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.
Based on what most christians are saying here I feel like I may not be following christanity, but I'm pretty sure what mention is made about gays is done in the old testament. Now as a Christian I follow the new testament, and so striving to be Christ like as a Christian I accept everyone for who they are, I love them and do not presume to know the right way for them to live their life, instead I simply open my arms to others and know that all people of all faiths are just fine it doesn't matter to me what you do with your life all that matters is the way that you do it...that was my understanding of christs teachings anyways
Romans is in the New Testement and is pretty clear on the topic.
“For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another…” (Romans 1:26-27). There are more versus from the NT if you want them.
But this is not from the teachings of Christ but instead from a disiples my point is that Christ had nothing to say about it
Christ was teaching the Jewish nation, not the gentiles. Jewish law had already established that being gay was wrong. The disciples taught the gentiles which did not live by this law.
And, when Jesus and the early Christians are debating whether people could be denied rites, it was because they were still considering themselves a Jewish sect and it was a debate between Jews and gentiles and with all do respect, they would NEVER have allowed gay marriage. Again, personally, I do not care who gets married, but this man is just being completely dishonest and if you want an honest debate you have to come from an honest point of view.
Someone please link the SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE LAW...please. Bet you can not link it, because there is not a law that says this.
Uhhhhh bill of rights
Link the bill of rights that say this please.
It's impossible to do. . .if you're an idiot.
The Establishment Clause requires that the government not actively support a religion. The combination of the Establishment Clause and the Due Process Clause requires that every law have at least one non-trivial non-religious basis.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
taken from: http://atheism.about.com/od/churchstatemyths/a/phrase.htm
Again link the law or part of the bill of rights. This only states the freedom for religion not the seperation of church and state
All of the public figures and the rich or elites can endorse this until the end of time. Shape it, color it, bend it and repackage it, legislate it and post it on signs. The fact is if you believe the words of God and the teachings of Jesus, this practice is an abomination and nothing that anyone can do to make it pretty, nice, sweet, loving or any other thing to make it acceptable can override what the Lord says about it.
And I want to add..... I am a born again Christian and I came to Christianity in my 30s after leading a riotous life. Becoming a Christian and putting on the New Man was as hard for me as anything I've ever done but I have stayed with it and made a lot of progress.
As I have progressed in my Christian walk I've learned that the Lord is right on every single issue related to our lives and I certainly do challenge the "Christianity" of anyone....anyone....who can come to the conclusions that he or she is right...and that God is wrong....on this particular subject. If you profess to be a Christian and still believe that this kind of behavior is acceptable in God's eyes you're listening to the wrong Spirit.
A huge nuber of christians – even entire christian churches believe that this behaviour is accepted by god.
I think you should stop listening to voices in your head...you'll be better for it.
Jon, well-put and 100 percent correct. Gays and their supporters are now trying to distort the Bible to support their wickedness. They can fool some of the people, but certainly not all, or true believers of grist's Word.
Jon....I agree 100%. They just ignore the teaching of christianity and make up their own rules. The bible states that if you take away or add to his word you will be puished terribly for it.
I think most of us find folks like you, born again Christians in particular, are essentially a bit of the extremist side of religion. You are so fervent with your beliefs there is no room for any other interpretation. A zealot if you will. This happens a lot with born agains. You led a wild, sinful life. Maybe drugs, crime, abuse of alcohol or others....extreme behaviors, then swing that extremism to a polar opposite. Which is good, don't get me wrong... Focusing on religion is great for someone like you. But your fanaticism and lack of compassion to to mention covering your blatant hatred for those different than you is so off base of what Jesus's message was really about. I feel sorry for you. I hope you are forgiven in the afterlife.
believe that this kind of behavior is acceptable in God's eyes you're listening to the wrong Spirit.
The arrogance of people who think they can actually know what God thinks, and what is acceptable to God...stunning.
OK WHATEVER>>>>Really, tell us where in the bible the fact that christ loves everyone gives us the ability to ignore its teachings. How can you believe this part of the bible and ignore the other parts. Its either a lie or the truth and I know its no lie.
Not that stunning madtown; we read the book he has given us in which he reveals his thoughts. And the spirit which he gives to live in us teaches us his thoughts through his word.
And they are being lied to. The guy who wrote this missed the fact that things have been made clean in the eyes of God from the old law into the new but there still is some things that was still wrong in the new this is one of them.
You've convinced yourself that you are God evidently. Don't you ever question how the bible conveniently agrees with you on the issues of the day? Did you even read this article? The author explains that it misses the message of the Bible to pick and choose particular rules or laws, and judge or punish anyone for violating them. There is no biblical authority to put anything into law based on biblical beliefs. None. And in the US, all citizens must be treated equally under the law.
"and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people".
and you consider them false when you don't agree with them, right?
False when they pork a man
No, notheism, it's when they contradict the word of God. We compare what they teach to what the scriptures teach, and reject them where they differ.
Other equally legitimate and relevant world religions consider yours to be false. So, who is right? I don't know. My guess is...no one. Believe in God, not in religion.
Deuteronomy 12:32 "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
Man can't rewrite the bible all day... Man can change laws to justify his life style... One thing we can all agree on is that the bible says that there will always be evil around to mislead you...
In other words, there will always be evil things like the bible to mislead you.
Do not twist your logic and reasoning so the gay marriage can be justified. The Bible should not be twisted to make it fit the things people feel guilty and uncomfortable (because it is wrong and unnatural) so they feel better and justified. We human beings often do wrong things knowing we do wrong because we are weak and selfish. We repent and confess to God and we are redeemed. When we do things the Bible say "no," we need to continue to repent and pray that we are changed. We may do it again, but we are free from condemnation since there is a way to be forgiven. We strive to be righteous but we cannot be 100% (natural and of course we are human). But we are righteous because He is right all the time and we have a way to go to him through repentance and forgiveness as promised. Ask for forgiveness whenever we feel guilty and feel not right.This genuine trying make human beautiful. Do not twist the Bible so you feel better. You will never feel free and right without repentance and forgiveness.
The Bible should not be twisted to make it fit the things people feel guilty and uncomfortable
This has been done throughout the history of the bible, and primarily by the people who wrote and edited it.
Other Bible teachings – Not very Christ like.
20:9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.
20:10 If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death.
22:20-1 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house.
For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.
I'm your typical evil and ignorant christian. Even though it's god's job to judge others, I judge others anyway because I'm god's right hand man and he won't mind. Also, I love having biblical relations with my own gender, for the record.
Like I said, you sound like a nut.
Still true, no matter if you change your name.
A mix of truth and untruth twisted to fit our agenda. It's still called heresy, even in this great age of elightment. If the light in you is darkness how great is the darkness.
I think I should be allowed to set my own speed limit. I want the law to be written in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that allows me and me only to travel legally at whatever speed I desire, whether above or below the posted speed and every law enforcement official must have my license plate in their database so as not to inadvertently pull me over, which would result in my suing the municipality or state in which I was wrongly accused.
This above statement is as ridiculous as proposing gay marriage and calling it Biblical. Attorneys aren't legal representatives of the Bible or the Christian community and this man's opinion should be dismissed by Bible believers as false teaching.
It is. No one is crazy enough to read articles from CNN that range from 'the Bible is against gays, don't read it' to 'the Bible says gay is okay, so obey it.'
Let us eliminate the god and Christian effects from the gay union discussion with a prayer:
The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(References used are available upon request.)
I would wager you have made absolutely NO attempt to balance your "studies" with sources from the other side.
Put some ice on your bunghole
Now that we have eliminated god and Christianity from the discusssion-
Ho-mose-xuality in the 21st century:::::::
ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–-–>>>>
"Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.
o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:
“ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice. "
"Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8
See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.
And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.
From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
This is why the Pharisees and Romans who were so fairly concerned about the trouble with growing Christian movement, that they just pointed to where He was buried to simply discredit the entire religion. The very fact that many people believed shortly after events occurred, especially when they could have so easily been disproven by the religious leaders and political leaders of the time, only strengthens my faith.
ONLY FOR THE NEW MEMBERS:
Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/
From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.
From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:
"Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.
Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.
Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.
The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.
Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.
The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "
"In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.
With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:
An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
"Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
p.168. by Ted Peters:
Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "
So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.
i'm starting to believe that cnn is the supreme troll – why do stories like this continue to headline their front page?
That is easy to figure out, they are trying to help Obama out.
Its an issue in human rights and separation of church and state and that all people have rights despite the wish of a few relgions to push their personal beliefs on others. It is an important issue.
Thing is the voters are saying no
5% of the population constantly dominating the news
And each others butts
Ah c'mon, no one gets the Thunderfury reference?
Yes, we do, the Lakers beat the Thunder last night though.
My favorite part of this article is when they are on the subject of the church's baptism. Ah, so tranquil. Maybe the pastor isn't a complete heretic, he does have a nice batism.
If anyone posts under this name again, it isn't me!! Sick of christards like colin stealing my name. Christians are losers and I'm glad they are mostly all broke and poor with nothing and live in filth and poverty. They deserve it!
You sound like a nut too.
80% of this country is Christian. You are completely ignorant and uneducated to think most Christians are poor. BTW, Jesus spoke to the poor and disenchanted first. Your idea of poor being the undesired is not a Christian idea.
So I guess you are not counting the President of the United States a Christian as he claims? Or the most of the people who serve in Congress. Or the athletes like Reggie White, Mark Jackson, Tim Tebow, and many other athletes. Oh and then there is Kirk Cameron, Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington, and many others.
God is gay - he made man FIRST, a straight guy would have made a woman first, so clearly god enjoys packing fudge. Simple!
Yes, you are some kind of a nut.
This is further proof that Satan thrives within the worldly churches. Nowhere does the Bible teach what this columnist is saying.
There is no shortage of apostate, reprobate "churches."
Only those who do the will of the Father are God's children. By the way Katie, Jesus is God, and the source of life. He created everything, and the came down from heaven to become a man so that he could offer himself as the final sacrifice for sins. He is God.
it was not my source of life.
What? I thought Horus was God. . .or was it Zeus? Anyway, take your pick, they're all myths that some adults still take seriously.
And he does not give a flying F on a rolling doughnut if g@y folks want to get married...I think He's more interested in the 50% of hetro couples who get divorced leaving their wreckage behind.
CNN always finds these crazy uneducated pastors.
I think they do it deliberately, just to aggravate the few Christians who might wander onto their site.
80% of the US is Christian. Smart people would realize they write these articles and give them attention because many readers are Christian, albeit probably many are liberal. They do it to win over moderates, but even moderates can still read the words of the Bible.
He is a lawyer not a pastor.
Religions, like everything else have life and eventually die. . .IF they are unable to evolve like everything else in this universe.
[Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]
What ?you must gay
Lot sif trolls on here – get back there and make the bg lwait times shorter !!!
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