path to deliverance and salvation.
    GLBTQ Celibacy.....the right thing to do for couples affirming their commitment to each other.

    Thanks for your support.

    Best, Douglas

    August 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Douglas

      Get a life. You are denying yourself the benefits of full and healthy human companionship to please an imaginary friend.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      GLBTQ Celibacy......living without condemnation.-LIE, there is no condemnation in the real world, it only comes from prejudice bigots like you.

      GLBTQ Celibacy.....a healthy alternative to the abyss of STDs and "superbugs". .-LIE, only prejudice bigots like you think this way.

      GLBTQ Celibacy.....a movement that is trending and gaining increased momentum as folks get on board..-LIE, because over 53% of people in America now feel gays should have their civil right to get married.

      GLBTQ Celibacy.....the path to deliverance and salvation. .-LIE, there are thousands gay churches and gay clergy who welcome gay couples into their flocks and know that being gay as we know and understand it today is not a sin, only prejudice bigot don't want to understand this.

      GLBTQ Celibacy.....the right thing to do for couples affirming their commitment to each other. .-LIE, only prejudice bigots like you think this way. They deserve to have the same civil rights as straights.

      This is why you can't believe either Douglas aka Bob because they are liars an can't even follow one of the basic principles of the bible.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  6. Lorraine

    All religions are idolatry, and christianity is nothing but an off-shoot of Judiaism, of the period of the 2nd century. It then was legalized by Constantine in 311bce, beginning the controling of the masses. @The Council of Nicaea.Remember 137 Psalm of the enemies of YHWH trying to erase the true history of the truth of the law of righteousness rewriting laws, not of YHWH. YHWHs righteousness is near in Isaiah 51:5, praise YHWH.

    August 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And? What of it? Didn't you say you were leaving?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Bob

      Lorraine it is a shame that you for all your seeking never have found the truth. NO doubt religion is bad but you are so stuck in it that you cant see the forest for the trees. There is one thing that is worse than religion and that is knowledge without wisdom, People who try to enter the courts of God without entering on faith are stuck at the outer courts never really knowing God. It is a bondage just as sure as any other. How is is that you never accounted that the one thing that God wants is a personal relationship with His creation and the restoration of that relationship. Not to be a God far off but walk in the Garden with His children. I have known many like you that use knowledge instead of faith and love which never works. You are dead just as faith without works is dead and prescribe to some ancient religion that has no ability to deliver to build up. Just as the example of Sarah and Abraham that they both couldn't fathom that being to old would ever be the father of many nations so you cannot look into faith for the promises of God. Trapped in what has been. For without faith it is impossible to please God.
      eb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
      Heb 11:9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;
      Heb 11:10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
      Heb 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
      Heb 11:12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.
      Heb 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
      Heb 11:14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.
      Heb 11:15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.
      Heb 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  7. Bob

    I would rethink distorting the word of God its not a good thing to do!!
    We walked directly past some of the evil beings, which didn't seem to see us, and stopped at another pit of fire and brimstone. In this next pit was a large-framed man. I heard him preaching the gospel. I looked in amazement to Jesus for an answer, for He always knew my thoughts. He said, "While he was on earth, this man was a preacher of the gospel. At one time he spoke the truth and served me."

    I wondered what this man was doing in hell. He was about six feet tall, and his skeleton was a dirty, grayish color, like a tombstone. Parts of his clothing still hung on him. I wondered why the flames had left these torn and tattered clothes and had not burned them up. Burning flesh was hanging from him, and his skull seemed to be in flames. A terrible odor came from him.

    I watched the man spread his hands as if he were holding a book and begin to read Scriptures from the make-believe book. Again, I remembered what Jesus had said: "You have all your senses in hell, and they are a lot stronger here." The man read Scripture after Scripture, and I thought it was good. Jesus said to the man with great love in His voice, "Peace, be still." Immediately, the man stopped talking and turned slowly to look at Jesus.

    I saw the man's soul inside this skeletal form. He said to the Lord, "Lord, now I will preach the truth to all the people. Now, Lord, I'm ready to go and tell others about this place. I know that while I was on earth, I didn't believe there was a hell, nor did I believe You were coming again. It was what people wanted to hear, and I compromised the truth to the people in my church. I know I didn't like anyone who was different in race or color of skin, and I caused many to fall away from You. I made my own rules about heaven and right and wrong. I know that I led many astray, and I caused many to stumble over Your Holy Word, and I took money from the poor. But, Lord, let me out, and I will do right. I won't take money from the church anymore. I have repented already. I will love people of every race and color."

    Jesus said, "You not only distorted and misrepresented the Holy Word of God, but you lied about your not knowing the truth. The pleasures of life were more important to you than truth. I visited you Myself and tried to turn you around, but you would not listen. You went on your own way, and evil was your lord. You knew the truth, but you would not repent or turn back to Me. I was there all the time. I waited for you. I wanted you to repent, but you did not. And now the judgment has been set."

    Pity was on the face of Jesus. I knew that if the man had listened to the Savior's call, he would not be here now. O people, please listen.

    Jesus spoke to the backslider again, "You should have told the truth, and you would have turned many to righteousness with God's Word, which says that all unbelievers will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. You knew the way of the cross. You knew the way of righteousness. You knew to speak the truth. But Satan filled your heart with lies, and you went into sin. You should have repented with sincerity, not halfway. My Word is true. It does not lie. And now it is too late, too late." At that, the man shook his fist at Jesus and cursed Him.

    August 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • JWT

      Yet another god unworthy of belief or worship.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Bob, I am aware that YHWH is love, and righteousness, this is all I have been expressing that we as a world need to connect, and do what is right by one another, and love, and do, and care for each other, this is YHWH. His spirituality of love, and righteousness, and peace for all not just a few selected, but all, no matter who they are.

      Since our birth within His womb we are loved, all of us Jeremiah 16, but we went astray giving His praise unto another, and this is why we have a world of in difference, suffering, greed, imposed poverty, perversion, etc.our own fault going astray. All praise is to YHWH, and to do His law of righteousness, it is the best life for us to prolong our lives, and our children's lives. Praise YHWH.

      August 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Robert

      Ms Baxter is the Anti Christ! First of all, and foremost: If "Jesus" had really appeared to Ms. Baxter, He would have told her in no uncertain terms to use His real, given Name of Y'shua, and then He would have told her to tell the world to be Torah observant – not given her a trip to heaven and hell so she could tell the world the "truth". After all, WE are to accept YHWH and Y'shua by FAITH!

      I'm sure this woman who is coming from some Christian perspective that teaches only the last THIRD of the Bible, is deep into doing Christmas and Easter as well, and that she has no clue about the Biblical Feasts, etc. Is someone like that to be trusted to tell YHWH's Truth? I don't think so! I'm sorry, but "Jesus" doesn't give somebody like her, who is steeped in paganism, "divine revelations" outside the Bible, nor would He promise to bless a book she is going to write – which, with its "new" revelations, render moot God's Word which tells us everything we need to know. If He did indeed "bless her book," then we will have to assume that the "Book of Mormon" is blessed as well....Never mind that in the end of the Book of Revelation we are strictly warned that anything added to or subtracted from its prophecies would be a death knell! Baxter's books add to the Bible, because they talk of things that cannot be verified in the Bible (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Revelation 22:18-19)!

      Also please think about this: Although the word "rapture" is found nowhere in the Scriptures, we are told there will be a "catching up" of believers only upon Yeshua's Second Coming (1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17); not of the unbelievers who will only be called up before God on Judgment Day at the end of the Millennium. This "catching up" will be when Yeshua returns to Earth; not before. It will occur at the end of that seven year period which will begin when the Antichrist makes a seven year peace treaty with Israel.

      Furthermore, how could Ms. Baxter have smelled "burning flesh" in hell? According to the Bible, when we die, we end up the grave, not in hell. Our spirit bodies will end up in hell, but not our flesh. I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible a scripture that says our FLESH will end up in hell...Dig up any grave, and people are still in there, complete with their decaying bones and flesh.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  8. Bob

    Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
    Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty

    August 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures."

      This says it all they were worshiping a pagan god using sex. You very good at cherry picking the bible to fit your prejudice and bigotry but this has nothing to do with the long term loving relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. You really need to seek professional help for your reading comprehension issues.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  9. Bob

    Paul lets look into this real man of God born in Tarsus, Paul was raised in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid 1st century AD Gamaliel once gave some advice to the Sanhedrin in Acts to refrain from slaying the disciples of Jesus. Paul or Saul same person was a Roman citizen a Pharisee of pharisees and he prosecuted Christians until he had a encounter with Jesus. He was educated in the finest religious traditions and the Sanhedrin was the assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel. He also had a miraculous encounter with Jesus that changed his life. This is the man that John is calling prejudice and unscientific. Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul. His authorship of seven of the fourteen is questioned by modern scholars. Augustine of Hippo developed Paul's idea that salvation is based on faith and not "works of the law".Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings heavily influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide.So John who is into credentials is not respecting the credentials of Saint John.With Paul's upbringing and teachings he would not even think it was ok to be gay and might be the one to kill you if you were. he did kill many Christians.Saying that paul would not approve of gay behavior is a drastic understatement. He also was spiritually apprised and had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and was anointed a Apostle by Jesus. Paul understood from God and Jesus the meaning of relations it went far beyond the physical side and when you have relations with someone you are joining yourself with that person. This scripture explains it.
    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?Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,

    August 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  10. 2Cents

    The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.

    "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."

    Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.

    The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.

    "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.

    Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.

    Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.

    The Human Rights Campaign; a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.

    "We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote–which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  11. YeahRight

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

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

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

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

    August 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  12. YeahRight

    "GLBTQ behavior is a choice.
    Remember when they used to demand that they be labled "s@xual preference"?
    Then they realized that would expose the fact that many choose in and out of gender role,
    like you and I choose shoes...so...they switched to s@xual orientation!"

    Don't listen to this prejudice bigot, nothing he writes about is based on facts. The experts have shown that being gay is normal and they deserver to have the same loving relationships as straights. Only hateful prejudice people like this would post this crap.

    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.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Douglas

    GLBTQ behavior is a choice.
    Remember when they used to demand that they be labled "s@xual preference"?
    Then they realized that would expose the fact that many choose in and out of gender role,
    like you and I choose shoes...so...they switched to s@xual orientation!

    It is time to honor and dignify GLBTQ celib@cy and welcome celib@te GLBTQ couples into the flock.

    Celib@te GLBTQ folks need allies. Stand up and be counted. I'm an ally, how about you?

    Drive out fear, end the hate...let the healing begin. With GLBTQ celib@cy, deliverance and salvation is
    possible.

    Best,
    Douglas

    August 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • James

      "Drive out fear, end the hate...let the healing begin. With GLBTQ celib@cy, deliverance and salvation is
      possible."

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Erik

      "GLBTQ behavior is a choice."

      Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  14. Erik

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality , have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  15. Lorraine

    yeahright I knew you guys would like that too,too, name, it made you lol, all across the page, you know what they say, you grin then you're in, you bitces!! I knew it. lol,ha,ha. Sorry, I can't have company with strangers, good bye.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Douglas

      You'll be back your ego is too big.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  16. Lorraine

    Robert, Christ only means anointed, and so does Messiah,and many people were, and are anointed today, all the prophets were anointed. There is no mentioning of the name christ,nor jc, nor mary, anywhere, in the so called OT, the book of remembrance the true name of this book in Malachi 3:16. The NT, should fulfill the OT, but it doesn't, the NT changes, and YHWH teaches in Malachi 3:6,that He changes not. Also, read Exodus 4:22,23, YHWH tells us who His Son, and Firstborn is, and it is 'Israel' (Yisrael), the chosen people. There cannot be two firstborn sons, right?

    jesus was also equated with Horus, and Isis the sun-gods, and they used the Amen Rah, and Amen Sirapus, for other pagan gods, not of the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, that is taught, and prophesied in Daniel 11:39 of christianity, and in Deut.32:17, of Moses. Demetrius the 1st, the nephew of Antiochus the 5th, in 161bce, put on a pig as a sacrifice, after destroying the Solomon temple, worshiping sun-gods, soon after chirstianity began of the 1st, and 2nd centuries.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Robert

      There are many Old Testament prophecies about Jesus Christ. Some interpreters place the number of Messianic prophecies in the hundreds. The following are those that are considered the clearest and most important.

      Regarding Jesus’ birth—Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

      Concerning Jesus' ministry and death—Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Psalm 22:16-18: “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

      Likely the clearest prophecy about Jesus is the entire 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 53:3-7 is especially unmistakable: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

      The “seventy sevens” prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 predicted the precise date that Jesus, the Messiah, would be “cut off.” Isaiah 50:6 accurately describes the beating that Jesus endured. Zechariah 12:10 predicts the “piercing” of the Messiah, which occurred after Jesus died on the cross. Many more examples could be provided, but these will suffice. The Old Testament most definitely prophesies the coming of Jesus as the Messiah.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Robert, none of those scriptures 'SAY JESUS' they say either the seed of David, the servant, the elect, but christians are mislead to assume, to 'believe' them as implying jc, instead of 'KNOWING'. This is why YHWH tells us how angry He is with the priest, pastors, elders, shepherds, and popes, in Malachi 2, Jeremiah 23:1-8, and in Ezekiel 20, and in Jeremiah 23 chapter, also in Ezekiel 34, this is not of old, this is still referring to today's priest, pastors, etc. And, in Ezekiel 36:22,23, He says that they are profaning His name until this day, giving His praise to another, and in Isaiah 42:8, YHWH teaches He won't give His praise to anyone.

      Isaiah 7 is about the sign for king Ahaz, Isaiah's second son named Immanuel, will be the sign for Ahaz. In Isaiah 8:18, Isaiah tells us that he, and his children are for signs, and for wonders from YHWH, his first son was Shearjashub, the oldest, and the third was Mahershalalhashbaz, all were for signs from YHWH. You must read, pray, study, and do Genesis-Malachi to know the truth.

      Micah 5:2 This is right, this child was born in Ephratah Bethlehem, it will be from the descendants of Judah(Yhwhdah), of the seed of David who was a Hebrew Israelite; But if you read in Matt.2:1,2, you'll see that jc was born in Judea Bethlehem, if you look this up you'll see this is a city of the Maccabees, the jews. Even the name in Matt. of Emmanuel is not right, there were no 'e' then.

      Isaiah 9:6, again if you read on, v.7, it says the throne of David, his 'many' seeds, not just one here. Zech.9:9, also David, he too rode on an ass, and Psalm 22:16-18, this is David it happened in I or II Chronicles, or I or II Kings, will later show, then Isaiah 53, this is about the servant who will, or is the intercessor for the transgressors, when you read in Isaiah 53:10, it says this servant will 'PROLONG' his days, meaning he will eventually die, and in the NT, and the christians say jc will raise from the dead, 'Egyptian resurrection mess' and then live forever.

      If you read carefully in Isaiah 53:12, it reads this servant was numbered 'WITH' the transgressors, meaning he did sin before, and that he bore the sin of many, until he turn his life around wholeheartedly,'finding his seed when he offers his soul for sin' through the spirit of YHWH, His anointment, and will be the intercessor, praying for our sins, praying that we come back to YHWH as He ask us all through this book, in Malachi 3:7, and to do the 10 commandments, and walk in the ways of righteousness, and of YHWH.

      We are all responsible for our own righteousness, and no man can die for another man's sin, as taught in Ezekiel 14:14-21, and Jeremiah 31:30. YHWH would not say this all through the OT, then turn right around as say a man, or what have you dies for our sins, He is not contrary. One must read, pray, study, and do Genesis-Malachi to know the truth. There is so much more, one have to read Gen.-Malachi to know the truth. Praise YHWH.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "and do Genesis-Malachi to know the truth"

      LOL! You are so full of crap because our laws and our morality know better now. So you're going to advocate that a woman must marry her rapist, a child should be put to death for speaking back to their parents, that adulterers should be stoned to death! Get real you are an idiot.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • JWT

      The truth is different for each person.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  17. 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.'

    August 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  18. Cindi

    LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.

    We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.

    We must be open to new truth from Scripture.

    Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.

    It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.

    Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.

    What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.

    If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.

    On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”

    I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

    The Bible is a book about God – not a book about human sexuality.

    The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.

    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:22
    If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.

    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

    I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

    Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

    Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S . health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.

    While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.

    August 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Lorraine

      who's the dummy now, oh yes, tom too,too is, yeahright quoted Leviticus as well, and mr yeah you're wrong, this book has to be discerned of these laws, and scriptures from the rewritng of the roman jews began in 200bce, as taught in Micah 7.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "who's the dummy now, oh yes, tom too,too is, yeahright quoted Leviticus as well, and mr yeah you're wrong, this book has to be discerned of these laws, and scriptures from the rewritng of the roman jews began in 200bce, as taught in Micah 7."

      LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

      August 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Lorraine

    yeahright,tom,too, too, This is how stupid this posters is on this subject. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. Duh! So your whole post is CRAP! LMAO!

    This is why christians have always been wrong, & tom, whatever, you're both lying tongues all the same.

    August 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You witless wonder. Did you READ the post to which I was responding?? Pete is the one who quoted Leviticus as evidence that hom0s3xuality is a sin.

      I have to laugh at you, Loopy. You're just too dumb to take seriously.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "This is why christians have always been wrong,"

      Yo so are you going to stone your children when they talk back to you? Duh!
      Don't have a variety of crops on the same field. – Hope you don't have a garden at your house – Duh!
      Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric- Hope you're not wearing a polyester mix clothing – Duh!
      Don't cut your hair nor shave. – Hope you haven't shaved your legs or ever cut your hair – Duh!
      Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed – Now so many kids would be dead by now. – Duh!
      If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die. – Oh gee now go out and kill all those cheater now – Duh!
      Psychics, wizards, and so on are to be stoned to death. – Come on now Lorraine – get out there and stone those people to death! – Duh!

      I could go on but I think we all now know Lorriane's an idiot! LOL!

      August 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Robert

      "This is why christians have always been wrong"

      The reason Christians don't follow it is because Christ didn't follow it either, in many particulars – he touched lepers and bleeding women and dead bodies among other breaches of the Leviticus code.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  20. 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.'

    August 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Lorraine

      It's not going to matter soon anyway, don't you know that YHWH is allowing all of this, people doing idolatry, religions, are all going astray, or being against Him in any kind of way, this is all to magnify Him in His return. For His righteousness is near, in Isaiah 51:5, and in the latter days we shall consider it perfectly! Jeremiah 23:20.

      EZEKIEL 16

      August 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.