July 5th, 2012
01:11 PM ET
My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?
Editor's Note: Craig Gross is the pastor and founder of XXXchurch.com and is the author of seven books. He just turned 36 and is no longer a hip 20-something pastor from California.
By Craig Gross, Special to CNN
After Anderson Cooper came out this week, I posted a link on Twitter to a story that included this quote from Cooper: “I love and am loved.” As I said in my tweet, Cooper is one of my favorite journalists. I was honored to once be on his show.
After I tweeted I got e-mails and a direct message asking the same question: "You still like him now?"
I was saddened by that reaction and started thinking: What would happen if we read the Bible and, instead of highlighting certain passages, we took it all for what it is - truth.
In 1 Corinthians, the Bible says don't indulge your body with food or sex: “‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
I deal with people who indulge their bodies with sex. I’ve done it for 10 years with XXXchurch.com, helping people caught up in porn addiction.
If you indulge your body with sex via pornography, affairs, strippers or hookers, and your secrets are exposed, you will not be preaching on Sunday. Sexual sin is not tolerated in our churches. If clergy are caught in these things, they’re disqualified.
What if you indulge your body with food? Well, then you can pastor some of the largest churches on the planet and have the most successful broadcasts on the religious channels and sell a lot of books.
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Same biblical passage, same sin. Why is one accepted and one rejected? Why is it that religious folks want to camp out on a few things rather then all things?
Why do they believe that the gay guy goes to hell but the fat preacher who builds some of the largest churches in the world makes it to heaven?
I have no problem bringing my fat friends to church; they fit right in. Our Los Angeles church has doughnuts to eat during worship service, which makes the hymns we sing sound so much better.
My Take: Why many Christians focus on homosexuality
I coached my son's soccer team last year. My assistant coach is a lesbian. My son became great friends with her son, and my wife and I have become good friends with his mom and her partner. We played on three teams this year with them and have spent time in each others’ homes.
Could I bring them to church? Absolutely not.
Most evangelical Christians don't have gay friends. We just have gay stereotypes and we base our beliefs on a few biblical passages, ignoring passages about things that people in the church really struggle with, like food and other addictions.
The problem is that the church has only one answer for homosexuality: Don't be gay. Come as you are, but you'd better not be gay. But you can be fat.
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Most Christians believe you should just help your friends to not be gay when, in all honesty, only Christ can do that.
I love my lesbian friends. Let’s say I share Christ with them and they accept Jesus - or maybe they already have. Where do they go to church?
There is no way I would send them to an evangelical church, because not everyone would treat them the way they should be treated. But if they attend a gay church many Christians look at them as crazy.
People will push you to take a stand one way or the other on homosexuality, but no one has ever asked me to take a stand when it comes to fat people.
The goal shouldn’t be to change anyone's sexuality. Ultimately, I believe homosexuality gets blown way out of proportion in our churches. If we would all see gays as fellow sinners instead of “others,” there wouldn't be a need for gay outreach, because they would already be incorporated into our community based on a shared need for Christ.
God loves gays and Jesus is for them. God loves the fat preacher. Homosexual activity and overeating are both sins - just like speeding, gossip, lying and cheating. I think I did all of those just today.
All are forgivable in Christ and, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, can be changed. Just remember that change does not happen overnight.
Have you ever seen someone lose 100 pounds overnight? The process takes time. When it comes to the Lord, it’s nothing less than a journey of sanctification.
And wherever you are at on that journey, I think there should be a place for you at church. Because there’s probably one in heaven.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Craig Gross.
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.
Real Christians Hate Religion... Real Christians Hate Hypocrites... Real Christians should be more like Christ... How could you claim to be a Christian if you don't even know your Christ... The reason why doomed people would never understand Christ is because they never tried to search for the Truth... They only listen to such rubbish things rather than the Truth... Read and do more and Talk less... It doesn't take a genius to know that Someone created you rather than you coming to life with just atoms randomly hitting each other... If you're really smart, think about it... Stop the non-sense talk about God and Science and find it out for yourself... 😉
Give it up, Rain Man. It's all nonsense. No Jesus, no God, no Tooth Fairy, no Santa Claus......
No tooth fairy,what the hell man all these years ,where do the quarters come Fromm hmmmm.
lolz... let's see about that... if you want to know that truth, search for it... i promise you, you'll find it... i'm not saying to ready the Bible or anything, even science agrees that a Supreme being exist... 😉
"science agrees that a Supreme being exist"
Really? Where exactly can this information be found?
There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that a god created the universe. Why do you people find it necessary to lie?
You have the christ thingy really bad, Hichens advises that it is useless even trying to communicate with such as you that have allowed faith to over ride their reason. Doomed people, pray tell, what are people with open inquiring minds doomed to precisely, some fariry tale hell, just a guess?
I just know... I have a few people with me too... try this site: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CNjz1M-HhbECFVF-6wodMCFZLw
"even science agrees that a Supreme being exist"
Here's the funny thing, Rain. Time and time again, you fundamentalists make this claim. And each time we ask you for the evidence. And each time you ignore it. Is it pleasing to your god to watch you lie like this?
Rain, when you make a claim like "even science agrees that a Supreme being exist", and you are asked to back that up – posting a link to yet another inane fundiot creationist website doesn't cut it.
With a claim like yours, you need to substantiate it with citations from Nature, Science, Cell, PNAS, etc.
Rain, as a Christian, the claim from your source :
" The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day."
Even I know the Earth is in an elliptical orbit. The difference in its near and far points are roughly 5 million miles. This website is obviously moot.
Rain, the fact that we are here is not evidence of a god. The fact that we are here is evidence that we adapted to this planet's climate. Nothing more. There may very well be hundreds of other planets in other solar systems that are inhabited by intelligent life that is completely different from us. What will you say if one day we find them?
If you have any common sense at all when it comes to any religion in the world...you would have to understand that if (God or whomever the supreme being of your choice is.)...created it then it should be acceptable.
unless the person brings phsical or mental harm to another..PERIOD
Gays born that way have a birth defect
Where exactly is the peer reviewed evidence for this? That is no different than saying a person born left-handed has a birth defect or a person born hetero does.
I pity people who have minds too short to understand even the simplest things... sorry to say that... ;p
Hormone imbalance is a birth defect
They have not determined if it is a hormone imbalance as of yet.
Left-handedness is considered to be a handicap is some work places like mine.
Can't blv people missed this one, it is glaringly obvious this man is gay.
God is real... Whether you like it or not... When He comes back for His People, make sure you're ready... For it is better to act as if there is God and find out in the end that there is none... Than to act as if there's no God and in the end the was, is and will be a God... 😉
Where is he now? Walmart
He's reading your post right now and as thinking "I know this guy is smarter than this" ;p
No he is smoking kush wigh me laughing his a s s of at people like you
lolz... you're funny... and God loves you too... ;p
I know thats why what people say bothers me none
@rain, MY god tells me that yours is a pitiful lie, a scheme. Your god is also listed in my god's "most wanted list" as a con man, lier, murderer of children, men and women, young and old.
Don't believe me? Prove me wrong!!! And, just wait until you die and find out that MY God is real , but yours is a fairy tale. Check mate.
Ah, nothing brings out the hate more so than an article on gays and fat people ! Does that mean if I am a gay, fat person I am really screwed ? lol
The writer of this article makes a point I have been saying for a long time. Some churchgoers will shun you for smoking, which is NOT mentioned in the Bible, but then go straight to the Sunday buffet after church and commit gluttony, which IS mentioned in the Bible. But it doesn't bother them because their preachers are doing the same thing.
There is no greater filth than ho mo se xuality. Qu eers the folks that gave AIDS to the world.
And ignorant people such as yourself should be put out of your misery and killed!
Just a slight bit bigoted. Before you go saying that being gay is a crime, you should start stopping people from bringing gay children in to the world Ignorance is bliss...read something other than the buybull for true enlightenment!
Prevert, I suspect the greatest crime is your hateful thinking.
AIDs jumped the species barrier from the simian version in the African jungle many many decades before the crisis hit the US. It occured by humans eating infected bushmeat.
I thought your god didn't like it when you folks lie?
Prayer changes things .
Stil praying for personal wealth and naked men?
If anybody wants i am willing to barter my ticket to heaven for your limousine.. or yr hottie...
You don't have a ticket to heaven
Ricky doesn't have a ticket to heaven because heaven does not exist.
Heaven means sky .they sell tickets at airport
If this atricle is supposed to be about fat fudge-packers, then I would be all about Rush Limbaugh.
" I have no problem bringing my fat friends to church; they fit right in. Our Los Angeles church has doughnuts to eat during worship service, which makes the hymns we sing sound so much better."
That's pretty awesome! So the singing is better when the rainbow sprinkles are added? That's pretty cool. If you think about it pretty much everything is better with a little blood sugar rush... including church!
Of course there will not be gays in heaven – there is no heaven!
Did you hear the one about the Canadian that minded its own business?
You won't the ass hole can't keep itself from butting into other peoples business !
Did you hear the one about Dodney? The one where Dodney failed basic English comprehension?
What a bunch of Bible bashers-pure ignorance floating around here........ Get on with the things in life that can actually make a difference. Oh and on the note of Gay and obesity, the Obese need to sort their live out as they do far more harm to our planet than Gays (how are as they are-so accpet it.). Obese plunder and are in most cases glutaneous especially in America-look at yourselves people... all hypocrites and intelletually lazy; you choose the so called holy gospel, bible or whatever it is you follow as Chrisitians and the irony is you impose it on others. Aetheists/Agnostics dont impose their beliefs on you-you religious folk are the problem and may i remind you that every war currently on the go is as a direct or indirect result of religion. It makes me sick to the core!!!!
You're wrong. Of course Atheists and Agnostics impose their beliefs on religious folk – its called Evolution and its taught as absolute fact throughout most of the world. Anyone holding to a different view or belief (especially religious) is ridiculed as possessing a sub-standard intellect by the Atheistic-run world status quo.
"its called Evolution and its taught as absolute fact throughout most of the world"
It is a fact. It is docu<b=</b=mented with peer reviewed evidence. The fact that you do not comprehend a thing about evolution does not make it any less true. It holds more solid ground than the creation story which teaches indirectly that in<b=</b=cest is fine.
You might want to check your definitions also on the terms Atheist and Agnostic. Atheist only states a disbelief is a god(s). Agnostic speaks of knowledge. Any honest person is either an Agnostic Atheist (we can't be sure but we see no evidence and peer reviewed facts to back a god, therefore we don't believe) or they're an Agnostic Theist (can't be sure but believe regardless of the lack of evidence and peer reviewed facts).
"<b=</b=" editing didn't work...oh well. so the words should have read as doc.umented and in.cest
Geez...you do realize that weight isn't always a matter of choice (sounds a lot like some other topic that was mentioned in the above article). You can't preach tolerance on one hand and blast "fatsos" on the other. How about we just start trying to show a little compassion all around and maybe we can all be a little happier?
John 3:16. Rev 3:20.
Liars don't make it. You better be covered in the red and then with the white!
No-one makes it...it does not exist!
@truth prevails heaven is real it means sky in English(translation) .God is in heaven (sky).its not a magical place its were the clouds are.
God is real too...as a concept in a person's mind...nothing more. Heaven might literally mean "sky" but that isn't what believers mean when they refer to it. They think heaven exists beyond time and space just like their God is supposed to. But why should anyone believe it? The issue is simple enough when you ask yourself this question. Does God manifest in reality in any way? If yes then it should necessarily be possible to detect this in some tangible fashion. If no then there is no measurable difference between that non-manifesting God and one that simply doesn't exist.
This guy is now pretending to stand up for everyone. However, he makes a large part of his living making fun of other people.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, do you know WHY there is such iniquity in our land today? Do you understand WHY there are devastating heat waves? Forest Fires? Droughts? Horrrific floods? We have abandoned the Lord our God! We print "in God We Trust' on our money. HYPROCRICY!!!!! Ye people trust more in Mickey Mouse than you trust God. And therefore you all will suffer the wrath of the LORD!! Leviticus chapter 26 will become reality for America!! Repent, repent....or be doomed! Pray to Lord Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness of your sins, and be SAVED!
Notice that instead of addressing the increasing problem of global warming, Bob would rather wait for his god (for which there isn't a single shred of evidence) to save the day. People like Bob are part of the problem, not part of the solution. People like Bob will continue to soil this one little nest humanity possesses, because they are too foolish to take care of it, and because they expect to be rewarded for their ignorance..
Fools. Terrible, destructive fools.
what kinda rubbish.. why do u believe silly bible as ultimate truth.. if yes stick to your bible.. why the cnn
Yes, and tallulah, you will continue to believe in the fraud of "global warming," until you are a landless peasant with no private property of your own. AGENDA 21 WILL RUIN YOU.
You go ahead and ignore the radical changes in the weather pattern. Feel free to ignore the overwhelming data that supports global warming. As long as you don't have to change your lifestyle, as long as you don't have to make any personal sacrifices, what does it matter to you if the world and humanity suffer? As long as you pretend it doesn't exist, it'll go away, right?
people like tallullah 13 are the modern fools of this world,they're droids of new rotten sistem ready to belive what their corrupted master order them to,their are new cows to get milked.Even if they are non belivers,atheists or sharlatans,by principles of nature,science or civil morality what good it brings to our comunity,or as society and civilization being a gay or promoting gay relationships under abusive and false pretence of civil rights? you fools you're going to be the next victims and biggest loosers but when you'll be able to realize that will be to late.
Global warming is the consequence of insulting the Sun God. He is angered by our increased use of sumblock and is punishing us for insulting him.
Preacher Bob: Free people do not need to be saved. People enslaved by religion do, though
Natural warming cycles. Ice cores have shown faster temperature change even than the Gore Prophets are screaming about. It's happened what, 12 times in the last 600K? Had crocks in the arctic and snowballs in the Caribbean.
Humans have such an incredible ego that they think that even the bad things they do as a group are more massive than anything even a PLANET (with a rather long and remarkably unexpected history) could handle. Yats. These are the same guys that think that the latest generation is always the most intelligent one ever to live. Love to be there to see their faces – or maybe not...
actually the real reason we have such bad heat waves today is stupid people like you who don't understand the real reasons voting the wrong way.
Creature Boob, you're full of crap!
No one who does not accept the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will ever enter the kingdom of heaven! Our Lord Jesus accepts all who believe in the Gospel! Believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead, and ye SHALL BE SAVED!!! Otherwise – you are going to HELL!!
You might want to watch this.
If that is the case then there is going to be a lot of people going to hell, and the amount of people in heaven will seriously be over shadowed. Who are you to condemn someone to hell based off your interpretation of the Bible. How many times has the bible been released with new versions? look at how many people in the world who do NOT believe in your idea of the bible? majority of people who claim to be, "religious," are hypocrites and bend and twist the words of there religion to fit there own needs, and use it as a means to an end for all types of things. Which is one of the reasons we have so many damn probems in this world! And why i am sitting here in Afghanistan fighting "terrorists." Here is a thought, just be kind to others, don't steal, don't do things that would harm others, and except the fact that this world we live in is going to change whether you like it or not. Who are you to say what is right and wrong? It is not yours or mine. Just because you follow your religion full hearted doesn't mean you aren't sinning, or doing something wrong. But yet you can ask for forgiveness of your sins. Everything in this world is open to interpretation, and it is up to you to decide what is right.
Heaven and Hell is place on earth... u rot after death period...
If you promise not to be there, I'm prepared to go to a lake of fire for eternity.
Preacher Bob: Your god is an impotent litle punk.
GOOD! If heaven is real and full of people like yourself, I would rather be with my friends and family in the warm confines of HELL! With all the death metal and beer we'll get on just fine.... loser
Okay, this is the dumbest news item I've ever seen. CNN should submit one that states the following: "Willard Romney picks his nose for a running mate."
There are other "gods." They are called demons.
Rooster Head: there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of gods. Or demons. Or heaven or hell. You are simply afraid of the non-existent monster someone told you was under your bed.
Your sanity-challenged parking stickers should arrive any day now.
Yes, there is evidence, but since you cannot force God to appear just because you want him to, you don't think he exists. That's the problem. As science discovers more and more that we never knew, so too will you discover eventually that there is a God. Just because you can't see him now or just because you can't prove he is there now, doesn't mean he doesn't exist. You just haven't found him yet.
Would God sanctify a marriage between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman? I doubt it.
Perhaps your god wouldn't but other gods have. And there is just as much proof for those other gods as there if for your god. So my answer to you question, is yes, god would sanctify same s.ex marriage.
Since your god is nothing but imagination anyway, you can have him (or her, your choice) do whatever you want!
Do you want those people who cut you off in traffic to spend the rest of eternity having to listen to the same KC And The Sunshine Band song again and again? He will . . . because in your imagination, God can do anything!
How about having God be gay? Everyone who thought otherwise – They get to spend the rest of eternity being sodomized by moose! It's your imagination.
It's all in your head anyway, Penny, so whatever you fantasize about for your God is all fine. Acting on it in the real world, however, is crazy.
Penny: You do not speak for god.
tallulah, while you may believe in other Gods, there is only one God and well, we have to follow his rules.
Who's "we"? We're not required to follow the rules of an imaginary tyrant.
I wonder if this dingbat realizes that homosexuality and the propensity towards obeisity are genetic, and involve much, much less choice than most people imagine?
Why would God give people gene so that they are a particular way, then calls their inevitable behavior a sin? Sounds like entrapment to me.
You obviously have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. 99.9% of people are FAT because they overeat and/or eat the wrong foods. Pedophiles claim they have a "natural propensity" to molest children. So why don't we make pedophilia legal?
Your logic is faulty.
Google "obesity genetic predisposition" and actually learn something before you go mouthing off, dumb-dumb! Feel free to do the same for "homosexuality genetic predisposition."
Your "pedophilia" thing is a dishonest little red herring – genetic or not, it involves people unable to consent in any legal or moral sense. There are innocent victims, which is not true of gays or overweight people. Thus, like murderers and thieves, pedophiles must learn to not do it or be separated from society, genetic or not.
God didn't make you... or me.... He only made Adam & Eve. We are all born into sin, or sinful behavior. Jesus came that we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind to be cleansed of of sins... not keep them as pet sin behaviors.... the blood of Jesus, and being born again, is foolishness to men, because that think with a carnal mind, not a spiritual mind. So carnal natural reasoning will always say, boloney, or its not possible, there is no God that created the Heavens and the Earh... the things of the Spirit or not understood by our carnal nature... Get your Bible out and ask God to reveal to you His Power and Glory – with wistom and understanding. Good Day.
Yes, so much wistom, so wise, so smart.