(RNS) The first thing I did when I read the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in the cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8 on Thursday morning was offer a silent prayer.

It was short — just two words — completely heartfelt and probably far more eloquent than anything I’ll manage to write in this space today.

“Thank you,” I told God.

It was neither a triumphalist exclamation, nor a satisfied sigh of relief. Rather that unspoken thanks emanated from a dusty corner of my soul where gratitude — genuine, awestruck, gob-smacked gratitude — abides.

Plaintiffs Paul Katami, left, and Jeff Zarillo, who argued against California’s Proposition 8, speak to the media Wednesday (June 26) after the Supreme Court rejected Prop 8 on legal grounds. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Plaintiffs Paul Katami, left, and Jeff Zarillo, who argued against California’s Proposition 8, speak to the media Wednesday (June 26) after the Supreme Court rejected Prop 8 on legal grounds. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

After the Almighty, my thoughts turned to people as a litany of names and faces flashed through my mind — friends, family, colleagues, classmates, acquaintances, and more than a few people I know only from a distance.

They are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight.

Many of them are people of faith, but many more of them abandoned religion and God because of the cruelty heaped upon them in the name of both.

Since I graduated from my evangelical Christian alma mater more than 20 years ago, no other issue has been more divisive in my social and spiritual circles than homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

And yet I cling to hope that this too shall pass. The same source that taught me to “hate the sin but love the sinner” and showed me where to find the Bible verses that “prove” homosexuality is a sin, also helped me learn the Golden Rule and the verse in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians that says, “Love never fails.”

It is precisely because of — not in spite of — the faith that defines my most essential self that I believe we are all equal in God’s eyes and that we all should enjoy the same legal rights and privileges no matter what our gender, race, creed, or sexuality might be.

I am a Christian and I am an evangelical. I am straight and I am married.

My faith tradition believes in a sovereign God of unbridled grace. It is not my business to try to legislate my beliefs, morality or fears. It is not my job to cajole, guilt or persuade people to behave in a certain way. That is God’s purview.

Therefore, I celebrate these new steps toward marriage equality. And I stand in solidarity with my LGBT brothers and sisters without reservation. That I have not always done so, I ask their forgiveness and God’s mercy.

The year after I graduated from Wheaton College in 1992, several of my friends came out to me as gay or lesbian. I can still picture exactly where I was sitting when I got the first phone call — the way my chest tightened, my pulse raced, and my mind reeled.

I didn’t know what to say. I knew what I should say — or rather what my faith tradition as I understood it at that time would expect me to say. But I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t tell Pete, who had prayed for years for God to “change” him, to pray a little harder.

I couldn’t tell Tia that she should try to forget her love for another woman and be celibate for the rest of her life because Jesus was “more than enough.” Not because it was too hard to say, but because I didn’t believe with any certainty that it was true.

Instead, I said what I knew for sure: I love them and God loves them. Period.

Two decades later, it’s still the only thing I know for sure, and it’s not only more than enough, it is the beating heart of Christianity.

It would be a stretch to make a case, based on proof texts, that the Bible endorses homosexuality. But it’s even more difficult to find biblical support for the way in which Christians have maligned, ostracized and otherwise mistreated the gay community.

There are more verses in our holy writ pertaining to mildew and crustaceans than there is material related to homosexuality.

On the other hand, the Bible is rife with verses, passages, and even entire books about love — love of God, love for each other, God’s love for us, love for family, for the stranger, for our “enemies.”

Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. But, oh, how he did go on about love. He even commanded his followers — without caveats and on several occasions — to love.

On Wednesday, one of my spiritual mentors said something that, without my realizing it at the time, prepared my heart for Thursday’s news.

“Whenever you see religious people where their faith is more important than love,” he said, “they’ve got it the wrong way around.”

There is a verse that, even if you’re not a believer of any stripe you’ve probably heard at least once at a wedding — maybe even at a gay wedding. It’s a passage from 1 Corinthians 13, St. Paul’s letter where he says, “Love never fails.”

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known,” St. Paul wrote. “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

In the final analysis, today or any other day, love is even greater than faith.

Love wins.

YS/AMB END FALSANI

36 Comments

  1. Christians always say “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality”, and then they flat-out ignore what Jesus DID about homosexuality in 1 Cor. 6:9-11.

    No wonder the American churches are so utterly defeated and dimmed, so very powerless and pitiful, as demonstrated by this week’s tragedies.

    • Walt-in-Durham

      Thanks for that cite to the Bible Doc. I guess my theology is not as refined as yours. After all, everything I learned about theology, I learned in Sunday School. My Kindergarten Sunday School teacher taught me this, from our common hymnal: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children.”

      Walt

    • Marcus Johnson

      Um, I believe Paul said that, to the church of Corinth, for a specific context that has nothing to do with a specific condemnation of homosexuality. In that passage, Paul was making the case for resolving issues within the church, rather than involving state agencies (check it, the first “separation between church and state” argument).

      This is the problem with proof-texting; it gets so easy to overlook the context in which a statement was made.

    • Hey Doc, why don’t you come out from behind the curtain and share with us all what wonderful country you’re from where all the Christians are so wonderful and godly. I’d love to come out for a visit and see for myself.

  2. Doc, that wasn’t Jesus speaking in 1 Cor. 6:9-11, it was Paul. The religion is called ‘Christ’ianity and not ‘Paul’ianity for a reason. Try again.

  3. Certainly there remains a lot of work to be done to bring the conversation to a point of respect and civility, which both sides seem to find difficult. But in light of the popular approach to highlight God’s love, what remains of a very clear moral standard to which God calls his people? These two are not incompatible, nor does one overrule the other, but both reflect the character of God that is also to be present in his people. To claim the love of Jesus without the biblical call to be set apart and holy is to leave incomplete the redemption to be found in Christ. God loves us, all of us, and it is this reality and his grace that compels us to a lifestyle (public and private) which seeks to please him and follow his ways in all that we do. Public arena aside, how do you address your fellow Christians understanding of sin and its effects with the biblical call to not succumb to its leadings and effects? Does love trump a call to morality? How do you see these two existing together as God designed them to? Perhaps this is where each side cannot hear the other since we assume that the other is on the opposite extreme.

  4. Gordon Sinclair

    The verse mentioned in Corinthians mentions a few others regarded as unjust. Let,s see a show of hands for fornicators, or slanderers. Wow, looks like quite a few of us are going the way of the homosexuals.

  5. If homosexual and bisexual practices are wrong, as followers of Jesus have believed down the ages and throughout the world, then the most unloving and hurtful thing you can do is to reassure those caught up in those sins that all is well and God is smiling down on them.

    • Heather, what great presumption you have to think that “those caught up in those sins” need you to intermediate for God and His smiles for them! My God speaks to me directly and I don’t need or want your interpretations of what my God wants from me. I understand that you want to come from a place of caring but you are standing in the place of judgement instead. No one wants or needs your approbation or approval, nor that of any other Christian. We all need and want the love of other Christians. That is all.

      Great article, from the heart and truly blessed. Thank you, God!

  6. Can someone please explain to me where the “sin” is in a same-sex relationship ? Is it the love ? holding hands ? kissing ? something more ? and what specifically about those acts of love are sinful ? (hint: a response of “because God/the Bible says so” is not an intelligent answer…)

    And even if it is sin, do we not all sin ? And wasn’t that the point of Jesus grace, to save us from our sin and restore our relationship with God ?

  7. Gavin Sincura

    Kurt – where was the ‘sin’ in eating the fruit from the tree in Genesis 3? Was it the biting, the chewing or the digesting? (Hint; the response “because the Lord God said so” is not an intelligent answer…)

  8. Ms. Falsani – Like many modern Christians you labour under the illusion that the importance of a Biblical doctrine is dependent on the number of times it is specifically mention and/or the number of times it is mentioned by Our Lord. The Biblical commands for the holy practice of sex were so embedded in the Jewish consciousness that they did not need to be continually re-stated. It is utterly inconceivable that the Son of God would have endorsed or promoted same-sex intercourse. You smugly say that there is more in the Bible about mildew and crustaceans than about homosexuality. There is probably more about these things than rape, incest, necrophilia and bestiality but to draw the conclusion that they are therefore of no consequence in the moral universe is totally unwarranted.

    • Marcus Johnson

      1. You’re right; the importance of a Biblical doctrine is dependent on the number of times it is specifically mention and/or the number of times it is mentioned by Our Lord. However, the more references given regarding a specific context, the easier it is to confirm and hone in on a specific interpretation of Scripture that takes the entire Biblical narrative in its proper context.

      2. Sex is never identified as holy or sacred in Scripture. You really just made that up.

      3. It is utterly inconceivable that the Son of God would have endorsed vaccinations, public transportation as a means to reduce spending and preserve the environment, the MPAA rating system, the iPad, or any of a number of different things that existed outside of the social or temporal context in which he conducted his ministry.

      4. Of course, same-sex relationships have consequence in the moral universe (note: I use the term relationships, not intercourse; the interaction between consenting LGBT individuals encapsulates much, much more than just sexual activity). LGBT-affirming Christians endorse monogamy, responsible sexual activity, and a commitment to social justice. No one disputes that LGBT individuals are bound to some moral code; it is just not one that prohibits an orientation that is as natural as left-handedness.

      • When a man is ‘joined to his wife’ the Bible says that two of them ‘become one fresh’ and that they are then people who ‘God has joined together’ (Mark 10 7-9). Sounds pretty sacred to me. It’s a debatable point whether sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, fisting or mutual masturbation constitutes ‘joining’ in the Biblical sense. Legislators have had to ponder on this one because if these practises don’t lead to consummation then what act would be sufficient grounds were adultery and divorce? Christ didn’t endorse iPads because iPads didn’t exist during his time on Earth. Homosexuality and lesbianism were around in his time and geographical location. Paul was aware of both. This is a foolish argument. I’d love to know how a Christian who affirms their bisexuality can also ‘endorse’ monogamy because bisexuality is by its very nature not monogamous. You claim that the orientation to homosexuality and lesbianism is as ‘natural as left-handedness’. What about the orientation some adults have towards children? I have read interviews with such people and they say that they never wanted to be this way but that is the only way in which they can get sexual satisfaction. They are just not attracted to adults of either gender. Is this as ‘natural as left-handedness’? Apparently for them it is. Are they doomed to lives of sexual non fulfilment?

        • Marcus Johnson

          Alrighty, you’ve got a lot going on in this response, so I’m gonna break it up into its parts:

          When a man is ‘joined to his wife’ the Bible says that two of them ‘become one fresh’ and that they are then people who ‘God has joined together’ (Mark 10 7-9). Sounds pretty sacred to me. It’s a debatable point whether sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, fisting or mutual masturbation constitutes ‘joining’ in the Biblical sense.

          I wouldn’t assume that the use of the English word “join” automatically implies sexual activity. If it meant “to have sex with,” it would certainly explain why Paul, after fleeing Damascus, frightened the apostles when he tried to “join” with them (Acts 9:26)!

          This is where knowing something about the Greek language helps. The Greek word used for “joined” in that passage (suzeugnumi) is used only two times in the NT, and means “to yoke together,” usually in marriage. Jesus was talking to Pharisees who were looking for Jesus to legitimize their tendency to divorce unwanted wives on whims. His full response (not one verse) condemns divorce as an “easy out” for dissatisfied husbands. The passage you quoted doesn’t imply anything about sexual activity, nor does that passage alone make the case for a man-woman definition of marriage. It does, however, condemn trivial divorces, especially within a culture in which a divorced wife would no doubt either be forced to starve on the street or sell herself into slavery to stay alive, as she would have no value as a bride.

          Christ didn’t endorse iPads because iPads didn’t exist during his time on Earth. Homosexuality and lesbianism were around in his time and geographical location. Paul was aware of both. This is a foolish argument. I’d love to know how a Christian who affirms their bisexuality can also ‘endorse’ monogamy because bisexuality is by its very nature not monogamous.

          Actually, a lot of people who identify as bisexual are in heterosexual relationships and remain monogamous. Acknowledgement of one’s attraction towards people of the same sex does not mean that a person actively pursues people outside of their marital relationship, no more than a heterosexual man who acknowledges that he is sexually attracted to other women will cheat on his wife (unless he’s in a soap opera or a Tyler Perry movie). I think the problem here is that you are trying to make “sexual activity” synonymous with “sexual orientation”; they are not the same thing.

          So, yes, homosexual activity was more than common in the times of both Jesus and Paul. However, I’m talking about same-sex orientation, which includes attraction, romantic desires, the willingness to form healthy relationships and, yes, even sexual activity as a component–not the defining feature–of someone’s personal identity. Defining someone’s sexual orientation just by who that person is having sex with is a gross oversimplification of that person’s identity.

          You claim that the orientation to homosexuality and lesbianism is as ‘natural as left-handedness’. What about the orientation some adults have towards children? I have read interviews with such people and they say that they never wanted to be this way but that is the only way in which they can get sexual satisfaction. They are just not attracted to adults of either gender. Is this as ‘natural as left-handedness’? Apparently for them it is. Are they doomed to lives of sexual non fulfillment?

          For some reason, folks who argue against the legitimacy of same-sex couples always wind up at pedophilia or bestiality. I guess I should feel a little better that you stayed within the human species, but it is still a pretty disturbing digression, for the following reasons:

          1) As a whole, the LGBT community (including allies) affirms sexual activity between consenting adults. There is some debate about monogamy or sexual liberation (I affirm the latter), but no legitimate voice in either the LGBT community, or in the fields of criminal justice, counseling psychology, sociology, anthropology, or biology identifies pedophilia as a naturally occurring orientation.

          2) The above mentioned fields, rather than categorizing pedophilia as an orientation akin to homosexuality, link that behavior to rape–the act of one person using sex to exert power over another a person who has less or no power. It is an act of force, not romance or love or mutual attraction. It is not comparable to non-heterosexual orientation or left-handed orientation (another behavior which was condemned as deviant until scientific communities asserted that it was a naturally occurring behavior).

          3) I’m sure that, in those interviews, the pedophiles explain that their behavior was a naturally occurring phenomenon. They are probably wearing orange jumpsuits and staring at a long-term prison sentence. Likewise, I’m sure the rapists claim that their victims wanted it, and the guys who get sued for downloading music illegally claim that all music is free. Let’s not legitimize the arguments of those who engage in criminal activity; focus on what the consensus is within the fields that explore the identity of these individuals.

          And, seeing as how confessed pedophiles are jailed and, if they are released, tagged like wild animals, I would certainly hope that they would lead lives of sexual non-fulfillment; I don’t know about you, but the thought of that makes me feel very safe.

          • Marcus Johnson

            Whoops! In the third section, while giving the first point, I meant to say, “I affirm the former,” not the latter. In other words, I endorse monogamy, regardless of the couple’s orientation.

          • Marcus. On your first point you seem unsure as to what actually consummates a marriage. At what point does God perform the ‘joining’ that then becomes humanly unbreakable? Is is the desire, the contract, the ceremony, the cleaving, the sex act? In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says that even a casual act of sex joins a man and a woman (see chapter 6 15-17). On your second point you discriminate between orientation and active pursuit but the gay lobby is arguing that if you have the orientation there should be no barrier between that and active pursuit. You are implying in he case of a bisexual that they just have to nurse one of their desires so therefore they will always be frustrated. What’s the fun in being an inactive bisexual? You seem to be inconsistently arguing that there can be holy gay sex, holy heterosexual sex not no holy bisexual sex. I think you are naive to think that there is a big debate about monogamy in gay culture. Most gays I hear talking are completely disinterested in marriage and think that the excitement of gay culture lies in its variety, danger and experiment and they don’t want to imitate the ways of straight sex society. On your third point – you complain that supporters of Biblical marriage frequently introduce bestiality and pedophilia into the argument. I think the reason for this is because there are a number of sexual sins that the Bible mentions, some which are now largely tolerated by society, some which are under debate and some which are still taboo. It makes sense to introduce the ones that are still taboo to see how we would react if suggestions were made that these too were just ‘orientations’ that needed to be tolerated. Lust, fornication and adultery we cope with. Homosexuality, lesbianism and even prostitution are now under review. Bestiality, necrophilia and incest are still taboo. Interestingly enough, bestiality was recently outlawed in Germany – on the grounds that it infringed the rights of the animals. Campaigners in favour of the practice argued that the relationships could be loving and enriching.

          • Marcus Johnson

            On your first point you seem unsure as to what actually consummates a marriage. At what point does God perform the ‘joining’ that then becomes humanly unbreakable? Is is the desire, the contract, the ceremony, the cleaving, the sex act? In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says that even a casual act of sex joins a man and a woman (see chapter 6 15-17).

            I’m pretty sure of two things.

            First, the “joining” involves much more than just a sexual act. In that whole passage, Jesus identifies several acts involved in the joining: a) a man leaves his parents; b) he is united with his wife; and c) they become one flesh. This passage is repeated several times throughout Scripture, and each time, all three elements are present. Reducing the act of “joining” to a mere sexual act is as fallacious as reducing the concept of sexual orientation to mere sexual activity (more on that later). Paul refers to that act of becoming one flesh a “profound mystery” (Ephesians 5:32), but given the contexts in which those phrases are used in the Bible, it definitely involves much more than just a sexual act. There is an exchange of vows, a change of identity. That’s why Paul rages out on johns who have sex with prostitutes in 1 Corinthians 6; to the man, it may seem like a mere sex act, but he is trading much more than just money for sexual favors.

            Second, I am sure that Jesus was not discussing the sacredness of sex in Mark 10. Instead, he was discussing the sacredness of the vows of commitment taken by spouses, vows which would be broken if the man dismissed the wife for any reason other than adultery. That passage does not identify the act of “becoming one flesh” as a purely sexual activity, nor does it identify sexual activity as the defining act that consummates a marriage (which is good news for couples who get married, although one of the spouses cannot be sexually active; their marriage is not invalid).

            On your second point you discriminate between orientation and active pursuit but the gay lobby is arguing that if you have the orientation there should be no barrier between that and active pursuit.

            I discriminate between sexual orientation and sexual activity (not active pursuit–those are also two different things) because a) the scholarly fields which produced those terms distinguish between orientation and activity, and b) most Christian faith traditions also distinguish between orientation and activity. Likewise, alcohol treatment centers distinguish between alcoholism and alcoholic behavior. A person can therefore be an alcoholic, due to biological and/or sociological factors, and that identity does not change, but they learn to control their urge to drink. Yet they are still alcoholics; they don’t lose that identity because they stop drinking.

            Yes, “the gay lobby” is arguing for the constitutional right of individuals to affirm their sexual orientation identity and be sexually active without fear of discrimination from the state. That doesn’t mean that the two terms are one and the same; it means that both topics are part of the same political platform.

            You are implying in he case of a bisexual that they just have to nurse one of their desires so therefore they will always be frustrated. What’s the fun in being an inactive bisexual?

            I had to stare at that last sentence. Really? For starters, there is no such thing as an “inactive” or “active” bisexual; bisexuality is a sexual orientation identity, not a career or a hobby (see the above statement regarding alcoholism). Bisexuals don’t stop being bisexual just because they enter into a marriage, any more than heterosexuals stop being attracted to members of the opposite sex because they get married. Instead, they make a vow to their spouse to be exclusively sexually committed, and they keep that vow. It’s not a chore or a miserable thing if that commitment is made to someone that a bisexual person truly loves and honors.

            You seem to be inconsistently arguing that there can be holy gay sex, holy heterosexual sex not no holy bisexual sex.

            I’m not sure where you see that inconsistency. I was pretty clear that any type of sex, in and of itself, is not a holy act.

            I think you are naive to think that there is a big debate about monogamy in gay culture. Most gays I hear talking are completely disinterested in marriage and think that the excitement of gay culture lies in its variety, danger and experiment and they don’t want to imitate the ways of straight sex society.

            …which is why, when the Supreme Court just recently cleared the way for same-sex marriage to become legal, the entire LGBT community either ignored the decision or said, “Aw, crap, now we have to get married?” I don’t doubt that there are some weird, sexually irresponsible folk within the LGBT community (and there are just as many, if not more, heterosexuals who are just as promiscuous); however, just because someone identifies with a specific sexual orientation identity, doesn’t mean that they are mature enough to make responsible decisions regarding their sexual lifestyle. Those are two separate issues. I do know that the court systems in California are now being bombarded by same-sex couples who want to get married.

            With all due respect, you probably just need to find some better gay folk who are mature enough to discuss the issue of marriage with you.

            On your third point – you complain that supporters of Biblical marriage frequently introduce bestiality and pedophilia into the argument. I think the reason for this is because there are a number of sexual sins that the Bible mentions, some which are now largely tolerated by society, some which are under debate and some which are still taboo. It makes sense to introduce the ones that are still taboo to see how we would react if suggestions were made that these too were just ‘orientations’ that needed to be tolerated. Lust, fornication and adultery we cope with. Homosexuality, lesbianism and even prostitution are now under review. Bestiality, necrophilia and incest are still taboo.

            The key phrase in that statement is “how we would react if suggestions were made that these too were just ‘orientations’ that needed to be tolerated.” For starters, the argument that non-heterosexual orientation is natural and healthy is not a “suggestion.” Rather, it is the product of over forty years of research that consistently proves that non-heterosexual orientation is not deviant behavior. In addition, that first part of your argument implies “how we would react,” which suggests that the point of comparing homosexuality to bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia is less about finding rational points of comparison and more about encouraging feelings of disgust and revulsion.

            I’m not sure what you mean by the categories “cope with,” “under review” and “taboo.” Bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia are not taboo; they are illegal, unhealthy activities, and the Scriptural passages which declare them to be abominations are supported by decades of scientific research.

            Interestingly enough, bestiality was recently outlawed in Germany – on the grounds that it infringed the rights of the animals. Campaigners in favour of the practice argued that the relationships could be loving and enriching.

            Good for Germany, although I still don’t see the relevant points of comparison between sex with animals and forming marital relationships between consenting adults of the same sex. Unlike same sex marriages, bestiality is a serious public health issue (as is necrophilia and pedophilia), which has no reasonable support within the LGBT community, the scientific community, or the legal community. Can you make a comparison between any other unhealthy relationships between two consenting adults that would make your case, or are we going to stay fixated on having sex with children, corpses, and animals?

  9. Beautifully written. I couldn’t agree more.
    And Vivian, “you smugly say…”. If this is your interpretation, you are obviously reading with a bias. There is nothing smug in here. Only your interpretation.

  10. The Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, accepted same-sex relationships from the get-go. Why does it take evangelical christians so long to catch up?

  11. Gavin Sincura

    Kurt – I assume you’re writing as an atheist, hence your insistence on not referring to the Bible or God. This being so it’s quite hard to explain to you in a very short space the concept of ‘sin’. Basically sin is what offends God because it’s against his nature, his nature being absolutely holy. As far as I know, it’s an understanding exclusive to a religious perspective. From an atheistic view there can only be illegality (what goes against the current laws) and unacceptability (what goes against current tastes in morality). Christians believe, for example, that adultery is wrong. People might cite statistics proving why it is harmful or bad for society but that is not the reason why we should obey it. We obey the command because it comes from God. Similarly with same-sex relationships. The Bible says that a man and a man or a woman and a woman shouldn’t ‘lie together’ as a husband does with a wife. Most of us would instinctively know what that means and what boundaries are implied just as we would know the boundaries to be kept between a parent and a child or a brother and a sister. If you are an atheist this should sound like complete nonsense. Your question is good Kurt and I hope I don’t seem to have brushed you off. I hope you keep asking good questions.

  12. I grew up a fundamentalist Christian in a fundamentalist Christian church and then attended a slightly-less fundamentalist Christian college. While growing up and going to college I always identified strongly as Christian, but I was perpetually turned off by so many other Christians. Nothing about Christianity seemed more problematic than the Christians themselves. So many Christians were senselessly judgemental, unloving, and–very frequently– down right *mean.* And sadly, they felt justified to be this way because of their notion of Christianity.

    To this day, some of the most close-minded and cruelest people I know, are outspoken and proud Christians. If Christians are supposedly so full of the grace of god, why do they frequently exhibit so little of it? I’m dead serious when I ask this. If your a Christian who cares about the present state and future of “the Church,” you should be asking yourself the same question.

    Common sense tells me that homosexuality is 100% fabulous. Living in a world and community with LGBT brothers and sisters is far better than living in a community without them. This is common sense. I know this with certainly from my daily life experience. If the bible actually says being gay is wrong than common sense and basic reason contradicts this book that so many of you have turned into your idol.

    Folks, get over your self-righteous nonsense and save yourselves from hate.
    If your religion won’t allow you to make this change, then let go of your oppressive religion. Seriously.

  13. Sally Palumbo

    To be fair Cathleen, you’re misunderstanding Paul. He was not pitting love against faith and hope and declaring love the winner. He was letting us know that in heaven we will no longer need faith and hope because we will be in the presence of God. Our eyes will be opened. But we will always need love. Love is enduring. However, the love of Christ embraced judgment. It was not a soft and all-embracing love. It wasn’t the love of an indulgent parent towards a spoilt child. No doubt he approved of Pharisees having legal rights. No doubt he had love for them. Nevertheless he tore into their corruption with the strongest language. He was, dare I say it, judgmental.

  14. Gavin, your assumption that I must be an atheist is incorrect. I am a Christian. But I’m not the type of Christian who feels the need to point out the sin (real or perceived) of others. I’m the type of person that loves, accepts and embraces my gay/lesbian neighbors, relatives, co-workers and fellow church members.

    I’m aware that my attitudes and actions can either draw others to God, or drive them away from Him.

    I don’t believe that “gay” is a sin, although If homosexuality is a sin, I’ll let God handle that. And even if I’m wrong, I’m confident that God’s grace is big enough to cover that sin. John 3:16 does not end with “except for the gays”.

    • Gavin Sincura

      John 3 v 16 implicitly excludes those who don’t ‘believe on him’ – in other words, believe on God’s ‘only begotten son’. Righteousness – right living – is part of believing. If anyone persists in a sin it’s indicative of a lack of belief. In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul urges the church to remain pure by shunning those who claim to be believers but who’re caught up in sexual sin. “If any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; do not each with such a one…Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.’ In 1 Corinthians 6 he says further that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” God’s grace is ‘big enough’ to cover any sin but this is of no practical use to the unrepentant.

  15. There is nothing loving about supporting, encouraging, affirming, condoning, celebrating or remaining silent over sinful behavior. That’s the opposite of love.

  16. My opinion is that love universal it’s spread from one person to another whether it be a parent hugging their child before school or friends embracing at the start of new work day or separated couples reuniting in an airport terminal. Love is all around us constantly people smiling as they pass by or stolen kiss on the car ride home holding hands in a movie theater, the love we send out and the love we receive is the greatest thing any one person can hope for in life. The couple whose wedding I sang for recently their love doesn’t affect my own it doesn’t change my own it doesn’t make mine dirty or sinful or unholy it strengthens my idea that love exists. A straight couple or a gay couple the bottom line is that two heart have joined together and love and cherish and except each other for who each of them is. We’re all entitled to an opinion and we all fight those whose opinions differ but if we step back from the fighting we could see that one person fights for a scriptural based love and that’s valid in that persons world and another person fights for a love that is free and open and again that’s valid in that persons world. When we speak hate we lose sight of love in ourselves, what you do or I do let us do for love is patient and kind if love is real is has no end unbroken like a seal upon a heart love thy neighbor my gift I give to you is peace and love… Christ spoke of love… He did not judge for God is perfect and no mistakes could come from perfection so therefore created in that image of Himself we’re each beautiful creations of His and exactly how we should be. Gay Straight Bi Black White Short or Tall… Love should have no labels…

    • Danny Murdock

      Justin, I’m glad that you have some interest in Christianity but you have seriously misunderstood its teachings. What you are promoting is a hippyish, 1960s version of love where you just smile and feel its uncool to disapprove of anyone else’s behavior (unless they are racists, greedy business people or imperialists). Jesus did pass judgment (he called a woman an adulterer, the Pharisees hypocrites etc) and he will come again to judge. You are promoting what is called ‘relativism’ – everyone has their own version of the truth and therefore no-one has the right to criticize another’s views or behavior. The Bible teaches that truth applies to all people for all time. You also imply that whatever desires a person has they must be ok because they were put there by God. The Bible teaches that there was a ‘fall’ from perfection and so although we still do bear the image of God we also have the marks of the fall. We cannot assume that everything want to do and be has divine sanction and that it reflects the heart of God.

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