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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. Christian

    It's not our right to deny them such blessings but it's our duty to caution them as, for example, they get baptized while in the state of sin and continue to live out their sinful lifestyle because people like you tell them it's right. They will have to answer before God for that as will you, having mislead so little as a single soul. I hope God opens your eyes to the truth.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Colin

      You can be pretty sure you made god in your image when it turns out he hates all the same things you do.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jamie K

      Yes, God will judge in the end. It's not your job to tell others how they should live and what kind of relationship they should have with God. The only 2 things Jesus said you need to do is 1) Love God with all of your heart and soul and mind and 2) Treat others as you would be treated. I wouldn't want anyone telling me who I can and cannot marry, so I'm not about to deny anyone that same right.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  2. Nii

    BE
    There is no interpretation needed to say the Bible forbids gay s.ex. The s.exual practises forbidden exclude only masturbation, lesbianism and male-female intercourse. I wonder why u think its an interpretation or you sleep while reading Genesis- Deuteronomy like most people me inclusive.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Colin

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Astronomy;

    (b) Medicine;

    (c) Economics; or

    (d) Christianity

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking serpent if you are a:

    (a) historian;

    (b) geologist;

    (c) NASA astronomer; or

    (d) Christian

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A gifted psychologist

    (b) A well respected geneticist

    (c) A highly educated sociologist

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    If I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me, I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely f.cking absurd nonsense.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am

    (a) a victim of child molestation

    () a r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Christian

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they are morally obliged to believe on pain of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is a composite god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) A mafia boss

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • dan

      Colin, let me simplify things for you. The first sentence in the Bible is " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The word used here for created implies that he did it out of nothing. If you were able to wrap your mind around this concept you would realize all your concocted questions are simply subterfuge. On a side note, glad to see your no longer calling it a snake.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Colin

      I would reply to your post, but I have no idea what you just said, ecept for the last sentence. A serpent is a snake. They are virtual synanyms

      May 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • dan

      Did you just finish reading a book on straw man arguments against Christianity?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Colin

      Ok Dan, what did I get wrong.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • dan

      Well, colin, let's just use your first example. Simultaneously monitoring 7 billion human beings does seem rather absurd if you are looking through the lens of human abilities and understanding. If, however, you accept the fact that there is a creator God who operates in a dimension we can not grasp, then the difficulty is resolved. Back to my original point which apparently didn't click in your head. All your silly scenario questions can be traced backed to your small, man-like image of God.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Oh, this will be fun to watch!

      Have you ever been to a sports activity, and realized within the first several seconds which team was going to completely dominate the other?

      May 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  4. be

    Let's take a second to compare the "gay agenda" with the "religious right" agenda. The gays are in the courts fighting for 1) Marriage – the right to live in legally recognized, committed, monogamous relations. 2) Family – so they can raise their children in a stable family as a couple – frequently children who were not wanted by their straight parents. 3) Military Service – wanting to serve their country with honor. The religious right are in the courts fighting for 1) control over women's reproductive rights. 2) keeping their ministers out of fail for illicit se x ual contact. 3) keeping their corporal possession and money safe from taxes and lawsuits. The gays are the new moral minority it would seem.....at least in compared to the religious right.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, and the arguments from the gays are based on prevailing social norms, not on 2,000 year old Palestinian mythology. In the battle of Christians v. gays, the gays definitely have the moral high ground.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • dan

      Or, from another perspective: gays are busy attempting to legitimize and legalize perversion, Christians are trying to maintain morality in society. All a matter of perspective.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • momoya

      If you think it's perversion, dan, then don't be gay.. It's as simple as that.. But you don't get to tell other people what's right and what's wrong for them.. You don't want the muslims to do it to you–that's why.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • dan

      mom. Have you always been this illogical or is this a recent development? We, society, tell people ever day what is right and what is wrong. You know, you kill somebody you go to prison. Now do you see?

      May 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • momoya

      Yes dan.. The laws on murder is fair.. You kill someone, you get one of the appropriate sentences.. The laws on marriage are not fair, because they only apply to some people.. According to your reasoning on marriage, murder would only apply to right-handed people, and not left-handed..

      You want to legislate unfairness and then call it fair.. It's stupid and wrong, and you should be smart enough to see that if you can turn on a computer and use it as you do.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Chris

    If Christianity is true, the fool that wrote this piece is in for some big trouble.

    Matthew 18:6
    Causing to Stumble

    6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • be

      But possibly it is the religious right who is causing people to stumble by having them believe that good and holy people are sinful.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • momoya

      Why?? Because your god is a sadistic torturer who fries people in his own private torture pit for all eternity.. What happened to "love your enemies?". What a disgusting god you serve.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, Jesus definitely had a mean streak, especially when people questioned his authority, as with Manson, Koresh and any other hippy-prophey, they get very threatened when their authority is questioned. Have a look at Luke 19:27 where Jesus says those who question him should be murdered

      May 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • JWT

      your god has no authority over me, never has and never will, he does not exist to me.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Darwi

      Chris, to defer punishment until after death is to support the crimes during your whole life.

      And since nothing happens after death, little or no positive result is seen from this illogical and reprehensible deferment of justice into the vengeance-fantasies of religious people.

      If you want to protect children, waiting until everyone is dead before anything is done is one of the most disgusting, morally bankrupt avoidance tactics I have ever seen in my whole life.

      It is even worse when combined with this "forgiveness" thing Christians have – ignoring criminal behavior and washing your hands of any attempt at justice in the real world, preferring, instead, to "cover up" your "sins" which, often as not, tend to include the most vile inhuman behavior that has ever been seen in human history.

      I'm all for protecting children.
      It is Christians who do more damage to children than can be tolerated by someone like me, so don't bother quoting your book of lies, cherry-picked to support your "cause of the moment" when it is clear Christians do not care about doing things the best way possible.

      Such an idea rarely enters into your minds. We see and hear proof of this every day.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  6. andrew

    " The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith." But of course, we all know, yours is not a faith based on the truth of scripture, but rather on your own bias imposed upon the biblical writers.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • be

      And how would that be different than your interpretation of scripture, Andrew?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • andrew

      It would be different in that his interpretation is incorrect, be.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • be

      Empirical data would suggest that his interpretation is not incorrect. If God is the author of science, it is more logical to believe his interpretation than yours.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • andrew

      Empirical data and the fact that God is the author of science has absolutely nothing to do with the interpretation of the biblical passages the author references.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      The "truth of scripture"? That's pretty funny.

      Am I to accept that the bible is all "true", just because it says it is? I hardly think so, but nice try.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Imagine No Religion

      Gee andrew, what about the bias imposed by the biblical writers themselves? Delusion and hypocrisy at its finest!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • be

      Actually Andrew, it has everything to do with it. We understand enough about se x u al orientation now to be able to determine that it is healthy and good for people to live according to their nature. God cannot be against what is healthy and good, therefore we must try to understand scripture with the knowledge that God has given us through science, the same way we needed to do that with Galileo, with slavery, with interracial marriage and so many other instances when we allowed our cultural prejudices to taint our understanding of scripture. It is not the author of this article who are the "cultural christians" but rather those who allow their cultural prejudices to taint their understanding of the Word.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • dan

      be. Here's the difference between you and I. I view the bible as the word of God (I know rather archaic huh) and as such it is my starting point for determining my moral absolutes. Your starting point is what makes sense to your mind. This is why will always agree to disagree.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jamie K

      "The truth of scripture...." You mean the scripture that was written by MEN, with all of their human weaknesses and biases and prejudices and fears? That scripture? Somehow, I think I'm better off finding my own relationship with God and following Jesus' 2 rules...

      May 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  7. Paul

    The author is a "cultural christian", believing in his own interpretation of truth. A, "Biblical Christian", believes in Gods truth about sin & our need for repentance.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • be

      And many of us Christians know that the se x ual orientation with which you were born is not sinful any more than the color of your skin would be sinful.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • One one

      So who's truth is true ?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Patriarchae

      How are you any better? All you are doing is offering your own interpretation of the Bible. The "truth" is that what one gets from religious books does indeed depend on one's personal interpretation. That's a given. You are accomplishing nothing here other than being a hypocrite.

      And as an atheist who has read the Bible multiple times and done some critical thinking about it, I would have to agree with what "be" said above me.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • be

      The true heresy is when you do not allow modern knowledge to influence your understanding of the Bible. It was the heresy that the early church fell into with its condemnation of Galileo. It is the heresy that churches fell into when they used the Bible to condone slavery. It is the heresy that in even more modern times the churches fell into when they condemned the right of women to vote and interracial marriage. Todays empirical data shows se x ual orientation to be part of who one is and that it is healthy and natural to live according to that nature. If God is the author of all science, why would we not allow science to influence our understanding of the Word of God?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Nii

      BE
      If u were born with a certain s.exual whatever it doesn't mean u r free to do what God forbids. it only means u have a harder struggle to fight and a greater crown to gain by being celibate. Being gay isn't a sin but gay s.ex is!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • be

      The problem is NII many of us know that God does not forbid it. Your interpretation of scripture is faulty....just as it was faulty when people interpreted scripture to believe that the sun rotated around the earth, or that slavery was justified, or that interracial marriage was sinful. If God is the author of science, knowing that what is healthy and good cannot at the same time be evil and sinful is reason to know that God does not condemn ho mo se x u ality.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Nii

      BE
      Its even silly to say someone is not using modern knowledge. science doesn't say gay s.ex is healthy or a.n.al s.ex for that matter! Just the opp. An atheist pointed out that gays actually do not have frequent intercourse. Is it cos de a.n.us has become sore n needs 2 recover unlike de va.gi.na

      May 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ be, "And many of us Christians know that the se x ual orientation with which you were born is not sinful any more than the color of your skin would be sinful."

      S.e.x.u.a.l "orientation" like "religious orientations" are learned characteristics ya dumb-ass wipe excuse for toilet papaer!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      It goes deeper then him being just a "cultural "christian. He is a REPROBATE. He's not ignorant about the Word of God...

      May 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  8. Not Surprised

    Extremely sick of CNN's intent to shove gay marriage down our throats and using "Christianity" to support its claim.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Patriarchae

      Nobody is forcing anything down your throat. Nobody forces you to read these articles. If you don't like it, you could just not click on them or perhaps go to another place such as Fox that is more in-line with your views.

      It's not CNN's fault that you are not intelligent enough to do that.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • be

      They are not "using" Christianity. Many of us Christians know that ho mo se x u ality is not sinful. CNN is simply articulating what many of us already know to be true.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I'm thrilled that CNN is "shoving this down your throat" (such a hilarious conservative catch-phrase, actually). At least there's one powerful institution out there broadcasting a message of tolerance and acceptance, instead of bigotry and hatred.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Jamie K

      How is it any worse than FOX News reporting stories from the religious right's point of view? Or any worse than republican lawmakers trying to shove their religious views down our throats through legislation like the guy in WI trying to make being a single parent akin to child abuse? It's not. If you don't like it, don't read it. Simple as that.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Patriarchae

    There is simply no logical reason to oppose gay marriage. There is not even a religious reason. Anyone who tries to claim that a traditional Christian (a.k.a. biblical) marriage has always been between a man and a woman, is just plain WRONG. Biblical marriages more often than not were between a man and however many women he could find or buy. "Traditional" marriage is polygamy. "Traditional" marriages were also always arranged, never done because of choice or love, but because of political or social gain. That has indeed been the case in society until just a coupe hundred years ago.

    Fact is, that what we consider an acceptable Christian marriage today would have been completely UNACCEPTABLE in past times. Our view of "marriage" is leagues away from past views of marriage. This has happened because the acceptable definition of "marriage" has indeed been constantly morphing and changing as society has developed and changed. In conclusion, a marriage between a single man and a single woman is not traditional, is not biblical, is not anything but the result of constant societal evolution. Anyone who says they oppose gay marriage because they believe that the traditional definition of marriage is between a man and a woman, and should not change, is a fool. Anyone who says that deserves no respect. So I implore anyone who reads this, the next time someone tries to use that incredibly faulty justification, laugh at them and suggest that if they really want a "traditional" marriage, they go join a polygamist cult and have someone else choose their spouses for them.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Alex

      Yes! Amen!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Nii

      When u say arranged marriages r borne out of political n social gain not love u r wrong. It isnt borne out of romantic love. This kind of love accounts 4 lots of failed marriages. Most marriages which last r based on charitable love. This doesnt fade like romance but grows stronger arranged or no!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • One one

      What's really happening is that they just don't like gays and are using their bibles to claim, "and god agrees with me so I must be right"

      May 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jamie K

      Gosh Nii, I can't wait for someone to marry me out of charity! That sounds awesome. *eyeroll*

      May 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  10. Taliban faithful

    Religion: turning America into the next Taliban.

    May 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Wrath of Zeus

      Cast of the shackles of Christianity, leave the slavery of Islam. Worship me! The OG God! Trump that other gods. You can't.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  11. Dan

    It must be make believe day again.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Dana

    It's amazing that people still consider the bible to be factual.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Dana

      Maybe you are too stupid, to understand the Bible.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • momoya

      If that was a legit assessment then all intelligent people would be bible believers.. Svcks for you, doesn't it?

      May 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Chris

      Have you looked at the arguments FOR Christianity from Christian EXPERTS??

      Of course, you HAVEN"T looked at the other side, because you're a fool.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • momoya

      I have.. About 50 years worth.. Besides, that's not the issue raised, is it?. No.. The statement was that stupid people can't understand the bible.. Okay, so if smart people DO understand the bible, then why do so many smart people who have studied the bible not find its message and god to be coherent and sensible?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  13. j

    Pass a law to stone adulterers and make the eating of shellfish a crime then we will get your biblical reasoning. But we this argument is not about the Bible, but your own hate disguised by the Bible. Islam means Peace, Christianity means peace. blah blah blah

    May 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • krussell

      Don't forget to punish people who blend cotton with wool or work on the sabath.
      Let's stone them all!

      May 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Everyone...

      Every Body Must Get Stoned....

      May 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  14. Tom Beaudin

    Tom Beaudin · Owner at Tom's Tiny Houselets!
    The human ego has evolved into something frightening today. Jesus performed miracles 2000 years ago, but since then, his lessons, his example, and his inspired statements have been all but lost on stupid humanity, awash in the affluence and technology of the millennium. He revealed truth, truth that has been sadly, and ignorantly, erased though 20 centuries. Secular thinking has dissipated somewhat in the past 10 generations, but opaque human ego has supplanted it. We know about God, his son, and the Word, oh, we know all about it; yet we think we can change and modify what has been divinely decreed? The truth has been revealed, people – it needs only to be demonstrated! Gays are marvelous persons in many ways; and gay marriage seems not to be a threat to anyone. And yet, it may be blasphemously wrong in the eyes of Heaven. Truly, can man argue to the contrary? For me, that is enough. That is everything.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Basically the Christian Church (the real Church, where the Holy Spirit dwells) consists of all Churches, which acknowledge the One Holy Baptism (today mostly infant baptism) and do not rebaptize like the Free Churches.

    Actually the Episcopal Church would belong to the Christian Church, regarding Baptism.

    Yet, Episcopal Church has adopted a false doctrine about baptism. They teach it would be a free ticket for heaven, which saves us independent from our lifestyle. That is a nonsense of course and the Holy Spirit has forsaken this church.

    The Episcopal Church needs a reform. They need to realize again that baptism is a divine call for discipleship. At baptism we receive the power to live a Christian life, which we could not live by our natural strength, because we have inherited the sinful nature of our primal father.

    Paradox:

    Although the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and many other mainline churches abuse infant baptism, it is yet valid. Reason: The invisible baptist is God himself.

    How do they abuse infant baptism?: They don't make sure that the child is raised Christian and gets informed about Christ's death and resurrection.

    I myself was baptized Catholic, but never heard the gospel in the RCC. I first heard the gospel by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who is a Protestant. Nevertheless, my Catholic baptism is valid and has become effective, since I believe in Jesus. I now simply refer to my infant baptism and get strengthened by it.

    The gospel:

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

    Just regard that as true. The gospel is absolutely trustworthy, according to historical science. However, you need to get metaphysically connected with Christ's sacrifice and this makes sacramental baptism. At baptism you die and resurrect with Jesus, which is a matter, which is of course beyond reason and spiritual. This cannot be grasped by reason, but merely by faith. At baptism all barriers of time and space disappear and you are with Jesus on the cross and leave the sepulcher together with him as a new humang being in Christ. God makes you new in the power of Christ's resurrection. You can daily beseech Christ to help you to live a holy life, despite a sinful, secular world and despite your sinful body. Christ is the absolute ruler (Kyrios or Pantocrator). Nothing is impossible for him. He is almighty.

    Dear brother, let us pray that God reforms the churches soon.

    Every believer, which was yet baptized as an infant, should not get rebaptized, but refer to his infant baptism. Infant baptism is valid, despite the corrupt state of any church. Baptism comes directly from heaven. God baptizes.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nii

      Rainer
      You do realize that CNN issued a disclaimer which states that the opinions expressed here are for the author alone. He does not speak for the Anglican Communion which is not a theological monolith like other denominations. I am Anglican/Episcopalian and this man and his doctrines r not mine.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Darwi

      Nii, I read a different post by you where you said you were a Messianic Jew.
      Trying to be all things to all people? That's not a wise path to take.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  16. jungy

    well, you can burn in hell with your gay friends

    May 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • momoya

      Thanks, jungy.. Enjoy giving eternal blow j o b s to the most disgusting torturer ever imagined.. I'll be thinking of you.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • The Deist

      ...assuming there is a Hell, which is highly unlikely.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Lulu

      and what wonderful company we crispy critters will have there! Seriously, what kind of love are you demonstrating to wish that on anyone?

      May 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jamie K

      Somehow I think your judgmental, hateful soul will be burning in your hell too....

      May 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • momoya

      Of course, Jamie.. You believe that when your god tortures people for all eternity it's a good thing, unlike if anybody else were to do that.. Might makes right and subjective morality being your thing and all.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Jamie K

      Momoya, I was being extremely sarcastic. I actually do not believe in hell at all. I was calling the original poster out for being judgmental and hateful.

      May 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  17. Tony

    "A voice crying in the wilderness?" I trust not. Thank you professor for you thoughtful and emotionally invested editorial. It is so very refreshing and hopeful to read an offering like yours, for it is appears imbued with near divine intelect and tolerance.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  18. Reality

    How do Episcopalians moralize about anything considering Henry VIII was the founder of their church?????

    May 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Lulu

      He founded the Anglican (C of E) version.

      May 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Reality

      How do Episcopalians/Anglicans moralize about anything considering Henry VIII was the founder of their church?????

      "Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England."

      "Anglicans settled in many countries throughout the world and were among the first to settle in North America shortly after the Puritans arrived. However, when the Revolutionary War occurred in North America, the U.S. declared its independence from England and American Anglicans quickly changed their name to "Episcopalians" in order to avoid persecution and obvious ties to England. "Episcopal" simply means "to have bishops" but Episcopalians remained and still are Anglicans today".

      May 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Darwi

      Nice to see you awake today, Reality. Good post.

      May 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  19. jungleboo

    Regarding the observation of "Christians with ice cubes for hearts", Rainer the Brainless states that Christian baptism is the new circ.um.cision of the human heart. Believe it or not.

    Inasmuch as that barbaric procedure removes the seat of pleasure from the male member, I am not surprised that Rainer's baptist ideology thus removes the seat of pleasure from the human heart. It figures.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      He is a certifiable nut case, proven.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    A reasonable and logical debate with a religious person = pure and absolute intellectual frustration.

    May 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • BRC

      It's kind of like masterbating while still wearing your pants... and oven mitts.

      May 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Wrath of Zeus

      Pray to me. I will make all your jacking fantasy's come true!

      May 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
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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.