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Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?
Phil Robertson of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been suspended for his comments on homosexuality.
December 20th, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - The Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame has rallied around its patriarch, saying his controversial comments on homosexuality are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible." But Scripture is fiercely contested ground, and some experts say Phil Robertson misinterprets a key Bible verse.

A&E, the network that broadcasts the hugely popular "Duck Dynasty" show, suspended Robertson for a now infamous interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s after a prodigal youth, is asked to define "sin."

Here's what Robertson says: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

Robertson, 67, then paraphrases a Bible passage from the New Testament: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

That's a pretty close citation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which is a letter from Paul, often called the father of Christianity theology, to a fledgling Christian community in Corinth, Greece.

Here's what Paul's passage says, as rendered in the New International Version, by far the most popular translation among evangelicals and conservative Christians such as Robertson:

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Evangelicals, who make up about a quarter of the U.S. population, tend to take that passage at face value. The Robertson family pastor, for instance, told CNN on Thursday that "the verse explains itself."

Robertson himself is no religious neophyte. He's an elder in the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ and offers spiritual counseling, charity and Bible studies to many in his hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana, the family pastor, Mike Kellett told CNN.

The "Duck Dynasty" star also preaches around the country to conservatives that flock to hear his blend of woodsy, plainspoken Christianity.

Many conservatives backed Robertson's views on Scripture and homosexuality this week, if not the "crude" way he argued his point to GQ.

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality

But other Bible experts said the Scripture Robertson cited isn't quite clear about homosexuality.

"A lot of people misread this text because it's so complicated," said O. Wesley Allen Jr., an associate professor at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

First, scholars say, we have to look at the context surrounding Paul's letter.

The Christian leader is trying to get the quarreling Corinthians to stop taking each other to civil courts and being judgmental. "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already," Paul says.

Things were supposed to be different after they became Christian believers, Paul continues; they were supposed to stop their sinful ways.

Then Paul lists some of their sins of the past, including greed, drinking too much, worshipping idols and sexual immorality. "That is what some of you were," Paul says. "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The list of sins is likely based on rumors that Paul heard about Corinth, says Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania who has studied the Bible's teachings on homosexuality. Bible scholars call it a "vice list," and it appears several times in Scripture.

So what does Paul's "vice list" say about homosexuality? That's the tricky part.

The first word Paul uses is "malakoi," which means "soft" in Greek, according to Allen. By analogy, the word came to mean "effeminate," which is how the King James Version of the Bible translates it.

"In the ancient world, it would refer to a boy in a relationship with an older man," Allen said. "It was pederasty, not homosexuality as we think of it today."

The other relevant word on Paul's "vice list" is "arsenokotai," which means "male sex." It refers to the other half in the man-boy relationship, common in Greece at the time, Allen said, the older male having sex with the "soft one."

"It isn't anything to do with what we would see today in an intimate, mutual relationship between gay adults," said Allen, who is co-authoring an upcoming book on homosexuality and heterosexuality in the church.

My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality

Even so, scholars such as Allen acknowledge there are no Bible passages that support same-sex relationships, and at least seven that appear to condemn gay sex.

"There's no way around the fact that those passages take a negative view of homosexuality, and nowhere in the Bible is a positive view offered," Allen said. "So conservatives and liberals continue to debate."

Liberals say that some parts of the Bible offered particular truths for a specific times and places but those times and places, as well as human understanding of sexuality, have progressed dramatically.

"The Bible may be divinely inspired, but its authors were human and saw, as St. Paul puts it, through a glass darkly," said Jim Naughton, a Christian gay rights activist and communications consultant. "On the subject of homosexuality, the Bible doesn’t mean what Phil Robertson thinks it means."

Conservatives such as Robertson, on the other hand, argue that the Bible is the bedrock of their faith, unchanging and unalterable. "We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word," the Robertson family said Thursday.

For decades, the gulf between the two sides has divided denominations, churches and families. To paraphrase Lincoln, both sides read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and both invoke his aid to argue against each other. Which is why our contemporary debate over homosexuality is so fierce, and so seemingly unending.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • gender issues • Prejudice • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

soundoff (5,719 Responses)
  1. Rogue351

    Everyone gets the bible wrong, everyone It is impossible to know for certain what was on the mind of a particular person that created parts of the bible much less the people that translated it. NO One know for certain what any particular part means. Biblical scholars are at best guessing as to a particular interpretation, all of them !. The most certain message the bible does give is to be kind and helpful to your fellow man, Discrimination and hate does NOT fall under that one certain fact. So yes he did get the bible wrong as most do, especially these days motivated by TV, Radio and politics.

    December 22, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • Claire

      Very well said

      December 22, 2013 at 5:48 am |
  2. Free Holiday Nuts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noHAyUqEauE

    December 22, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • lol??

      The Fountain of Youth was discovered in Florida. So many people are drinking out of it that sinkholes are forming from the extra water movement.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  3. Anita Brooks

    Whether he got the Bible right or not, and by the way, he did. What happened to American's right to freedom of speech. Seems these days, everyone can voice an opinion except when it comes to us Americans who have biblical beliefs, we are supposed to just sit in a corner and be quiet. Not! Believers have just as much of a right to speak the truth we believe as the next person.

    December 22, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • Observer

      He exercised his freedom of speech.

      A&E exercised their right to not project an image of ignorance and bigotry.

      What is your problem?

      December 22, 2013 at 1:35 am |
      • Skarphace

        Correct. Everyone has a right to say anything they want as long as they are willing to live with the ramifications. Most Americans do not understand this catch.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:37 am |
      • Bill

        Bigotry is "intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself." That sounds like the people trying to shut him up to me, not Phil! He said that he loves all people and holds nothing against anyone, regardless of their belief. Having said that, I do know that the enlightened folks, such as yourself, know FAR better than everyone else, and that if we think differently from you, we should just keep quiet. You're the bigot, observer.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • Skarphace

          Phil also said that hom.ose.xuality was akin to beastiality. That seems pretty intollerant to me.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • Observer

          Bill,

          bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

          Do some research before you so IGNORANTLY again accuse someone of being something they aren't.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      He is more than welcome to speak. You'll notice that he is not facing any legal prosecution for his words. However, he is an employee of the A&E network, and they have every right to suspend or fire their employee for acts that reflect badly upon their product. The First Amendment does not protect you from the consequences of your actions. It just protects you from criminal prosecution.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes you do. And your azzhole buddy was able to exercise his rights. And A&E exercised theirs. No one's rights were trampled. Too bad if your feelings were hurt.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • sam stone

      anita: freedom of speech does not apply to private organizations. however, your christian persecution complex is duly noted

      December 22, 2013 at 6:30 am |
  4. West Coast Conservative

    Suggest you read the entire context of the Bible, and see the heart of God when He put those words of wisdom in. Then you'll be better equipped to answer the very question you ask.

    December 22, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Skarphace

      If it were that simple and people could learn about God by merely reading the Bible, then we wouldn't need people to teach us what the words of the Bible mean and all religious teachers would teach the same thing. As you are proabably aware, this is not even close to the case.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • Bill

        Well, it really is that simple. Unfortunately, most people don't take the time to actually read it. If they did, they'd be a lot less confused.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:53 am |
  5. Soughtful

    Nope, actually Phil got the Bible right.

    Almost any contributor to CNN or nearly any other mainstream media outlet tend to get it wrong. Like the individuals quoted in the article above.

    Truth is, many of them get it wrong on purpose because they desire so desperately to see how they live as being approved by the creator. So they completely disregard what the Bible clearly says, and try to pretend it says something else.

    December 22, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • jkeller

      Spot on.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Skarphace

      In your opinion, he did. There are others that would agree with you and others that would not. The strength of the Bible is its flexibility. It was written in parables for the reason that it could be interpreted many different ways. Otherwise, if the Bible had only one interpretation, we wouldn't need pastors or fathers or nuns or the Pope, would we?

      December 22, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Herb

      The Bible does not talk.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • DixT

      Agreed!

      December 22, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      There are over 30,000 different versions of christianity, each with it's own interpretation of "what the bible says". Wars have been fought and thousands have died because of disputes about those interpretations. Your personal interpretation is just one of many.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:34 am |
      • Skarphace

        Precisely. The problem is that most Christians think that their interpretation is the one and only true interpretation. If only more Christians were more open-minded. I know, if pigs had wings...

        December 22, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • Skarphace

        Precisely. The problem is that most Christians think that their interpretation is the one and only true interpretation. If only more Christians were more open-minded. I know, if wishes were wings...

        December 22, 2013 at 1:42 am |
      • Skarphace

        Correct. The problem is that most Christians think that their interpretation is the one and only true interpretation. If only more Christians were more open-minded. I know, if wishes were wings...

        December 22, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • Skarphace

          Oops. Sorry. I didn't think it was being posted. My bad.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:44 am |
  6. Skarphace

    The main problem with marriage is that it is regulated by the State, rather than by churches. The reason for this is that the Federal government allows certain benefits be given to married couples that single couples do not enjoy.

    Therefore, if Christians want control over the "definition" of marriage (in quotes because the original definition of marriage was that the man would own the woman as he would a piece of property), then the solution is simple. Let the church define marriage and decide who can and cannot be married within the church (of course, each church to their own), and make it so that the State has no hand in the pie.

    The Federal government would no longer be able to decide if gays can or cannot be married and therefore could pass no laws to that effect. In addition, married couples would not be given any Federal benefits that would not also be given to single couples. There can still be benefits, but the benefits would be based on living conditions. If you live with someone and raise children together then you have access to the benefits. That would solve the issue.

    December 22, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Doris

      So what about death benefits where no children are involved?

      December 22, 2013 at 1:08 am |
      • Skarphace

        All such benefits would be decided based on living conditions rather than by marriage. In which case they would probably be decided based on how long you lived with your partner before they died.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • Doris

          OK then – I'm on board. Although I would imagine it would require that the government revise a bunch of documentation.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:20 am |
        • Skarphace

          By the way, even if it were decided the way I stated, there would still be an argument over gay marriage as there would still be liberal churches that would be willing to marry gay couples. Ironically, the church would no longer have the option of trying to pass a law forbidding such acts as the State would no longer be involved in the process.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • ripley

      I tend to agree. States and the federal government ought to step out of this whole discussion and leave the act of a marriage to a religious authority (churches). I do think civil unions ought to be a state product, and it'd tie up the legal ends or property ownership angle. Beyond that, the federal gov't ought to have zero participation in this whole discussion.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:21 am |
      • Observer

        ripley,

        You have it backwards. Marriage is a LEGAL matter with OPTIONAL religious involvement.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:46 am |
        • Cranky.

          This is exactly what I think, also.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • Use your Brain

      Agree

      December 22, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Cranky.

      So churches decide who gets married and who doesn't? How does that work for atheists, then? Or those who just don't want to be married in a church?
      Or quickie marriages Vegas style?
      Half of the problems ARE churches thinking they own marriage rites...

      December 22, 2013 at 1:49 am |
      • Use your Brain

        If you are atheist or dont want to get married in a church then you would just vie for the legal benefits. If you are atheist your not gonna care if theres a church for you to get married in right? it has no significance/ meaning to you.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:54 am |
        • Cranky.

          I want to get married. Christians don't own the GD word.
          Who marries me?

          December 22, 2013 at 1:58 am |
        • Use your Brain

          Theres hundreds of faiths religious methods – pick one that agrees with you!

          December 22, 2013 at 2:02 am |
        • Skarphace

          Cranky, my point was that it would change nothing. There would still be arguments over the definition of marriage as different churches would define it differently. I am willing to bet that as long as you are willing to spend the money, you would be able to find a pastor that would issue you a marriage contract.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:04 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain,

          Marriage is a LEGAL matter. There is no requirement for any church or religion to be involved.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:06 am |
        • Use your Brain

          bah, i was commenting in relation to the original commentators hypothetical situation. going to bed..............going to my happy heteros.e.x.ual bed. lol

          December 22, 2013 at 2:09 am |
        • Cranky.

          And the state fulfills that requirement already, although I agree that we'd still be having the same arguments regardless.

          Use your brain, the system we currently have in place is fine; I think handing marriages over to the Christian church would be a massive mistake.
          We are a secular country. With many different faiths. Letting the Christians take over who gets married would give them way too much power, and deny those who are of different faiths the right to marry.
          It seems that we would be put in the same position that many gays already face; denial of equal rights. Unless you're a Christian, of course.

          No.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:14 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain

          "going to my happy heteros.e.x.ual bed. lol"

          Yep. Doesn't matter if you hate the man you might have been forced to marry.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Skarphace

      Oh, by the way, if we were to allow the church to define marriage, they would also be able to define divorce. That might be a bit of a problem. Americans love their divorces. So do lawyers.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:53 am |
      • Cranky.

        Wouldn't be by the state then, but by the church. Yeah, good luck, lol.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:00 am |
  7. God bless Phil

    What is our year today? Correct, it is 2013 A.D. (After Death). How is time constructed ... by God? Just chew on that for a minute!

    We all are judged by the Creator. Thank you (Phil) for speaking God's truth. Continue on with your Christian birth-right. Speaking love to those who need it is key to seeing them born-again!

    God bless, Phil.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • tony

      God's love in action:

      .ksby.com/news/community-mourns-death-of-jana-carlson-mother-of-four-children/

      Fat lot of good god was to his fans

      December 22, 2013 at 12:57 am |
      • tony

        Last Thursday.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:05 am |
      • Cranky.

        Tony, this is tragic, but this has nothing to do with anything.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • blackrosemd1

      You do realize that BC and AD were set by the Roman Empire, right? Not God.

      I really wish Jesus would actually come back...some of you people are ridiculous.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:01 am |
      • A Frayed Knot

        B.C. / A.D. was not established by the Roman Empire.

        The B.C./A.D. dating system was the brainchild of a monk named Dionysius in the 6th century. The Church was very powerful in those days and controlled many aspects of society, including politics, economics, literature and history-writing... still, his dating system took hundreds of years (nearly 1000) to be inst-ituted world-wide. Many cultures still keep their ancient calendars going on the side.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Stephen Kliewer

      Wow!
      Just wow!

      God bless Phil, yes, because that is the way God is

      Phil may get the Bible, in the same way that the Pharisees and Sadducees got the Bible (you know, the brood of vipers)
      but he doesn't get Jesus

      and it seems
      neither do you

      December 22, 2013 at 1:03 am |
      • DixT

        Jesus IS NOT the "flower child" who goes around singing Kum-by-ya to everyone! Jesus himself stated, while praying to His Father, that he "does not pray for the world (unbelievers), but only for those who God has given him (believers)." The Book of John 17:6-9.

        I just wish people would STOP saying Jesus is nothing but LOVE! Jesus is RIGHTEOUS and scripture states He will return in "righteous JUDGMENT, to condemn the world (unbelievers)." Jesus made, with His own hands, a WHIP to use upon the backs of the money changers (gamblers), on the steps of His Father's house (the synogogue)!

        EVERYONE needs to read the entire New Testament, BEFORE they site passages from the Bible! Jesus spoke to TWO separate crowds of people-unbelievers and believers, and people need to know which crowd He is speaking to, BEFORE they take passages of the Bible out of context!

        December 22, 2013 at 1:28 am |
        • Skarphace

          I am also always confused when people say "God Is Love". If this were the case, we would have no use for Hell, now would we? No matter what a child does no mother would send her child to Hell for eternity because she loves them unconditionally. If God were the same, then Hell would be empty.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:36 am |
        • Terry

          Now there's a thought–> "Unconditional Amnesty" do what ever you want to whomever you want anytime you want with absolutely no punishment. Let's adopt this practice for our children and see how well the next generation does. Seriously though, God is a just God as much as he is a God a love but it's a 2 way street. Human rebellion against God(sin) shows no love for God therefore God separates us from him eternally and hell is the absence of God. Thank God that he is a God of love and sent his son as a sacrifice to sin to redeem us from eternal punishment. There is no hell for anyone who believes. Now he is a just God as well as a God of love.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • Skarphace

      A.D. does not mean "After Death". It means "Anno Domini", a latin term which, by the way, was not used until 1512.

      Chew on that.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:07 am |
      • Skarphace

        And before you reply "Anno Domini means after Jesus' death", you are wrong. A.D. started when Jesus was born, not when he died. Othewise, we would have lost 32 years (his lifespan).

        Still chewing?

        December 22, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      A.D. does not stand for "After Death". It means Anno Domini (Latin – in the year of the Lord).

      December 22, 2013 at 1:12 am |
      • Skarphace

        Yeah, the idi.ot must think that the English language was around when Jesus was alive.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • stan miller

      A very simplistic view of history (and our way of keeping dates), Proves nothing. If you are so religious, you should convert back to the mother religion, the religion of Jesus and become an orthodox Jew.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • tallulah13

      The days of the week are named after pagan gods. Those gods must be real, too.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  8. tony

    In the beginning was the word. . .
    . . . then not a lot later, god creates all the different languages so most of the population now needs it translated. . . .
    . . . .and a little later still, writes the 10 commandments in just one of them. . . .
    . . . . . . . . . conservatives call this "intelligent communication". . .

    December 22, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  9. Faithless Forrest

    It is the bible that most deserves being boycotted. The man is simply mislead by bronze age barbarism.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  10. Skarphace

    Let us make a challenge. If a larger percentage of gays couples stay married over the next 25 years, then we redefine marriage to be between two men or two women. Otherwise, it reverts to between a man and a woman. Do you think that straight couples would agree to this challenge? I would think not as they would lose. Badly. (By the way, the rate of divorce for straight couples is about double that of same-gender couples currently).

    December 22, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Maddy

      I would just define it by two consenting adults...and I don't think you'll get many takers for your challenge....

      December 22, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  11. Maani

    Unmentioned in all of this is growing scholarship suggesting that Paul himself was a closeted ho.mo.se.xual. (And no, I am not trying to be funny.) In 2 Corinthians, he says, "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." Many scholars believe that the "thorn" he refers to is ho.mo.se.xuality. This would go a long way to explaining why Paul, more than anyone else, "harps" on se.xual immorality, etc.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • nullhogarth

      The christian religion needs to go away. People believing in fairy tales needs to go away. People need to grow up and face the universe as it is, not as some ignorant camel sucker thought it should be.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • JB

      That is a reasonable idea. But I think the language suggests that the problem is a spiritual one (that can't be seen and doesn't relate to anything physical at all).

      December 22, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Skarphace

      There are many temptations of the flesh. However, even if Paul were gay, that wouldn't change the fact that he saw hom.ose.xuality as a sin. Therein lies the problem; if you are born gay and being gay is a sin then you are born in sin. This is contradictory as sin should always be the result of a choice.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  12. nullhogarth

    Get rid of the bible. Problem solved.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • RealGetter

      Too late for that...

      December 22, 2013 at 12:49 am |
      • tony

        Oh I don't know. We just got rid of honest banking and fairly funded electionsin the US and that didn't take much effort.

        December 22, 2013 at 12:53 am |
  13. Use your Brain

    To all the pro gays: What would you say to someone like me? I believe gays have a legal right to marry. I dont believe the Bible supports their relationship and neither does God. So i dont believe they can be married in the eyes of God. But legally speaking ibelieve it is their right. Also, I believe ho.mos.e.x.uality is perverted and gross. But i view it the same way as I view premarital s.e.x, drug use, adultery. I treat people that i know to practice these things with respect and courtesy. HOw do you view a person that feels this way about things?

    December 22, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • tony

      Sitting on the fence?

      December 22, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Observer

      You seem open-minded. That sounds good to most people who support gay rights, by my way of thinking.

      You do have a flaw in opposing gay marriage because of the Bible. There's practically NO CHANCE you support the Bible's positions on marriage. If you did, you'd say that marriage can be FORCED on people who may even hate each other, for instance.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Skarphace

      I would say to you this: if you want marriage to be defined as a religious contract rather than a civil contract (which it is currently), then fine. Decouple it from the State. By the way, this means that nobody gets any Federal benefits due to marriage. That would be very much ok by me. Have at it.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:33 am |
      • Maddy

        Right on.

        December 22, 2013 at 12:47 am |
      • Use your Brain

        Hmm i agree with that. The state has no right to say who we may marry or love. But God has a right to define it (iyou believe this if you are a Christian) and he did define it when he created adam/Eve. Ppl pick thru the bible so much now why is anyone stressing over those scriptures? To say the bible supports gay marriage is just goofy and sooo strrrretched. But who adheres to the bible anymore? Im just irritated at seeing the scriptures twisted so much. I say go ahead, get married, be respected by society, find your peace in the universe but stop pretending the bible supports you. All in all, people just laugh at Christianity anymore. What ppl dont get is that theres nothing wrong with limiting your s.e.x.uality/ morals for the sake of God. We dont expect much of one another, but God does. But most of you dont really believe the bible was inspired by God

        December 22, 2013 at 1:00 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain,

          You don't believe or support all of God's wacky ideas of marriage, so don't use it as an excuse.

          Are you telling us you believe marriage can be FORCED onto people who even hate each other like the Bible says?

          Read a Bible.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • Use your Brain

          Observer, what scripture are you referring to?

          December 22, 2013 at 1:08 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain,

          The Bible says that marriage should be FORCED onto the single brother of someone who dies leaving a widow. It can be FORCED onto female slaves. In some cases, people can NEVER be allowed to divorce.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • Use your Brain

          I have no beef with that scripture especially considering marriage was (and still is) a form of security for women. A woman did not have as many opportunities (goes without saying) back then. Plus, really any two people with any personalities can live together if they work at it. Maybe not happily but oh well. I dont think people had the luxury of "happiness" in those days

          December 22, 2013 at 1:36 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain,

          So no EMPATHY for women. No following of the Golden Rule. Why not skip the HYPOCRISY?

          December 22, 2013 at 1:39 am |
        • Use your Brain

          No, I believe those marriages were arranged/ called for "forced" for the welfare of the widowed woman. I see it as only a benefit to women at the time. btw, im a woman! lol

          December 22, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • Observer

          Use your Brain,

          FORCING marriage on men and women who may HATE each other is as far from the Golden Rule as you can get.

          Why be such a HYPOCRITE about the Golden Rule? You might be a rare person who doesn't care at all about who you are married to (and cannot ever divorce), but you don't speak for the majority of humans. That's really pathetic.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • Scott

          Observer, people during biblical times generally didn't marry for "love", they married for survival and to strengthen familial ties and solidify power. Stop applying modern problems to ancient situations.

          December 22, 2013 at 7:15 am |
    • JB

      What if Paul got it all wrong? He's human like you and I. But because a group of guys put his stuff into the official Bible, you think certain things are sin that might not be sin. And, just what is sin now that Jesus did away with it on the cross?

      December 22, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Corey

      I would say that your problem is that you are speaking for God. We know your beliefs...don't tell us what God believes because you don't know. Not that I think a God exists but if one did you certainly wouldn't know or understand it's intentions.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      I'd say that you actually understand that the laws of this country are not decided by what you read in the bible. I'd also say that you are allowed your prejudices as long as you don't act on them.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  14. tony

    Now a family that can make a "dragon call', a "unicorn call" or an "angel call" would be impressive. Moight even be wortha television show. . .

    December 22, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  15. Skarphace

    Phil gets everything wrong. That is why we love him.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • tony

      That explains the popularity of the bible I expect.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • Skarphace

        The popularity of the Bible is that it can be interpreted in many different ways. Makes for a very good tool for controlling masses. You tell them what they want to hear.

        December 22, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  16. Doris

    It sure doesn't seem like there has ever been any right or wrong way to "get" the Christian Bible. This should be no surprise since there are currently over 40,000 sects of Christianity and some even here on this blog advocate that only reading the Bible without church (a sect of one person) is the true way to find God's intention. As a result there has been vast differences in interpretation. The key founders of the U.S. government were quite aware of this dilemma, which should be no surprise considering the infighting they witnessed involving Christian sects in their respective states. (Jailing of Baptists by Anglicans and worse in other states.) Madison was furious and wrote about it in his A Memorial and Remonstrance. Jefferson – just as harsh:

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

    Thus was born the "wall of separation" concept that both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote about that provided the footing for the 1st Amendment to the Constitution along with its Establishment Clause.

    Has anything improved in the past two hundred years with regard to this splintered, conflicted nature of Christianity that constantly catches bystanders in the cross-fire?

    If I were considering becoming a Christian today, I think some of the choices I would have help answer that question:

    -I could join one Lutheran sect who still officially categorizes the Pope as the Antichrist.

    -I could join another Lutheran sect who is marrying gays and is fairly moderate.

    -I could join the RCC and help spread disease in poorer countries (because of the unrealistic stance on contraception).

    -I could join a sect who would rather me let my sick child die rather than seek medical care.

    -I could join an SBC church and since I am female, should probably then put on an apron, keep quiet and get ready for inspection.

    -I could join a sect in Mexico that still sacrifices people.

    -I could join a sect that believes the OT is superseded by the NT

    -I could join a sect that believes that the NT brings along all of the OT law

    -I could join a sect that believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    -I could join a sect that believes Americans are being killed at war because America is tolerant of homosexuals.

    -and on and on and on

    What does all this madness have at its core?

    Writings from mostly unknown authors and unnamed alleged "witnesses".

    It's insanity.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Doris

      Correction – third sentence: As a result there have been vast differences in interpretation.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • JB

      What if Jesus really is the son of god? Then what?

      December 22, 2013 at 12:25 am |
      • tony

        The he has a huge number of siblings from Zeus.

        December 22, 2013 at 12:28 am |
      • Doris

        If he can convince me that he really is, then, if given the opportunity, the first thing I'd do is open up a Bible and ask him if he said the things attributed to him.

        December 22, 2013 at 12:56 am |
      • kebcarerra

        What if your question doesn't matter ?

        December 22, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • Terry

      Doris, God (the creator of life and the cosmos) is big enough to create perfect works even thru the failures of evil men. What you have observed and expressed is that no matter how hard mankind tries to progress, we just fail. That is the human condition we have to face. We are blessed with intelligence and conscience but cursed with desires for pleasure and gain. Yes pretty much all evil in the world is done to serve one or both of those premises. Its the curse of the flesh and don't think that it is something new. Even in the day of Jesus there were multiple religious sects and corrupt religious elders that tried to lead to jewish nation politically instead of spiritually. They even murdered prophets of God to maintain their power base. As a result they failed to recognize God standing before them in the flesh and murdered him as well. Its really no different today. Many churches and religions would not be able to recognize God if he stood before them now. I encourage you to read the scriptures yourself and not rely on the failures of the churches today. If you really read with an open heart, God already describes all this in his word.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:25 am |
      • Doris

        Sorry Terry, I have already had a solid Christian education. I have long abandoned the Abrahamic God as described by the ancients as a reasonable possibility.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:40 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Doris, thanks for your posts...I'm a fan.

          December 22, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Rob

      I wish you would have chosen SBC before posting...

      December 22, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  17. Michelle

    The Truth is the Truth and God's Word is the Truth. You can deny it all you want, but it won't make a difference.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Doris

      "Truth", Michelle? Absolute "truth" directly from God? Can you demonstrate such "truth" is some objective way so that we can be sure it is directly from your God and not tainted by subjectivity / consensus?

      December 22, 2013 at 12:18 am |
      • Doris

        ( in some objective way )

        December 22, 2013 at 12:19 am |
      • Sheshie

        A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

        ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

        December 22, 2013 at 12:35 am |
        • Doris

          Well that's a nice quote. But does it answer my question or does it address the steadfastness of faith? I think the latter.

          December 22, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • tony

          Why does a quote of an opinion by a biased human, have any value to a seeker of truth?

          OTOH, any teenager who chooses to use a condom, can block god's "miracle of life". How about that for the power of god?

          December 22, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • tony

      Then god sends railbows to muslims, hindus, etc., who he knows have no idea what it means???

      December 22, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Skarphace

      The Truth is as you believe it. Otherwise, there would be many truths as there are people from all religions that believe that their religion is the one true religion.

      December 22, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  18. newmediapublishingbh

    My final word: People shouldn't believe everything they hear about the people that they're supposed to hate.

    Good-night!

    December 22, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  19. Sophie Meyer

    The Robertsons are complete frauds, their schtick is just a way to fleece the rubes and take their money... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW343K1-upo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    December 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thanks for the link. That's great.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:48 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.