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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. Douglas

    GLBTQ folk are trending toward celibate partnerships as they learn more about their role through Bible study.

    In Matthew 19 Jesus declares marriage as the union of one man and one woman, who leave their families and are joined
    as one to create a new family unit. No provisions exist for "gay marriage" because it falls outside what Jesus instructed us
    to do as obedient sons and daughters. We are reminded, throughout the Bible to refrain from gay coitus because it is in conflict with God's will. Some will try to tell you here that Jesus didn't understand terms like "preference and orientation"...but I give him more credit and respect than that. As Alpha and Omega he knew what is, what was, and what is to become.

    GLBTQ folk are blessed to live celibate lives, unstained by the sin of fornication. Outreach to GLBTQ folk at your place of worship, in support of strong and enduring GLBTQ celibate partnerships, will help to sustain the efforts of GLBTQ believers to be faithful servants to the Lord.

    Thanks for your efforts to support celibate GLBTQ Christians, their salvation depends on it. Release the power of GLBTQ celibacy and take heart...tomorrow brings hope to lost souls.

    Keep the trending toward GLBTQ celibacy on track. Together we can make difference for the better.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Celibacy is not the answer. We are sexual beings as well as spiritual ones. In fact, many believe that the two are intricately related.

      There's a lot of things the bible doesn't "provide for" that are a part of every day life today. Shall we ignore them all?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      I would dare say that celibacy was the answer.

      God teaches the family unit consists of male + female.

      A Spiritual person aims to please God.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Lorraine

      It is amazing how people use the word christ in troubles, or problems that they may encounter, when this word only means 'anointed' just as the word messiah, it too only means 'anointed' so, when people use these two words to express their anguish, it is used in vain. Just as much is taught in christianity, nothing but all man made up. When this book, truly called the book of remembrance, taught to us in Malachi 3:16 it starts out in Genesis 1:27, 28, and in the creation of a male, and of a female, all people, to inhabit this earth, and they were told to be fruitful, and to multiply this earth with their children, and in the 5th chapter of Genesis it is all the generations of Adam. We are not suppose to stay cellibate, we are to truly love, and care for one another, and procreate, and nurture, and properly raise our children to be righteous, and caring of one another, and this is to be repeated by each generation, this is called 'life' There is no shame, no restrictions, only love, only life, it is to be lived, and let live, as said in Deuteronomy 4, do not add, nor diminish the law of life, and we are all responsible for all life, as well as our own.

      Two people brought together as one is a blessing from YHWH, to bring life, He made us for His own sake, and this reason was for us, to live, and allow us all to live a wholesome, righteous, and fair life. Loving, and caring and respecting each other fully, and do 'right' by one another. Of course He wants us to eat clean, live clean, work togeher to maintain a prosperous being, and share equally, this is to prolong our lives in Deuteronomy 30, 32. Don't confuse man made laws, with the law of life that YHWH gave us. I know doing right is an abstraction for those full of pride, and greed, but neither of these will prevail what true life is all about, and that is 'love' YHWH Bless. ps. jesus, and no other can say anything without the Word of YHWH allowing it first hand. I see more love in the movie King Kong, by an ape, and animals period, than in most of you people on this site, and on this earth with all of your bias man made laws, and religions, honestly in my opinion, I do. Praise YHWH.

      August 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Lorraine

    http://history-world.org/sargon_the_great.htm – this is history at its best of a true ruler of the people, oppose of today. From the time of the land of Ur, Genesis 15:7, which was the land that YHWH called Abraham out of to give him, and his 'seeds' the inheritance of the land from the river of Egypt, unto the great river of the Euphrates, along with the covenant in Genesis 15:18. Now whether there was an issue of being gay, or not, I sense that this was the least of the problems at this time. As should be now, people are people, and who they 'love' is not, and should not be a crime as long as it is of an adult consenting nature. As said in Proverbs 10:12, from the wisest, and most knowledgeable man ever known, Solomon, that 'Hatred stirs up strife, but 'love' covers all sins' the only judge is YHWH in the end. YHWH Bless.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  3. YeahRight

    "Who made you the moral decider of society you sick sob. By the way nice to fill the page with your personal garbage??"

    This is how silly this person is because I have been quoting the hundred of thousands of experts on this subject and he's trying to accuse me. LMAO! Oh, that's right Bob only posts from well known hate groups whose research has been proven bogus and bias. LOL!

    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 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  4. Bob

    YEAH RIGHT IS THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE SHAWN,JEANNINE,MATTHEW,JP,JOHN,250MINISTERS,DON,ERIK,JS. So if you see these posts please avoid them or look in the past posts thanks,

    August 28, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • YeahRight

      Again Bob comes through with more lying. This is why this person is a troll on this blog trying to spread his unfounded hatred and bigotry toward the gay community. 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 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Bob

      @Yeah
      I want to be able to understand and reply accordingly so I am asking you do you have a learning disability or as a child you were in slow classes or are you just a kid?? It would help me to understand how you can repost all this stuff under someone else s name and keep this kind of irrelevant behavior up. Also not answer a questions put to you with direct answers and have someone else reply for you. Thanks Bob Well if nothing else at least it makes for fun at the office and changes the pages faster with all the same reposts.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Good Morning Bob

      I'm not YeahRight, but felt compelled to respond to this. First, I doubt all of those handles are the same person as YeahRight. I'd buy that some of them are the same person under different handles, but the writing styles are too dissimilar for them all to be the same one.

      I want to be able to understand and reply accordingly so I am asking you do you have a learning disability or as a child you were in slow classes or are you just a kid??

      I do not find YeahRight's postings to be indicative of a person with a learning disability, and your wording here is underhanded, attempting to couch your insult in words of compassion.

      It would help me to understand how you can repost all this stuff under someone else s name and keep this kind of irrelevant behavior up.

      When one side of an argument endlessly repeats their assertions, is it irrelevant of the other side to endlessly repeat their own? I think not. It doesn't serve any purpose, it gets annoying after a while, but until one side or the other actually listens and responds and engages in conversation, we are left to this. Endlessly repeating the same diatribes at one another.

      Also not answer a questions put to you with direct answers and have someone else reply for you.

      Really, Bob? You're going to accuse someone else of this? I can not count the number of questions I've asked you, Bob, that you have never answered, and only put up another post reiterating things you've already said.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Bob

      @Weight
      These are not yeahs words on each post they are copied from other authors, just like all the information Yeah posts. He actually doesn't have the ability to respond with their own words for the most part otherwise we would not be getting everyone's rehashed words. When on occasion he does post a answer its not direct nor intelligent unless someones else either answers for yeah or he reposts someone else s answer. Since the filters will not let you post the same thing again you can alter as little as one line and it will be no problem. If you look back and you can go 20 pages you will see the history of the posts and when the repeats started to appear. If you look a few pages back you will see no Yeah and no reposts. So its not rocket science. Just look for yourself its already there.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Good morning Bob.

      I think you completely missed my point.

      You keep saying the same things over and over, even if you use slightly different words. YR responds, saying the same thing, over and over.

      Why?

      Because you keep saying the same things over and over.

      Neither one of you is actually *talking* to one another.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  5. Bob

    Yeah
    Actually Sodomy is illegal also so why wouldn't you endorse this guy wanting to marry his sister?? What makes you the authority to take the moral high ground now or is this just a sham by you to take God out of the US?? Or are you just a bigot like all the ones the gay agenda calls bigots just because some dont agree with your standards. Who made you the moral decider of society you sick sob. By the way nice to fill the page with your personal garbage??

    August 28, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Jen

      Sodomy is not illegal....how stupid are you? Has your IQ been tested? There's not a doubt in my mind it's below 50. You are the most unintelligent person I've ever come across. Stay in Texas with the rest of the inbreds.

      Plus if you knew anything about sodomy you would know it includes oral s- x. That would mean that virtually every heteros-xual couple has committed it. I guess every single adult in the country should be in jail.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • YeahRight

      Jen, I figured Bob would come back with this type of reply which only continues to further prove how much he doesn't know about this subject and why his prejudice and bigotry isn't based on REAL facts.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi again Bob,

      Actually Sodomy is illegal also so why wouldn't you endorse this guy wanting to marry his sister??

      Where is sodomy still illegal? Last I knew those laws had all been struck down.

      The laws regarding marriage between brother and sister have their roots in several cultural taboos and medical prohibitions to prevent the problems that arise with inbreeding.

      What makes you the authority to take the moral high ground now or is this just a sham by you to take God out of the US??

      I don't think anyone here is trying to take some imagined moral high ground. Nor is anyone trying to take god out of the US. God simply does not belong in our government. Period. Full Stop.

      Or are you just a bigot like all the ones the gay agenda calls bigots just because some dont agree with your standards.

      There is a great deal of fear and a gut level reaction to the incest taboo. In many ways it trumps nearly all other taboos in our culture. Part of this is likely due to the perceived understanding of incest as non-consensual and an abuse of power.

      Most consensual incestual relationships between siblings is the result of some form of childhood trauma, likely shared abuse by an adult through childhood, or severe repression and lack of socialization, and as such it is likely that they turned to one another for comfort and affection, which turned sexual as puberty approached.

      Who made you the moral decider of society you sick sob. By the way nice to fill the page with your personal garbage??

      We, as a society decide what is moral and acceptable. Everyone who is a part of society contributes. This is why we see growing acceptance for LGBT equality. As a whole society is reaching the consensus that love is love, regardless of gender.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Bob

      So if love is love why wouldn't you approve of brother sister marring each other??? Like I said answer the question.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bob

      So if love is love why wouldn't you approve of brother sister marring each other??? Like I said answer the question. If you stand on legal ground then you are allowing the law to define whats right and shouldn't fight for gay marriage if you don't stand on the law then you should endorse this kind of relationship since its love. The same justifications you give for gay marriage should be applied here if you are not a hypocrite, shouldn't this standard be applied to all loving relationships.So what is it?? You haven't answered how this is not a violation of their civil rights. I look forward to your answer if it ever comes.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Robert

      Bob you should be fighting for the civil rights of inc.est since Adam and Eve's children had to marry each other in order to populate the world. Cain married his sister, Abraham married his sister, Nahor married his niece, Lot and his daughters, Amram married his aunt. You should also be fighting for the rights of polygamy too. So based on the word of God inc.est should be ok and legal. Don't you agree?

      August 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Eliy

      The arguments against polygamy don't stem from Jud eo-Christian-Mu slim values against same-sex marriage (values that historically permit polygamy!) but rather from the provable societal dangers associated with polygamy.

      In 2008 the California Supreme Court distinguished polygamy from the right to same-sex marriage by explaining that polygamy is "inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry." Polygamist leaders like Warren Jeffs, who last year was convicted of multiple sexual assaults and incest-related felony counts, illustrate how polygamy is inherently conducive to power imbalances, sexual subjugation, and other abuses that do not inherently exist in the case of same-sex marriage.

      There isn't a shred of modern sociological evidence to support the claim that gay marriage is harmful to society, whereas there is a plet hora of historical and contemporary evidence to illustrate the dangers associated with polygamy. One could even argue that there is less of a power imbalance in same-sex couples compared with opposite-sex couples, because both spouses are of the same sex. With opposite-sex couples, there is arguably a greater power imbalance because men are generally physically stronger than women. The bottom line is that the rate of domestic violence in both gay and straight marriage is basically the same. Aside from gender, the unions are exactly the same.

      Every circumstance needs to be judged on its own merits. When looking at incest, for instance, it is quite clear that permitting consanguineous relationships will lead to power imbalances, psychological damage, sexual abuse, and a high rate of genetic diseases. Again, the basis for society's objection is not a religious one based on "family values" but one based on provable harm to society. The same cannot be said of two same-sex consenting adults getting married. Where is the evidence that children raised by gay parents are harmed? Where is the evidence that gay marriage will lead to the end of civilization? Show me one peer-reviewed, modern, mainstream study demonstrating the inherent dangers of gay marriage. You will not find it.

      It is of course also ludicrous to claim that gay marriage, or a homosexual relationship, between two consenting adults has any connection whatsoever to pedophilia. Minors do not have the capacity to consent to sexual contact with adults, whether in the heterosexual or homosexual context. What about bestiality? Animals and humans are different species. You can't compare human-to-human relationships with human-to-animal relationships.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So if love is love why wouldn't you approve of brother sister marring each other??? Like I said answer the question.

      I believe I did answer your question, Bob. Maybe I wasn't clear enough.

      The prohibition against marriage between close relations has reasons beyond any "moral" code, and certainly does not come from biblical standards in which such relationships seem to be common, if not celebrated.

      If we begin with the reasons such relationships tend to begin, we find that in general, two adult siblings engaging in intercourse with one another are not mentally healthy, and are likely victims of childhood trauma that would need to be resolved before either could enter into a consenting relationship.

      There is also the very real medical situation in which inbreeding can lead to birth defects and a decline in the species as a whole.

      All of that said, if two adult siblings want to engage in that form of relationship, it should be no one's business but their own. I don't see society accepting it or legalizing marriage for them due to the deep, deep taboo that has developed, but hey, I am not going to regulate anyone's bedroom. I can hope, however, that they seek professional help for the likely very damaged psyches they have been burdened with.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So if love is love why wouldn't you approve of brother sister marring each other??? Like I said answer the question.

      I already responded to this part.

      If you stand on legal ground then you are allowing the law to define whats right and shouldn't fight for gay marriage if you don't stand on the law then you should endorse this kind of relationship since its love.

      As I said, it transcends the law. There are reasons for the law, reasons of societal well being, and the overall health of the gene pool, among the very real issues with the psychological trauma that is the general cause of sexual relationships between a brother and sister.

      Now, if said brother and sister grew up apart, and met for the first time not knowing they were brother and sister, both were adults and in love? The only prohibition against them marrying in my mind is the inbreeding issue, which, generally doesn't show in a single generation. Of course, that knee jerk reaction of society will get in their way if anyone finds out they are in fact brother and sister.

      The same justifications you give for gay marriage should be applied here if you are not a hypocrite, shouldn't this standard be applied to all loving relationships.So what is it??

      There is nothing to prove that gay marriage is a detriment to society. There is no proof that gay people are mentally incapable of making informed decisions and giving informed consent, there is no questionable background that causes them to engage in sexual activity. There is no medical need to protect the purity of the species, because for a gay or lesbian couple to have children, they have to work hard, and seek outside help.

      The two situations can not be compared.

      You haven't answered how this is not a violation of their civil rights. I look forward to your answer if it ever comes.

      I believe I have answered you as fully and completely as I can.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  6. 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 28, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  7. Jeannine

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

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

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

    August 28, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  8. 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.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:13 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 who God really is.

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

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

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

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

    August 28, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  10. Bob

    This is a repost from the previous page because all the other posts are reposts from previous pages so it says what has to be said.
    While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child. The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it. Gays should be supported and welcomed in churches like everyone else but they are not to be in ministry just as anyone else who is in sin. Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place. I actually think that is a failing of the church to throw out the ones that are having a hard time conforming rather than showing the true love of Jesus to them. The atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society. That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them. May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known. Gay mindset is a abomination to God ,He created them man and woman. The command was go multiply and populate the earth. He created Eve out of Adams rib to be a help mate and said they shall become one flesh. There are so many commands of God that the gay relationship doesn't fulfill. It also doesn't fulfill any of the spiritual requirements for a relationship and is contrary to How God set things up to be. That is why we see so much hate on the sides of the atheists and gays because they cannot conform to Gods plans and know it. I am kind of interested in when we see that in these two passages the spiritual implications of copulation with someone I wonder how God will view gays as one flesh or maybe that your bodies are the members of Christ when we know that God and Christ are holy. So how can the gay relationship be holy when its not how God established a relationship to be? These passages are for a ho-oker but we see a pattern that in a relationship that there is copulation that we join ourselves to that person no matter how long we are with that person. We create a spiritual tie with that person so how is it that the gays think that this will be ok by God. A Holy and awesome God that no sin will enter His presence and only by the blood of Jesus can we go into the very throne room. That in the Old Testament priests had to tie a rope on there leg in case God found sin in their lives and they died offering worship to Him. How far off in this light is the poster of this article and the gays here.
    1Co_6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a ho–oker? May it never be!
    1Co_6:16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a ho-oker is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."

    August 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Since a judge ruled atheism a religion I think we should stop all the legislation that they are pushing under the separation of church and state. This would effectively stop all the changes like no prayer in school and in the military since its a religious organization is wanting the change. They are looking to endorse their religion over what the current norms are.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it."

      Bob doesn't understand the real truth about this subject he is blinded by his deep hatred and prejudice. There are thousands and thousands of churches now that are accepting gays and stating it is not a sin as we know and understand it today. This is the part Bob can't comprehend how we have come to understand sexual orientation today. 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."

      It's because of these facts that nowhere in the bible does it condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple. What the bible does condemn is rape, male prostitution and worshiping a pagan god using sex. Duh!

      August 28, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Good morning Bob. I hope you are well.

      Since I already answered the first part of this post, I'm just going to skip to the new part.

      Gay mindset is a abomination to God ,He created them man and woman.

      What "mindset"? Are you saying that just being gay is an abomination? If this is your position, then there is no salvation to be found for LGBT folk? If something that they can not change is an abomination, what hope is there?

      And...gay or straight, we're all still man or woman. Our sexual orientation does not change that.

      The command was go multiply and populate the earth.

      Which has been done. To the point that we have a population problem. We don't have the resources to continue multiplying indiscriminately. This is the problem with taking your instructions from a book written before the people writing it even knew the other half of the world existed.

      He created Eve out of Adams rib to be a help mate and said they shall become one flesh.

      So....

      There are so many commands of God that the gay relationship doesn't fulfill.

      Care to be specific?

      And, one must point out here that any commands of your god apply to those who believe in and follow your god....but has no bearing on the laws of the US or the people who do not share the belief.

      It also doesn't fulfill any of the spiritual requirements for a relationship and is contrary to How God set things up to be.

      What spiritual requirements for a relationship? Have you ever seen two people in love, Bob? Straight or gay, it doesn't matter. That connection, that joy...That is what is spiritual, the relationship part is work. It isn't always easy, it isn't always all rainbows and puppies, but if that love is there, it is worth fighting for.

      That is why we see so much hate on the sides of the atheists and gays because they cannot conform to Gods plans and know it.

      Or perhaps, what you see as "hate" is merely those who don't believe telling you that you can not define their lives by what you believe. Oh, I'm sure there is some hate from some folks, fear as well. Anger. But none of those things can be a surprise, Bob. Not when you really look at the person behind the emotion...when you realize that gay 20-year old with the chip on his shoulder has been beaten and abused his whole life, bullied in school, thrown out of his home, told he was a sinner and condemned to hell. Or the straight mother who had to bury her teenage daughter because she couldn't take the bullying and condemnation any more.

      When people's lives are threatened, when their rights are infringed, when the live with the uncertainty of never knowing if someone will take God's law at it's word, they will be angry and spiteful, fearful and anxious. Being LGBT is but one aspect of who a person is, yet people like you define us by it, as if that is all that we are. Our lives become meaningless, our love demonized, we become something less than human and when that happens someone, somewhere will see it as justification to commit terrible, horrific acts of violence, fully believing that your God gives them the right.

      I am kind of interested in when we see that in these two passages the spiritual implications of copulation with someone I wonder how God will view gays as one flesh or maybe that your bodies are the members of Christ when we know that God and Christ are holy. So how can the gay relationship be holy when its not how God established a relationship to be?

      The sacred part of intercourse is the connection, the spiritual and emotional connection made between the two people involved. It matters little what the anatomy of those people is. Of course, not all sex is sacred, but seeing as what we are talking about here is a long term, committed, monogamous relationship between two people of the same gender, I would expect that they have this connection.

      These passages are for a ho-oker but we see a pattern that in a relationship that there is copulation that we join ourselves to that person no matter how long we are with that person. We create a spiritual tie with that person so how is it that the gays think that this will be ok by God.

      Because gays are joining their lives together in a bond? They wish to marry, to share their lives together, to share in the joy of family...so, yes, that would include having sex together as well.

      A Holy and awesome God that no sin will enter His presence and only by the blood of Jesus can we go into the very throne room. That in the Old Testament priests had to tie a rope on there leg in case God found sin in their lives and they died offering worship to Him. How far off in this light is the poster of this article and the gays here.

      I wonder if you can even comprehend how reprehensible this belief is to those outside of Christianity. There is a much bigger conversation here than this comment can begin to cover, but the idea that we, as we are born, are so unworthy, so dirty with sin that we must be covered in the blood of another before the very god that supposedly made us as we are can even stand our presence is vile, hateful and filled with self-loathing worthy of a lifetime of therapy.

      And that doesn't even begin to cover the idea that your god is so blood-thirsty that he requires all who would stand before him to do so covered in that blood. Or the idea of allowing an innocent to take punishment for anything I have done. But as I said, entirely different, and potentially very long, conversation.

      1Co_6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a ho–oker? May it never be!
      1Co_6:16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a ho-oker is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."

      So, no sex with prostitutes. Got it. How does that matter when we are discussing a committed, loving relationship between two adults who wish to spend their lives together forever?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Since a judge ruled atheism a religion I think we should stop all the legislation that they are pushing under the separation of church and state.

      What judge where ruled such a thing? Atheism is merely the lack of belief in a god. There are no tenants, no dogma, no creeds.

      Now, that isn't to say that some atheists don't make a religion around their lack of belief. Or that none of them are dogmatic in their belief. HOWEVER, there is no church of atheism. There is no over reaching hierarchy of atheism.

      And how do you even jump from atheism being a religion to not separating church and state?

      This would effectively stop all the changes like no prayer in school and in the military since its a religious organization is wanting the change. They are looking to endorse their religion over what the current norms are.

      No. It wouldn't. For the simple reason that the separation of church and state is ALREADY a part of our constitution. It doesn't matter who brings the lawsuit that leads to changes in things like school prayer, because school prayer violates the separation of church and state, unless your school is run by a church.

      Are you aware, that many of the actions against school prayer over the years were not begun by atheists at all, but by those of other religions (primarily Jews) and those of Christian sects that disagreed with the kind of prayer being offered.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  11. Douglas

    Celibacy...why now?

    This is a question we hear time and again from GLBTQ Christians making their faith journey to Christ.

    After a thorough review of the scriptures, GLBTQ folks begin to comprehend and fulfill their obligation to reject sin and cast aside the life of fornication from the past. Is it easy...no...but it wasn't easy for Christ enduring his time on the cross for
    sinners like us, unworthy to look him in the eye.

    I know that souls are being won to Christ everyday...and in that number we can count GLBTQ folk who have said enough
    to the lies of Satan and rejected outright his urge to fornicate and sin.

    Thanks to our GLBTQ couples who are now standing shoulder to shoulder, in defense of their faith, with faces set like a flint
    in a sincere commitment to celibate partnerships.

    Amen.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • James

      "Celibacy...why now?"

      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 28, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  12. Bob

    So yeah why didn't you answer the guy who wanted to marry his sister I was interested to see how you were going to answer him. He said he loved her so why did you become the righteous one all of a sudden???

    August 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      What an idiot. Are you having a nice conversation with yourself?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Well Bob, if your reading comprehension issues weren't so bad you would have noticed I answered this stupid question. Duh!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually my comprehension is fine actually its better than yours because you dismissed the question and actually didn't answer it, and when he came back you didn't answer at all so care to now??? I would also like to know why it isn't his civil right just as much as the gays??

      August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • John

      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

      August 28, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • YeahRight

      " I would also like to know why it isn't his civil right just as much as the gays??"

      This speaks volumes about Bob's intelligence on this subject since he can't comprehend that incest is illegal and a loving gay relationship is not. Duh!

      August 28, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  13. 250 Ministers Proclamation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . .. against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: ".....the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    August 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      That's all fine and dandy. Too bad we have no more reason to trust the self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul as we do to trust Joseph Smith. If garbage from salemen and politicians from hundreds of years ago keeps you happy, then by all means, I won't stand in anyone's way. But for gays, the issue of civil rights and separation of church and state will come eventually in the US, so you can cling to your fairy tales all you want (mainly speaking to this Bob really, not Don).

      August 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bob

      The atheist religion should be classified as a dangerous regressive religion where people cannot think for themselves. They condemn the those who are like themselves to be like zombies to Darwinism and it limits their intellectual ability. They limit free speech and are dangerously aggressive to anyone who does not have the same ideas. A creative thinker or someone who knows more and different things than them they like the old days say they are nuts. I wonder if the atheists today were confronted with Einstein if they would also call him a idiot because the ideas are beyond their comprehension.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You should be classified as an absolute cretin, Boob.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  15. Bob

    This is a repost from the previous page because all the other posts are reposts from previous pages so it says what has to be said.
    While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child. The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it. Gays should be supported and welcomed in churches like everyone else but they are not to be in ministry just as anyone else who is in sin. Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place. I actually think that is a failing of the church to throw out the ones that are having a hard time conforming rather than showing the true love of Jesus to them. The atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society. That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them. May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known. This is especially true for "yeah" the poster of james, eric the pastors and yeahright.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • .

      While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child.

      Why? Because he has a different interpretation of your holy book than you do?

      The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives.

      This is your truth, Bob. As has been pointed out many people disagree, using the same scripture you do.

      Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it.

      And again we're back to using "lifestyle". Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is who a person is. So you believe that there is a penalty for simply being who a person was born to be?

      Gays should be supported and welcomed in churches like everyone else but they are not to be in ministry just as anyone else who is in sin.

      Then according to your own doctrine, no one should be in ministry, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of god, right?

      Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place.

      Hurts? What hurts? And again with the lifestyle. You do know that there are gay people in most every sort of lifestyle right? Soccer moms, PTA parents, swingers, party people, political people, religious people. Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is a sexual orientation.

      And Jesus does not offer a way out of how you were born, Bob. By your own theology, he made them, he loves them, he accepts them as they are.

      Or are you saying that Jesus didn't eat with tax collectors and prostitutes?

      I actually think that is a failing of the church to throw out the ones that are having a hard time conforming rather than showing the true love of Jesus to them.

      True, unconditional love, of the kind Jesus spoke of in the bible, is highly rare in this world, and seldom seen in a church. I never found it in Christianity at all. I had to walk away from the bible, from the god of Christianity to find it.

      The atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society.

      Many of the atheists here actually do know the bible quite well. They simply interpret it differently than you do. Many atheists become atheists after thorough study of the bible, its history and origins and its effects on the people who believe.

      Out of curiosity Bob, how many gay people do you know? You keep harping on the atheists here not being gay or knowing any gay people, but you have not once spoken with regard to any in your life. Why does this issue matter so intensely to you?

      So many of my friends are lesbian, gay, bi or trans or allies that I forget sometimes that not everyone is.

      That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them. May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known.

      Our society IS godless Bob, at least here in the US. We are a nation founded upon the principle that the government can in no way, shape or form, endorse, outlaw or otherwise speak to any god...yours, mine or anyone else's. God, and religion, is solely an individual mandate. You believe as your heart leads. I will do the same.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child.”

      Another LIE and no this author is not mislead since there are thousands of gay churches now, gay clergy and gays are getting married in their churches.

      “The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it.”

      No, only prejudice bigots like you read that into the bible, nowhere does it condemn the long term loving relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. What it does condemn is rape, male prostitution and worshipping a pagan god using sex.

      “ Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place.”

      This is just your prejudice opinion that is not based on any real facts. Gay people aren’t gay because they’ve been hurt. 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 atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society.”

      More lies from Bob as usual. This is about civil rights for gay couples so they can protect their families just like straights can. It’s you Bob that doesn’t care about gays or their families by all the lies and hate you’ve spewed on this thread. Including campaigning against them getting their civil right in marriage.

      “That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them.”

      Another lie from Bob since gay marriage is legal in several states and countries and those societies are doing just fine.

      “May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known.”

      This is coming from a person who is proven liar who only purpose here it to continue to fuel the hatred and bigotry toward this minority group. Everything he has posted has been from well know hate groups whose reports have been proven bogus by all the experts in this country. 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."

      "This is especially true for "yeah" the poster of james, eric the pastors and yeahright."

      More lies on top of more lies from poster Bob. What a hypocrite.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Wow, a christard of the highest order. Pompous idiot. Christianity is one f'ed up made up religion – just like all of them.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Thanks for re-posting my reply from the first page.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  16. Erik

    ""Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place. '"

    This is not about being hurt. 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 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  17. JS

    Christians are increasingly divided over the issue of the acceptance and inclusion of gay persons into the church. The debate itself is usually framed as essentially pitting the Bible, on one hand, against compassion and social justice on the other. Our Christian hearts, runs the (usually impassioned) argument, compel us to grant full moral and legal equality to gay and lesbian people; our Christian faith, comes the (usually impassioned) rebuttal, compels us to cleave, above all, to the word of God.

    Compassion for others is the fundamental cornerstone of Christian ethics; the Bible is the bedrock of the Christian faith. What Christian can possibly choose between the two?

    The answer is that no Christian is called upon to make that choice. The text of the Bible on one hand, and full equality for gay and lesbian people on the other, is a false dichotomy. God would not ask or expect Christians to ever choose between their heart and their faith.

    Reconciling the Bible with unqualified acceptance and equality for LGBT people does not necessitate discounting, recasting, deconstructing or reinterpreting the Bible. All it takes is reading those passages of the Bible wherein homosexuality is mentioned with the same care we would any other passage of the book.

    We can trust God; we can trust that God is loving.

    And we can trust that we can - and that we certainly should - take God, in this matter, as in all things, at his Word.

    If there is no clearly stated directive in the Bible to marginalize and ostracize gay people, then Christians continuing to do so is morally indefensible, and must cease.

    What cannot be denied is that Christians have caused a great deal of pain and suffering to gay persons, by:

    Banning their participation in the church, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of the church;

    Banning their participation in the sacrament of marriage, thus depriving them of the comforts and spiritual fruits of marriage;

    Damaging the bonds between gays and their straight family members, thus weakening the comforts and spiritual fruits of family life for both gays and their families; and

    Using their position within society as spokespersons for God to proclaim that all homosexual relations are disdained by God, thus knowingly contributing to the cruel persecution of a minority population.

    Christians do not deny that they have done these things. However, they contend that they have no choice but to do these things, based on what they say is a clear directive about homosexuals delivered to them by God through the Holy Bible. They say that the Bible defines all homosexual acts as sinful, instructs them to exclude from full participation in the church all non-repentant sinners (including gay people), and morally calls upon them to publicly (or at least resolutely) denounce homosexual acts.

    Without an explicit directive from God to exclude and condemn homosexuals, the Christian community's treatment of gay persons is in clear violation of what Jesus and the New Testament writers pointedly identified as the most important commandment from God: to love one's neighbor as one's self.

    The gay community has cried out for justice to Christians, who have a biblically mandated obligation to be just. Because the mistreatment of gay persons by Christians is so severe, the directive from God to marginalize and ostracize gay people must be clear and explicit in the Bible. If there is no such clearly stated directive, then the continued Christian mistreatment of gay and lesbian people is morally indefensible, and must cease.

    The Bible is not a contract, or a set of instructions, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific. It is not a rulebook for being Christian. It is instead a widely varying collection of poetry, history, proverbs, moral directives, parables, letters and wondrous visions. We would be foolish to fail to understand that not everything in the Bible is a commandment, and that Christians cannot take any small section of the Bible out of its own context, and still hope to gain a clear understanding of its meaning.

    We can be confident that Paul was not writing to, or about, gay people, because he simply could not have been, any more than he could have written about smart phones or iPads. We do not know what Paul might write or say today about gay people. All we know is that in the New Testament he wrote about promiscuous, predatory, non-consensual same-sex acts between heterosexuals.

    If we are to rely on the Bible, then we must take its text as it is. It does condemn homosexual (and heterosexual) sex that is excessive, exploitive and outside of marriage. It does not, however, address the state of homosexuality itself - much less the subject of homosexual acts between a married gay couple. Christians therefore have no Bible-based moral justification for themselves condemning such acts.

    Because there was no concept of gay marriage when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of gay marriage.

    The Bible routinely, clearly and strongly classifies all sex acts outside of the bonds of marriage as sinful. But, because there was no concept of gay people when the Bible was written, the Bible does not, and could not, address the sinfulness of homosexual acts done within the context of marriage. Christians therefore have no biblical basis for themselves condemning such acts.

    In fact; by denying marriage equality to gay people, Christians are compelling gay couples to sin, because their intimacy must happen outside of marriage, and is therefore, by biblical definition, sinful.

    Being personally repelled by homosexual sex doesn't make homosexual sex a sin.

    Christians cite as additional evidence of the inherent sinfulness of homosexual acts their raw emotional response to such acts. It is understandable that many straight people find homosexual sex repugnant (just as many gay people find heterosexual sex repugnant). It is normal for any one of us to be viscerally repelled by the idea of sex between, or with, people for whom we personally have no sexual attraction. It may feel to a straight Christian that their instinctive negative reaction to homosexual sex arises out of the Bible. But all of us necessarily view the Bible through the lens of our own experiences and prejudices, and we must be very careful to ensure that lens does not distort our vision or understanding of God's sacrosanct word.

    "The greatest of these is love."

    The overriding message of Jesus was love. Jesus modeled love; Jesus preached love; Jesus was love. Christians desiring to do and live the will of Jesus are morally obliged to always err on the side of love.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  18. James

    ""The Bible out of society. That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them""

    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 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  19. YeahRight

    “While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child.”
    Another LIE and no this author is not mislead since there are thousands of gay churches now, gay clergy and gays are getting married in their churches.
    “The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it.”
    No, only prejudice bigots like you read that into the bible, nowhere does it condemn the long term loving relationship of a gay couple. What it does condemn is rape, male prostitution and worshipping a pagan god using sex.
    “ Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place.”
    This is just your prejudice opinion that is not based on any real facts. Gay people aren’t gay because they’ve been hurt. 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 atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society.”
    More lies from Bob as usual. This is about civil rights for gay couples so they can protect their families just like straights can. It’s you Bob that doesn’t care about gays or their families by all the lies and hate you’ve spewed on this thread. Including campaigning against them getting their civil right in marriage.
    “That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them.”
    Another lie from Bob since gay marriage is legal in several states and countries and those societies are doing just fine.
    “May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known.”
    This is coming from a person who is proven liar who only purpose here it to continue to fuel the hatred and bigotry toward this minority group. Everything he has posted has been from well know hate groups whose reports have been proven bogus by all the experts in this country. 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."

    "This is especially true for "yeah" the poster of james, eric the pastors and yeahright."

    More lies on top of more lies from poster Bob. What a hypocrite.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  20. Bob

    While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child. The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives. Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it. Gays should be supported and welcomed in churches like everyone else but they are not to be in ministry just as anyone else who is in sin. Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place. I actually think that is a failing of the church to throw out the ones that are having a hard time conforming rather than showing the true love of Jesus to them. The atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society. That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them. May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known. This is especially true for "yeah" the poster of james, eric the pastors and yeahright.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You posted this almost word for word on the previous page and were responded to. Why the repost?

      Also, I have to ask why you feel the need to judge another person who you have never met on something you can't possibly know simply because you disagree with them?

      It is my understanding that your god disproves of this behavior.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • reply

      While we have been to hell and back on this issue the truth comes down to this the author of this article is sorely mislead and trips on the fantasies of his own mind, he must have been a flower child.

      Why? Because he has a different interpretation of your holy book than you do?

      The truth is that there is NO support for gays in the Bible except to say they are welcome to receive Jesus as Lord of their lives.

      This is your truth, Bob. As has been pointed out many people disagree, using the same scripture you do.

      Any continuation on the H0m0 lifestyle is strictly forbidden and carries penalties with it.

      And again we're back to using "lifestyle". Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is who a person is. So you believe that there is a penalty for simply being who a person was born to be?

      Gays should be supported and welcomed in churches like everyone else but they are not to be in ministry just as anyone else who is in sin.

      Then according to your own doctrine, no one should be in ministry, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of god, right?

      Jesus does provide a way out of this lifestyle and will heal the hurts that allowed a person to enter in to it in the first place.

      Hurts? What hurts? And again with the lifestyle. You do know that there are gay people in most every sort of lifestyle right? Soccer moms, PTA parents, swingers, party people, political people, religious people. Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is a sexual orientation.

      And Jesus does not offer a way out of how you were born, Bob. By your own theology, he made them, he loves them, he accepts them as they are.

      Or are you saying that Jesus didn't eat with tax collectors and prostitutes?

      I actually think that is a failing of the church to throw out the ones that are having a hard time conforming rather than showing the true love of Jesus to them.

      True, unconditional love, of the kind Jesus spoke of in the bible, is highly rare in this world, and seldom seen in a church. I never found it in Christianity at all. I had to walk away from the bible, from the god of Christianity to find it.

      The atheists here don't know the Bible and I seriously doubt have any gay friends much less real friends so they speak not from any caring point but to take The Bible out of society.

      Many of the atheists here actually do know the bible quite well. They simply interpret it differently than you do. Many atheists become atheists after thorough study of the bible, its history and origins and its effects on the people who believe.

      Out of curiosity Bob, how many gay people do you know? You keep harping on the atheists here not being gay or knowing any gay people, but you have not once spoken with regard to any in your life. Why does this issue matter so intensely to you?

      So many of my friends are lesbian, gay, bi or trans or allies that I forget sometimes that not everyone is.

      That is there motive and plans the gay rights issue is a mere stepping stone to a God less society for them. May they either receive the truth of the Bible or pay justly for their deeds which are well known.

      Our society IS godless Bob, at least here in the US. We are a nation founded upon the principle that the government can in no way, shape or form, endorse, outlaw or otherwise speak to any god...yours, mine or anyone else's. God, and religion, is solely an individual mandate. You believe as your heart leads. I will do the same.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.