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Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop
The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on May 31.
June 3rd, 2013
02:12 PM ET

Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop

By Dan Merica and Daniel Burke, CNN

(CNN)– For more than two decades, the Rev. R. Guy Erwin couldn't officially be a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On Friday, he was elected a bishop.

Erwin's election signals a shift not only for the ELCA – the nation's seventh largest church – but also for American Christianity. Only one other mainline Protestant denomination, the Episcopal Church, has elected openly gay and lesbian bishops.

“In these days such milestones seem to be coming at an ever-faster rate," Erwin told CNN, "and eventually what seems revolutionary now will seem normal and predictable."

With more than 4 million members in 10,000 congregations, the ELCA is the largest of several Lutheran denominations in the United States. The ELCA's decision to allow gay clergy has strained ties between those denominations, some of whom have partnered for relief work.

"The ELCA is a church that belongs to Christ, and there is a place for all here," said church spokeswoman Melissa Ramirez Cooper. "The election of Pastor Erwin illustrates what many in the 4-million-member church believe - that God calls each of us by name.”

The ELCA lifted its ban on openly gay, partnered clergy in 2009, clearing the way for pastors like Erwin, but angering conservatives. By some estimates, some 600 congregations have since left the ELCA for more conservative churches.

The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman, director of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, said the ELCA is not keeping promises it made in 2009 to respect the views of churches and individuals who regard homosexuality as a sin.

"The promise was also made publicly that no congregation would be required to call a pastor in a same-sex partnership," Shipman said, "but now an entire synod has been forced to live under the authority of a bishop who is in such a relationship."

Erwin, a scholar at California Lutheran University, will serve a six-year term representing the Southwest California Synod, a five-county area that includes Los Angeles. His election took place an annual three-day assembly in Woodland Hills, California.

Erwin, who was ordained a pastor in 2011, played down his election as the ELCA's first openly gay bishop. But acknowledged that his very “existence” was a symbol for broader acceptance.

“The work of a bishop in our church is to lift up the church's message of grace and peace in the wider society, to administer the church's work in our area, and to teach and preach,” Erwin said in an e-mail to CNN. “In this regard, the sexual orientation of the bishop may not be very important.”

Still, the bishop-elect said, “The very fact I exist will be a signal to others that GLBT folks are respected and have a full place in our church.” Erwin is also part Osage Indian and is active in the Osage Indian Nation, according to the ELCA.

Erwin’s election symbolizes a noticeable change for a church that once banned clergy who were in same-sex relationships, said Ross Murray, director of news and Faith initiatives at GLAAD.

Prior to the 2009 change, “hundreds of gay and lesbian clergy were forced out of congregations or served under secrecy,” Murray said.

“Dr. Erwin demonstrates how far the ECLA has come with LGBT inclusion,” said Murray in an e-mail to CNN. “He could not have been ordained just four years ago, and now he is a leader for the church. It makes me proud as a gay man, and as a Lutheran.”

Although the ELCA church did not allow clergy in same-sex relationships while he was attending seminary, Erwin  said that he “always believed that this would someday be possible.”

Erwin also said the church's 2009 change in policy was more of a "culmination of God's work" than a "start of something new."

Erwin has long been a board member of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a Lutheran group that advocates for the 130 openly gay Lutheran clergy who are members.

Amalia Vagts, the group’s executive director, said Erwin’s election was an “amazing day” for openly gay and lesbian Lutherans.

“This is a powerful message for LGBT people everywhere that the Lutheran church welcomes them,” Vagts said in an e-mail.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Lutheran

soundoff (1,122 Responses)
  1. doug

    After reading these comments from people who obviously have not read the bible should know that God would see us all burn in Hell if Jesus did not sacrifice him self. short version Jesus said to think it is the same as doing it in God eyes. btw every church and religion on this planet is guilty of breaking the 2nd commandment. we also go against the lords prayer daily when it clearly says in short don't insult Gods intelligence he knows what you need and want just give thanks. I am one of few real christians left that has the guts to tell the truth it seems

    June 4, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Some of us have read and studied the bible for many years, doug. It was written by men. That's the first thing you should know about it. It in no way conveys any God's thoughts on anything – just what men hoped are their God's thoughts and requirements. In short, it codifies the prejudices and intolerance that prevailed when it was written.

      June 4, 2013 at 3:38 am |
    • skytag

      It's sad that you have to believe only people who haven't read the Bible don't buy into your fictional narrative. I've read the Bible and was a practicing Christian for almost 40 years, until I couldn't keep rationalizing why the real world isn't consistent with what it teaches.

      June 4, 2013 at 5:22 am |
    • sam stone

      "After reading these comments from people who obviously have not read the bible should know that God would see us all burn in Hell if Jesus did not sacrifice him self"

      Who should know this? You write like a elementary school child

      And, your god is a petty vindictive pr1ck

      June 4, 2013 at 5:33 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "should know that God would see us all burn in Hell if Jesus did not sacrifice him self"

      So god isn't as loving as you make him out to be.
      Whatever happened to 'God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son'....how is it Jesus sacrificed himself if his 'father' allowed it? How did Jesus nail his hands and feet to the torture device if he sacrificed himself?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well doug, the bible holds little credence to those of us who understand that it was written by men who had limited understanding of the natural world and thus had to fill the gaps in their knowledge with supernatural.

      June 4, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  2. t3chn0ph0b3

    Baby steps. Baby steps.

    June 4, 2013 at 2:04 am |
  3. t0g

    Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."

    Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."

    – Thomas 1:114

    June 4, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • Krg

      @t0G- Thomas isn't even accepted in the bible and never has been.

      June 4, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • Paul Starks

      The gospel of Thomas is not credible and not accepted as authentic or reliable

      June 4, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Quite right. There was no place in the bible for anything that couldn't be easily edited or augmented to fit in with the rest of it. It's still not quite there yet as far as consistency and coherency go, but if we pull anything out of it it'll unravel like a cheap sweater and then what will we have?

      June 4, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • Mike from CT

      The gospel according to Thomas is a late 2nd century work. So it does not meet the historical test of contemporary work. It also was clearly not written by Thomas the apostle.

      June 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Get 'Em!

    No need to take further innuendo from fundies who use inappropriate Scripture to try to justify their hate and intolerance.

    Top 20 Bible Passages to Use Against Fundamentalists

    http://www.ranker.com/list/top-20-bible-passages-to-use-against-fundamentalists/ivana-wynn

    June 4, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • lol??

      "How to Use:
      According to this passage, all members of the congregation that have been divorced and/or remarried would be sinners and should be kicked out of the church. With a 50% divorce rate in America, it's safe to say that people are selectively ignoring this rule, yet somehow still seeing themselves as "pious."
      Read more at http://www.ranker.com/list/top-20-bible-passages-to-use-against-fundamentalists/ivana-wynn#Erx21QtwZ8SgbR5i.99

      The usuper gubmint is in charge of marriage and the woeman rules, "If you don't shape up, hubby, I'm gonna divorce you and the judge will force you to put ALL the kids through college!!"

      "Yes, dear."

      June 4, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • lol??

      The educratists don't need a union when they make out so splendidly from the disunions. Watch for continued liberation doctrines and no let up in sight for costs.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Just the top 5 for now

      #1 is contextual to the early church when men and women sat in different courts. Think how rude it would be if you were in the theater and from across the room your sister, mother, or wife yells out "Which one is Spock?" thus "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection."

      Now take a look at who the first eye witnesses are, how Jesus treated Mary and Martha. How Paul treated Lydia and Aquila

      #2 so no church should ever marry people who have already been married if this is the rule.
      Excepted for those already widowed or who have had adultery committed against them

      #3 you are not an Israelite, so no worries there.

      #4 correct sin is committed every day

      1 John 1
      8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

      #5 "Simply bring up the fact that all hate speech is inherently Un-Christian"
      Correct

      So what is your issue with Jesus again? And why do you choose not to believe the historical record?

      June 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Get 'Em

      Absolutely no issue with Jesus whatsoever and at all, Mike from CT, the issue is with fundies who want to grab one issue and try to hang their hat on it usually using inappropriate Scripture to condemn Gays. That's the real issue here and they need to get a taste of their own medicine. Hence, "Get 'Em" meaning look at what's presented here to try to balance the matter with the one-issue folks.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • lol??

      CT MIKE quotes,
      ".........................#2 so no church should ever marry people who have already been married if this is the rule.
      Excepted for those already widowed or who have had adultery committed against them................"

      Churches don't join. God claims that authority.

      June 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • lol??

      Mike sayz,
      "..............#3 you are not an Israelite, so no worries there.........."
      Israel is the proper name of the bride. The potter reconfigured the lump of clay.

      "Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

      June 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  5. nap3null

    How sad!! Lord, please come quickly!

    June 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Jeff

      Give the lord a break. He has ED.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • voiceoftruthusa

      Amen to that

      June 4, 2013 at 2:21 am |
    • sam stone

      "come quickly, lord, my knees are getting sore" – nap3null

      June 4, 2013 at 5:36 am |
  6. saggyroy

    Next headline: "Baptists Leaving Lutheran Church En Masse".....(hey wait a minute, that don't make no sense...)

    June 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • USMC1371

      About as much sence as selecting a openly gay bishop. Since they all like little boys what difference does it make?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Observer

      USMC1371,

      "Since they all like little boys what difference does it make?"

      Factless and ignorant.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • tallulah13

      You really can't expect much intelligence from a person who spells sense as sence.

      June 4, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  7. It Happened

    Well, I don't see what all the hype is about concerning the gay bishop. There was a time when marrying someone of one's own gender was perfectly alright in Christianity.

    http://anthropologist.livejournal.com/1314574.html

    June 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  8. thedigitalform

    Reblogged this on aprilmorningrocks and commented:
    Wow. Just wow.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  9. Really-O?

    Hey, folks! Breakthrough! Chad has finally stated, and I quote "...all of Christianity is a lie"

    Welcome to reality, Chad!

    Link and context here:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/comment-page-137/?replytocom=2394642#respond @ June 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    June 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Really-O?

      The direct link is:
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/comment-page-137/#comment-2396576

      But I don't think taking Chad's quote out of context is helping you win the argument.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Unless the point was to demonstrate how silly Chad looks the hundreds of times he takes other people's words out of context.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      He takes ours out of context all the time and starts a new thread with them...is that some sort of super-Christian debate tactic that wins HIM extra bonus points?
      Wait, don't answer that. You're right, L; we're better than that.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Well, good for the ELCA. Now for the LCMS...

    June 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Ha. You'll wait at least a decade for those idiots to wake up.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    always good to see christians moving farther away from the bible, which quite clearly says g.ays are to be killed. as people moving farther and farther away from that terrible book, we will become a more ethical and logical society. so a big thank you to christians like this guy that don't follow the bible - keep finding more parts not to follow until none of it is taken seriously.

    cheers.

    June 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • OMG

      Isn't this from a holiness code?

      Intended for priests – who agreed to follow these rules?

      I don't think the common people were required to uphold these priestly laws.

      It would break God's commandment – Thou Shall Not Murder.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • God Humper

      nope. you got it wrong. look up leviticus. it was moses giving laws to the people, not to priests only. though you seem to be justifying murder by stipulating it would be okay if "only" the priests were given orders to kill...? but that's not the case anyway.

      there are lots of commands to kill given to christians. non-virgin brides are supposed to be dragged to their father's doorstep where the would-be husband, along with the entire town, are to pick up rocks and stone her to death. parents with disobedient children are also supposed to recruit the entire town (after getting permission to murder their children from the christian elders of the village) and stone their child to death. there are numerous commands to kill anyone that works on the sabbath as well.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • God Humper

      faith - who are you replying to and what are you saying?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @humper
      exactly. the book is full of terrible commands, rules and "moral" codes.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Humpy,
      You are focusing on the consequences of sin, specifically for the Israelites. Try focusing on the forgiveness of sin for everyone, Jesus Christ.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • OMG

      Leviticus is known formally as Torat Kohanim, "instructions for the priests"

      @ there are lots of commands to kill given to christians.

      Nope, those laws were written for Israel.

      Not the Christians.

      Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath. He is our Sabbath rest.

      Leviticus and Deutronomy are to be read as historical – not instruction on how to live our lives in Jesus Christ.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @Brown
      your advice, simply translated, is:
      ignore all the evil stuff in the bible and pretend there are only messages of good in that book.

      you brought up jesus... jesus tells slaves to obey their masters. in fact, the "all loving" messiah says slaves that do not obey are to be "beaten with many stripes." oh, but i guess we should ignore that, too?

      the very concept of sin is disgusting. that an "all loving" god made a place for people that break his rules to be tortured for all eternity tells you exactly how sick yahweh is. all loving? what a joke.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • OMG

      Context!

      June 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @OMG
      wrong wrong and wrong.
      jesus himself said not a single letter of the OT was to be dropped. please quote where jesus said christians are free of the OT. do you follow the 10 commandments? because those were OT, too. also given by moses to the isrealites. you can't pick and choose because you're embarrassed by the violence and silliness of the OT.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Chessie

      Faith said, "learn to read. never says that. it do say sambo is a secks ual deviant and will b arrested soon"

      Racist.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      It is all good for our learning, even the evil stuff people did way back in the OT. People don’t seem to have changed much.

      When Jesus walked the earth there were slaves.

      God can’t look on sin, his rule. The good news, for God so loved the world…

      June 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Bootyfunk

      Put Leviticus in context. Where you think it says "kill h@mos@xuals", biblical experts believe it is speaking about temple prosttution.

      In Jesus Christ – we live in the spirit. Not the law.

      Pretty common Christian theology. That is why he fulfilled the law. Because I can't.

      If I could fulfill the law, I wouldn't need Jesus.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @robert
      yes, god did and commanded a lot of evil stuff in the OT. he murdered babies to punish the pharoah. very evil stuff.

      yes, slavery existed when jesus was around. but wouldn't all all perfect being know that there is nothing more evil than slavery? goes to show the bible is a book written by flawed men, not divine in any way. that jesus himself supported slavery, the greatest of evils, shows the people who wrote the bible were products of their time. we have much better ethics now than they did back then. you really shouldn't take the bible seriously.

      god so loved the world that he sent his own child to be killed? that's sick. kind of like when yahweh told abraham to murder his own son. really really sick. more proof that such a monster should not be worshiped.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @OMG

      Put Leviticus in context. Where you think it says "kill h@mos@xuals", biblical experts believe it is speaking about temple prosttution.
      +++ more christian apologists making excuses for cruelty. is says "man laying with man is abomination. surely they shall be put to death." it's very clear what it says, stop making excuses for the terrible ethics/morals offered by the bible. i know it's embarrassing...

      In Jesus Christ – we live in the spirit. Not the law.
      +++ where does it say to do that? you're directly disobeying jesus who said you must keep to the OT, too.

      Pretty common Christian theology. That is why he fulfilled the law. Because I can't.

      If I could fulfill the law, I wouldn't need Jesus.

      +++ protip: there is no law to be fulfilled. it's a myth and a joke on you. jesus didn't die for anyone's sins - there's no such thing as sin. that's a disgusting concept meant to control you.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      Well he is God, this is his creation. I suppose he can do whatever he pleases with his creation. Who are you to say what he does is evil?

      In the time of Jesus which would be worse, being someone’s servant or starving to death?

      God requires blood for sin, his rule.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, look. It's Robert the Boob, yet again bellowing his belief that he alone knows what god wants and thinks.

      What a friggin' ego.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Regarding God's creation, Robert, we're at the sharp end of the stick. We will say what's evil and what's good.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-5/#comment-2337710

      June 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @Brown

      Well he is God, this is his creation. I suppose he can do whatever he pleases with his creation. Who are you to say what he does is evil?
      +++ terrible excuse for bad behavior. god murdered children and you still worship him? and didn't he supposedly given us fee will - there's my right to say he's evil. but the real answer is god does not exist and you are following a book that commands evil of it's followers. the bible says quite clearly to kill g.ays. how come you haven't done that? i'm guessing it's because you're not an evil person and don't desire to kill anyone. which means you aren't following the bible - a very good thing.

      In the time of Jesus which would be worse, being someone’s servant or starving to death?
      that's a false choice. here's a third choice: let people live free and make their own living, grow their own food, etc. see how that's a much better choice than slavery or starving?

      God requires blood for sin, his rule.
      +++ yes, the christian god is quite blood thirsty. in fact, 'blood' appears in the bible a hundred times more than the word 'love' - coincidence? his rule is unjust. unjust leaders should be dethroned.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @Vic
      read that article when it first came out. full of the same flaws me and others have pointed out here - the author ignores the very specific commands of the bible to kill g.ays - probably because the author is g.ay himself. he was making excuses to justify his membership in a club that hates him. terrible article.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The real Tom,

      Grab a copy of the Word and read for yourself. I’m not making this stuff up.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • OMG

      @ more christian apologists making excuses for cruelty...

      Taken out of context. I'm not embarassed. Why would I be embarassed about a book of priestly codes written to a people 3,000 years ago to prepare them to enter a new land?

      Sorry but the Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.

      +In Jesus Christ – we live in the spirit. Not the law.
      @ where does it say to do that? you're directly disobeying jesus who said you must keep to the OT, too.

      Galatians 3:24

      So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

      @ protip: there is no law to be fulfilled. it's a myth and a joke on you. jesus didn't die for anyone's sins – there's no such thing as sin. that's a disgusting concept meant to control you.

      To me, sin is real. The consequences of sin play out in my life. Jesus Christ does help me overcome this problem.

      I can't seem to deny this.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I've read it. You can have it if you need it to excuse your behavior. I don't.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,
      Matthew 10:28

      June 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "I can't seem to deny this"

      If you lead such a lousy life that you need to be forgiven by some invisible fairy on a daily basis, then stop being such a sh!t to other people. Grow up and be responsible. Stop acting like others owe you. Don't be such a fvcking baby.

      If you need the threat of a god and the carrot of a heaven to behave like a decent person, then you deserve judgment.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Robert Brown said "Grab a copy of the Word and read for yourself. I’m not making this stuff up." LOL!! Most of the Bible is made up!

      June 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      You have the right and ability to say whatever you wish.

      I haven’t killed anyone because I am not an Israelite living in the BC’s. Some good bible commentary would help you out with that misunderstanding.

      Of course your third choice is better, but that wasn’t always possible in that time. Also, is the economic servitude we have today much better?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @OMG

      Sorry but the Leviticus laws were never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.
      +++ yes it was. do you follow the 10 commandments? exodus is OT, too, isn't it? but you still follow that.

      and as for what jesus said about follow the OT:
      "Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)"

      just because he fulfills them doesn't mean you get to stop following them. he brings them to fruition - they are still the law, as jesus says.

      and you should be embarrassed. modern ethics are much superior to biblical morals.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom & Tom,

      I just had a real funny thought. I’m sure it is a coincidence that you’re both on at the same time with very different styles and thoughts, but you guys aren’t the same person are you?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @Brown
      only in the most bizzaro fictional cases would someone be better off as a slave than a free person. you're making excuses.

      same question to you, since you seem to think you don't have to follow the OT anymore:
      do you follow the 10 commandments as laid down in the OT? explain why.

      and read above, jesus himself says you must follow the OT "until heaven and earth disappear," so explain why you don't follow jesus' command to follow the OT?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • OMG

      @Booty

      @ just because he fulfills them doesn't mean you get to stop following them. he brings them to fruition – they are still the law, as jesus says.

      But, we are under the spirit. We act out of love.

      Not out of trying to please God or earning our way into heaven.

      Jesus has already done this for us.

      @ and you should be embarrassed. modern ethics are much superior to biblical morals.

      We both play a part in modern ethics.

      You don't get some exclusive claim to that.

      And we both have zero influence over biblical morals. We can just read and think about them.

      And Jesus didn't come to teach us a better moral code – many of his parables spoke of truths. Not morals.

      God is love.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      here's a really simple explanation for you christians out there wondering if you need to follow the Old Testament and New Testament, or just the New Testament:

      you must follow the OT to the letter, as commanded by jesus. the only exception to this that commands in the NT supersede commands in the OT. basically, rules from the OT can be updated in the NT, but if there is no "new" update, the old rule applies, as laid down by god. that is why you must still follow the 10 commandments, as written in the OT.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      Do I follow the 10 commandments, no. Do I think they are good, yes. Would I start over and try to obey them, sure. Would I mess up and break one again, probably. Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was and he said to love God with everything and the next one was to love your neighbor as yourself.

      The law is a mirror, it shows us we need a savior. We are all guilty and deserve the prescribed punishment, but God so loved the world…..

      June 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • OMG

      Do you know why God gave us the ten commandments?

      Because God demands obedience? So that you will be happy?

      Nope.

      Because God loves your neighbor and would prefer you not to steal from them or to sleep with their wives or husbands.

      It is all about relationship.

      Matthew 22:36-40

      “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      June 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • OMG

      John 13:34
      "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

      This commandment was not part of the 10 commandments. Jesus gave his followers new commandments to follow.

      Jn 15:10-12
      "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

      "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

      "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • LinCA

      @OMG

      You said, "John 13:34
      "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
      "
      If that isn't a full throated endorsement of love, hetero- or homosexual, I wouldn't know what is.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  12. JASC92

    "Lutherans elect first openly gay bishop"

    your argument is soooooo invalid right now

    June 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Whose "argument is invalid right now"? It's always helpful when you use the "Reply" function.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Athy

      To whom are you talking, JASC92

      June 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  13. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    what's the big deal? Mecca has been electing gay and pedo imams for ages hindus !!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • ron50

      camels, goats, other men... all the same to them.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      Lick lick, Islam. Lick away.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  14. Hot Stufff

    Hail Satan

    June 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    If God made man in his image and 10% of all men are gay then God must be a little gay.

    Now I know logic isn't a strong suit for Christians but how can you argue with that logic?

    June 3, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • ron50

      Does that work in reverse? Man made god.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Vic

      God created Adam & Eve in a glorified immortal image/form of His likeness. When Adam & Eve committed the original sin, they were relegated to a non-glorified mortal image/form that we have as humans!

      June 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Italics!!!! Exclamations points!!!! Totally superfluous and inane comments!!! THAT'S VIC!!!

      June 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Augustine, Paul of Tarsus, and Aquinas cooked up "original sin" Jebus never said ONE WORD about it. The concept did not exist in the OT.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Bucky! How are you?

      June 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • God Humper

      i took God home from a deep house club last week. we did some ecstasy and then i bent him over a chair and hammered his @nus for hours. believe me, Yahweh is 100% g.ay.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Well, VIC, what do you care what sane people believe, then?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  16. The real Tom

    Good for Lutherans.

    June 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, stuff it up your fundament and light it on fire, idiot.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Athy

      Way to go, Tom. You riled him up!

      June 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Not much of an achievement, though; that clown is so crazy, he gets riled up when there's a chance of rain.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, go fuck a camel, loser.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  17. Timothy

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3 not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    4 one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    5 (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
    6 not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • extra medium

      Which of he 10 commandments forbid h0m05exuality ? Don't make up new one now !

      June 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Jeff

      I know few bishops if any who follow any of these guidelines. I've worked for three. None of them, whatsoever, make the Timothy grade.

      J

      June 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      My archbishop was my introduction to gay people. He was kind of a harmless goof. But a terrible hypocrite, obviously.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  18. QuestionCity

    Do you want an openly gay Christian Bishop? Or a closeted gay Christian Bishop?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_involving_American_evangelical_Christians

    June 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      No need for either. Well, what I mean is, no need for any religious shamans, regardless of their orientation or public disclosure.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  19. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    CNN moderators this HotAirAce guy called me ass hole!! can you ban this hindu from CNN?

    June 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Athy

      You are an asshole.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yes, IFOAC, you ARE, in fact, an asshole.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • CNN Moderators

      @ ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Ass.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • CNN Moderator Intern

      Hole.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Haha, poor persecuted you. If the shoe fits...

      June 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Max

      You are, in fact, an asshole. He also told you to fuck off; why aren't you complaining about that?

      June 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Mohammad

      @ ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Dude, knock it off.

      Signed,

      June 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Then you must not be muslim. Because you are, in fact, an asshole.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • LinCA

      @ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTITUTION

      Not only are you an asshole, you are also a dumbfuck nd a dipshit. Go whine to the moderators some more, will you?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  20. The Truth

    Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

    3 "Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full [a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap." 1 Timothy 3:1-7

    June 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • OMG

      We don't even know who wrote Timothy.

      I have trouble imagining Jesus wants us to just have heteros!@xual males in charge.

      He wants us to love others.

      Why did Jesus reveal himself to his women followers, first?

      The first preacher of the good news was a woman. I'll trust Jesus over the unknown author of Timothy.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • A Conversation

      From Timothy 1:1-2: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus...(2) to Timothy my true son in the faith." I'm going to go with Paul. OMG–all scripture is God breathed.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Max

      God breathed? What a load a shit. God could have been a little more specific, instead of all the different versions of the same events told in the Gospels...give me a break, and stop insulting the intelligence of rational, thinking people.

      June 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • OMG

      Was Paul talking about his writing, too?

      Or just the Old Testament.

      If he was the author of the letter, he was writing a letter to a mentor. I don't think he thought he was writing 'scripture'.

      It is a mystery.

      Also why some of the letters attributed to him, just don't seem like he wrote them. Why the confusion?

      June 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • OMG

      There are some serious doubts about some of the letters attributed to Paul.

      You don't know who wrote them. You may have faith. But how could you 'know'?

      June 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • ttwp

      @OMG: The Apostle Peter considered Paul's letters as part of Scripture.

      He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16

      Besides that we know by the Holy Spirit given us. To the person without the Spirit it is foolishness.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Pete

      You don't know who wrote the rest of the books in the bible either, OMG. You know who is claimed to have written them, but you can't prove it.

      June 4, 2013 at 11:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.