My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?
Anderson Cooper's coming out provoked the author to send a tweet that triggered some strong reaction.
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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (2,508 Responses)
  1. Quasi

    What a pile of hypocritical bull$#!+ ...

    One's DNA, as a random joining of some chemical molecules, determines one's body type and brain structure. My sister had birth defects and caused her to weigh 80 pounds at age 6 months, and 500 pounds at her untimely death at age 25. I miss her so!

    And since I am gay, and have had that orientation since I was 5, I tried to diligently "pray the gay away for the next 22 years; I was so unhappy and bullied horribly as I grew up. When I accepted what the "unseen, absent and silent" deity supposedly made me, then I became a happy and productive individual.

    Please, deliver me from those who are as hypocritical and evil as this man is.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  2. Sam Yaza

    if heaven is the happiest place in the universe then it has to be the Gay Bar in the Allure system of the Eradean galixy

    July 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ps no dah Copper was Gay with a body like that he had to be

      July 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  3. David

    hmm looks like Mathew should update his passage to ... a fat man has as much chance of entering heaven as a he does passing through an eye of a needle

    July 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • pockets

      "Matthew" who....LOL

      July 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    Once a person realizes that god and religion is a manipulative tool and removes themselves from the process, they quickly experience an unsettling reality. The reality that there are a ton of people in the world that are living and breathing-in this destructive rhetoric. When you are involved with it you are not aware of it, when you get out of it and see what it is for the first time you feel embarrassed that you wasted so much time in a very demeaning existence.
    Here in the article the writer states he and his wife have "lesbian" friends but they wouldn't bring them to their church? That is what a belief in a god and religion will do for your friends. Not my cup of tea if I have to be phony because of a god. No god, no religion will ever stop me from being proud of person(s) I would claim to be my friend(s).

    July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  5. rick jolie

    of course fat people go to heaven. every day. it's called dunkin donuts

    July 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Patti

      rick, that was LOL funny!

      July 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Does a fat jihadist get his 72 virgins? Why not ask that question?

    July 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • David

      No it is a typo.. it is one 72 year old virgin.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • pockets

      Anddd 72 mother in-laws to....hahahahahahaa.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. shep

    There certainly won't be any Mormons in heaven.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Lux

      So true, but only because there is no heaven so nobody is going there.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  8. Patti

    EVERYTHING in evangelical churches gets blown out of proportion and people who quote the bible ALWAYS do so for THEIR convenience. There really is no need for any religion. Do unto other covers an awful lot of ground.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Hera_Zeus' wife


      That is what I told Zeus the other day. He was going to hurl a lightening bolt at the Vatican.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  9. Robert

    The apostle Paul said he once knew a man who had ascended to the third heaven. So we know there are at least three, and not one as the author claims.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Patti

      If Paul said the moon was made of cheese and the earth was flat, would you believe that too?

      July 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • WDinDallas

      Probably from the Revelation of Moses. That's where God placed Adam, Able and Eve.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  10. J

    I like the line about looking at gays as "fellow sinners." No one is better than anyone else. A sin is a sin. We all sin probably everyday. Instead of using energy to try to tear someone down, we all should use that energy to make ourselves the best we can be.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  11. Scott

    TBH the question you should be asking is will there be stupid people. Just say'n

    July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • rick jolie

      there will only be stupid people. the smart ones know better.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  12. Blue 19

    What a refreshing article. Someone from the church pointing out the hypocrisy within the religious community of picking and choosing passages from the bible.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  13. Fatty fatty 2X4

    Doughnuts to eat during worship service? Where do I sign up?

    July 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  14. crossword

    You better stop playing with stuff like this. I do believe in everlasting life and I highly respect GOD and the things I read in the Bible. By the way, I am overweight and a sinner and GOD has done great things for me!

    July 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      But if you're gay and fat, no heaven for you.


      July 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • pockets

      Psssst.....just a word for you...............there is no heaven, no hell, so relax and enjoy your lives. Your just scared of dying. Its ok, its just that life will go on as it was 'before' you were even here. Don't panic......now sleep, sleep, sleep. RIP Mr. Hitchens, you see, you were right all along, Religion Poisons Everything.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      I rather doubt there will be doughnuts in heaven.One word Dude....SALAD.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  15. Jerome Haltom

    There is no heaven, so that's easy.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  16. Russ

    Oh come on you idiots. Why even ask such a stupid question. What heaven? Tell us where it is first. You can't because it, like the rest of the sport you call religion is just a figment of your imagination. Cult maybe. Wil gays and fat people go to heaven. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA......Thanks for my laugh of the day. LMAO

    July 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Bill

      Wow another angry atheist. Shock of all shocks.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • solex

      Athiests have NOTHING on religious people for hatred and anger of others pal.

      We don't even rate a blip on the meter.

      Christians INVENTED THE METER.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      @Bill..Kinda like those angry atheists that flew those planes into those buildings a few years ago eh Billy-boy?

      July 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  17. Rick

    Yes, and there is a never-ending buffet.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Tom

      How about a never-ending buffet of virgins... now that would be heaven:)

      July 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  18. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    July 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  19. blake

    Craig Gross, a naive hipster Christian being played by the political left to advance their agenda.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Wow,you saw politics in this article?Can you say.. paranoia??

      July 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  20. perversion is a crime

    Qu eers can only attain heaven like everyone else by grace through faith. A qu eer would have to repent of all its sins so it would no longer be a qu eer in heaven.

    July 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Mike

      Like your preacher.... Get a life....

      July 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent



      July 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • solex

      Funny how you speak of repenting sins while using derogatory terms and showing hatred rather than forgiveness.

      Religion is nothing to me but people who want to live forever while convincing themselves they deserve it while others don't.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Robert

      Why are you stuttering when you say the Q word?

      July 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus was a qu ee r. He will be supreme qu ee r in heaven.


      July 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • perversion is a crime

      Because of the absolute filth associated with it

      July 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Janet

      "A qu eer would have to repent of all its sins so it would no longer be a qu eer in heaven."

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      July 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Quick question..What if your son or daughter told you they were gay?Would you follow your narrow-minded,religious bigotry,and curse them to hell?Or,could you find a way to change your mind and continue to love them?Would you slap your kid in the face and kick them out of the house and ask your god why he is so cruel to little-old you?Do yourself a favour and spend a moment thinking on this subject before you spout your hate-fulll nonsense again.....and for crying out loud,LAY OFF THE KFC !!

      July 5, 2012 at 6:26 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
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.