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My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing
Carl Medearis with Sheikh Nabil Qawouk Hezbollah’s number two leader.
July 24th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing

Editor's Note: Carl Medearis is an international expert in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations and is author of the book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism.

By Carl Medearis, Special to CNN

Let’s do an exercise. I want you to fill in the blank on what you think you know about me based on what I’m about to tell you.

Here goes: Twenty years ago, I became a missionary. My wife and I left our home in Colorado Springs, Colorado to move to Beirut, Lebanon. Our job description was to plant churches and evangelize to Muslims.

Based on what I just said, Carl Medearis is a ______________ .

Depending on your background, the blank may look something like this:

Carl Medearis is a... hero of the Christian faith, a saintly super-man willing to sacrifice the comforts of home in order to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard the gospel.

Or this:

Carl Medearis is a... right-wing extremist who destroys cultures, tears apart families and paves the way for neo-colonialist crusaders to invade, occupy and plunder the resources of local populations.

Quite a range, isn’t it?

For one group of people, the words “evangelist” and “missionary” bring to mind pious heroes performing good deeds that are unattainable for the average Christian. For another group, those same words represent just about everything that’s wrong with the world.

I understand the confusion.

Based on my experiences of living and traveling around the world, I know that religion is often an identity marker that determines people’s access to jobs, resources, civil liberties and political power.

When I lived in Lebanon I saw firsthand how destructive an obsession with religious identity could be. Because of the sectarian nature of Lebanese politics, modern Lebanese history is rife with coups, invasions, civil wars and government shutdowns.

When I tell my Christian friends in America that some of the fiercest militias were (and are) Christian, most are shocked. It doesn’t fit the us-versus-them mentality that evangelism fosters, in which we are always the innocent victims and they are always the aggressors.

This us-versus-them thinking is odd, given that Jesus was constantly breaking down walls between Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints. That’s why we have the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Jews in Jesus’ day thought of the Samaritans as the violent heretics, much the same way that Christians think of Muslims today. The idea that a Samaritan could be good was scandalous to first century Jews.

Jesus was the master of challenging religious prejudice and breaking down sectarian walls. Why do so many Christians want to rebuild those walls?

Even the Apostle Paul insisted that it’s faith in Jesus that matters, not converting to a new religion or a new socio-religious identity.

What if evangelicals today, instead of focusing on “evangelizing” and “converting” people, were to begin to think of Jesus not as starting a new religion, but as the central figure of a movement that transcends religious distinctions and identities?

Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider. How might that change the way we look at others?

This is more than just a semantic difference.

When I used to think of myself as a missionary, I was obsessed with converting Muslims (or anybody for that matter) to what I thought of as “Christianity.” I had a set of doctrinal litmus tests that the potential convert had to pass before I would consider them “in” or one of “us.”

Funny thing is, Jesus never said, “Go into the world and convert people to Christianity.” What he said was, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

Encouraging anyone and everyone to become an apprentice of Jesus, without manipulation, is a more open, dynamic and relational way of helping people who want to become more like Jesus — regardless of their religious identity.

Just because I believe that evangelicals should stop evangelizing doesn’t mean that they should to stop speaking of Jesus.

I speak of Jesus everywhere I go and with everyone I meet.

As founder and president of a company called International Initiatives, my work is aimed at building relationships among Christian leaders in the West and among Muslim leaders in the Middle East.

It may come as a surprise to many Christians that Muslims are generally open to studying the life of Jesus as a model for leadership because they revere him as a prophet.

But now that I’m no longer obsessed with converting people to Christianity, I’ve found that talking about Jesus is much easier and far more compelling.

I believe that doctrine is important, but it’s not more important than following Jesus.

Jesus met people where they were. Instead of trying to figure out who’s “in” and who’s “out,” why don’t we simply invite people to follow Jesus — and let Jesus run his kingdom?

Inviting people to love, trust, and follow Jesus is something the world can live with. And since evangelicals like to say that it’s not about religion, but rather a personal relationship with Jesus, perhaps we should practice what we preach.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carl Medearis.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Interfaith issues • Opinion

soundoff (3,792 Responses)
  1. Ted Linguini

    Thank you Mr. Medearis. Leave me alone and I will leave you alone.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Gerry

      If only they will leave us in peace and not come with all this nonsense the world would be better place

      July 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  2. Willow

    In my experience, and I was an admin on a religious debate board for several years, most Americans are already raised in Christian families. Those of us who left, did so either because we were abused physically or emotionally.

    Stop telling little kids things like non-believers burn in hell. Stop telling little kids things like gay people burn in hell. Stop even bringing hell into it. It's obviously the stick in a carrot and stick control method. Just stop believing and saying anyone burns in hell, short of Osama bin Ladin or Hitler.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Rapp

      Just interested in hearing how you decide these two should burn in hell.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Krejaton

      How about you stop telling me what to do.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      I agree – the whole scenario of an eternity in hell is another form of control – not even a form of manipulation – direct in-your-face control over the minds of the weak. People need to think for themselves and stop blindly following something that they absorbed via their parents, community, or some other form of enculturation. Only those who claim their independence are truly free.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  3. kalohegirl

    What the author wrote is not confusing or lacking clarity at all. You're just calling it confusing and lacking clarity because you're trying to fit it into your reality and there seems to be some conflict.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  4. Norm - not that one

    There is no reason , in the world – other than arrogance – that causes one person to decide they have enough of a lock on religious/social/human reality that they have the right or duty to bellow it to others.
    Go to church, believe in "Jesus" all you want. I will protect your right to do that .... but the minute you go too far – you are no different than a self absorbed, bragging blowhard.

    You want a real challenge – forget the Muslims, and try to understand, tolerate, respect, honor and listen to atheists.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • mary

      Norm – In posting your opinion, aren't you guilty of what you are decrying. Aren't you claiming to "have enough of a lock on religious/social/human reality that they have the right or duty to bellow it to others."

      At what point do you decide that someone has gone too far and "are no different than a self absorbed, bragging blowhard"?

      July 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  5. Richard S Kaiser

    Randy wrote, "It is important to tell people about Jesus Christ, and His teachings. It is important to inform people that if they do not have an authentic relationship they will go to Hell."

    What a cursed creature you are Randy! Christ Jesus did Take IT Upon Himself to Give Those Lost the Hope and Promises in an Eternal Lives of Total Incarnations ad infinitum! It is upon the shoulders of those who Have their Reward and Riches that Christ Jesus Declares as being Evil and Wicked and the most vile of Vile! Their judgment is assured and I see tham as dying and with no sense of being alive they will not hear or see or think or be!

    July 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Ernest

      Did it ever occur to you that there is no god? That we were not created, but that there is a beautiful universe around us we are only beginning to understand? That religion is evil that has killed millions of people around the world and still is killing?.. What are you spending your precious and beautiful life on?..

      July 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      I am a Staunch Believer in Christ's WORDS but His Words are so few in Christendom's Bibles. The Main Jist I have regarding Christ's Words are;
      1. Seek ye dirst the Kingdom of GOD
      2. The Kingdom of God is Inside you.
      3. The LORD's Prayer.
      4. Fear GOD
      5. Love the LORD Jesus a God of GOD!
      6. Give and it shall be given unto you.
      7. Love one's enemies as you should Love you neighbor.
      8. Be of Good Cheer!
      9. There is god and God and GOD
      9 There is GODDESS, Goddess and goddess
      10. There is man, Men and MEN
      11. There is WOMEN, Women and woman.
      12. The Bread of the LORD JESUS is in Deeds Done toward Others and His Blood does spill out with a Vengeance!

      July 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      People will believe anything. Religion does not encourage critical thinking, individual thinking, or independent decision-making. You've got one life to live – why hand the whole thing over to a church. There's no such thing as an afterlife. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust – as frightening as it is – it's the truth. The rest is an elaborate fantasy created to allay our fears of death and create another scenario that creates a happy feeling. Religion is a coping mechanism people turn to in the face of certain death.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Reality

      "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when.

      Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. " J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  6. R Burns

    "since evangelicals like to say that it’s not about religion, but rather a personal relationship with Jesus, perhaps we should practice what we preach" Exactly, and even more to the point, perhaps we should be practicing what Jesus preached. Too many people from both inside and outside Christianity are quick to jump into odd bandwagons or to judge Christian doctrine based on superficial observations (the ill behavior of some "Christians", the judgmental displays by placard-carrying protesters, etc) rather than taking the time to actually read what Christ taught and giving His real ministry careful thought.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jason

      Richard, The problem with "taking the time to actually read what Christ taught and giving His real ministry careful thought" is that no one knows what Jesus taught (if he actually is a real person that is). There have been a lot of old New Testaments discovered and none of them are the same. You can even see, on some of them, where a priest wrote side-notes and then find a copy that has included the side-notes! And the verse where "Jesus" says: Now go and preach the good news to all the world (I am paraphrasing here), that has been proven to be an interpolation by later priests. So when you find the originals: let us know so we can REALLY know what "Jesus" taught.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  7. joe

    That man Carl Medearis is a wolf in sheeps clothing.....amazing seeing this supposed Christian with Hezbollah's number two. How evil that false Christian. Jesus Christ said preach the Gospel. Jesus deeds and fruits showed that He is the Son of God and He preached the Gospel

    Matthew 4:19
    “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
    Mark 16:15
    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
    Matthew 24:14
    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
    Matthew 4:17
    From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.
    Matthew 4:23
    [ Jesus Heals the Sick ] Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

    Matthew 13

    The Parable of the Sower

    1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

    Luke 19:10
    For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
    Matthew 28:19
    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    Romans 11:4
    And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
    Carl Medearis had bowed the knee to Baal..

    July 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      We get it – Jesus was very into himself and planned on making the whole world his followers – complete with elaborate staged healings which for all we know may be placebos. I would never follow someone who "preached" their own holiness. We are all equal and were created equal.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • ellie

      whre you there when these supposedly 'words' were spoken? translated from Aramaic? if not, it is all an illusion, stfu.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Many contemporary NT scholars have thoroughly analyzed the M, M, L and J passages of the NT. None of the passages quoted above passed the reliability tests i.e. judged to be historically non-authentic because of the lack of attestations, time of publication (stratum), found to be known prior to the writing of the NT and/or common sayings from the period.

      e.g. See Professor Gerd Ludemann's analyses and conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years especially pp. 694-695

      July 25, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  8. kalohegirl

    Jesus is dead. The end.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • sobeit

      And his RISEN indeed!!!, the Beginning....Welcome to AD....

      July 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      If you believe a dead person can come back to life after 3 days then have a used care to sell you.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • sobeit

      And you are still talking about his Death after 2000 years...Welcome to Life....

      July 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      Yes, because it is in keeping with the news item......welcome to CNN.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Betti Hindman

      you will find out when you stand before Him, all judgement has been given unto Him.. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a Living God. Because of Him you are breathing every day.. but;;the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, for whosoever believes in Him, it is a FREE gift, because Jesus paid for you by dying for you, PAID IN FULL, why not accept that free gift?, lets talk it over..Betti

      July 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      Betti – there is a fundamental difference between us – I do not belong to any religion. God, the supernatural, fairies, and intergalactic beings from interdimensional portals all suffer the same fate with me. I just can't see the point in turning to religion for no reason. I don't need it. Obviously you do – good for you if it helps you cope with life. I am fine thank you.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Srik

      Marry me! 🙂

      July 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Betti, this is my problem with christians. You all are so thrilled that some guy was tortured to death so that you can get a magic ticket to heaven. For the life of me, I can't understand why you aren't disgusted with a god who simply couldn't judge individuals on their own merits, but instead had to create a convoluted of damnation and forgiveness with a murder as it's centerpiece.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  9. Frank

    Question to all you Christian Folks:

    Why didn't Jesus write the Gospels? Why did he depend on a few friends 30-40 years later to put everything down on paper?

    July 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Correction

      He was too busy impacting history like no other man.
      To 'witness' to ones own credentials is contrary to the Law of Moses which he was under at the time of his life on earth. To have others, thousands of others, acknowledge your credentials directly after your death, within weeks, is a trustworthy witness.

      Now a question for you:
      What about Christ's teachings to you find disagreeable?
      Not'what about (so-called) Christians, but what about Christ's teachings?

      July 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Answer

      Because he came to earth to fulfil a divine purpose to save mankind.
      He did not come to earth to write books but came to leave the message of "LOVE,HOPE and FORGIVNESS" for all people.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      He was a narcissist, a megalomaniac who was hell-bent on creating a following. History is full of people like this, like David Koresh. Nowadays we call it a cult and label them all mad. But this guy, they wrote a book about so.... it must be true LOL!.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • vozdelarazon

      Great question. Jesus rarely pronounced Himself. He was humble, even to the point of death. Interesting that nearly all other religions were started by someone's sort of manifesto. So different, was this Christ. He is to be an example to all of us. If God can humble Himself, then certainly I should.
      And His close followers spread many things by word of mouth, and then began writing things down. But it wasn't 40 years later (although some final writings were that late or later).

      July 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Correction

      – What about Christ's teachings to you find disagreeable?
      Here's one example... Are you ready? You're not going to scream CONTEXT at me are you? Here we go...

      Jesus said: MARK 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death

      Jesus said: LUKE 12:47 Jesus warned that a servant of God who does not heed his master will be "beaten with many blows." (Jesus condones slavery)

      Jesus said: MATTHEW 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Jesus endorses the mass murder, r ape, slavery, torture and incest written about in the Old Testament.

      How much more do you want from Jesus' own words (as interpreted by some guy who heared it from a friend of a guy who was near the hillside of the town where one of the deciples may have stayed overnight and possibly preached a serman)

      July 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      A person who sets out to gather followers to adhere to his principles and philosophies is hardly humble. Of all things to call him; the man was not humble – he was very good at manipulating and the people followed blindly – and they still do. These days, we call it magic, back then they fell for it. We will never evolve as long as we hold on to this story, this person, and this book as being something of importance.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • frank

      @vozdelarazon
      "Jesus was humble"
      bwahahahahaha!

      July 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • PhxLuke

      The four gospels are accounts of Jesus' life and ministry each from the perspective of four different individuals, and each being written to a specific audience. Jesus said and did some pretty crazy things, they got Him killed for goodness sakes, which usually gets people to talk about you, and eventually to write about you so future would know. Similar to how man has acted since the beginning of time.

      To be honest – if Jesus wrote the gospels would you believe them any more than you do now? Are we suggesting here that all history must be written autobiographically to be legitimate? Is it the authorship that is really holding you back? I would assume authorship is a little low on the 'hard to swallow' scale, especially in comparison to being raised from the dead, dying for the sins of the world, and turning water to wine.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Magic

      Well, being "God" and all, he could have done a better job of it. Instead, we have a mistranscribed, mistranslated, misunderstood and misinterpreted bunch of writings - an ambiguous trail of breadcrumbs, which sometimes lead right off of a cliff...

      July 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Tis time for a prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      July 25, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  10. Lulu

    ALL CHRISTIANS DO GOOD WORKS SO THEY CAN GO TO HEAVEN AND BE WITH GOD. If that's not self-serving, i don't know what is. Do good just for goodness sake.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Bob

      Lulu – a sincere follower of Christ knows that our good works aren't worth anything before God. We do good works, not to attain salvation but out of thankfulness for His mercy. Would you respond differently if a great debt that you owed was forgiven?

      July 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • jdomn

      Do good for goodness sake? What is goodness? Without a moral compass, there is no reason for me to do anything for anybody ever. How can I do good for the sake of goodness if goodness doesn't exist? If I happen to be rewarded for doing good, that makes me wrong? Nice logical fallacy. I suppose I'm self centered because I eat healthy foods and don't do drugs too, right?

      July 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Steve Stockwell

      Correction: God's word says; "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8 – 10)

      July 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Bob,

      Are you talking about the original sin? what a clever way of phrasing your question...

      Your omnicient god, by definition knows the future, knew Adam and Eve would disobey him... He still put the tree of knowledge there so that he can punish them and their ancestors for all eternity... He knew he would have to send his son to be crucified for the sins that HE CREATED... He sent his son to earth TO BE TORTURED... so that we could be saved FROM HIM!!!!

      If a parent did any of this to his/her child today... they'd be arrested and jailed for a long time. But you call this love...

      July 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  11. Dave Davis

    Sir, this is America. Mr.Ghandi's words have little place here.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  12. Vonnie

    chistian or christianity is just a word. When I see stats that come out that involve "Christians" I have to be objective toward it because not everyone that claims "Christianity" is walking with Jesus. Can you seperate Jesus from Christianity? Certainly! Jesus called us "friends", "sheep", "children", "beloved", "followers", "disciples". He never once called those who name the name of Christ "Christians". I support the work of evangelism as long as it is Christ centered. The author means well, but this article should not be tilted "Why Evangelists should stop evangelizing. The 5 fold ministry – Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher. WE NEED THOSE WHO ARE CALLED TO THE OFFICE OF EVANGELIST! No everyone trying to operate in a particular office was called to that position. Unfortunateyly, there are many operating outside of their calling!

    July 24, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  13. vozdelarazon

    Everyone knows that Jesus was a good man. But He was much more than that. He is God.
    Well, the Bible says that even the devil "believes" in Jesus. So knowing that Jesus is special is not enough. You have to embrace Him, want to be with Him, ask Him to give you Life. Simple intellectual assent is shallow.
    So I do agree that it does seem a bit confusing what this author is writing, and he does not really clarify.
    I think his aim is to not try to "force" a discussion, which is a good point.
    But to speak about what you believe is True to those who are open to hearing it is simply part of being human. Jesus cared for everyone, especially the "sinners" and downtrodden. But He did say some very hard sayings about following God, that had some people turning away due to the fact that they admitted these things were too hard for them–that is, they did not wish to give up themselves to God.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  14. SAFA

    Whoever says there is no God because they don't see Him or don't feel Him means they also don't believe in Love. You can't see Love but that doesn't mean it doesn't exists. Well, at least I see Love almost everyday in my family, kids, and people who care for each other, etc. You also can't see the wind where it goes, where it comes from but it doesn't mean the wind doesn't exists. I have seen miracles and healing with my own eyes and God has spoken to me in several occasions, it is your decision whether you want to believe me or not. God bless you!

    July 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • tiki

      I don't believe in love - I believe in hormones - there I said it

      July 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • frank

      I don't believe you.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      Hearing voices in your head? Thther name for that.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      wow... you sure told us... Now all I have to do is make myself believe that... I will make believe that... I will pretend that... ALL childhood fantasies are true... Santa Clause delivers presents to all the good boys and girls... Unicorns and leprechauns are real... fairies make my garden grow...

      Just because we can't see or feel them, doesn't mean they're not real...

      We could use this argument for EVER!!!!!

      July 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • kalohegirl

      SAFA – comparing an unknown to something known is illogical. Your argument is flawed from the first premise.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Reality

      A note for everyone's refrigerator door:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  15. Dave Davis

    MrMcMan 71. Sir, you said that Jesus was not about starting a religeon(Christianity). I beg to differ. Jesus spent three and a half years trying to prepare His followers. And then He gave the Great Comission. As to Jesus followers becoming known as "Christians", that happened about two or three years later, at a place called Antioch. It did not happen "much later". As to Jesus "loving everyone" I'm sure He does. However, in the Gospels, He said: "I am come but to the lost sheep of Israel."

    July 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Frank

      Why didn't Jesus write the Gospels? Why did he depend on a few followers 40-50 years after his death to write them? Does that make sense?

      July 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  16. SimpleBelief

    Just another CNN attempt to mock religon followed by atheist ripping new ones in comments.................same ole same ole

    July 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Frank

      Go to your local library – if you have one – and read a few books! Open your mind!

      July 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Santiago

      Sure, let's blame CNN as ridiculing Christians and don't take responsibility for how hineous evangelical misrepresentations of Christianity are. Finally, the evangelical mind seems to have one.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  17. Bryon Morrigan

    "It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?" - Mahatma Gandhi

    July 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      ............................................................................................................................................................................................

      July 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  18. stushie

    As you wrote; Jesus said: "Go and make disciples of all nations"...disciples of what? Political correctness? Universalism? No, by "disciples" He actually meant followers of Himself...in other words: Christians. The whole point of preaching the Gospel is to enable others to seek Christ and become Christians. You may impress the media with your PCness and syncretism, but you won't impress Christ.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  19. Marc

    I worship Apollo, the sun (son) of Zeus.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Krejaton

      Congratulations.

      Now, do you have anything germane to offer to this discussion or are all of your posts going to be this meaningless?

      July 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      At least you know he's not an Atheist...

      July 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  20. frank

    "You shall know them, they are fruits"

    July 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
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About this blog

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