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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. God

    The Bible was a joke. Wow, some people are so easily taken in.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus walks into an inn. he hands the innkeeper 3 nails and says, "can you put me up for the night?"

      lol, now that's a joke.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Wrath of Zeus

      Like all those meatbags just pounding each other in the back door with giant rubber fists lube with bacon grease. Tasty and slippery.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Bet

      @Wrath of Zeus – sounds like you spend a lot of time thinking about vivid descriptions of g ay s e x. Maybe you should just come out of the closet and be done with it.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Bet

      @bootyfunk LOL LOL LOL!

      May 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  2. Jean

    Paul said this, Paul said that. Yes, Paul said it, not Christ. What would Christianity look like if people were to differentiate between Christ's teachings and Paul's interpretations?

    May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Wrath of Zeus

      I would like to watch a horse skeet massive hot sticky loads in your cavernous stretched butt hole.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Helena Hanbaskit

      I suspect it would look like a kind world where people were treated equally.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • rch

      They teach the same thing. Christians don't pit Paul against Jesus.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • joe

      This is a very important question to ponder. Jesus, mortally speaking, grew up as a poor Jew, likely snubbed socailly because his mother's irregular pregancy. Paul was a wealthy, Roman citizen who enjoyed the privelege of religious elitism. Converted or not, he brings his context and legalism into his experience and understanding of the gospel. Paul is ultimately an early evangelist who comes from a very different interpretive context from the Christ he preached. Study and follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that is your example. The one who sat at banquets with people who would have been stoned according to levitical law. Grace and mercy people. That's what God has given me, why would I withold it from others?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Jean

      Some of today's Christians could probably be more accurately called Paulians. They assume that because it appears in the NT that Christ said it. Christ, himself, actually said very little, and the rest is commentary. What if people were to focus on Christ's words?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Bet

      @Wrath – you spend a lot of time thinking about having s e x with animals, do you? Doesn't your god frown on best i al ity?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  3. CRC

    I have spent my whole life studying the Bible and doing my best to follow God's Word in my life. It just amazes me the comments that come from unbelievers. They think that because they read it a little bit they know all about it and they haven't the faintest clue of how ignorant they are. Only a child of the King can understand His Word. Good job Mr Mohler.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Jamie

      I have read it cover to cover multiple times and it is more barbaric each time. If you have also read the entire bible are truly ok with what it promotes and condones, then I feel sad for you as an individual with the values you have.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      study after study shows that atheists generally have more biblical knowledge than the christians that supposedly live their life by that book. i'm an atheist and i've read the bible from cover to cover, with historical, religious and skeptical study guides to help my understanding of it.

      christians that don't like the questions and conclusions that non-believers come up with about the bible always say "you just haven't read it." bollocks.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • momoya

      Me too!! I was a believer and minister for nearly 50 years!! Great to see that others come to the sensible conclusion after reading and studying the bible!!! Awesome

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Patty Biller

      CRC: exactly, because the Holy Spirit is indwelling each of us. "The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit…"

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Helena Hanbaskit

      "Only a child of the King can understand His Word."

      Feeling humble are we?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Again, momoya, since you are here, thanks for the video on morality without religion. It's wonderful.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Colin

      I have read most of it. I have also read works by various authors that put it in context. The latter are very bit as revealing as the former. I think most Christians would get a lot out of a solid understanding of the Bible in the context of other, contemporary Middle Eastern mythology from that era.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Leo

      Study after study, Really could you provide some sort of example of these studies.

      People turn away from the scriptures most often because of sin in there lives, the scriptures shed light on these acts and clearly provide what is good and bad.

      Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day, and This good news was spread to all nations exacly as the scriptures fortold would happen.

      Israel was reborn as a Nation in 1948 again exacly as the scriptures promised, and when the whole world comes against them in the end Jesus will return to save them and all the rest of the believers.

      We are in the last days and the Great Apostasy that Momoya and others have gone through is again a promise of what would happen in the end.

      The day is coming soon! So when you see the fulfillment of these scriptures and you still reject God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ you can't blaim anyone but yourself. I hope you all turn in the end.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, nonsense, Leo. You people can memorize chapter and verse of the Bible and you'll still be as far from Christian as any atheist. Just look at HS. Walking proof.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Hey, Momoya, you made it into scripture! Does that mean you have been promoted? Say Hi to the Big Guy!

      May 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you not know how to read? Momoya was a minister. I don't doubt she's forgotten more scripture and theology than you could ever hope to learn, considering you just got started with Nancy Drew.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Tom, I was making fun...

      May 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Bet

      Arrogant, much?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  4. Nitrogen

    All hail the Great God Lardicus. He commands you to repent of your sins and eat of the almighty cheeseburger. Which sins you ask? The Great God Lardicus forbids the eating of salad and other wholesome foods. You, as His children shall smite down any that prepare vegan or vegetarian meals, they are an abomination unto the Lord. You can have all the gay s3x you want though.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • EndTheHate

      But I am a gay vegan chef.

      What to do....

      May 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  5. You really must be evil

    Since when did the christian argument against slavery become " In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery"?

    So the old and new testament only condone slavery, not command you to own slaves. Is that really how christians are defending their god's support of one of the greatest evils ever? I get how the bible has been used in the past to continue slavery, but when did condoning it become acceptable in today's society? If you are willing to condone evil, then you Mr. Mohler are definately evil!

    May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I asked my spiritual adviser regarding "Why were there slaves and free men to begin with?"

      Answer: Various reasons. As a result of oppression (Exodus 1:8-14), or war (Numbers 31:11), or commerce (Leviticus 25:44-45), or poverty (Leviticus 25:47).

      Slavery was occurring in the world at that time and the Bible records it.

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible doesn't record slavery. the bible supports it. there are rules for selling your own daughter into slavery. there are rules for beating your slaves.

      be a little more honest in your evaluations of the bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, you asked your "spiritual advisor", did you, HS. I'll bet that's one person among many who gets the pucker factor whenever you show up on the doorstep.

      Have you ever managed to convince anyone to become a believer, HS? Why do you suppose you haven't?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You should also read:

      Revelation 6:15-17
      Revelation 13:16
      Revelation 19:18

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Helena Hanbaskit

      Heavensent, that was indeed pretty watered down and freshened up. The Bible fails to condemn slavery, domestic abuse, and genocide and there's simply no way around that. These are some of the simplest moral questions to face human beings and the Bible botches it on each one.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Why Tommie Tom, it's because of Romans 1:28???

      Amen.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • bren222

      Helena

      I take it you've never actually read the whole Bible ... God and Jesus both spoke to these issues – hm, but probably didn't use 21st century terms, right

      May 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it isn't. You couldn't sell air conditioning in the Amazon, you obnoxious old hag. People don't like you. They probably can't stand being around you. That's why you got sh!t-canned from your job.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Go to HeavenSent for all your idiotic random spouting of biblical passage needs.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Helena Hanbaskit, watered down? Read the list of Revelation that I gave. Slavery exists today, or have you never heard of the s3x trade going on all over the world.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Too funny Tommie Tom, my boss was just like you (LOL). Always manipulating to get her own way.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell. Guess she manipulated you into early retirement and embittered your shriveled little soul.

      What am I manipulating and what would I get by doing so?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS thinks she got fired because the people in her office were dishonest and manipulators.

      Funny how blind HS is to her horrible personality.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom, I never doubted that you would violate and continue to violate Exodus 20:16. Anything goes with non-believers.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  6. Lenny Pincus

    btw, look hard at Al's eyes and tell me what you see.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Benny Hill?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Bet

      A stoner? A mouth breather? Lenny from Of Mice and Men? The Deliverance banjo boy? Am I getting close?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  7. Oneforall777

    BET: How can you say the United States was not founded on Christian Principles? I'm shocked! Please read:
    Summer 12, 1775 – Continental Congress issues a call to all citizens to fast and pray and confess their sin that the Lord might bless the land. “And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and to abstain from servile labor and recreation on said day.”

    Summer 2-4, 1776 – Declaration of Independence written and signed. .......“We hold these truths … that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights … appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world … And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”

    As the Declaration was being signed, Samuel Adams said: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let his kingdom come.”

    On the same day, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the national motto be: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

    Historian and philosopher G.K. Chesterton said of the founding of America that it is “the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth in dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.”

    Want more quotes? The United States of America was FOUNDED on Christian Principles – NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!

    Please tell me I'm making this up? (Not)

    May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Bet

      Wrong. The First Amendment clearly states that no one religion takes precedence over another.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Conqui

      Your quotations do not mention Christ at all. They could just as easily, maybe even more easily, apply to Judaism, Islam, and/or Buddhism. George Washington suggested the official language might be Hebrew, to avoid the conflict between those speaking English and those speaking German. Are you suggesting the Pres Geo Wash was a secret Jew? Just because founding fathers echo some of the same things as some (but certainly not all) Christians doesn't mean they considered themselves to be Christians. In actual fact, neither Ben Franklin nor Tom Jefferson considered themselves Christians, yet you quote them as proof. You distort the truth to support your opinions, just like Mohler did in his article. Definitely about as anti-Christ as I can imagine. You are both heretics.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • TLP

      I found this interesting to read, it is from George Washington's farewell address when he left office: 27 Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  8. Lenny Pincus

    The NT prizes slaves obeying their masters like obeying Christ. Why is Al unaware of this?

    May 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there are rules for selling your own daughter into slavery in the bible. disgusting.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Jamie

      Not unaware, just chooses to ignore like other christians...

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Leo

      What Paul is teaching Christians is to be a standard above all others, even in the worst of conditions. The goal is to win even slaveholders over through the example of their lives.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      then why not just say "thou shalt not own another human being. it is wrong in every way."

      instead, the bible supports it. jesus himself supports slavery, tells slaves to obey.

      bad bad stuff.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Leo

      Just an excuse man... you see clearly the workmanship of God through his creation, and the scriptures if you understood them would provide you salvation through faith in Jesus Christ who died for your sins.

      But the Bible shines light on the Darkness and you don't like that. You want to live your life for yourself and run things the way you want. Following the Creator of the universe seems like a bummer to you.

      This life is NOT what we are living for, but rather the hope of eternity and purpose in life. We are more precious than you think and man was made for better things than a dirt bed.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Moe Smith

    Bible thumpers ALWAYS leave out the parts they don't like. thats how they go about skewing (screwing?) the true meaning and message. The moment any person declares that the Bible is ultimate law has just sent each and every woman back to the dark ages. The Bible states ALL WOMEN ARE CHATTEL. Do you understand? Do you get what that means? WOMEN = PROPERTY. YOUR Bible DECLARES THIS! This is YOUR CHRISTIAN LAW. YOU females are PROPERTY.

    Gotta love Leviticus.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • bren222

      ever hear of context and progressive revelation ... quit taking bits of other people's arguments you've read off the net

      May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Ooooh, progressive revelation. That's a new one for me...

      May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • bren222

      so what's your point? ... i could explain it to you if you're having a hard time understanding

      May 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Jamie

    " In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity" – With regards to gay marriage, this could be "In the first place, the New Testament never commands one male/one female marriage, and it prizes freedom and dignity". Sounds like gay marriage should be just fine then...

    May 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • rch

      Matt 19:4-6 It does command one man/one woman

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Conqui

      @RCH: You are either unable to read or outright lying, just as Mohler lies in his article. Read Matt 19:11-12, where Jesus explicitly says what he said about marriage for a man and a woman does not apply to "born eunuchs" (different translations use different words for the Greek, which means "eunuchs who have been so from birth"). "Eunuchs from birth" is a well known term in rabbinical writings, Roman law, and early Christian writings, applied to men who were completely physically intact but had no physical interest in women. They preferred men, instead. The way they were described is pretty much how we describe the g * a * y stereotype today. Jesus said his teaching about marriage didn't apply to them. Stop editing verses of the Bible so that it looks like Jesus says things that are contrary to the truth of what he actually said.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  11. Peggy Goodman

    I have pondered the same thing EXCEPT why is lying, stealing, and adultery so overlooked? My second question would be isn't that between God and the sinner? Didn't Jesus say to the crowd "he who is without sin cast the first stone? I am not gay nor would I EVER get an abortion, but I don't see why I should have the right to take that right from someone else. Again. that's between them and God to go over on THEIR judgement day.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • dave A

      Good thinking, Peggy.. Thank you

      May 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • b

      I understand your use of the argument of the woman and being charged with adultery and Jesus saying "neither do I condemn you." However, he also goes on to say "Go and sin no more."

      May 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • rch

      So you would support someone's "right" to murder then? You're not judgmental are you?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Peggy Goodman

      b, I wasn't speaking of the sinner, I was speaking of the ones who judged her and wanted to stone her to death. rch, I think that's a little ridiculous. Of course I don't condone murder, plus it's not a right shared by others already, except by the State, which I am also against, until they can do it without any doubt and find later on the person was actually innocent. The other thing is that gay marriage doesn't affect a man/woman marriage unless you obsess about it and becomes impossible to live with you lol j/k I already stated I would never have an abortion, I would find it hard to live with it on my conscience.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Bet

      rch, for about the millionth time, it's about the civil rights of consenting adults. Murder victims don't consent to be murdered.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Conqui

      @Bet - Don't bother with RCH, he refuses to even read verses next to the ones he quotes, because to include the whole series of verses show that they mean the opposite of the first half of the concept. He isn't capable of understanding a complete concept, he can only read half a sentence and then becomes confused by his own prejudices. Even after the 20th millionth time, he can't get beyond the first comma. Just like Mohler.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Conqui

      LOL!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  12. Born again

    What does God think about the ways of man? Read Proverbs 14:12.Why does man reject the Bible? Read 2 Peter 1:20-21.
    Is man righteous? Read Romans 3:10-12. Did man write the Bible? Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. What does God say about the Human heart? Read Jeremiah 17:9. What does God say about the present age we live in? Read 2 Timothy 3:1-7. What does God say about man's wisdom apart from God? Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-20. What does God say about sin? I Cor 2:14 Rom 8:7 – 5:18 Psalm 14:2-3 Matt 13:19. AMEN

    May 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Conqui

      Do you have even the slightest inkling that almost no one cares about your questions, and even if they did, they are not going to open their Bibles and read those verses? It is out-of-context Bible quoters like you who give the rest of us believers who are trying to address the stated issue a bad image. Go pray in a closet or something and stop embarrassing other Christians.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  13. Lenny Pincus

    Boy, Al, are you full of it. Typical Christianist selective horse manure. Here's St. Paul on slavery:

    Slaves, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

    Al, go take your manure and pollute some pond. The greatest moral question today is not the behavior of 5% of the population that is gay, it's the 20% of the population that uses the Bible to advance hatred.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • bren222

      you do realize that in the passage you're quoting – taken out of context ... that he is actually speaking to slaves who had no choice abou their lot ... he wasn't condoing slavery ... try again.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • timetospeak

      Hatred? Who is hating whom?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible supports slavery throughout. there are rules for beating your slaves, selling your slaves, selling your own daughter into slavery, etc. jesus himself tells slaves to obey their masters if they want any chance of getting into heaven.

      christians, embarrassed by the bible's clear support of slavery, often make excuses.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Your reply proves my point. Paul doesn't say, "Slaves, Jesus wanted you all to be free because God hates slavery." He says, "Slaves, shut up."

      May 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • bren222

      Bootyfunk

      you actaully probably have read the Bible for yourself ... please tell me where it the NT slavery was encouraged

      May 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Al hates gay people.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • bren222

      Lenny Pincus

      You have no clue, right? Contrary to the free life you take for granted ... a slave back then couldn't just co up to their master and say, 'hey, i don't like this ... think i'm going to strike' ... try understanding context

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Bren222, I'm thrilled you are able to "contextualize" God's supposedly immutable word.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • bren222

      Lenny

      You are truly ignorant .. in the truest sense of that word ... sorry for you

      May 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @bren

      here's jesus telling slaves to obey their masters if they want any chance of getting into heaven:

      Luke 12:37-38
      37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
      38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

      May 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      bren222, you are incapable of making an intelligent argument. "Contextualize." What a sorry excuse.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • bren222

      wow .... let me put it a little more simply ... most slaves don't have a choice on being slaves – they couldn't just quit or go on strike [right?] ... so the NT was speaking to people [slaves] who had no choice except how they live in their enslavement ... they didn't have a choice but be a slave – understand?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • rch

      Booty: how does Luk 12:37-38 support slavery?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      "Most slaves don't have a choice" will come as news to the literally millions of slave who have ignored such stupid Biblical commands and either a) escaped or b) rebelled. How's that for "context"?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  14. TPN51

    Think of the structure and time table of the Bible. Moses leads around 205 million Jews out of Egypt for some forty some odd years. Could you imaging that with no laws to govern? Moses lead the Jews out of Egypt around 1290 BC, the book of Malachi, last book of Old Testament around 444 BC and don't forget Noah in the middle who live to the ripe old age of 969. So for almost 1200 years nothing until Jesus. Then the final book of Revelations written By John at age 92. At that age I'd be looking for a revelation myself. With all the profits, Jesus, Moses and other famous Biblical characters, here we are some 2000 years later with no proof of any of it. It just don't add up mathematically. Could you imagine a 800 year old Noah being fruitful and multiplying?

    May 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the closer you examine the bible, the more things don't add up. a number of people lived to 900 years in the bible. there are unicorns, dragons, satyrs + c.ockatrice, talking donkeys and talking fiery bushes. most chrisitans have never read the bible cover to cover - they are read cherry-picked passages on sunday morning. the bible is full of craziness and contradictions.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • dude

      What's Bible? There 30 billion people on earth, 50 nations with history of more than 5000years, don't know n care less a out that book and they are just as good people living good lives

      May 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Conqui

      205 million out of Egypt? That's more than the population of the whole earth, by a long shot. You have your numbers and years completely messed up. Gibberish.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  15. Colin

    The gay community has the moral high ground in this debate. I have never heard of a group of gays trying to deny Christians the right to marry, telling Christians they are going to "hell" or passing laws to deny Christians fundamental liberties.

    I am surprised that more liberal Christians do not recognize this deep hypocrisy and disavow themselves of the views of their more extremest elements.

    May 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Kmart

      No they do not.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Leo

      Christianity offers hope to all who would believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is the Good News provided to all mankind. The Invisible God reveals himself through creation and the scriptures, and then when you trust in him he reveals himself further in a relationship that only those that trust in him experience.

      Those that reject this Gospel are totally free to do so, but don't blaim Christians for trying to stear you right, they are only trying to help you.

      Christians should not judge those outside the "Church", but should be loving everyone in the hopes that they will see the difference between believers and non-believers.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      which would be worse, heaven or hell? can't think of anything worse than floating around on a cloud all day kissing god's @ss.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Bet

      Leo, we all see the difference between believers and nonbelievers. I'll stick with the nonbelievers.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Conqui

      I suppose that you would consider me a liberal Christian. But only in the context of what has become a shameful blip in Christian history the past 150 yrs or so. The anti-gXy movement uses verses in the Bible completely differently than the early Christians. In fact, when it was discovered that St. Clement of Alexandria (around 400 or 500 CE, if I recall correctly) used Leviticus 18:22 to condemn hm$x behavior, and also used Romans 1 in much the same way as we see it interpreted today, he lost his sainthood (around 1200 CE, again approx century).....the only saint ever to be unsainted and never restored to sainthood. THAT is the true tradition of the Christian church about those very same Bible verses now used by the thumpers and their ilk. They don't even know the slightest thing about the history of their own religion. But please don't lump me in with them, and assume that because I proclaim to be a Christian, that I think the same prejudicial and heretical things they do.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  16. dud

    All things are not equal. We are free to legislate in a way that sharpens the word of God, like abolishing slavery in favor of the rights of ALL of God's people, but the act of love in the clear way it was intended – to fuse a couple closer together as they raise a family – is not something that can be assailed by a social whim.

    The government is caught between a rock and a hard place. It must guarantee human rights to all, but is the recognition of a 'marriage' a right or is it a privilege, like voting, a driver license or any other civil function? Since many nations define their civil privileges differently, but none question a marriage between a man and a woman, the civil morality of the majority of the citizens must outweigh the whim of a few.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • momoya

      Funny how god tells how to own slaves and how to negotiate a proper price for your daughter when selling her off, but he couldn't add just a few words somewhere: "Don't buy or sell people.". Stupid god.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bet

      Sorry, but you aren't free to legislate a da mn thing. The first amendment prevents it. Gay marriage will be a reality and you will just have to get over it.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  17. archimedes109

    There are many different belief systems in the world today. Each comes with its own set of rules, guidelines, rituals, etc. Each claims to know the ultimate truth, and how to achieve eternal bliss/nirvana/heaven. So we are born into this world and the game begins...live your life as you see fit. Believe what you will believe...

    But to be Christian, I must believe that God placed my soul on the Earth, not randomly, but deliberately in the location of my birth. We all have the highest probability of adopting the predominant belief system in our geographical location. This means that God essentially chooses your belief system for you.

    Then he waits for his chance to judge you for it.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Jen

      So basically you're hoping you won the geographical lottery. Well good luck to you on that.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Thanks for making God sound like a jerk.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god doesn't need any help to sound like a jerk. here he is telling his followers to kill babies:

      psalm 137:9
      Desolate Daughter Babylon, you shall be destroyed,
      blessed the one who pays you back
      what you have done us!e
      Blessed the one who seizes your children
      and smashes them against the rock.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • rch

      Booty: who's picking verses now? That's a lament Psalm.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Bet

      Wow, so your god puts some people in first world luxury (American christians) and others in third world hell (most of Africa, Asia and South America) and then sits back to enjoy the show, ready to pounce on you with fire and brimstone? Your god is a first class jerk.

      May 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  18. timetospeak

    Thank you, Albert Mohler, for this clear explanation of Biblical truth shared in the love of Christ. For those who honestly wish to know what the Bible teaches about this subject this is a very helpful and timely word. For those who are content with the constant misrepresentations of what Scripture clearly teaches on the subject, no amount of Bible teaching will change that. As Romans 1:18 says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (please read on through the end of Romans 1, those who are willing to approach the Scriptures without bias).

    May 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Peggy Goodman

      TimeToSpeak, I believe we need to remember Jesus' teachings, one of them being tolerant towards one another. I don't recall Him picking out a few to enforce the Laws of the Bible, for that alone is God's job. If you want to call me a liberal Christian, go ahead. I believe that I should read the Bible to learn how to lead a righeous life before God and not look for ways to condemn others. I have always loved the churchgoers that during the week gossip about the people they saw there on Sunday, treating others like total crap, and believe that they are more Holy because they go to church. Why can't we just mind our own business and worry about what we are doing. I'm not perfect and I'm sure you can pick yourself out in some of the teachings of what not to do. I mean listen to your tone and self-righteousness in your words. Not too Christianly

      May 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      Try reading it in the original language. The King James version does not tally with the original. Of course the translators in the early 1600s actually were less representing God than the king.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  19. Robert Ford

    was this article published on CNN ? is it the end of the world?

    May 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  20. glorydays

    The world would be so peaceful without religion.........

    May 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Naw.. humans will find reasons to harm, kill, steal, and mistreat each other without religion... We do have politics you know.

      May 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • dud

      It was religion that catalyzed the first thoughts on diplomacy, familial peace and the regard for children, the rule of law and not eye for an eye at the whim of whomever might be the stronger.

      Without religion's influence the world now would look like a tropical plain where all feed on the weakest, the youngest and the eldest. A truly Darwinian world, completely without compassion.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Why are so many Christian Right Wingers so supportive of social Darwinism while so disgusted by the idea of Natural Selection?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • glorydays

      Oh please, Dud, it is the religious who hate everyone not like them. I'm not religious and I am MUCH more compassionate than these haters.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Greyhound37

      Dud said: "It was religion that catalyzed the first thoughts on diplomacy, familial peace and the regard for children, the rule of law and not eye for an eye at the whim of whomever might be the stronger."

      Which religion was this?
      Are we talking about those in the middle-east around 2500 BC?
      I've always been partial to Mithra, myself.
      Perhaps the Greco-Roman pantheons?
      Some of the ancient Egyptian or far Eastern religions?
      Perhaps some of the animist religions of Africa or the Americas?

      I would counter your statement with one a bit different: It was religion that catalyzed the first thoughts of people inspired to commit genocide upon others, and have a convenient way to justify it to themselves "morally".

      May 21, 2012 at 10:49 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.