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My take: Why Christians are criticizing my Christian marriage and sex book
January 24th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

My take: Why Christians are criticizing my Christian marriage and sex book

Editor’s note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

You try to write a book on marriage and sex with your wife and next thing you know there are a lot of ants crashing your picnic.

My wife, Grace, and I recently published "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together," which quickly became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.

In it, we’re brutally honest about our past struggles, share the lessons we learned along the way and talk frankly about sex. Criticism has ensued.

If you wish to find that criticism, just do a Google search. You’ll find plenty. My intent here is not to name names and pick a fight with my critics, but to provide context on why there is criticism.

We knew before we wrote the book that we’d catch a lot of flak, especially on the chapters dealing with sex. We also knew the criticism would come from every direction, as some people would think we went too far and others would think we didn’t go far enough.

But we wrote it anyway. Why? Simply put, we want to help marriages — and single people aspiring to marry — and we wanted to do so in a way that is practical, biblical and applicable to the reality of today’s culture.

If the book accomplishes that, we’ll take the criticism in exchange for helping people. We don’t think our book is perfect and we tell folks upfront (literally in the preface) to take what is helpful and leave the rest.

The book identifies three ways people tend to view sex: as gross, as a god and as a gift.

Sex as gross

Some people are very uncomfortable talking about sex, even with their spouses.

Many Christians, because of upbringing and past church experiences, view sex as gross and something that should not be talked about in public.

Unfortunately, this view is pervasive in the church. Many couples have honest questions about sex and various sexual acts but struggle to find a pastor willing to teach on these topics.

With nowhere else to turn, these couples find wrong and damaging answers in magazines, television, movies, porn and more.

The practical result is that couples divorce their sex from their spirituality, talking to their pastors about “spiritual” issues and ordering their love life around advice from “secular” sources.

Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, read the headlines on the women’s magazines that are shouting at little kids standing in line with their parents. Our culture has made the wrong answers about sex far easier to find than the church has made the right answers to find.

Those who view sex as gross criticize our book because we speak too openly and frankly about sex for their taste. The accusation is that the private counsel that pastors give to people in the church isn’t suitable to give in a public context.

But many critics tend to want to debate nuances of theology rather than engage head-on the practical realities that many people are facing.

I’ve written systematic theology books with hundreds of footnotes. "Real Marriage" is not that kind of book. It’s a practical book rooted in the Bible.

We call everything a sin that the Bible does and we give directives for married couples to use wisdom and conscience in discussing what they do and do not want to do sexually on matters to which the Bible doesn’t speak.

Because we believe the Bible is God’s perfect and sufficient word, we don’t want to add to it what we want or the archconservative Christian culture wants.

Conversely, we don’t want to remove anything from it just because some people find it uncomfortable.

People in our churches are dealing with the issues discussed in "Real Marriage," and to pretend these aren’t real issues and to avoid talking about them is akin to closing your eyes and declaring that you don’t see the need we are serving. If ministry leaders don’t address these issues in some way, we’re religious cowards who do a disservice to our church.

Before we get to the trickiest sexual questions, based upon what many people are already doing, our book deals with marriage in the context of friendship, men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities and how to deal with sin so that marriage gets better rather than bitter.

When we do get around to evaluating sex acts, we ask three simple questions, based upon 1 Corinthians 6:12 in the Bible: 1. Is it lawful? 2. Is it helpful? 3. Is it enslaving?

Each of these questions leaves room for couples to be grownups and to determine what works for them sexually by allowing them to examine their hearts and the scriptures – and to act according to their consciences on whether they wish to participate in sexual activities that the Bible neither forbids nor condones.

While it may be fun for bloggers and critics to discuss these things, our hope was that couples would instead be the ones having these conversations to build their marriages in ways that don’t pressure, abuse or use one another.

Sex as a god

There are some who think about almost nothing else but sex, treating it as a kind of god. This can happen in the form of addiction to sex or porn, severe promiscuity, adultery or participating in various sexual acts that the Bible speaks against, making personal preference and desire more important than what God says about sex.

This view of sex is pervasive, as many go to extraordinary lengths to fulfill their sexual desires, even when it’s not good for them physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally.

Even worse, this view causes some to do unspeakable acts against others in the form of rape, assault, marital sexual assault, pedophilia, sex trafficking and more – making literal human sacrifices to their god of sex.

Those who view sex as a god criticize our book because it doesn’t go far enough for them. Because we teach that the Bible does call some sex acts sin, such as pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, adultery and more, we are criticized for being judgmental, prudish, antiquated and fundamentalist.

We understand that not everyone will believe what we believe, but as Christians who view the Bible as our highest authority in life, we don’t write the mail, we simply deliver it.

In the end, for conservatives we’re too liberal, and for liberals we’re too conservative. We can’t win.

Thankfully, we’re not concerned with winning. We’re concerned with helping others build healthy, happy and holy, God-glorifying marriages.

Sex as a gift

What Grace and I have found in nearly 20 years of marriage and more than 15 years of ministry is that both the church and culture often get sex wrong.

So we went back to the scriptures to see what they have to say.

The Bible gives us a different way to think of sex. Instead of seeing it as gross or slavishly worshiping it as a god, the Bible teaches that sex is a powerful and exhilarating gift that God gives to married couples.

It is also a deeply spiritual act, bringing together a husband and a wife to be one flesh (Genesis 2:24), binding them together on a spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and neurological level.

As a deeply spiritual act, it’s important for people to understand what the Bible teaches (and doesn’t teach) about sex, to be able to speak openly and honestly with their ministry leaders regarding sex, and to find solid, biblical teaching on sex.

God has a plan for sex: that it is to be enjoyed between one man and one woman in the context of marriage. This means that there are certain types of sex acts that abuse and misuse the good gift of sex that God gave, and that we are to honor God with our bodies by living our sexual lives in a way that glorifies him and honors the scriptures.

In our book, we blow up some common misconceptions about sex (like that the Bible prohibits stripteases or oral sex). We help people understand that it’s God’s intent that we steward and enjoy the gift of sex, like every gift he gives, in such a way that is glorious to him, good for our marriages and a lot of fun.

It is our prayer that you and your spouse would move past any misconceptions of how you’ve seen sex and understand it to be a gift from God. A gift to be stewarded. A gift to be guarded. A gift to be enjoyed. And a gift to be shared together for God’s glory and your good as friends.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion • Sex

soundoff (750 Responses)
  1. Wolf Blitzer

    Get angry atheists, GET ANGRY!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Show 'em how you really feel boys, get at them brooooooooooooooooo.

    January 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  2. Mike

    The best s3x of your life will be your last year of being single and your first year of being married.
    Beyond that, it is just a depressing topic.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Need to talk about it to make it better.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Not true. The first year after you get divorced is much better than the other two that you stated.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  3. Brosif Dude

    Why are the majority of atheist posts so angryyyyyy 🙁

    Let the hate go guys.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If you can't see hate an intolerance on both sides, you need to open your eyes.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Brosif Dude

      @facepalm

      True that it is on both sides, however the skewness of the distribution is definitely tilted more towards the atheists. I'd estimate that 80% lies with atheists and 20% with Christians.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Brosif – we obviously now know which side of the aisle your on.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Brosif Dude

      @faceplant

      Good for you, doesn't make what I said any less true. Nice job of switching topics to something not relevant in an attempt to dismiss my claims. You'd make an excellent politician.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Brosif Dude,
      Your assumption that most Atheists are angry is incorrect.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I'll admit that I'm an a hole. Damn right! It's just so frustrating that there are so many delusional people who will believe in something for which there is no rational basis for believing in it. Especially when it is the reason for most of the evil things that happen in the world.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Brosif – it doesn't make what you said any more true, either. It was a pointless number, since your estimation clearly has no basis in fact. Anyone that can actually read and count on their fingers would see that. Thus, replying to the original comment would have been a waste of bandwidth.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Mistawow

      I agree with you, mainly the reason there are more angry atheists is because Satan hates Christians and all they believe in, so when there is a post on the Internet that promotes God in anyway, he will flame them. He also knows his days are numbered and so he Is trying harder to beat us down! We can rest in the assurance that Jesus won that victory for us, therefore we really don't have to be angry, we can love evn those that do us wrong.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Billy

      @nonimus – Most angry people don't admit they're angry.

      @jimtanker – I disagree with your analysis and think you need to dig deeper. It's a quite appealing excuse though.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • saopaco

      Brosif Dude, spend your life in a society that tries to indoctrinate you into a religion that you do not believe in, that fights to get even more special priveleges based on their majority status, and who insist on telling other people how to live their lives – all the while crying that they are the ones being oppressed. It gets old. You wonder why a non-christian might be unhappy in such a (nominally secular) culture? It should be apparent.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Fiona

      Brosif, you see what your bigoted mind wants you to see. I come from a long line of intensely Catholic people. My family includes nuns and priests. The priests are some of the most unloving, angry, judgmental hypocrites I've ever known. The nuns are self-serving. My personal experience of so-called Christian belief is NOT a loving or beneficent one. Quite the contrary. And that experience includes time spent among so-called fundamentalists.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • justme

      Atheists are the only people I know who fight so hare to disprove the existence of something they believe doesn't exist.

      January 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Billy,
      Some I suppose, but what's the point, that would apply to both sides, correct?

      @justme,
      Except, of course, creationists, correct? (trying to disprove evolution?)

      January 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  4. Robert

    The more significant problem many of us (evangelical Christians) have with Mark's book is that it a) lacks wisdom, b) employs a faulty system for determining if something is useful, c) has a terrible view of women, and d) misses the point. It is an immature attempt at defining a complicated, but important problem. Though I am thankful for Mark's ministry, this book has missed the target it aimed for...badly.

    If you want a better book read Tim Keller's recent book on marriage. It is both wise and gentle. Which is a better example and more reasonable a proposal.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Fiona

    It's none of the choices - neither god, nor "gross", nor gift. It's intimacy, and that's what most people have trouble with. It's what most marriages have trouble with long before lack of contact becomes a symptom.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  6. ELR

    Believe those seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.-Andre Gide

    January 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Sweep

    Great response to criticism.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  8. jimmytwoshoes

    I'm with you magnus. If it does, I'm getting it for my wife to read.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Matthew Petersen

    Watching Christians and Atheists argue on the internet is like watching kindergarteners argue in the playground.........

    January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Jewlee

    Would this book even need to exist if Christianity or any religion based on the bible or Quran were around? I don't see Buddhists or atheists or agnostics needing a book to let go of their guilt and hangups.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  11. cfonyc

    I have a burning question...
    God seems to condone oral, which is good, but what about anal?
    I needs to know if I is sinning!

    January 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

      You'd have to ask a "morality expert" like Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Patrick Lewis

      You offended me. Therefore, it's a sin. Have fun in hell. Remember to bring some marshmallows.

      (of course, I'm kidding)

      January 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Flames

      Oral is perfectly fine if swallowed and followed by some holy wine.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • J-Ex

      I'm not sure about sin, but I'm pretty sure you'll have much less medical issues if you stick to oral.....then again thrush sucks.....literally

      January 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • nown

      @cfonyc
      "I have a burning question..."
      Go, see a doctor.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Guest

    I am offended and sickened that they keep trying to shove that garbage in our faces all the time
    Its always on the tv and radio,always being crammed down our throats and taught to our children

    ugh,christianity

    January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • RC

      No one held a gun to your head when you decided to click on the link to land on this page. No one forced you to keep reading, or to make a reply. If you have a problem with the subject, leave.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Billy

      Hahahahaha hypocrisy much? Ugh atheists.

      I guess you'd be OK with anything violent or $exual in nature, but oh noooooo somebody can't try to promote morals, what a terrible person that must be! hahahahah what a clown.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Psychaitrists will tell u that there are three types of knowledge-intuition, intelligence and instinct in order of usefulness. The rational 5 senses are superseded by the intuitive 6th sense. How we percieve these with the 6th is one they are still investigating. Science does not prove atheism.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @RC,
      No guns? Just laws against certain se.xual acts, even between consenting adults, and certain civil relationships, i.e. same-s.ex marriage. The force of law is force, none-the-less.

      @Nii Croffie,
      "Psychaitrists will tell u that there are three types of knowledge-intuition, intelligence and instinct in order of usefulness. The rational 5 senses are superseded by the intuitive 6th sense. How we percieve these with the 6th is one they are still investigating. Science does not prove atheism."
      Please cite the paper where Psychiatrists talk about "the rational 5 senses [being] superseded by the intuitive 6th sense."
      Atheism is a lack of belief; of course science doesn't "prove" it. They don't believe in Santa Clause, either.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • bigot

      "but oh noooooo somebody can't try to promote morals"

      Oh, by moral you mean like discrimination against gays, the beating and raping of women, beating and killing of children, war, pillaging of civilizations, right?

      January 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Billy

      @bigot

      No, I actually mean nothing of the sorts, nice try though.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • saopaco

      Guest has every right to comment on this religious article and express displeasure that christianity is over promoted in our society. If you do not like Guest's comments, follow your own advice and do not read them.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • justme

      Compared to the general nature of shows and even commercials these days the only thing on TV is of a se xual nature. If you come across it on TV you can change the channel, and on the Radio too. Christian broadcasting has their own channels, the only time it is on normal TV is Sunday morning. The only people trying to force it down you throats is the other person who said the same thing, you dislike Christian's just to dislike them and for no other reason. If teaching you to love others and do good is forcing something down you throat then we all need to have a serious talk with our parents.

      January 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  13. BraveSaintStuart

    Driscoll can sound so normal sometimes. And then he can call an entire nation "cowards" and completely fall of his rocker. His disrespect towards God in relationship to how he treats women is astonishingly ignorant.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • kate

      In Driscoll's Real Marriage sermon, he openly apologizes to the church for things he has said in the past, and how his relationship with his wife effected his tone in his sermons:

      "Meanwhile, I’m a world-famous preacher. And my tone started to become more chauvinistic and harsher, and it was all the bitterness in my heart, something I’ll always regret. And if you were at Mars Hill, I want to publicly ask your forgiveness for that, and I want to, by the grace of God, set a better example." -Driscoll

      January 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • filtered

      Kate – I'm glad to hear that and hope he can continue down that path. His future actions and words will show if he is truly sorry and wants to change.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  14. kate

    I've read about half of real marriage, and also have been following Mark's sermons (while being in a relationship). So far, combining all of the real marriage material, it has been extremely helpful in my relationship. Their transparency in their relationship has helped my boyfriend and I open up and start talking about things that matter (aka. Jesus and Marriage) While Mark and Grace have a great book, I think that it's much more telling to LISTEN to them answer questions and preach a sermon.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  15. Truth

    The funny thing is that the atheists are trying to do the exact same thing as the Christians. Both have a belief that neither can empirically prove, yet they both claim the other side is wrong and they're right. Atheists you are the same as Christians in that regard, haha.

    Bring on the flack, sorry guys but it's the truth, I'm sure you'll be more than happy to bring forth the rebuttal though. People don't want to admit wrong or hypocrisy, they'd rather just make excuses and reasoning as to why they're right.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Atheists lack of beliefs (a lack of a belief is not a belief unless bald is a hair color) is based upon a lack of empirical evidence. How you can possibly equate that with a belief in something that has no evidence is beyond me. Logic Fail.

      Believers reject thousands of different gods. Atheists reject them all. In this way, they are at least quite similar. I find it odd that believers can discredit so many different deities and not see the atheist point of view.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Ms Galaxy

      And what atheist "belief" would that be? If you disingenuously say belief in evolution, that will make me throw up a little bit in my mouth.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • GoFigure

      I just wonder if Athiest spend as much time on stories about the Toothfairy (we all know they like making those references) as they do about stories about God and religion. Tis truly a phenomenon. 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bizarre

      GoFigure,

      If stories about the Tooth Fairy had a societal and political effect on everyone's daily lives, I'll just bet even you would care about them.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ms Galaxy

      @GoFigure: That's plural: atheistS <- see the second "s"? And I personally prefer the Easter Bunny.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Ken

      Atheists BELIEVE there is no God. Agnostics say they don't believe because there is no evidence of God's existence.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Ms Galaxy

      Ken: Assumption. Most atheists will tell you they LACK belief in a god. That is very different from saying thet BELIEVE there is no god. As an atheist, I DO NOT BELIEVE there is a god. (See the negative term?) To say I believe there isn't would be an untruth. (That would be a positive statement.) While it may be a subtle difference, it is a very important one. Theists often get this wrong and want to argue what atheists do or don't believe, but that is as insulting as astheists telling theists what theists believe. Got it?

      January 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Pitcher

      To FacePalm:
      wait..... how do you not believe in "something" that you acknowledge??

      "Believers reject thousands of different gods. Atheists reject them all" Just wondering

      January 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Lomunchi

      If all these regligious people are all just believing in the easter bunny, then why are all the Athiests up in their faces about what they believe? Folks, if they're just misguided and wasting their time the logical thing is to walk away and shake your head, not to protest, hire billboard and bus signs and spend your resournces trying to discredit them. There's often more to Atheism than 'not beliving'.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Kevin

      Wrong. Atheism is the lack of belief in higher powers, and nothing else.

      To attach anything else to the term is intellectual dishonesty and an attempt to characterize atheism by the actions of its practictioners.

      If you were a Muslim, would you want people to assume that all Muslims fly planes into towers? No? Then don't assume that atheists have a directive to attack other religions.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Pitcher – for the same reason that I don't believe in mermaids. I acknowledge that people have believed in mermaids.

      This is not hard.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "If all these regligious people are all just believing in the easter bunny, then why are all the Athiests up in their faces about what they believe? Folks, if they're just misguided and wasting their time the logical thing is to walk away and shake your head, not to protest, hire billboard and bus signs and spend your resournces trying to discredit them. "

      If people wanted to pass laws to start teaching Easter bunnyism in schools, I'd complain pretty loudly. That's just an example.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "Atheists BELIEVE there is no God. Agnostics say they don't believe because there is no evidence of God's existence."

      Theism – belief. Gnosticism – knowledge.

      One can easily be an agnostic (lack of knowledge) atheist (lack of belief). I don't know that there isn't a god. I just lack a belief in one. Same thing goes for, say, alien abductions.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • bigot

      Wow, Pitcher, you are super IGNANT

      "wait..... how do you not believe in "something" that you acknowledge??"

      He is acknowledging the fact that people have believed in thousands of gods, not that those gods exist.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      ** sigh **

      @Pitcher,
      "how do you not believe in 'something' that you acknowledge??"
      One can acknoweldge the concept without believe in the reality of that concept.

      @Lomunchi,
      "There's often more to Atheism than 'not beliving'."
      Religion and Religious believers impact Atheist's live by the laws they have, or want to have, passed, e.g. banning same-s.ex marriage, forcing Creationsism into science classes, faith-based initiatives, right to die issues, etc.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • DK

      What amazes me is that atheists think it matter if they are correct.

      If you really think that there is not God, then the Universe ends as a cold, dark place and it doesn't matter what anyone thought or did while their neural network was operational.

      At least the believers have a reason to act they way they do.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "If you really think that there is not God, then the Universe ends as a cold, dark place and it doesn't matter what anyone thought or did while their neural network was operational.

      At least the believers have a reason to act they way they do."

      I've never understood why believers need to feel Cosmically Important to find relevance in their lives. I find it the height of arrogance that one should consider oneself Important to the Universe. I can find plenty of meaning here on earth in my own life. No deity required. But you'd actually have to think outside of your tiny religious box to see that.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • nown

      @DK
      "If you really think that there is not God, then the Universe ends as a cold, dark place and it doesn't matter what anyone thought or did while their neural network was operational."
      It matters to the neural network while it is operational. By your logic, why do believer's pat any attention to this world when all that matters is in the next one?

      "At least the believers have a reason to act they way they do."
      Which is what? Fear?

      January 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • The Citizen X

      Actually, you are partially right and partially wrong. One can empirically prove that Christianity is a false religion. Problem is, most Christians refuse to accept logic, archaelogical evidence, historical evidence, or scientific evidence, as their beliefs are due to faith. Evidence is simply an annoyance to them.

      Many atheists, on the other hand, have difficulty with terminology. To be an atheist is to assert there is no god; to suggest that you know there is no god.

      In regards to Christianity and every one of man's religions that I have studied, I am an atheist. I know that none of these gods exist and in regards to each of these religions, there is no god.

      However, to assert that no god exists is to assume knowledge of the universe. No man can make such an assertion at this level of human knowledge. So, regarding deism; regarding the existence of a deity that has placed the law of physics and the laws of the universe into motion, one simply does not know if such a deity exists.

      So, in regards to deism, we are all agnostics. We simply do not know if a god exists. However, we can choose to believe that a god exists, or we can choose to believe that a god does not exist.

      Personally, I believe that a god does not exist. But honestly, I simply do not know.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reid

      I recommend reading The Irrational Atheist to see the faith requirement of atheists.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @The Citizen X,
      "One can empirically prove that Christianity is a false religion."
      Your wording is oddly specific, but one cannot empirically "prove" that the Christian God does not exist. At least, no one has done that to date, as far as I'm aware.

      "To be an atheist is to assert there is no god; to suggest that you know there is no god."
      I disagree. "a disbelief in the existence of deity" (one difinition at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism)

      January 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Complete lack of proof that something exists is proof that it does not exist. Sorry, xtians.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  16. Christopher Hitchens

    Giggity giggity

    Get at me brooooooooo

    January 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  17. Observer

    For some of the hypocrites who want to deny gay marriage to people in love, here are the words of Paul from the New Testament:

    – I Corinthians 7:1-2 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman.’ But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife and each woman is to have own husband.”

    January 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Brad

      That's plain enough, Observer. Read it carefully.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Christopher Hitchens

      You have no observation skills whatsoever.

      Get at me brooooooooooo.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Observer

      – I Corinthians 7:8-9 “Here is my advice for people who have never been married and for widows. You should stay single, just as I am. But if you don't have enough self-control, then go ahead and get married. After all, it is better to marry than to burn with desire”

      January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Observer

      These quotes from the Bible show that marriage isn't a wonderful blessing from God, but just for those less religious people who can't control their lust.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Observer are u seeing something I am not. We are not denying people being in love. If u tell me u r in love with a dog should i applaud u. If there r standards they r for our own protection. It is not everything that makes u happy that helps u. Every parent knows this.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Observer

      Nii Croffie,

      Why do so many h0m0phobes have such problems with attention spans and staying on topic?

      This is about gays and not beasitality. Do you know the difference?

      January 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Observer

      If I could spell, it would say "beastiality".

      January 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Let's not be Bishop Spong

      You should really read all of 1 Corinthians, Observer:

      Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the se*x*ually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prost*itutes nor hom*ose*x*ual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Let's not be Bishop Spong,

      What does that have to do with what Paul said about this matter?

      It's all hypocrisy. If Christian h0m0phobes REALLY cared about sin, they'd pick on the FAR FAR GREATER number of Christians who commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Brad

      Divorce is an issue we grapple with in discussions in my congregation far more often than hom*os*exuality. The Pharisees got into this with Jesus and he dealt with: Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Without getting into the Greek, "marital unfaithfulness" is a translation of a fairly broad term. Divorce and remarriage are permissible when the divorce had legitimate grounds.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Justifying ur disbelief by saying Christians have committed crimes before? Well ok atheists have committed those same crimes so I also will not b an atheist. After all we r both the same so one side is as good as the other right. I love u as myself though n that is such a good feeling.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      @Let's not be Bishop Spong

      What sets h0m0s3xuality appart from that other list of sins. Why is it the only one on the list that can't be forgiven by god. Where is the verse that tells us so.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Dear MarcTTF

      MarcTTF – Hom*os*exuality can be a feature of one's sinful nature. Everyone has a sinful nature. We all struggle with that. The sin in question is "hom*os*exual offense". Anyone who commits such a sin can be forgiven. It is not an "unforgiveable sin". The challenge to someone who is hom*os*exual is to not commit hom*os*exual acts. Other people have other challenges. I won't go into mine. Some people would find them rather disturbing.

      January 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mistawow

      @marcTTF, the Bible does not say that being Hom0$exual is unforgivalble, it says it is an abomination to God. God create Adam (man) and then said it is not good for man to be alone, I will create him a helper, he then formed woman out of Adams rib. So, one would naturally assume that if God created man to be with woman, would it not seem obvious that It would not please God for it to be otherwise?

      January 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Red

    The sweeping generalizations made in these comment sections are embarassing.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Not all of them.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Kevin

      The ones in the article itself are worse.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  19. magnus

    I'm only reading this book if they discuss anal. do they discuss anal?

    January 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • BraveSaintStuart

      I don't like Driscoll, and haven't read the book yet, but from my understanding, yes... they do discuss anal.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • inawordyes

      in a word: yes.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  20. Observer

    I like to watch. Is that OK?

    January 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mike

      Yes, watching is fine. The Lord's prohibition only extended to graven images. Images reflected in a mirror are fine.

      January 24, 2012 at 1:53 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.