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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. Bob

    John calls Paul prejudice and not scientific but lets look into this real man of God born in Tarsus, Paul was raised in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid 1st century AD Gamaliel once gave some advice to the Sanhedrin in Acts to refrain from slaying the disciples of Jesus. Paul or Saul same person was a Roman citizen a Pharisee of pharisees and he prosecuted Christians until he had a encounter with Jesus. He was educated in the finest religious traditions and the Sanhedrin was the assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel. He also had a miraculous encounter with Jesus that changed his life. This is the man that John is calling prejudice and unscientific. Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul. His authorship of seven of the fourteen is questioned by modern scholars. Augustine of Hippo developed Paul's idea that salvation is based on faith and not "works of the law".Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings heavily influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide.So John who is into credentials is not respecting the credentials of Saint John.With Paul's upbringing and teachings he would not even think it was ok to be gay and might be the one to kill you if you were. he did kill many Christians.Saying that paul would not approve of gay behavior is a drastic understatement. He also was spiritually apprised and had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and was anointed a Apostle by Jesus. Paul understood from God and Jesus the meaning of relations it went far beyond the physical side and when you have relations with someone you are joining yourself with that person.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Derek

      Blah blah blah, Bob. Why the heck can't god come up with a modern website or do a few tweets himself? He clearly has a marcomm problem.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Paul proclaimed himself as a apostle and really was nothing special. And dangerous because of how his writings have been used since. But really, that's the whole bible. He just elevated its ability to allow a Christian to speak with a forked tongue, to contradict themselves from this horribly assembled collection of fable.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • 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".

      October 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  2. 2Cents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    October 4, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  3. 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 Gods 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?

    October 4, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  4. John

    "Robert wow I guess revealing the truth is a problem with you maybe you shouldn't post here"

    Bob you don't understand the real truth. 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.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Bob

      Same wrong ideas posted a hundred times before.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,

      October 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Bill

      "Same wrong ideas posted a hundred times before.'

      Bob you just posted the same wrong ideas again, so that makes you a hypocrite.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Whatever yeahright oh sorry bill

      October 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums."

      By the way Bob is adding his personal opinion here and it's not based on any real facts, he is twisting the scriptures to try and justify his prejudice and bigotry toward the gay community. Let's look at all the other things the bible calls an abomination. Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13)

      But yet Bob is trying to apply it only to the gay community based on his prejudice interpretations that aren't based on facts.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Everything akin to magic or divnation is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. "

      Bob you're reading gay into this part of the bible study website that you took this from, they never stated gay in their interpretations. Plus as we know today being gay is NOT an unnatural offense, they experts have proven it's normal. 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."

      October 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeahright I am really impressed a person who cannot write their own posts atheist to boot suddenly becomes a Bible scholar I am just amazed,, Please ...

      October 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • YeahRight

      No Bob, I am quoting the hundred of thousands of experts that have proven you wrong. Duh!

      October 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  5. John

    In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.

    And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.

    Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.

    That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.

    Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.

    Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.

    And what Christian - what person at all? - would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?

    October 4, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Speak for your own mob.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  6. Bob

    And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
    1Co 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
    1Co 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    1Co 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    1Co 13:8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
    Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
    Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Bob

      Wow, sounds like your god is a vicious, hateful, spiteful jerk. No thanks.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Sharon

      So isn't your god supposed to forgive anything of anyone who asks? Why does he have such a hate on then, for just about everything you claim he made.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Bob

      I love it when the unlearned come out and play, You say He is vicious it is really protection and your own decisions make the choice for you as you are finding out and when it comes to perversion of truth, love leading His people astray He is so much more than a angry mother protecting her children. From dust you were created to dust you will return, but ,I'm interested do you lay awake at night and think what will happen to your soul when your body passes?? Who you will return to? Of course probably to father of lies for that is all he knows.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob. How are you today? Hope things are well with you and your family.

      I love it when the unlearned come out and play,

      As I've said before, someone having a different opinion than you does not make them ignorant or unlearned.

      You say He is vicious it is really protection and your own decisions make the choice for you as you are finding out and when it comes to perversion of truth, love leading His people astray He is so much more than a angry mother protecting her children.

      Any god who would turn his back on any of his creation for any reason is not a god I could or would follow. Any god who would torture or torment his own creation for any reason is not a god I could or would follow. Any god who claims to love unconditionally and then places conditions on forgiveness, is not a god who actually understands what the words "love" and "unconditionally" mean.

      There is no choice a human being can make to separate him or herself from the Divine.

      From dust you were created to dust you will return,

      Actually, I was created by a sperm and an egg, inside my mother's womb. There was no dust involved. One day my body will decay, unless I opt for cremation, which does, in many ways, seem a more fitting end. Either way, not dust exactly. Dust like substance maybe.

      but ,I'm interested do you lay awake at night and think what will happen to your soul when your body passes??

      No, not really. I'm far more concerned with how I am living the life I have right now. When I lie awake at night, it usually because I am trying to figure out a problem or reviewing things I need to take care of, or on occasion, if I can't sleep, meditating.

      Who you will return to? Of course probably to father of lies for that is all he knows.

      To be completely honest, I don't give much thought to what comes after. I asume there will be something...but only because I find it difficult to believe that this short, brief life is all there is. I have vague hopes of reincarnation, or as my faith tradition teaches, the Summerlands where I can visit with those I have loved. But that's all they are, vague hopes that I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Paul was no one special. He even proclaimed himself as an apostle. The bible is rehashed folklore at best, and Paul's writings (most of the Epistles) are the worst of it. That's is until you move to the Book of Mormon, when things get really wacko – it's always fun to base new fable on old fable.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Bob, I don't waste a minute, day or night, thinking of what happens after I die, because there isn't a single reason to believe that death isn't simply the cessation of existence. Any worrying I do about death is about the responsibilities I leave behind.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • YeahRight

      st Corinthians 6:9-10 – the word homosexual was added later by a prejudice scribe, most scholars will tell you it's about male prostitution and nothing in there is about the saved long term relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today.

      Romans 1:23-32 – noticed you skipped over 23 since that set the precedence for that scripture they were worshiping their pagan god using sex. Again, it has NOTHING to do with gays as we know and understand it today. Duh!

      Bob will spew his nonsense trying to justify his unfounded prejudice and bigotry but none of it is based on real facts.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Bill

      Bob you keep posting the same wrong ideas a hundred times.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  7. TC

    "Douglas

    There is no "Christian case" for gay marriage.

    Jesus defines marriage as the solemn union of one man and one woman in Matthew, Chapter 19, of the Holy Bible,
    God's eternal word.
    "

    Taking scripture out of contect is not Godly.

    This is a direct response to a question about DIVORCE, not a definition of marriage. And yet Christains still divorce in HUGE numbers, despite Jesus' own words against the practice.

    Odd, isn't it?

    October 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Sharon

      Since humans wrote the bible, it is of no more import in defining marriage than many other books. We also defined marriage, and can re-define it as we like.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Bob

      The stats on Christian marriage are not good no doubt but how many professing Christians do the atheists slaughter on this board?? The point are they really Christians that don't know their God, surrender to His decisions and trust in them?? Is it a failure of man or God?? With society at a low point I would have to say man. We have taken the bedroom and made it public. Taken every moral and said its wrong now if you want to live a life of Godliness you are almost assailed and made to look like a fool. There is one thing that even those that become Christians have a hard time with, trusting God rather than themselves and really hearing what God has for them personally. The Christian walk is actually alot harder in the beginning than just giving up that is whats sad to many do just that. So I don't like the stats but I do understand them. If more would rely on God rather than self to settle things and the churches would start to walk in their appointed jobs then maybe we would see a reversal of that figure.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The stats on Christian marriage are not good no doubt but how many professing Christians do the atheists slaughter on this board??

      What does one have to do with the other?

      The point are they really Christians that don't know their God, surrender to His decisions and trust in them??

      Who decides who is or is not "really Christian"? I certainly would never do that. If a person tells me they are Christian, or Buddhist or Pagan, I take them at their word.

      Is it a failure of man or God??

      Seeing as a marriage is between two human beings, it is a human failing when the marriage fails. This is just common sense.

      With society at a low point I would have to say man. We have taken the bedroom and made it public.

      Who has? I haven't. What goes on in my bedroom stays in my bedroom. Same for most people I know. Unless you're talking about porn...but everyone knows that isn't real anyway.

      Taken every moral and said its wrong

      Just because my morality is different than yours doesn't mean that I've said every moral you believe in is wrong.

      now if you want to live a life of Godliness you are almost assailed and made to look like a fool.

      No, only when you try to force your idea of "godliness" on the rest of us. You go be as godly as you want. I don't mind. Just keep your god out of my laws, and away from my body.

      There is one thing that even those that become Christians have a hard time with, trusting God rather than themselves and really hearing what God has for them personally.

      Which has nothing at all to do with marriage stats. The truth is that we push so hard to couple people up, as though marriage and children is the only right way to live your life. There is so much pressure with very little practical advice for how to BE married, how to choose a partner, how to make it work. Add in a bunch of unrealistic expectations of religion and clergy, etc...it's surprising any marriages last more than a year.

      The Christian walk is actually alot harder in the beginning than just giving up that is whats sad to many do just that.

      I'm not actually sure what the point of this statement even is.

      So I don't like the stats but I do understand them. If more would rely on God rather than self to settle things and the churches would start to walk in their appointed jobs then maybe we would see a reversal of that figure.

      Or maybe the church should butt it's nose out, and couples should be required to live together for a period of time prior to committing to spend their entire lives together, so that they can get a realistic understanding of what it is like to live with someone 24/7. And society should butt out too, and stop making people think that they only way to being happy is to be one half of a whole.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  8. 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.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  9. Elaine

    "the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was no hospitality this is totally bogus,"

    In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

    Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted rape of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterosexuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were homosexuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

    So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and rape, mainly by heterosexuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same sex, and homosexuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against homosexuality in general is like comparing rape to marriage. There is NO similarity!

    The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions homosexuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

    Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

    Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

    Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

    Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

    Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

    Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
    you. . ."

    Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

    Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

    Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

    Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

    Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

    II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

    Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – sexual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

    The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a sexual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterosexual practicing homosexual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since sex with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the sexual act.

    Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to homosexuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

    This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray homosexuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral homosexuals, just as there are immoral heterosexuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

    Our sexuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterosexual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

    When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned homosexuality. I believe that was because homosexuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

    "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

    This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

    We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of homosexuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

    So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

    If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

    If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

    October 3, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Sharon

      Uhh, Elaine, re "if there is even a chance", all that text just to take Pascal's Wager at the finish? Wow, you're really stupid.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  10. Bob

    Actually the posts below are reposts and since Yeahright isn't here himself these are more likely his reposts. They are also lies and distortions. John also says that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was no hospitality this is totally bogus, in fact their sin was the very same thing we see today that's why he cant see clearly that they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly, guilty of the most notorious crimes, and addicted to the most scandalous and unnatural lusts that can be thought of; and these they committed openly and publicly in the sight of God, in the most daring and impudent manner, and in defiance of him, without any fear or shame. The Targum of Jonathan reckons up many of their sins, as defrauding of one another in their substance, sinning in their bodies, unclean copulation, shedding of innocent blood, worshiping of idols, and rebelling against the name of the Lord. Isaiah 3 verse 9. it will reveal the truth to you.Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,

    October 3, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Robert

      Bob again you are doing the very thing you are condemning of others so what does that make you? You really don't comprehend the bible very well especially the part about the log in your eye, so you are not someone anyone should be taking seriously as a biblical scholar because you are not.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • John

      So why do you choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love through Jesus Christ?

      October 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Bob

      Robert wow I guess revealing the truth is a problem with you maybe you shouldn't post here

      October 4, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • myweightinwords

      John also says that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was no hospitality this is totally bogus, in fact their sin was the very same thing we see today

      If you take a little time and dig a little deeper into the story, using a concordance to look up the words (all the words) and studying what is known of the culture of the place and time, one would find that John is closer to the truth than you would imagine. The "sins" of Sodom had to do with far more than either "homosexuality" or "hospitality" by themselves. Remember that god sent the angels to Lot, having already decided to destroy Sodom.

      that's why he cant see clearly that they were sinners before the Lord exceedingly, guilty of the most notorious crimes, and addicted to the most scandalous and unnatural lusts that can be thought of;

      Which is to say, that they weren't living according to the Jewish laws. Perhaps because they weren't Jews.

      and these they committed openly and publicly in the sight of God, in the most daring and impudent manner, and in defiance of him, without any fear or shame.

      Or living their lives according to their own gods rules and paying attention to their gods, with no regard to the god of Lot and his family...because they didn't serve him.

      The Targum of Jonathan reckons up many of their sins, as defrauding of one another in their substance, sinning in their bodies, unclean copulation, shedding of innocent blood, worshiping of idols, and rebelling against the name of the Lord.

      Which is what I said above. It wasn't any one "sin".

      Also? It's a myth. It's a story to teach a lesson. So, the discussion is a philosophical one, not a historical one.

      Isaiah 3 verse 9. it will reveal the truth to you.Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation.

      The ancient Jews thought many things were an abomination, things that we today have no problem with.

      Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness.

      English can be an unsubtle language at times. And it doesn't help that those who did the translating of those words did so with a prejudice.

      Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums.

      And again, if, in fact, ALL of those laws were being strictly adhered to by today's modern Christians (or even the Jews), then what you are saying might hold value. HOWEVER, you don't, and trying to force anyone else to is just an abomination.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  11. John

    "Most here are reposts a few new but the issue is still the same there is not one word of acceptance of the gay lifestyle in the Bible. "

    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.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • soduh2

      You argue as if the burden of proof is on the anti-side. While you say the anti-side is antiquated you presume the proside speaks for itself (within a Christian context). It does not.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Bob

      First off this post is a 100 time repost and just to show the absurdity of it he calls Paul and Gods ideas antiquated anti semitic although Paul was a Jew among Jews, a Pharisee, highly educated highly respected, son of a lawyer in Jewish law, had a experience with Jesus that the men around him heard was blind and had his vision restored when prayed for, a persecutor of Christians to the point of killing them. John has no idea what he is talking about and sounds like he may have a point till you realize that this logic is of the world, he insults every idea and person in the Bible including God, twists every detail and knows no truth. If you know the Bible and God then you will realize the utter insanity of johns own thoughts to the point you wonder how this person who lies, speaks without knowledge tries to mislead even functions in society. The person who keeps reposting this must think its pretty good and you have to question his sanity also but that at least was never in question he is a loser from the start.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  12. Isaac

    where is the scripture condemning or supporting this issue. where is the dependence on the Holy Spirit to give guidance.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Scott

      Where indeed is the Scripture that addresses whether "gay marriage" is acceptable or not? Oh yeah, Jesus makes a pretty plain statement about it:
      "But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

      October 1, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Melvin

      ""But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.""

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

      October 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  13. Bob

    There is no support for gay marriage in the Bible unless abomination means acceptance in your Bible. Most here are reposts a few new but the issue is still the same there is not one word of acceptance of the gay lifestyle in the Bible. Sodom and Gomorrah is still a good example. The way God setup relationships is a way that all relationships should be. As for love I love my dog but I wont have relations with him.

    September 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Elaine

      "Sodom and Gomorrah is still a good example. "

      In Genesis 18, the story about the angels coming to Lot's house, we learn that the reason they were coming to destroy Sodom was because of the wickedness that ALREADY existed in the city. The exact form of wickedness is not mentioned in that story!

      Let's just reinforce this CRITICAL piece of information. In the story of Sodom, in Genesis 18, God had ALREADY decided to destroy the city BEFORE the attempted rape of the angels – which incidentally was perpetrated mainly by heterosexuals since ALL the men of the city were involved, and we know that throughout history, gays have only represented about 10% of the population. Also, if they were homosexuals, why would Lot suggest that they take his daughters instead? That just doesn't make sense if the men were gay.

      So just to get this straight, the event that took place at Sodom was an act of violence and rape, mainly by heterosexuals. It had nothing to do with a loving relationship between two people of the same sex, and homosexuality was NOT the sin of Sodom in whatever form. The story of Sodom in Genesis 18 was about violence and domination, the same type of event that takes place in prisons and occupied countries, but it was NOT the reason for God's decision to destroy the city, and to use this story as a basis for prejudice against homosexuality in general is like comparing rape to marriage. There is NO similarity!

      The aftermath of Sodom aside, let's take a look at other passages of Scripture that mention the sin of Sodom. Here are 14 references to Sodom and not one of them mentions homosexuality!!!!! The overwhelming themes are idolatry, immorality and inhospitality! To me, this indicates people like Bob and HeavenSent have taken things out of context!

      Deuteronomy 29:17-26 – the sin – idolatry and images to false gods – "Why has the Lord done this to the land? . . . It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . ."

      Deuteronomy 32:32-38 – the sin – idolatry – "He will say 'Now where are their gods?'"

      Isaiah 1:2-23 – the sin – idolatry, rebellion, injustice, murder, greed, theft, covetousness, mistreating the poor – "They have rebelled against Me."

      Isaiah 3:8-19 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance – "Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious Presence"

      Jeremiah 23:10-14 – the sin – idolatry, adultery, lying by priests and prophets – "Both prophet and priest are godless. . . . They prophesied by Baal and led My people astray."

      Jeremiah 49:16-18 – the sin – idolatry, arrogance, oppression, pride of the heart – "The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
      you. . ."

      Jeremiah 50:2-40 – the sin – idolatry, pride, false prophets – "Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror. . . . . For she has defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. . . . . Their shepherds have led them astray."

      Lamentations 4:3-6 – the sin – cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor – "My people have become heartless."

      Ezekiel 16:49-50 – the sin – "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned: they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

      Amos 4:1-11 – the sin – idolatry, oppression, mistreating the poor – "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom . . . . yet you have not returned to Me."

      Zephaniah 2:8-11 – the sin – idolatry, pride, mocking – "This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when He destroys all the gods of the land."

      Luke 17:26-29 – Jesus speaking – No specific sins mentioned

      II Peter 2:1-22 – the sin – idolatry, living after ungodliness, lawlessness, arrogance, blaspheming, adultery, greed, corruption, depravity, boasting, lust – "But there were also false prophets among the people . . . . ."

      Jude 1:7-8 – the sin – sexual immorality and perversion, i.e fornication after strange flesh (angels, see Genesis 6:1) KJV

      The dictionary defines "perversion" as "a sexual practice regarded as abnormal". That means that a heterosexual practicing homosexual acts is perverted as in the case of ALL the men of Sodom wanting to engage with the angels (strange flesh). However, since sex with the same gender is normal for a gay person, there is no perversion associated merely by the sexual act.

      Note also that, while the word "abomination" has been used with reference to homosexuality, the biblical interpretation of the word "abomination" relates to any act of uncleanness as set out in the Holiness Code, such as eating shellfish, trimming your hair, touching the skin of a dead pig (should we stone the entire NFL?), wearing clothes of two kinds of material (polyester/cotton) – the list is long. How can we discuss one sin to the exclusion of all others?

      This is an enormous subject, which has been reduced to simplistic values. It is plain and simple prejudice to portray homosexuals as immoral just because of the gender to whom we are attracted. Of course there are immoral homosexuals, just as there are immoral heterosexuals, but simple orientation carries no implication of morality or immorality.

      Our sexuality is God-given. God made us the way we are. It follows naturally that He loves us exactly the way He made us. So long as we embrace marriage with the same standards as any monogamous, loving heterosexual relationship there should be no barrier against us.

      When gays are only asking to have their loving relationships acknowledged and respected, why is there so much fear and anger? To strengthen marriage, why not take a stand against divorce and separation, instead of opposing love and commitment? Jesus spoke of divorce, but he never mentioned homosexuality. I believe that was because homosexuality was not even an issue in His day. Love was love. Love IS Love!

      "Protect marriage? Puhlease. With a 50 percent divorce rate, rampant domestic violence, Las Vegas drive-through chapels, and I wanna-marry-a-really-rich-guy reality TV shows, there's no way gays could trash marriage the way straight people have."

      This letter only refers to the sin of Sodom. There are actually six "clobber verses" which are used against gays. Space does not permit an explanation of each one, but just as the sin of Sodom has been misrepresented, so have the other verses. There is an explanation for each one that clearly indicates that, just as slavery was condoned by Scripture for many years, ("Slaves obey your masters . . . . ." Eph. 6:5-8) and civil wars were fought to protect the ownership of people, we now know that Scripture was interpreted incorrectly, for God would not have people to be possessions.

      We now have a fuller understanding of Scripture with regard to slavery. It's time to accept a fuller understanding of homosexuality based on new research into language, concepts and customs when these words were written.

      So please choose acceptance and inclusiveness whether or not you understand fully. One of us is wrong. Many of you think it's me. I think it's you, based on solid research into Scripture from another perspective. Yes, God encourages us to question Scripture.

      "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, REPROOF and instruction in righteousness." II Tim. 3:16

      If there is even a chance that I could be right, do you want to take the eternal risk of rejecting some of God's children, and slamming the doors of your churches to those of us who wish to enter? That's what you're doing when you treat us as less than yourselves simply based on our orientation.

      If we have done the research, and it is our understanding that God loves us, including our orientation, then why not just let God be the judge? He will be in the end anyway. If one of us is to err, why not err on the side of love and acceptance? Now that was truly Jesus' example!

      October 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  14. John

    In days gone by, it was reasonable for Christians not to question conventional wisdom about the Bible. Because everyone used the Bible to justify slavery, for instance, Christians were OK with believing that some of their fellow human beings were just another species of farm animal they rightfully owned. Later, we Christians were entirely comfortable using the Bible to justify the atrocious idea that women are second-class citizens too simple-minded to be trusted with the vote.

    And up until the Internet made readily available all kinds of previously inaccessible knowledge and information, we could be excused for believing that the Bible indisputably states that God considers homosexual love a moral abomination.

    Today, however, anyone who can read, or simply watch YouTube videos, is forced to acknowledge the absolute credibility of the universe of scholarship, and the reasoning based upon it which unequivocally proves that the Bible does not, in fact, oblige Christians to believe that homosexual love, in and of itself, is necessarily any less moral than is heterosexual love.

    That closet door is now swung wide open. The truth of the matter is now there for anyone to behold.

    Christians today who take seriously the search for truth must admit that the old axiom that homosexuality is a sin has been forever reduced in status from objective truth to subjective opinion. From fact to belief. From beyond question to unquestionably dubious.

    Believing that homosexual love is a condemnable sin, in other words, is now a choice one must make.

    And what Christian - what person at all? - would choose ignorant condemnation over enlightened love?

    September 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  15. Douglas

    There is no "Christian case" for gay marriage.

    Jesus defines marriage as the solemn union of one man and one woman in Matthew, Chapter 19, of the Holy Bible,
    God's eternal word.

    Both Old and New Testament writings are clear in the prohibition of male/male and female/female partnerships/coitus.

    To engage in these practices is to willfully sin. Celibate GLBTQ relationships are perfectly acceptable and are not
    condemned in scripture.

    There is healing and saving power for celibate GLBTQ couples.

    Honor and respect celibate GLBTQ relationships.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • James

      You know your wrong yet you keep posting the same nonsense over and over again. 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.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ James

      The Bible in no way shape or form supports same-s3x marriage. Who are you kidding? God never joined a male + male or a female + female in a marriage setting. That can be stated because it's true! The world is full of folks who know this as fact and never peep a word about it.

      Use the message boards to convey something that you want to say.

      According to the Bible, there is no such thing as same-s3x marriage.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Janet

      "The Bible in no way shape or form supports same-s3x marriage. Who are you kidding? God never joined a male + male or a female + female in a marriage setting. That can be stated because it's true! The world is full of folks who know this as fact and never peep a word about it."

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

      September 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  16. 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.

    September 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  17. Lorraine

    Snow, I know, I know, you are so educated that you are ...., money is your god, that's alright for this world, and if you are young, I am 53, and I still want to think that I am young, and I can get a degree just like yours, I can get people to follow me just like many leaders, but my fate was just what it is. He knew how strong I could have been, more than I knew of myself, a lot like the ones in dominion now, but he humbles me with kindness because I really am a cream puff, I LOVE EVERYONE, AND IT IS MY DOWN Fa LL, and I love it, its more than any money can ever buy. YHWH BLESS.

    September 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • She said YHWH. Stone her stone her.

      She said YHWH. Yahweh she did she did yah way. Stone her! Stone her!

      September 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Snow, you and many others have been greatly misguided, mislead to not know the real truth of the word, the law of righteousness. I know this can be an abstraction for most doing right, for many have been taught that wrong is right, gone backwards, results, mayhem. YHWH Bless us all.

      October 1, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  18. 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 un-changeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

    September 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Much of what YHWH disallows has plenty to do with having a clean way of life, for our own health, and good. To add it is not what christians think anyway, it is what YHWH said that He did not approve of. YHWH BLESS.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Robert

      Loraine, I know many gays and lesbians that live a clean way of life or are you really that stupid?

      September 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, Robert, she really IS that stupid.

      September 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Lorraine

      I will say it again, for our H E A L T H, cleanness. Don't play dumb here, you may fool some, but come on. There are so many antibiotics now that it'll make ones head spin. Then many of them don't work, its so bad, all this uncleanness floating around, making new diseases constantly. Again, calling bad, or wrong good, using short cuts to get out of doing right. YHWH Bless.

      October 1, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy, there is nothing unclean about h0m0s3xuality that isn't also unclean in straight s3x. I doubt you have any of either stripe, though, so how would you know?

      October 1, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  19. Janet

    "it is not no more a sin than being a liar"

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

    September 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  20. Lorraine

    ERICK, it is no fault, and it is nothing to fix, that is a word i used, but, what i meant is we all will have to answer to what we do in this life, ok. you know what this means, with all of your education you know, what you know deep down inside, please, don't play dumb, alright, YHWh is with us all, it is not no more a sin than being a liar, ok. no more, or even less.

    He wants us to live wholesomely, wholesomely, righteously, and me, and no one is going beat around it, this is the way it has to be to take care of a whole world of people, do you understand that, its not all about you, or any one individual, that is the lie we have been taught, its a whole people, a a life, to lives. NOT HOW YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT, ITS A CONNECTION BEYOND BELIEF. YHWH BLESS.

    September 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Snow

      The difference between
      "you know" vs "you WANT to know".. apply that to yourself and see the startling result..

      September 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Lorraine

      OK guys i need to use the reply button but sometimes they block me on the reply button see, see, esau, Isaiah 27, you most of all needs to be convinced stop playn dumb.You cbutan never brain wash me, and there are many more like me, and way better stop, but as in my dreams you are made different aren't you? OH MY GOODNESS. YHWH BLESS US ALL, PLEASE YHWH HAVE MERCY.

      September 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Lorraine

      REPOST: 'sorry about the rush before' ERICK, it is no fault, and it is nothing to fix, that is a word i loosely used, but, what i meant is we all will have to answer to what we do in this life, ok. You know what this means, with all of your education you do understand. And what you know deep down inside, lets please, not play dumb, alright? YHWh is with us all, it is not no more of a sin than being a liar, and a swearer is. No more, or even less.

      He wants us to live wholesomely, wholesomely, righteously, and me, and no one is going to beat around it, this is the way it has to be in order to take care of a whole world of people, do you understand that? Its not all about you, or any one individual, but all the nations.

      That is the lie we have been taught, its a whole people, all of life, to the lives connection. NOT HOW YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT, ITS A CONNECTION BEYOND BELIEF. YHWH BLESS.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • JWT

      That is your truth – my equal truth is that your verision of your god does not exist and even if it did I would not have to answer for anything tp it.

      September 27, 2012 at 8:52 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.