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May 11th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Presbyterian Church U.S.A. to allow gay and lesbian clergy

(CNN) - The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers.

The church put the vote to its 173 presbyteries, or governing bodies, nationwide.

On Tuesday, the Twin Citites Area presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, became the 87th presbytery - and the deciding vote - to approve an amendment that will remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."

The change, which opens up the possibility that people in same-sex relationships can be considered for ordination, is expected to take effect starting on July 10. It is the latest move by a Protestant denomination toward the inclusion of gay and lesbian clergy.

"I see this as an opportunity to build a stronger church. Faithful and qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians will be able to openly serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination and love," said Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, soon after the vote.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Presbyterian • United States

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. T-party

    But to answer your nothing to do with the subject above....I do think many child pervs are born that way. I do believe it to be a disease. I am for capital punishment too. Some diseases are terminal....get my drift????

    May 14, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  2. T-party

    Adelina great point on child pervs...even though its Apples and oranges...since I was discussing between two consenting adults....

    May 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  3. T-party

    They should allow it. We are born one way or the other. No one choses their preferences.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Adelina

      T-party, you won't say that to child-abusers or to a man with multiple wives. Give up your immoral lies. Everyone must be educated by Christians to be civil and sane.

      May 14, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • Adelina

      T-party, you are a live example that Buddhism can not do a single good thing for Western perverts.

      May 14, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  4. J Ahmed

    Who are we to judge.... Thats Gods job. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if they will allow the Gay/Lesbians to join the church then we shouldn't "hate" or say cruel things. Everyone should be accepted at any religious gathering, establishment, etc. Lets all pray together right? Oh well, god bless.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Timmy

      Judging now that's a topic!! 1 Corinthians 15:33 says "Bad company corrupts good character". So how does a person recognize bad company? You have to make a JUDGMENT call. That's right you have to observe another person's character or morals and then Judge whether or not you associate with that person in order to preserve your own good character. Humans have created imperfects laws to judge one another and God had created his own PERFECT laws and principles in the scriptures so that yes imperfect humans can judge one another based of his viewpoint (Galatians 6:1).

      The subject of not judging is something that Jesus talked about in Matthew chapter 7. However when you read the context of his speech, Jesus was highlighting the folly of another imperfect human to trying to judge another imperfect human on his own standards or merit as if to say that he had no shortcomings or was perfect. That concept is impossible Jesus highlighted because both are imperfect. But Jesus goes on in the rest of the chapter in verse 16-20 to show us that we need to be observant and Judge people based on their fruitage or ACTIONS. Based on what? vs 21 "the doing of God's Will". I could go on and on about the various ways we judge in everyday life but when it comes to the Bible, God tells us by means of various scriptures that when we do have to judge even in sensitive matters make sure its based on HIS ideas in the scriptures and not according to imperfect mans ideas. (1 Corinthians 4:6)

      May 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Timmy

      J Ahmed lets follow your line of reasoning all the way through. If you saw a drunkard get into a vehicle and drive off you would not call them because that would be judging and he has a right to live his life the way he wants. So if he wants to drive drunk we should all just except it. This logic of reasoning makes no sense your thinking, and your right!

      If a reasonable person saw this scenario play out they would call the police because this man broke an imperfect human law. If a imperfect human can do this to another imperfect human based off a imperfect law, shouldn't an imperfect human be able to do the same thing with another imperfect human using God's PERFECT law? (Psalms 19:7)

      May 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Timmy

      Your welcome at my house!

      You also say that a Church should just welcome everyone no matter what lifestyle they live. Well that is not a scriptural view. Psalm 15 shows that God has requirements to be guest into his house. Just like I would imagine you would too.

      True a church should welcome all to attend for again God does not hate people, but he hates actions. He want people to come as they are but eventually change who they are. Isn't that a goal of any Educational Center? Jesus teachings should influence us to change for the better not remain the same or become worse.

      So to become a member of a Church who's requirement should one judge by God's or Man's. Remember God does not force anyone to join his Churches, just like no one forces your friends to visit you. However when they voluntarily become your friend and visit you they know they have to respect your household rules. Should we expect anything less of God's rules for his Churches? If you don't like the rules you don't have to visit HIM. We also should expect God to change his rules on the account of us, because we are the quest not HIM.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  5. Stevie7

    Tolerance and inclusion: 1
    Bigotry and hatred hiding behind a religious veil: 0

    May 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  6. Abejita

    Romans 1:25 ~ For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen

    May 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  7. Keith

    This church is apostate.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Sean

    What's transpiring in this time is exactly that which was supposed to happen from the on-set. We choose to forget once we fell out of communion and adopted free will we have been reaping what we've sewn ever since. Immorality and averice have always been in existence, but now in our modern times we have on top genetic mutations through the food we eat, air we breath, acid rain that fall on our heads, and hydro lines above multiplied our afflictions. Take solace non-the less, none of those things are affecting our hormones or cells negatively. let's all just keep consuming our selves into oblivion blindly. We will after-all take our wealth with us when we depart.

    May 12, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  9. Reality

    Gay Civil unions? Yes!

    Gay Marriages? No!

    Why?

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y se-xual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell. Of course, not all having these different tendencies show it outwardly.

    The distinctions are needed for things like the US Census so that problems can be tracked within each group and actions taken to remedy said problems.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  10. CW

    This is an abomination to the Lord. Jesus even said that there would be "wolves in sheep's clothing". What these people don't understand it that its not their job to believe everything in the Bible except those six passages that say this lifestyle is a sin and wrong. I will never call a church that believes this way a true christian church...they are blastphemers. Lord help them...one day they will stand before God and he will judge them accordingly.

    @ Analee,

    Don't let these people get you sooo upset. That is what they want to do. You see they are non believers and atheist(a lot of them) and they believe "their thinking" is superior to God's will and ways. Ha Ha Ha Ha ha....on judgement day they will all be patting each other on the back until God appears then this world won't be able to contain all the tears that they will cry but it will be too late then. You and I both will need to continue to pray for their souls to change and let God come into their hearts.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Tonya

      With the bigotry and prejudice statements you continue to make its really obvious you DON"T comprehend Christ love an understanding. It will be you who will be rejected by God.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Tonya
      With the bigotry and prejudice statements you continue to make its really obvious you DON"T comprehend Christ love an understanding. It will be you who will be rejected by God.
      ----
      I disagree!. There is nothing bigoted or prejudiced in CW's statement. You may want to look at Romans Chapter 1 and start at verse 25. There is no doubt that Christ Loves. Yet there is no doubt He will judge sin as well! In addition, you may want to re-read Matthew 7:21-23. "Not everyone who says Lord, Lord...! These words come out of the mouth of the loving Christ!

      May 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      CW.. I would still like to know why you dislike ho-mo se-x . i know that you think you are told to by your god, but what exactly does he tell you is wrong with it?

      May 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • CW

      @ EvolvedDNA,

      you say:

      CW.. I would still like to know why you dislike ho-mo se-x .

      ----

      I say:

      Very good question. Let me answer it like this. In the Bible there are scriptures that c-on.demn many things and say that they are sin and wrong. Examples such as m-ur.der, ga-mbli-ng, ste-aling....just to name a few. If we are to be true christians we all have to h-ate anything to do with sin. Just as f.or-nication is wrong the g-ay lifestyle is wrong. Its not the person that we h-a-te but the sin. As the Bible says s-e-x.ual sins are sins against God and man's body. What we as christians are trying to say is that there is a better way to live. God will help you and give anyone the wis-dom, strength and courage to do so.

      May 13, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  11. Adelina

    A false church. Reveraltion 2:20-23

    May 12, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • myklds

      It is, from the very beginning.

      May 12, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • fimeilleur

      I don't seem to be able to find that book... I only have revalations?

      May 12, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      fimeilleur
      I don't seem to be able to find that book... I only have revalations?
      ----–
      That book does not exist either. There is however, the book of Revelation! Just sayin'

      May 12, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Adelina

      Atheists are illiterate.

      May 14, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  12. analee

    WELL REMEMBER THE STORY OF ABRAHAM AND LOT,? WELL WHERE DID LOT ENDED UP GOING TO LIVE? EXACTLY, NOW WHAT HAPPEN TO THE CITY?... THATS CORRECT.. THATS WHAT IS FIXING TO HAPPEN,.. AND I WILL NOT , BE HERE TO SEE IT , CAUSE JUST LIKE IN THE STORY GOD SEND ANGELS TO TAKE LOT AND HIS FAMILY OUT OF THE CITY , THE FATHER IN HEAVEN WILL SEND JESUSCHRIST TO SAVE ME... AMEN I'LL BE PRAYING FOR AL OF US..

    May 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Dennis Moore

      Hmmmmmmmm. All caps, strangely punctuated, difficult to follow – why is it always the religious ones who write so badly?

      May 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Dennis Moore.. well what happened was as god was about to put some of them into the womb, he said I want to give you a gift, the gift of eloquence, and someone said.. oh, thats far to big I would rather have a puppy.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Unev0lvedApe

      @DNA..What a cute puppy you have! Nice choice.LOL!

      May 12, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @analee
      Ah the story of the incestuous drunkard Lot – a righteous man in God's eyes.
      To appease a marauding horde of townspeople, he was happy to toss them his two virgin daughters to be gang ra.ped.

      May 12, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      unevolvedape...Actually i have several rather large dogs..none of which were on Noahs Ark..

      May 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Unev0lvedApe

      @EvolvedDNA..That's nice, so what gift you denied in exchange for those dogs?

      I bet, it's the gift of humility.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Uneveolvedape.. yes they are nice, and live happily and peaceful with out any knowledge or need for a god. i guess to them i am their god.. so you may be right, I may have had to give up humility to achieve that status.. like the one people believe in.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  13. CJ Messina

    Just wanna quote Rom.1:24-32 as a Pastor of an Evangelical Church i like to quote to folks, "hey i am just the messenger boy if you have a beef please take it up with God"!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  14. Peace2All

    While Christianity and other organized religions, etc... are not for me, I say good for the gays/lesbians. Glad they get an opportunity to not be excluded from sharing in their Christian faith.

    Peace...

    May 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • T-party

      I agree totally with you Peace. gay/lesbians were born that way too. not a choice ...Their faith is their choice

      May 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  15. jefe

    "I see this as an opportunity to build a stronger church. Faithful and qualified les-bian, gaaay, bis-exual and transgender Presbyterians will be able to openly serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination and love," said Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, soon after the vote.

    I see the numbers associated with the PC(USA) diminishing, and their ability to do world mission reduced. I am aware many of you will see that as a good thing.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  16. jefe

    Isn't it funny that you can't quote part of the article itself without it getting moderated. Talk about double standards! 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • (required)

      CNN likes to troll us with articles that cannot be quoted without falling afoul of the moderation filter.
      Like articles that include words like: ti-thing, sav-age, ho-mose-xual, Ja-pan, gra-pe, thera-peutic, se-x, beati-tude, etc.
      The filter has driven more viewers away than any comments made, for they were denied a reasonable comment while others say whatever they like.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Ed

      (required you know all about trolling don't you.

      May 12, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • OK

      (Required), it's because some people have the brains to know how to check what they write to get past the filters.

      May 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  17. 2011judgment

    The Presbyterian Church has sold it's soul to the Devil.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • YaThink

      No, you just did with that lame comment. You will be there with all the other bigoted and prejudice bible thumpers who can't see past their own egos.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Artist

      Does god talk to you? Do you talk to god? If so, you might need medical help.
      .
      Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
      As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
      • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
      • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

      May 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • analee

      they where never in the right path.. cause if they would have been... that rise would have never came , but God warns us through his word (the bible) wich was written by men inspired through his Holy spirit,... i truly believe this are the last days, and i truly believe we will be the generation who will see JesusChrist in the rapture of the church... remember he who has ears hear what the spirit of the Lord says"......

      May 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  18. PRISM 1234

    This is no news! They strayed from the Word of God long time ago! It's another Apostate church making newslines!

    May 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Lindsay

      No, they didn’t stray, they recognize the truth, the bible was translated by bias and prejudice people who didn’t understand God’s creation of gays and lesbians. Yes, it’s been proven that what people in the past thought about gays and lesbians was WRONG!

      May 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      For any Christian that defends this,I suggest they re-look their walk with God! No surprise when those who are not saved do so. The bible clearly states there will be great falling away from the truth in the last days. Here we are.

      @ Lindsay, Yes they strayed, from the truth of God, yes! Re-read the scriptures!

      May 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • DrewInPortland

      The Bible is filled with 'sins' men of the day wanted to have control over. The Bible was not written by God, it was written by men who were told to write a book. During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as "The Holy Bible"

      It was a good read, and full of moral lessons, but I don't think living your life to words written by another man, whose intentions were that of a emporor, is in the best interest of me.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Steve the real one.. yes, lets not allow people to think for them selves .. if they look like they may start getting an ounce of compassion for their fellow human beings, rather than just a supernatural being, try to scare them. Oh and i see you think the end of the days are here again. how many times has that happened again? I have been saved.. from the crazy thoughts of religion.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      EvolvedDNA
      Steve the real one.. yes, lets not allow people to think for them selves .. if they look like they may start getting an ounce of compassion for their fellow human beings, rather than just a supernatural being, try to scare them. Oh and i see you think the end of the days are here again. how many times has that happened again? I have been saved.. from the crazy thoughts of religion.
      -----
      I am stopping no one from thinking for themselves (a little dramatic, are we?). What makes you think only you (who pretty much tolerate everything) are only compassionate and we of faith are not (a little arrogant, are we?)

      So you have been saved...from the "crazy thoughts of religion". Me too! I am not religious! I am in a RELATIONSHIP with God through Christ! Big difference! Jesus called us into relationship and not religion! Oh an yes, We are in the last days!

      May 12, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • YaThink

      Steve (the real one), its corrupt closed minded Christians like you that is bringing down our society. I would hope you realize that just maybe God gave human beings the understanding of science to show us more about this planet and ourselves. So, I for one would say since science has shown gays and lesbians are born this way that we need to rethink our perspective on this issue. Just like humanity has done with other issues we learned the truth and evolved in our thinking to no longer condemn.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Reasonable Opinion

      YaThink needs to revisit the founding fathers of This country. Who were they? Tolerant religion 'hatrers'?
      What has really formed this country has historically been the premises of Christianity. If you want to look at tolerance, see how all with an opinion can and should have a voice in our country.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • cmxsmitty

      I thought that John 3:16 made it pretty clear that to be saved one only needs to believe and trust.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      YaThink
      Steve (the real one), its corrupt closed minded Christians like you that is bringing down our society
      -–
      Strong words directed at me from somebody who doesn't know me from Adam! Here is the deal. I would rather be right with God (through Christ) than popular with folks like you! Anyone or any thought that contradicts God's word is wrong. End of story! I actually believe it is the "anything goes" att-itude you so eagerly embrace that is bringing the society down.

      May 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Melissa

      We love God, and don’t want our lives to be controlled by bad habits and self centered att-itudes that can harm our relationship with Him and with others. The plain truth is that sin separates us from God (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 John 1:5-7) and we don’t want to be separated from God! We want to grow closer to Him and become more like His Son with each pas-sing day!
      But what exactly is sin? If we took a poll of every church and denomination out there, we would find a different opinion from every one of them! Everybody seems to have their own idea as to what is right and what is wrong! So if we wanted to rid sin from our lives, where would we start and whose list should we follow?
      Perhaps we should take a different approach and forget what everyone else thinks and go right to the source, the Bible itself. What then? Could we find God’s will by cataloging every sin mentioned in the Bible? If so, how do we handle edicts that seem to change over time? If you thumb through the Bible you will find that such things as marriage, personnel hygiene, dietary laws, and diplomatic relationships with neighboring nations all have changed over the years. So what is right for our culture and the day and age in which we live?
      More importantly, what would we do with such a list once we had compiled it? Paul told us over and over again that trying to live our lives by a long list of do’s and don’ts was a lost cause. Why? Because no one is good enough to follow such a list day in and day out! Furthermore, Paul said such attempts would only bring heartache and failure for no one except Jesus Christ Himself is capable of living a perfect life (Romans 3:10-23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5)! Worse yet, if we attempt to earn our righteousness through ‘good deeds,’ we are in fact rejecting the very work that Christ did for us on the cross (Galatians 2:19-3:21, 5:1-6)!
      So is trying to do ‘the right thing’ a lost cause? Have we come full circle? Yes and no. First and foremost, we must settle in our hearts and minds that our salvation only comes through Jesus Christ and none other. We cannot earn our way to heaven. However that doesn’t change the fact that we still want to please God and find His will for our lives. So how do we do that?
      This question used to perplex me until a friends question and the prompting of the Holy Spirit had me researching everything I could concerning God's love. During that search, I ran across a Scripture that changed my life forever. For in it we find the very heart and soul of God's will. If you study the issue further, you will find that this same “royal” commandment (James 2:8) lies at the heart of both the Old Covenant (old covenant = Matthew 22:37-40) and the New Covenant (new covenant = John 13:34). God has never changed (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; 1 John 4:8, 16), only His instructions on how we should carry out His will have.
      Why is this so? Because we have changed over time and the cultures we live in are different from one another. We don’t face the same problems the early Patriarchs faced. Nor were the Apostles encu-mbered with some of the things we have to deal with today. Each generation and each culture is different. What may be a loving act in one culture may be cause for war in another! In spite of our differences, we are all given the same basic principle to carry out in our lives. That being that we are to...
      Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
      "Love the Lord 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: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
      Matthew 22:40 (Amplified)
      “These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
      Simply put, we are to love God first, and then we are to love others, as we love ourselves. If we embrace and follow this belief, we are following God’s will for our lives and we are not living in sin. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
      Galatians 5:14 (Amplified)
      “For the whole law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in one precept. You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”

      Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)
      Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
      Therefore sin is simply this: if I do not love God and put Him first in my life, this is a sin. If I mistreat others or myself spiritually, emotionally or physically, it is a sin. Love is the basis for all of God’s laws, old and new. Sin is the absence or distortion of this love.
      So is ho-mos-ex-ual-ity a sin? “It depends” is my answer. The question is no longer ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ but an issue of love in the relationship. First and foremost, is this relationship encouraging both partners’ spiritual growth and relationship with God?” And second, is this a relationship loving and healthy for both parties? God is not concerned with the superficial things that worry us. He does not care what our s-ex-ual orientation, gender, skin color, or church affiliation is. These things have no meaning to God. He goes straight to the heart of the matter and simply asks the question, “Is this relationship based on, and operating in, My love or not?”

      May 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      English Bible Mistranslation / Ho-mo-s-ex-uality

      Before anyone deems this post to be heretical, at least read it first. All of it, please.

      And by the way, this is not my theological essay.

      English Bible Mistranslation / Ho-mo-s-ex-uality
      For years, many doc-uments have described the mistranslation of the Bible into English from the original Hebrew and Koine (ancient Greek) New-Testament writings. Issues of incorrect translation concern many areas, such as: the word "virgin" (Isaiah 7:14); the name "Yahweh" (YHWH); descriptions of angels; the term "Sons of God"; and incorrectly translating forbidden s-ex-ual practices.

      There are several passages often mistranslated as forbidding ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity; however, those Bible passages can be correctly translated by considering many aspects of the Bible, as a whole: literal translation, rarity, priorities, sanity-test and reality-test.

      Literal Translation- . In the New Testament, the two verses 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10 are often mistranslated as condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality in English Bibles (but not in the Roman Latin Vulgate Bible or the 1545 German Bible of Martin Luther). Mistranslation is based on two ancient Greek words "malakoi" & "ar-senokoitai" (Greek letters "AR-SENOKOITAI " literally, "male-beds"), which was a new word used by Paul (Saul) at the time and not a common term for ho-mo–s-ex-uality. Because Paul was speaking in a religious context, the word "ar-senokoitai" has been translated as referring to male-pimps or customers in temple prost-itution, a common practice in so-called pagan rituals widespread in Temple Cult worship of the time. [The minor term "malakoi" (used to describe "soft" clothing) is non-s-ex-ual and has been translated as "effeminate" (KJV), although others state "weaklings" or "morally weak, lazy" men.]

      Rarity of Words- . The ancient Greek word "ar-senokoitai" occurs in only those 2 verses, 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10. Logically, if ho-mo-s-ex-uality were considered a sin, there should be many verses about it, and the word "ar-senokoitai" would occur more than twice if it had referred to a major issue, such as ho-mo-s-ex-uality; the rarity of the word fits the logical translation: the word "ar-senokoitai" refers to the rare practice of temple prost-itution, not general ho-mo-s-ex-uality. (See: 73 references to ar-senokoit* found in TLG E Feb/2000, ) Yet, precisely because the word is so rare and had no formal definition, the word "ar-senokoitai" is crucial in fostering misinterpretation of the Bible: a more common word could not be so easily redefined.

      Priorities – . The verses in the Bible follow certain priorities: for example, the words "adultery" or "adulteress/adulterer" (Greek "moixoi" ) occur 47 times in the King James Version; however, the word "ar-senokoitai" occurs only 2 times, and the common terms of that time period about ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity are not mentioned in the Bible at all (such as man-boy pairing, Greek "erastes-eromenos"). Condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality in Biblical times was not an issue, not a priority, at all.

      A Sanity- Test – . Since adultery & adulterer are mentioned 47 times in the King James Version, it could be expected that a sin would be mentioned many times in the Bible: the condemnation of lying/liars occurs over 70 times ("liar" 21 times, "false witness" 19, "lying" lips/tongues 31 times); murder is prohibited 35+ times ("murderer" 20 etc.); and stealing is condemned 73+ times ("steal" 23 times, "thief/robber" 50+, except stealing for food: Proverbs 6:30 "Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry." [KJV]). However, the common terms (used in those days) to describe ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity are not even mentioned. It doesn't make sense to translate a few rare words & phrases as condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality, when specific sins are mentioned many times in the Bible–it simply doesn't pass a sanity-test.

      A Reality- Test – . During the time period of 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy^ 1:10,:the word "ar-senokoitai" occurred in only a few religious writings, such as a later text describing Adam deceived to have s-ex with serpent-god Naas. The erotic literature of the period never used the word "ar-senokoitai" but used other ancient Greek terms ("erastes-eromenos": man-boy pairing) to describe ho-mo-s-ex-ual practices, and those Greek terms were never mentioned in the Greek texts of the Bible. To try to re-interpret & translate other Bible verses into condemning those specific (unnamed) acts is just not realistic–it doesn't pass a reality-test ("reality_check"). The translation of the ancient Greek New Testament must fit the language & cultures of the time period. The translation must match the reality of that era.

      Old-Testament Literal Translation – . The infamous verse Leviticus 20:13, often used to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality, is about a married-man with another male, in the "marriage-bed" as with his wife. See the Latinized Greek for Leviticus 20:13 below:

      Kai hos an koimEthE meta ar-senos koitEn
      gunaikos, bdelugma epoiEsan amphoteroi;
      thanatousthwsan, enoichoi eisin." [Lev 20:13 in Greek Septuagint LXX].

      The translation of the Greek term 'gunaikos' is interpreted to mean: wife. Hence, the verse actually forbids male-male adultery, pertaining only to a married man.

      Similarly, for Leviticus 18:22, the wording of the original Hebrew is very different from the KJV form:

      "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:
      it is abomination." [Leviticus 18:22, King James Version]

      However, the original Hebrew for Leviticus 18:22 reveals a different 3rd meaning:

      We-et-zakar lo' tishkav mishkevey 'ishshah" [Lev 18:22 Hebrew, Latinized]
      ("And-with a-male NOT lie-down in beds-of a-woman") [Lev 18:22 literal translation]

      So, the Hebrew Leviticus 18:22 mentions: someone + a male + a woman; hence, a forbidden 3-way.

      Those 2 infamous Leviticus verses actually mention other women or wives, rather than male-male relationships, as is often the misinterpretation & mistranslation.

      When many aspects of Biblical issues are considered, there is no textual basis for misinterpreting & mistranslating Bible verses to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality: the original Hebrew & Greek texts of the Bible do not condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality at all, and so, ho-mo-s-ex-uality should not be considered a sin by today's society.

      Finally, the question arises: In 1611, did the Bible translators/scribes for King James purposely mistranslate Bible verses into English because they had intensely resented King James, with his open ho-mo-s-ex-uality & various male lovers? The answer might never be known.

      In the new book: A Gathering of Angels by Larry Dean.Hamilton, several incidents of God's approval are described in detail, including several spiritual events similar to visions. Note: That book is a true story, not a hypothetical religious sermon, but rather an accurate description of some astounding ways in which God actually works His plan. In:A Gathering of Angels, the author describes many real-life events in vivid detail as they happened, so there was too little room for ideology, and that book contains very few Bible quotations. The book is, in essence, a detailed secret revelation of divine approval for same-s-ex love.

      A Gathering of Angels (by Larry Dean.Hamilton) describes actual spiritual events in modern times, and those incidents match the teachings from the original texts of the Bible, before the King James.Version mistranslated some verses to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality.

      Addendum – . Many of the English-language Bibles have been mistranslated to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality, not only the 1611 King James Version. Below is a list of several English Bibles along with the phrase that translates the ancient Greek word "ar-senokoitai" (1 Corinthians 6:9), which many scholars now believe means "male-pimps" or "molesters." Note the year of each Bible & its translation of "ar-senokoitai":

      – King_James_Version (KJV 1611) "abusers of themselves with mankind"
      – Wycliffe_New_Testament (WYC 2001) "they that do lechery with men"
      – American_Standard_Version (ASV 1901) "abusers of themselves with men"
      – New_Life (NLV1969) "people who do s-ex sins with their own s-ex"
      – 21st_Century_KJV (KJ21 1994) "abusers of themselves with mankind"
      – New_American_Standard (NASB 1995) "nor effeminate, nor ho-mo-s-ex-uals"
      – New_International_Version (NIV 1984) "ho-mo-s-ex-ual offenders"
      – Amplified_Bible (1987) "nor those who participate in ho-mo-s-ex-uality"
      – Darby_Translation (public domain) "nor who abuse themselves with men"
      – Young's_Literal_Translation "nor effeminate, nor sodomites"
      – New_Living_Translation (NLT^ 1996) "male prost-itutes, ho-mo-s-ex-uals"
      – Contemporary_English_Version (1995) "behaves like a ho-mo-s-ex-ual"
      Holman_Christian_Standard (HCSB 2003) "male prost-itutes, ho-mo-s-ex-uals"

      Whereas the original Greek text of 1 Corinthians 6:9 apparently condemns cult male-pimps and child-molesters, it has been perverted in many English Bibles to condemn all ho-mo-s-ex-ual behavior.

      Similarly, Deuteronomy 23:17 is often mistranslated, about the prohibition against ritual temple cult/shrine prost-itution, specifically by either the "daughters" or "sons" of Irsael, by mistranslating the Hebrew word "qadesh" to be "sodomite" or "pervert" etc. For instance in the Amplified Bible, the verse of Deuteronomy 23:17 reads:
      "There shall be no cult prost-itute among the daughters of Israel, neither
      shall there be a cult prost-itute (a sodomite) among the sons of Israel." [Deut 23:17]

      The Hebrew text contains no word for "sodomite" but uses the male & female forms of the same word "qadesh" ("holy one") referring to either a male or a female holy s-ex-slave in the shrine ritual.

      Proper translation of Bible texts requires cultural knowledge of the time period, including pagan temple/shrine rituals of cult prost-itution & also knowledge of same-s-ex relationships during the period.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Hmmmm

      Wow...!! Extremely thought-provoking and obviously, well-researched.

      Well done.

      Peace...

      May 13, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Steve the real one. Christians who defend this are the ones who are taking the first steps toward eliminating some hate in society. How can that be a bad thing and why would they want to re-look at their relationship with god. are you saying that you are the only one that has the only correct vision as a christian.. ? No doubt you are uncomfortable with Ho mo se-x and have looked with the bible to justify it. Do you think that your god would approve of harassment of young gay people to the point they commit suicide? Is that what he wants?

      May 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Steve the real one.. the end days . Steve,, in today's world we have very fast communications.. the world appears worse because you hear of every skirmish and squabble. every earthquake, fire, volcano, famine, disease, flood, hurricane, tornado.. its always been happening we just did not hear about it. Most of the trouble today is due to religious tensions, which is a far bigger threat to society... and is curtailing our freedoms faster than almost anything else. You may think we are in bad times and hoping for supernatural intervention, but i am far more optimistic and will continue to depend on my fellow human beings to solve the problems we have.

      May 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Evolved DNA
      Steve the real one. Christians who defend this are the ones who are taking the first steps toward eliminating some hate in society. How can that be a bad thing and why would they want to re-look at their relationship with god. are you saying that you are the only one that has the only correct vision as a christian.. ? No doubt you are uncomfortable with Ho mo se-x and have looked with the bible to justify it. Do you think that your god would approve of harassment of young gay people to the point they commit suicide? Is that what he wants?
      ------------–
      No! Christians defending this are taking the first steps to walking away from God. As for the harassment of anyone for any reason that is not Christ-like behavior! No one was ever won th the Lord via harassment. I am not the only Christian who feels this way!

      May 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Evolved DNA
      Steve the real one.. the end days . Steve,, in today's world we have very fast communications.. the world appears worse because you hear of every skirmish and squabble. every earthquake, fire, volcano, famine, disease, flood, hurricane, tornado.. its always been happening we just did not hear about it. Most of the trouble today is due to religious tensions, which is a far bigger threat to society... and is curtailing our freedoms faster than almost anything else. You may think we are in bad times and hoping for supernatural intervention, but i am far more optimistic and will continue to depend on my fellow human beings to solve the problems we have.
      -------–
      While you are correct about fast communications and the 24 hour news cycle, many end time prophesies have come true or are coming true. the most powerful of these is the physical restoration of the nation of Israel. It is OK to depend upon humans to solve problems, That is not enough as not one human being can ever solve the problem of sin! That is why Jesus came!

      May 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Steve the real one..Hi Steve..A problem I have with bible prophesies is that they are likely self-fulfilling prophecies . As it has been written down for millennia that the State of Israel should exist, then followers of that religion and others have been reading this and have worked toward that end, influencing decisions to make it happen. What other predictions have come true? I would have thought that all the predictions in the bible, including the one that the Nile will dry up, would come true, considering the source of the information.?

      May 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  19. Ed

    I would realy appreciate if in every blog the referenced religion peope didn't feel the need to post all catholic priests are pedophiles. I admit to many ae but most are not. It just gets tiresome. I refernce to this story. They really shouldn't allow g-a-y clergy. While I accept hom-ose-xuality and agree with g-a-y marriage or at least civil union, the Bible is clear on the subject and the churches should be the leader in the faith, so ignoring it is a mistake.

    May 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ed
      All joking aside, gay – straight – or pedophile – it doesn't matter to the Vatican what someone's orientation was before ordination since priests take a vow of celibacy.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Ed

      I know Doc, and please don't take my comment as defending the preist the commit pedophilia there is no defense. But this article didn't mention the catholic church yet the first to comments were about it failure to deal with the problem right and impied the church was of with pedophilia. I'm saying that gets old.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • (required)

      Ed, if you don't like it, you know there are things you could do about it other than complain, right?
      If you are a Catholic, you have only yourself to blame for following these pedophiles as they lead you into the pit, especially after all the evidence that the pedophilia goes all the way to the TOP.
      You take the wafer from hands that molested children, perhaps without washing. Is that what you really want from your priest?
      And you listen to what these pedophiles say with all your religious fervor. Is that what you like to hear? Words from pedophiles on how you should run your life?
      You don't like hearing about it? Tough. Your whole church has been infested with pedophiles for centuries.
      CENTURIES OF PEDOPHILIA AUTHORIZED BY YOUR GOD!!!
      Now keep complaining and maybe they'll give you a reach-around or something. I truly do not understand why you complain unless you want to ignore what they do in the first place.
      I feel very sorry for your children.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Artist

      Ed, I think that card is going to be played many times to come. As for the bible being clear, there are others who disagree. Imperfection invites doubt and question. Welcome to man writing something.*wink*

      May 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ed

      @Artist, In either case it should be up to te church wether it will perfomr g-a-y amrriage not government law. I agree the government should allow gay marriage, but the churches should not be required to perform the ceremony.

      @(required) your an a$$

      May 12, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Dorianmode

      There is NO consensus among biblical scholars about what those texts say about ho-mo-se-xua-lity. YOU are far less an expert than any of them. What DocV above, implied, was that first the Episcopal Church, (actually first was the Lutheran Church, then the Methodists), and now the Presbyterian Church as a body does not condemn these people, and indeed accept them as fully equal members in communion, cannot be refuted by a few "fundies" operating as lone wolves.
      An ironic fact was the cover of a major national newspaper today, where this action by the Minneapolis group was reported, also had the secular study reported, where straight marriage is declining across the country. Marriage seems to be an inst-i-t-ution which is becoming slowly unimportant in human culture, for many diverse reasons.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Modernario

      @Dorianmode..your arguments are so g-a-y.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    First the Anglican, now the Protestants!
    At least we can all rest assured that the Catholics will continue their policies of exclusion.
    Pedophiles? More than welcome.
    Gays? Abominations unto the Lord!

    May 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Artist

      lol...no kidding. The former pope supported, condoned and protected child rapists. The lotion makes the skin softer, here you go boys put this on for your "father".

      May 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • (required)

      um, Anglicans ARE protestants there, Doc...

      May 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • doctore0

      What humanity needs is to get rid of religion; Don't just let religion evolve ... like it has since day one: Face the muzak: Religion is useless, harmful..SCAM
      Praise humanity;

      May 12, 2011 at 5:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @(required)
      They are protestant only in the loosest sense of the term – in that they protested the supreme authority of the Pope.
      Theologically, they are closer to Catholics on important points like sacramental worship and ministers who are priests in the line of the Apostles.
      Since the 17th century, Anglicans have primarily defined themselves as a middle ground between Reformed Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.

      May 12, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • fimeilleur

      Just to add to that... "all the ceremony, none of the guilt"

      May 12, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Ed

      Anglican=Chatholic-lite

      May 12, 2011 at 11:04 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.