home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Greshlyr

    Seems to me that Gman is providing another example of cafeteria Christianity; Jesus said one thing, Pauls says the opposite, and you get to pick and choose.

    By they way, Bet, you are my new hero. 🙂

    May 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Bet

      Thank you, what a nice thing to say. I have no idea why, but it's sweet of you all the same.

      May 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Greshlyr

      From your posts, you seem like a beacon of rationality and civility, rare things in the world today and especially so on the internet.

      May 25, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Bet

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It's very nice of you to say that.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  2. jim

    v

    May 24, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  3. Dennis

    @quere Just because you pass something doesn't mean it is a good thing.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Randy

      This reading is typically myopic Baptist BS. Jesus' words do not preclude polygamy - they just state that when a man and woman marry they become united as one flesh and separate from their parents...i.e. the relationship changes. A man can be united as one flesh with several women. Only "bishops" or leaders in the church are limited to one wife. Paul also said you shouldn't marry at all...you should focus on God's work. He said you should only marry if you are so weak minded that you can't control your carnal lusts. Also, the New Testament absolutely doesn't "command" slavery - neither does the Old Testament. The Old Testament provides rules on how slavery is to be executed/managed. Stating that Abolitionist were Christian has nothing to do with the real Biblical doctrine - it is a smoke screen.

      May 24, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Bet

      I actually don't have a problem with polygamy. As long as it's between informed, consenting adults, it doesn't hurt anyone. The key is informed consent, not arranged marriages involving 12 year old little girls who have been brainwashed from birth.

      May 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    H.O.M.O.S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL!

    May 24, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  5. JD

    I'll just say it. I'm tired of Christians who sin but then are forgiven. Stop fooling yourselves people. Your religion is weak at best and horribly destructive at its worst. Mohler points out that there are alot of things Christians aren't supposed to do but ignore now because, well, they are ridiculous. Religions, Christian, Muslim and Jewish in particular, do nothing but hold the world back from progress. Any positive moral teachings have been discarded by the actions of their members poor, backwards behavior.

    Any time you rely on one book for all of life's answers you are doomed to failure.

    May 24, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • DJ

      "Religions, Christian, Muslim and Jewish in particular, do nothing but hold the world back from progress."

      "Any time you rely on one book for all of life's answers you are doomed to failure."

      So are you saying Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa held the world back from progress and are all failures?

      May 24, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • quere

      @JD
      "Any time you rely on one book for all of life's answers you are doomed to failure."

      I'm sorry to burst your bubble but I have a news for you, Evangelicals and other religious groups TRIUMPH their SUCCESS BANNING gay marriage in NC.

      Who are doomed for failure again, BUTTHEAD?!

      May 24, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Bet

      @ DJ

      He said religions hold back progress. He didn't say anything about individuals who may practice a certain religion. Religion has held back scientific progress for centuries, from whether the earth revolves around the sun to stem cell research.

      Galileo contributed to the world despite religion, not because of it. He didn't make his discoveries because he was catholic, he made them because he was a scientist.

      May 24, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Bet

      @quere

      It will be overturned eventually. It's goes against the first amendment. Probably take years and millions of tax dollars that could be spent on social programs that actually benefit people.

      Again, you hold back any real progress in support of bigotry.

      May 24, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      @quere: Have you seen the movie Contact based on the novel by astronomer/physicist Carl Sagan? THAT'S how religion holds back progress!

      May 24, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • quere

      Bet & Galactica

      I didn't quote anything from DJ's post but this statement: "Any time you rely on one book for all of life's answers you are doomed to failure."

      I didn't say anything about "holding back progress" you pair of DUMBBUTTS!!!

      May 25, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Bet the dweeb

      @quere

      I understood exactly what you were commenting on. Denying someone their civil rights is holding back progress.

      Interesting that you can't comment without the name calling.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  6. Gregory Lewis

    Which words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels are specifically anti-gay?

    May 24, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • myklds

      Anti-gay = NONE
      Anti-Hómóse.xuality = a lot, in the bible.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  7. SHAME

    I think if god existed he would favour us atheists over the gullible blind fools who listen more to the scripture writings of who knows who from 2000 years ago more than they listen to their own hearts and minds! That is not spirituality it is FAKE! Intuition – Empathy – Self trust – THAT is what 'god' would want us to believe in, not this crap.

    May 24, 2012 at 4:32 am |
    • j

      So your alternative for a self existent creator is the concept of self creation which is false by definition and is complete aburdity because it denies the basic rule of non contradiction. something can not be before it was. something cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same sense. before you start mocking Christians for being fools just realize that your argument for the universe has its feet planted firmly in mid air.

      May 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  8. JOregon

    A few pages back.
    @INC
    “Rome was NOT founded as a Christian Nation either, see what I mean?”

    You seem to be implying that since Rome was not founded on Christianity and became a Christian nation that makes it OK for the USA to do the same.
    Rome was a Nation for 1200 years, once they became Christian they collapsed.
    Christian in 313, destroyed in 476.
    Is that what you want for America?
    We have a consti-tution, to protect us from such folly.
    Christians can't even agree as to what the bible teaches.
    Are you Calvinist or Arminian? (As a side note; originally the S. Baptists were Calvinists, now they are Arminian.)
    Baptism necessary or not?
    Baptize by Sprinkling, Immersion, Pouring, or one of the many other techniques?
    Sabbath – Sunday or Saturday or some other day?
    Our politicians have enough trouble focusing on real issues now you want to hand them religion!!!?
    ...
    With that it is bed time just got home after a 14 hour day and I get up in 6 hours for another one. I thought the economy was slow.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • INC

      "Rome was a Nation for 1200 years, once they became Christian they collapsed.
      Christian in 313, destroyed in 476."

      I will not anymore argue with your surety that Christianity was the cause of Rome's debacle.

      I mght rather ask you 2 question 1.) Is Rome collapsed until now? And 2.) Did they cease to become a Christian Nation?

      "You seem to be implying that since Rome was not founded on Christianity and became a Christian nation that makes it OK for the USA to do the same."

      Nope! That's not what I meant. What I wanted to say that change is constant and limitless. It has no boundaries, it will affect everything either in a sudden or gradual manner. To be able to know such changes, all you have to do is to open your eyes and mind and look around you.

      Look at the number of churches; the billboards and sinages on the streets and public transportations; and the number of Christians in your neighborhood. It seems that long hours of work has taken it's toll. You should go out once in a while in the real world that you may realize that what you've been bragging ("This is a secular nation") all day dwells only in your fantasy. And the ARTICLE in the consti.tution that you've been defending and depending to as well is just too weak.

      This nation may have not been a Christian Nation, however, IT is IT has BECOME,whether you accept it or not.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:10 am |
    • JOregon

      "Look at the number of churches;"

      Which one is true to the word?
      If you attend Mohler's Southern Baptist Seminary you would attend Boyce College. Named after the first Dean of SB Seminary, James Petigru Boyce. What they teach is what he warned against.
      If you have time you might want to delve into his "Abstract of Systematic Theology".
      On the link above to Southern Baptist Seminary look at the Abstract of Principles of 1858:
      "V. Election

      Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life-not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ-in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified."

      and look at the Baptist Faith and Message of 2000:
      "IV. Salvation

      Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer."

      The Bible warned that in the end times there would be a signs and wonders movement of false Christs and false teachers. The Pentecostal movement began in 1901.
      The "Slaying in the Spirit" phenomenon is the fulfillment of calling down Fire from Heaven". When they came to take Jesus in the Garden he should have called down fire from heaven as Elijah did (2 Kings 1:10) instead Jesus made them all fall backward to show they were under the Judgment of God.
      John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

      There are other places in the bible where people fall backward to show they are under God's judgment.
      Just because there are lots of churches it doesn't mean they are true to the word.
      A false church is more harmful than no church at all. Blind leaders of the blind.

      When a Church Works Against the Lord they are a CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN NAME ONLY.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • INC

      You don't really get it do you?

      America is NOW a Christian nation. Get it over with.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Bet

      America is not a christian nation. Our Bill of Rights is still in effect. The discriminatory laws that religious bigots have push through will eventually go to the supreme court and be overturned.

      May 24, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      I think what INC is basically saying is:
      F* ck the Bill of Rights, it was written by misguided Freemasons and has no bearing on American society now, it should be tossed out and re-written by true Christians, not by people in a secret occult society.

      May 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • JOregon

      INC
      You don't get it.
      America is a Nation where people can follow any faith or none at all.
      Yes there are many that CALL themselves Christian, but are not.
      Yes there are Christians too.
      There are also New Age Reincarnationists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Wiccans, and Taoists.
      Are you prepared for Muslims becoming the dominate religion? Are you prepared for Sharia Law? Your standard will make that a very real possibility.
      America is not a Christian Nation, it is a Nation that allows all religions.

      May 25, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • INC

      Bill of Rights is not exclusive for anybody, it's for everybody. Hence, it has nothing to do whether this country is a Christian or Secular nation.

      It even supports and clearly mandates "freedom OF religion" NOT freedom FROM religion, you freedom FROM religion, you pile of DIMBUTTS!

      May 26, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • INC

      sans the repetítive phrase.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      INC, you're an ass ... the U.S. Supreme Court has said that freedom OF religion ALSO encompas'ses freedom FROM religion as well.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • INC

      JOregon

      I agree, this country gives everyone rights and freedom to practice any religion and even lack thereof. However, this country also a DEMOCRATIC one, where MAJORITY (always) WINS! Again look around you and observe what is going on in our society, government and politics.

      I commend your principles and ideals and I never intent to erode them. However, reality is rather (too) pragmatic than ideal. Fact that everyone should deal, live and get over with. I now humbly rest my case.

      Have a nice day pal, my apology for my occasional sarcasm, it just so happened that sometimes, idiotic and nonsensical comments inevitably get into my nerve but reassured that you're exempted for the most of them, especially the most recent one.

      It has been so nice exchanging thoughts with you, GL.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:55 am |
    • INC

      @mirosal

      There's nobody her has mentioned, "Supreme Court" but you. We said, "Bill of Rights", you INCONTINENT BUTT!!!

      My last one, PROMISE!

      May 26, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Mirosal

      My response was a direct rebut'tal to you saying that freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. Thus sayeth our SECULAR governement.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • JOregon

      @INC
      I understand what you are saying, but it isn't that you have to have a lot of churches. Or people saying they are Christian – You Have To Have People That Agree With Your Ideals.
      Most Christians, such as myself, don't believe it is a Christian ideal to BULLY others into a set of morals. Most of us aren't control freaks.
      Most Christians believe in the Principles this Nation was Founded on such as:

      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

      Their Creator, not necessarily my Creator. If their creator is biology, so be it.
      Who am I to decide how someone lives their life, as long as they don't interfere, injure, or defraud others?
      Let people be Happy. Let them have the Liberty to live a Life of their choosing.

      I believe earlier you said we are required to place a hand on the bible when we take an oath, or something like that.
      That is not true.
      No government official or anyone else is required to put a hand on the bible when taking an oath. Saying, "So help me God", in the oath is a fabrication of Hollywood. It is an ancient British procedure, not America's.
      Have a great Memorial Day

      May 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  9. WOT

    Just because one may focus on some else behavior, it does not take the light off the wrong/sin you do! It helps to point the finger at others.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  10. tsoho

    So here's a question:

    The old testament says "Thou shalt not kill". Am I allowed to believe that killing is wrong if I don't believe that it is wrong to eat pork? Or do I have to accept murderers because I also like pork chops?

    Am I a hypocrite if I think murder is wrong, but ritually unclean food is good.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Bet

      "Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood." -Vincent Vega

      Sorry, couldn't resist.

      May 24, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      And what about military personnell? And covert assassins?

      May 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @tsoho "The old testament says "Thou shalt not kill". Am I allowed to believe that killing is wrong if I don't believe that it is wrong to eat pork? Or do I have to accept murderers because I also like pork chops? Am I a hypocrite if I think murder is wrong, but ritually unclean food is good."

      =>killing is wrong
      =>We are no longer under the old testament dietary restrictions
      =>""Everything is permissible for me"–but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"–but I will not be mastered by anything." 1 Corinthians 6

      May 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  11. Mary

    What? The Old Testament is no longer used by Christians as a source of absolute law??? So the 10 commandments are no longer used by Christians as a source of absolute law? It sounds to me like the disease of picking and choosing your favorite bits from the bible is like a plague among Christains.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Mary

      *Christians* please pardon my typo

      May 24, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Bet

      Confusing, isn't it?

      May 24, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Anna

      Yaaaa – another person displaying their complete lack of knowledge about the bible. Way to go Mary!! I take it history was not one of your best subjects in school

      May 24, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Bet

      Hey Anna, remember posting this?

      "Anna
      Wow.....have witnessed hundreds of miracles – they are raising the dead in Africa and Mexico.......there are cities in the US – that at being hailed as No Cancer Zones.....because the miracles are happening. People with MS are being healed.....people are receiving new limbs. Jesus heals today.....its a common fact for those who follow Him. We find it facinating that CNN never cover this.....i am talking about full on miracles....the blind see and the deaf hear.....Jesus Christ is the Way!!!!!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      I asked you to provide some evidence of all these miracles you've witnessed a couple of times, but you haven't gotten back to me yet.

      Maybe you were off your meds that day. Since you seem to be feeling better today, how about providing a before and after picture of one of the folks you claim grew new limbs? Or the dead people who are no longer dead? Are they zombies? If they are, are they the slow kind or the fast zombies?

      Since you've witnessed hundreds of them, surely there's just one teeny little picture you could share?

      May 24, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Anna
      The dead are rising and the blind are seeing?
      There must be a MASSIVE global anti-christ consipracy hiding this from every news agency on the planet, let alone private citizens posting to the internet.
      Perhaps the ressurrection process generates electro-magnetic pulses that wipe the memory of electronic devices in the area, so cameras and phones won't work...
      And I guess because the internet was originally a DARPA project, the US Government still controls the flow of data and can sift out and block any data packets pertaining to this.
      It all is starting to make sense now.
      Obama isn't a muslim – he is the anti-christ! Promoting abominable lifestyles, forcing women to take birth control and get abortions, censoring Christian discourse and hiding all evidence of these innumerable, drastic and awe inspiring miracles!

      Or maybe you're just a liar and/or delusional.
      Occam's razor says what?

      May 24, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      "All things being equal, the simplest answer must be the correct one."

      May 24, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Truth

      Again, an instance where someone speaks without knowing anything about the bible, or the meaning and purpose of the law, what the law points to...live how you want, God gives you the free will to do so. But be ready to be held accountable!

      May 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bet

      @ truth

      How do you know that Mary hasn't read the bible? Why do you assume that anyone who disagrees with you hasn't read and doesn't know what the bible says?

      Christians say that to me all the time when I challenge them. I've studied the bible in several languages, including the originals languages, for over fifty years. I believed in it for over fifty years, although I no longer do. But you assume I've never cracked the cover simply because I don't subscribe to your view of it.

      May 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      And Truth? I suppose you're as lily-white, humble, and pious as The Pope!

      May 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  12. howard Dao

    Just wandering why an almighty GOD still has the need to use middle men to spread the message ? Wouldn't it be better for the Almighty speak directly to each one of us so that there is no argument or misundertanding ? I am sure the Almighty has a no-limit wireless plan 😉

    May 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Bet

      I know. You'd think that an all-knowing, all-seeing supreme being would have better communication skills.

      May 24, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  13. Jesusisnotpleased

    One of the best lines coming out of the NC anti-gay amendment debate appeared on a local Christian church sign: "Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry." Amen and amen.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  14. Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law in America.

    No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religion by denying others civil rights.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Anna

      Its interesting no name attached to this stupid, baseless comment that is being repeated on alot of these comment pages – my who is doing this? Come out Come out whoever you are!! your prize for the stupidest comment on page is a one ticket to Iran!!!

      May 24, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Bet

      Anna, speaking of stupid, when are you going to show us the pictures of the hundreds of miracles you claim that you've personally witnessed? The ones where people grew new arms and legs, and were raised from the dead, remember?

      You never got back to me on that one.

      May 24, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • SHAME

      Yes, Anna, we are all dying to see these miracles! You sound so smart and enlightened! I'll bet Jesus loves you even more than the rest! No cancer for you! Pull you head out of yr ass and start living in the real world with the restof us.

      May 24, 2012 at 4:47 am |
  15. GALACTICA_CAG

    Okay, here's the deal. Christians believe what they believe on faith, on the words in a book. They weren't there, they didn't see Biblical events transpire first-hand, so they take them on faith.
    Faith and belief are funny things. (Funny, interesting, not funny, ha-ha.) Over 20 years ago, when I was still toiling at JPL, a man gave a lecture named Dr. Richard C. Hoagland. He's a former NASA contractor, and was Walter Cronkite's science advisor during Project Apollo. He c.ame to talk about his belief that there are constructs, HUMAN constructs, of a face and a five-sided pyramid in the Cydonia region of Mars. He was booted out of NASA for going public with this. But, he BELIEVES that mankind originated on Mars and migrated here.
    My point? Christians believing in the tales in the Bible hold no more water than the belief of a defrocked scientist who believes in Little Green Men. It's all subjective.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Bet

      So glad you posted this. It's important to question any authority, whether it's in a church, the government, business, science, or education. This happens to be a religion forum, but I've seen just as much blind faith, abuse of power, delusional thinking and outright mentally unstable behavior in every other walk of life, religious or secular. People follow too much and think too little.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Bet, I've always railed against authority. And it's cost me some golden opportunities in this rat race. I have a reputation for being difficult to work with, but I refuse to go along to get along.

      May 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Bet

      Me, too. I'd be retired on a tropical beach somewhere if I'd just kissed butt instead of asking questions and demanding answers. And I've got the same reputation.

      May 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  16. n8263

    According to Jesus, the Mosaic Laws must still be followed. What should take precedence? Peter's dream in Acts Rev Mohler references, or Christ's actual words?

    Matthew 5:17: 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.

    18: For truly I tell you, 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.

    19: Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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."

    So according to Jesus these laws still apply and you are not to eat pork and shrimp, wear blended fabric, and must murder your disobedient children, non-virgin brides and adulterers. Unless you uphold all those insane rules you have no Biblical excuse to deny same sex marriage as a civil right.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  17. Charles

    Crucial failing here. You acknowledge that the Old Testament is no longer used by Christians as a source of absolute law. But if the Bible is the inerrant word of God, it all must be true, Old and New, and all must be followed, must it not? If it is not inerrant, and we are allowed to choose what to keep and what to abandon, why should we shackle ourselves to millenia-old moral codes?

    May 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Gman

      the old testament is the old covenant. we must not confuse the law with the old and new convenant. god gave moses
      the ten commandments as his perfect law only that it might shed light on mans state of sin. even though a person
      sought to follow the commandments the best they could, blood sacrifice from an animal was necessary whenever
      sin was committed. perfection was not obtainable under the law, but the law only served to show man his state
      of sin from the fall. jesus said " i did not come to do away with the law , but fulfill it ". in his death on the cross
      all blood sacrifice of animals is done away with and sin present and past is paid for once and for all. in the old
      testament a high priest would interceed for his people with blood sacrifice but when he died then who would interceed
      for them ? another priest ? and when he died who then ? when christ was resurected it was the once and for
      all price paid for eternity. all though the law is still present it has no power over the blood of christ and those who
      accept the once and for all offering on the cross. doesn't mean god won't deal with us when we slip up but the
      the power of death is defeated under christ blood for those who accept it.

      it's free , it's a gift , following the law can save no one ! only calling on the blood of christ and his death.

      believe and you will be saved !!!!!!

      May 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • n8263

      @Gman that is not a valid interpretation of the word 'fulfill.' The original word is 'plerosai' and among its meanings are to establish, confirm and validate. Read verses 18 and 19 I included above.

      May 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Gman

      @ n8263 , one of the definintions in the dictionary of fulfill is " to carry out , to bring to realization as a phrophecy
      or promise. this is exactly what christ did. the full penalty for sin that was demanded under the old
      testament law was paid for in full or realized by the death or christ. thus he brought to fulfillment the
      full pardon for the penalty of death demanded by gods holisness and the sin that seperated us from god
      in the garden. once and for all the penalty demanded under the law was paid. that's why it says

      the gift of god is free and you are saved by grace lest any man should boast.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • n8263

      @Gman did you read the two verses that follow the one you quoted? They are up above. He makes it very clear the Law stays.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Gman

      Galatians 3:1

      "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Galatians 3:1-3.

      Galatians 3:10-14

      10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 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.”[h] 14 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.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Gman

      @ n8263 , those 2 scriptures clearly state that anyone relying on the law for salvation is under a curse. explain that.
      they also clearly state that christ came to fulfill the curse. by grace are you saved through faith.

      end of story.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Another who can only use bible verses instead of actually thinking. Too bad we've lost to many people to that already.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest , if you were a doctor you would use the best text and schooling to study for surgery one day.

      you would debate with other people to get their points of view and learn and share.

      if you want to talk about god then the bible is recognized by many , " if you believe in god " , as an

      authoritatvie text which upon you can lay a foundation of thought.

      i simply want to preach Jesus Christ Crucified !!!!!!!!!!!!

      but if people bring up a debate on a particular point of view concerning a scripture then i should
      be able and prepared to debate with them based on tools concerning god.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gman, i just have to say that you sound like an idiot.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Gman

      The problem comes when another denomination using the same bible has a different interpretation. How do you tell who's right? How do you know which version of the bible is supposed to be more accurate? This is why the book isn't accepted as authoritative except by those who already accept it.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Gman

      @ tom tom the pipers son.

      i'd rather be a fool for christ than serve satan in hell.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      oooh, Pascal's Wager. Izzat all you got, honey?

      I'd rather live an honest life and be kind and giving to others than be you.

      If you go to heaven, you sick sh!t, I'd rather be in hell any day.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest, everything good can be used for evil. satan uses the word of god to confuse people.
      as human beings who are falable , we cannot always know at a given moment of time how perfectly correct
      we are in a certain instance of text.

      but a sincere christian would recognize this and simply say most likely , " the holy spirit will guide
      you into all truth concerning scripture". sometimes it takes quiet a while before god brings to light
      a certain thing concerning him in its fullness. but as christians we firmly agree on the simple self
      evident truths more easily agreed upon.

      CHRIST SAVES.

      WE ARE ALL SINNERS

      AND JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS FOR WHO EVER SHALL BELIEVE ON HIM.

      like the two thieves on the cross when they crucified christ. one said jesus, remember me
      when you enter your kingdom. JESUS responded praise god ,

      I TELL YOU TODAY YOU WILL BE IN PARADISE WITH ME.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Gman

      Rewarding on blind faith instead of works is an unjust system. If you really believe in this, then you are okay with an unjust system and god. Are you saying that Ghandi deserves hell?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gman: don't quite yer day job, honey.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Gman

      Also, I hope you know that I'm not trying to turn you from your faith, just telling you the kind of problems that can arise. The whole "The holy spirit will guide me" is what has lead to the thousands of denominations of christianity, and is really a poor way for a supposed loving god to bring people to him/her/it.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest, it's hard to see that someone as great as ghandi could goto hell , but scripture says

      " the heart is despirately wicked above all things " , it takes the least of sins to seperate us from god.

      as a christian of many years i find more and more how far short my own life is.

      i believe the only way people can truly see this is if they ask jesus to show them. but on that premise
      if you believe we have all sinned then yes , we need christ and his shed blood on the cross to
      enter gods holiness and be restored to our proper place.

      that's why the apostle paul said

      " I'M DETERMINED TO KNOW ONLY CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED AMONGST YOU "

      it cuts right to the heart of the matter and lifts up the one who can ultimately pull us out of the grave to eternal
      life.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Gman

      You kind of sidestepped the question. Let me make it more clear.
      Do you believe that Ghandi is in hell?
      If yes then do YOU (not asking what the bible says) think that that is just or fair?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest, also it doesn't bother me at all, we are supposed to be prepared to give an answer for
      our faith when ever anyone ask of us. some people will become hostile but for those
      who truly want to debate on differents truths and points of view, we should respond
      in kindness and with the best answer that we know how to give.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I'm familiar with 1 Peter 3:15

      May 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest , i couldn't speak to that because in the end christ is ultimately the judge and for those who
      haven't heard the gospel as many have not before they die or people who reject christianity for some
      reason or thing in their life we don't know about , only god knows all these things. so i couldn't begin
      to assume i know if he's in heaven or not. but at some point in life if the lord calls us to proclaim his word
      then we do our best to honor his calling.

      So i just try to proclaim the message of the cross to anyone who may not know of it or understand it.

      i liked ghandi and loved the movie. only god knows what's in a persons heart before they die.

      but if we can walk in the light of christ then we leave the rest to god. i believe satan is real

      and would decieve anyone he can before he goes to his destination.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Gman

      I'm speaking about it according to your doctrine.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest, when michael fought with satan over the body of moses in the book of jude just before revelations,

      the scripture says even michael the ark angel dare not judge satan but simply said may the lord rebuke you. not

      that michael feared satan in any way but knows that judgment is ultimately left to god. we simply preach.

      i don't know that ghandi didn't accept christ , i only know he didn't like hypocrisy and he saw that in
      parts of christianity. as i said people are falable and you don't have to go far to see people say one thing
      and do another. even in church. but we try to overcome and get back on track with our shortcommings
      and prepare for our trip after death. and so i just stick to jesus and him crucified.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Sorry Gman but I won't be answering anymore. I'm asking a question, and I understand it is hard for you to answer because your doctrine states that Ghandi is burning in hell for not accepting Jesus. Until you can come to terms with what your doctrine says, I don't see much point in going any further.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Gman

      @ hawaii guest, it's a very hard question but i believe the bible also preaches not to assume anything concerning
      someones salvation. and as i said i don't know that ghandi didn't believe in jesus himself. he didn't
      respect christianity as a sect. but it's a hard question and i am at a block with it also. but i can
      tell you that i have enjoyed conversing with you and wish i was there in the sunshine with you
      on one of your beaches. I wish you and your loved ones well and hope Jesus will smile on you.

      thanks for being a pen pal and see you again sometime.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • n8263

      @Gman, the Galatians verses you quote only have to do with salvation. They do not say that the Law does not apply.

      Did you read the Matthew 5:18-19, following 17 which you quoted earlier? I will include the full text right here. Let there be no confusion, Jesus makes it very clear that the Law stays in place.

      Matthew 5:17: 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.

      18: For truly I tell you, 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.

      19: Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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."

      May 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • n8263

      @Gman, so by setting aside the Law and teaching others accordingly, you will be, and I quote Jesus here, "called least in the kingdom of heaven."

      Jesus makes this very clear. The Mosaic Laws stay. You do not need them for salvation, but they are a moral code and you are expected to follow them as a Christian. It is understandable you want to rationalize them away, because they are insane, but that is what your Christ says.

      Unless you uphold all those rules you have no Biblical excuse to deny same sеx marriage as a civil right.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Bet

      Gman you should go into politics. You finds more ways to give non-answers to a simple, clear, direct question than Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum rolled into one. Heck, throw Sarah Palin and that crazy-eyed Bachmann chick in there too. And you've got the etch-a-sketch thing down pat.

      May 24, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Bet

      *find*

      May 24, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Just one question, Gman. With all the Bible quoting you're engaging in, do you have the time to do, like, you know, normal stuff?

      May 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Gman

      @ n8263 , then why in the new testament when a dispute arose over eating meat that was not kosher or allowed
      in the old testament did the apostle paul say let no man condemn what god has made clean. because
      faith was greater than the law as said in scriptures. those who live under the law and take that
      for their salvation are cursed as scripture says. when the pharisees tried to snare christ for healing
      on the sabath , which was against the law in the old testament, what did jesus say , " what is
      greater the commandment, or the god who made the commandment " . as i said , the law is a light
      that shines on mans moral behavior , IT IN NO WAY SAVES.

      May 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Gman

      So, you never answered the question. In your opinion, is Ghandi in hell? It's not an essay question. A simple yes or no is all that's required.

      Yes, or no? Is Ghandi in hell?

      May 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Michael

    How terrific would it be if this paragraph written by James Madison / George Mason in 1776 as the final article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, was how people how profess to be Christians really conduct their lives, instead of their pious "love the person, hate the sin" plat.tude but don't act anything like it.

    XVI That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally ent.tled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.

    May 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Michael

      Sorry – "who profess"

      May 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  19. GALACTICA_CAG

    A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working on a tv series called Legend of the Seeker. It was based on The Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. There was something in it called The Wizard's First Rule. It goes like this: People are stupid. They'll believe something either because they want to...or they FEAR it's true.

    May 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Oops, forgot to put a coda on that. I think The Wizard's First Rule applies to fundie Christians.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Nii

      CAG
      An Atheist told me as a Christian I don't believe humans can be good without divine help so I had no faith in them to make their own decisions. Guess you don't believe in humanism either. Then why push us to follow what human beings say is their right when after they do it they can't sit 4 days!

      May 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      @Nii: W T F?????????????
      Can't sit for days? Huh?
      This is like trying to hold a coherent conversation with Duff McKagan. I've tried it. Can't be done.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Nii

    CAG
    The Old Testament isnt de Law. Its de part of de Law known as ritual law which doesnt bind Gentile Xtians. Jewish Xtians r bound by the whole Law. Being a Xtian and n environmentalist at heart I find ur words simplistic.
    De Gospel fulfils de Law so without de Law de Gospel is unecessary.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      And I find your ghetto-speak annoying. I live in Mulholland Estates, not Compton.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • CAG The Little

      Don't you mean "Mobile Home Park"?

      May 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Nii

      CAG
      You poor silly man. I'm not one of your ghetto people who unfortunately are mostly Black African like me. I live in my own house on four acres of land and I do speak better English than u do. Even my shorthand reads better. What is "ghetto speak"? That is bad English for you!

      May 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Ooooooohhh, looky! I've got a hater! Get in line, there're plenty of people in this town ahead of you. There's a spot open behind Michael Bay.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Ghetto-speak must be a regional reference. We use it here in Los Angeles to refer to people who put "de" in sentences instead of "the." And who talk like Snoop.
      As for speaking English better than myself, well...part of my job is to write a final "pass" on scripts before the go to mimeo (antiquated term today, but Hollywood traditions die hard). If I didn't have a firm command of the language, I wouldn't have been hired to doctor scripts.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Adam and Eve

      Business must be running dry to be here, gracing us with your presence, with knowledge beyond the "lower class" you subscribe to bash...

      May 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have no class, A and E, lower or otherwise. You're an azz.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Adam and Eve

      I thoroughly enjoy stirring the pot.

      Everyone claiming religion is full of bad folks have no problem being ones themselves...

      It is called a mirror, use it.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who said religion was "full of bad folks", you sh!twit? There are Christians out there who are truly faithful, giving, humble, and kind. You aren't one of them, obviously, you dimwit.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • GALACTICA_CAG

      Sorry, A&E, didn't realize I was bashing the lower class. Perhaps you're reading more into what I post than is actually there. Sometimes reading between the lines leaves you staring too long.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112
Advertisement
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.