home
RSS
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. Erik

    What Bible is this dude reading? The last command that Jesus gave before he ascended back to heaven was to evangelize! Matthew 28:18-20. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

    19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    This guy is a joke. Now let me make something crystal clear. I do not care what your personal beliefs are as to whether you believe in Jesus or whatever but I am just speaking according to what the Bible says in relation to what this man is saying.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  2. Roger

    If a person seriously, honestly believes that some other person is in dire danger and that (first) person can do something about it, isn't he obligated to act on it? And isn't that what Christian evangelizing is all about. Christians believe that non-believers will end up in Hell, in a pit of fire, in everlasting torture. And if the Christian can get that non-believer to become a believer, he's has saved that person. How could a Christian NOT be an evangelist?

    On the other hand, there is no God. Jesus, if he even actually existed (for which there is practically no evidence) was just a guy, a preacher, no different than any of a thousand other preachers over the millenia. So a Christian's evangelism accomplishes nothing, other than alienating people of other faiths.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  3. Morgan

    I'm open to discussing Jesus. If you have solid evidence that Jesus was ever a real, living person, I'm open to viewing it.Still, for an apparently fictional guy, he had great ideas about how to treat yourselves and your neighbors.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Erik

      In response. I am not a weak Christian and stand firm on the promises of God it is up to them to repent when they hear the truth not me

      July 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Erik

      Ahhhhhhh no, it has been proven that Jesus existed a longggg time ago and that is even supported by non Christians so that statement just shows you are wayyyyyy in the dark and shouldn't even be in grown folks business. lol

      July 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  4. John

    Dear Christians,

    Please continue to let your little light shine. Just because Carl Medearis couldn’t build a successful ministry and got discouraged doesn’t mean that Jesus’ commands and teachings have been misinterpreted by the masses of believers. Don’t be confused with all the universalism and politically correct stuff. We can agree to disagree with all the Jesus haters… peacefully and with love. But don’t become a weak, wimpy Christian that lacks the balls and convictions to stand up for God’s word.

    P.S. May God bring swift justice upon the Norway assassin masquerading as a Christian. Anyone who tries to defend Jesus through violence obviously does not know God because God is love.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Erik

      Amen and God bless you!

      July 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      YAY!!! The "true scottsman" falacy. I LOVE this one.... add him to the list right beside Hitler who "wasn't a true catholic"

      July 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Morgan

      Unfortunately, according to your own tenets, he can absolutely be a Christian just like you. All he has to do is repent after the action. I've never cared for that belief, but then, I don't subscribe to it, either.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      what Morgan said. That whole repent-and-you-can-be-forgiven-for-anything-even-mass-murder thing totally turns me off Christianity. And then the same god tortures and burns you forever if you just don't bow to him. What an unbelievable jerk Christian god is. People should grow some courage and take some personal responsibility for their actions, not whine it off to a mean berk in the sky.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  5. mike

    i will not be surprised if one day this guy converts to islam. as follower of Jesus, what good news (evangel) is he sharing to the no. 2 guy of hezbollah? that they too are sons of God and that they don't have to convert to christianity? chrislam is what this guy is promoting. it's already gaining traction here in the states with some prominent evangelicals endorsing it. in the last days some will depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  6. Reality

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT 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 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 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Ladybird

      This is sad.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Erik

      You are in your own reality one that is only determined by what you can see and hear which is not really reality because reality goes beyond that. You are an enemy of God and unless you repent your doomed to hell, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to spread an anti-God doctrine and for someone who really really thinks you are so smart you are one of the most ignorant of all.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Morgan

      Erik, your dialogue is not exactly going to convince anyone to repent and/or convert.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Erik

      And no Morgan it is not quite that simple don't talk about our tenants when you probably don't know 5 of them. It is not as simple as just saying hey God forgive me.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Morgan

      Actually, Erik, it really IS that simple. According to modern Protestant Christianity, a person can repent of their sin. Even the guy in Norway can repent of his murderous actions. No one can say that he is not a Christian simply because he committed a major atrocity – especially in light of the fact that sins (except for choosing to leave Christianity) are weighted equally. Your rules, not mine.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Erik

      So you are going to tell someone who knows the Bible backwards and forwards who happens to be a protestant Christian for 31 years that it is that simple when it isn't. here is a scripture to explain to you why it isn't that simple. That is the problem with the unbelievers you don't stop to even study or listen and when you do you go into it with negativity and close off. No man or woman who can do such an act can ever be sincerely sorry for what they did. They are evil and of their father Satan!

      Jeremiah 17:9-10
      9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
      10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Erik... (this is going to be good... >:-) )

      So you know the Bible backwards and Forwards? Tell me then, What were Jesus' LAST WORDS on the cross before he died? Is it

      A) Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?
      B) Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. OR
      C) It is finished

      Remember, the words of the Christ were extremely important and remembered with ABSOLUTE certainty... There could be only one right answer... for He is the TRUTH...

      July 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  7. James

    I find it funny how the Athiests get on this blog and bash Christianity....And this is ironic because you comment on a page about converting people...and agree that its wrong to do, and you comment trying to convert people to athieism, its called hipocracy, you should read about it in the bible...."Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?"
    Romans 2:3 ESV

    July 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      we'd have to believe in God to fear his jugement... just a thought.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • James

      Just think about it...im sure youre going through something right now...try praying it helps

      July 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • AmericanSam

      You will not convince atheists to do any different by quoting the Bible. It is as useless as a Muslim trying to convince you to be different by quoting the Quran. Though I agree, fighting intolerance with intolerance does not do much of anything.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • James

      As an athiest, I couldn't care less what you or anyone believes. I was interested in the article because it looked like it would be a Christian arguing against evangelical practices. Sadly, it's an article about talking to everyone about Jesus and pretending that somehow that's not an attempt to convert them.

      I can only speak for myself, but I have no interest in bashing any particular religion. I'd just like to never have anyone try to convert me to their belief system again. I promise to reciprocate in kind.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Erik

      Amen!!! I see you are time enough for them by brother! Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Erik

      Well this is kind of off topic but this is for the Islamic Palestinians because after all these years you still don't get it. Yes you are the sons of Abraham However, you are the sons of Abraham through Ishmael not Isaac and Jacob. God did indeed come to Hagar and Ishmael. And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring."l Yes God did promise you an inheritance and a land to but it is not where you keep trying to settle with the Jewish people, that is their land! A nation can not be within a nation.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Erik

      It's not like that James

      July 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Erik

      It's not like that James it really isn't

      July 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  8. Jesus Rodriguez

    Joke. Religions are stupid.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  9. Ebony

    1 Timothy 4: 1 & 2.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Pumpkins 2, god a big fat zero.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • James

      I feel like its people like you Penelope Pumpkin who give Bin Laden a good name...Do you have nothing better to do than make silly comments on a serious topic...very childish at best...Youll be in my prayers tonight 🙂

      July 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think you have some really skewed priorities, James. Let's see.. one was behind several acts of terror and a single horrible incident that resulted in the death of thousands of innocents. The other makes fun of the religion of your choice. Yeah, right. So you think your feelings are more important than those lost lives? That really says a lot about you and your religion, James.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • James

      Hmmmm...dont be silly. Please dont twist my words like you twist the bible Ill pray for you too 🙂

      July 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • James

      Hmmmm...dont be silly. Please dont twist my words like you twist the bible.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      James, you pray for me and I'll think for you.

      Or just get a life. Prayer has never done anything useful for anyone, ever.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  10. rjgar

    Orsis was the model and the book is nothing more than plagiarism. The reality is how we lead our lives.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  11. Believer

    The photo says it all. Standing, smiling next to a terrorist leader whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel. You can take part of the Bible and twist it to mean anything. Christians are meant to spread the gospel...to all the world to every creature....

    July 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      "You can take part of the Bible and twist it to mean anything." -you got that part right, anyway. Should make you draw some conclusions about god, if his book is that bad.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • McGuffin

      "Standing, smiling next to a terrorist leader whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel."

      Exactly the kind of person Jesus would be ministering to. He sat down and ate dinner with sinners; he didn't shun them or fear them. He knew that all people are God's children, and should be invited with the truth, not viewed as enemies. Indeed, he said "love your enemies" and "love your neighbor as yourself." You should read the Bible.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Rey

      If you really believe that, then evangelicals should also be trying to convert the Jew, as well. But oddly, there are no missions to Israel. And what do you think happens to a Jew that converts to "Christianity", in Israel? He is hated by his countrymen; that is, until some savvy government official decides that Israel can use him to gather funds from the ever stupid western evangelicals.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  12. Brian

    Unfortunately, Carl sounds more like Ghandi than Paul the apostle.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Meg

      And that's unfortunate because...?

      July 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Mike

    Of course it is okay for Muslims to try to take over. I don't want my grandson or his grandson to grow up in a Muslim country.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  14. Tom

    All Christians are called to share the truth about Jesus Christ. This is a call to the Great Commission. To speak openly, honestly, and fully about faith in Jesus Christ. This will never go away. Everyone has the freedom to accept or reject Jesus Christ. No one can force a belief on someone else. But, do not let anyone be deceived. Jesus himself commanded us to share this knowledge. This man is preaching a false message. Again, you have the right to make a choice. Even if it's to roll your eye's, laugh and believe in nothing. It's your business. But you will not silence those of us that do believe deeply.
    Here is the underlying scripture proving the command from the Lord.
    Matthew 28:16-20
    Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

    And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Get off my damn doorstep and off my lawn. No selling jesus here please.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom

      Bless you Penelope!!

      July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      did she sneeze?

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

      Bless you too fimeilleur!! Wipe your nose..

      July 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      I didn't sneeze, could've been in the next room though...

      God Be Less to you too.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Ladybird

      Good thoughts Tom.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Erik

      Jesus and salvation is not for sale it is a FREE gift and what is so sad when it comes to the unbeliever is that salvation is free and the most important thing you will ever need. To bad the reprobate only finds that out after they are dead and it is much to late. and on their way to hell. The enemies of God will have no part in the kingdom of heaven your unrepentant souls will be eternally separated and damned and it won't be God's fault, it will be yours, after all it is you that made the decision to not believe.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • James

      A "free" gift, Erik?
      In the many, many years I attended church I never once saw a single person leave without paying their ticket price. Just because churches use a pay-as-you-exit strategy doesn't mean they're not expecting to be paid.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • James

      Reading your various comments, Erik, I can see that you sincerely believe what you say and that if you share your belief with someone you are genuinely trying to help. While I don't agree with or like that idea, it's your right to do so.

      The part that you don't seem to be factoring in is that in doing so, effectively you are on a recruitment drive for your club. Converts would go to your church and put their money in your church's collection plate, donate their time to your church's causes and in turn try to convert others to the same end. While I believe that you are sincere, I'm dubious of ALL organizations that take in money in return for spiritual guidance, religion or salvation.

      One only has to look at the Catholic opulence or the multi-ringed fingers of the mega-church pastor of the week to see that someone is fleecing the flock.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Johnita

      Amen. Jesus is more than some formula for world peace. He's the Prince of Peace and the Savior of the world (for whoever chooses to accept and follow).

      July 25, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  15. James

    Or, you could just keep your religious practices and beliefs to yourself.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom

      Hey, but what if my practice and beliefs are NOT to keep them to myself? To deny me my right to speak would be against our fundamental beliefs as a society. There are other countries you can live in that they will put you to death for sharing beliefs.. Maybe you could live there.

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

      That's a belief you're sharing there, James.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • James

      I'm not suggesting that any of your rights be taken away. I'm just hoping that religious proselytizing will one day be considered by the majority of civilized people to be as impolite as passing gas in an elevator.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • James

      McGuffin
      Asking that one keep their opinion to themselves is not an opinion. You seem unclear on the concept.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Tom

      James, that is a very interesting concept.. comparing witnessing a faith in Jesus Christ with farting in an elevator. In fact I find that kind of funny. You sound like a very intelligent man. I'm sorry if any of my brothers or sisters in Christ offended you by sharing their beliefs with you or at the wrong time. That isn't suppose to be the point of witnessing. But, my point is when you start to limit when or where someone can speak about anything, including religious practices you tread on a very dangerous rope. In the end we all have to live together. I would also argue in favor of someone speaking openly about everything I'm opposed to and would not want that person silenced either.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      If we were really designed by a perfect being, we wouldn't need to fart.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • James

      Tom,
      What it comes down to is politeness. I have a position about the existence of God, as do you. I choose to keep it to myself in day to day life, not because I fear speaking out but because what I believe is no more persuasive to you than what you believe is to me. To try and impose your position (or me to try and impose mine) upon another person is simply rude.

      I hang up on telemarketers too.

      If I want a product, service, opinion or belief, I go out and get it. When it comes to me, it's invasive and annoying.

      And before I get slammed as a hypocrite for putting my belief out in an inappropriate place, this IS an appropriate place to discuss such things, since we all came here voluntarily and are sharing our ideas in an open forum.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Erik

      No we can't because that goes against what God tells us to do, so sorry lol

      July 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • James

      Erik –
      I'll be sure not to pick up any sticks on the Sabbath in your neighbourhood. I bruise easily.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Erik, I'll fart in your elevator if I ever get the chance.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  16. jje

    I only read a couple of post before deciding to comment. I suffered a stroke a little while back and I don't want to experience another one. Before the incident that changed my life overnight I was a believer in Christ but lived for myself. Talk to anyone who has had a stroke and they will tell you, it's another world. One that you don't want to be in. Since the incident I've read the instruction for Christians with new insight. From alpha to omega is the only way. No one has has a iota of wisdom until he has a relationship with Christ. I 'm 73 yrs old now and studying the the instruction book VERY carefully. Need all the wisdom I can get to navigate the abominations that are surfacing in the world today.--It's all about a relationship with a Holy and righteous God. A relationship of obedience. OBEDIENCE .( STUDY ) I am. I'M THANKFUL FOR THE INCIDENT.

    July 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      weird god that would put you through that. must be quite the mean bassturd.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • A free man

      thankful for a stroke. Hu. Ok, doesn't make much sense to me, but if you want to be a spiritual masochist, I say go for it.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • frank

      Strokes occur in the brain, and damage the brain, no?

      July 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Erik

      God bless you and I see he already is and will!

      July 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Erik

      In response to Penelope you know nothing about spiritual things. Everything that happens is going to happen whether you believe in God or you don't, it rains on the just and the unjust.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Erik, I'm amused that you claim that I'm ignorant of spiritual things, when you don't even know me. I probably know more about the tenets of your religion than you do.

      Grow some balls or p!ss off, you lilly-livered jerk.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  17. Ladybird

    True religion Jesus said was loving God and others like ourselves. Jesus also said true religion was helping widows and the fatherless. Jesus preached. He went around doing good, healing the sick, raising the dead, forgiving sins. He ministered to others at the point of their need. He wanted this gospel preached to the ends of the earth, He wanted us to make disciples of all nations. (From all nations.) He said all men would know us by our love. Unfortunately no religion, no true religion is immune from being hijacked from its true purpose and being used for our own private spiritual belt notches or holy wars Muslim or Christian. Anyone in any religion can be aggressive and obnoxious,or dangerous be it Buddhist or whatever. But bashing true religion because of those that do it badly is like tearing down hospitals because of bad doctors.
    We need good religion, we need the example of Jesus life of compassion and love.

    Bashing religion and saying God does not exist is not really commenting on what this article was about. It is about living like Jesus did, as Jesus followers, which is what Christians are supposed to be. I am Christian and have lived with Buddhist and Muslim friends for over 28 years. In those years there were times when I have said to myself if I were Buddhist or Muslim I would not convert to Christianity if I only saw the bad behavior toward others of a missionary. That I would stay Buddhist or Muslim. But these missionaries are not Jesus. Jesus is the good news, and it is not about missionaries good or bad. I have seen missionaries who truly loved and devoted their lives without offending and slaming others, being truly Christlike, and greatly loved by all who knew them. I agree with this article that we need to be more like Jesus and more about Jesus, and less about ourselves.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      The missionary position was an OK start but don't bring your jesus freakery to the bedroom please. The earth isn't 6000 years old, and a real god could have dealt with sin any time without the brutal crucifixion bit. Stuff your silly jesus gambit and do some real living.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      Noone can know Christ unless God reveals Himself to you.

      For a better understanding what mankind must do to be reunited with God and of the history of Christianity and Islam we invite you to read the articles “World History and Developments in the Middle East”, “Clash of Civilizations” and “Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You? listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      Carl Medearis compassed sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, he made him twofold more the child of hell than himself (Matthew 23:15). For a better understanding what that means we invite you to read the article “False Apostles and False Christs” listed on our website. In summary he preaches a false Christ and an image of a false god (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15).

      All of the other pages and articles on the website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9. The Bible is true in all things and is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

      July 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • frank

      the missionary position is gay

      July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Erik

      No it's not Jesus freakery it's called the truth something you haven't found yet because the scales are upon your eyes. We know that the Earth is not 6,000 years old but like the Bible says our time is not God's time.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Erik's brain is not a properly functioning human brain. E

      July 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      I would be happy if the Evangelicals, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons. would quit knocking on my dor to "share" with me. They are often agressive in their efforts to save my soul. IT is hard to get through o them that I have no plans to let a person wh has their foot in my door so I can't close it, that I would not make a comittment to a diety that sent someone to stick their fot in y door. I also don't like the ones that send their kids to school with the command tht they had them out to my kids..

      July 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  18. Michelle

    Amen! Can you say "AMEN"???!!! AMEN!

    July 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  19. Bob

    It's clear that Mr. Medearis has not read the Bible (at least any discernment). He loves darkness instead of the light (John 3:10-21).

    July 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Some of the best things can happen in darkness, but I guess you've never experienced them.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  20. BobCheese

    Ephesians 4:11, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers," If you don't believe in God, that's up to you. (And if you don't, I don't see why this article even interests you, other that to make jabs at people who do.) However, if you say you believe the Bible, then you have to believe that "Evangelism" is something God expects from us. You don't have to be abrasive or unloving (that would be against the Bible, btw) but it's more than quoting "Jesus is just alright with me." Jesus did say to "Go and make disciples of all nations." He followed that up with "teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you." Call me crazy, but I would think that Christians and Muslims would have major differences in what they believe Jesus meant by that. It's great that you want people to talk about Jesus. But it's what they are each saying about Him that really matters.

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

      This was a good post BobCheese...ladybird.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Penelope Pumpkins

      Believe in the bible? Kidding much? Harry Potter was way more believable at least for the talking snake bits.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • aam

      "And if you don't, I don't see why this article even interests you, other that to make jabs at people who do."

      I just wanted to leave a comment that not all people that do not believe in God, do not practice religion, or are just unsure about the existence of God are interested in making jabs at believers. For example, I do not believe in God. That does not mean, however, that I am uninterested about the state of religion or that I am uninterested in learning about religions. It's sort of like learning about all sides of an argument–belief in God or no belief in God, it's just a good thing to know and understand the other guy and where they're coming from. That understanding, in my opinion, is what can foster respect and willingness to listen to that other guy's opinions over controversial ideas.

      July 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • BobCheese

      @aam, I should have stated more clearly that I was referring to the people who do not believe in God who feel the need to comment about articles like these just to make jabs at people who do believe, in an effort to rile them up, as @Penelope is so eloquently demonstrating above you. I am all for open, honest, and respectful discussion. I did not mean to paint everyone who disagrees with me with the same brush. My apologies, and your point is well taken.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
Advertisement
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.