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.
From p. 20:
Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no ad-ultery or for-nication allowed.
And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-se-x marriages.
From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions
bull sh it alert.
All these problems disappear when we recognize the bible for what it is, the mindless rambling of 2000-years-dead desert lunatics.
Apparently non-Christians are becoming more and more aggressive and downright rude and crude in pushing their filthy agenda on everyone else.
Please specify as to what "filthy" agenda you are referring.
Probably in response to your filth.
Yes, just everyone knows how passive today's faux Christian is. ( eye roll )
Ah yes, because the agenda which is religion has never been pushed on anybody. Sure.
That's the problem with fantasy – everybody has their own version. Religion is a topic that's impossible to discuss, because everyone has a different one. Even people who use the same label and go to the same church many times don't have exactly the same beliefs. Since none of it is based on reality, they can all believe whatever they like and swear that it is the one and only "truth", and the rest are just misguided and/or wrong. That's why this is an Opinion piece, and not actual news. It's really pointless – something to fill space on the web page and generate controversy.
It slike the rules to baseball – it's fun discussing/arguing the ambiguities and outright contradictions, not to mention the places where the rules say one thing and mean another.
There is no more dirty disgusting perversion of life than ho mo se xuality
I think God (who is LOVE) would say that your hatred of other persons different than you is the far more disgusting perversion of life.
There is no hatred in telling the Truth. Get used to it. Ho mo se xuality is qu eer for a reason.
the only crime here is your bigotry and hate and lack of intellect...people like you should not be roaming the streets freely
another qu eer heard from. Qu eers the folks that gave the world AIDS.
Ask yourself honestly where you will be? in heaven?
We cannot go to heaven in a sinful state, we all need salvation and that only comes from Jesus Christ.
Loving the sinner does not mean embracing the sin 😉
No heaven and sins do not apply to christians not of the particular denomination.
Prayer changes things ,
When frothing at the mouth stay away from children, they get frightened
Medication changes things, in your case an overdose maybe required.
Praying is a foolish waste of time.
demon tries to oppose prayer in sheer terror of what prayer represents
Lol, "demon." It almost fascinates me that people who believe in prayer and demons actually know how to operate a computer. By the way, you can thank science for the Internet, not God.
I have the comeplete unrelated yet firm belief that Cooper is the Devil. I mean that in the most literal sense.
I have complete yet unrelated firm belief that you're an idiot!
Talk about irony ..This is just the sort of idiocy that the article is about!
It's jerk's like this who feel they can judge others that will burn in this "hell" they believe in. This guys already in his personal hell and wants to blame others for his insecurities.
I thought everyone knew Cooper was gay already.
filth should not be entertainment.
They did – this is just the first time he's admitted it in a public forum. It's not news, but it generates interest and page-hits, which is all they care about.
Will there be people from other planets in other gallaxies in heaven? Or is it just for earth creatures?
There is no evidence of people from other galaxies. God bless
There's no evidence for your "god" either.
Mirosal don't know jack.
The universe is a big place and I doubt we are alone so its a good question.
Mirosal: They're far too young intellectually to understand that their imaginary friend isn't real...ruining their delusion will be like a scene right out of Deliverance.
Did you hear the one about the Canadian that minded its own F'n business?
You won't... they can't help themselves when it comes to the self righteous bigots telling others how to live and what to think
He shure do got a purty mouth doesn't he? (cue banjo)
The ass hole still can't spell. Mensa my ass
You really have NO idea what puns and wordplay are do you? That's what happens to you when you drop out of 3rd grade, your brain atrophies.
Truth is you are not funny, those are not puns, evidence is...you can't spell,... by your own words. Mensa my ass
My brothers, don't be fooled by the philosophy of men along side with their thoughts! Remember...my thoughts are not your thought and my ways also not your ways...COME! Let us REASON together...have you ever spend time know GOD and his THOUGHTS?!!! how much more you spending good TIME with HIM! Lets not be hypocrites JUDGING WITHOUT KNOWING.
This is so ignorant. Has the writer ever thought to ask people why they are fat? I guess the person fighting cancer and is swollen up and their face huge from prednisone is just a fat sinning slob. Or how about the person in physical therapy who is trying to haul their oversized butt from a wheelchair to the physical therapy table? Ever ask how long it took them to gain their weight after an auto accident from being hit by a drunk driver? Nah, of course you didn't! You're too busy ASSuming every fat person out there is "sinning" by eating too much food. Yeah, you don't care what the gays put in their mouth - just don't be fat America! And Mr. Goss, if you hadn't had been an oh so special guest, you would probably be whistling a differnt tune.
What a bunch of crap – Christians are responsible for the worst atrocities committed in the past 2000 years – all in the name of Christ and the holy book the Bible... do thiese goody-goody Christians think they go to heaven? Good luck.....
Actually communism has the record for atrocities.
Actually, Duke, Christians—most particularly Catholics—hold the atrocity record. They make Stalin and his buddies look like rank amateurs. I mention the Inquisition and the genocide in the Americas as two examples chosen at random from an embarrassingly long list.
As for the above commentary, this minister is a condescending prig. I wonder if the lesbian couple would actually be his friends if they knew the lower class in which he believes they should exist.
Actually your "god" holds the record. After all, according to the buy-BULL... didn't "god" create a world-wide (yes the book does say world-wide) flood that killed every living thing on this planet, save for one little SS Minnow filled with animals? An entire PLANET... makes the dictators seem tame by comparison.
Ass hole can't even spell correctly. Mensa my ass
Mirosal: They also forget the numerous unborn children that their god aborts or the newborns he allows to die on a regular basis or the starving children. They leave themselves believing for fear that they might not be granted a place in fairy tale land and yet it would appear that they are the ones committing the worst crimes and being the biggest bigots and haters all in the name of their god. Pathetic, arrogant thinking.
Has anyone ever heard of a Canadian minding their own business?
You won't... the self righteous ass holes can't keep themselves from telling other people how to live and what to think.
great intellect my ass Captain American pervert alert atheism is not healthy herbie no-one gives dodney rangerfield: care to point out the word he spelled wrong?...if you're referring to buybull, it is not the worlds fault that you are too uneducated to know that that is exactly what your book is...it forces you to 'buy' in to the 'bull' sh!t all for nothing.
can be dismissed without proof
You are dismissed liar prevails
Actually, you are dismissed. All you've done is hurl an insult or two just to stir the pot. If you want to show us YOUR "great intellect", then refute what I posted above in a logical, civil manner. You have given us no proof that you know what you are talking about, therefore we dismiss you for lack of evdience showing you to be sentient.
Hear the one about Dodney? The one where the troll failed Grade 1 basic English comprehension?
We go to first grade here, not Grade 1. Do they teach you to interfere with others in Grade 1 up there?
Can anyone please tell if there is something on earth more useless than a Mirosal? Mensa my ass
Instead of throwing out the insults, prove your usefulness nad join in the debate. Show us why YOU are right, and be ready to back it up. Or, you can continue to do what you've always done, and prove Ben Franklin correct. "Better to be thought of as a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right." You've shown us all that your I.Q. can me measured with an electron microscope.
You prove on every post you can't spell and challenge someone else intelligence? Mensa my ass
For those of you who doubt the killing in the name of communism verses religion, remember the MILLIONS murdered in China, the former USSR alone out number the many killed under the false pretense of religious violence. It is an empirical fact. One reason it is true is that the world population was not that high during the years of the crusades, the inquisition and wide spread theocracy.
Yes yes, we know about Stalin and Mao. Now let's take their numbers and put them next to the Inquisition, the witch hunts, the pagan murders that carried on for nearly four centuries, the Holocaust, every religious war that took place between the 15th and 18th century, the New World conquest, the Crotian extermination camps for Catholics, the Crusades.... I can list these for a day. But I won't, because you've already convinced yourself how "great" religion is.
The number of people who make it to heaven is, incidentally, exactly the same as the number of people who make it to Narnia.
That's four, right? Who decides which four it will be? I hope I don't get picked. Living among only three other people would turn me into a mass murderer in three weeks; albeit a small mass murderer.
"wow" is right. I just can not for the life of me understand how these so called pastors can look at themselves in the mirror. I am not going to waste one more second with any of them; but I will leave all of you with some sound advice from Jesus himself, " unless you repent, you will likewise perish" ....Luke 13:3
wait being fat can stop you from getting into heaven. So i guess the bible belt is screwed!
Yes, that pretty much does guarantee that those who DO make it won't be pestered by any Baptists.
In as much as what God Himself called sin is concern, sin is sin. A true church will be concern with bring salvation not stigma siner is like Hiv & Aids if you look well & wisely you can see that people free of the virus die before those with it.. Sin know where life is but the viruses & other sickness are very blind of the position of life in body. I think the church too is going away from its very purpose..
Galatians 3:22-28(23-25) no longer under the Law of Moses. BUT sin WAS sin BEFORE the law, and SIN is SIN AFTER the law Romans 5:13,19-20
Again, the Law was to POINT OUT and HIGHLIGHT sin, which had existed sin Adam transgressed with the FRUIT(bible NEVER said apple) Romans 7:13
Paper Airplane in plane sight delivers the Bottom World View with The Name of Who's In Charge Most Important Name in the Universe. HYHY HHY HY YY = HY. Nothing Written by Origami. Your Demo ?