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Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life
Chilean miner Jose Henriquez and his wife after being brought to the surface. Henriquez addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
February 3rd, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

One of the rescued Chilean miners shed new light Thursday on the intense religious and spiritual experiences of many of the miners while trapped underground for 52 days last year, saying that faith was a key part of surviving t he ordeal.

"We realized we had only one alternative and that was God himself," said Jose Henriquez in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on in Washington, speaking to a crowd that included President Barack Obama.

"We were different creeds and churches," Henriquez said, speaking in Spanish with simultaneous translation. "So I got them in a circle and made sure everyone could pray in a participatory fashion. And as we prayed we began to know the presence and blessing among us of God in the mine. We were strengthened, our spirits were revived.”

He said the first seventeen days were the hardest, having no communication with the outside world.

“We had some serious problems. We had very little food for three days only, no water," he said. “So we decided unless we prayed and God did a miracle there would be no way out. And that became our daily hope and confidence. We began to pray that he would do a miracle among us and solve our problems.”

There were tensions in the collapsed mine, including fist fights among the miners.

Henriquez did not speak about those fights but talked about how the miners resolved tensions. “This democratic community was not a secular democracy but a praying, democratic community," he said. "God began to reconcile us together and so we’d get  one with the other and forced them to shake their hand, we maintained the peace and community spirit that way.”

He said a turning point for the miners was the delivery of small Bibles through the tubes rescue workers used to provide food, medicine, supplies and entertainment. “There was one Bible for each man with his name on it," Henriquez said holding the small Bible above his head to show the crowd.

As a final act of thanksgiving Henriquez said he got the men to pray before they entered the rescue craft that would shuttle them to freedom. “Some wanted to dive in and get in the capsule but I said, 'Hold it. Were going to pray first.'”

As they emerged from the depths he said it seemed as though the whole world was watching. The miners wore tan t-shirts over their coveralls. The shirts were provided by a local branch of Campus Crusade for Christ. Henriquez said the miners felt like the t-shirts were, "the best way to express the way we were feeling was to wear these t-shirts we had made that said, Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Chile • Christianity • Faith Now • South America

soundoff (166 Responses)
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  3. Idaho Realtor

    The evidence is in the results, you may or not believe he was the messiah, but to argue his actual existence is a hypocritical argument and taking share in ones own blind ignorance. Putting that aside you have a choice, and I respect your choice. God himself does not force us to believe anything. However if you say you believe in morality (as in would you wantonly murder or maltreat others with no conscience) then you can not say there is no God. If supposedly you have evolved to a state of moral conscientiousness then it is again hypocritical to ascertain that there is not something superior to yourself. However many find it is much easier to live their life as a law unto themselves, since it is difficult to have a good time with a guilty conscience.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  4. CallingDavidJohnson

    Hi David...Its Curious I found another series of articles I think you will like. Similar to the last one I gave you. I hope you enjoy this. It is a 2 sided search.

    http://www.greatcom.org/resources/areadydefense/ch20/default.htm

    February 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  5. Curious

    Good Morning Daviid! LOL I hope you enjoyed the thing your wife dragged you to! No problem, take your time. I can check this evening, as I work and can't always peek in here myself during the day. Nice talking with you as well!

    February 9, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Curious

      Hello David...It has been my pleasure talking with you on this thread. I am glad you found the article interesting. I am going to look into more of the history of things concerning the bible myself, (as I know some of it), but some of the things you have said had heightened my interest as well.
      Thank you for a nice debate of issues. If I should find anything else I think may be of interest, I will let you know.
      Peace and Cheers! to you.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. Curious

    David, Also from wik> Did you see this? IMara bar SarapionMara was a Syrian Stoic.[109] While imprisoned by the Romans, Mara wrote a letter to his son that includes the following text:

    For what benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death, seeing that they received as retribution for it famine and pestilence? Or the people of Samos by the burning of Pythagoras, seeing that in one hour the whole of their country was covered with sand? Or the Jews by the murder of their Wise King, seeing that from that very time their kingdom was driven away from them? For with justice did God grant a recompense to the wisdom of all three of them. For the Athenians died by famine; and the people of Samos were covered by the sea without remedy; and the Jews, brought to desolation and expelled from their kingdom, are driven away into every land. Nay, Socrates did “not” die, because of Plato; nor yet Pythagoras, because of the statue of Hera; nor yet the Wise King, because of the new laws which he enacted.[110]

    Some scholars believe this describes the fall of Jerusalem as the gods' punishment for the Jews having killed Jesus because they infer that Jesus must be "the wise king" referred to by Mara.[109]

    and this...
    Paul of Tarsus was a 1st century Hellenistic Jew, who attempted to suppress the new Christian sect, but experienced a conversion to faith in Jesus around c 37.[126] Paul dictated letters to various churches and individuals from c. 48–68.[127] Fourteen letters are traditionally attributed to Paul, thirteen of which claim to be written by the man (the Epistle to the Hebrews is anonymous). Current scholarship generally believes that at least seven of these letters are authentic Pauline compositions, with views varying concerning the remaining works.[128] According to B.D. Ehrman, the practice of Christian forgery has a long and distinguished history.[129]

    According to O'Connor, the historical Jesus is fundamental to the teachings of Paul.[130] While not personally an eye-witness of Jesus' ministry, Paul states that he was acquainted with people who had known Jesus: the apostle Peter (also known as Cephas), the apostle John, and James, the brother of Jesus. However, according to Furnish, what the apostle emphasizes is the vision that he had been granted of the resurrected Jesus, revealed as God's son. Whatever Paul had known about Jesus

    February 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      Mara Bar-Serapion wrote anytime between 73 CE and the third century CE.
      Source: Early Christian Writings is copyright © 2001-2006 Peter Kirby

      This Syrian was not an eyewitness of Jesus and does not mention a resurrection. He is retelling a story he has heard. Again, this is heresay. It is not admissible in a court of law. We need eyewitness testimony.

      You quoted: "Paul states that he was acquainted with people who had known Jesus: the apostle Peter (also known as Cephas), the apostle John, and James, the brother of Jesus."

      This statement, is the definition of heresay.

      Heresay – Evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct knowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them.

      Actually Curious, I personally believe that a man named Jesus did exist. But, I find it odd that god didn't "doc_ument" the events better. I think no one, having read the Gospels, would deny that they were written with the purpose of establishing that Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      Writers in the Old West, would inflate the feats of a gunslinger to thrill their readers, and to establish him as "the fastest gun in the west!". Hmmm...

      As I said in an earlier post, why wouldn't an all powerful, all good, all knowing god, not want everyone on the planet to believe in Him and Jesus?

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  7. Curious

    LOl, David! I don' think he would have necessarily let "tons" of eyewitness testimony. But, you might have a point, if everyone back then that did encounter Jesus , could have written something about it.
    I think myself the testimony of the apostles that walked with him and were his followers, would be enough. You have to admit, that for what "little" evidence in some peoples opinions were left, it lasted for 2000 years or more, and spread fast, considering the length time.

    I am at work, and will post back again tonight. I just peeked into see if you had chance to post back yet.
    I love a good debate. Will talk more later. Have a Great Day!

    February 8, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Curious

      David, I think you may find this an interesting read, as it covers some athiest that share ides like yourself. Even most of them believe that Jesus did exist. No one can prove he didn't. Lack of "proof" does not automatically make something totally invisible, as in not there, never was.
      http://www.y-jesus.com/bornid_4.php

      I quote:
      The 27 New Testament books claim to be written by authors who either knew Jesus or received firsthand knowledge of him from others. The four Gospel accounts record Jesus’ life and words from different perspectives. These accounts have been heavily scrutinized by scholars both inside Christianity and outside it.

      Scholar John Dominic Crossan believes that less than 20 percent of what we read in the Gospels are original sayings of Jesus. Yet even this skeptic doesn’t dispute that Jesus Christ really lived.

      In spite of Crossan’s views, and those of a few other fringe scholars like him, the consensus of most historians is that the Gospel accounts give us a clear picture of Jesus Christ.
      Whether the New Testament accounts are trustworthy is the subject of another article (See "Jesus.doc" http://www.y-jesus.com/jesusdoc_1.php), so we will look to non-Christian sources for our answer as to whether Jesus existed.

      Let me know what you think. This is a pretty balanced search for evidence, using both sides, the believe and unbeliever. It pretty well covers most of the subject matter we are discussing.

      February 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      Thanks man, I will look at the web site. My wife is dragging me to a thing, so I may not post a comment until tomorrow morning.

      It is good "speaking" with you.

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      I found the articles on this website interesting. I actually put it on my favorites bar. LOL
      But, I do see a definite Christian bias.

      The article on the Gospels concludes that Mathew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the Gospels.

      The first Gospel to be written was Mark. It was written in about 65 CE. Let's say Mark was only 20 when Jesus died. He may have been older. If Jesus was born in 4 BCE and died at 30 years old, it would have been the year 26 CE. This would mean Mark was at least 59 years old when the Gospel was written.

      The average life expectancy of people in Jesus' time was about 30 years old. Mark could have lived to be 59, but it would be very doubtful. The other Apostles would be in even worse shape.
      According to the historian Richard Carrier: "We have reason to believe that only 4% of the population at any given time was over 50 years old; over age 70, less than 2%.

      So, while not impossible, it is statistically unlikely.

      There is simply no evidence that the gospels were written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. There were many "gospels" written. One supposed to be by Mary, One by Thomas, One by John, which was supposed to be a secret. Do you think these were written by the people claimed?

      Some of these stories suggested the Resurrection did not happen. Obviously they weren't chosen. They were considered to be heresy.

      Iraneus, the bishop of Lyons in 180 AD, decided that the validity of any work had to be judged by whether it was "apostolic." That is, it should have been written by or for one of the twelve apostles. Source – The Straight Dope Website

      So, what proof do we have that the accepted gospels were actually written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. The names may have been selected, to impress the early Christians. Were the names stuck on gospels that upheld the beliefs of the early church? Was that the real criteria?

      It is interesting to note that many scholars think the gospels were written using another doc_ument called Q. Certainly Mathew and Luke "borrowed heavily from the Gospel of Mark. Odd that they would have to do that, if they were eyewitnesses.

      Conclusion: I think there is no proof of Jesus, that would stand up in court. Jesus' existence cannot be proven.
      But, I think Jesus the man did exist. It would make the myth easier to create.

      Thanks for the conversation. I learned a lot, just researching some of the ideas you came up with, and reading the web site you suggested.

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  8. Curious

    David....Proof of Jesus existence here as well...

    Pontius Pilate (1 BC – circa AD 37) was the fifth Roman procurator of Judea (AD 26 – 36 ) under Emperor Tiberius, who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. The quotes below refer to the Acts of Pontius Pilate. The existence of the Acts of Pontius Pilate is strongly supported by Epiphanius (Heresies 50.1), Justin Martyr (First Apology, A.D. 150) and Tertullian (Apology, A.D. 200). The Acts of Pontius Pilate were kept in the Roman archives as stated in the following quote.

    The ancient Romans were scrupulously careful to preserve the memory of all remarkable events which happened in the city; and this was done either in their "Acts of the Senate" (Acts Senatus), or in the "Daily Acts of the People" (Acta Diurna Populi), which were diligently made and kept at Rome . . . In like manner it was customary for the governors of provinces to send to the emperor an account of remarkable transactions that oc-c-u-rred in the places where they resided, which were preserved in the "Acts of" their respective governments . . . we find, long before the time of Eusebius [3rd century], that the primitive Christians, in their disputes with the Gentiles, appealed to these "Acts of Pilate" . . . Thus, Justin Martyr, in his first "Apology" for the Christians, which was presented to the Emperor Antoninus Pius [A.D. 138-161] and the senate of Rome, about the year [A.D.] 140, having mentioned the cru-cifixion of Jesus Christ and some of its attendant circ-u-mstances, adds, "And these things were done, you may know from the 'Acts' made in the time of Pontius Pilate." [1]

    It should be noted that some believe a fraudulent version of the Acts of Pilate was circulated later in the fourth and fifth centuries.
    This should not be confused with the original doc-u-ment that was generated in the first century, archived in Rome and was available to Caesar Antoninus Pius and the Roman Senate. Otherwise, Justin Martyr's appeal to the Acts of Pilate in his First Apology would have lacked credibility.

    Reference To Jesus Christ
    And again in other words, through another prophet, He says, “They pierced My hands and My feet, and for My vesture they cast lots.” And indeed David, the king and prophet, who uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ. And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression, “They pierced my hands and my feet,” was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. – Justin Martyr, First Apology 35

    And that it was predicted that our Christ should heal all dis-e-ases and raise the dead, hear what was said. There are these words: “At His coming the lame shall leap as an hart, and the t-on-gue of the st-a-mmerer shall be clear speaking: the blind shall see, and the lep-ers shall be cleansed; and the dead shall rise and walk about.” And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pon-tius Pi-late. – Justin Martyr, First Apology 48

    Sorry for pasting this, but it was easier then trying to put in my own words. As you can see, record of jesus was recorded.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      Source: Wikipedia
      The oldest sections of the book appear first in Greek. The text contains multiple parts, which are uneven in style and would seem to be by different hands. The oldest section—an invented Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius, inserted as an appendix—may have been composed in the late 2nd century, but most of the "Acts" were written later.
      Scholars agree in assigning it to the middle of the fourth century

      Though the Acta Pilati purports to be a report by Pontius Pilate containing evidence of Jesus Christ's messiahship and godhead, there is no record in early Christian lore of Pilate's conversion to Christianity. It seems unlikely that the work was ever meant to have been taken seriously by Christians; instead, its purpose was to offer further conjectural details about the life of Christ as a pious entertainment, part of a larger body of Pilate literature.

      Justin the Martyr wrote, "And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate." The Apology letters were written and addressed by name to the Roman Emperor Pius and the Roman Governor Urbicus. All three of these men lived between 138–161 AD.

      Note that Justin was born way after both Jesus and Pilate were dead. So, they couldn't have been eyewitnesses.

      I'm afraid this isn't eyewitness testimony either.

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      There is no eyewitness doc_uments about Jesus. No proof that he ever actually existed.

      Don't you think that an all powerful, all knowing, all good god would have left tons of indisputable eyewitness testimony from both Jewish and Roman sources? This after all, was the most important event in the history of man! Our redemption.

      1. If Jesus existed, this fact would be more obvious.
      2. Jesus's existence is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect, if he existed.
      3. Therefore, Jesus does not exist.

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  9. Curious

    David, you said: (Regarding Jesus never existed..no records)
    Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
    -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

    There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't for-geries, later insertions, or heresay. NONE!
    Most of the disputed writings came from people who lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say heresay?

    That above is a quote by a person, his opnion. There are proofs recorded that Jesus was a real man, and walked the Earth. Here are some.
    Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD). In Antiquities of the Jews
    Author's Background
    Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100), was born into a priestly Je-w-ish family. He was a Pharisee and a historian for the Roman empire. He wrote several famous works, among them are: Antiquities of the Je-ws and the Wars of the Je-ws. Historians say Josep-h-us was not a Christian.

    Reference To Jesus Christ
    Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was a doer of surprising feats – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gen-t-iles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.* – Flavius Josephus, Antiqui-ties of the Jews 18.3.3

    Alexamenos graffito (first century AD)

    Paleochristian graffitti (starting in the first AD)

    Jewish Babylonian Talmud

    Pliny, governor of Bithynia (c. 112 AD)

    Tacitus, in his A-n-n-als (c. 115 AD)

    Suetonius (c 120 AD)
    Irenaeus (c. A.D. 130-200)

    Celsus, a pagan philosopher (c 178 AD)

    Lucian of Samosata called “the Voltaire of Grecian literature” (c 115-200 AD)

    Porphyry of Tyre “Life of Pythagoras” (born c 233 AD)

    February 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      You said: "There are proofs recorded that Jesus was a real man, and walked the Earth. Here are some."

      "Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD). In Antiquities of the Jews
      Author's Background
      Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100), was born into a priestly Je-w-ish family. He was a Pharisee and a historian for the Roman empire. He wrote several famous works, among them are: Antiquities of the Je-ws and the Wars of the Je-ws. Historians say Josep-h-us was not a Christian."

      Note the date of Josephus's birth = 37 CE. Jesus died somewhere around 30 CE. Anything that Josephus had to say, would be heresay. Josephus could not have been an eyewitness.

      Alexamenos graffito (first century AD)

      No clear consensus has been reached as to the date in which the image was originally made. Dates ranging from the late 1st to the late 3rd century have been suggested, although the beginning of the 3rd century is thought the most likely date.
      Wikipedia

      No proof in this dude.

      Paleochristian graffitti (starting in the first AD)

      Close examination of the frescoed parts of the walls reveals some interesting paleo-Christian graffiti, evidence of a Christian presence in the passageway between the 3rd and 5th centuries AD, when clandestine (or at least private) gatherings may have been held here.
      Christian symbols, including the "chi-rho" (which looks like an overlaid P and X) are clearly visible and may have been incised about 220-250 AD. The word "martyr" is also scratched into the wall. Wikipedia

      Sorry, dude. No help here either.

      Jewish Babylonian Talmud

      References to Jesus in the Talmud and other Jewish religious writings, as well as the gnostic Christian texts tend to contradict New Testament accounts, and so are seldom cited by Christian apologists.

      Pliny, governor of Bithynia (c. 112 AD)

      Pliny the Younger (61 AD – ca. 112 AD), His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account. Anything he has to say is heresay.

      Tacitus, in his A-n-n-als (c. 115 AD)

      Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at (AD 56 – AD 117) ., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. The very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

      Suetonius (c 120 AD)

      Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius (ca. 69/75 – after 130).

      Jesus died in about 30 CE. Only heresay here dude.

      Irenaeus (c. A.D. 130-200)

      Note Irenaeus's date of birth. Could not be an eyewitness to Jesus. Heresay is worthless..

      Celsus, a pagan philosopher (c 178 AD)

      Celsus was a pagan thinker who wrote the first real polemical work in opposition to Christianity, True Discourse, in 177 or 178 CE. His actual birth and death dates are not known.

      Again, Celsus could only have reported what he had heard. Hearsay.

      Lucian of Samosata called “the Voltaire of Grecian literature” (c 115-200 AD)

      Porphyry of Tyre “Life of Pythagoras” (born c 233 AD)

      Note your dates for both Lucian of Samosata and Porphyry of Tyre. Neither could be an eyewitness to Jesus.

      All the secular writings you mention are a bust. None are eyewitness testimony, which would stand up in court. All your "evidence" is heresay.

      Sorry dude!

      Cheers!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  10. Curious

    Hello David!

    If you don't mind, I would like to address these one at a time, starting with the Olivet Discourse. (Address one and then go to the others) After this I will post back about Jesus father
    .(The true father of Jesus may have been a Roman archer named Tiberius Abdes Pantera.)

    There has been a great deal of controversy about this particular passage:
    I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34

    The problem that people have had is the use of the word "this generation". We have to look at exactly what the word generation means when being used in the context that is was.
    Some scholars believe it to mean "genea", and under some circ-u-mstances can mean age, nation or race. Some believed the passage to be referring to Israel, and conclude the passage to say that Israel would continue till all these things came to pass. If age or a "period of time" is used, it would clarify it more to mean, "this age shall not pass".

    A generation being used in the literal sense, denoting a time of about 30 to 100 years old. But the generation referred to in the expression “this generation” is not the generation to whom Christ is speaking, but the generation to whom the signs will become evident. So, what Jesus is saying, is that the generation that see's the signs (great tribulation) will also be the ones that see the fulfillment of the second coming of Christ. Taking the 31/2 years of the other scriptures into consideration, seems this is a very good explanation, and the most accepted. This is what I believe it to have meant also..

    “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24:35). Jesus said that his prophecies would be fulfilled.
    The Const-i-tutions of the Holy Apostles states, for instance, “Observe all things that are commanded you by the Lord. Be watchful for your life.
    ‘Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye like unto men who wait for the Lord, when He will come, at even, or in the morning, or at c-o-ck-cr-owing, or at midnight. For what hour they think not, the Lord will come; and if they open to Him, blessed are those servants because they were found watching

    Remember what the parable of the 10 virgins warned of.
    Matthew 25

    25:1 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins
    who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

    25:2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

    25:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

    25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

    25:5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slu-mbered and slept.

    25:6 And at midnight a cry was heard:
    'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'

    25:7 Then all those vir-g-ins arose and trimmed their lamps.

    25:8 And the foolish said to the wise,
    'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'

    25:9 But the wise answered, saying,
    'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you;
    but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'

    25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came,
    And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding;
    and the door was shut.

    25:11 Afterward the other vir-g-ins came also, saying,
    'Lord, Lord, open to us!'

    25:12 But he answered and said,
    'A-s-suredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'

    25:13 Watch therefore,
    for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

    5 were wise, 5 were foolish.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      In all of the other places in the Gospels where Jesus used the term “this generation,” he was referring to people living at that time. But, you want the use of this generation to be different now.? Hmmm...

      You are using theological gymnastics.

      These guys also feel Jesus was "mistaken" LOL!

      The respected Christian apologist and author, C.S. Lewis 1960 essay "The Worlds Last Night"
      “Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”

      Bertrand Russell, in his book, 'Why I Am Not A Christian',
      He discredits the inspiration of the New Testament: "I am concerned with Christ as He appears in the Gospel narrative…He certainly thought that his second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at the time. There are a great many texts that prove…He believed that his coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of his earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of his moral teaching." Russell later reasons that it would be fallacious to follow a religious leader (such as Jesus) who was mistaken on so basic a prediction as his parousia.

      parousia = second coming
      eschatology = •the branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and Last Judgment; Heaven and Hell; the ultimate destiny of humankind

      Albert Schweitzer in his 19-century book, 'The Quest of the Historical Jesus', summarized the problem of "Parousia delay" as follows: "The whole history of Christianity down to the present day... is based on the delay of the Parousia, the nonoccurrence of the Parousia, the abandonment of eschatology, the process and completion of the 'de-eschatologizing' of religion which has been connected therewith."

      Ever wonder why the First Century Christians expected Jesus to come in their lifetime, and where they got this expectation from? Take a look at the extreme sense of immanency in these passages:

      James 5:8 – You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

      James 5:9 – Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

      I Peter 4:7 – The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

      Matt. 10:23 – When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

      You could go through a lot of towns in 2000+ years. LOL

      Matt. 16:27 – For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
      Matt. 16:28 – “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

      Matt. 24:34 – Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

      Reading these passages, you get the feeling that Christ would return any minute. Certainly it could not involve a 2000+ year delay.

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just magic .

      Spin it how you like. If you take the literal meanings, Jesus was wrong.

      Cheers!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    @Curious

    I will check back.

    Cheers!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  12. Curious

    @Daivid Johnson
    Thanks David, for your response. I am at work now, but I promise to address your response, as soon as I can. It may this evening, so please check this thread periodically.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  13. hmmm...

    pps Pardon my crappy grammar...It's late...

    February 7, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  14. David Johnson

    @a guy from Lebanon

    My fairies have always existed. They are the creator of all things. My fairies are invisible. You must have faith that they exist.
    My fairies talk to people all the time. Have you heard the wind? Smelled a flower? Loved another person? That is my fairies declaring their existence.

    There are no eyewitness reports of your god talking to anyone. Only heresay. Only a book that contains errors, tells of your god. Jesus may not have even existed. Jesus could not have looked like god. Your god is spirit. Jesus was just a man.

    God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. John 4:24.

    My fairies are real. I feel them in my heart. They answer my prayers.

    Cheers!

    February 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Curious

      David Johnson
      There are no eyewitness reports of your god talking to anyone. Only heresay. Only a book that contains errors, tells of your god. Jesus may not have even existed. Jesus could not have looked like god. Your god is spirit. Jesus was just a man

      There are no eyewitness reports of your god talking to anyone. Only heresay
      The Apostles, and many others in the gospel, there are eyewitness reports.

      Only a book that contains errors, tells of your god.
      What is your measuring stick to prove it?

      Jesus could not have looked like god. Your god is spirit. Jesus was just a man
      Jesus was a man born of the Holy Spirit.

      February 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Curious

      You said: "The Apostles, and many others in the gospel, there are eyewitness reports."

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or heresay. NONE!
      Most of the disputed writings came from people who lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say heresay?

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus (He was probably illiterate).

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      The stories in the Gospels, are similar to "gods" that preceded Jesus. Google: Krishna, Mithra, Attis and Horus. You will find similarities that will astound you.
      Read some Greek and Roman mythology. Gods having $ex/offspring with humans, was not unique to the Christian god.

      You said: "What is your measuring stick to prove it?"

      I will give 2 examples: The authors that wrote of Jesus's temptation, thought the earth was flat.

      Remember when Satan took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the earth?

      Obviously, the biblical authors thought the earth was flat. Otherwise, Jesus would not have been able to see all the kingdoms of the earth, no matter how high the mountain. We know that at the time of Jesus, there were thriving kingdoms in China, India, South America, Europe, etc.

      Say what you want, that is an error. The bible is flawed.

      Here is another problem:

      Jesus promised to be back in the 1st century.
      I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34

      This controversial verse is in all three of the Olivet Discourse accounts. (These accounts are to be found in Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, and Luke 21:5-33). For some time, critics of the Christian faith have argued that Jesus explicitly said here that all of the events prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, including His return, would happen before the last person living at that time died.

      Jesus promised, that He would return within that generation, but He did not. Since He was wrong, He could not have been God, so the Christian faith, is based on error.

      To bolster the argument, in all of the other places in the Gospels where Jesus used the term “this generation,” he was referring to people living at that time.

      You said: "Jesus was a man born of the Holy Spirit."

      The true father of Jesus may have been a Roman archer named Tiberius Abdes Pantera.

      A picture of his tombstone in Germany is in the book THE JESUS DYNASTY by James Tabor. The dates in which he lived would coincide in fathering Jesus combined with the fact he was stationed in Palestine. Also, Jewish critics of Jesus wrote in the Talmud his father was a Roman soldier named "Pantera."

      Back in the 1980s, Jane Schaberg wrote a scholarly book called THE ILLEGITIMACY OF JESUS which also touched on these controversial subjects.

      What do you think is more likely, that Mary was seduced by a Roman soldier, or that an all mighty god got him some?

      Cheers!

      February 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Faye Fulton

      During January 17th Nation Celebrated Dr. King's Birthday and talked about his Famous Speech 'I Have A Dream" and in this month of February will talk about Back History and what African American did in history, I have a question for us all today, What did we do with his Dream! I call this 'What Did You Do With My Dream"
      We need to keep education alive; many of our older Christian brothers and sisters have retreated to the cushioned pews seats of their religious houses and have folded their arms because now they are in their reclining days and God is all that matters to them. Getting to heaven is all they want to do.

      Who in our culture, in our society has continued to really march on to ensure that the African-American child and all other children; have sought to make sure that in keeping education alive assures them of not only the bright spiritual dreams of heaven but also the American dreams of here and now.

      Who, tell me who, has really continued to uphold the mantel, for us as a black people to cry aloud year in and year out of what Martin Luther King’s dream really was about. The dream Martin had for his children; making it possible for our children to be a part of the real American dream. It’s no longer valid or appropriate to waste young people’s minds and talents on the old songs of Glory, Glory Alleluia we shall overcome here in the 21st Century.

      A new song is on the horizon, a new song is ours to proclaim and to declare, the day that a “mind” really is “a terrible thing to waste”, so why waste it? We must stop dreaming the old dreams and take hold of a new destiny with the foundation of “I had a dream” We’ve heard the old adage “if you keep doing things the same old way, you will get the same old results” yes Martin would gladly appreciate the many years of reflection, and recognition of what he and others had accomplished, but I tell you today, Martin would be more appreciative to know that we have moved from this old mountain into a new land of promised opportunities availed to every people of today.

      His question would no longer be whether whites and blacks, Jews and Gentiles could hold hands and get along; his question would no longer be whether his sons and daughters can make it and have access to good education that is afforded to us all right here, right now. Or whether we could live now in any neighborhood of America and not find a cross burning in the front yard.

      No, Martin’s questions would not be these things that we still hang on to finding ourselves engulf in complacency because doing nothing is far more easier than doing something desirable; rather wanting to be under achievers. Martin’s question’s today would be, what did you do with the education I died for? What did you do with the freedom to come and go as American citizens that I got sent to jail for? What did you do with the pain and suffering that my family and I endured for you so that your family could hold their heads up high; and not be ashamed? How did you spend your days during the fight that I and so many died for freedom that you might live in an abundant society making your own dreams a reality to become true?

      No, Martin would not be glorying and basking in his own accomplishments an accolades if he was here today. He would not be asking us, here in 2011, what we did for him in the freedom marches so well organized around the country ever January in his honor or presentation events during Black History month No, Martin would not be wondering why he did not receive another Noble Peace Prize.

      I believe, he would have only this to say, what did you do with my
      dream of freedom I gave my life for? Did you get that education that led you to better jobs, which leads to a better quality of life for you and your family? Did you take hold of the free enterprise seeking wealth and prosperity in the free marketplace? Did you build someone up and help them along the way or did you turn your backs echoing the sounds of it’s your problem not mine?

      Did you love those that were different than yourselves or did you despise their shame? Or did you just throw the dream away all together?

      The dream I dreamed for you, did you also slap and spit in my face again like so many whose hearts were so hard they could not see ‘justice and truth rolling down like a mighty stream.” My friends, my friends, you would be no better than the man who pulled the trigger ending my life before I had a chance to see my dream in America and see your dreams also come true.

      Tell me, what did you do with my dream? Please tell me.

      Author: Up and Coming Dr. Faye T. Fulton PhD, 2013

      February 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.