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Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?
Phil Robertson of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been suspended for his comments on homosexuality.
December 20th, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – The Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame has rallied around its patriarch, saying his controversial comments on homosexuality are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible." But Scripture is fiercely contested ground, and some experts say Phil Robertson misinterprets a key Bible verse.

A&E, the network that broadcasts the hugely popular "Duck Dynasty" show, suspended Robertson for a now infamous interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s after a prodigal youth, is asked to define "sin."

Here's what Robertson says: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

Robertson, 67, then paraphrases a Bible passage from the New Testament: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

That's a pretty close citation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which is a letter from Paul, often called the father of Christianity theology, to a fledgling Christian community in Corinth, Greece.

Here's what Paul's passage says, as rendered in the New International Version, by far the most popular translation among evangelicals and conservative Christians such as Robertson:

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Evangelicals, who make up about a quarter of the U.S. population, tend to take that passage at face value. The Robertson family pastor, for instance, told CNN on Thursday that "the verse explains itself."

Robertson himself is no religious neophyte. He's an elder in the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ and offers spiritual counseling, charity and Bible studies to many in his hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana, the family pastor, Mike Kellett told CNN.

The "Duck Dynasty" star also preaches around the country to conservatives that flock to hear his blend of woodsy, plainspoken Christianity.

Many conservatives backed Robertson's views on Scripture and homosexuality this week, if not the "crude" way he argued his point to GQ.

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality

But other Bible experts said the Scripture Robertson cited isn't quite clear about homosexuality.

"A lot of people misread this text because it's so complicated," said O. Wesley Allen Jr., an associate professor at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

First, scholars say, we have to look at the context surrounding Paul's letter.

The Christian leader is trying to get the quarreling Corinthians to stop taking each other to civil courts and being judgmental. "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already," Paul says.

Things were supposed to be different after they became Christian believers, Paul continues; they were supposed to stop their sinful ways.

Then Paul lists some of their sins of the past, including greed, drinking too much, worshipping idols and sexual immorality. "That is what some of you were," Paul says. "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The list of sins is likely based on rumors that Paul heard about Corinth, says Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania who has studied the Bible's teachings on homosexuality. Bible scholars call it a "vice list," and it appears several times in Scripture.

So what does Paul's "vice list" say about homosexuality? That's the tricky part.

The first word Paul uses is "malakoi," which means "soft" in Greek, according to Allen. By analogy, the word came to mean "effeminate," which is how the King James Version of the Bible translates it.

"In the ancient world, it would refer to a boy in a relationship with an older man," Allen said. "It was pederasty, not homosexuality as we think of it today."

The other relevant word on Paul's "vice list" is "arsenokotai," which means "male sex." It refers to the other half in the man-boy relationship, common in Greece at the time, Allen said, the older male having sex with the "soft one."

"It isn't anything to do with what we would see today in an intimate, mutual relationship between gay adults," said Allen, who is co-authoring an upcoming book on homosexuality and heterosexuality in the church.

My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality

Even so, scholars such as Allen acknowledge there are no Bible passages that support same-sex relationships, and at least seven that appear to condemn gay sex.

"There's no way around the fact that those passages take a negative view of homosexuality, and nowhere in the Bible is a positive view offered," Allen said. "So conservatives and liberals continue to debate."

Liberals say that some parts of the Bible offered particular truths for a specific times and places but those times and places, as well as human understanding of sexuality, have progressed dramatically.

"The Bible may be divinely inspired, but its authors were human and saw, as St. Paul puts it, through a glass darkly," said Jim Naughton, a Christian gay rights activist and communications consultant. "On the subject of homosexuality, the Bible doesn’t mean what Phil Robertson thinks it means."

Conservatives such as Robertson, on the other hand, argue that the Bible is the bedrock of their faith, unchanging and unalterable. "We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word," the Robertson family said Thursday.

For decades, the gulf between the two sides has divided denominations, churches and families. To paraphrase Lincoln, both sides read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and both invoke his aid to argue against each other. Which is why our contemporary debate over homosexuality is so fierce, and so seemingly unending.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • gender issues • Prejudice • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

soundoff (5,719 Responses)
  1. sybaris

    Duck Dynasty is FAKE

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW343K1-upo&w=640&h=390]

    December 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • David

      A reality show is fake...Stop the presses.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • JJ

      No shit. I'm sure they don't see the guys in their faces 24×7 with cameras and boom mics asking over and over for another take and "let's make it have more tension this time.". I just snicker at anyone who watches any these "reality" shows. Their IQ must be the same as the channel number.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • sam

        Money and fame and fake drama. The perfect trifecta!

        December 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Petra

      Wow, I never knew just how phony these guys really are. The before and after pictures are stunning. What hypocrites!

      December 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • bowldsbrendonbboi7581

      Yeah, those pictures are really old, but I laughed so hard when I saw that

      December 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  2. Maddy

    Chapter and verse where Jesus speaks about gays. Go.

    December 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Christians will ignore your challenge.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • Maddy

        Nobody had answered me yet.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          John13:34-35

          “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

          December 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • Barbi

          Finally got this posted as a new comment–so hope i can repost for you, Maddy.

          Matthew 19:4-6

          New International Version (NIV)

          4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

          December 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • James

          Well that had nothing to do with what was asked.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Barbi: That doesn't speak of gay being wrong.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • Paul

          Chapter and verse that says only the words of Jesus have matter. Go

          December 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • Maddy

          Again, that is talking about marriage and divorce, and not about gay people.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • lol??

          Jesus claims authorship of the scriptures, MORONS.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • sally

          @lol?? In other words, to be extra convincing, they said His Word is written by Him, so no questions and no argument! LOL – MORON. I imagine lol?? looks at every piece of junk email he gets thinking there are clues in them he needs to uncover.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • sam

          Maybe Barbi can find someone who can help her actually find something relevant. She's batting 0 so far. Jesus never said a word about it, so good luck.

          December 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Gol

      He doesn't...so what's your point?

      December 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • Maddy

        That's exactly my point.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Gol

          I don't believe he talked about r a p e either...does that mean he approved of it as well?

          December 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
        • James

          I often wonder about things like that. Why would god come to Earth to lay down the rules, and then only provide a haphazard, incomplete assortment of random rules that even his followers cannot agree on what he wanted them to do. A real god would be a heck of a lot clearer about things.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
        • Maddy

          You equate being gay with rape?

          December 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus had much to say about heteros s3xual activities and MUCH of it was bad.

          About gays: ZERO. ZIP.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Gol

          Maddy- "You equate being gay with r a p e?"

          You equate absence of comment as approval?

          December 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • sam

        Oh Gol, how defensive. And lame. Run along.

        December 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • James

      He does tell his people to not judge and do unto others as they would have the others do unto them, but Christians happily ignore that. He really was saying "tend your own soul, not others", but they convieniently ignore his direct instructions.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Frank

      Jesus also didn't say anything about screwing horses either because it was a given that anyone committing bestiality would be put to death. Give me one verse where Jesus talks about bestiality.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • Observer

        So maybe Jesus didn't think bestiality was a big problem, either.

        He saw LOTS of problems with heteros and what they did in bed.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Petra

        Another douche who equates animal rape with being gay.

        If you are going to pretend to follow Him, try a little harder. Fail.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • johnny

        Leviticus 18:23 "Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to DEFILE thyself therewith, neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto, it is confusion"
        Leviticus 20:15-16 "And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death...and if a woman approach unto any beast and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman and the beast."
        Deuterotomy 27:21 "Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast"

        December 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • Observer

          Yep. NOTHING about gays there.

          December 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  3. Observer

    NOBODY believes EVERY word of the Bible. They just pick and choose what they like and IGNORE the rest.

    That's why so many Christian HYPOCRITES can pick on gays while ignoring that there are FAR FAR MORE Christians who are engaging in ADULTERY through divorce and remarriage than there are total number of gays.

    It's all pick and choose HYPOCRISY for them.

    December 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Gol

      No where is it implied that one has to be a literalist to be a Christian.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Observer

        Gol,

        Yep. You don't believe EVERY word of the Bible and just PICK and CHOOSE.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Gol

          You have a very simplistic way of looking at the world don't you? To understand anything, one studies the entire thing. One does not pick and choose and only a fool would imply that someone does that without evidence.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • JJ

      Every Christian interprets all verses that supports their prejudices and agenda and simply tosses those verses that they can not twist properly.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • Gol

        I think you just described humanity in general.

        December 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      This behavior is common with everyone, you do it and I do it which has nothing to do with the truth.
      If there was no religion we would find things that we focus on because of some reason unique to ourselves.
      The gay issue just happens to be pushed by politics, media, religions etc. which is why it comes up so often. It is a big issue because if the Bible is wrong on this point it is possibly wrong on many points. To date no one has found a provable fault in the Bible and it remains the most accurate scientifically out of all the holy books. Ask you self why gays want to take down the Bible, why the media wants to take down the Bible, why liberals in the democratic party want to take down the Bible, why Stalin wanted to take down the Bible, etc. etc. and you will have your answer.

      December 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • David Alicea

        Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone.

        December 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
      • David Alicea

        Jesus died on the cross for sin now, we have new covenant with god it call the New Testament or Covenant? And Christ Died for Our Sins blood of Jesus. It is the New Covenant.

        December 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  4. Barbi

    Nothing I have said is worse than anything else here –it's just the Bible. Is that the problem? 1. Jesus said to leave parents and cleave to the wife –as Scripture says we are made male and female in the Image of God. 2. Paul said to the Romans that men with men and women with women –desiring the same gender–is a result of idolatry: worship of creature over Creator –and exchanging the Truth about God for a lie. The cited passage used by Phil has been translated variously –as the article above says –and says they are no longer doing those sins since coming to faith in Christ. Whether or not the male is under-age or the same age –there is no condoning it in Scripture –only classification as sin –along with a long list of other sins. If the Bible is right, we do well to ponder the possibility that it IS right –and so Phil Robertson has achieved His mission: America is talking about love for God (worship of Creator) and love for man. Love for :God means obeying His assignment for our genders.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible is not right. that book is full of stories of cruelty. lev 20.13 says g.ays are to be put to death. the bible also says non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend are also to be executed.

      modern ethics > biblical morals

      December 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
      • Gol

        Your opinion < no one cares

        December 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
        • Observer

          Gol,

          So you couldn't supply any facts to dispute the statements. Try harder.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Gol

          I will offer facts when you first offer some for what you posted. In case you didn't realize it...you gave no facts that modern ethics is superior to biblical morality. You offered up some cherry picked verses that you do not care for and made the leap to declare modern ethics as superior without any facts that modern ethics are superior or on what basis you make that claim.
          Try harder.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • Phelix Unger

          So why should anyone care about what your opinion is, Gall?

          December 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • Gol

          Don't know...but of course I don't write on these blogs because I am seeking approval.

          December 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • sam

          Uh...this isn't middle school. And no one cares about your opinion either.

          December 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Barbi

        I'm not knowledgeable enough to make excuses for everything in the O.T. that seems incongruous with the mercy of God through Christ. I do know the human race was an awful mess back then when Our Maker is trying to school and preserve a group of people through whom the message of eternal redemption will be told. I wish there had been no need for atonement for sin with the blood of the Lamb. But I'm not God who made the Universe, the wonderful, beautiful earth, our wonderful bodies and brains and the DNA language in every cell of our body that belongs uniquely to us (and our twins if we had any.) I take it by faith that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead –and that He did all the miracles attributed to Him. The New Testament reads like history. Read Acts 3 and 4 as John and Peter dare to go back to Jerusalem after Christ's death –and preach His resurrection –and get thrown in the slammer –after healing a man known to be lame from birth. Wow. St. Paul's conversion in Acts 9 is remarkable considering He never met Christ and was dedicated to putting down the supposed heresy of his divinity and resurrection by persecuting Christians. He becomes the Church's foremost missionary and writer. Phil Robertson's story is a miracle of conversion –and what a man He is! He didn't let money or PC police stop him –and the family and fans are with him!

        December 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • Frank

        Whether you think its right or not is NOT the issue. This is America where we have the right of freedom of religion. Too bad for you, huh?

        December 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your God has a gender, but apparently no sexual orientation. If we are made in God's image, where does that orientation come from? For that matter, where does the female gender come from? Is it part of God's image?

      December 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
      • JJ

        This female gender apparently came from a rib taken from Adam while he was in a deep sleep. Females are just an after thought. One would think that a god would have foreseen this.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The female phenotype is actually the default in humans. AR-defective people look entirely female and are usually raised as females. It seems more likely that the rib came from eve and God added a Y chromosome. Kept the nipples as a joke on male-dominated religion.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I see no reason to conclude the bible is right. The moral concept that "sin" is all equal is just absurd and I don't think anyone who claims to believe that actually does.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Maddy

      Chapter and verse where Jesus speaks about gays. Go.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • James

      Ah, but Jesus was wrong on a couple things too, wasn't he. The end times would come in the lifetime of some in his immediate audience, complete with God coming on the clouds for all the world to see? Didn't happen. Prayer works absolutely as asked, without fail, including having a mountain throw itself into the sea? Wrong again.

      Jesus was wrong on core issues, and gods cannot be wrong. Jesus could not have been a god.

      Sorry.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Good thing the bible is not what your countries laws are based on or bigots like Robertson would never be exposed. He is entitled to believe as he wishes, he is entitled to his opinion but at the same time we are entitled to call him out for his bigotry. It is hard to understand how anyone residing in the 21st century remains so blind to the information we have that clearly shows that primitive mans writings is not reality...of course they didn't understand that being gay was natural, just like they didn't understand that the earth was spherical, there is little excuse for using the bible to justify denying others equal rights...the only excuse is will-full ignorance. Have your belief but have respect...if you truly believe your god is the one to make the final judgement then let your god sort out the problem and live your own life...you wouldn't want someone telling you who you can love, don't do it to another person and disguise it with belief.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • mikeVA

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knl31_oliZ0&w=640&h=390]

      Phil says that "They are full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, god-haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil."

      Phil Robertson sounds like a Rwandan warlord. No, we're not going to normalize this crazy talk from a culture in Louisiana that gave us Jim Crow, violence, oppression, and hate.

      December 21, 2013 at 3:41 am |
  5. Bootyfunk

    religion is a poor excuse for prejudice.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Barbi

      It's not about prejudice. R U prejudiced against thievery (and thus thieves even if you are merciful to them), murder (and thus murderers), pedophiles, rapists, adulterers?? Those with same-gender intimacy preference (I'm trying to avoid tripping the censorship by words) have been listed as sinners in a long list of sins and sinners for centuries –and in both testaments of the Bible. Those of us who still believe the book believe it is a sin we can avoid at the first thought and opportunity. We want our children to shun such attraction and indulgence. We want to protect them from people of the same gender who "want them" in a physical and romantic way. We don't want them to think this is the way God made them or a choice that they can make if they feel an inclination on some occasion. Once we start into such activities, it becomes habitual –whether with same or opposite gender. I want to see kids get to grow up before getting involved intimately with anyone –and without anyone suggesting that they might be abnormal in this way and that they should explore their -exuality,.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  6. JJ

    I'm an atheist and hate all these so called "reality" shows and hateful Christians but I must say that I admire the family sticking up for one of their own even to the point of pulling the plug on this show.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • sam

      Don't bother. This guy wanted this to be his last season anyway because he was getting tired of the show.

      This is all a big fake nothing.

      December 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Sam Bo

    Love one another as I have loved u

    December 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sam Bo

      This is the new commandment that I give u

      December 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  8. bill

    Take away his 400 million and he will say he loves gays.

    Remember, It is all about the money.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Gol

      His fortune isn't about the reality tv show.

      December 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  9. bill

    Sadly, people from other countries think these Duck buffoons represent our country.

    How embarrassing.

    Tea party hypocrite buffoons.

    How sad

    December 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • JJ

      And people from California and the Yankee north-east states think this is the US once you leave their particular (superior) state.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Not all of us think that...some of us share your distaste for these people.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  10. Pathetic

    Now it's news that some redneck has a religious opinion. Good thing we have reality TV, we can forget all about the economy, the health crisis and focus on this guy, or Honey Boo Boo.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • bill

      The economy?

      You are out of touch. My portfolio is up 25% this year and things are going to really pop in 2014.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  11. Barbi

    test –why aren't I printing?

    December 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      Maybe because this isn't a printer?

      December 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
      • Barbi

        I must conclude censorship.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You would be wrong.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Larry The Wonder-Poodle

          Well, conspiracy theories like that are fun, but the reality is that there is a program that stops you from using certain naughty words. Consti.tution has a ti.t in it, oh so naughty, and circu.mstance has cu.m in it.

          That's what's really going on.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • Barbi

          I've tried 3 times to post and only these one line protests will publish.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
        • Larry The Wonder-Poodle

          Look at every word, and do what I did when youu find a naughty word hidden inside another. Some you might not expect, like despi.cable and va.gue.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  12. bowldsbrendonbboi7581

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Wonder why he didn't quote that?

    December 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Barbosa, Christian

      If you are a Christian, the law is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • One one

        More like suggestions.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Barbi

      Some scholars say the eye of the needle is a low gate in the city wall that the camel would have to stoop down to go thru –but he could do it. And then, if memory serves me, the disciples ask how it is possible for anyone to enter Heaven if the rich man has such a hard time –and Jesus says, "With God all things are possible."

      December 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • Larry The Wonder-Poodle

        Now I can't help you with your silly content though.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
      • James

        Could you supply some link or evidence of this claim? I've never heard that one before, and it sounds dubious.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Barbi

      Furthermore –if you are thinking about the riches of the Robertson clan, notice that they don't care enough about the money –since they are very rich –to compromise their family unity and Christian beliefs in order to make MORE money.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  13. They said what?

    They quote scripture all the time on the A&E show. I don't understand what the issue is. Shame on A&E for blowing this out of proportion. I hope they lose them and they move to another channel. The show is funny and it's good to see how another part of America lives. And if GLAAD has a problem with it, how tolerant are they? It's my way or the highway? Why don't you get in your cars and go talk to him and show him that you're good people instead of all this crap.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Maddy

      I'm pretty sure it was a contractural thing.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
  14. One one

    As non-believers, We get it.

    According to Christians, from the day we are born, we are deeply in debt. We have original "sin". And if we don't get with their program to pay off our debt, we will be tortured forever in hell.

    We just don't buy it.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      True. There is in fact no debt. Nothing to which we might owe a debt.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
  15. Free Holiday Nuts

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFRreyt-WP8&w=640&h=390]

    December 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  16. Kim

    Actually you need to use Greek translation for Old Testament and Hebrew for New Testament.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  17. LC

    God does not hate people. God is love. He does hate sinful ways** Bible is God's words. What Phil stated from the Bible is correct. Its not surprising that most aren't willing to accept that.... Bible tells us that our days will be like the days of the Noah. People won't listen.... What happened to them? But What happened to Noah? Yes God protected his faithful servants Noah and his family.

    Phil I am happy that you put God first before anything.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      So you would probably say that God loves children. When a child is smothered while being raped by her uncle where is God? Is there something in the child's wicked ways that keeps God away?

      December 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
      • fred

        So you want to change Gods plan in favor of those who reject him, like yourself? That is not reasonable.
        Looks like if you were God then everything would be one big eternal group hug under sunny sky. What is your plan God would you just sit in your dark abyss or be a creator?

        December 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          A sane God would not be create suffering or evil.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • fred

          How else would you set up a system where those who reject God could reveal exactly who they really are? I have never heard a better plan to refine souls that are destined for eternal life in the presence of God. The problem begins when you are given the capacity to create and express creation (we were made in the image of God). If you put limits on creation then you simply make what the boss wants. There is no further creation in short order.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You sound as if you believe you know the mind of God, fred. Perhaps you know why Creation was necessary if you know that suffering and evil are parts of it that can be justified. So... why?

          December 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • fred

          At the end of days God will separate good and you will see something everyone of like mind would hope for. You will see souls that express unlimited love, worship, joy and creation beyond what we can imagine. Why because that is who they are, their very essence is as Christ.
          I suspect if you strip out any mention of God or Christ you may approve the plan.

          How would you know that Christ is the most important thing in your life if you did not have choice. The plan ends with you knowing exactly where you want to be and proving it.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It is not a good plan, fred. A lot of people suffer along the way, horribly at times, and in the end a lot of people who did not have to exist at all will suffer for eternity.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • fred

          Certainly we do not know much more than is revealed in the Bible. God simply is and called himself "I AM". Based on what is self evident, either there is something or there is nothing. There cannot be nothing because something is. The Bible begins with "in the beginning God". In the history of mankind we have never gotten passed that point. Science cannot and has not moved beyond that point and continues to return to it. The reason is very simple in that nothing and something cannot exist together. Like the Greeks some prefer to claim the initial something to be an unknown and like them erect a monument to the unknown God. The problem is that mankind in all recorded history has put a creator in the position that is self evident.
          Look around and just as the ancients we see wonder and awe. That wonder expands beyond our comprehension and on the inverse is smaller than our comprehension. Observation reflects infinite expansion in all direction at the end of which is something or nothing. It cannot be contained by nothing as containment would require something. Thus, that which was at the beginning is infinite in all direction and is something. This is God who is and ever will be.

          We observe one spec of God in creation and that spec has a time line consisting of past, present and future which by definition of infinites sits at the center of what is. By extension we are central to the creation observed so man has looked outward in worship since recorded history. We exist for a purpose onto God..

          The Bible is Gods revelation to man for purpose or if you do not believe then it is simply a composite of mans understanding of God over thousands of generations. The interesting thing is that anyone who seeks God finds what they truly want and that is purpose onto God. If you are seeking anything other than the true God you may find that as well.

          December 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • fred

          Tom, Tom, the other one
          "It is not a good plan, fred. A lot of people suffer along the way, horribly at times, and in the end a lot of people who did not have to exist at all will suffer for eternity."
          =>You are making a lot of assumptions based upon your understanding of what you do not believe in. This makes no sense.
          =>Jesus demonstrated the way the truth and the life and to date remains the most influential historical figure. Jesus the full reflection of the glory of God killed or caused no one to suffer rather took on all the suffering imaginable in the world upon himself. He said nothing to those who beat and mocked him yet to the criminal who simply had compassion on Jesus and said you do not deserve this Jesus said today you will be with me in paradise.
          =>The Bible says all things work for the good of those who believe. That is opposite of what you claim
          =>The Bible says when God finished creating he said it is very good and rested on the 7th day.
          =>The Bible says I will wipe away every tear and create a new heaven and new earth where there is no pain or suffering.
          =>What would you propose God do with those who want nothing to do with Him or His plans?

          December 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It is true that I don't believe in your God, fred. But you do and others, such as the original poster LC seem to. The implications don't seem clear to you. Your God's Creation and its divine plan regarding its creation involve suffering, evil, and punishment for evil. This was foreknown by God. Did Creation have to happen? If not, then evil and punishment for evil – souls in eternal torment – did not have to happen. And since Creation did happen, it was the intent of your God for some people to suffer eternally.

          December 21, 2013 at 2:27 am |
      • RB

        Hey Tom,

        We don't know why God allows suffering of the innocent. If we speculate we are no better than Jobs friends.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          what an infantile, fairy tale view of the world.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • RB

        Could be we can't know good without evil. Then we have the evil God hypothesis which I think fails completely when you consider objective morality and murder.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • One one

      It's nice to know that people like you know exactly what god thinks and how he feels. You don't know such things about people who post messages here, but you know them about god.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • Lisa

        It is easy to know how God thinks because when you read the Bible, God is transparent and tells us everything we have to know and want to know. We are His creature and we have to obey His commands. God loves everyone of His children but He hates sin ans if you prefer to sin then you have to pay the price. You cannot serve two masters at the same time.

        December 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  18. Hugo Amezaga

    They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.
    I can't even talk the way these people talk:
    Why you ain't,
    Where you is,
    What he drive,
    Where he stay,
    Where he work,
    Who you be...
    And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
    And then I heard the father talk.
    Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
    In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
    People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around.
    The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
    These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
    $500 sneakers for what?
    And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
    I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
    Where were you when he was 2?
    Where were you when he was 12?
    Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol?
    And where is the father? Or who is his father?
    People putting their clothes on backward:
    Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?
    People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?
    Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
    What part of Africa did this come from??
    We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa .....
    I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
    I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
    With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ......... And all of them are in jail.
    Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.
    We have got to take the neighborhood back.
    People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' - or men or whatever you call them now.
    We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
    We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
    Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
    We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
    We cannot blame the white people any longer.'
    ~Dr.. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  19. RB

    From a Christian perspective all humans are sinners. If a sinner has been saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, they gain forgiveness and a new t.itle, saint. These saints are still capable of sin the same as any human, it just simply means that they are forgiven. An unsaved sinner is lost.
    Phil was asked what he thought was sinful, he responded. You will notice there wasn’t a lot of controversy about him naming adultery as sinful. He didn’t express any ill will toward sinners, he just stated what he thought was sinful. Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves. He was expressing his love for sinners by letting them know the danger they are in.
    Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. A sinner won’t accept they are one until the Holy Spirit begins to convict their heart. So, when anyone hears someone calling for them to repent and turn to the Lord, they are doing it out of concern for you. They are loving their neighbor.
    Peace.

    December 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Bob

      RB, the whole Jesus-sacrifice thing is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      December 20, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • RB

        Are you mad at God?

        December 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Some much garbage. Just how much can you shovel anyways?

      December 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • RB

        My post is what it is, truth.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • One one

      We get it.

      According to Christians, from the day we are born, we are deeply in debt. We have original "sin". And if we don't get with their program to pay off our debt, we will be tortured forever in hell.

      We just don't buy it.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • RB

        Let me tell you what I knew about original sin when Jesus saved my dying soul, absolutely nothing, not one thing. If you are interested in original sin, put some kids in a room and give them each one toy, observe. Humans are selfish by nature, we can learn appropriate behavior, but we are still selfish.

        Jesus said you must be born again. You need the Holy Spirit to overcome nature.

        December 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Basically you caved when you realized that you might be responsible for putting your life together and for contributing to the common good.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • RB

          I can't say that I was concerned with responsibility at the time either.

          December 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  20. Lewis

    What about: Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 ?

    December 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Lewis,

      Yep. You don't believe all of Leviticus.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Maddy

      What about them? Leviticus are rules for Levite priests. How many gay Levite priests do you think that may apply to?

      Chapter and verse where Jesus speaks about gays. Go.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
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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.