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My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors
Some Christian denominations have officially welcomed gays and lesbians in recent years.
October 25th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors

Editor’s note: Ross Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

By Ross Murray, Special to CNN

America is embracing its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Don’t believe me? Just look at the progress being made in faith communities.

The Christian church was once considered the final holdout for those who oppose equality for LGBT people. Staunch believers could gather in worship with people who thought just like them to hear sermons affirming the anti-LGBT beliefs they held in common.

For those of us who identify as LGBT, church was a place of fear and secrets. We had to figure out how to hide ourselves or how to find a more welcoming community.

But that is changing.

Although there is still a variety of scriptural interpretations, an increasing number of Christians are reading scripture and understanding that God’s design for the world includes LGBT people. It follows, good Christians believe, that if God made them, then I am called to love and support them.

Whole Christian denominations have accepted and embraced the reality of LGBT believers within their ranks and in their leadership. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians have formally accepted LGBT people within their denominations.

Even within denominations and faith groups whose policies don’t fully welcome LGBT people, there are growing numbers of people who have learned to love and accept their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

The Public Religion Research Institute found this year that as many as 71% of Catholics in America support lesbian and gay people, even up to the point of civil marriage, despite the Roman Catholic hierarchy telling them otherwise.

Of course, there still are Christian groups who work actively against equal protections for LGBT people and their families.

Indeed, as more Americans get to know and love their LGBT neighbors, the messages and vocal misinformation of anti-gay activists become even more shrill.

And yet more and more Christians are now living out the message of 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

How did this happen? More Christians now know someone who is LGBT. They probably even know someone from their church. There are countless faithful Christians who identify as LGBT.

These are folks who have found their faith in God to be stronger than the opposition of vocal anti-gay activists.

These LGBT Christians have shared their lives and their stories that build up love and break down fear, leading to tangible progress, especially with young people.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, there is at least a 20-point gap between those ages 18 to 29 and those ages 65 and older on every public policy measure in the survey concerning equality for gay and lesbian people, with younger Americans gravitating toward equality.

Even Christian-identified young people increasingly support protections for lesbian and gay people, the same survey found.

Those who oppose equality can call it what they like, but the reality is that we are living in a society that has learned how to value LGBT people as they would others.

That attitude doesn’t rely on fear or lies, but on caring relationships and trust. It lives out the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians that someday we will know fully, even as we are fully known. It is a biblically informed reality that is helping to make the world a better place.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ross Murray.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,403 Responses)
  1. Thoughts

    @ummm none of those things you mentioned are God's commands....

    October 26, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Observer

      Thoughts,

      So stoning unruly children and women having to marry their rapists aren't in your copy of the Bible? Ask for your money back.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  2. Observer

    If your religion makes your life better, don't use it to make someone's life worse.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: that dodges the substance of this discussion.
      If one of your family members is engaged in self-destructive activity, love compels you to intervene.

      As the atheist Penn Teller said: "if a bus is bearing down on you, there is a point at which I tackle you. Not to proselytize is the real hatred."
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZc3Xq8obk

      October 26, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Observer

      Russ,
      "@ Observer: that dodges the substance of this discussion. If one of your family members is engaged in self-destructive activity, love compels you to intervene."

      Outside of statements from a hypocritical Bible, why is being born gay a "self-destructive activity"?

      October 26, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Russ, if someone cared about you, they'd teach you to observe the world for yourself and get to know the gays and lesbians in your community and maybe then you'd realize that your religion is the thing that is wrong.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • god

      Goose goose to the goslings?

      October 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Free

      It's like high school where everyone wants to elevate their own standing, and most work at building themselves up, but some choose make themselves seem higher by trying to knock others down. We call them bullies, and the Christian world has its own share of them in those who attack gays, Muslims, atheists, "liberals" and basically everyone else who isn't part of their clique. Time to grow up people and learn that the world doesn't revolve around you!

      October 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • fred

      No doubt man has a histoy of ignoring what God says then doing our own thing. That "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" is a given.
      How are you different in your painting Christians and the Divine Word of God with the broad brush of hate? I am some problem understanding why what the Bible says is hypocritical and how it is hate. I am eaisly confused so please just give me one example when you say things like "Outside of statements from a hypocritical Bible"

      October 26, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Observer

      fred,
      Of course the Bible is full of hypocrisy. One of the best examples is the commandment "thou shall not kill". It's in the same part of the Bible that gives a long list of commands from God to kill people. The ultimate hypocrisy is when it says to kill anyone who kills anyone.

      Back to the topic here, the Bible says that the most important command after the Ten Commandments is the Golden Rule. Don't expect h0mophobic Christians to ever mention the Golden Rule when discussing gays. The Golden Rule is certainly MAJOR to an "abomination" like h0mos-xuality or eating shellfish. Just pick and choose.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      As to killing you are back in the OT so keep it in that context, in that time period and with that tribe you will find no hypocrisy. Jesus took thou shall not kill to a new level ~ “if you have hate for your brother you are guilty of murder” and that command further is tucked inside “love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself”. Jesus did not fuzz it up He made it very clear.

      As to this topic share the gospel that Jesus is the way the truth and the light with the LGBT community. Let God sort out the wheat from the tares today and at the end of days. Christians are not to judge as we have proven time and again we are not capable of doing that.

      Now, I cannot tell if you are a Christian or not but if you are let me know because I have a strong warning for you.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      "As to this topic share the gospel that Jesus is the way the truth and the light with the LGBT community."

      Does that sharing come with an acceptance of who they are, or does it entail preaching to them that they are unnatural?

      October 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • fred

      Free
      I have a hard time whenever I go outside of what Jesus said. Now, He said to go spread the Gospel and make disciples. His model to us from the prost-itute to the criminals hanging next to him on the cross was not one of condemnation but, one of acceptance / come to me you who are burdened for my yoke is light. The yoke is what people reject and where the problem is. If we are yoked to Christ we are pulling in the same direction. The Holy Spirit will not force you into a yoke with Christ as it does not work at any level. The yoke is light because we are connected with Christ. The burden Jesus warned about was sin and the rules / laws / traditions /hypocrisy / judgmental way of religion that are not of God.
      In the LGBT community I cannot speak of Christ without accepting or rejecting the physical acts of ho mo $exuality. No problem on any other level but, getting past this step seems impossible. Within moments of introducing the Gospel that is the issue that will get me stoned just like Stephen. Jesus did not address this specific issue so we need to rely on inference. Peter and Paul ran off and set into motion the basics of the church and put their individual quirks into the pure teachings of Christ. Am I to say I have a better or newer revelation than they had or am I just adding my quirks to the mix.
      Orientation is not sin but rejecting or accepting Christ has always been the issue. One must ask God to come into their life in earnest. Once yoked with Christ it is a brand new day and a brand new way.
      Typically when you say is it "sin" I think along the lines of does it offend a Holy God. Sin makes no sense to one who does not care about God. With my friends who are ho mo$exual they also understand sin. One only needs to read the Bible for a clear picture that we all sin, sin constantly and have done so since Adam. To answer your question; sin is the natural state of man. Not to sin is unnatural. Bet you were wondering if I was ever going to get down to an answer.

      October 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      "I have a hard time whenever I go outside of what Jesus said."
      but then you say
      "Jesus did not address this specific issue so we need to rely on inference"
      Therein lies the problem. Too many Christians are absolutely certain as to what Jesus would have taught that they forget that he did not mention gays at all. Nobody is arguing that gays are perfect individuals, but Jesus never said that being gay or even living as a gay was sinful, so what gives people the right to infer that he would have?

      October 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • fred

      Free
      “so what gives people the right to infer that he would have?”
      Jesus said everything that was necessary for anyone that would believe in Him. There was great discord between the Apostles even after being filled with the Holy Spirit over many issues. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will guide you in all knowledge which gave them confidence in understanding the will of God. This statement from Christ also is what gives today’s believers confidence that they understand the Bible.
      Interesting that we are not told what Jesus wrote in the sand to each of those accusing the woman of adultery. Upon reading it the accusers lowered their heads and walked away. Jesus said neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more. Condemning another has its roots connected to a darkness within each of us. It is a private matter that will cause you to hang your head in shame. Jesus did not condemn her but, He did point to her sin. Believers who condemn ho mo $exuals need to pray and ask Jesus to reveal the evil / darkness within them that requires repentance and forgiveness.
      That is the easy part.

      October 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      So, to be clear, you don't think that Jesus ever said anything against gays, right?

      Yet people are claiming that the Holy Spirit has guided them to a belief that being actively gay is sinful. Meanwhile other Christians are making the same claim that the HS is guiding them into fully accepting gays, even if they are active. Like the GOP candidates all claiming that the HS prompted them to run, something just doesn't add up here. The actual HS would have just one opinion on this, yes? So at least one side is actually acting on it's gut and believing what THEY think is right, wouldn't you say?

      October 27, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • fred

      Free
      Jesus did not say anything about ho mo $exuals. That was the easy part.
      Jesus did warn the church denominations about running with modern thoughts that will cause a falling away of the faithful. Specifically in the area of $exual immorality. This was in a vision to John in Revelations

      A believer will receive a clear message as to sin in their life. The Bible says it will be clear and they will know it. Anybody who misleads one of these little ones (child or one new to christianity) is in big trouble. I try and stay clear of question; is ho mo $exuality a sin. This is always where the real issue is and where the conversation ends up.
      Although Jesus did not mention ho mo $exuality it is clear the believer will resolve the issue of sin with the help of the Holy Spirit. Once again back to is it sin. Yes, it is sin. The woman at the well could have been a woman or man Jesus chose a woman because of culture not orientation. In certain cases I can see where it would not be sin but, my guess such situations are not the general pattern we are looking at.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Free

      fred
      Then gays and straight people are to be judged equally on their $exual conduct, yes? Plenty of promiscuous people in either orientation, plenty of prost.itutes and gigolos too, and plenty of people willing to commit to long term relationships. So why do you think many Christians want to keep marriage away from gays as an option? A married gay couple would not be sinful to Jesus as far as we know, right? It's almost like they want gays to be pressured into sin, which seems very mean-spirited to me and not at all something that the wise Jesus would have valued, don't you think?

      October 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Free

      fred
      "A believer will receive a clear message as to sin in their life. The Bible says it will be clear and they will know it."
      Fred Phelps hears 'clear' messages about sin too, but the vast majority of Christians think he's deluded. What if it's all just in people's minds, and it's their desires and fears surfacing and not some message from the Holy Spirit?

      October 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • fred

      Free
      Free
      Fred Phelps like Peter or Paul brought their personal baggage into their relationship with God. Their rants, thought and actions reflect all that they are. God often does not override our person in order to allow “free thought”/free will . We form and reveal who we truly are throughout our lifetime. You and I will not be compared to Phelps, Richard Dawkins or Mother Teresa. When we see God we will know and this is why every knee will bow.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • TR6

      @fred: “Jesus took thou shall not kill to a new level ~ “if you have hate for your brother you are guilty of murder”

      "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
      –(Luke 14:26)

      October 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • fred

      Free
      “Then gays and straight people are to be judged equally on their $exual conduct, yes?”
      We will be judged with perfect justice by Christ who gave His life that we may live. $exual conduct is one small component. Remember Paul, his flesh was doing things his Spirit was trying to contain. The battle says more about Paul than the physical conduct.
      If we assume two people identical in all ways (impossible) their $exual conduct would be judged equally.

      “ many Christians want to keep marriage away from gays as an option”
      There are many reasons for this but, sticking with the Bible the main one is ; Jesus referred to marriage being between one man and one women becoming one flesh. It is also why there is no polygamy since it was singular man and woman. In Matthew 19” the creator made them male and female, for this reason man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”. There is no other reason.
      Those that should not marry Jesus addressed in 19:11 as the ones without the right body parts or those that have the gift of celibacy from God.
      I imagine the anti marriage folks have a list of Bible quotes but, I have not paid much attention to those.

      “ A married gay couple would not be sinful to Jesus as far as we know, right?”
      Marriage is not an option Jesus left open to change the nature fornication. Marriage is a man and women united in one flesh by God, blessed by God and for the glory of God. Now, it is doubtful we can find a majority of marriages that are this way.
      People marry for many reasons so marriage is not what makes a relationship sinful or blessed. Lot was a righteous man that made the decision to live in Sodom and raise his family in Sodom. He brought his family into that known place of immorality. The result was the a man that would offer his daughters to perversion, a wife turned to stone, son in laws that mocked him etc. Yet, angels protected him from the burning because Abram prayed for him.

      “ It's almost like they want gays to be pressured into sin, which seems very mean-spirited to me and not at all something that the wise Jesus would have valued, don't you think?”

      It is deception taking advantage of weakness in man that results in separation from God. Nothing has changed from the beginning. Eve saw the fruit and it looked good. Temporal pleasure over an eternal relationship with God. Deception takes many forms but the purpose is always the same. Out of everything in the garden she chose the one thing that was specifically warned about and did exactly what she was told not to do. That was one great deception then and now.

      October 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • fred

      TR6
      Jesus did not hate His mother or father, to the contrary he loved and honored as was clear.
      You have taken the verse out of context as it goes on to explain "anyone that does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
      Further, the word does not mean hate as we understand it today in that context. The overall paragraph relates to the cost of being a disciple which would be your life. ~"man you must really hate your life if youre going to die for Jesus"

      October 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      "Fred Phelps like Peter or Paul brought their personal baggage into their relationship with God."
      Does that spill over into their biblical writings, and if it does how far should we consider them good authorities?

      "You and I will not be compared to Phelps, Richard Dawkins or Mother Teresa."
      If I were I'd prefer to be called Dawkins-like. The other two are/were too self-serving.

      "When we see God we will know and this is why every knee will bow."
      Bow in fear or bow in awe? What if God isn't what you expect? Will you still bow?

      October 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Free

      fred
      "If we assume two people identical in all ways (impossible) their $exual conduct would be judged equally."
      So a promiscuous straight kid will be judged harder than a more selective gay kid would, yes?

      “I imagine the anti marriage folks have a list of Bible quotes but, I have not paid much attention to those."
      Jesus clearly condemns divorce, yet evangelicals have a higher than average divorce rate according to a recent story here. Cherry picking?
      “ It's almost like they want gays to be pressured into sin, which seems very mean-spirited to me and not at all something that the wise Jesus would have valued, don't you think?”

      "Temporal pleasure over an eternal relationship with God."
      This should apply to straight and gay folk equally, yes?

      October 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • fred

      Free
      “Does that spill over into their biblical writings, and if it does how far should we consider them good authorities?”
      Phelps and the like would never have made it into Scripture except perhaps as a bad example of belief gone wild. I am not sure if all of Peter or Paul’s work made it into the Bible. If we cannot maintain that the Bible is the word of God or inspired by God ………..Houston we have a problem. Paul’s zealous nature comes through and God probably used him because he would not be intimidated to maintain the vision given to him. Peter was true to form in Acts when he started backsliding on the vision that one need not be a Jew first to be saved. Paul’s nature would not put up with it and we do not hear a lot from Peter after that. If this is Gods Divine work then He is capable of keeping it in line.

      "When we see God we will know and this is why every knee will bow."Bow in fear or bow in awe?
      The deception will no longer cloud our vision. We will see the true nature of our being in contrast with the radiant glory of Christ. The Bible uses the word bow because we have no words to describe the physical experience of being in God’s presence. We only have some hints like “the train of His gown filled the temple” or Isaiah 6 where even seraphs covered their eyes and feet before a holy God. Even awe cannot capture it.

      “What if God isn't what you expect? Will you still bow”
      I do not see anything in between a cold dark black nothingness/empty loneliness and a knock your socks off explosion of overwhelming amazement. Most likely God will not be what we expect. Jesus was not what the Jew expected Either way I bow first ask questions later.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • fred

      Free
      “So a promiscuous straight kid will be judged harder than a more selective gay kid would, yes?”
      Jesus said sin is sin so they would be equal in weight. Straight kid or gay kid has little if any bearing. The main issue with these small sins is they create bondage that keeps one from experiencing all Jesus spoke of. In the Gospel of Mary I get this picture that Jesus is trying to get us to free ourselves of all this deception that chokes the life out of our souls. This sin, that sin, worry about money, pride, looks, god, no God, judging others etc. We are given one life and this is what we do with it.

      "Temporal pleasure over an eternal relationship with God."
      This should apply to straight and gay folk equally, yes?
      Yes

      October 28, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  3. justme

    that picture is so disturbing in so many ways i can't believe it and yet i know it is coming.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  4. brad

    I have been a Catholic in the Bible belt since 1953. I have never heard a single sermon against gay orientation. people in the pew have other concerns. The fundamentalists I know say little against gays, but a lot against me. The Catholic church here aids thousands of Vietnamese immigrants, many former boat people. It also ministers to the spiritual and material needs of a huge Hispanic population. The tiny minority of LGBT has not been the center of focus. I guess the hatred magnified by the media must be coming from more "tolerant" regions of the country. And of course, those who hate Christianity are all to happy to exploit gay people and victims of pedophelia in order to feed their hatred.

    If Christians are becoming more tolerant of gay people, its probably because they have moved from gayness as a theory to actually SEEING gay people as children of God. Why did it take so long? The Catholic church, anyway, is always slow to embrace the latest zeitgeist which changes with every generation.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  5. Alexxol

    to follow Jesus is not about congregating or accepting a group because of how diverse their lifestyle is, rather it is the way to submit oneself to a higher authority, God, by following his commands. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a congregation seeking acceptance from other people.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Thoughts

      Well said!

      October 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • ummm

      "God, by following his commands. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a congregation seeking acceptance from other people."

      Ok so by your logic we get to put women back in the home, stone our children to death if they talk back to us, a woman has to marry their rapist, we get to have slaves again. Oh...that's right....we look at the book from a historical perspective and realized it wasn't ok to do those things....we grew up....who knew....now....time to grow up again....

      October 26, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  6. Loren

    I am bored by this whole exchange. I am tired of hearing LGBT whine about the majority culture's failure to whole-heartedly accept them. I am tired of hearing so-called Christian condemn their behavior. The fact of the matter is that LGBT are a biologic aberration, and while they may want acceptance, it is the nature of all societies to shun those that are aberrations, finding a variety of ways to wall them off from general society. Great, give them civil unions, let them march in their costumes on the streets, but that will never make them the same as the majority of society. They should learn to accept that.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Observer

      Loren,

      Left-handed people are a biologic aberration. What should be done about them? What about people born with birth defects?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      We get it. You don't like gays and lesbians. However, a rational, educated society accepts them as equals. Ignorant, superst.itious cultures seek to isolate that which frightens them. It's more about bigotry than science.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • ummm

      "let them march in their costumes on the streets,"

      LMAO and straights don't do that either huh? What about all the drunk people who ware colored wigs, paint their bodies, dress up in colorful attire, hold up finger puppets, wave around colorful towels while screaming at a bunch of guys running around with a pig skin ball. Yeah, morally repugnant, but they are accepted.

      People with prejudice like yours should be kept away from society, your a disgrace to our nation that was founded on equal rights.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Rose

      So because we are different and societies hate those who are different we deserve what we are getting? Why should we stop at learning to accept where we are. Do you think we should have learned to accept it back when people killed us because of what we were and no one did anything about it. By your logic we should have accepted it back then.

      Look throughout history. There are many occasions when the aberrations stood up and fought and earned those rights they so believed that were theirs all along. This world would not be in the place we are today if it wasn't for such great people. Because of those people who fought societies beliefs of the time women have the right to vote and are not considered property by the law. America was created. African Americans would still be slaves and or lesser citizens (not comparing their fight to ours as I know that some may be offended by that just stating a face) Those who fought against the status quo and what is natural and acceptable in society at the time are the ones who have shaped this world.

      I may not like alot in the LGBT community. But that is not because they are wrong its because it offends my sensibilities. However instead of telling them how to live their lives I let them be themselves and accept it as part of who we are as a whole. People constantly say how we are better than the animals. But when it comes to being better than the animals but are we? Animals can love unconditionally and rarely if ever hate unconditionally. Can humans say the same?

      October 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Thoughts

      @ummm why should people like her be locked away from society if you defend equal rights?

      October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Huh

      "@ummm why should people like her be locked away from society if you defend equal rights?"

      You must be a christian with that nice twisting job, I don't see locked in that comment? LMAO!

      October 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  7. Mike from CT

    Wow

    1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

    But it was the author who was in fear of confession by the first paragraph, way to misapply that to the "church"

    October 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  8. Thoughts

    @hippypoet I believe because I have seen God at work in my life. I have every reason not to believe but I am compelled to believe because of what I have experienced. I grew up in a believing home by open minded parents. I was never told what to believe and allowed to buck and question what they believed. My conversion wasn't public or brought on by some service or ritual. I can't explain it but what didn't make sense and still doesn't at times suddenly did in my heart and not my mind. Discount that if you will but, i stand behind it. Where did the bible come from. There are dead sea scrolls that do exist and have been proven to be 2000 years old. Scripture from those books are found in the bible. There was excess scripture found on those scrolls that wasn't included in the bible we have today because human's got together and determined that it didn't tell the story of God or wasn't written by people who spent time with Jesus. I believe it is true because I do and because science has proved the authenticity of the dead sea scrolls. I have been angry, bitter and resentful towards God in my life but i cling to the transformation of my heart and I pursue the transformation of my mind.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • hippypoet

      well thoughts, that was very thoughtful... i can respect that... but do you believe in the ten commandments?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Thoughts

      ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

      TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

      THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

      FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

      FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

      SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

      SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

      EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

      NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

      TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

      Yes.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Thoughts,

      Yes. Not one word about gays in there, but condemnation of the s3x lives of heteros is there.

      So why all the emphasis on gays when it is heteros who far far more often violate the Ten Commandments by adultery?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Thoughts

      @observer I haven't said anything about what I believe about LGBT. Hippypoet asked me if I believe in the ten commandments. I posted them for clarification based on the outrageous commandements that been posted about killing rebellious children etc. We are all commanded not to do things that we do. I agree with that! I haven't said anything about anyone being in sin outside of all have sinned and fallen short.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  9. CJ

    Christians are not embracing people who (choose) their life style. If they are embracing you it is to pray for you and by getting you in our enviroment you will change. You do not have to have religion to know that your way of life is not normal by just looking at the animals around us. They (choose) male and female to re-produce. I want you to explain to me how your way of life is to re-produce and not by using science but mother nature. Look at it this way if the whole world was your way we would all cease to exist. So is that what you want for us to that live the normal mother nature way to become endangered?

    October 26, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Danny

      And by which authority do you think you can speak for me, a gay Christian who are active in a Christian community where people fully accept me for who I am? You are just as bigoted as the next Fox News "Christian" commentator.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • cmxsmitty

      So straight people who use IVF are what in your opinion? They can't reproduce so they use science. Do they count as normal in your eyes?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • tb63

      World population is fast approaching seven billion and you think everyone should procreate?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Observer

      CJ,
      "Look at it this way if the whole world was your way we would all cease to exist."

      TOTAL IGNORANCE. Gays and lesbians can reproduce. Read a "Biology for Dummies" book so you won't make such mindless statements.

      Get an education.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Seriously?

      "You do not have to have religion to know that your way of life is not normal by just looking at the animals around us. "

      Ummmm duh....it's been found in over 1500 animal species that they have gay relationships. Oh and the APA has stated that being gay is normal. Your prejudice is an abomination.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Seriously?

      "So is that what you want for us to that live the normal mother nature way to become endangered?"

      Wow keep showing your ignorance we are about to hit 7 billion people and if we keep going this planet does not have the capacity to handle all these people. This will also cause the extinction of many animals because humans in their stupidity will invade their habitat. Wow what meds are you taking?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • tb63

      Imagine how much worse overpopulation would have been without gays and lesbians.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • CJ

      wow did I hit a nerve or what. Hummmm over populated........ we have how many people dying all over the world???? and no I do not agree with people getting science to help them get pregnant in any way form or fashionl. You are messing with mother nature's natual way of life and so all these people that end of having up to 6 babies deserves it because of beliving in scinces way of life.
      Danny please define Christian to me please in your knowledge.
      tb63 – so you think now
      observer-please tell me how you can reproduce mother natures way not science.
      Seriously – so you think along with tb63 that we should cease to exist,the human race?
      tb63 – no your aids took care of that.

      October 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Seriously?

      "Seriously – so you think along with tb63 that we should cease to exist,the human race?"

      LMAO you're logic is so stupid, you know quite well in this day an age it won't happen. Your illogical response is only to justify your prejudice heart, nothing more. Grow up.

      October 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • tb63

      No further comment. Just rolling my eyes here.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • J.W

      Human race cease to exist? There are 7 billion of us. We are a long way from that happening. Plus just because gays exist does not mean that some day everyone will be gay. There are also people who cannot have children that need artificial means to do it. If you want the world to become more populated then why deny them the right to have children by artificial means?

      October 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  10. Joe

    Did he really say "good Christians believe"...and use a passage of Scripture that truly has nothing to do with the ethical or moral discussion concerning this isssue? Ross, I would love to have an honest and real discussion but clearly your agenda won't allow it!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Marc

      I couldn't agree with you more. It is troubling to know that as quickly as people like to condemn Christians for their Biblical beliefs (especially when they are uncomfortable) they bring thier own bias. If everyone would humbly acknowledge their epistemological stance we might be able to actually engage in a meaningful and productive dialogue.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Rhiannon

      Thinly-veiled agenda running thoughout this article...thank you for continuing to promote dis-unity and misrepresenting the Christian viewpoint! Let's agree that I will NEVER assume that I could speak for your perspective and you quit trying to speak for ours. Maybe a bit harsh, but I hate when someone thinks they are clever enough to slip their agenda by without anyone noticing!

      October 26, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • god

      @ Rhiannon who wrote, " Let's agree that I will NEVER assume that I could speak for your perspective and you quit trying to speak for ours."

      Singling out are we and then in the same sentence you presume to be speaking for an amassing? I can never assume you to speak for any mass!

      October 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  11. C

    2Timothy 3 sums it up in a nutshell. TRUE Christians know that the WORD does not change from the Old Test. To the New Test. That same word from 2000 years ago still applies for today – no exceptions and no one is exempt. Romans chapt 1 & 2. Yes we r not to judge. What happens is the Word when spoken or read is what brings the conviction and judges. In the end ALL of us will have to face the REAL TRUTH and nothing can be said

    October 26, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Observer

      Timothy also says (I Timothy 2:12) “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”

      So what is your point?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @C
      According to the Old Testament, eating a pepperoni pizza is an affront to God – as is shaving your face.
      If you live by all of the OT rules, I'll eat my hat (which is made of sinful poly-cotton blend).

      October 26, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  12. Thoughts

    Hypocricy is a human condition not just a Christian one. Example: Judging Christians for Judging People.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      It's only hypocrisy to judge someone if youbelive judging is wrong. If you don't think judging is wrong, it's not hypicritical to judge.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  13. middlekeith

    It is not that LGBT should not be accepted as 'equal' in worth in God's sight. It is the matter of practicing their lifestyle within the church of Christ that is more of a question of acceptance. Let's not be confused about this issue.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  14. Roman Catholic

    Same with my comment

    October 26, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  15. Thoughts

    @hippypoet I understand your stance. I don't understand how an article about the church beginning to embrace LGBT says that God hates gays. Yes, there are bigots who like to put words in God's mouth. The most common gospel passage Says that "God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him....." whosoever doesn't exclude anyone. You yourself questioned why @brad God hates gays that is something that someone other than God said. True, the bible says a whole lot of things that God hates but they are actions not people. If a believer believes in the God of the bible then they believe that God loves everyone. The bible says they the world will know Christians by their fruits. Those fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. If you don't see those things in someone maybe you haven't met a Christian or someone who holds strongly to their belief and is transformed by it.
    As far as the Hitler comment, many "christians" and Hitler would make good bedfellows. God doesn't hate people, people do. We believers would be better to do the things Jesus did instead of saying things he didn't.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • hippypoet

      so why then use then bible as anything but a bed time story for your children? You clearly bleieve right? may i ask why? may i also ask who was it that first started you on this path?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • TR6

      I'm not so sure about god loving everyone. He didn't seem very loveing when he messed up Job

      October 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Thoughts

      @TR6 How does that story start out? Does he do it or does satan ask God to let him disrupt Job's life to see if he was truly faithful? God says do what you will just don't kill Job....

      October 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Observer

      Thoughts,

      Job’s 500 oxen and 500 donkeys were stolen; most of his servants were killed; 3,000 camels were stolen; God sent down a fire that killed Job’s 7,000 sheep, and killed children.

      This is what God did to one of his most loyal followers. Really impressive. Think what would have happened if God didn't love Job.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Thoughts

      @observer God's son was wrongfully accused of blasphemy, beaten almost to death, spit on, given a crown of thorns. This was God's son, his most devoted follower. Imagine what he would have done to the unbeliever, oh he didn't have to because he did it to his own son.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Louis in GA

    With all due respect, using a biblical passage on love to justify a sin that is universally condemned in the Bible (including by the Apostle Paul) is ridiculous. I agree that all people should be treated with respect and love and I believe that Christianity is the only religion that offers a real plan for redeeming mankind – not by excusing and embracing sin but by providing salvation from sin. Whats wrong is wrong – period.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  17. Thoughts

    I meant to type "Shouldn't try to confine it to our ideas.."

    October 26, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  18. brad

    Here are all the atheists again. Mad as usual. What causes this anger? God of course. He's the itch the atheist can't reach so as to scratch it. That would make anyone mad. What's worse, since God "doesn't exist", the itch is only imaginary. Ever try to scratch an imaginary itch? It would make a person delusional and psychotic and abandon his reason no matter how powerful he thinks his mind is.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • hippypoet

      we are not mad at an itch... only a few bit ches that hate on gays when there is nothing wrong with them as people. And your gay hating god who is supposedly all loving and compassionite apparently falls short here, and others but we are only discussing this at the moment. why does your god dislike the gay folks huh.... maybe he had some daddy issues of his own... maybe your god is a self hating gay like hitler was a self hating jew! and yes i just compared your god with hitler, they are perfect bed mates!

      October 26, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      We're not mad at god. Most of us would admit that the existence of a god is a possibility. We're mad at Christianity because so many of you are self righteous, hypocritical ignorant bigots that are so incredibly arrogant and narcissistic that you think you can understand the wishes of the creator of the entire cosmos. What a joke.

      Oh, and "delusional, psychotic" and "abandon his reason" describes Christians to a T.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • myklds

      @hippypoet you said and I quote, "And your gay hating god who is supposedly all loving and compassionite apparently falls short here"

      Where did you get the idea that God hate gays?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      that as in idea is taken from how the majority of believers treat the gay folks...with distain, hatred, and some claim it is against gods law. Most argue against it as a princible but some say that they are ok with it but then come out with but they are still going to hell... i just can't wrap my head around it. How can a loving compassionate god treat any THING this way. There are creatures of every shape and size on this planet of ours and we hate on our own more then any other – and use religion as a pretext to do it!

      October 26, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • ummm

      "Here are all the atheists again. Mad as usual. What causes this anger?"

      Hate to break it to you bud, but they're not angry, that is you reading into what is being written. I personally feel no anger at all, just disgust at the prejudice being shown by your group.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • tallulah13

      So why are you so upset that atheists want to join the conversation, brad? Is it because you want us to shut up and go away? Gosh isn't that whole freedom of speech thing a pain.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • J.W

      I think it should be a law that each person must marry someone of a different religious belief than them. That way we can learn to love and not hate.

      October 26, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • myklds

      @Hippypoet you said:

      "that as in idea is taken from how the majority of believers treat the gay"

      Do you think that's fair?

      Would you agree if I'll say that America is a Christian nation just because majority of its citizens are Christians?

      October 27, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  19. Thoughts

    Many of you seem to know the bible well enough to show that you have looked in to some of these things for yourselves. Maybe to defend your stance. Maybe you just searched for related verses. I don't know. If you read it from cover to cover you will find God, who transcends human understanding. Moses didn't see the burning bush talking to him and say "well, yeah...that makes sense." Even Thomas, a disciple didn't believe that Jesus was raised from the dead without proof. It doesn't make sense, it's not logical. That is why it is called faith. The faith is in God not man. It is a heart issue not a mind issue. To those that don't believe, why don't you? because of the way a christian (human) acts? That has nothing to do with faith in God, that is faith in a person. "That person should act more like the son of God that he believes in." Believers can look like a bunch of ass holes because we are human. What is the point of the human life? Every living creature has a purpose. They make honey, build dams, provide food, and they all do it well. What is our purpose to accrue debt, work our tails off and fall into depression? Or to live in community and glorify the God who created us? The love of Christ isn't lived out behind picket signs and condemning remarks but by loving our neighbor as ourselves, and letting go of our fears. The gospel isn't comfortable and we should try to confine it to our ideas. In Isaiah it says that his ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. We sure would like to make them to be like ours but they aren't. If you believe, pursue Christ and live out that love. If you don't believe, don't base that on human nature. Surely, if you don't believe then you don't hold Christians at a higher standard.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • dg

      I don't believe in god and I hold christians up to my standard as well as the one they have set for themselves via the bible. Unfortunately, I would say about 9 out of 10 don't come close to the standard that the god of the bible set and usually 10 out of 10 don't meet my standards of intellectual honesty, pursuing endeavors that don't include deluding myself, unless I am fully aware I am doing so and am doing so for entertainment purposes only.

      October 26, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @thoughts
      Faith is the voluntary cessation of rational inquiry, which many atheists find counter-intuitive, if not downright anathemic.
      Believers and non-believers often have difficulty communicating effectively with one another because faith is an emotion – and there can be no rational response to an emotional argument.
      When a believer says "open your heart to God and He will reveal Himself", they're basically saying "stop thinking and start feeling".

      October 26, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  20. A christian

    so i guess my comment wasnt good enough to be published. Oh well.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • LinCA

      @A christian

      You said, "so i guess my comment wasnt good enough to be published. Oh well."

      If your post doesn't show it was most likely censored. CNN uses automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. My guess is that your post had had a forbidden word in it. Posts that contain too many URLs will also get rejected.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
      arse
      bastard
      bitch
      cock
      coon
      cum
      cunt
      douche
      effing
      fag
      ftw
      fuck
      homo
      horny
      jackass
      jap
      jism
      kooch
      nipple
      orgy
      pis
      porn
      poo
      prick
      rape
      sex
      shit
      slut
      snatch
      spic
      tit
      twat
      vag
      whore
      wtf

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      October 26, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • TR6

      It is god's will

      October 26, 2011 at 12:31 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.