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My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality
The author writes that it's fine for Christians to take certain biblical condemnations seriously while ignoring others.
May 21st, 2012
10:00 AM ET

My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

Are conservative Christians hypocritical and selective when it comes to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality? With all that the Bible condemns, why the focus on gay sex and same-sex marriage?

Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

On its face, it’s a fair question. But it can be posed in two very different ways.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

An honest consideration of the Bible reveals that most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

The Bible’s commands on sexual behavior, on the other hand, are continued in the New Testament. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel.

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

The Old Testament clearly condemns male homosexuality along with adultery, bestiality, incest and any sex outside the covenant of marriage. The New Testament does not lessen this concern but amplifies it.

The New Testament condemns both male and female homosexual behavior. The Apostle Paul, for example, points specifically to homosexuality as evidence of human sinfulness. His point is not merely that homosexuals are sinners but that all humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The New Testament condemns a full range of sexual sins, and homosexuality is specified among these sins. In Romans, Paul refers to homosexuality in terms of “dishonorable passions,” “contrary to nature” and “shameless.” As New Testament scholar Robert Gagnon has stated, the Bible’s indictment “encompasses every and any form of homosexual behavior.”

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality?

Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity. For this reason, the abolitionist movement was largely led by Christians, armed with Christian conviction.

The Old Testament did allow for polygamy, though it normalizes heterosexual monogamy. In the New Testament, Jesus made clear that marriage was always meant to be one man and one woman.

“Have you not read that He who created them made them male and female?” Jesus asked in Matthew. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” For this reason, Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds.

Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.

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Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality. At the same time, our confidence is that God condemns those things that will bring his human creatures harm and commands those things that will lead to true human happiness and flourishing.

In other words, we understand that the Bible condemns all forms of sin because our Creator knows what is best for us. The Bible names sins specifically so that each of us will recognize our own sinfulness and look to Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.

Christian love requires that we believe and teach what the Bible teaches and that we do so with both strong conviction and humble hearts. The Church must repent of our failures in both of these tasks, but we must not be silent where the Bible speaks.

Are Christians hypocrites in insisting that homosexual behavior is sin? We, too, are sinners, and hypocrisy and inconsistency are perpetual dangers.

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

At the same time, this painful failure must remind us that we must not fail to answer rightly when asked what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Love requires us to tell the truth.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (7,995 Responses)
  1. Kleb

    Al Mohler makes me want to hurl. That anyone takes him seriously is astounding.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • cbinal

      Now you know how I feel with the 99% of the other articles on CNN always bent against Biblical teaching.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • mike

      Go ahead and hurl, I agree with him

      May 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  2. the zen pirate

    i don't let hans christian andersen tell me how to live my life, why would i let a bunch of guys who never even knew that the earth revolved around the sun?

    May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Make darn sure you don't let them! Keep-up the good fight!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Recovering Republican

    Post Jesus Christ, and His Divine payment for our Sin; God is Love. Anything less than love, comes from the Fallen Angel.
    Nuff Said.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Just because you say it doesn't make it so. Prove it or shut the f*uck up!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • the zen pirate

      the fallen angel? what a joke. lucifer (bringer of light) is just another retelling of the prometheus story. the christian (and jewish) twist is to make knowledge a bad thing instead of a desired goal.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • JCNOW

      Recent study shows that conservatives tend to be close-minded. They look only at the information that supports their beliefs, then "close their minds" to any other information. Facts are not particularly necessary. These same people, when they post blogs, tend to end them with "nuff said."

      May 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  4. cbinal

    Someone earlier in a post put the Letters LGBTQ – Ya'll added a new letter what is the "Q"?

    May 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Tom

      questioning

      May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • cbinal

      Really?? Questioning??

      May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Hank

      The Q stands for "cute".

      Its spelled in a jokey way because that's how gays are – so very clever.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • cbinal

      I think they should rearrange the letters – GQBLT.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OK, that was funny.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  5. JD Moore

    Damn...I'm glad that you are not in charge of humanity!

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  6. steven

    To all non believers(in the risen Jesus Christ): please stop and answer one question to yourself(honestly)-

    What happens if you're wrong and the bible is true about sin, heaven, hell, God's judgement, salvation, etc.?
    If the bible is true.....and you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour, your penalty is hell for eternity.

    If the bible is false, us Christians would be the biggest fools on the planet.

    Whats the bigger risk?

    Christians walk by faith, not by sight.(Although what I see is incredible evidence of Gods fingerprints everywhere.... life, beauty, order, complete and absolute harmony in the physical world...the likes of which I was born into by no contribution of my own, of which I could never create, dupicate, take away from or add to, and will die having not changed any of it.) We are so arrogant as a species, it is unbelievable. Jesus Christ is our only hope for salvation.

    Dont forget to answer the question for yourself(not someone on this blog)

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Kevin

      Once again Pascal's wager makes an appearance. Please, give it a rest. Those who don't want to believe can't be convinced by that argument, and it quite frankly offends me as a Christian for you to justify your faith in such a way.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • the zen pirate

      if us rationalists are wrong, then your so-called all knowing, all loving, and all forgiving god will congratulate us for thinking for ourselves and invite us to dinner.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Another Andy

      Speaking as a Christian - this is *not* how to convert people. This isn't about love.

      Please read what you just wrote: "We might be right and you don't want to go to hell, do you? What have you go to lose?"

      It sounds like you're saying "Come on, pretend to believe just in case."

      May 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • solowd

      There are countless religions. If I want to "play it safe," which one should I choose? Why should I choose your religion?

      The truth is that there's no god and no afterlife. Realizing this is an important step in a person's life, because it forces you to deal with the truth.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Kleb

      *points and laughs at steven...

      May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • rawhite

      Pascal's Wager – that is all.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Hank

      And what if, in reality, you have been indoctrinated (brainwashed) ?

      Answer us that question.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • cdavidchurch

      And what if you are wrong? How do you even know you chose the right religion? Or the right version of Christianity? There are many versions all with different ideas on how you are "saved".

      May 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Zack

      Do yourself a favor and ask yourself the same question about every OTHER religion than the one you're professing. How do you know your's is right? What if you're wrong? Why aren't you worshipping all gods to play it safe? Your logic is incredibly flawed. But then again, you also seem to think the bible is factual.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Kam

      Sorry Steven. There have been quite a few other religions which have the same story as the bible. So even if by chance the bible is right, it just copied all it's ideas from other religions. So not original and God like 🙂

      May 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • brettsamuel

      You are suggesting that worshiping your god can ultimately be argued back to management of risks. I don't think that's the way its supposed to be.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      3rd option Steven.....there is a god but it isnt the one you are worshipping. Better worship them all just to cover yourself.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • LisaP

      Even if it turns out that the bible is true, I prefer to take my own punishment and not have someone else suffer on my behalf. What kind of god would torture a mother's son in retaliation for a condition that the god imposed on humanity? That mother suffered more than the son did, because she had to continue living without her child. I reject the entire premise of slavation whole-heartedly.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Glorifundel

      Hi Steven,

      I have a rock. It looks like an average rock, but I assure you it has special powers. With it your life will be more fulfilled, you will be forgiven of wrongdoing, and most importantly, it protects from tiger attacks. I will give you this rock for free, because that is the way of the teaching of the rock. You will just have to carry this rock around with you for the rest of your life, and if you die and I'm wrong, well you'll look pretty silly wont you? On the other hand, if you don't carry my rock and get eaten by tigers.... well, why take that chance?

      Did you see what I did there? Your logic is a well known fallacy. If you want to believe in what you believe in, fine. But don't package it as having no effect on your life and your way of thinking. If that was the case, why bother in the first place? Moreover, you can't really be that committed to the idea if you are just doing it as an insurance policy. I'm going to take a wild guess that if your god really did exist, it would be smart enough to notice that you were just lying to be saved.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Not a Sheep

      Steven- if I was to make a claim that unicorns exist, your logical response would be "prove it". Religion, specifically christianity, defies common sense and claims the existence of god because it cannot be disproved. Using this same logic, I could claim that we were created by a duo of 50-feet tall jell-o beings who live in outer space. You can't prove that we were not. Therefore it must be true. What if you are wrong? Are you willing to make that sacrifice and risk being eaten by our true creators, jell-o gods? Your argument makes no sense. Thank you for making me laugh today.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • George W

      pretty much every one of the so-called organized religions adopt a similar stance, buy (literally and figuratively) into our MANufactured ideology or your soul is destined for eternal hell...

      hence we've had very lucrative businesses (religions) all based on myths, stories and fabrications... but hey, if it works for you and it makes you a better person – feel free to have at it!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Maurentstor

      The New Testament does indeed endorse slavery:

      Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

      May 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Paige

      Steven, you are exactly right and the fact that none of these posters answered your question, but instead turned it back on you proves it. They can't answer because they have no proof God isn't real and that is a problem for them.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • JCNOW

      Well isn't that exactly the cute little argument that has been used by the ruthless to control the masses for centuries. Doesn't work anymore.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Steven

      Jesus said " I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to Father except by me" John 14:6. This means no one comes to God the Father except by way of Jesus Christ. Period. No apologies, no other religions, no other gods. It is not a wager that this particular religion is better than all the others. All other roads, religions, lead to eternal death. I am sorry if this offends you or you don't think it is fair, or you think that christians are narrow in their thinking, you are so right because we are called to a narrow path. Jesus said that narrow is the path that leads to life(He is Life) and wide is the road that leads to destruction. If I am a follower of Christ.....then I follow Christ and I will try and follow after everything little thing he had to say to me. To other Christians, I am not trying to convert anyone here. Conversion is a work of God. And yes my post was all about love. Love is not a mushy, emotional, manzy panzy feeling. Love is serving. Jesus gave his on the cross to serve, and to take away our sin which has separated us from God. That is love. I spread the message of what he has done and his radical, crazy, extreme love for us. I am not responsible for the peoples salvation. He is responsible for the salvation of souls. Salvation is found in only one name, Jesus Christ. In this world of wishy washy, go any direction that the wind blows society, there is one Rock that never moves(Jesus Christ), and us Christians will give our entire lives for him.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • lazyace

      I thought that Obama is our only hope for salvation. :>)

      Not to insult or omit Jesus in any way....

      Just a bit of humor, as we all know different.

      And you're right about the fingerprints........

      May 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • lazyace

      How do you explain all of the children with birth defects supposedly coming from a perfect God?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  7. Kevin

    Well written, few replies in opposition pose a grounded argument...

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Another Andy

      You need to read some of the replies more carefully. The author of this piece intentionally ignores a lot of problems with his argument.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Maurentstor

      I have a question then, which portions do we know for sure of the Old Testament are safe to ignore?

      In Matthew 5:18 it clearly states that the Old Testament is fully and completely in force for all Christians who follow Jesus:

      I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

      So how can you be certain that the parts you are ignoring are the parts that you should ignore, and the parts you adhere to are the parts that should be adhered to? Bible literalists will always fall in to this trap. This is why Catholicism is the only religion that can make sense of it – the Pope is the bridge between heaven and earth that allows true and safe interpretation of the Bible and tradition to form a useful means to follow Jesus.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  8. oberyn

    "Rationalize" and justify your biblical mandates however you choose (nevermind the cherry-picking, contradictions, and hypocrisy). It still doesn't change the fact that your bible does not belong in a nation who separates church and state. Pray however you like in private; get your religion out of my public.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Well said!!!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • George

      Oberyn, there is a higher command and a higher Authority that we adhere to. You can make any laws that you want and separate them all you want but God's commands and Authority will always over rule it. Sorry you feel that way though. Truth hurts sometimes.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Oberyn, there is a higher command and a higher Authority that we adhere to. You can make any laws that you want and separate them all you want but God's commands and Authority will always over rule it. Sorry you feel that way though. Truth hurts sometimes."

      Your God has been proven wrong many times by our laws. It's why African Americans and women now have their civil rights. By the way there are many abominations in your bible are you going to deny those who do those sins their civil rights too? Let's see. Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      Oh. that's right you only cherry pick the scriptures that justify your prejudice and bigotry toward the gay minority group.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • oberyn

      There is a higher authority that YOU adhere to; adhere to it in your home, and keep it the hell out of politics. You wanna read some scripture?

      "We long to be here for a purpose even though – despite much self-deception – none is evident. The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is better than ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring faith.

      Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Our commonsense intuitions can be mistaken, our preferences do not count. We do not live in a privileged reference frame. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find a worthy goal." -Carl Sagan

      There's some scripture for you. And far more substance than you'll ever find in that dusty, human-flawed tome.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • George

      You are obviously mad about being wrong. Sorry to offend you. You do know, that without God all of the things that enjoy in this life would not happen. You are not attacking me because its not my laws. I am only here to share them with you. I've done my part. Enjoy life...God loves you and quit listening to bad advice.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • JCNOW

      That's exactly what I'm saying. These religious nut cases (George) think that they are spreading the gospel, that they are doing good, when in actuality, their complete obnoxiousness is pushing people away from ever even considering the possibility that there might be a higher power involved in our existence. I simply cannot tolerate a sanctimonious bible-thumper. A word of wisdom to the religious zealot. If you truly want to spread the "word" lead by example. It's your actions that make a difference, not what you have to say.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  9. n8263

    Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law in America.
    No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religion by denying others civil rights.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • MrApplesauce

      Indeed. I guess with the centuries of religions fighting each other it isn't surprising, but I always find it interesting that the ones that want to impose their state religion and ways of life on us are also the ones that condemn Muslims for wanting to do the same in their countries.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Really

    I think the whole gay marriage debate should come down to just one issue and that is discrimination. I am straight and married, but I hate discrimination of any kind. In 1967 laws were finally passed that said you could marry someone of a different race! Most people today would agree that this narrow-minded thinking should have been de-bunked much earlier, but that is the reality of the times. No matter how you might feel about this issue it comes down to a sense of your morals and values, which cannot be entered into the realm of law. This is why we have separation of church and state. The only focus on this issue should be the law, and our laws are designed to protect against discrimination. After all there are some today who feel the blacks and white shouldn't marry, but thats their opinion, and it is not against the laws of the land!

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Paige

      The problem with your argument is that blacks were born black. Gays were not. You can not compare the two.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    There's this thing we call sepparation of church and state, and the fact that this country is passing laws based on ONE religions beliefs in infuriating after the government has been blabbing on and on about freedom from religion and the such. Christians aren't the only ones in this country.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Really

      I agree!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  12. Stephen

    Today's most flaming bigots and haters are those who huddle under the banners of "tolerance" and "inclusion." They are the ones who are totally intolerant of any who disagree with them against whom they are totally discriminatory and anti-inclusionary.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Joel

      Intolerance of intolerance is not a vice.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Thats like claiming that being against racism is being intolerant of racism.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Maurentstor

      [Citation needed]

      Please give some examples.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Paige

      Well said!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Paige

      Maurentstor all you have to do is read replies from non- believers to believers. All the name calling and hateful talk. Proof enough.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  13. Cedar Rapids

    Anyone that uses something like leviticus to condemn but ignores the rest of leviticus is a hypocrit, period. You can try to redirect it as being whether the question is asking whether it can be ignored but that is not what the critics of the hypocrits are pointing out.

    “Have you not read that He who created them made them male and female?” Jesus asked in Matthew. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” For this reason, Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds"

    This was specifically talking about divorce, yet I dont see a lot of christians really codemning that either.

    "For this reason, the abolitionist movement was largely led by Christians, armed with Christian conviction."

    And the same bible was used as justification by those that wanted to continue slavery as well.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  14. solowd

    Deriving your belief system by parsing the text of a book is INSANE. There's no other word for it.

    Have you ever considered working these issues out on your own? That's what a sane person would do.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  15. Henry

    And how do you know that God does not exist?

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Because any god worthy of the name would not have made the screw up that this world is, and would have known that a flood was going to be needed in the future and designed to avoid it in the first place.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • ME II

      Just a thought, but even if He did exist, he doesn't do anything, doesn't say anything, no one's ever met him, so what's the difference?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • worktolive

      Cedar Rapids-God did not screw up this world-we did-man. We are the most ungrateful, sinful creatures God made. The only thing we have going for us-salvation in Jesus Christ. Without that we are lost and we will face his judgement one of these days.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Henry

      Cedar Rapids, That is not what the Bible says. You just repeat what others are saying!!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • JPJ3016

      Because a loving and caring god wouldn't allow all the horrible suffering and inhumane actions that happen every minute of every day let alone allow millions to have been tortured and murdered in "his" name. The very church that claims to represent the love of god has caused more suffering, war and sorrow than anything in the history of man.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The burden of proof always lies on the one making the claim. We say that we do not believe god exists because we do not see evidence for one. You claim that god exists due to whatever absurd reasoning you might come up with. So if you know this god exists, describe him? Try and convince us...it's your claim, you back it or stay stuck in a world 2000 years ago while the rest of us live in the 21st century and face reality.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "God did not screw up this world-we did-man"

      and god did not know this would be the case? isnt he all-knowing?

      "That is not what the Bible says. You just repeat what others are saying!!"

      and all the christians just repeat what the bible says, your point?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • ME II

      "God did not screw up this world-we did-man."
      What does it say about the creator that beings such a we can screw up his creation?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  16. Recovering Republican

    It is not the Law, but the application of the Law, that’s makes all the difference here. As Christians, we should hate the Sin, all the while showing our Love for the Sinner.
    Thus, if you apply God’s Laws with a big dose of God’s Love, then you are fine.
    But on the other hand, if you apply God’s Law with the standard hateful Republican approach, then you fall short of serving God, as you lay out your wrathful judgment declaring yourself a god.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • worktolive

      That goes without saying-at the same time-I cannot vote for a man who approves of sin outright as Obuma is doing with gay marriage and abortion. The Bible teaches me those things are WRONG-I will not vote for him. And if Romney agrees with Obuma-I will not vote at all.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • JPJ3016

      @worktolive- The Bible also says you can't eat shellfish wear mixed fabrics and you can sell your daughters into slavery, do you abide by those laws too or do you just pick and choose like most religious people do?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • JCNOW

      That's why I love Republicans when I actually hate them. Because in reality, the Republicans are only guilty of sinning against the poor and the vulnerable to promote the greed of the wealthy. So in reality, I just hate the Republican sin of greed and love the Republicans even though I hate the Republicans that I say I love.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  17. David

    No serious scholar will dispute Jesus of Nazareth was a real person who walked the earth exactly when the Bible says He did. The Bible accurately depicts the history of the Jewish people and is fully supported by the written histories of all surrounding peoples. The Bible accurately predicted the first coming of Jesus and predicted his second coming in three times as many verses. The Bible predicts what is currently taking place in the middle and far east with erie accuracy. The Bible and science are not incompatible. In fact, when both are studied closely enough they support each other. I would challenge you to study the Bible before condeming it publicly and possibly causing someone on the fence to jump off on the wrong side. One day you'll be judged harshly for doing so. On that day it will be obvious to you God provided us with the Bible and everything you needed to know was in it and you refused the gift, rendering yourself defenseless.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • BradC

      pipe down hitler!

      May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "The Bible predicts what is currently taking place in the middle and far east with erie accuracy. "

      oh please.

      as for predicting the first appearance....that would have been known to jesus at the time....and he wasnt the only one to try to claim the mantle of messiah at the time either.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • the zen pirate

      climb out of your box and breathe some reality. in point of fact, most real scholars fail to find any evidence that jesus was a real person, especially that fairy tale about his birth. if he was so important, how come we don't know anything about his life between childhood and adulthood?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • rawhite

      "The Bible accurately depicts the history of the Jewish people and is fully supported by the written histories of all surrounding peoples." – Then why is there no mention of the 10 plagues or the Israelites in Egyptian history? I believe one ancient stele mentions the word Israel, which could just as easily have been a person and not a nation.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • JCNOW

      Oh beware. A bible thumper has yet again thrust the fires of hell and damnation upon the non-believer. Run for your lives.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  18. Grant C

    Ok Mohler, how about this:

    "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

    Or...

    "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    That isn't part of any outdated "holiness code" meant for the nation of Israel. That's supposedly straight out of the mouth of Jesus. Want to know how many Christians I know who seem really concerned that they should be selling their big screen and donating the money to the local homeless shelter?

    Zero.

    Explain that one away.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • A W Messenger

      The deceiver usually uses deflection to deter the actual point being made.

      This is a great example of such deflection.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  19. CommonCents

    "what god has made clean, do not call common" ... how does he take that to mean Christians are excluded from having to follow the Bible's rules? Huh? Sounds like he's reaching there... picking quotes and making them mean what he WANTS them to mean, in order to support his argument. This article and its author are absolutely ridiculous.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • vbscript2

      It's not a reach at all. That was precisely the meaning. Read the context. Also, read the books of Galatians and Hebrews. They both state his point quite explicitly. The majority of the book of Hebrews deals with explaining the transition from the old (Jewish) law to the new (Christian) law.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  20. Andres

    "Cause the bible says so" is the bigges line of bs ever used to spread injustice over the centuries. Facts are facts, bible was not created by gods the books contained in it were decided by a council of old men. It should have the same effect in society as snow white or any other faiiry tale. If you dont know your history by now the ancients, who did not understand the wolrd like we do now made up this gods, to explain phenomena. The bible should not be the main source modern society bases it's moral discussions from, outdated a relich of the black ages, a testament to the evolution of human thought. One day religion will be nothing more than an ancient concept... but until then F "cause the bible says so"

    May 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Howard of Alexandria

      The bible thumpers invariably cherry pick the passages that will support whatever preconceived prejudices they already have. The bottom line is that any religion that espouses hate or hateful behavior should be condemned as evil because we live in a world to filled with hate and hateful behavior. And there is no way to criticize, ostracize and discriminate against any group of people without engaging in hateful behavior.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:04 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.