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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. tffl

    The Southern Baptists apparently believe that the "old testament" is inerrant and is the direct word of God, while the "new testament" is the word of men (in the case quoted here, Peter). It isn't clear to me why the Baptists believe that some man can override some (but not all) of what God commanded in Leviticus – the Gospel's quotes from Jesus don't (from the sermon on the mount: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 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. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.") in spite of various attempts to explain why that doesn't mean what it appears to mean. It really _does_ seem that there is a level of hypocrisy (or mix-and-match theology) going on – we'll keep the bits we like and drop the ones we don't, and believe (or just claim) that we have God's permission to do this...

    May 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Like other nonChristians, some people read the Bible and think all those laws are about the same. In reality, there were certain laws that were made for certain groups. This isn't a "what about equality" here, tribes were given different duties. Many of the laws of Leviticus (named after the tribe of Levi) didn't apply to all Israel. (remember, Jews only make up one tribe...though 2 other tribes were absorbed within it). The 10 commandments and other laws are still to be followed, but some are not needed.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      GuiasCaesar- does that mean Christians do not have to follow the 10 Commandments?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • oklahoma

      For your sake, sir or ma'am, I hope that you arent trying to live out your relationship with God by trying to fullfill the whole law, because the bible says that if you try to fullfill it but fail in one area, you will be cursed. There are over 1,000 laws that are laid out in the old testament. When Jesus came, he shortend that for us and simply said "Love your neighbor as yourself." I am a bible believing Christian and thank God, I live under his grace and not under the old testament law. As you stated in your post, Jesus came to fullfill it. So, since he fullfilled it, there is no reason for me to try to. its impossible for humans to live strictly by the old testament law.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • good luck

      in your gamble against God, we can only wish you the best ~ good luck & much love to you in the spirit of eternal compassion

      Galations 3

      "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

      "Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i] meaning one person, who is Christ.

      What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

      Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

      Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

      Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

      So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • One one

      @gauis: so you are saying the laws and morality that follows are relative to the situation and not absolute for all situations. That is contrary to what Christians argue but consistent with what non-believers argue.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  2. To all women that wanna put their two cents in!

    1 Timothy 2:11-12
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet.

    Where's your god now?
    Ps: god hates facts!

    May 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Rich

      Nice cherry picking. Go back to Timothy 1 2:1. That's labeled "Instructions for Worship", and yes – men are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of their households.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  3. Paul

    I get his point about about the difference between the Old and the New testament and that is fine. Greed is clearly a sin in the new testament (a deadly one) but I don't see the religious right trying to do anything about that. In fact, the religious right seems to be far happier for it to continue unabated than the left who often would like to see some kind of moderate and fair redistribution of wealth. His argument just doesn't hold together.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Rich

      The difference is simple. FORCED charity (from the Left, through taxation) is not moral. VOLUNTARY charity is. That's really not such a difficult concept, is it? Yet you read into the argument your own definition of greed, then try to politicize it, rather than staying on topic.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Everlasting Godstopper

    It doesn't matter in the least what this fraud writes in his wimpy article.
    His religion has absolutely NO PLACE in our country's laws.

    Here's the thing, folks: If you follow a religion, that religion is for YOU as far as you follow it.
    YOU are the ones to follow the religion. Your religion CANNOT be forced onto and into other people's lives using the law.
    According to your religion, YOU ALREADY HAVE THESE LAWS in place.
    Why don't you follow them yourself and leave other people alone who do not follow your religion?

    If your Bible isn't enough and your god isn't strong enough to get you to follow them yourself, repeating these laws ILLEGALLY in our nation's laws VIOLATES the First Amendment.
    Your Bible is NOT part of our laws, has no basis in our laws, cannot be used as a basis for our laws, and for you people to insist your version of your interpretation of your Bible is somehow important to anyone else but you is to show yourself to be idiots who do not understand that YOUR RELIGION HAS NO PLACE IN OUR LAWS.

    Your Bible is for YOU. It is up to YOU to follow it if you are that stupid.

    If your god is so weak that he needs a bunch of ninnyhammers to go around making noise, then why should we take anything in your Bible as being relevant or legitimate in any way?

    May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  5. DBLA

    This is the evidence that Jesus didn't support gay marriage?
    ""Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

    Well, if two men get married, we'll call one of thim the husband and the other "his wife". Clearly Jesus would then be fine with this marriage since it abides by the statement above. Problem solved, everyone happy.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Snowdog

      DBLA. If that were true humans would cease to exist. Even if you just look at the science of it. Man and man cannot have children. Woman and woman cannot have children. Only man and woman can have children. That is just commn sense.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • DBLA

      What does something being common sense have to do with it being a sin? If violating common sense is sinful then we're all in trouble.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • sam

      Snowdog...seriously...please. Humans would cease to exist? I'm dumbfounded by your...well, your everything.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  6. Judi

    If I were to make chocolate ice cream and came up with my own recipe, whose to say that someone else can come along and force me to make chocolate ice cream with their recipe? God invented and created marriage, why are people who don't believe in Him trying to force Him and His believers to change something that he invented. Just come up with your own recipe and leave "marriage" alone.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Eric

      God did not invent marriage. Coupling came was way before man created god.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • heather

      Since marriage predates christianity it can be safely stated that god did not in fact create marriage. Also, christians don't have any special control over marriage and who can or can not do it. Lots of people, belonging to lots of different religions, have been getting married for thousands of years before jesus' time.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • grist

      This is just so laughable. There are no gods. They were invented by men who also invented marriage as a way to own women. We can redefine marriage in any way that we want – because we invented it. And now that women have rights, they can be in on the redefinition of marriage!

      May 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • oklahoma

      how can you say God didnt invent marriage? Yeah, marriage predates christianity, ill give ya that. But God created Adam and Eve, told them to be fruitfull and multiply. that is the invention of marriage.

      6 milleniums of people have known what a marriage is... I think its a testament to how bad off our generation is since people cant decide on something that has been around for so long...

      May 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Marriage has existed for many thousands of years before the birth of abrahamic creed. Christians and the bible did not invent marriage. It is a fully manmade concept, and there are many unique versions around the world, developed independantly of the bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • tffl

      In the "marriage" that God "invented", polygamy (and concubines) were fine, so banning this is "trying to force Him and His believers to change something that he invented", and Christians did indeed "come up with your own recipe". Or you can admit that all religions have their own ideas about marriage, and yours is no more valid than anyone else's is. No one is talking about forcing your church to perform marriages that they don't like, just about having them admit that they aren't the only ones with valid positions, and that people who disagree with them have just as much right to have their positions respected. I personally think that the idea of "marriage" as a state sanctioned thing is silly – the state can (if it wishes) create a formal (contractual) relationship (civil unions, if you will) to cover all of the legal issues needed, and the individuals forming such a union can then (if they wish) _additionally_ add a religious component, by whatever standards their particular religion of choice demands. However, _your_ religion should not have any impact on _me_ if I am not a follower of that religion...

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

    If truth is so important to these push-our-belief at you "Christians" then why are they so opposed to the evidence gleaned by using science?

    May 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  8. We know the truth...

    The author completely misses the point... People shouldn't follow the bible because it's nothing more than a poorly written, fictional storybook.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [they forgot/rejected God, so God "forgot" them and allowed their hearts to be corrupted (by satan)];

      Romans 1:28
      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • We know the truth...

      HeavenSent – Your ability to quote the bible in no way helps your cause... Try quoting something that hasn't been proven to be a book of mindless fairy tales and you'll have some credibility... Do you think god buried the dinosaur bones to test your faith??? LOL.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • sam

      HeavenSent's here – everyone out of the water!

      May 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where's the chlorine?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • sam

      We're all out...she's been using it in her coffee again.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Crap! I need brain bleach to get the picture of her in a swimsuit out of my imagination.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Chris

      Is that a fact, or is that simply your opinion? If the Bible is simply full of fairy tales, then provide the evidence. If it is simply your opinion, then are you trying to impose your opinion on me as you accuse the Christians of doing the same? Your logic has a fallacy if you're telling people that they have no right to impose their beliefs on you when that is exactly what you are doing to them when you say that! Your position has no standing if you cannnot get beyond this and engage in real discourse with the opposition.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      We know the truth, you posted "HeavenSent – Your ability to quote the bible in no way helps your cause... Try quoting something that hasn't been proven to be a book of mindless fairy tales and you'll have some credibility... Do you think god buried the dinosaur bones to test your faith??? LOL"

      Answer: The Bible is Jesus' truth about life and the hereafter. His blueprint for us to be the best that we can be while housed in human form. If you have issues or hatred of His truth it's because you refuse to work on your sinful nature. It's not Jesus fault, or others, you own not getting off your lazy butt to be the best that He wants us to be.

      Amen.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  9. Eric

    Absolute Rubbish! How embarrassing. People of fake-faith deciding who they are going to call sinners because it's written in some ancient babbling script. Ridiculous and blatantly hypocritical. Stay true to TRUTH and be nice to ALL.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Again, what is truth? Can truth change for different people? Isn't truth supposed to be subjective, not objective. 2 men cannot have a baby. that's truth, but does that hav anything to do with this issue? Your problem is that we vote based on our beliefs, and you would rather us be hypocrites and only vote based upon what popular culture wants. That's human secularism, which is the opposite of Christianity, though many Christians like Joel Osteen would love to ride the fence.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • We know the truth...

      No. truth is not subjective... In other words, something isn't true just because you want it to be true... It's true if it can be proven to be true... This is a very difficult concept for religious people, who are living in a fantasy world of pregnant virgins and talking snakes, but it's a fact nonetheless.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Thanks We know truth. I had it backwards. But this is my point. The idea that we constantly change our standards due to popular culture changing is the point that is being made. If something is the truth, than that means there is a right and a wrong, at least based on truth. (like way to do something) Therefore, to constantly reevalute due to there being more gay couples doesn't make too much sense.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      We know, you can't handle His truth.

      (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

      Romans 11:8

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      So because you never experience God you write it off as make believe? Have you even looked for him? I've been on the other side and I know what I believe is truth.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • We know the truth...

      "If something is the truth, than that means there is a right and a wrong, at least based on truth."

      No... Your confusing truth with morality... Morals can evolve (and, if fact do evolve. Gay rights and the abolition of slavery are two examples)... Facts are facts. Mathematical precision contains many, many facts. Religion contains none, which is why organized religion is tearing this world apart.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  10. What is the Truth

    some will choose to gamble on their eternity in return for earthly desires, we wish them good luck & enjoy ~ unlike the Kingdom of Heaven, the things of this earth will not last for eternity ~

    what is the truth? 1 corinthians 6: 9, romans 1

    May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "what is the truth? 1 corinthians 6: 9, romans 1"

      It has nothing to do with what we NOW know and understand about gays. Male prostitution and worshiping a pagan god using sex is not what the experts have revealed about gay people. Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting the scriptures into historical context. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      May 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Others will gamble their morality away by condemning people who are different from them and justifying it based on the religion they choose.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • n8263

      Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
      ― Marcus Aurelius

      May 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • DrLove

      He knows if you've been bad or good, so... oh never mind.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Answer

      Some people will gamble away their precise time on earth with useless prayers and delusions. They'll make vapid emotional pleas and beg others continually to accept their delusions and try to convince others that they have a secure place in heaven and all this is a failure.

      People reject them because of failed logic, failed emotional blackmailing and best of all is that everything they make up can be deduced by common sense.

      The grand illusion of heaven is their place of dreams. Wherein every desire is meet. By magic. A place of no work, no garbage, no system nor economy. It can all be worked out by the simplest thing of asking "where do I live?"

      When you DO ask you will run into all kinds troubles with that fabulous illusion of heaven. Firstly.. you will need a body. Then a place to move around to and fro. Then you continue asking questions that will quash your dreams. What ever will you really do with the reality of your death?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yeah wrong,

      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

      Colossians 2:8

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      oooooh, a quote. you don't get any more convincin' than that. for sure.....

      May 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      There is no proof that the afterlife exists. It seems like so much of religion is based on fear and fear of some terrible consequence only 'believers are in the 'know' about. Why not leave a good life and not fret about what your neigbor does.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, do you really think you've converted anyone by quoting scripture? Ever? Anywhere?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  11. grist

    "Love requires us to tell the truth."

    The problem is that religions and beliefs in gods do not tell us the truth. If you want the truth, study Science.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Umm, throughout human's recorded history, we have used science, albeit more and more. Science is great in that it can tell us alot of what happened before us as well as how things work. Unfortunately, science also makes spurious relationships because we cannot control everything to check on one factor. That's why science constantly changes.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Atheist

      RAmen!

      May 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Drew

      Of course Gauis, but its ability to change is one of its strengths. Scripture's inability to change is one of its weaknesses

      May 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      Drew. I think that is the point. To have a God that changes his mind would be too fickle. Some people don't believe in moral absolutes, I can understand. But I would rather (if there is a God) be judged by someone that keeps their standards the same, instead of being judged differently than someone that lived 1000 years ago.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Drew

      But then do you believe that you should stone your children when they are disobedient, or that you think women should shut up in church?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      1 Timothy 6:20

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • sam

      @HeavenSent – what?? You didn't copy-paste it? Are you tired?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  12. John Cram

    Too bad Jesus is imaginary, I'm sure he would have had something to say about this one!

    May 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Drew

      He probably was real

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Snowdog

      Whether you belive Jesus is the Savior or not he was an historical real person written in the history books just like Columbus was real. Study histtory before you make a comment like that.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Rob71

      @Snowdog – What history book? There is no know historical reference to Jesus. So you should do some reading before you post. He may have been a historical figure but just as likely he was not.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Rob71, read the Talmud instead of blindly following it without your knowledge. They constantly insult Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Shadowcandy

      @Rob
      There are a couple of references to Jesus in my History class's book. So yea...
      I wouldn't say that he wasn't real if they're mentioning him even in College level textbooks. Just sayin..

      May 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And that no more proves he existed than does the Bible, HS.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And that no more proves he existed than does the Bible, HS. Nor does either book prove that if he did he was anything but a mortal man. Not a savior.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom, did you know Freud ripped off the teachings in the Torah and sold folks a bill of goods?

      May 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Seyfettin

      Pregnant with high blood pressure nendieg some experienced insight in the subject?Right now, I have borderline high blood pressure in my 1st pregnancy. Which means my blood pressure is just high enough to be a concern. I've cut off practically everything with caffeine and sodium to help lower it, but it hasn't gone down enough to get me out of the grey zone I feel that I'm in. (It was 148/88 at 14 weeks and it was 137/83 at 17 weeks). I'm in the middle of changing doctors (because my doctor has let me down for many reasons I don't even want to go into). He and his office has not been accommodating and hasn't helped me with my bp at all. They kept telling me they were going to put me on bp medicine to help it go down if it stayed how it was or got any higher, and never offered to help me with a diet plan.I'm at 18 weeks now, and I know I can still develop preeclampsia even though my bp has been high since the beginning. I gained a pound per week from 7-14 weeks and now I'm almost losing weight because I'm on a much stricter diet I'm having to work on by myself and the added stress isn't very helpful.I was wondering if any moms here have dealt with high blood pressure during pregnancy (With or without it being a problem pre-pregnancy. Mine has never been a problem, and I'm not under/overweight at all.) And if you did, how did your doctor handle it? Did you start a diet plan or just take bp medicine? How long did you make it before labor, and did they make a mandatory C-section? I'm just really interested on the topic, and I know every case is different. But I would really love to get some input from people who have been there. Thanks for sharing!

      August 1, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  13. DonInLA

    You can and SHOULD apply your moral beliefs to yourself as an individual. You MAY and PROBABLY should apply those same beliefs to your children in the form of the attempt to instill your beliefs with them. Outside of those two options it simply is not a decision that is yours to make. (BIG PERIOD at the end of that sentence!!!) You can be as upset as you need to be but it simpy is NONE of your business. Any energy you expend to advise someone else on how they should live there life can be described in no other way but judgment and this is expressly forbidden by the same book. So, that's your issue to face. Fortunately, as a non Christian, none of it has any bearing on my life regardless of what you say. And, once again, to use your book; God will judge me at the end...end of story.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      So you should not push your moral beliefs against incest, pedophelia, and bestiality on others?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, goody, I get to post this again (LOL).

      And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [they forgot/rejected God, so God "forgot" them and allowed their hearts to be corrupted (by satan)];

      Romans 1:28

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • heather

      @kendall – please dear god tell me you did not just attempt to compare a loving, consensual relationship between two people to pedophilia and bestiality? i pray for you that you have the capability of understanding the inherent differences.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • CTP

      DonlnLA,
      I hear where you are coming from, but what you are saying is undone by the fact that you explicitly tell the author how to go about his life. I hope you don't honestly believe that you should never tell anyone how to live their life or to tell someone what to do? I would hope that if you saw someone about to take their life, that you would tell them to stop immediately. You can call that judgement, but I would call that love; a deep concern for someone else's well-being. As a Christian, I hope that I would be bold enough to love people that way- to advise someone not to cheat on their wife; to tell a friend not to spend their money selfishly; to speak to a family member about an alcohol addiction.

      Please understand this passage in John 8.
      A woman is brought to Jesus who was caught in adultery.
      Jesus says, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
      And everyone that came to accuse her left without casting a stone. When it was just the woman and Jesus left he said,
      '"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
      "No one, sir," she said.
      "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."'

      Love challenges us to be better. Jesus didn't condemn, but he did confront her and challenged her to change her lifestyle. Love changes things. Apathy sits on the sidelines and watches someone's life fall apart without saying a word.

      May 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  14. Mick Jagger

    ok, gotta run...been fun.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  15. n8263

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

    May 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Logan from Texas

      Why do you feel the need to copy and paste the same thing over and over again? Run out of original thoughts?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • n8263

      Your name is Logan. Happy?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      This post is for you n8263.

      And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [they forgot/rejected God, so God "forgot" them and allowed their hearts to be corrupted (by satan)];

      Romans 1:28

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • n8263

      @HeavenSent, may Allah have mercy on you.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      n8 ..., phony religions have at least 95% of Jesus' truth. It's the non-believers that live lies.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  16. Drew

    The essential Christian argument against gay se x seems to be basically that it is unnecessary, but then again humans do lots of unnecessary things, like write books and paint paintings.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • JohnTX

      The Christian argument against gay s ex is that Jesus condemns it!

      May 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Mark

      John, show me where Joshua himself (not one of his fanfic writers like Paul) actually condemns two men loving each other. Then prove to me how that's relevant to a pagan that doesn't buy the bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Drew

      Jesus never said a word about it

      May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Mark, everything written in the Bible, including the writings of Paul was approved by Jesus to be included in His Holy Word.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • get real

      Unnecesssary as is atheist on a faith blog. Your right humans do alot of wastefull things.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Drew

      Really John? Because the church fathers compiled the bible centuries after his death. He had no say in what they included or left out

      May 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • slowdown

      Getreal – Learn how to write before you attempt to be clever.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Jesus led the compilation of the Bible by the Holy Spirit. Whether or not He was there in person, His Spirit was there.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Drew

      So John, you trust a roomful of men whom when they say: "live your life according to this book, because the holy spirit said so?" What makes taht any more real than the claims of Mohammed?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • JohnTX

      I trust what is written in the Bible because it has changed my life and the Holy Spirit has moved me and shown me that the Bible is the Word of God.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Drew

      That's fair, but I might suggest that a lot of texts could do that to you. James Joyce's Ulysses changed my life, that doesn't mean I believe it isn't fiction or at least fictionalized

      May 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • JohnTX

      I believe that the witness of the Holy Spirit is unique above all things. Some people may have good feelings and feel moved by all sorts of things, but the Holy Spirit gives a special feeling that is impossible to describe to someone who has never felt it.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Drew

      Everyone who has ever lived a day has had feelings that are impossible to describe. The only real miracle for me is the fact that we have a consciousness

      May 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jeremiah 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time [that] I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

      Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • heather

      @Mark – you totally just called Paul a fanfic writer. Excuse me while i revert a 13-year-olds mindset and laugh outrageously. I can see an entire new fandom popping up on live journal overnight dedicated to Jesus Fanfiction. =D

      May 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  17. GayAtheist

    No Mormons need apply.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  18. JohnTX

    William Lane Craig is one of the smartest people I know of, and if he can still believe in and defend Christianity knowing everything that he knows, then Christianity is definitely good enough for me.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • n8263

      Except he always loses debates to non-believers.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • JohnTX

      The non-believers never answer any of his questions because they know that they can't.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Drew

      So what? He'd probably be liek that if he were a Muslim too.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Russ

      @ JohnTX: as someone who agrees with much of what William Lane Craig says, that's a really poor argument. Peter Singer is a really smart guy at Princeton who believes life doesn't really begin until 2 yrs old & that handicapped folks should be euthanized. Would you support someone making your same line of thought in support of Peter Singer ("hey, he's smart; so it must be ok")?

      More importantly, Christianity is not primarily about what somebody else thinks of Jesus – but *your* relationship with Jesus.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Drew, the muslim religion is demonstrably false. The same can't be said for Christianity.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • DonInLA

      Well then, I guess if he says so, it must be correct. Heaven forbid you should actually develop an opinion of your own. So many people on so many different levels and subjects live their life according to this concept that you can hardly call what they do living.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Drew

      ok John, then demonstrate it for me

      May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Drew, William Lane Craig has written and debated extensively on this topic. I will refer you to his writings.

      May 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Drew

      Why don't you go ahead and encapsulate for me why he says Islam can't be true?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Russ, I agree with you fully and my personal relationship with Christ is the most important thing I have, but I think that the work of thoughtful Christians can go a long way toward bolstering and confirming the faith of the believers.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Drew, the answer to that question is a lot longer than anything I could say in this blog. In short, Islam rejects Jesus as Savior, leaving Christianity as unique above all other religions in its Savior theology. There are also lots of problems with the Koran and unfulfilled prophecies of Mohammed. You obviously don't believe in Islam. Why don't you tell me why you don't believe?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Drew

      For essentially teh same reason I don't believe in Christianity: it makes claims that cannot be proved or disproved

      May 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • JohnTX

      Well ultimately, whatever you believe must be accepted on faith. Some people have the faith that only science can give us answers. Others have faith in God even though there is no way to perfectly prove to everyone that he exists.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  19. Philojazz

    In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. As they say on Saturday Night Live..."Really?" I mean Really the fact that two men (or two women) love each other and show it in physical ways in the privacy of their own homes means MORE to you than the fact that millions of Americans live in poverty, have NO medical care, and are "represented" in government by congressmen whose seats are increasingly purchased by corporations. Come on, Really? That's more important to you morally than the millions of children going to bed hungry every night? More important than the fact that millions of American children attend schools that are an embarrassment in the richest and most powerful country in the world? Seriously, Really? Are you for real, Mr Mohler? Note, I haven't even bothered to mention your bible-speak....

    May 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • StudentoftheBible

      I agree with you that there are more important matters to deal with than to make gay marriages legal. So let's forget about making gay marriages legal!

      May 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  20. Mark

    Mohler is another blind follower of the first thing into which he was indoctrinated. A slight tweak to history and he'd be advocating laws that required mandatory participation in the or-gy to Bacchus because his religious text said the gods would punish us otherwise.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:44 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.