home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. L. PAT WILLIAMS

    Matthew 19:5

    Pat,

    You're right but you've got to tone it down. What we need is common ground, not angry encampments of more-and-more politicized stakeholders, vying for political advantage over the others.
    ********* Brother you misunderstand The Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ ********************
    The Lord Jesus Christ says this: "Think not that I have come to bring peace, but to bring a sword dividing a man against his very own household." Meaning, when it comes to The Lord Jesus Christ and serving Him, there is no such thing as "common ground." You cannot find "common ground" in the World, because why? God's Ways are Not Man's Ways. That is why The Lord Jesus Christ says: "My Way is Narrow, and only a few there be that find it." He goes on to say: "Broad and Wide is the Way to destruction." Why? Because to be a TRUE CHRISTIAN - A LORD JESUS CHRIST - HOLY BIBLE, REAL CHRISTIAN means you have to be separate. You can't be both "separate" and yet, a "part of something" at the same time. That is why The Lord Jesus Christ says to FOLLOW HIM, you must be willing to "deny yourself, take up your cross" and "crucify the deeds of your flesh" you must be willing to "forsake everything" (mama, daddy, wifey, hubby, baby boy, baby girl, whatever and whoever). He says if we love anybody, anything MORE than we Love Him and His Most Holy and Righteous Way, we are not worthy of Him. I know it seems just "wonderful" to try to find common ground. But, my friend you cannot find common ground in the World, because in order to do that, the World will require you to COMPROMISE CHRIST JESUS and HIS HOLY COMMANDMENTS & STANDARDS. The World offers a "broad and wide" way because the World is built upon "compromise" but you can't have common ground without compromise. That is why The Lord Jesus Christ says: "The World Hates Me, The World will Hate you. The World rejects Me. The World will Reject You." But, this is why The Lord Jesus Christ tells us to "Go into The World and Preach His Gospel, because He is looking to Draw souls (men and women) out of The World(ly) way of thinking, living, etc. We pray for The World, We pray for Souls of men and women and we love those in The World as Christ Jesus loves them that He gave of Himself, and That Gave His Him so that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life (JOHN 3:16). But, the WORLD has a "different standard" of what it considers "love." To The World, if you love them or love somebody that means you "accept" and "approve" everything they do. But, we know The Love of Christ Jesus is the undoing and reproving of the works of the Flesh and the things that the flesh likes to do. Why? Because The Love of Christ Jesus is to restore HUMANITY back to the WILL OF THE FATHER. The Love of The World is to allow HUMANITY to do its own and follow its OWN WILL. But, these two positions are 100% DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED, brother. They cannot meet. They are opposite. Because The Will of God The Father is NOT The Will of Man. The Will of God is a Narrow Way and requires that we "deny, forsake and sacrifice" our "will" and trade it in for THE HIGHER CALLING OF CHRIST JESUS. The Will of Man is Wide, Broad and allows folks to "do your thang, be who you are, live out loud, handle your business, find yourself." That is why The Bible is CLEAR to be a servant of The Lord Jesus Christ and God The Father Jehovah Yahweh - You must either be "hot" OR "cold." It is when we think we can be "lukewarm" that The Lord Jesus Christ says: "I will spew (vomit) you out." God does not allow "wiggle room" and "common ground" when it comes to HIS WAY and MAN'S WAY. Man has to be willing to go God's Way. That is how we KNOW those who truly are of God Jehovah and His Only Begotten Son The Lord Jesus Christ and those who are not. Those who are of Christ Jesus truly allow HIM LORDSHIP OVER THEIR LIVES, by resisting the STANDARD OF THE WORLD (i.e., the standard of man, the standard of the flesh). Otherwise, if we are going to go with The Standard of The World and Flesh, Carnality and Man's Standard, then How then is CHRIST JESUS LORD truly LORD in our lives? In such case He is not. It is Christ Jesus LORDSHIP that clearly shows the difference between His Followers and the World's Followers. But, my friend you can't be both. And, Christ Jesus is the ONE that let's us know that we cannot do both. WE CAN LOVE EVERYBODY. BUT, IN CHRIST JESUS LOVING EVERYBODY DOES NOT MEAN LOVING THEM HIGHER OR ABOVE LOVING HIM & LOVING HIS STANDARD. That is what some in the World (and sadly even in The Church, which here it truly ought not be) do. They say they "love Jesus" but, that love is compromised and only to a point that it means they truly have to be "separate" or "despised" or "suffer persecution" from The World. Basically, they love The Lord as long as their is no price to pay OR no Cross to bear or sacrifice on their part. BUT, TO TRULY LIVE FOR HIM... MEANS TO SACRIFICE EVERYTHING that "makes you, you." Because He wants "you" and wants to "change you" and "transform you" and He cannot do that for you, when you are still trying to hold on to "you" and still trying to be "you" and do what "you" want to do. THAT IS WHY THE WORLD REJECTS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST & REJECT HIS LORDSHIP & HOLY STANDARDS. The World is 100% about BEING **YOU** and The Lord Jesus Christ is 100% about **YOU** BEING **HIM** but, you can't be Him and You at the same time.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chandler

      Jesus H, man, no one is going to read your massive wall of text. Evangelize somewhere else.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Studying_Nomad

      I was seriously considering going back to the Church. These responses have changed my mind. You've turned Jesus into a cult leader and used a whole lot of words to say absolutely nothing.

      May 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Mike

      @studying_nomad you don't go to church for the people, it's about the teaching. I encourage you to go back. Don't allow any one person to jeopardize your future. There are some crazy people who dine at my favorite restaurant, however, at the end of the day I still want their food.

      May 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  2. notquiteonboard

    While I'm not really against gay marriage, the author's argument doesn't quite reach me. Communion and Baptism are about your relationship with God,and I agree that being Gay shouldn't affect those things. Marriage is about you and another person. While marriage is called 'holy matrimony', it's not the same thing as the other two - because it's a person/person thing and not a you/god thing.

    We need to do what parts of Europe do already - make marriage a 2-pass process:
    1.) Everyone gets a legally binding civil union
    2.) You're free to get the 'marriage' of your choice via the clergy (or not) of your choice.

    People can then govern their marriage according to their own creed, and as good Americans who understand liberty, we can get off other people's backs about their respective creeds.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Edward

      The Bible does not speak of person. It clearly speaks of two different individuals, that being man and woman.

      You can also read Ephesians 5 It talks of marriage and Husbands responsibilities to the Wife, Wife to the Husband Both to the kids and the Kids to the Parents. It is very clear there and in Deuteronomy 1-18..

      May 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Edward

      It does not say that Man is to be Submissive to another man or a Woman is to be Submissive to another Woman. In Ephesian 5 it is very clear. Man to Woman and kids to Parents.

      You can also read Ephesians 5 It talks of marriage and Husbands responsibilities to the Wife, Wife to the Husband Both to the kids and the Kids to the Parents. It is very clear there and in Deuteronomy 1-18..

      May 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Dani

      Actually marriage is between 3 people...a man his wife and the GOD that comes before BOTH of them!

      May 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • notquiteonboard

      My point was that communion/baptism are between you/God. Marriage is about you/spouse, and therefore his argument doesn't defend gay marriage.
      If everyone (gay or not) gets a civil union and then a marriage, they can then define marriage however they please. If God takes issue with this, he's free to part the clouds and let us know. ...But I've got a pretty good feeling we won't hear anything from him on the issue. He's pretty good about remaining silent and watching us battle each other to honor him.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  3. Mike

    You used Peter and baptism as your reference, but I'm confused. That scripture deals with people who are believers, but are not Jews. That was a faith issue. So in what logic have you taken a faith issue and used it to justify a moral one?

    May 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mike

      I hope the author replies. I'm interested to hear how he found this compatible...

      May 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Edward

      Dani, you are right about that. Sorry, I left that out.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  4. L. PAT WILLIAMS

    ANY SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" THAT CAN SIDE WITH GAY MARRIAGE which is most oppositional to the most rudimentary aspect of THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN GOD (JEHOVAH) and HIS SON (YESHUA-JESUS CHRIST) is a Child of The World and NOT a Child of God. I am talking to "Christians" NOT those of you of other faiths or non-faiths. FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST JESUS KNOWS THE WORD OF GOD - THE BIBLE and HIS WORD is clear that we are to be separated and called out of The World and follow His Standards NOT The Standards of The World. GAY MARRIAGE is a standard of The World, but THE STANDARD OF JEHOVAH & HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON JESUS CHRIST is this: "From the beginning God Created them Male and Female and for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to His wife and the twain (two) shall be one flesh, what God has put together (male and female) let no man put asunder (separate, disparage, disunite)." MATTHEW 19 This is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST REMINDING PEOPLE OF HIS TIME WHAT IS MARRIAGE while discussing DIVORCE. You cannot talk about DIVORCE without discusisng and defining MARRIAGE. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DID THAT. Now, the choice is you must decided if you believe and accept GOD'S STANDARD & DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE or MAN'S STANDARD/THE WORLD'S STANDARD OF MARRIAGE. Simple as that. "Let God be God, let Baal be Baal."

    May 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Matthew 19:5

      Pat,

      You're right but you've got to tone it down. What we need is common ground, not angry encampments of more-and-more politicized stakeholders, vying for political advantage over the others.

      What is the government offering to married people that it doesn't offer to non-married people? Let's let the government make its offerings in a color-blind manner.

      As for teaching what's right to children, this is the responsibility of parents. The government is not in the business of establishing "good" for its citizens.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bruce

      "anyone who divorces his wife, except for se.xual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery"

      And... we still call that arrangement "marriage" and not "adultery."

      And Jesus did not use caps-lock. Look it up.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Matthew 19:5

      Bruce,

      Jesus was saying that nobody meets the requirement... nobody! Not Billy Graham, not the saints, not King David... nobody! Certainly not myself...

      He wasn't establishing a hierarchy between people, he was establishing a hierarchy between God and people.

      We still call this arrangement "marriage", the way divorce worked under Moses, but neither a first nor second marriage makes a person compliant....

      May 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • bob

      The government should not recognize marriage at all. It is against the separation of church and state.
      There is no reason it should be recognized at all.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • bob

      The government should not recognize marriage at all. It is against the separation of church and state.
      There is no reason it should be recognized at all.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Daniel

      Tell that to the usurers he beat into the streets with a bull whip. If they had Twitter in those days, I am rather certain a tweet would read something like: Jesus beat the bankers with a bullwhip! lol. "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME!"

      May 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  5. JOAN COFFEY

    in Matthew 19 Jesus said " What God has joined together let no man put asunder." A man in the crowd said in that case I don't want to marry. Didn,t want to be locked in. Jesus referred him to the classes of people whp either couldn't or didn't want to be married--those who were monks for the sake of the kingdom of heaven-those who were damaged by others such as eunuchs made to serve the governmemt in Egypt mainly –and those who were eunuchs ,had no incliination (to woman?) "from their mothers womb."– He made these references to allow the man to consider what his real motivation re not marrying might be might be –as opposed to all this - i.e, wish to be free to divorce on whim-- not for legitimate reasons of adultery. This reference to "from their mothers womb" seems to refer to no choice or state of nature. it wasn't the point of the discourse - but a matter of fact description of how the world is–to make a separate point - but it gives pause. "from their mother's womb'"– this from Jesus.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  6. Caffeinated Opinion

    Everyone (ESPECIALLY PEOPLE OF ALL RELIGIONS) should just shut the F up. You people are so miserable in your lives, with all the RULES you make up in your heads to follow vs. damnation, you take out your pent up resentment of your own jailed lives and spit your venom at people who are simply living their lives out side of YOUR self created hell.

    A God that created a people wouldn't want those people to suffer unless that God was evil. Think about it. Live free, be good to one another, work together to accomplish things and thats got to be good enough, if its not you serve a tyrant, and that tyrant is likely made up in your own guilt ridden heads.

    End of story.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Stuff Tosay

      So what type of actions do you feel are wrong or hurtful to society? OR do you think anyone can do anything they want? What is your basis for this? Your opinion? And if God was a tyrant, he would not have died in YOUR place for YOUR sin. My kids think I am a tyrant if I tell them no. They don't get the bigger picture because of the limits of their understanding..........

      May 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Mickey

      Forget about judging. Let their be special civil unions for gay people and let them enjoy the same LEGAL benefits as Marriage. But DO NOT REDEFINE MARRIAGE. Why? Because EVERY valid argument that folks have make for redefining marriage for Gays, can equally be used for the legalization of Polygamy (think Sharia Law), and even group marriages. Think about it. I defy you to point to a "gay" argument for the redefinition of Marriage that could not be used in this manner. IE. who are you to say that this group of folks that are all truely in love with each other should not be allowed to marry. Where's the freedom in that? If one man wants to have many wives and they agree to it, who are we to deny him that right? See where this could all lead?

      May 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Bruce

      Pssst.. Mickey. Polygamy is already legal. It's just that we call it "divorce and remarriage" now and pretend that the passage of time somehow renders asunder that which God hath wrought...

      May 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jonah

      @Mickey - technically, "marriage" is nothing but a civil union, recognized by the state. No one is forcing churches with medieval views to perform civil ceremonies for people they hate.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      How would you know if I or anyone else is miserable? Or resentful? What rules am I making up?

      If anyone who claims to be Christian and is spitting venom – well they aren't practicing Christianity.

      How would you know what a God that created people really wants? If he exists, and truly created you and everything else, do you really have the hubris to think you could comprehend him?

      IMHO, God is developing us for a purpose. One does not develop something without stress testing it. To quote Tolkien: "The burned hand teaches best." Allowing us to suffer does not prove evil intent. I allow my children to suffer – not cruelly of course, but sometimes losing priveleges, having soap in your mouth, or the rare swat to the rear teaches valuable lessons.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  7. Stuff Tosay

    Another "we can do whatever we want and its OK" person claiming to be a follower of Christ. If you follow this reasoning then there is really no limit to what one can do, as long as they are "Christian". "Judge not" verse once again abused to mean no one can be wrong, and no one can point it out. Who am I to question people who "believe" that willing children should be allowed to have physical relations with adults? Or people should be slaves of others because or their race. We owe Hitler and Charles Manson and Bin Laden an apology. Unless, of course, you impose YOUR OWN morality on their actions....... To this I say "judge not lest ye be judged"

    May 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  8. WASP

    This article just goes to show that everyone can have an opinion, no matter how wrong or based in fallicious reasoning it is, as this author has just demonstrated.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Truthteller

      Not to mention bad spelling.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Harrison

    I never thought I would see the day when sodomy would be held up as a good thing. When you legalize gay marriage you legitimize sodomy. Sodomy isn't even debateble as to wether its good, safe, or recomendable. Its unhealthy and dangerous to anyones health who engages in it. These are irrefutable facts. Do we need the Bible to tell us this is wrong ? Of course not. Yet we now have a sitting president and vice president who say this is Ok. Sodomy is OK. Its Ok to teach young children that gay marriage is OK and sodomy is OK too. You can't separate the two. One goes with the other.

    Now we have people trying to twist the Bible and its teachings into some sort of approval of gay marriage. Its amazing and unbelievable at the same time. This is a huge lie and God help the people who are endorsing it.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • logic

      The problem with this view (on sodomy) is that it doesn't apply to female partners. Following your logic (where sodomy is the test), it would mean that the only couples who should marry are women with women or hetero couples who do not engage in sodomy.

      We can't paint a broad brush across gay people and associate all of them with sodomy; and in the case of of hetero couples doing this, we can't tell which ones do or don't.

      If you wanted to be certain (that no people marry who engage in sodomy) then the safest bet would be to not allow any men to marry. That means gay men or straight men.

      It is for this reason the sodomy argument doesn't work and I hope that is more clear to you now.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  10. Hatred isn't the answer

    MATTHEW 7:1-5.

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Y'all need to quit being so judgemental and hateful. It's terrible representation of Christians who truly lead a life following Christ. It isn't up to us who gets past the gates, it isn't up to your pastor, or your family or your church... it's up to Him. If you think Christianity is wrong, GET OVER IT! Sure, love the sinner, not the sin... but please, you are scaring people away from the truth and the love that only Jesus can offer by telling them off to Helll. We should be welcoming them with open arms, because our Jesus would do the same thing...

    May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Brody

      Exactly. "Love thy neighbor" is an unqualified statement. Just love everyone like they were your own kin. Really, not that hard a concept to grasp.

      Jesus, save me from your followers...

      May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Stuff Tosay

      so what moral issues and principles should the Church stand up for? Be careful, don't judge..........

      May 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • L. PAT WILLIAMS

      "KNOW YE NOT THAT YOU ARE THE JUDGES OF THE WORLD?"
      "REPROVE THE WORKS OF DARKNESS."

      JESUS IS NOT SAYING NOT JUDGE SIN AND LET SIN ABOUND. HE IS GIVING A CAVEAT TO
      MAKE SURE ONE IS JUDGING RIGHTEOUSLY AND FAIRLY AND CLEANLY. MEANING DO NOT
      BE GUILTY FOR BY THE SAME MEASURE IT SHALL BE METE UNTO YOU AGAIN.

      THAT IS WHY HE SAYS: "Get the beam out of your eye first, so that you can THEN SEE CLEARLY
      to REMOVE the speck from your brother's eye."

      Y'ALL DON'T WANT THE SPECK REMOVED.

      But, JESUS said plainly to the sinful woman: GO AND SIN NO MORE!

      Y'ALL WANT TO KEEP SINNING AND JUSTIFYING SINS.

      BUT, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYS plainly: I HAVE COME TO CALL THE SINNER TO REPENTANCE.
      FOR IF I HAD NOT COME THEN YOU WOULD HAVE A CLOKE FOR YOUR SINS (i.e., "an excuse to sin).

      May 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      As a Christian, I would like to apologize for those who are either misguided or are CINO s. God does not hâte gays. Christians should not hâte gays, and those who do should be thoroughly rebuked. Their's is the much greater sïn, in my opinion.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bruce

      Pat,

      Jesus just called me and wants you to know that he forgives you for abusing the caps-lock key.

      So go now and caps-lock no more.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  11. Ann

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/05/the-christian-case-for-gay-marriage-the-smackdown.html

    May 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Daniel M.

      amazing article from Bad catholic
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/

      May 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  12. L dee

    Very sloppy thinking. To extrapolate from "God loves all of us and welcomes everyone into the church" to "we should redefine what marriage means because some people want to" is void of any sense. The waters are so muddied that people forget the meaning of marriage and why it's important to soceity – it's for conceiving and rearing children – that's it, folks. Love, companionship, etc. is great, but it's not a reason for a tax break and all the other benefits you get from real marriage. The rest of us get no benefit from so-called gay marriage – it is just a dead-end for our society. This author is just out in the weeds.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bruce

      Apply that same logic to divorce and remarriage (aka adultery) and see where it gets you...

      Consistency, however, is never the Christian's strong suit. Hypocrisy is.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Hatred isn't the answer

      There is nothing special about marriage ANYMORE. Whatever you're on, I want some of it. Everyone deserves the right to marry. I know more gayy couples who have been together than straight ones! yet they're the ones being denied the right to marry! Christians and non-Christians are divorcing left and right. WHAT world are you living in?

      May 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Felix

      Actually, if you do your homework, marriage was essentially a business transaction related to dowery and contradictory to popular belief it was not created by Christianity. So, in essence, Christians are offenders in "redefining" marriage for a couple thousand years now.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Brody

      By that logic, the elderly should not be allowed to marry past a certain age – after all, they're not going to be conceiving children any time soon. And yet churches allow the geriatric to marry. By that same logic, anyone who's had a vasectomy or their tubes tied would also be disallowed from marrying.

      These are absurdities. Marriage is not solely about procreation. Humans throughout history have paired off for mutual protection and benefit. Prior to the modern era, marriage was about maintaining or preserving influence. Women were objects to be bartered and sold.

      Here's something else for you to chew on: "Love thy neighbor" has no exemptions, exceptions or qualifiers. How hard is universal love and respect for fellow man to understand? I'm not even a Christian, and yet I understand that Jesus had some pretty cool ideas, but most of his followers have no idea what they are.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Matthew 19:5

      No, dude, marriage is not "for rearing children, period"! Jesus taught us that a man and his wife become one flesh! That's marriage!

      Children are a big deal! Stable relationships are a big deal! But God has something even bigger in mind with marriage. It's a picture of Jesus' courtship and unity with His people... and this is a mystery that awed the apostle Paul.

      As for man-man or woman-woman marriage, how can you overlook Romans 1? In my opinion, marriage is a spiritual thing and only loses when the government gets involved.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Chandler

      My wife & I are adopting. Looks like I'll tell her our marriage is meaningless & then forfeit the benefits "real marriages" have.

      Btw, what does spouse visitation, inheritance, etc have to do with rearing children?

      May 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Hatred isn't the answer

    A lot of people are very angry and very hateful here. for the record, Jesus said, "love the Sinner, not the sin." Jesus never preached any sorts of hatred, FFS.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Felix

    Most Christians of the condemning variety are more concerned with looking powerless above all else. Usually they're so good at evangelizing (aka exploiting) when it comes to minorities, professing unconditional love, but come the day when their faith is tested the need to be "right", to be in control prevails and they assume godly authority over their fellow men.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  15. KCArrowhead

    If the only concern is extending government provided/sanctioned benefits to gay couples, then just call it what it is – a civil union. For that matter call a heterosëxual marriage "civil union" as well, in regards to the government.

    If the concern is trying to force churches to condone or perform gay "marriages", or to force them to accept homôsëxuality as moral, then that is wrong.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Felix

      No one has ever suggested from the gay rights movement that anyone be "forced" to marry gay couples. Where in the hell does that paranoia come from? They want a legal right completely unrelated to the church. Do Jewish people force Catholic priests to marry them simply because they can marry?

      May 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      No one wants to "force" a church to perform a wedding ceremony for a gay or lesbian couple. That's asinine.

      All marriages are "civil unions". All civil unions should be "marriages". Pretty simple.

      The word does not belong to merely one religion.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      I have no problems with civil unions, hetero or otherwise. Our society is secular, and better for it, and I see no reason why homôsëxuals should be excluded from civil rights. Aa far as calling it a "marriage", that is just semantics. You can call it whatever you want – I will refer to it as a civil union.

      And I stand corrected on "forcing a church to perform a gay wedding ceremony." I did not mean to imply that this is a goal of the homôsëxuals.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  16. Larry

    First of all, a Christian, a TRUE Christian hates the sin but loves the sinner. This isn't about turning people away from Christianity, it's about not watering down God's Word. Question for the author of the article: OK, so you're cutting out Romans and Deuteronomy from your Bible. I'm sure that makes it lighter -- but it also pretty much renders the inspired COMPLETE Word of God ineffective. What, you get to leave out the parts you don't like? REALLY????

    May 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Anita Meyer

      You hit the nail on the head. But, the author is Episcopal. That explains his flawed view.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Amanda

      The folks who compiled the bible already cut out the parts they didn't like, what's the difference? I think anything that confuses the most important message -love and treat others as you love and respect god- won't be missed much anyway.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chris

      Larry, I believe most Christians do just that. I don't think many christians hold true to the rest of Leviticus these days.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • L. PAT WILLIAMS

      Thank you Bro. Larry... Our MOST HOLY & MOST PURE CHRISTIAN FAITH has been hijacked by APOSTATES, CHARLATANS and HERETICS that want to "broaden, and widen" The Way of Christ Jesus. These folks come preaching a "gospel of The World" to "fit in" with Today's Secular, Worldly Sinful culture. But, those of us who are TRULY SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST and FILLED WITH HIS HOLINESS, BY WAY OF THE HOLY GHOST and are REDEEMED of THE LORD know that we are "called out of the World." We are in the World but NOT of the World. We don't follow the "standards" of The Flesh, of Man of The World - for these are SINFUL, REBELLIOUS and DEGENERATED. It is time that the BODY OF CHRIST JESUS - THE TRUE CHURCH - rid ourselves of these LIARS who are ravening wolves in sheeps clothing, who lead men and women to HELL, because they do not want to PREACH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN TOTATLITY. GOD IS HOLY. JESUS CHRIST IS HOLY. THEY DO NOT APPROVE OUR SINS. THEY REPROVE OUR SINS. THEY DESTROY OUR SINS. THEY REMOVE OUR SINS. THEY REJECT OUR SINS. THEY REDEEM US FROM OUR SINS. You cannot follow The Lord Jesus Christ and yet, uphold sin! That is a follower of The World and a Child of The Flesh, The Child of Sin, The Child of The Devil. It is time we expose these folks like this guy "blogging" here. This man is NOT a CHRISTIAN OF JESUS CHRIST OF THE BIBLE... This man is a "new age Christian" and is following and living according to "his own gospel" and NOT the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ which says that He have come to: "Call the sinner to repentance" and calls us to "deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him." That says: "We cannot serve two masters, you cannot be of two opinions, you cannot walk according to The Flesh and yet, see God. " You cannot do it. God The Father and God The Son and God The Holy Ghost are HOLY, SANCTIFIED and commands that HIS SERVANTS be HOLY, SANCTIFIED and SEPARATE, we go into The World to Preach His Gospel, but we are NOT to be "of the world" Meaning, we are not to follow WORLDLY STANDARDS in our lives, but apply HIS MOST HOLY STANDARDS to our lives. These apostates, new agers, heretics, charlatans - The Lord Jesus Christ will purge from HIS BRIDE - THE CHURCH and He is allowing The Gay Marriage Issue to truly be the purging and proving ground to expose the "fake, poser, new-age, worldy, progressive, carnal, sinful so-called Christians" that are siding with a STANDARD that is diametrically opposed to HIS STANDARD (male & female). Again, I speak to those who say they are of THE BODY OF CHRIST. I am not speaking to those of you in The World, of The World of Other Faiths or Non-Faith - Y'all following y'all "standard." But, I am speaking to those who are supposedly called out of The World and Called into The Household of Faith and The Body of Christ Jesus, let NOT this "standard" of The World be named among you. We are to LIFT UP THE STANDARD OF THE WORD, not the "standard of The World." SHAME ON YOU POSER, FAKE APOSTATES that have "crept in unawares" into The Church body. For surely, The Lord says He will uproot the "tare" and the Evil One's "seed sown" in the midst of His field. LET THE CHURCH ALWAYS UPHOLD THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MOST HOLY & IMMUTABLE STANDARDS. The World is going its way... Let The TRUE CHILD OF GOD who is truly REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST go unto THE WAY, THE TRUTH & THE LIFE. There is no in between. Let God be God, let Baal be Baal.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Finally, Words by someone who realizes the teachings of Jesus is about the Love of God for ALL of his children.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Bruce

      Not only love but mercy. He who shows no mercy to his fellow man shall receive no mercy from God, at least according to that Jesus fella.

      It's funny how willing these so-called Christians are willing to forgive Newt Gingrich for his adulterous relationships (including his current "marriage" which we still call a marriage in spite of Jesus calling it "adultery") and allow Newt to continue living in sin and allow him to call his sin a "marriage" when they can't afford the same kind of forgiveness to their gay brothers and sisters.

      Except for the funny part...

      May 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      This has (or shouldn't have) anything to do with hâte. We are called to love one another. That does not mean that Christians are supposed to accept any and every behavior. The Bible is specific that homôsëxuality is an abomination.

      Solution? Love your fellow man. Don't act like those despïcable people in the Westboro Baptist Church. But don't water down Christianity either. Hebrews 12:14 says it succinctly: Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

      May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bruce

      "The Bible is specific that homôsëxuality is an abomination."

      And so is eating shellfish.

      And the Bible is specific that divorce and remarriage is adultery (in bright red letters because these were Jesus' words), yet Christians seem to have no problem labeling that relationship as "marriage".

      May 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      Well Bruce, do two wrongs make a right? As for me, I have only been married once. I would only consider divorce in the case of unfaithfulness – which Jesus DID say was an exception. In red letters.

      And don't go mixing in Mosaic covenant laws (which were only intended for the Israelites) into the mix. No one thinks that the diverse laws given to them apply to us. It is quite clear in the NT, however, that homôsëxuality is an abomination.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • L. PAT WILLIAMS

      RIIIIGHT... ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. But, we are NOT all of God's Children. For Jesus made it plain that many are THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL. That a MAN MUST BE BORN AGAIN and BORN OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT and SINS BLOTTED OUT BY HIS CLEANSING BLOOD in order to be "adopted" into KINGDOM OF GOD and made a "child of God." Unitl you are born again, you are born of flesh, of sin and hence are of the World and belong to The Devil (The Father of Lies) and are a "Child of The Devil." We are all God's Creation, but we are not all God's Children. We BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD, when we ARE BORN OF HIS SPIRIT AND TURN FROM THE SIN OF OUR FLESH AND GIVE JESUS CHRIST LORDSHIP IN OUR LIVES. THIS IS A CHILD OF GOD. Anything less, is THE CHILD OF THE DEVIL.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bruce

      Actually, KC, the only places where the NT uses the term "abomination" is where Jesus is quoting the prophet Daniel (Matt 24, Mark 13), and John (Rev 17) is talking about the Wh.or.e of Babylon's adulteries.

      None of those three places where that specific term is used reference ho.mo.se.x in any way, though one of them talks about adultery.

      And that "except for unfaithfulness" is a very lame loophole exception that explains away nothing, and you know it.

      May 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • KCArrowhead

      Fine, Bruce, if you want to quibble over semantics, so be it. How about these descriptions of homôsëxuality: vile, shameful, unnatural, degrading, indecent, immoral... depending on which translation you read.

      The point is, if you are Christian, there is no getting around the fact that God has a pretty poor opinion of homôsëxuality. If you aren't a Christian, go ahead and do what you want. No one is stopping you.

      As far as unfaithfulness being "a very lame loophole exception that explains away nothing", I'm just quoting Jesus. If you aren't a Christian, why should you care what He says? If you are a Christian, your's is a rather impudent remark.

      May 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  18. John Lindorfer

    Episcopalians!

    May 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  19. JW

    When it comes time to seperate the sheep from the goats, the Lord will not have that difficult a time.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bruce

      Why, are the sheep and the goats having se.x?

      May 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  20. unofischal

    We shouldn't be surprised that there are Christians who support marriage equality. Half of Americans do, and you can't get half of America without including a lot of Christians.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.