Members of Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church show their support for the LGBTQ community at the Capital Pride Parade in 2007. The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Thursday (June 19) to allow clergy to officiate same-sex couples' marriage ceremonies, part of a move to unify church policy after a flurry of states legalized gay marriage.

With Presbyterians in the yes column, mainline Protestants solidify gay marriage support

Members of Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church show their support for the LGBTQ community at the Capital Pride Parade in 2007. The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Thursday (June 19) to allow clergy to officiate same-sex couples' marriage ceremonies, part of a move to unify church policy after a flurry of states legalized gay marriage.

Members of Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church show their support for the LGBTQ community at the Capital Pride Parade in 2007.

(RNS) With the largest Presbyterian denomination's official endorsement Tuesday (March 17), American mainline Protestants have solidified their support for gay marriage, leaving the largest mainline denomination -- the United Methodist Church -- outside the same-sex marriage fold.

Methodists, with more than 7 million members, rejected same-sex marriage at their last national conference, in 2012. They are likely to revisit the question at their next conference, in 2016, but a growing membership in Africa, where there is little acceptance of homosexuality, makes it unlikely the denomination will accept gay marriage.

Another denomination generally considered mainline, the American Baptist Churches USA, does not allow same-sex marriage, nor do a handful of smaller mainline denominations. But the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and now the Presbyterian Church (USA)  sanctify the marriage of two men or two women. The 3.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gives congregations the autonomy to decide for themselves.

"There is no group that has moved more quickly or more dramatically on this issue than white mainline Protestants," said Dan Cox, research director of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit that studies trends in American religion.

In 2003, 36 percent of white mainline Protestants supported gay marriage, compared with 62 percent in 2014, Cox said.

RNS gay marriage graphic by Tiffany McCallen and Lauren Markoe

RNS gay marriage graphic by Tiffany McCallen and Lauren Markoe. Click to view larger size.

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

And though there is not one Protestant on the Supreme Court, the fact that an increasing number of the nation's churches are inviting gay couples to the altar is likely to weigh on the justices as they consider upcoming cases that would allow them to make gay marriage a right.

Cox notes that among white mainline Protestants, Presbyterians and Methodists in the pews hold strikingly similar views on gay marriage. In that same 2014 PRRI survey, 69 percent of Presbyterians approved of same-sex marriage, while 67 percent of U.S. Methodists did.

"Support for gay marriage in these denominational families is quite strong," Cox said. "It's hard to say the churches are actually leading on this issue. They are reflecting where their followers already are."

The Rev. Jeremy Smith, minister of discipleship at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Ore., said the Presbyterian vote reminds Methodists to ask themselves why their own doctrine is the way it is.

“Why is this still on the books?” he said. “In the Methodist Church we have been behind the culture."

The majority of church-affiliated Americans belong to denominations that forbid gay marriage, including Roman Catholics, most Baptists, Pentecostals, evangelicals and Mormons.

Mainline Protestants, once the majority in America, have lost ground in recent decades to other denominations and to independent churches.

This week's Presbyterian Church vote was long expected after 61 percent of General Assembly delegates voted in June to allow gay and lesbian weddings. That made the 1.8 million-member PCUSA among the largest Christian denominations to take an embracing step toward same-sex marriage.

But the change did not become church law until a majority of the 171 regional presbyteries, or geographic regions, voted to ratify the new language. The threshold was reached Tuesday when the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey became the 86th to approve a change in the denomination's constitution making marriage a commitment “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”



  1. Lauren: To be clear, The United Methodist Church has 7.3 million members in the United States. We are a world-wide denomination, with 5.5 million members outside the US. Our total membership, yes, is “more than 7 million” as you state in the story, but the actual number (in total) is more like 12.8 million.

  2. Some religions today are definitely showing their true colors as to whether or not they accept God’s principles, guidelines and commands in his Word, the Bible, or not.

    This is true especially when it comes to God’s view on homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage (Genesis 2:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Romans 1:24-28), which he does not condone.

    God’s viewpoint is evidently not being recognized nor promoted by a growing number of religions these days.

  3. “In the Methodist Church we have been behind the culture.”

    It would be hilarious, if not so tragic, some of the nonsense that comes out of the pulpits today.

    The good reverend ought to re-read what the book of James has to say about playing footsies with the world’s pop culture.

  4. Fran, here is a question for you. Perhaps you will answer it.

    Your faith tells you that god condemns homosexuality and gay marriage.

    800 years ago Christians, waving their bibles, wiped out the cathars because they were heretics. They had the word of god to tell them it was the right thing to do.

    350-800 years ago Christians, waving their bibles, condemned at the very least 10’s of thousands of people to death by burning or drowning to punish them for committing the sin of witchcraft. They had the word of god to tell them it was the right thing to do. THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE.

    For 1900 years, Jews were the object of Christian persecution, blamed for the murder of Christ even though they didn’t do anything of the sort, even though that was the plan. They had the word of god to tell them it was the right thing to do. 6 MILLION JEWS WERE MURDERED AS A RESULT.

    so why should I NOW believe that you finally have it right and know what god wants?

  5. Ben, I understand what you’re saying but one thing you’re not aware of is the fact that not all christians did nor supported what you just said.

    The Catholic church did a lot of horrible stuff because they abandoned what the Bible says in favor of the commandments of men just as Jesus told the Pharisees.

    But that notwithstanding, God is real, and He created us all. He has dos and don’ts and homosexuality is one of them. It doesn’t matter what anyone says or does. There are churches that don’t go to war, don’t kill in self defense, etc. for instance. They live by the word of God, and their standard for any conduct is the word of God.

    Just FYI, those who practice homosexuality have been indicted by God, and too bad if they don’t repent.Read Romans 1:20-25.
    But it’s not just homosexuality, corruption, cheating, stealing, lying, etc are all sinful before God and He will not hold harmless anyone involved in such practices.

  6. Ben,

    Because many who claim to be Christian prove false to their claims through their words and actions. When carnage and war is encouraged by so-called “Christians”, they are not following Jesus’ example of loving our neighbor as ourselves, even loving our enemies and praying for those persecuting us (Matthew 22:39; 5:44).

    Concerning burning of witches, the Old Testament is clear that God commanded the nation of Israel to have nothing to do with spiritism in all its forms (Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Leviticus 20:6), since it was detestable to God and was practiced by other nations. That command was directed only to God’s chosen people then. In addition, Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law when he died as a ransom sacrifice for all imperfect mankind (Matthew 5:17; 20:28).

  7. “When carnage and war is encouraged by so-called “Christians”, they are not following Jesus’ example of loving our neighbor as ourselves, even loving our enemies and praying for those persecuting us (Matthew 22:39; 5:44).”

    Your grandchildren will be saying the same thing about Christians who opposed same-sex marriage, of course.

  8. The Catholic Church?
    No, we Protestants don’t get off that easily, we’re ignoring our own history of violence and justification for war, against Catholics, and other Protestants, not to mention colonialism.
    Don’t forget: the word “homosexuality” was coined in the 1800s, and creates a “good” verses “bad” dualism. It’s not a “practice” or a choice. This is deeply offensive language to LGBT persons.

  9. That’s an unwarranted and demeaning thing to say Shawnie. I bet that what you would preach is far more nonsensical than what my priests say from their Presbyterian pulpits. They know their bibles.

    Gay marriage is here to stay. Lump it and learn to not be so attacking and mean-spirited. Learn to love your fellow humans. Or doesn’t your religion teach that?

  10. “Support for gay marriage in these denominational families is quite strong,” Cox said. “It’s hard to say the churches are actually leading on this issue. They are reflecting where their followers already are.”

    So the Churches are following their “followers” instead of the scriptures…..

    Interesting developments.

  11. So yet another reactionary disparages decades of theological discernment and reflection on what the Bible actually means.

    Uninteresting development.

  12. Ben, I wouldn’t presume to answer for Fran but MY answer would be that your examples are not examples of what my faith teaches — but of times and places where the core values of my faith (love, justice and compassion) have been misused in the service of bias, bigotry and hatred. Cheers and God bless!

    The Reverend Susan Russell
    All Saints Church, Pasadena CA

  13. The “mainline Protestant” churches you cite are those that are rapidly dying off. Homosexual marriage clearly flies in the face of marriage as God ordained in the Garden of Eden. Jesus said “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ 6 So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.” Nowhere does He mention the notion of same-sex couples becoming “one”.

    Just b/c our decaying culture says something is acceptable does not change the Word of God. Paul chastised the church at Corinth b/c they also celebrated their open- minded and swinging ways.

    My grandmother was a Presbyterian and took us many times (I became a Southern Baptist). It would break her heart to see the decay of her beloved church.

  14. Yes, with these decadent leaders they follow the crowd instead of teaching the Word. If we as followers of Christ have no demands, no convictions, then why have our faith? Being a follower of Christ is hard, as He said it would be. Believers want a faith that guides them, that requires us to be disciples. And that means following Christ will mean conflict with the world- not attempting to fit in to win members (which they are not). A faith that is so wishy- washy that we can wink at sin isn’t a faith I want. The Christian life isn’t easy & the minute it becomes so we should examine ourselves to see where WE strayed- because God never moves from His way.

  15. So Ben, just b/c a few so-called Christians were wrong you think that we should just abandon the plain Word of God. Using the witch trials as a basis for your argument is silly and weak. The churches in that town were a fraction of the churches throughout the land or world.

    Just b/c some scientists were wrong about the world being flat doesn’t mean we reject all science or scientists today. Just b/c doctors just quack medicines centuries ago doesn’t mean we reject all medicine.

    Jesus made it clear that when we are loved by the world we are not His followers. The world- the culture- hates Him & our attempts to curry favor with the world will win no new followers and it will cause Him to spit us out. These churches/denominations are dying off. Who wants a faith that demands nothing of us? If our faith allows us to be comfortable within the world then we are no longer faithful followers of Christ.

  16. Mary: “gay marriage is here to stay”? So are all sins. Is that something to celebrate? “Lump it”? So we are just to accept sins that are within our culture?
    You speak of “love” but you leave out REPENTANCE. Yes, Jesus loves us- so much so He died for our sins. But He also demanded repentance from those who would follow Him.

    The woman at the well, caught in adultery, was given forgiveness from Jesus BUT He also said to “go and sin no more”. Christian love isn’t some wishy-washy, touchy feel- good teaching. We are commanded to love but also repent from our sins. Love, without the repentance, is NOT Christ -like.

  17. Mr. Dude, remember, it is not for you to be the judge of what is a sin and what is not. It is not for you to admonish others to do your perceived will. Danger. Do not pretend to be God. That is a most grievous sin.

    Learn to love not to be so judgmental. You must stop and think, and learn much of what you have missed so far.

  18. Dude. You have missed God’s Love and you are lacking your own. It is not for you to be judging the sins of others. Be stronger. Show love in your own life, not judgement. The time and Judge will come and it is not you.

  19. Dude, it is clear that you have missed God’s Love and you are lacking your own. It is not for you to be judging the sins of others. Be stronger. Show love in your own life, not judgement. The time and Judge will come and it is not you.

  20. @Inno.

    I’m sure not all Christians supported all of these horrors, but entire denominations certainly did, and for centuries.

    All you’re indulging yourself in is the No True Christian fallacy. Entire denominations, not just a few isolated individuals, endorsed murder, torture, slavery, and racial hatred. Divorce is allowed, by ALL denominations, despite Jesus’s clear words on the subject. Judgmentalism is encouraged among your so-called Christian fellow travelers.

    All your saying is that THIS time, you finally have it right. I’m sure that in your mind, you do.

    and isn’t that just too sad.

  21. @Fran.

    In other words, you have found an excuse for the murder of 10’s or hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It wasn’t god’s chosen people that were murdering those witches, IT WAS CHRISTIANS. And for hundreds of years. Just as Christians do today in Africa.

    You, like Inno, are also justifying those murders and tortures by claiming it wasn’t real Christians that were doing it. Just amazing to me.

    The more I see of what passes for morality among a certain class of so-called Christian, the surer I am that the very last person on the planet I would ever consult for moral guidance would be a self-professed conservative Christian.

    Thank god I’m an atheist.


  22. I absolutely agree with you, Susan. I am making no blanket condemnation of Christians. I’m well aware that there are a good number of them who are kind, decent, compassionate, and truly moral.

    I’m not addressing them.

  23. “If we as followers of Christ have no demands, no convictions, then why have our faith?”

    If your demands and convictions are not in line with the teaching of Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves and if you can only prove your “faith” is pure, strong, difficult, authentic, true or whatever by slandering and discriminating against an entire group of people–well, brother, congratulations: you worship an idol of your own making.

  24. A few? The horrors of the Catholic wars on “heretics” and muslims, not to mention the destruction of Constantinople, were just a few? The horrors of the protestant catholic wars were just a few? The murders of 100’s of thousands of witches were just a few? Slavery and segregation were supported throughout the entire South for CENTURIES. Just a few?

    I never said abandon the word of god, though I think it would be a good idea. But then, I also think that the word of god was long since abandoned by a great many people who call themselves Christians. All of these examples of mine show that.

    These so-called Christians have merely done what I accuse them of doing– using the God to justify what cannot be justified by any other means. And you’ve just basically agreed with me.

    thank god I’m an atheist.

  25. If we are to exercise no discernment regarding what is sinful and what is not, then how do we obey Jesus’s mandate to evaluate a tree (i.e. a teacher) by its fruit? Or to not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who would come in His name and lead others astray? Or to confront a brother privately with sin in order to win him back?

  26. The demands and convictions don’t come from us but from scripture. And who says we’re not loving our neighbors as ourselves? I don’t want anyone to celebrate my sins — why do you? Nor do I want anyone to smilingly tell me there’s smooth road ahead when I’m driving toward a washed out bridge. How is that loving?

  27. This one doesn’t know his bible if he thinks that being out of step with the culture is something we are to be concerned about. In fact, we are specifically admonished NOT to be.

    Don’t believe everything someone tells you about the bible. That’s how the mainstream denominations got in this mess. Study it for yourself in its entirety.

  28. “So Ben, just b/c a few so-called Christians were wrong you think that we should just abandon the plain Word of God. Using the witch trials as a basis for your argument is silly and weak.”

    Your grandchildren will say the same thing about Christians who oppose same-sex marriage today.

  29. “The demands and convictions don’t come from us but from scripture.”

    No, they come from people *interpreting* scripture. Stop treating the Bible like a ventriloquist dummy.

    “And who says we’re not loving our neighbors as ourselves?”

    I do. If you tell a group of people that God will send them to eternal damnation just being who God created them to be, you clearly do not love that group of people.

    “I don’t want anyone to celebrate my sins — why do you?”

    I don’t. Stop begging the question by repeating tired assumptions that have been thoroughly challenged: there is nothing sinful about same-sex sex in and of itself.

  30. “No, they come from people “interpreting” scripture.”

    Are you one of the many around here who thinks that there is some alternative interpretation of scripture that allows for same sex practice within Christianity? If so, are you prepared to make a scriptural case for it and defend it? You’d certainly be the first here to do so.

  31. Btw, wrt loving… Jesus told His listeners that they were virtually ALL on the express lane to eternal death, but that He was going to provide them a way out. Was that unloving–or was it the ultimate love?

  32. “If so, are you prepared to make a scriptural case for it and defend it? You’d certainly be the first here to do so.”

    If you get your theology for RNS’s comment section, or think it represents sophisticated reflection on these matters, you clearly need to get out more.

    “Jesus told His listeners that they were virtually ALL on the express lane to eternal death,…”

    I take it you don’t even know what the Bible says then, much less what Jesus actually said and to whom he was speaking. Yet again you are merely begging the question of what is “sin” by repeating tired truisms.

  33. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. Man this prophecy of Jesus is really coming to pass in our day. All of these Protestant churches are knuckling under, one by one, to everything opposed to Christianity. And yet, Jesus warned us, throughout the Gospel, to forget about this world, and all of its temptations, and instead pursue the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:28-34).

  34. So I guess the answer is no. About what I expected. Thanks anyway.

  35. Shawnie, I’m not going to lay out a detailed, nuanced argument about the Church, the Bible, and marriage that you can find elsewhere with little effort just so you can ignore every point I make. Try David Gushee’s book. Or Matthew Vines’s book. Or the PC-USA’s statement on marriage. These are just the most recent things I can think of off the top of my head, but the bottom line is every theological argument against same-sex marriage has been addressed and soundly rebutted over the past decade at least. Every. single. one. Get back to me when you’ve actually read a case *for* same-sex marriage and have something more to offer than empty slogans.

  36. I know the Bible and it is not clear on homosexuality at all. The passages sited are about promiscuity, there is nothing about same-sex marriage. The changes in question by the churches are not about keeping up with the culture, they are about catching up to modern science and biology – also the voice of God. If God considers homosexuality to be an abomination, why did God create homosexuals?

  37. You have it exactly backwards. Every single one of the argument for same sex practice in the church has been thoroughly rebutted. Repeatedly. It is a case built entirely on feeling and propaganda, and sells as well as it does because of generalized scriptual and historical ignorance–of people who have no idea what scripture and history say on this subject, and not enough heart for God to motivate them to find out, and so will happily sign on to whatever someone tells them if it suits the fancy.

    Why do you think so few “affirming” theologians are willing to openly debate this issue? Because they know they have no actual case. Matthew Vines attempted it and it was pitiful to watch–you can see that debacle on YouTube. I’ve read some who attempted online debates in comment threads and every one was reduced to flinging accusations of “bigotry” or some such because all other arguments were demolished. It’s simply not there. All that remains is to just throw out the…

  38. Well said. Being a Christian isn’t easy. It demands us to fight poverty, injustice, violence, discrimination and war wherever we find them. We are required to love our neighbors, all of them, friends and enemies, as ourselves. And we are asked not to leave our brains at the door when we enter our churches or open our Bibles.

  39. The minister quoted said that this is about keeping up with culture. I was responding to that.

    And God does not create “homosexuals.” He created a world which is now fallen and suffers under the curse of man’s sin and we all feel the effects of it We are all, unfortunately, born with a bent toward sexual sin of one kind or another.

  40. …throw out the scriptures altogether. Actually, that would be the more honest alternative.

  41. Ben, could you please provide some sources for the numbers you gave?

  42. Religion by no means has a monopoly on violence. My great grandmother came to the U.S. to escape the atheist Goverment in Mexico in the 1920’s, killing priests and tearing down churches. France, Russia, China, Cambodia, Germany, Cuba, North Korea have all experienced suffering at the hands of atheist regimes. The murders committed by Joseph Stalin (atheist) alone make Bin Laden blush. 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition could not match what Mao (atheist) did in a day. So please, Ben, spare us the “religion is bad” myth and recognize all people are fallen.

  43. There is no support or celebration of homosexual anything anywhere in the New Testament.

    The “kind, decent, compassionate and truly moral” are the ones keeping this truth.

    It is the hateful and immoral ones that are becoming exactly like the culture. Something Jesus also preached about not doing. They are selling out the Gospel for money in the coffers.

  44. Selling out the Gospel is the embracing of the rainbow idol.

    Opposing the promotion and celebration of LGBT culture is the same love the Apostles preached and lived. Supporting sin and sinners in their sins is the definition of hate. Study history, it was a man that was married to another man (Nero) and his culture . . . that was the pure enemy of The Church. It’s clear that the LGBT community and the “culture” being embraced by these old denoms, is keeping to that path.

  45. Greg,

    The blind leading the blind.

    How right (correct) you are.

    Well done.

  46. “Why is this still on the books?” he said. “In the Methodist Church we have been behind the culture.”

    This is a condemnation of the embracing of LGBT culture. Christians are from the world, they are not to re-embrace it (the culture) once they have been “saved” from it.

    But money talks and and the fear of lawsuits and insults make cowards of many.

  47. The worship of death continues. How can any parent, who believes in life, celebrate the marriage of a son to another man? The family line dies with homosexual son. You can accept the sinful act, but please don’t celebrate it.

  48. @sanchez…

    I wasn’t blaming “all” religion and I made that clear.

    Stalin never claimed to be representing God. the catholic Church did.

  49. Yup. “Thou shalt not bake cakes for the people thou depiseth” is right there in the Book of Outtsamybutt, Chapter 4, v. 11.

  50. Same-sex marriage and homosexuality will eventually be non-existent because God’s kingdom or heavenly government, along with the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus, will put an end to inherited sin, resulting wrong desires and imperfection.

    Issues like this today won’t even be considered then. Neither will there be any warfare to worry about (Psalm 37:10,11).

  51. Funny. I can think of at least four gay men I know who have bio children. Their family line has not died out.

    The worship of hate, fear, bigotry, and ignorance continues.

  52. Many, perhaps even most, Baptist churches do not “allow” same-gender/sex marriage, however, no Baptist church is controlled by a denominational body unless it so chooses to go along with a larger denomination’s decision, because a KEY Baptist value is “autonomy of the local church.”

  53. Ben I’m not sure how you construe this correction as “hate.” If anything, the people here are trying to help out of Love. No Christian wants to see another person end up in the eternal abyss. It is a horrible place where all the senses experience sheer pain at all times. But on top of that, the senses that sinned in a greater way, experience horrible torment for all eternity. Why would I want anyone to end up in that place of horror. No Ben, it is out of Love that we try to help.

  54. Actually, Ben, most of the Euro horrors were committed in a theocratic milieu differing profoundly from the beliefs of the original apostles and early Christianity, in which the idea of a church/state combine was anathema.

    Moreover, Christianity teaches that as a single unit, the Torah of the Old Testament is not applicable to Christians, or at the very least, to Christians who are of non-Jewish background, meaning most Christians.

    That doesn’t mean none of its particulars apply. It means that those which are repeated in the New Testament do have applicability.

    A good analogy is someone moving to a new state. Some of its laws are similar to those in the old state. Highways, for example, may have the same 55 or 65 MPH speed limit. But even when you’re obeying them, you’re still not under the laws of the old state, but those of the new state.

  55. No matter what the issue is, it is oddly ironic for a church leader to say it has to keep up with the culture. The natural impetus of a church is to be prophetic, not conformist.

  56. Mary, you’re going to have to make a better argument than that, because based on your logic, nobody can express an opinion about the morality of anything.

  57. Um … Jack, I’m not sure where you get that

    “Christianity teaches that as a single unit, the Torah of the Old Testament is not applicable to Christians, or at the very least, to Christians who are of non-Jewish background, meaning most Christians.”

    Scripture is to be taken as a whole, both Old Testament & New Testament, as the OT points to the coming of the Christ throughout. As Paul told Timothy “All Scripture is correct for teaching” (paraphrased), he’s not just talking New Testament, as it was mostly oral at that stage.

    No, OT & NT are to be taken as a whole as Scripture interprets Scripture. Now Peter was given a vision that the Torah’s ‘purity’ prohibitions (don’t eat pork, shellfish, etc) are no longer in force. (Acts 10:9ff. This also covers the ‘mixing of threads’ and so on. But the moral law as given in Torah still holds true, in fact Paul emphasizes that in his letters.

  58. Mary … there are no priests in a Presbyterian congregation, except for the priesthood of all believers. That said, about them knowing their Bibles, it is to laugh, as there is more eisegesis in what the supporters of SSM say, then exegesis.

    In fact, many gay-friendly theologians have said that you can’t find any support for homosexual deeds in Scripture, there isn’t any.

  59. Mary said to Shawnie, “I bet that what you would preach is far more nonsensical than what my priests say from their Presbyterian pulpits. They know their Bibles.”

    Mary, if you were Pinocchio, your nose would now be several feet long.

    You are not a Presbyterian….

    If you were a Presbyterian, you would know that your clergy are never called “priests.”

    And if you were a churchgoer, you’d know that the issue here isn’t Bible knowledge, but Bible interpretation.

    Now try again and make your point without making things up.

  60. I’m just wondering when RNS went from providing straight news, into advocacy, because there is no opposing voice to the UMC Pastor who talks about ‘why is this on the books’.

    Couldn’t pick up a phone to someone who is on the conservative side?

    Then there’s the graph showing those denominations that OK or oppose SSM. The OK column has a lightly drawn checkmark in GREEN, while the opposed column has a BOLD checkmark in RED. There’s no bias shown in that chart at all.

  61. Apparently you misinterpreted me, Reformed Catholic. I am saying what you rightly interpreted Paul as saying.

  62. Reformed, Mary was obviously pretending to be a Presbyterian because she thought that would help give her credibility. Instead, her ignorance of Christianity — she didn’t know that Presbyterian clergy are not “priests” — came through, along with her willingness to make up stories.

  63. Placing the American Baptist Church USA in the “Oppose” column is not entirely accurate. There are plenty of ABCUSA congregations that are fully open and affirming — the thing is, American Baptist polity does not allow for the denomination to mandate a position for all of our churches on this or any other doctrinal topic. Individual churches have the responsibility of engaging with Scripture and church tradition and arrive at their stance.

  64. Paul wrote —
    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    When I read this honest assessment about his own writings, I realized that ‘we must do’ what he wasn’t able to do, and that is to help reveal ‘more’ of the work of the ‘Spirit’ in every generation.

    How can we do that though ? Because…
    …the Kingdom of God is within us……….Luke 17:21
    …And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us………..1 John 3:24

    Will anything help us ?
    …the ‘Spirit of Truth’…will guide us into all the truth…he will declare to us the things that are to come…….John 16:13

    What are some of the things that are to come ?
    Here’s a good example of ‘the things that are to come’ and it is what we see going on everyday around the world —

    We can now see and encourage public recognition of the ‘positives’ and ‘greatness’ that LGBT’s bring into God’s creation.

  65. Yes, the underlying principles of the moral law found in the OT continues on in the New Covenant, and will continue until He comes again.

  66. So did God create criminals also, who seem to be predisposed to steal?? Of course not, free will, societal sin, and things that look good on the surface, but are rotten inside, destroy a society. We need to stop blaming God, and turn in repentance. Gen 9:20-25 shows that even among those who the Father saved in the Flood, corruption continued. Or in the NT: Rom. 1:24-28: 24 “although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, … For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. “

  67. Most intellectual thing said in this post Kevin….you all need to read “God and The Gay Christian” by Matthew Vine… It’s genius and he knows his Bible so much more than all you Hippocrates !!!! Did any of you haters ever think YOU GUYS are being tested here!!!

  68. “Matthew 7:15–20, he said:
    Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
    Jesus’s test is simple: If something bears bad fruit, it cannot be a good tree. And if something bears good fruit, it cannot be a bad tree.
    The earliest Christians used a similar, experience-based test when making what
    “was one of the most important decisions in church history: whether to include Gentiles in the church without forcing them to be circumcised and to obey the Old Testament law”

    Excerpt From: Vines, Matthew. “God and the Gay Christian.” Convergent Books, 2014-0

  69. @Stephen: I’ve read Vines, and his work is hardly “genius” but is simply rewarmed Boswell, dumbed-down a bit for the average reader. And every one of his arguments was efflortlessly dismantled by Dr. Michael Brown when Vines finally accepted his challenge to openly debate.

    BTW, we know from the NT that the early Christians tested everything against scripture, and scripture reveals what good and bad fruit is. Actually Vines would be a perfect example of the kind of teacher Christ warned us about. And according to Him it is a VERY serioius matter to encourage His followers, particularly the least of them (the young, the weak in faith, the poor in scriptural knowledge) to sin. I’d think hard on this if I were him.

  70. I wish when they’re talking about this they’d make clear whether they mean supporting same sex CIVIL marriage, which is one thing, or whether they want such ceremonies in their own church, which is very heretical.

  71. Sorry, Matthew Vines, while a very earnest young man, is hardly a biblical expert, nor does the book have very good exegesis.

    He found exactly what he was looking for, because he wanted to find it. That’s eisegesis, not exegesis.

  72. The problem with this, Fran, is that you are not consistent in you application of Gods word. If you were consistent, you wouldn’t let your hair become unkempt, lest you would die (Lev 10:6), or .. You shouldn’t eat fat (Lev 3:17), and many more laws that are not followed today, because we live in different times. I think God would agree, that Homosexual practice in the days of the Roman Empire (Rom 1:24-28) was a whole lot different than it is today. In Roman times, there were far more homo/hetero-sexual orgies than committed relationships. Today, Gay Relationships/Marriages are 20, 30, 50 years in length, are monogamous, and full of love and NOT just sex. Please understand, that God’s word should be taken in context of time, else you should probably be put to death!

  73. And you, Reformed Catholic ? What do you find?
    “… Exactly what you were looking for, because you wanted to find it!”

    And that is why the Bible is full of different interpretations. It is unbelievable the hate that is spewed here ( as anywhere the discussion of the Gay Christian is raised). My Lord told me that there were two commandments to be followed above all others,

    1. Love the Lord my God
    2. Love your neighbor like you love yourself

  74. To love the Lord your God you must love all of His creative design and purpose for humanity, and seek diligently after what is pleasing to Him, not us.

    And part of loving neighbor as self is not to encourage them to do anything that is against God’s will.

  75. a little bit like every Christian, EVER.

  76. @Shawnie

    That’s simply what you tack on to it. Jesus included no asterisks. Just like john 3:16. No asterisks.

  77. The ceremonial law was never given to Gentiles — there is no indication that anyone ever cared what Gentiles ate (other than blood). However, the Torah does specifically state that God judged Gentiles for sexual immorality. Hence the Jerusalem church’s decision to not require Torah observance for Gentiles other than the sexual prohibitions and blood consumption. It is amazing that this STILL has to be explained repeatedly.

    ” I think God would agree, that Homosexual practice in the days of the Roman Empire (Rom 1:24-28) was a whole lot different than it is today.”

    I think not. We still haven’t had a head of state in a same-sex marriage yet, but in Rome we had the emperor himself purporting to marry other men as the people cheered and celebrated along with him — and while he burned Christians as garden torches and fed them to lions because of (as Tacitus recorded) their “hatred of humanity.”

  78. I know, Greg. you don’t see it as hate. You call it love.

    You’re assumption is that gay people who have been on the receiving end of that kind of love for 2000 years are too stupid to know the difference.

    Greg, it’s not love, it’s narcissism.

  79. So the entire word of God is an asterisk, Ben?

    Jesus didn’t say to take these two sayings and ignore the rest. He said that the rest hang upon these two. If we truly love God, then our natural impulse is to learn as much about His word as we can in order to know HOW to love Him and each other, and be closer to Him. This is something that can not be fully grasped from the outside, so it is a bit pointless for atheists to try to weigh in on intra-church dialogue.

  80. Ben, I guess than you’re hppy atheists murdered over 100 million people last century?

  81. Larry,

    They were wrong using Scriptures in the Old Testament which applied to the nation of Israel to accomplish their deeds of killing people (thinking it was right to do so) and they are accountable to God for their actions.

    Also, look at the first and second world wars where “alleged” Christians were killing their “brothers in faith” because they were in a different country; yet both sides claimed to be blessed by God, when he does not bless any of man’s wars or genocide.

    Indeed, false religion and false “Christianity” has been responsible for much bloodshed on earth and it still continues today. But not for much longer.

  82. The apostle Paul himself wrote to Timothy as follows:

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.” (2 Timothy 4:3; King James Version).

    This is so obvious in today’s world concerning religious doctrines.

  83. Either way, same-sex marriage is not approved by God at all; however, those religious leaders who claim to worship God in truth and yet perform those marriage ceremonies are definitely against God and truth. They will receive their deserved judgment from God.

  84. Greg,

    There is no place of eternal torment, commonly referred to as “hell” and sometimes as hades or Sheol. There is only the common grave where the dead, both gods and bad persons, are sleeping in death Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10), not conscious of anything.

  85. Gay marriage and homosexuality are definitely not here to stay. During the upcoming millennial rule of God’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44) with Jesus as King (Isaiah 11:1-9), the benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice will be applied to all meek mankind on earth, putting an end to all inherited sin and imperfection, including homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

    Besides that, his rule will put an end to all sickness and disease, old age and even death (Revelation 21:1-4), so that man can finally live forever on earth (John 3:16; 17:3) and enjoy the “real life” we were meant to live since man was first created.

  86. You are wrong. I do not hate, nor fear homosexuals.

    I think it is very bigoted/ignorant of you not to accept a basic fact that a “marriage” of two men will never produce children. Your example of gay men with children must be people who became homosexual or bisexual men who are not in committed/monogamous relationships.

    Why are we even having this discussion? I man is a man. A woman is a woman. It makes no sense to me that we now define a person by a their sexual preferences. It is bad enough that some people define a person by the color of their skin. As long as the sexual activity is legal, I do not care what a person does for sexual arousal. But this insanity of promoting death and division is wrong.

  87. Bible-thumper Fran: What would you tell someone like me who follows only Jesus. Jesus preached love—God and neighbor. Never did Jesus say, do not physically love thy same gender fellow human.

  88. No need to go into specifics. He said sexual immorality makes us unclean. That covered a lot of behaviors including the one you mentioned.

  89. I have read a thousand posts on the topic of homosexuality and gay marriage. I’ve finally decided to follow Jesus’ stance on the issues as recorded in the 4 Gospels.

  90. No. Christians didn’t do it. CINOs (Christians in name only) did. I know you are offended by that truth, but it doesn’t change simply because you are offended.

    The condemnations is old testament and most of the new testament are actually condemnations of homosexual sex as part of the worship of false gods, and also condemnation of pederasty. Bible books weren’t written in English and much was lost or twisted in transcription and translation. There is only one place in all the KJV where homosexuality between consenting adults is truly condemned, Paul made the condemnation, but he said other things were bad, and the most conservative Christians today ignore those passages. Mighty selective, they are. Then they go around judging others for ‘cherry picking’.

    The great delusion is here, and most conservative and liberal xtians alike seem to be believing it. And it has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality.

    Now everyone, continue your playing. I’m back to…

  91. Your ignorance has put a blindfold over your eyes as to prevent you from seeing how wrong you are in some, if not all, of the judgments you make. And who are you to thank God that you are an atheist?

  92. Ben, Where do morals come from in your mind? I am just asking and I would like to know where you draw the difference between right and wrong?

  93. By some of the comments I have read regarding same sex relations from homosexuals I just hope any Christian Churches that welcome this enjoy.
    Personally just by the personal attacks on Jesus and the language used should tell you what you are up against…You as Church leaders might want to deal with this level of evil but I am sure your members wont stand for it long…plus I am also sure this ruling will be changed to protect Christians. We have a right to practice our faith without harassment in this country..if gays want to get married find a judge and get it done…but leave Christians out of your nasty life styles…

  94. The debate over homosexuality in Christianity has reached an impasse because often the extremes on both sides of the debate over gay marriage embrace underlying assumptions that are rarely questioned or examined in the current national furor. Such assumptions are as follows:

    1. Human beings have libertarian free will. Choices are always their own.

    2. How marriage is defined and practiced is always central to the practice of Christian faith.

    3. Both homosexuality and heterosexuality are rigid orientations that permanently define people.

    4. Other sexual options/ orientations are not worthy of much attention or emphasis.

    Assumption 1 is problematic if one accepts some notion of “original sin,” as many Christians do. If ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory OR NONE of us are righteous (See Romans 3: 10 & 23.), then, really, no one can boast because all of us sin and ARE simners (Eph. 2: 8-9). People may debate what IS sin, but noone can deny the human…

  95. (continued)
    …but noone can deny the human predicament of BEING a sinner in desperate need of a grace that transcends the human condition. Biblically, it is clear that, whether gay or straight or anything else, all are sinners and have sinned. This is not a choice; it is THE human condition. Human beings are born into sin, commit sin and are often the victims of others who sin.

    Assumption 2 presents problems of a different sort. People yell in each other’s faces, declaring the vital/ eternal purpose of marriage, and yet, I am reminded of Jesus’ response to the religious elite of his day who sought to trick him into definining marital relations at the Resurrection. Jesus, known for redefining traditional family, said the following:

    “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Mark 12: 25 NKJV).

    Does this sound like an argument over the definition of marriage or like something that transcends our…

  96. (continued)
    …our earthly understanding of relationships? Just something curious for warring sides in the Christian world to think about.

    I wonder if Assumption 3 is the product of decades of binary logic or either/ or reasoning affecting our thought processes. LGBTQ is often mentioned, but lately, it seems like all we talk about is LG v. H(etero). Sometimes we hear about T, but often B & Q are on the sidelines of the national debate.

    Frankly, I think more needs to be said about the Q(uestioning) side of the sexuality debate and what it entails. For, example could it encompass unusual interactions between believers and eunuchs mentioned in both the OT & NT (see Dan. 1: 9-10 or Acts 8: 26-39, for examples)? The Ethiopian eunuch was saved, but did his sexual “orientation” change? It does not appear to me that this was central to Luke’s account.

    Other points could be made, but the practical implications are as follows:

    ALL of us are sinners (both individually…

  97. (continued)
    … and also collectively). We need a Savior to deliver ALL of us through God’s grace.

    In eternity, new relationships that transcend marital bonds are envisioned by Christ himself. Even on earth, Jesus developed new answers to questions like the following: “Who is my brother? My sister? My mother?” (Mt. 12:48-50)

    Finally, both overt and implicit questions about sexuality are part of the Bible. If you look closely enough, they are there, packed with meaning
    and significance.

    Blessings and peace to all.

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