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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. Voice of Reason

    I just cannot garner any sort of respect or empathy for the ludicrous, irresponsible and destructive nature of god, religion and the bible.
    The gentleman that wrote this article is clearly delusional and is perpetuating an evil against humankind.
    These are very dangerous and highly distorted world views that encapsulates child abuse into some sort of twisted morality. You should be very ashamed that your intolerance has willfully blinded you towards your fellow men and women.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • momoya

      Albert thinks that there's a "proper" interpretation.. LOL!!!!

      The very minute that any believer can provide me with a method of determining the veracity or falsity of an "interpretation," I'll listen to what he has to say..

      If it can't be measured, what's the point? Anybody can spout nonsense.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  2. Albert Mohler

    I appreciate the thoughtful responses - both in agreement and disagreement. The comments are fascinating so far. Those who dismiss the Bible entirely make my point that they really do not want an answer to any question about the proper interpretation of the Bible. They simply dismiss it out of hand.

    The atheists want to make clear that they do not believe the Bible to be divine revelation. No surprise there, but thanks for reading the column.

    The bottom line is this: No one should be very concerned with what Albert Mohler thinks about anything. I'll go ahead and beat you to that conclusion. The largest issue of life is what God thinks about everything, especially of us. If there is no God and therefore the Bible is not his Word, then we are left to come up with whatever moral code makes sense to us, changing it at will as we go along. On the other hand, if there is a God, and if the Bible is his revelation to us, then what He reveals in the Bible means everything.

    I am firmly convinced that there is a God, and that He is not silent. I believe that the Bible is his perfectly revealed Word to us, and that in it we find the truth about ourselves and our sin, and of Christ and his provision for our salvation.

    When it comes to sin, the Bible is clear. We are all sinners. We all need a Savior, Christ is sufficient, Salvation comes to all who call upon his name, come to him by faith, believe, and repent of sin.

    God loves us so much that he identifies our sin in order that we might know that we are sinners in need of a Savior.

    For that reason we should be thankful that the Bible is so honest and specific about our sin.

    Keep the conversation going.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You claim there is a god? Prove it.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • momoya

      You're a moron, Albert.. The bible (as any holy book) does not provide you a reliable way to test which interpretations are more or less correct, so every believer is simply supporting his own ego by the verses he chooses to use from it's pages.. If such a method was available, there'd only be one denomination and one faith..

      May 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      You're one of the geniuses who still believes that gay people choose to be gay and aren't really born gay. What YOU need to do is educate yourself and study what all of the health professions say about being born gay. . .not reference your Bronze Age book of fairy tales. It's snake-oil salesmen like you who give human beings a bad name.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Albert Mohler

      After further contemplation I have come to realization that I hate gays because I like dudes and it scares me. There is nothing like a hairy bum to really make my day but how can I like dudes when the bible has told me to hate these people?

      Oh well, at least I can still hate muslims.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Take your idiotic book of Bronze Age fairy tales and shove it up your fat a&^hole bigot.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Raven76

      As I previously stated:

      This is called sophistry. Clever rationalizations to do something you've already decided upon. If you can ignore the fact the original Greek writings didn't condemn men loving men (physically or otherwise), and that the cited passages were later interpreted so as to cast judgement, and pick and choose which version of the bible to follow, then you've already failed the tests set before you. No book is going to give you the answer to any test in life; that comes from within. For some it comes from a spiritual connection in some form or another. And if you formulate an opinion that it is ok to judge others, to castigate them, then you're already lost and your words will only carry weight with those similarly unable to pass through these tests.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Satan

      Oh and God DOES care about your obedience to the word. I certainly know that you attend to every point!

      May 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Sockness Monster

      This "God" can create heaven and earth,
      but cant take 5 minutes out of his busy schedule
      and drop by and fix this mess.......
      Sorry, there is no god.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Zack

    I really like this article as far as saying "why" do Christians speak up, however, my opinion and faith differ on this subject. It is not our job to speak out and condem and or force the governement in which we live make laws and rules keeping others from the path or choices they have made.. Jesus told us not to throw stones, he told us to love everyone like he loved us.. he told us to live as examples.. if we can not live as examples then our preaching means nothing to those who don't believe. As Christians I think that we need to focus on OUR sins, OUR shortfalls and live as true Christians and be examples... We need to stop judging others and or trying to force others to believe as we do.. God gave us all free will to live our lives as we choose.. regradless if we agree or not.. OUR job is to be examples and to love ALL

    May 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • gayjesus

      A Christian that makes sense?

      THEY DO EXIST!!!

      May 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Topher

      Zack ... it IS our jobs to speak out. People are going to Hell. Doesn't that concern you? Even Ezekiel says we have to warn people ... "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezekiel 3:18

      May 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Raven76

    This is called sophistry. Clever rationalizations to do something you've already decided upon. If you can ignore the fact the original Greek writings didn't condemn men loving men (physically or otherwise), and that the cited passages were later interpreted so as to cast judgement, and pick and choose with version of the bible to follow, then you've already failed the tests set before you. No book is going to give you the answer to any test in life, that comes from within. And if you formulate an opinion that it is ok to judge others, to castigate them, then you're already lost and your words will only carry weight with those similarly unable to pass through these tests.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  5. Leucadia Bob

    Don't become a Robot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_SOD7TN6sw

    May 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  6. chubby rain

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

    And refuted by Southerns reading verses from the Bibles. The Bible's truths aren't universal, only cultural.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Keith

    A major part of the problem is the "God loves you just way you are" crap taught by so many lukewarm sissy pastors. Jesus told the woman caught commiting adultery to "go and sin no more". He didn't say to continue on in your sinful lifestyle. The Lord did love all of us enough to send his only begotten Son to pay the penalty that we deserve-and that includes those who choose to repent from the sin of h0m0s^xuality, too. The key word here is REPENT.
    Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish

    May 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • momoya

      Your bible is stupid and irrelevant.. God sacrificing himself to himself to appease himself because a rib-woman was talked into doing wrong by a snake before she knew what wrong was so an invisible disease of sin would inhabit the invisible soul organ of each person so that god just had no other option but to torture them all for eternity unless they say a magic spell that magically makes the invisible disease go away.. Yeah.... . right....

      May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • rATL

      The problem really is the ignorant who cant think for themselves and must be told how to act and behave. Religion was created by MEN to control the weak minded. The only thing that needs to be taken from the bible is be nice to each other.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • BRC

      @Keith,
      You do realize that if "god" is real, and as powerful as claimed; the "only son" thing isn't impressive, it's ineffective. In theory, Jesus wasn't the only time "God" made a son because he was special, he's the only one because "God" only chose to do it once, and apparently only in one small corner of the world, instead of creating multiple sons through-out the world so all people would hear his message. Not very clear communication from an all powerful being if you think about it.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • alex chapman

      "Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us". Matthew 6,12. I hope you've led a perfect life or are more forgiving than you appear to be.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • LinSea

      BRC, God sent messengers - such as the prophets, apostles, etc. - to teach the people, both directly and through their writings. Jesus' primary mission was to bear the burden of our sins and lay down His life for every single one us. He was special because He WAS the only one who could possibly do this. There simply was no one else who had the ability.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  8. Jeff Buchanan

    "The author writes that it's fine for Christians to take certain biblical condemnations seriously while ignoring others." Seriously, CNN??? This is a gross over-simplification and a very misleading tagline. So much for unbiased and fair journalism.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  9. Bryan

    Why did God ever allow an existence where sin could ever be a possibility? Makes no sense to me. What good is having a choice if you can be eternally damned for using it based on your own reasoning?

    May 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • crackedskull44

      Sounds to me like you didnt read the bible...He used to flood the Earth when there was sinners, but Noah bargained and convinved God to give people a second chance. So he doesnt flood humanity out of existence anymore and has made the rainbow as a "signed contract" if you will.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      To have the abilty to choose, would mean the abilty to make the wrong choice.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Joshua

      What is life at all without such choice?

      May 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • mjek

      I don't belive God condemns a person for a particular sin. It seems to me ithe bible is very clear God's love is for all people with the recognition all people cannot not sin. John 14 reminds the reader in God's house are many mansions, dwelling places, rooms,etc ... and Jesus himself goes to prepare the place for us – that is, goes to God's house to prepare the room set for us. We don't have to do anything – it is for us by God's grace. So for all of you religious people out there thinking that you have a lock on heaven because you're so dammed good ... re-read Paul's letters and Jesus commandments.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • LinSea

      God gave every one of us the gift of free will so we could learn and gain knowledge and understanding. We can learn the happiness that comes when we choose goodness and the consequences of choosing evil. Exactly how much would we learn if someone else made all of our choices for us?

      You are not left to the risk of damnation because all you have is "your own reasoning." God sent prophets and apostles to teach and write down His word to guide you, and you can speak with Him directly through prayer. And because He knew we would mess up during this time of learning, He provided a way for repentance and to be forgiven when we ignore His guidance and make mistakes.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  10. Dave

    Then only non-sinners should be able to get married. Problem solved.

    Protect marriage...ban divorce. Our would that be a government intrusion in your private life that you don't want?

    May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  11. asdf

    Matthew 5:17: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." No, Christians are picking and choosing what they want to follow.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As they have been for the past two thousand years and will continue to do as long as there is mankind.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • alex chapman

      Pick & choose the Old Testament at your own peril. I'll take my chances with the Core Message of Jesus in the Four Gospels. "Love each other as the Father loves you."

      May 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  12. Joxer the Mighty

    Well Mr. Albert here's the problem, you say that you are trying to spread the truth and tell people what God's Word says but what you are really doing is trying to force people to abide by your beliefs. Our government was created secular for a reason. So that laws wouldn't be dictated by religion and therefore discriminate against those who don't hold those beliefs.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  13. burnabyjoefan

    We claim to be tolerant of other religions in this country, yet we insist that the laws of the government follow one religions views. So, why don't we just allow gay marriage and the Church can say if your Christian, don't do it?

    May 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Heinz Doofenshmirtz

      It would take "reason" to do that. Faith requires the suspension of reason. Logic and reason are missing from the religious cults.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  14. David Nelson

    As for the female being taken from the male... last I checked males have and X and Y chromosome. While females lack the Y chromosome. So how could it be any other way?

    The not wearing of mixed garment applied to Temple workers. Remember how Christ had a seemless garment in the gospels? The High priest was a representation of Christ. The whole of the tabernacle rituals were pointing to Christ.

    The Old Testament does not encourage slavery. It talks about conditions for releasing people in slavery. Many of the slaves were taken in the wars with the neighboring pagan nations. This was a sad inevitablilty and not what God wanted. The word "slavery" can mean different kinds of servitude also. Heck, centuries ago, indentured servitude was a way to pay off debts and it is pretty obvious reading the OT that it occured then also. Christ came to set free the captives as is prophecied in Isaiah 61.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • momoya

      @David

      Don't look now but your bias is showing.. Think how much better our history would have been if bible god had simply made a commandment that said: "Don't own or sell other humans.". Or maybe a verse about not molesting children.. But then again, we're talking about a god who thought sprinkling diseased bird blood on people cured skin conditions so.....

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Steve

      David, how can you say taking of slaves is not what your god wanted? He specifically commanded his armies to slaughter every man, woman and child , plus the animals – except for virgins which soldiers should "take for themselves."

      May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Wait

      David Nelson,
      "As for the female being taken from the male... last I checked males have and X and Y chromosome. While females lack the Y chromosome. So how could it be any other way?"

      It can be and is other ways. It's a huge subject, but maybe this simple Wiki article will start you off.

      "Some species (including most mammals) have a gene or genes on the Y-chromosome that determine maleness. In the case of humans, a single gene (SRY) on the Y-chromosome acts as a signal to set the developmental pathway towards maleness.[5] Other mammals use several genes on the Y-chromosome for that same purpose. Not all male-specific genes are located on the Y-chromosome.

      Other species (including most Drosophila species) use the presence of two X chromosomes to determine femaleness. One X chromosome gives putative maleness. The presence of Y-chromosome genes is required for normal male development.

      Humans, as well as some other organisms, can have a chromosomal arrangement that is contrary to their phenotypic s'ex, that is, XX males or XY females. See, for example, XX male syndrome and androgen insensitivity syndrome.

      Birds have a similar system of s'ex determination (ZW s'ex-determination system), in which it is the females that are heterogametic (ZW), while males are ho'mogametic (ZZ)."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XY_s'ex-determination_system (remove the ' in s'ex)

      May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jason

      David,
      Here is just some of the commentary on slavery in the old and new testaments. If the god of the bible didn't "want" slavery then why does it say they are your children's inheritance "forever"? You're trying to have it both ways. The theme here isn't releasing, it's believing.

      they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. (Leviticus 25)
      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ (Ephesians 6:5). Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed (1 Timothy 6:1-2).

      May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  15. Cyle

    Numbers 31... thats the one where after the nomadic followers of Moses defeated the Midians.

    The commanders of the army had killed all the men and captured all the women and children. Moses told them to kill all the little boys and any woman who had been with a man, then he "gave" the surviving little girls to the soldiers.

    Great book, the bible... I'm gonna go throw up now.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Heinz Doofenshmirtz

      The Lord of The Rings trilogy is a better read. Same category though. Total fantasy.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • DPGW

      Star Wars is a better story than both of them. Thank god it's real.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • tkogrady

      Passover is pretty good too – sweep through Egypt and kill all the first born . . . .I guess regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent of anything.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Cyle

      darn... forgot the sarcasm emote again.

      just saying that the bible is the last place i'd look to for any kind of "moral guidance"

      May 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Reality

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

    “Facing calls to curb child se-x abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pedophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • tls

      Not sure what your point is .. Is there sin in the church? Undoubtedly! There's a huge difference, however, in being involved in sin and decreeing that sin is OK. Jesus said, "He that is without sin let him cast the first stone". He didn't say,"Go away, sin is OK; just don't hurt anybody" .. or some other modern nonsense excuse for immoral behavior. It's not about "doing what I do" vs. "doing what I say" .. it's about what GOD has said and conforming to that. Jesus was the man who didn't sin and he will be everyone's judge. Pointing to others' failures as excuse for your own is never going to wash!

      May 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Reality

      John 8:7

      "When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

      Said passage, as per many contemporary NT scholars, was not said by the historical Jesus. One reason for this conclusion is that it appears no where else in the scriptures.

      Actually, all of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,
      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "
      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      May 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  17. Ethics Board

    Reading the Bible and applying it to modern social views is like reading a medical book from the 1800s and applying it to modern medicine. That's just straight up malpractice.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • tls

      The Bible is not a book on social views. It talks of commandments not suggestions, guidelines, or opinions! Morality hasn't changed. How arrogant to think that "modern" man is smarter than God.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Morality? Define the word. Go ahead and look it up.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • momoya

      How arrogant to think you know the mind of god when most people who claim to know god's mind disagree with you on many points.. Oh, but your belief is the right one.. My bad.

      May 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Chris

      in reply to tls:

      Your response is fast becoming the mantra of the defeated Christian in an argument. He didn't once propose that he is smarter than God, whether it be yours or anyone else's, but rather that many of the "rules" of the bible don't translate well because of the change in social customs – such as, you know, having cities rather than tribes. Right and wrong never change, but culture does shift.

      And the Bible wasn't written by God. It is accepted by people who have chosen to believe that their fellow men weren't biased when they translated and modified the texts. I'm amazed by those are willing to believe a book translated by men of an age where women were considered property and "kings" were divinely chosen.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  18. Patti

    I am sooo tired of Christians quoting the bible only when it suites them. You never hear a sermon about gluttony from a fat preacher, Joe Olsteen would never espouse the it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than it is for a rich man to go to heaven verse or Mr. Mohler screaming that adulterers be stoned to death. Stop being cafeteria Christians and quit picking your quotes from the bible like were choosing entrees at the HomeTown buffet.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Satan

      And just what is the role of a woman in the bible?

      May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Sockness Monster

      *** Satan

      And just what is the role of a woman in the bible?
      ----------------------

      Mary Magdalene was a deciple, but the church turned her into a prosti-tute.
      Cant have an empowered woman in the bible.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  19. DPGW

    Religion is hysterical. Each individual/group can interpret the bible any way they like, always to fit their own agenda. Bible condems gay people, bible loves all people including gays...blah blah blah (just read all the CNN pieces on this subject over the last month, each one with a different "interpretation" and each one "right"). Just can't take it anymore.

    Just read a bible passage. I interpret it to mean that jesus wants me to eat a cheeseburger and take a nap. Thy will be done...

    May 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • tls

      Why would expect to find any real truth reading CNN opinion pieces and comments. You CAN read the Bible for yourself; but of course then you couldn't reject it based on other's opinions. You'd have to become responsible and that is so out of step today!

      May 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • T'Kotsl

      Regular or bacon?

      May 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • DPGW

      @tis: Actually, I HAVE read the bible. Cover to cover. First word to last. Multiple times.

      That's the #1 reason I'm an atheist.

      May 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chris

      It's so true, tls. People of the past were soooo much more responsible than we are today.

      I bet next you're going to say life was just "simpler back then," as well?

      May 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chris

      tls:

      If you read a story in an English literature class, and your teacher asks you the moral or ideal behind it, do you have the freedom to say there is no moral? Or to outright lack empathy for it's core message? The bible is another story for man to follow, and just because people read it doesn't mean they come to the same conclusion, or that they need to accept any of its message as truth. It just so happens that the story you value most comes with a foreboding message, one that warns of eternal punishment for not accepting the ideal.

      If I taught my students that failure to empathize with the main character of Song of Solomon meant they'd fail my class, then I'm certain they'd agree with whatever I argued. Alas, that's the beauty of interpretation. It's not about denial vs. acceptance of truth. It's about whether the message is relatable to the person reading it. Try telling someone that is indifferent to things like gay marriage that God will burn them in hell for the rest of time is not a clean message. And the church is still stuck in antiquated thinking...

      I've yet to see the church actively challenge the books and those who had a hand in re-writing them. Why remove books? Reliability? Instead blind obedience seems more valued – right after pointing fingers and saying "hell!! hell! HELLL!!" at any person who contrasts your opinion.

      It smells of vindictive justice. It smells like people talking about their own insecurities and trying to project them onto the rest of the world.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  20. momoya

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

    May 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • tls

      Re your reply "Oh, but your belief is the right one.. My bad." .. Typical subterfuge. The Bible is not difficult to understand, no more than 2+2=4. It's not "my belief". I didn't write it but I did read it! If there is a God then it's pretty obvious there is a "right" interpretation and it's easily discerned. Of course, if you don't beleive in God then you can be your own God! Free will is a wonderful thing even given the current practice of denying that it includes accountability!

      May 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Syd

      Awesome.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Sockness Monster

      Thanks momoya.
      Will be fun to watch the responses.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
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About this blog

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.