A pro-LGBT group protests the Anglican Church's stance toward gay marriage.

Recent events have exposed a deep divide in the Anglican Church over the issue of gay marriage. Church leaders are worried it will cause a permanent split.

“Hate has no place in the house of God” – Desmond Tutu

In early 2015, the Episcopal Church (the U.S. branch of the Anglican Church) voted to formally allow same-sex marriage. Few were happier to hear the news than Gene Robinson, a man who knows firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate life as a gay member of the church. Back in 2003, Robinson famously became the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop. His election was not without controversy – many of his fellow clergy members voiced fanatical opposition. To make matters worse, Robinson reportedly received death threats and was forced to wear a bulletproof vest in public.

An Episcopal Church sign promoting marriage equality.Criticism

This latest decision by the Episcopal Church to permit gay marriage has been highly criticized by other branches of the Anglican Church. Although the response has been relatively peaceful in nature, it has not been without drama.  In an unprecedented move, Anglican Church leaders publicly reprimanded the Episcopal Church and suspended its voting rights for three years. This means the Episcopalians will have no say in any decisions regarding Anglican doctrine until at least 2018.

There was also clear pressure on the Episcopal Church to offer an apology for their stance. However, representatives of the church were unwavering in their defense of same-sex marriage and refused to apologize. The now-retired Gene Robinson expressed his sincere appreciation: “thanks for not throwing us under the bus — the LGBT community as well as the Episcopal Church, we’re proud of you.”

An Ongoing Question

This ordeal exposed an existing divide within the larger Anglican Church. Many Anglicans see a fundamental contradiction between traditional Christians beliefs and homosexuality. Due to this belief, most member churches are vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage. However, recent events show that not all branches are in agreement. Just this past summer, the Anglican Church of Canada voted to endorse same-sex marriage.

Passionate feelings on both sides of this argument have generated much hostility, and a compromise seems unlikely anytime soon. Church leadership is in a bind – how can they hope to remain unified if they’re unable to come to a meaningful solution?

Traditional Attitudes in African CountriesAfrican children holding anti-gay signs.

Conflicting opinions over gay marriage have also arisen among Anglicans in Africa, where societal attitudes toward homosexuality are far less progressive. Although feelings there are slowly changing, gay marriage still enjoys little public support. This dynamic was reflected at a meeting of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), an organization which includes Anglicans from Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Saint Helena, and South Africa. A proposed rule change would have allowed priests to bless same-sex unions, but it was soundly rejected by voting members.

Despite losing the vote, supporters expressed optimism for the future. This was the first time gay marriage had been seriously debated by the church – and will likely not be the last. They see the tide being in their favor, and when the topic of same-sex marriage comes up again, supporters predict that more people will rally to the cause.

Retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Among those most disappointed by the outcome of the vote was Desmond Tutu. The famous South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop is renowned for the role he played in the fight against apartheid. Less-known, however, is his continued defense of gay rights – in South Africa, in the Anglican Church, and around the world. Out of all the ACSA member countries, Tutu’s South Africa is the only one that legally permits same-sex marriage.

Demonstrating his strong feelings on this issue, the former bishop once famously said: “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

Tutu helped create the Harvey Milk Foundation, an organization that supports LGBTQ rights around the world. He also strongly supports allowing gay and lesbian priests, an issue which has touched him personally. When his daughter – an Anglican priest – married a woman earlier this year, Tutu gave the couple his blessing. However, in accordance with Anglican rules, the marriage resulted in a loss of her priesthood.

Addressing the Issue

To refocus on the bigger picture: one obvious takeaway is that the vocal movement in favor of gay marriage has has grown in strength around the world. Whereas before they could simply ignore the issue, many religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage are now being forced address it. Aided by social media and the information age, the vocal movements championing inclusivity have dramatically expanded their reach and put pressure on church leadership to respond to their demands.

Role of the ChurchA gay rights rainbow flag

In many places around the world, being gay is still looked down upon by society. In certain countries, it’s forbidden by law. Critics point out that much of this animosity toward homosexuality is fueled by traditional religious views. Given the prominent role religion plays in many people’s lives, some think the church alone may have the power to change attitudes. Supporters of gay rights argue that religious groups have an obligation to preach compassion and understanding to counter the existing distrust and hate.

According to come studies, doing so may actually be in the church’s interest. Declining church attendance numbers show that we are living in a changing world, and it’s no secret that the church needs to find new ways to reach out to people. If it hopes to grow its future membership, the church could benefit from taking a more inclusive stance toward gay and lesbian people. What do you think? Should religious groups continue to stick by their deeply held principles, or must they learn to accept people regardless of their sexual orientation?



  1. shiningwolf9 says:

    I have a daughter who is gay, (transgender maybe? she feels like a man trapped in a woman’s body); from day one, at 18, I have accepted this, since I knew when she was 9. I believe no one can help who they are attracted to. My personal belief system is Witchcraft, but I do wonder why someone would desire a religious belief that states in its’ scriptures how that person is living is wrong. And, why would you fight to have a religion change its’ beliefs to fit you into it?
    Would someone please, without throwing a temper-tantram, explain this?

    Shining Wolf

    1. Daniel says:

      Christianity is a religion of hate misogyny, and irresponsibility.
      We are born the way “god” wanted bad and commanded to be good?
      The mental gymnastics required to justify the cognitive dissonance is indeed impressive

  2. Clayton Beardmore says:

    While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful.

    Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.

    The Bible alone, however, does not have to be used to demonstrate this understanding of marriage. The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another. In regard to the family, psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. In nature/physicality, clearly, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually. With the “natural” purpose of sexual intercourse being procreation, clearly only a sexual relationship between a man and a woman can fulfill this purpose, so nature argues against gay marriage.

    So, if the Bible, history, psychology, and nature all argue for marriage being between a man and a woman – why is there such a controversy today? Why are those who are opposed to same-sex marriage labeled as hateful, intolerant bigots, no matter how re-spectfully the opposition is presented? Why is the gay rights movement so aggres-sively pushing for same-sex marriage when most people, religious and non-religious, are supportive of – or at least far less opposed to – gay or lesbian couples having all the same legal rights as married couples with some form of civil union?

    The answer, according to the Bible, is that everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural, and the only way to suppress this inherent knowledge is by normalizing homosexuality and attacking any and all opposition to it. The best way to normalize homosexuality is by placing same-sex marriage on an equal plane with traditional opposite-gender marriage. Romans 1:18-32 illustrates this. The truth is known because God has made it plain. The truth is rejected and replaced with a lie. The lie is then promoted and the truth suppressed and attacked. The vehemence and anger expressed by many in the LGBT rights movement to any who oppose them is, in fact, an indication that they know their position is indefensible. Trying to overcome a weak position by raising your voice is the oldest trick in the debating book. There is perhaps no more accurate description of the modern same sex marriage agenda than Romans 1:31, “they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

    To give sanction to gay marriage/same-sex marriage would be to give approval to the homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible clearly and consistently condemns as sinful. Christians should stand firmly against the idea of gay marriage/same-sex marriage. Further, there are strong and logical arguments against gay marriage/same-sex marriage from contexts completely separated from the Bible. One does not have to be an evangelical Christian to recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman.\

    According to the Bible, marriage is ordained by God to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6). Gay marriage/same-sex marriage is a perversion of the institution of marriage and an offense to the God who created marriage. As Christians, we are not to condone or ignore sin. Rather, we are to share the love of God and the forgiveness of sins that is available to all, including homosexuals, through Jesus Christ. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and contend for truth with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, when we make a stand for truth and the result is personal attacks, insults, and persecution, we should remember the words of Jesus: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

    1. shiningwolf9 says:

      I will not argue your beliefs, for Witches believe all must seek their own Path to Spirit. Your teachings were only meant for Hebrews and Disciples of your Christ. But, not one time in your scriptures does Yeshua say to force everyone, even though they be not my Disciples, to believe his teachings. Remember, in one day, 300 of his disciples walked away, and the scriptures are silent of anything he might have said about the situation. It is not Christianity people have trouble with, it is so called disciples who want to force your religious teachings on everyone; which Yeshua did not teach.

      Shining Wolf

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        shiningwolf – didn’t teach huh?

        “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
        Matthew 28:19-20

        1. Tom Jaynes says:

          Baptizing those who choose to receive that rite is one thing. Forcing others to be baptized is quite another. You can teach, but there are those who will not learn. Leading a horse to water and making him drink are very different activities.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            “there are those who will not learn” – interesting.

        2. shiningwolf9 says:

          No, Yeshua did not teach anyone to force others to believe him or his teachings. He told his disciples to spread his teachings, making disciples where they were willing. Teaching them, those who chose to become his disciples, to observe all things he commanded, or taught them. Never once did he proclaim to conquer nations, or villages, forcing people to believe anything. Remember, your own scriptures says not to add to or take away.

    2. Daniel says:

      A ancient book of fairytales that are filled with cherry picked authors.
      If we believed in the old testament we would be in a constantvstsr of war.
      The schizophrenic genocidal god of the bible isn’t an adequete role model

    3. Brother John says:

      It looks like Jesus didn’t even encourage marriage between a man and a woman, Clayton.

      “They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” Luke 20:35

      For those who were married, he encouraged abandonment of family

      And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30

      He didn’t always practice the forgiveness and compassion he preached….

      God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Matthew 15:4

      But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Luke 19:27

      Do you think all of the Christians who are either homosexual themselves or belong to a church that accepts them and same sex marriage (there are many) will be punished as sinners and sent to Hell?

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        I do.

        1. Brother John says:

          First of all, WOW, but at least you’re being honest about your beliefs, Clayton. To clarify what you believe… Is the Bible inerrant and free from contradictions? Was the God of the OT also Jesus?
          Are the Gospels accurate eyewitness accounts? Where is the “original Bible” upon which all Bibles are based?

          You said, “Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family”, Clayton.

          Doesn’t some of the scripture I posted contradict this? How is forsaking your family, wife and children providing a stable environment? Is it smart to be denied resurrection from the dead by marrying?

          1. shiningwolf9 says:

            Yeshua, himself, taunted the holier than thou in his day with, “Search the scriptures, for in them ‘you think you have life'”.

          2. Brother John says:

            No reply to the scripture about marriage and family (posted Oct. 10), Clayton?

    4. Brother John says:

      “The answer, according to the Bible” “According to the Bible” “…. “which the Bible clearly and consistently condemns as sinful”

      I didn’t count how many times you mentioned the Bible, Clayton, but there are billions of people who do not look to it for answers for good reasons. Amongst them are the following….

      There is no “original Bible”, only copies, of copies, of copies all written by men, not God.

      There are thousands upon thousands of errors, omissions, and contradictions amongst the extant manuscripts, particularly the oldest ones. These errors were then included in future copies and multiplied.

      Much of the Bible is plagiarized from pre-existing myths.

      Why not spend some time researching the origins and history of the Bible, instead of promoting it as an accurate book of answers, guide to morality and the key to our salvation? Those who have already done so and understand the above and more are not swayed in the least by posts like yours. Here’s a starting point for you and anyone else who routinely quotes the Bible to verify your beliefs. If nothing else, they will explain why billions of people lack belief in the biblical God and the veracity of the Bible. It’s nothing short of pitiful that “believers” chose to shelter themselves from reality and truth when it’s so easily found.



      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Per your suggestion, I researched the origins and history of the Bible…look what I found.

        My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history.
        E. M. Blaiklock
        Professor of Classics
        Auckland University

        There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies . . . skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.
        Clark H. Pinnock
        Professor Emeritus
        Mcmaster University

        If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.
        F. F. Bruce
        Professor of Biblical Criticism
        Manchester University

        For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.
        A. N. Sherwin-White
        Professor and Fellow
        St. Johns College, Oxford

        1. Brother John says:

          For some reason my reply was posted at the bottom of the page, Clayton, and is being moderated.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            Moderated but not obliterated, I hope. Try reading the second paragraph in my first comment (posted October 7).


          2. Brother John says:

            I had read it, Clayton. You said……”Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.”

            This is about marriage between sexes, not same sex. I posed a question to you after the scriptural quote as it clearly encourages abandonment of family. The other one discourages marriage entirely.

            My reply included….”For those who were married, he encouraged abandonment of family

            “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30”

            This is about traditional marriage and seems to contradict your statement about family values, doesn’t it?

            And this…. “It looks like Jesus didn’t even encourage marriage between a man and a woman, Clayton.”

            “They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” Luke 20:35

            I see my Oct. 17 reply has appeared at the bottom, but would like your reply to the above, keeping in mind this is all in response to your original post.

          3. Clayton Beardmore says:

            i believe Jesus is talking about loving Him more than family, etc., and are willing to give up everything (and everyone) to be with Him.

          4. Brother John says:

            I agree that’s what he means, Clayton. This was a reward based encouragement (apparently directed towards men as there’s no mention of forsaking your husband) for men to forsake ( to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert) wives, children and family members. Again, how does this provide a “stable family environment”? What about the advice to avoid marriage altogether?

            This is a discussion forum comprised of many individuals with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. When we make statements that are questionable or outright wrong we should expect to be challenged, as I have done with you.

            In addition to the above unanswered questions, there’s also a challenge to your statement that homosexuality is unnatural from Oct. 13, the information I provided regarding the Bible plagiarizing earlier myths on the 14th and the Oct. 17 reply, which is at the bottom of this thread. All of them were generated by statements that you chose to make on an open forum. As the initiator, I assume you’re able to back them up with replies that are coherent and complete. Your Oct. 7 post clearly indicates your biblical knowledge and strong faith, which has been challenged. Will you rise to the occasion?

          5. Clayton Beardmore says:

            I answered your question in my post of October 18 (and you agreed),

            I take offense at your statement that some of my statements are “questionable or outright wrong.”
            Just like your statements they are my OPINION.

            What say we agree to disagree? No matter how many times we make comments, neither of us is going to change their mind.

          6. Brother John says:

            Making statements that are not true is offensive, Clayton, and you’ve been called out on them. Your Oct. 7 post does not contain the caveat that you’re only presenting your OPINIONS. That would not have been nearly as offensive. Your pontificating presented your statements as facts with little but the Bible to back them up.

            When challenged, your responses avoid the important details. For example, you focused on the first sentence of my Oct. 19 post (that agreed with you) and ignored all the rest. There’s a statement followed by two simple questions which you chose not to answer.

            “This was a reward based encouragement (apparently directed towards men as there’s no mention of forsaking your husband) for men to forsake ( to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert) wives, children and family members. Again, how does this provide a “stable family environment”? What about the advice to avoid marriage altogether?”

            I then summarized some of the other areas that you’ve avoided and now your response indicates you’re unwilling and/or unable to defend your statements and beliefs. That’s your choice and it’s not surprising.

            My intention wasn’t to change your mind, Clayton. It was to challenge and correct misstatements you’d made, not just for your sake, but for all who are involved in this forum. Virtually all of the statements I’ve made are not my opinions. In most cases, I provide links to verification for those who are interested in truth and reality. I have no control over those who choose to protect their beliefs by avoiding anything that questions them, as you have done. I also have little patience for them.

            Your Oct. 7 post was nothing short of proselytizing. A mini sermon prepared for “Amens” and kudos from fellow believers (which it didn’t garner). You’re not the only one that I’ve challenged on this forum, and you won’t be the last. Many of us are seeking truth and enlightenment, not dogma and myths. Some of us are “non-believers”… Atheists, Pagans, Witches and more. Some of us have studied the Bible extensively (including it’s history and origins) and what we learned is the basis for our lack of belief in the veracity of the Bible and the existence of the god it portrays.

            I’m not agreeing to disagree with you. This isn’t about who’s opinion is right. It’s about who’s statements are factual and accurate. Some of what you stated on Oct. 7 was neither. I have presented facts and evidence to counter them. Either you know you were wrong and refuse to admit it, or your faith and beliefs are so fragile that they need protection from scrutiny.

            The ball remains in your court, Clayton.

            “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic”. John F. Kennedy

            “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality”. Iris Murdoch

            “Truth exists; only lies are invented”. Georges Braque

          7. Clayton Beardmore says:

            I only need the Bible (and so should everyone else) for my back-up.

            Did we or didn’t we start discussing gay marriage – which I showed you is against nature and immoral.

            My October 14th comment is a list of learned college and university professors, etc., stating that the Bible is correct, historically and otherwise..

            It is not necessary to get testy about our discussion. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely – oh, and I tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability. Many times to be ignored.

            It is not necessary for us as people to question EVERYTHING. We must have faith in something. I’m sure I’ve found the correct thing to be faithful to.

            I hope you find peace.

          8. Brother John says:

            The fact you feel you only need the Bible for back-up speaks volumes, Clayton.
            Have a question about biology, astronomy or history? There’s no need for textbooks, universities or dedicated research. A single ancient book has all the answers!

            “Did we or didn’t we start discussing gay marriage – which I showed you is against nature and immoral.” You did with the Bible as your only reference. I’m guessing you didn’t even look at the link I posted on Oct. 13 (there could have been many more) that proves you (and your source) dead wrong. However, I assume you didn’t read it and just re-checked your Bible to confirm your ignorance.

            “oh, and I tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability.”
            Then your abilities are sadly lacking (which would be the case with only a Bible for reference), Clayton. Would you like an example of your B.S? My third paragraph (Oct. 19) repeated two of the many questions that went unanswered. Do you see them? They have the “?” at the end. Where are your answers?

            Don’t you realize how foolish you’re making yourself look by continuing to make ridiculous statements?

            I’m glad you’ve found our discussion enjoyable. I’ve found it mildly disturbing that anyone could be as closed minded and self-deluded as yourself with factual information literally at our fingertips, including all the links I provided for you. It’s truly amazing what faith can do to otherwise rational minds.

  3. Minister Norman says:

    I beleive this Blog began with the best statement of all: “Hate has no place in the house of God” – Desmond Tutu

    1. Tom Jaynes says:

      Loving one another, as we are commanded to do, is not easy. We do not naturally love those who are different than ourselves. After all, birds of a feather flock together is quite a valid idea. Perhaps this is why there are almost 40,000 recognized Christian denominations on this earth today. Sadly they are focused on dogma differences rather than the command of Jesus to love one another. 40,000 is not a testament to the spread of Christianty as much as it is an indictment on their inability to love as they were commanded to do.

    2. Brother John says:

      More importantly, Tutu is quoted as having said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

      **ATTN: Christian believers** Are his beliefs justified biblically? Are they contrary to yours? Do you consider him a Christian?

  4. David says:

    The heart of anyone who loves GOD and his Children, (the two golden rules) , should love the one no matter what! We all know by the order of nature it’s not right, but love should always overcome, prayer is needed, keep an open heart. Don’t let your desire cloud your heart and overcome you. God will put what is right. Love no matter what.

  5. Pastor P. says:

    Yes. If we call ourselves Christians, then, we are by reason, followers of Christ. To deny a fellow the welcoming to worship is to be against the Great Commandment What the problem is, is moral prejudice, based on an old testament prohibition. When we impose our morality on others, who aren’t imposing theirs on us, we fail to be what we profess to be.

  6. Clayton Beardmore says:

    Hate the sin, not the sinners.

    1. Daniel says:

      Its kinda difficult to accept moral law from a immoral source

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Who are you to tell someone they’re immoral?

        1. Brother John says:

          Who are you to say “everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural”, Clayton? That is only your Bible based opinion and far from factual. I suggest you read the comments as well as the article and realize your statement is false.


  7. shiningwolf9 says:

    No, the word “make” does not equal the word “force”. A forced belief is not a true belief. I observe you left out my piece where 300 disciples left him in one day, and not a word about it is said. Funny how christians pick and choose what they want to hear, read and believe in their own scriptures; and trying to make words mean something else they the words really mean.

    I was only wanting to understand, from someone in the situation this article was speaking of, why anyone would want to stay, or enter into relationship with those in a religion whose beliefs are not their own. My belief system encourages open, honest, adult communication; we are to allow others their opinions, and beliefs because we all have free will and different life lessons to learn. We all need to try and understand each other, without forcing another person to follow a teaching or belief they do not, or can not ascribe to. Only by these types of dialog will true Peace come to pass.

    Shining Wolf

  8. Tom Jaynes says:

    Let us not start telling religious organizations what they can and/or cannot believe, or whom to accept and/or not accept. They do have that autonomy and it is guaranteed by our Constitution. The problem is not what they choose to believe. The problem is what they want everyone else to believe, especially those who are not members of their organization. I have my own beliefs, but I refuse to impose those beliefs on my neighbors, friends, or even my family.
    My religion tells me to focus on my relationship with a Supreme Being. What others do is not going to change that relationship. If churches wish to impose certain rules, regulations, theologies, dogmas and tenets on those who are within their membership, so be it. As long as they stay within their own backyard, their acceptance is not meaningful to me nor has it any affect on me and my relationship with the Supreme as I see it.

    1. Brother John says:

      Tom said, “The problem is not what they choose to believe. The problem is what they want everyone else to believe, especially those who are not members of their organization.”

      This problem is magnified when beliefs are presented as facts with nothing to back them up other than the Bible.

  9. Clayton Beardmore says:

    All of us have sinned – some of us have been forgiven.

    1. Dark Gray says:

      Do you have any idea how insufferably smug that sounds?

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Before or after the hyphen? I hope you realize EVERYBODY is eligible to be to forgiven.

        1. Dark Gray says:

          The smugness comes from what’s implied: “I have been forgiven; others have not.”

          Why you and not others? Presumably because you’ve jumped through some hoops that others have not, so God loves you more. And if those others would only listen to you, they could jump through those hoops so God could love them and they could be forgiven as well. Smugness or self-righteousness or Pharisee Syndrome, take your pick.

          What I would hope you’d realize is that God loves everyone equally and without limit, and nothing can ever, *ever* change that. Didn’t they teach you that in Sunday school? He loves each and every one of us so much that something as inconsequential as who you stick your dick in doesn’t matter in the slightest.

          God loves us so much that hearing someone declare so confidently that *some* people aren’t forgiven in God’s eyes — well, I think that makes God cry just a little.

          1. Clayton Beardmore says:

            to “imply” to me means the same as “assume” – you know what that makes out of u and me.

            I believe God does love everybody, but all have not asked for forgiveness and attempted to live according to God’s Word. Those, I believe, are lost, regardless if they’re loved or not.

          2. Dark Gray says:

            Yeah, here’s what makes the standard Christian conception of God sound so schizophrenic.

            “God really, *really* loves you, but — well, I’m afraid you just haven’t jumped through the correct hoops, so you’re toast. Sorry. God would really, *really* like to help you, but God won’t let him.”

            So, what do you mean by “lost”? Do you believe that God sends unforgiven sinners to hell when they die or are they simply obliterated or what?

  10. Rev james michael ( gay pro-activist ) says:

    Lets stop all of the bullshit now! Leave the gays alone. Quit criticizing them and just leave them alone. Americans cannot pass up
    the opportunity to criticize anything or anyone for anything at all. Criticize yourselves before casting the first stones. Just leave it all
    alone. There are more important necessary issues to address in this society. Forget about discrimination once and for all time!

  11. James Williams says:

    Evaluation of the motivation for marriage first. If two people just want to use the marriage for taxes, visas and not love then the church shouldn’t have to perform a ceremony and the courts can legal bind the two parties.

  12. Angel says:

    The way I see it is like this. Anytime you join a specific religious organization,you usually join because you agree mostly with the doctrines and teaching they teach, which is why you join to begin with. These organizations have leaders and these leaders are in charge, so by joining this organization, you agree to follow the rules set in place by the leader’s. If this changes, you are free to leave and find a different organization. It suck’s, but the reality is, the leader’s are in charge and the followers are not! So, if the leader’s make a decision, it’s not about what individuals think, it’s about what they want to do, and that’s the bottomline.

    1. Brother John says:

      Many people have not “chosen” their religion, Angel. They adopted it from family and culture without much thought.

      1. Dark Gray says:

        Well, that may be true, but thank God *I* was born into the *correct* religion! 🙂

  13. Brother John says:

    I assume these are “direct quotes”, although you didn’t post them as such, or include links to the original for verification, Clayton. Stating that the Gospels are “authentic” (meaning genuine, not copied) is preposterous considering there are no extant original manuscripts. None. There are only copies, (of copies, of copies), riddled with errors and contradictions amongst them. This is an indisputable fact.

    Here’s a lecture by Dr. Bart Ehrman, a respected New Testament scholar who has access to, and can read, ancient Greek manuscripts. Unlike you or I, he has devoted decades of his life to the study of the extant Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Dr. Ehrman does not ask us to believe what he’s saying. He challenges us to do our own research by simply taking any story from the Gospels and comparing it in detail in each of the four books. This video is probably no longer than the time it took you to provide the research you’ve posted.

    I stand by the statements I made on the 14th and add a few…..

    The Gospels writers were not disciples of Jesus. They are separated from the life of Jesus by 35-65 years and are not eyewitness accounts. They’re written in Greek, not Aramaic.

    Would you care to comment about the information about the plagiarization of pre-existing myths I linked as well? Many Ehrman lectures and those of others will appear in the YouTube sidebar if you’re truly interested in facts, accuracy and the origins of the Bible.

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