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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Nii

    PATRICK
    The Bible-Jewish or Christian does not say what you are imputing to it. I think as usual u guys are cutting it up to suit your thinking. Bigotry makes one blind. I know cos I've seen it among people of all faiths and atheists r not immune. Humans are intuitive rather than rational animals!

    May 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Patrick

      I agree God would never have said those things, but the bible does.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • jungleboo

      "Humans are intuitive rather than rational animals."

      Isn't it rich?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      I know as well as everybody here that you don't follow everything in you "bible". You're a self-righteous moron who gets a certain joy out of thinking that you are something "holier" than the rest of the people. In short, you're a fool. . .of the worst kind.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Toni

      DeeCee1000 not sure who you are directing that to but that sounds really mean and judgmental. Isn't it possible for everyone to try and be civil and not use words like idiot, stupid, retard, fool etc? Can there be discussion without all this? Maybe not.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    "After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold.", Osler misinterprets the Bible.

    In fact Peter was yet forceful and bold before Christ was crucified. It is only that up to the resurrection he could not understand that Christ had to suffer and to be rejected by the leaders of Israel.

    It is written that St. Peter wanted to fight using a sword, when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. Peter escaped first after Jesus had declared that he did not intend to fight, but to accept God's decision. Peter could not accept the meekness and humility of Christ up to this point of time.

    It was necessary that Jesus got arrested and finally murdered for the sake of our salvation. Peter needed some time to understand that.

    Assumed St. Peter had understood that Christ had to die for us yet before the resurrection, he had not started to fight in the garden Gethsemane.

    Peter did not betray Jesus like Judas, but merely did not understand God's ways up to the resurrection of his beloved Rabbi.

    I guess Peter would have been ready to die in a battle for Jesus, but he was not ready to die without battle.

    May 20, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Patrick

      And this relates to gay marriage how???

      May 20, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • jungleboo

      "Every word a Pharisee spoke was a lie and if he swore you could be sure it was a lie."

      I completely agree with your definition. You are dangerous.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Dharma

      If Jesus had to die for humanity, shouldn't Judas be PRAISED, not condemned? That's as stupid as being angry at the Jews for killing Jesus. You do realize that if he had died a natural death with 5 children, married to Mary Magdalene, nothing of the "Christian" doctrine would exist, right? Just saying... That's something that's always bothered me. You should be THANKING Judas!

      But seriously, just love everyone. Gay marriage? Whatever. Marriage wasn't even "sacred" until the 1600's or so. Seriously. Look it up. For the first 1000 years of your religion, it was nothing more than an economic arrangement between the State and two families. It's not a mystical representation of Christ and his Church. That was invented as a REASON for it back in the late Middle Ages. The Church didn't give a crap about it until it was convenient. Not unlike molesting little boys. Didn't become convenient until it thinned their flock...

      May 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Toni

      I think this may be directed to me. Rainer, you can not fight this battle with a sword. Mark 2:15-17 God Bless all! I'm out of here.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  3. Patrick

    Ignorant fundamentalist: X, Y and Z.

    Other poster: Logical rebuttal to X, Y and Z.

    Ignorant fundamentalist: silence.

    EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • EndThehate

      Sad but oh so predictable...

      May 20, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • UncleM

      Or totally ignorant, circular logic from fundamentalists.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      because they can never back up what they have to say. they'll quote a book then when we ask to prove it, to not forget what else they haven't quoted or try to bring what we have.....they never have anything to say.

      Quite typical

      May 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Rompecoglioni

    Let the Taliban be their Godfather

    May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  5. mikel

    Hah – a CNN writer telling us what good Christians should do and not do is priceless. I know what the Bible says, I know what people say – I know on whom I'll place my moral authority. You can bet the words CNN are no where to be found

    May 20, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Patrick

      Leviticus 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Patrick

      Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Patrick

      1 Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Patrick

      1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • EndThehate

      You mean from THE Holy Bible like this verse is...

      "Greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."
      2 Samuel 1:26.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  6. DiedrichKyrian

    Danto;

    I support sports, but I do not play. I support the arts, but I can not sing or do ballet. I support the 2nd Ademendment, but I do not own a gun.

    You *can* support something and not be part of it.

    I support Christians believing in what they wish to believe in. (Until they decide I *need* to be saved. I was saved and found my own Faith.)

    May 20, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Toni

      That sounds reasonable to me.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • jungleboo

      It is reasonable, but the fundamentalists do not value reason, and are proud as punch to be known for this characteristic. It is their sword and shield. For this, they are not to be trusted, as a serpent in the grass is not to be trusted.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Toni

      Well Jugleboo, just for the record, I am a Christian but I don't support being mean spirited and there has been some mean spirited discussion on both sides of the fence here. Would be nice to hear more reasonable views. I think there is room on the planet for everyone and a middle ground to be had where there can be peace. I think the problems come in where people say, "It's my way or the highway"

      May 20, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  7. TJP

    Jesus and the Apostles absolutely DO put restrictions on receiving the sacraments. Here is Paul on Communion:

    "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly."

    And Jesus, the inventor of marriage, says this about it:

    “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, and marries another woman commits adultery[h].”

    Read the rest of Matthew 19 for Jesus on marriage, as we were created "male and female".

    May 20, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Patrick

      Matthew 19: (Jesus Speaking) 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for $exual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      Why aren't they trying to ban remarriage when the divorce was due only to irreconcilable differences???

      May 20, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Patrick

      How is Jesus the inventor of marriage when he's referring to marriage in Moses' time?

      May 20, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • TPN51

      TJP, You need to read why marriage was put into place. It was to stop promiscuous intercourse, period. Gods word period. Fact period. Focus on important Biblical facts like divorce that is approaching 50% when only 3% of US is Gay. Stop the one line Bible teachings.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Toni

      OK TJP, I understand this but you can have a legal union and get all of the legal benefits of marriage without receiving the sacraments. It is the separation of church and state. If a church agrees to bless the union, that is the church's decision and you don't have to attend that church if you don't want to. That is about freedom. And if a church doesn't want to bless a gay union that is their right too. Just don't think anyone has the right to control others that's all.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Dharma

      Your Pauline quotes are taken wildly out of context. It is believed by Biblical scholars that the passage about eating and drinking correctly refers to people performing communion in a "pagan" ritual setting, having NOTHING to do with WHO can take communion. Placing limits on love... Shame... What would Jesus have done. Is that not being "Christ-like", to love those who are outside the margin, outside the accepted norm?

      May 20, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • TJP

      "Limits on love"?. If you were married, would you allow your spouse to be with other people or would you place "limits on love"? You would, so would Christ.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Patrick

      @TJP – So once again, why aren't you giving any credence to what Christ actually spoke about and trying to ban remarriage?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Toni

      I don't think it's right to force any church or any person to do anything they don't want to do. If I go to a Catholic church, I am not permitted to participate in communion. Ok, I respect that, fine, if that is what their denomination says. It is my choice to join that church or go to another. I am just saying that we need to preserve the freedoms we have even if they are not to our liking all the time. I don't expect or demand that everyone like or accept me. My boyfriend and I live together and according to many religions, we are living in sin because we are not legally married. Ok, so what? That is our choice to live this way at the moment and the choice of others to accept or not accept. If people want to judge me for that, so be it. My decisions are between me and my maker – period.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  8. Toni

    This guy seems like a nice person. I think that to get along in society, we have to compromise. I don't mean to bend your faith or compromise your religion. I just mean that maybe Christians can compromise by acknowledging that laws evolve and change and to accept that gays want the same rights as married people and to be respectful of that and maybe gays can compromise by not insisting to use the word "marriage" but instead use the word "union" or some other word or phrase to describe their relationship. That sounds reasonable doesn't it? The word "marriage" is much less important than all of the benefits received from being a legal union anyway right?

    May 20, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      The thing you seem to not understand is that civil marriage has nothing to do with religion. It's very simple really.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      So true Toni,it's a tradition .tradition hard to break.the tradition of marriage is older and more meaningful than any other we know it crosses all religions and non religions,and races and cultures.it won't change easy.calling it something else for some people may make it easier to change.but what about those people who want that time tested tradition for themselves for their own self worth.it is a civil right give it to them today.this issues has divided my community as much as any other,but as we have fought to gain right after right ,we have lost sight that all deserve the right of freedom of happiness.No gayness here,just can't fight the battle to keep someone down after being held down

      May 20, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Toni

      Huh? I understand that.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Gay people want to be able to say I'm married not unionized.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Toni

      So where is the compromise?

      May 20, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      if only the word union was worth it's weight on paper. The problem is that a civil union in the eyes of the law does not bring the same legal benefits.

      This is what you get when you are "Married":
      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public as­sistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a dec­eased spouse.
      -–Taking bere­avement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes inc­apaci­tated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
      De­ath Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-de­ath exami­nations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of con­sor­tium (loss of inti­macy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alie­na­tion of affection and cr­iminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for n­onci­tizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in ja­ils and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      This is what you get when you are "UNIONED":

      A piece of paper that says you are.

      See the BIG DIFFERENCE!

      May 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    "A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built.", Osler said.

    Refutation of the rock-theory:

    Matthew 16: 18 or is the pope St. Peter’s successor?

    Matthew 16: 18:

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Ecclesiastical history probably doesn’t know any other verse, that has been misinterpreted so often like the above verse.

    The pope reasons his supremacy mainly by the above verse.

    Jesus just had asked his disciples, what they would think, who he would be. There, St. Peter shoot ahead, and said: “You are Christ, the Son of the living God!”

    Jesus rejoiced over the insight of Peter and the other disciples, obviously God had started a work in them.

    The whole content of the gospels shows us that the disciples could indeed imagine to rule together with Jesus soon, therefore Jesus had to take Peter down a peg a little, after Peter had acclaimed Jesus as Christ (the king).

    Of course, it was right, Jesus from Nazareth was the Christ, the eternal Son of God, but Jesus’ time of rule had not yet come at all. God had prescribed that first Jesus had to suffer and to be rejected.

    Still, when Jesus was detained, Peter wanted to fight using a sword. He indeed could not understand that Jesus didn’t fight back. Should the rightful king of Israel be conducted away like a mean criminal? At that time Peter was not able to understand this. The decision of God that Jesus had to be turned in, in order to suffer and to die, was hidden for the disciples up to that time.

    Let us return to Mattew 16: 18. What wanted Jesus to say be the words of this verse? The following: “Peter you are Peter (with all your dreams of earthly rule), but my Church I (the Father) will build on the low (self-humilated) and humble Jesus.

    This Jesus lowered himself down to death on the cross, where he borne the sins of the whole mankind. God brings about faith in Christ by the Holy Spirit. God builds his Church on Jesus, by causing faith in him on people.

    Seemingly, Jesus has foreseen that his Church will be continuously tempted to reach out for rule. However, Jesus doesn’t allow his Church to rule. To the contrary, the Church has to share the destiny of her Lord, that means, she has to suffer and to be rejected like her Lord.

    Matthew 16: 24-26:

    24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    So, the correct interpretation of Matthew 16: 18 is contrary to the Roman Catholic interpretation of this verse. Matthew 16: 18 doesn’t reason the papacy, but rejects it: God doesn’t want a ruling church, but a suffering and low and rejected Church.

    What is the pope actually?

    He is the successor of the carnal desires (longing for rule) of St. Peter. Up to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion Peter and the other disciples had not yet understood that “Christ shall suffer”. They indeed hoped to rule together with him over the earthly state of Israel.

    Latest since Pentecost our Peter is a transformed Peter. At Pentecost the disciples received the Holy Spirit, which teached them about the true character of Christ: On earth the Church has to share Christ’s destiny to be rejected and to suffer up to Judgement Day. Of course Christ has returned to heaven and is ruler of the universe, but despite he feels the pains of his congregation. The congregation is his body in a real sense.

    The pope has a right to say: “I am the successor of St. Peter!”, but he should be aware that in fact he is the successor of Peter’s carnal desires.

    Pope, we tell you!: “You are Joseph Ratzinger, but on those rock God will build his Church!”

    I use the power of the keys: “Mr. Ratzinger as long as you claim, you would be the head of the Church, your sins are kept, and you are outcast from the Christian Church!”

    May 20, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • jungleboo

      Rainer Braendlein, Prince of Fortune Cookies.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Jake

      Really? You use this to spew anger towards the Catholic Church, who gave you the Bible you quote. Christ said He'd leave you a Church, not a book, yet you use the book to attach His Church? It also says in that good book that you will know Christians by their love, not their hate and disdain for other Christians.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        Jake, ain't you a fool? The Bible is the const-itution of the genuine (Early) Christian Church.

        A Church has only then a right to call herself Christian Church, if she acts according to the Holy Bible.

        Assumed the USA would become a dictatorship, it would no longer be the genuine USA, but an utterly distorted USA.

        May 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  10. ShawnK

    Interesting, 72 pages of comments on how eveyone thinks they have input into how two people feel about each other.

    May 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • JWT

      Apparently voters do have input into how two people can express those feelings. Unfortunately some voters use their private relgious beliefs to vote away the civil rights of others. Sad but true.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Patrick

      Bingo.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Motrek

      You presume that feelings, if sincere, can't be wrong.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Lesson here is: Religious folk get their rocks off by trying to control other people's lives.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Motrek, you are now thinking you should have the right to regulate my feelings? Are you the dumbest idiot in America? My answer: Yes.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Motrek

      DEECEE1000, you can feel very sincerely about wanting to stand on a railroad track when there is a train coming. It's your choice. It's really wrong for anyone to put up railings in an effort to keep people off the tracks, isn't it?

      I completely understand your viewpoint but you are ignorant of the bigger picture.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Patrick

      Motrek – are you seriously comparing suicide to two people loving each other? Big difference.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Motrek, blind fools like you are bringing the IQ of America down. Go open a science book for a change. Use your brain for thinking.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  11. Truth

    Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."

    May 20, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Speak new English please.old English is outdated

      May 20, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Blah blah blah. . ."you shall not eat shellfish for shellfish is an abomination unto the Lord". Oops, looks like you're going to "hell" along with every other American that has ever eaten shellfish.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • TPN51

      You just described 3/4th of the world. Congratulations on you pointless point.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Patrick

      I try not to let the Christian bible define "sin" for me since it condones slavery(Lev. 25:44), beating slaves(Exodus 21:20),

      incest(Genesis 19:33-36), r@pe victims being required to marry the r@pist(Deuteronomy 22:28-29), treating women and

      children as property(Genesis 19:8, 1 Timothy 2:11-14, 1 Corinthians 14:33-35), requires battered women to remain married

      to abusive husbands(Matthew 19:9, 1 Corinthians 7:10-12), condones jihad type warfare where all children are ki11ed save

      the virgins who are a 'reward'(Numbers 31:15), and makes no mention at all of child molestation, the worst possible crime.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Thruth, what makes you think I would want to spend all of eternity in your "heaven" with bitter hateful spiteful bigots like you in the first place? Get real.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • JWT

      Not that any of theat means anything. But if lbelieving in your god meant spending eternity with bigots, I'll pass on that sh!~t.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  12. Norma Collson

    A very clear case in the Bible against gay marriage is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I think Jesus is pretty clear on this topic.

    May 20, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Lot and his daughters escaped Sodam and Gomorrah to the mountains where his daughters seduced and "lay" with their Father .. the bible is pretty clear on this as well.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Joeyjoejoe

      Jesus said nothing. Sodom and Gammora was about raping guests no matter the gender. So, wrong and wrong.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Patrick

      Yeah make sure you don't post the whole Sodom and Gomorrah story, like the part where Lot, the only righteous man to be found, the only one worth saving, was actually such a degenerate that he offers both his young virgin daughters to be r@ped by a r@pe gang of men. If that happened today, he'd be locked up, registered as a $ex offender, they'd be removed from his home for life...which probably would have been a good idea SEEING AS HOW HE GOT BOTH HIS YOUNG DAUGHTERS PREGNANT.

      THAT'S THE RIGHTEOUS MAN WORTH SAVING?

      YOU PEOPLE ARE SO FAACKING SICK. YOU USE THIS BOOK AS A MORAL GUIDE??? HOW FRIGHTENING.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Patrick

      The Bible's position:

      On being gay: it's an "abomination"

      On child molesters: No comment.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • JWT

      Fortunately the strange relgious views are not required when cilvil rights are concerned.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Patrick .. I think that the Bible's "no comment" on child molesting actually speaks volumes!

      May 20, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Rick1948

      Jesus didn't write anything that's in the bible, so, even if he does exist, no one knows what he "is clear on".

      May 20, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • jungleboo

      Th Crystal Buy Ball Says It All!

      Leave your Logic and your wallet at the door!

      Fortune Telling At Its Finest!

      May 20, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • TPN51

      Got to love the one line preachers. Norma maybe you should first learn the Bible before speaking.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Ah, yet again the non-Christians know more about that story than the 'Christian' does.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Jake

      If the state never got involved in regulating marriages we would never have this debate. Marriages should be a matter for churches, not the state. Leave it to big government to want to tax a sacred commitment.

      May 20, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit we invite gays to get reconciled with God by Christ's sacrifice. Believe and get (sacramentally) baptized.

    "I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage.", Osler said.

    This is like someone would say: "I am an ecofreak, and I am in favor of brown coal power stations without filter."

    An orderly marriage between man an woman shall represent the relationship between Christ and his Church, which is a relationship of love and joyful partnership.

    Christ (the man) is strong, and the Church (the woman) is weak in herself. The Church needs to be guided by her bridegroom Christ. The Church gladly welcomes Christ's guidance and voluntarily invites him every day to take over rule.

    It is important to note that Christ only leads us, if we ask him for that. Even after (sacramental) baptism we are no Christ-robots, but still have a free human will. Christ considers our free human will and doesn't skip over it. However, it is in our own interest to daily ask Christ for help. We can overcome our sinfulness only by Christ. We are absolutely sinful in ourselves. Only by Christ's impact we can do works of love and righteousness. Only if we have lived a life of love and righteousness, we will finally enter heaven.

    A woman, biologically seen, is weaker than a man. Hence, any wife would be wise, if she would voluntarily ask her male partner for some guidance every day. A wife should never be the limp slave of her husband, but a kind partner of him. Yet, wife and husband have different capabilities and both should consider that. They can complement each other. The husband is not the master of his wife, but her partner, who promotes the marriage by his characteristic as man. The husband puts his arm around his wife and if she is wise, she will thank him for that and enjoy it.

    I strictly reject the Islamic marriage, where the wife is a limp slave of the husband. That is not according to Christ's will and not much better than gay marriage. The Islamic marriage is an abomination in God's eyes and even demonic. It rather represents the rule of the law over the human being as long as he or she doesn't believe in the Redeemer Jesus, the kind bridegroom, who kills the bridegroom "law".

    Gay marriage is objectonable, because it is outside God's eternal order. Gay marriage is ill. It would be as ill as Christ would marry another Christ, or the Church would marry another Church. Absolutely meaningless, just mad.

    Furthermore gay marriage is a clear proof for disbelief in Christ. A gay has not returned into the confident relationship, with the Lord, the Eternal God, which has made heaven and earth. Assumed one has returned into the confident relationship with God, he trusts God that he once will give him a fitting wife and up to this day he will live in abstinence for God's sake. Hence, abstinence is a clear indicator for the real faith, which saves.

    Moreover, gayness is a crime against the wife, which God had actually predetermined for someone. As long as one remains gay, he can never marry the wife, which God actually wanted to give him. Everybody could be the optimal partner for a certain person of the opposite genter. If he or she is gay, this optimal relationship will never emerge. That is a great pity and regretable.

    From the Christian sight gay marriage is to reject. It is an absolute abomination in God's eyes like gayness at all. Someone who remains gay up to the end of his life will certainly get lost, even if he blieves in a cheap-grace-Jesus, which is a false Jesus. There is no assurance of salvation seperated from a life of practical love and righteousness according to God's will.

    Yet, gays and all other sinners can return into the confident relationship with the eternal God by the gospel of Jesus Christ today:

    God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification.

    Believe that, dear gay or ordinary sinner, and get sacramentally baptized. At baptism you die for the sin (for example gayness, hated, greed, revenge, mean, lie, murder, adultery, fornication, anger, insulting, condemning, cursing, etc.) and you enter Christ. You die and resurrect together with Jesus. After baptism you are no longer a slave of your sinful body, but your body becomes a slave of the Spirit (of course, this only takes place, if we daily invite the Spirit to rule our sinful body, which is the real faith, which means to present the body as a living sacrifice).

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    May 20, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • jungleboo

      Rainer Braendlein, The Pharisee who tells The Future.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Not sure I understand your point ... could you please write a longer post?

      May 20, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Patrick

      Sorry, you don't get to decide what Christianity is for all Christians. The United Church of Christ, Unitarians, Unity Churches, MCC, Episcopols, Anglicans, about half the Lutherans and many of the more progressive Presbyterians and Methodists would like to be able to practice their Freedom of Religion and marry gays and lesbians in their churches.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Joeyjoejoe

      How can one write so much and yet so little?!?!

      May 20, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Yawwwwwwwwwwwn. All that writing that you did. . .is a waste since my marriage has nothing to do with your religious beliefs. I don't worship your mythical gods.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • soulsinger40

      You lost me at "the Church (the woman) is weak in herself." women are not weak or in need of guidanc any more than men are. I'd call you a Neaderthal, but I assume you don't believe in evolution either!

      May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  14. Brent Stallo

    Why do you think that non-christians should have to follow YOUR religious ideas? Since marriage is a Civil matter (non-christians can and do get married), it is apparent that it is not necessary to follow your dogma. Therefore since my religion does allow and celebrate all marriages (My husband and I were married by a minister) it is not essential that I believe in your flavour of religion to be married.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    "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 inst-itutions like baptism, communion, and marriage.", Osler said.

    Osler tells us stories. He seems to have got a somewhat false Catholic sight of the Holy Sacraments (Baptism and Communion).

    The truth: The Sacraments are good in itself, but only become effective by faith. A Catholic baptism is valid, but only becomes effective, if someone repents and believes that he has got metaphysically connected with Christ's sacrifice by the sacramental baptism (mostly infant baptism).

    Look at me: I was baptized as an infant, but started to believe at first as an adult in my riper years. The Catholic fools had baptized me, but never told me the gospel of the beloved Christ.

    Baptized people need to get to know the gospel that Christ died and resurrected for them. He was delivered for their sins and raised from the dead for our justification.

    If we believe that and refer to our infant baptism, the gospel becomes effective for us and God sets us free from every sin in a process. Step by step God leads us into a new life of love and righteousness by the Holy Spirit.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • jungleboo

      Rainer Braendlein, The Pharisee.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      A Pharisee is someone, who knows the law (commandments) and abuses it.

      Actually the law merely shall make us aware of our sinfulness. Then we should cry out for a redeemer, who saves us from our sinfulness. The Redeemer would give us a new life, which is not in conflict with the law, but consists of love and righteousnees, which is the fulfillment of the law.

      A Pharisee abuses the law by trying to keep it by natural power (without Christ's power) and rejecting the gospel. This leads to the decline and fall of the Pharisee and he has to become a hypocrite. Furthermore the Pharisee uses the law as a baton to beat the sinners. This is an abomination in God's eyes, because God doesn't want to beat the sinners, but save them by Christ.

      As the Pharisees condemn the sinners God totally delivered them and they became people hated by the ordinary people and ripe for prison and bankrupt. God finished his protection and they became slaves of their lust and had to defend themselves with military power. Every word a Pharisee spoke was a lie and if he swore you could be sure it was a lie.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      My marriage has nothing to do with your religion.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • JWT

      I have never broken a relgious rule or law. never. Never will either. None of that applies to me and none of it applies to anyone else.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  16. Nii

    De Bible judges gay s.ex along with at least 100 other things as requiring death. At this rate it "hates" everyone and not just gays. Gay xtians will not trust an atheist to interpret the Bible for them. They don't make any sense. I sometimes laugh when I see u guys avoid de love n mercy teachings!

    May 20, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  17. k

    This is a pointless argument. Why? Because if I say I oppose gay marriage, I'm reflexively labeled as a "hater" ... instead of a person who is genuinely concerned for the well being of people's soul (my own included!). And I honestly believe such relationships are impediments growing closer to God. But people who promote gay marriage are not interested in understanding my perspective (see the comments on the previous 45 pages!). Instead it's easier to simply shove somebody into a specific box, declare victory (though only to yourself), and move on. So why are we wasting our time? When people actually want to talk and understand one another ... then give me a call.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Patrick

      We understand your concern for people's souls. We're concerned for the same, though here in this life instead of in the afterlife. We just disagree.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Ring ring ... how does gay marriage affect your "soul" anyway?

      May 20, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The issue is that you are free to worry about your own soul. The next persons is none of your business.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "k", what does my civil marriage have to do with your religion? I'll give you the answer: n.o.t.h.i.n.g. The time of the Crusades and Inquisitions is over, you can't force people to accept your religion in a free society. While you believe that suppressing other people's civil rights is a good thing, women, blacks and other minorities will be the first to tell you that Civil Rights are the right thing to do. I have very good reasons for not believing in your mythical gods. I also believe that your religion is way too evil. Despite the fact that I think your religion is evil, I still realize that in this country you have the right to worship whatever gods you choose to worship. . . .as long as you keep your religion out of my private life.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • chasejordan

      Sounds like anyone that doesn't agree with you has been put in a box as well. If someone told you that you are less than the rest and that you would not be allowed the same rights and privileges as others, how likely would you be to want to talk and understand that person's position? I know first hand that my 13 year relationship with my partner is as worthy as any relationship to be called a marriage. We have had our ups and downs yet we still love, respect and care for each other deeply. No, I don't want to hear you or anyone else explain to me your reasoning why you should get tax breaks and benefits that aren't available to us or why your relationships are more sanctified than mine. As for the religious aspect, believe whatever you want just like Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists. But realize that saying "love the sinner but hate the sin" is no more palatable to me than being called a "hater" is to you.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Once we get to a point in this country where people like you can't march to the ballot box and restrict my CIVIL rights (while notably leaving your own intact, no matter how 'unscriptural' those rights are), then we'll talk. Once we get to a point in this country where people like you aren't blasting people like me with lies, misinformation, junk science, and scriptural hypocrisy, then we'll talk. When people like you 'put your own house in order' concerning marriage (and specifically the divorce rate) instead of pointing the finger of blame at people like me, then we'll talk.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  18. slickteigkc

    Bless you, God clearly says leave JUDGEMENT up to HIM, it is not our authority or job!!!! Every person must face our God him or herself and deal with their life and what happened during it. God says love, do not hate, be good not evil, share, care, love,love , love . Where there is true love, there is God. We only have a very simple message, "love your neighbor as yourself" , be good people, pray, give thanks , do good works for others. Very simple really. Change your heart folks, turn to the truth and light. If you are perfect and without sin of any kind, then you get to cast stones...... otherwise, no. It's in your bible, in your heart.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Every good thing a person does can be done without the existence or belief in a God(s). Do good things for humanity because it's the right thing to do, not out of fear of not gaining a reward in heaven for doing so.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  19. BamaDaniel

    They have their own flood survival story because they survived the flood

    May 20, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  20. Danto

    For all of those that "support" gay marriage, let me bring up one important fact. To truly "support' something, you really have to be involved it, right? Right. For example, I support Major League Baseball. I watch baseball avidly, go to the games, and even wear shirts and hats with my favorite team's logo on it. Furthermore, I would in NO WAY be ashamed to play baseball with my kids, any time, any place. Yes, i am a Christian. I support my Christian faith avidly as well. I read my bible, I pray, and I go to church. I would also in NO WAY be ashamed to bring my kids or my friends to my church or tell anyone about my faith.

    Having said all of that, I think the point is clear. If you really "support" something, you really have to be involved in it. I challenge anyone who claims they support gay marriage to really be involved in it for a couple of weeks. Do everything that a gay person would do ( and I mean EVERYTHING) and then after a couple of weeks tell me that you still support gay marriage. I guarantee that 90% of you would change your mind in a New York second!!

    May 20, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Phil Garvin

      That has to be the most idiotic comment I have ever seen. You have to be involved in something to support it? Your point may be clear, but it is incerdibly stupid. I supported the atack on afghanistan, but I did not drop bombs. IYour a really dumb person who should not be allowed on a computer.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Patrick

      As a gay man, I support hetero$exual marriage. Doesn't mean I have to be involved in a romantic hetero$exual relationship. Your comments are ridiculous.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      So catholics support pedophiles

      May 20, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      It's people like Danto who make Christians look like really dumb people. Where did he come up with this idiocy? Wait. . .he's an avid fan of the "bible". . . .that explains it.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I support women's right .. but I can't be woman to do so. Human rights are just so obvious they are called Self Evident.

      May 20, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Danto

      Joke..How do you make 1000 gays come out of the closet??

      Answer...Post a statement like this on the internet1 LOL! LOL!

      May 20, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • BamaDaniel

      Not gay but it is their business,I don't agree with it but it won't be done in my bed either.give them their freedom. Reformed gay hater

      May 20, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Oz in OK

      This post is truly ridiculous. By that (il)logic, because I am a gay caucasian man, I cannot:

      - Support the freedom of women to vote, control their own reproductive lives, and have equal pay in the workplace because I'm not a woman.
      - Support the freedom of religious minorities to practice their religion because I'm not not a follower of their religion.
      - Support the freedom of ethnic minorities to vote, hold office, and have equal pay in the workplace because I am a white guy.
      - Support the freedom of the physically handicapped to vote, hold office, marry, and have equal pay in the workplace because I'm not physically handicapped.

      Really?

      May 20, 2012 at 9:48 am |
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About this blog

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.