home
RSS
Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists
Minister-turned-atheist Jerry DeWitt speaks at ReasonFest in Kansas earlier this year.
June 13th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Jerry DeWitt entered the ministry when he was 17, launching a 25-year career as a Pentecostal preacher. He traveled all around his home state of Louisiana, preaching and ministering wherever he could.

All these years later, DeWitt, 42, is still on the road, and now takes his message all over the United States. But the nature of that message, along with his audience, has changed dramatically.

DeWitt is now an avowed atheist, and his audiences are made up of religious “nones,” the growing number of Americans who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or just plain disinterested in identifying with a religion. Today, DeWitt preaches a gospel of disbelief.

During his speeches, he talks about the process of leaving his preacher job. “If you don’t believe, then you will be like me - you’ll suddenly find yourself where you only have two choices,” DeWitt told a group in Johnson County, Kansas, earlier this year.

“You can either be honest that you don’t believe ... or you can pretend that you do,” he said. “Which is what so many people are doing and that is called faith.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The transition from preacher to outspoken atheist has not been easy, and DeWitt is trying to smooth the way for other former believers. He is executive director of Recovering from Religion, an organization founded in 2009. Its slogan: “Thousands of organizations will help you get INTO religion, but we’re the only one helping you OUT.”

But a relatively new effort goes a step further than his own group by focusing on helping clergy in particular. In March 2011, a coalition that includes national groups such as American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation helped launch the Clergy Project, which is aimed at giving doubting and atheist preachers a community in which they can talk about their disbelief.

The program's ultimate goal: to help unbelieving preachers to “come out” in real life.

A safe online community

The Clergy Project’s key component is a private online community of active and former pastors discussing their conversions to lives of active disbelief. It lets congregational leaders come out anonymously, using an alias.

“It is important to focus on any group of people who are in a lot of pain,” said Linda LaScola, a co-founder of the Clergy Project. “That is why the Clergy Project exists, and it wouldn’t be growing if there wasn’t a need for it.”

When it launched last year, 52 clergy signed up for the online community, according to LaScola. A little more than a year later, 270 members are contributing to the message boards and connecting anonymously with one another.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

According to LaScola, the community includes some rabbis, imams and Catholic priests, but the majority are Protestants.

Members are barred from disclosing what is discussed on the boards, but DeWitt said it’s a blend of humor, advice and encouragement. DeWitt, who left his congregation just over a year ago, is considered the group’s first graduate.

“It gave me confidence to come out,” DeWitt said of the Clergy Project. “Knowing that I was not alone, that I was not a fluke, that I was not a freak of religious nature, but that this is a process; it most definitely gave me confidence and a purpose.”

Jerry DeWitt, far right, in his days as a minister.

DeWitt said that after connecting with people on the message boards, he realized he faced fewer obstacles than some others who are trying to leave the ministry. For example, DeWitt's wife and son already knew about his disbelief, while other questioning preachers had not yet told their families.

“I think it is important when you are struggling that you talk it out, that you write about it, that you find support,” said Teresa MacBain, acting executive director of the Clergy Project. “I still try to reach out to people who are questioning, who are doubting, clergy people and laypeople alike, and let them know they are not alone, that there are people who care.”

How does he feed his family?

For 44 years, MacBain was involved in some sort of ministry, from organizing worship music to being a senior pastor at a Methodist church in Florida.

At a recent American Atheists convention in North Bethesda, Maryland, MacBain first publicly announced her atheism, inspiring a roaring round of applause. American Atheists President David Silverman walked onstage and hugged her as MacBain began to cry.

"I was the one on the right track, and you were the ones that were going to burn in hell," MacBain told the crowd. "And I'm happy to say as I stand before you right now, I'm going to burn with you."

She said she sees plenty of growth potential in the Clergy Project. In the near future, she said she hopes to incorporate it as a nonprofit and begin raising funds for clergy who have decided to leave ministry jobs. She also wants to compile a group of employment recruiters to help former clergy find new jobs.

DeWitt, for his part, is struggling financially and said his house could be foreclosed on in the next few months.

For former preachers in search of work, their old skills can be hard to translate into new fields. What references do former ministers use if they have disappointed their congregants by leaving the pulpit?

MacBain said that some “formers,” as she calls ex-clergy, have left their hometowns for new jobs in fields ranging from radio to counseling.

To aid those transitions, Recovering from Religion has started the Clergy Professional Relief Fund, dedicated to “helping ex-ministers have a soft landing after coming out of the ministry.” Though little money has been collected so far, the hope is to help former ministers with job training and relocation expenses.

“Even if you have a degree in divinity, that doesn’t really mean anything,” DeWitt said. “That is the biggest fear that a nonbelieving clergy member has. How does he feed his family?”

Losing faith, losing friends

As a young fresh-faced minister, DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said. “I really loved the people I preached to, I loved them like family. So imagine preaching that if you don’t do this, you are going to burn in hell. That wasn’t easy for me.”

After doubt about hell, DeWitt began to research other schools of thought about God and belief. He began to develop other doubts, about certain biblical translations and about healing.

“The next big issue was the failure of prayer,” DeWitt said. “People are passing away, whenever we pray for them to live. People aren’t getting jobs, whenever we pray for them to have jobs.

“The harder we tried to alleviate suffering within our church, it seemed like the worse things got,” he said. “It didn’t seem like prayer made any difference. It just continually crushed my heart.”

When DeWitt decided to come out as an atheist, some in his congregation appeared shocked.

“I was very heartbroken actually because his family means so much to me; they are actually like family,” said Natosha Davis, 30, who attended DeWitt’s church for four years. “I was very heartbroken for him that he had to go through that and struggle.”

Many congregants were less charitable. “Some people where he lives just totally turned their backs on him,” Davis said. “He was ostracized, excommunicated. It is like he has a disease, but he doesn’t.”

When DeWitt runs into people he used to preach to, he still averts his eyes. Going to the post office and to Walmart, he said, can be stressful because of the possibility of running into a former congregant.

“It is because places in which you were once admired now you are suddenly scorned or pitied,” DeWitt said, who admits not having many friends anymore. “It makes for an extremely uncomfortable life.”

And yet DeWitt said his atheist life mirrors his old religious one in some key respects. In some ways, he said, he’s still a minister.

“The origin of the symmetry is me, is my personality, my love for people, my love for ministering,” DeWitt said. “What I have always tried to do is to minster from where I personally am at.

“When I was 17, I preached what I believed was best for people at the time; when I was 20, it was a little different; at 25 it was different, too,” he said. “And now at 42, I am still the same guy preaching what I see is best for people.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity

soundoff (5,298 Responses)
  1. Portland tony

    Just what we need: A 12 step program for religious fanatics. If there is no God, it is ludicrous to preach against one. Oh there must be money involved somewhere. Mankind cannot be this stupid. Go play golf, go to a movie, take your family to a ball game, just stay away from buildings with steeples and blinking neon no
    matter what it says!

    June 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      yes, go play golf, go to a movie, while your children's future are crumbling around you. walk around in your rose colored glasses and enjoy life. Don't worry about eternity. live in the moment until your moment is hit head on with reality. Great advice! Spoken like a true dreamer.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • vulpecula

      @Atheist Hunter
      Enjoying life now in this existance is the reality. it's the afterlife you speak of that is only a dream.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  2. Nii

    IT IS TRUE THAT A LOT OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE WILL FAIL IN THEIR WALK OF FAITH while spiritual people grow stronger in their faith! Christ came to preach spirituality! If u preach religion then sooner than later you will lose your faith in religion then ur spiritual lessons can begin! John 3 shows this

    June 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • apostate

      Jesus practiced Orthodox Judaism.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • vulpecula

      @apostate

      There were strong similarities to the buddhist message in Jesus's words too.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  3. MarlboroMan

    Respondents to this board rise to CNN's bait like eager carp. Sophisticates, indeed – LOL.

    June 14, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Is that not what you just did sir?

      June 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  4. hippypoet

    love it – the truth emerges from the dark. more will follow. 🙂

    June 14, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      What truth? That there are sinners? We all knew that!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • hippypoet

      faith has blinded you and lead you astray.... ever try thinking thoughts of your own.....no wait, ever try even reading the bible – any one of them! how can any believe in god with a book like that as advertisment to push forth the ungodly agenda!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • The Dog Delusion

      We can only dream of being on the same intellectual level of the brilliant Jerry "Bubba" DeWitt.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      faith opened my eyes. There are dewitts but non disprove God's existence only the evil heart of man.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      How you get the bible pushes and ungodly agenda is beyond me. You lost me there.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • hippypoet

      this is how the bible is ungodly – its very simple, so simple in fact my 6 yr old daughter caught on right away – why not you....

      It is useless to believe. It can be of no advantage. If Christ was not raised, he was an impostor, since he repeatedly declared that he would rise Matthew 16:21; Matthew 18:22-23; Luke 9:22, and since the whole of his religion depended on that. The system could not be true unless Christ had been raised, as he said he would be; and to believe a false system could be of no use to any man. The argument here is one addressed to all their feelings, their hopes, and their belief. It is drawn from all their convictions that the system was true. Were they, could they be prepared to admit a doctrine which involved the consequence that all the evidences which they had that the apostles preached the truth were delusive, and that all the evidences of the truth of Christianity which had affected their minds and won their hearts were false and deceptive?

      June 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      hippypoet....your 6 yo is good with God no matter how you try to deceive her. She will be gone during the rapture and you will be left behind....He did rise. You just have no faith. You will someday answer to God for leading your child astray....Right now she is good but later her blood will be on your hands.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • apostate

      I can't wait for the rapture. All of the annoying Christians leaving for good is awesome. I'm collecting wallets when you're gone.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • hippypoet

      thats funny, you base your life on nothing but a thought – a dream – really its more of a hope because the only "proof" is after you die – so there really isn't any proof of anything but a load of people tell others they are wrong and going to a place of torture because THEY think its real. ok so you have a book claiming all your bs to be true – ever read lord of the rings? books are written by men! a truth that is clearly beyond your limited scope.

      you sir need to read what i typed last and either look into yourself or discuss the very real point i just made....also take a look at the lack of points you have made and argued as if you have ground to stand on.....seriously, where do people like you come from – oh yeah, brainwashed children...got it. 🙂

      June 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      hippypoet...i base my life of the Word of God. The lord of the rings has not proven to come true. The bible has. The bible was the inspired word of God, no man could write a book with that kind of accuracy for the future. The proof is the infallible word. There's plenty of proof, you just don't want to admit it. The restoration of israel, the 6 day war, the war of gog an magog lining up with the word as we speak, the destruction of damascus (syria) as we speak just to name a very few. No your child is the brainwashed one. Let her believe in God and his promises, what do you have to offer her??? That Obama is going to fix her world? I don't think so!

      June 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Hippy – 11 of the twelve apostles gave their life for christianity. It was based on his resurrection that they saw. If they had not seen his resurection don't you think they would have just walked away from it instead of giving their life for it?

      June 14, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • hippypoet

      nostradomus wrote with more accuracy....and his were rather to the point where as the ones in the bible are extremely va.gue. they could basically fit any time period at any time – oh the mystery of god..... lol idi.ot.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Hippy – You are so clueless. The Old Testament tells when Christ would be born, where he would be born. Isaiah tells of his death and how he would die for our transgressions. Daniel chapter 9 tells of the exact day when he would be crucified. Try and pick a man out in history, give him a name and where he will be born. Then tell how he will die and when he will die. You have no clue what you are talking about. Your to smart for own good. It's going to send you straight to hell. Your to proud believe that this thing might be true and don't have enough common sense to at least study the book for yourself.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      The Jews would survive Babylonian rule and return home
      Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 32:36-37
      Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: 536 BC

      June 14, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      The people of Israel would return to "their own land"
      Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 34:13
      Prophecy written: Between 593-571 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: About 2600 years ago

      June 14, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Enemies would move into the land of Israel
      Bible prophecy: Leviticus 26:32-33
      Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: Beginning in about 721 BC

      June 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jesus prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed
      Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:1-2
      Prophecy written: During the first century
      Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jesus prophesied that the Jews would be exiled
      Bible prophecy: Luke 21:24
      Prophecy written: During the first century
      Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Jesus explained why Jerusalem would be destroyed
      Bible prophecy: Luke 19:41-44
      Prophecy written: During the first century
      Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Daniel foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple
      Bible prophecy: Daniel 9:24-26
      Prophecy written: About 530 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Zion would be "plowed like a field"
      Bible prophecy: Micah 3:11-12
      Prophecy written: Sometime between 750-686 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: 135 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      The Bible foreshadowed Rome's destruction of Israel
      Bible prophecy: Deuteronomy 28:49-52
      Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC
      Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD

      June 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Joe from Pittsburgh

      Atheist Hunter, all of that is dependant on whether those were written by the supposed writer and at the supposed time that the supposed writer penned the words. Here's a failed Bible prophecy: Tyre will “never be rebuilt” (Ezekiel 26:14). Yeah Tyre was destroyed but there are 120,000 people who live in that spot today.

      June 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Flatpicker

      Joe- Don't you think the millions of Jews at that time would have known this was all written after the fact? Even non biblical scholars cannot deny when these books were written. You will always have people that will doubt no matter what the facts are. Its just human nature.

      June 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  5. amyscommonsense

    As far as the preacher crying about not being to look his former congregation in the eye when he runs into them around town, he should feel awkward. Instead of being honest about where he was at mentally, he went on pretending to be this person that was ministering to their spiritual needs and all the while didnt believe one word of it. If it was my pastor I would feel betrayed and lied to. Instead of being forthcoming and honest, he lied. Over and over. Should he feel shame? Yes, but not for not believing. His shame should come from misleading people for some time that he was a spiritual leader and someone to look to in a time of need, when in fact he believed nothing.

    June 14, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You don't understand how religions hold family hostage. You want to believe what is right but the religion keeps you from doing so. As soon as you show opinions different than the church, they shun you. Classic cult technique to keep people in line.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • amyscommonsense

      On the contrary I do understand. My mother was "shunned" from the church she attended when I was small for divorcing . I have been told I am going to burn in hell because I have not raised my family according to the tennets that some of my family believe in. So i understand all too well the guilt and stress organized religion can put upon you. It doesnt change my thoughts though that there is a God and my faith in Him. Where I lose faith is in man and the ability for him to see past his own version of truth.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  6. amyscommonsense

    I know many who consider themselves confirmed "atheists". Yet they will not hesitate to spout the virtues of yoga, Buddism, Islam, or a mulitude of other world religions. One sentence of God as he relates to the view of Christianity sends them into a frothing mess of condescension. I have never been of the mind that you have to believe what I believe, or that you must toe the line with my faith. I belive that faith is just that, either you have it or you dont. You cant make someone have faith. On the other hand it has been my expirience that those who profess to not have it will ridicule and belittle those that do, but only if it is the Christian faith. The rest they are very PC about. I have always been of the mind that your relationship with whatever you believe is just that, yours. Not mine. Its interesting that those who want understanding and respect for their ideals and thoughts on life will not afford the rest of us the same courtesy..

    June 14, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Hey Zeus!

      I for one can't stand those darn yaga'ians. That is one crazy religion let me tell you!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • vulpecula

      if it seems atheists are PC with other religions except the christians, I suggest you try quoting from the koran and see what happens. I dare say you will get the same reaction if not more so. As for Buddhism, It's not a god based religion in it's purist form, Yes, it has picked up some locialized religious ideas depending were it's at. But none of the versions worship Buddha as a god. Please remember too that most christians overwhelming attack atheists anywhere they show themselves. Part of that is because of their numbers, but a larger part of that is they are very aggresive too. I've sat in enough churches in my lifetime and heard the sermons critical of atheists long before most atheists dared to come out. So yea, some are more sensitive toward christian posts. But some of what your feeling might be your own sensitivity too if you're a christian. All the atheists I know pretty much lump the three Abrahamic religions into the same catagory. I'm an atheist and I have friends of many faiths, and mostly christians. But with most of these christians I find it best if we just agree to disagree and just don't talk about it. I have found some muslims that are much easier to talk to. And of course buddhists, and the new age religions like wiccans, druids, etc. I don't believe their supernatural beliefs any more than I would the other theistic religions, but the have tolerance built into them.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • apostate

      Buddhism doesn't require any belief in gods, it is non-theistic. Their followers are typically not annoying like whining Christians with severe persecution complexes and prophecy delusions. Islam shares the same burden that Christianity does.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Yoga and Buddhism have nothing to do with any god but instead with a state of well-being. I denounce Islam too because it is just as harmful as Christianity.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  7. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con-

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • ttwp

      "Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus."

      What a ridiculous statement. No one that truly believes in Christ questions His resurrection. We know it by the Spirit given us.

      June 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      If you are speaking to true Christians why are you quoting non-Christians to convince us? That's like pulling out the book of satan and denying the resurrection cause the devil said so.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • hippypoet

      New International Version (©1984)
      And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
      New Living Translation (©2007)
      And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.

      English Standard Version (©2001)
      And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

      New American Standard Bible (©1995)
      and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

      King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
      And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

      International Standard Version (©2008)
      and if the Messiah has not been raised, then our message means nothing and your faith means nothing.

      Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
      And if The Messiah is not risen, our preaching is worthless and your faith is also worthless.

      GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
      If Christ hasn't come back to life, our message has no meaning and your faith also has no meaning.

      King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
      And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

      American King James Version
      And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

      American Standard Version
      and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.

      Douay-Rheims Bible
      And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

      Darby Bible Translation
      but if Christ is not raised, then, indeed, vain also is our preaching, and vain also your faith.

      English Revised Version
      and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.

      Webster's Bible Translation
      And if Christ is not raised, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

      Weymouth New Testament
      And if Christ has not risen, it follows that what we preach is a delusion, and that your faith also is a delusion.

      World English Bible
      If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.

      Young's Literal Translation
      and if Christ hath not risen, then void is our preaching, and void also your faith,

      tell me mr ttwp, if you all believe so much then why has this p@ssage gone without reconized truth....surely if its in the bible then it too qualifes as the word of god and therefore there is no reason to believe in the resurr. as the j man as you'd know it as an impossibility.....but i guess you like many others just never read the damn book you so sheepishly form you life.

      beware – morons are everwhere.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      "Where are the bones?" Same place my bones will be when I am raptured. In my body until I am changed and given a heavenly body. That's the beauty of it. The bones were placed behind a huge stone sealed tomb and then they disappeared. The grave couldn't hold HIM! Not even his bones!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Let me break this down for you hippey..... note the word IF......... Just like IF the sun does not come up it will be dark, IF it does not rain we will all die.....IF you have no food you will die.....but the sun comes up, but it rains, but God gives you food, BUT JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND OUR PREACHING IS NOT IN VAIN! You're welcome!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • hippypoet

      you sir are a twit..... and have no ground to argue from nor any skill at the game if you did. lets try this, are you a man or a women? then we shall know your place!

      June 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • hippypoet

      It is useless to believe. It can be of no advantage. If Christ was not raised, he was an impostor, since he repeatedly declared that he would rise Matthew 16:21; Matthew 18:22-23; Luke 9:22, and since the whole of his religion depended on that. The system could not be true unless Christ had been raised, as he said he would be; and to believe a false system could be of no use to any man. The argument here is one addressed to all their feelings, their hopes, and their belief. It is drawn from all their convictions that the system was true. Were they, could they be prepared to admit a doctrine which involved the consequence that all the evidences which they had that the apostles preached the truth were delusive, and that all the evidences of the truth of Christianity which had affected their minds and won their hearts were false and deceptive?

      June 14, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • amyscommonsense

      To me, faith is not about debate. Or what scholar or professor says what or why. Its about accepting there are things I cannot explain, things I will never see touch hear or know and believing they are real. Do I believe Jesus died for you me and every other person on this planet? That he then rose from the dead and ascended to heaven? Yes i do. I have no scientific proof of this. I cannot say if you go to such and such coordinates in such and such town you will find evidence of this happening. What I have is faith. I wont posture or preach about whether or not you should have it because as far as I am concerned it is a personal decision that doesnt include me..interesting that you do not feel the same about your lack of faith. That because I have it means you should and have the right to make snide condscending remarks about my faith.. you do have the right to do so...but doesnt mean its the right thing to do.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • hippypoet

      amyscommonsense

      To me, faith is not about debate

      look another moron with no issue being sheep lacking thoughts of her own...bravo. check ou timothy before you dare even think about talking about anything to a man! spread legs will get you all you need in gods world. go spread and shut up.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      hippey....such a rude comment

      June 14, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      hippey....tell me then man or woman...what is my place????

      June 14, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • amyscommonsense

      Hippypoet,lol. was that supposed to shock me, send me into fits of raving spouting biblical spewing so that I would sound like a complete moron?? Ha! It actually made me laugh. I was very respectful in what I said to you. Never said the typical zealot things like you will burn in hell or all that nonsense. You just proved my point for me. Me professing to believe something, regardless of proof, sent you into a frothing mess of condescention, and vulgarity. Instead of having an intelligent amicable conversation YOU turned and said and I quote your elegant words,"go spread your legs"...Gotta love the way you show your vast amount of tolerance and respect for all people, not just those who toe YOUR line of thinking.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • vulpecula

      The resurrection theme wasn't added to the christian religion until almost 200 years after Jesus died. Before that, the teachings only said the tomb was empty. Christians do Jesus a great disservice by not trying to find out what his real message was, and blindly follow the bible ignoring all the other books by christians that were left out. The people that compiled these books into the bible had an agenda, and that agenda was not getting Jesus's true message out. And that doesn't even take into consideration that the original bible has long sense been lost in all the different translations and editings.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      yes, it was rude....but if you believe in god then god allowed me to be that rude and the fault lies with him and his gift of free will.....so fu...:)

      and if you ever read the book you base your pointless life on then you'd know your place.... hope you aren't a women or you can pretty much forget the whole equal rights thing. burn the bras if you like but no good will it do you. 🙂 well save from a bunch of horn dogs looking at the unlifted....love puns. truly the highest form of humor.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      being nice is over rated..... however i am very tolerant of people...and most don't toe my line – i'm a one man show. being vulgar is a tool nothing more and until others see this i will be seen as rude....words are nothing but tools.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • hippypoet

      ....words are nothing but tools. – as are followers of improvible things.....they are the tools of those in power, nothing more sadly.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Flatpicker

      hippypoet – 11 of the twelve apostles were killed for their belief. Don't if he didn't rise from the dead, don't you think they would have just walked away instead of giving their life for nothing ?

      June 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      they died for there beliefs and we can prove this ? or they died because they were jews in a bad time and spoke about things the romans didn't like... yes, its that simple. i know, wow!

      June 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • amyscommonsense

      @ Hippy..you are correct words are a tool. Words are also power. The better you use your words the more power there is in what you say. When people relate or not is a direct reflection of how you use your tools..Vulgaritys and the like are laughable. Most of us are not wilting flowers who shrink in the prescence of them. I genuinely wanted to open a dialogue of the hows and whys of faith, and why its called faith. Not call into question your thoughts or beliefs. If you thought otherwise then you were mistaken.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • hippypoet

      sry i took a bit to get back to ya....kids... words are not power, the power lies in the one who is a tool to begin with. people can be moved by words, but not moved to do something they wouldn't – yes there is a power in being one of many, but that only goes so far...there is a reason why i use such words – its because the average believer is a moron, something what should be spoken to as you would a young teen – with straight forward meaning or clear hidden meanings to make them ask and then fall into your control over the conversation.

      my reasoning for this is what they believe and how much they believe in it.
      if you can speak long enough to weed out the truly gullible then you are correct, words are power – but until then, they are simple tools built to convey and inspire thoughts. great speakers can do great things...WRONG, they inspire people to do great things.

      to all great things ever done – the thank you should be shared with the people – workers – and the king or leader – for inspiration or just the reason for its creation.

      June 14, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Reality

      See http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb240.html for added conclusions about the resurrection con of the magic man aka Jesus. Said conclusions were from contemporary Christian NT scholars. See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 58.

      June 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  8. Kim from Pittsburgh

    To all religious people:

    Please stop telling me that, as an atheist, I am in pain. I am not in pain. I live a fantastic life and, as Kurt Vonnegut said, I behave decently without expectation of reward or punishment. I behave decently because it helps others and I like helping other people. I don't do it for the "glory of God," I do it for the person I am helping.

    It's beyond condescending to tell me that I am "living in darkness," or "in pain," or that I am simply uneducated and ignorant about God's glory and that he's working on me "in spite of my being an atheist." I would wager that I know more than most people about the Bible and Christianity, as I was raised Christian, went through Confirmation, then attended a college in the Bible Belt and took Religious studies courses. Really, I know the verses you're quoting already. I've studied them. I still don't believe.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Ashlyn

      Kim, I could not agree with your statement more. I was raised in a very religious family, went to church thrice weekly for the first 16 years of my life, and studied the Bible extensively. I have always had a great respect for the lessons and morals that can be extracted from the Bible and other religious texts, but I have never believed in the big guy in the sky. For a religious person to assume that I am in pain or suffering is just as presumptuous as me to assume a childless couple is in pain because they don't have children.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      there is joy in sin.....for a season. Seasons end.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Joe from Pittsburgh

      Kim from the Burgh, could not agree with you more. I was a har-dcore devout Christian. I believed everything in it was from God. I would even evangelize door-to-door. Then in my studies I started noticing things that didn't seem to click. I decided I was going to give the Bible a real critical look. I read it several times. Each time I found more and more wrong with it. I eventually got to the point where I no longer believed in the Judeo Christian god. When I told my mom about how I didn't believe anymore she actually told me "It would be better if you were dead." Such love right there. So now all but a few of my friends I grew up with will not even give me the time of day. And now, after several years, I am without belief in any god.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  9. Gary R.

    In the book of Leviticus, It says that God should not be put to the test. How bloody convenient!! Every time someone prays, expecting some kind of answer, Isn't that putting God to the test? The Bible is written in such a way as to protect it'self from the scrutiny of doubters and disbelievers. Religion has killed more people than disease, and almost as many as old age. All the big books (the Koran, The Holy Bible, and all of the other religious texts.) are guides as to how to live life as a decent Human being. Not to be taken literally.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Alicia Lucas

      Amen (pun intended)

      June 14, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      sin has killed more

      June 14, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Joe from Pittsburgh

      Sin is a made up concept.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Cq

      Atheist Hunter
      There is regular morality, that everyone including atheists can agree upon, and there is the idea of "sin", which is declaring something wrong just because some god supposedly says it is. The death that has been the result of religion almost always comes from people's different understanding of "sin". God thinks abortion is wrong, so people kill the doctors. God thinks being gay is wrong, so people kill gays. God thinks protestantism is wrong, so Catholics kill them (and vice versa). God thinks not being a Christian is wrong, so Christians kill pagans, Muslims, Jews, and lots of other people. The killing comes when one group sees another group not doing what they think God wants.

      June 14, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  10. RoundRockGuy

    Good morning Everyone. I'd like anyone who believes in the Christian God to explain to me how that 'god' is not monstrous beyond reckoning.

    And this is ALL based on what 'believers' are telling me about their god, nothing I am saying. So you believe and you know John down the street. John is the BEST neighbor ever. Your kids have a great time with his family every time they are with them. He loves his wife and family. He spends countless hours as a volunteer, would give the shirt off his back to a stranger. In his heart of hearts he feels great joy when helping someone and pain when he hurts someone ( he is human not a saint).

    John is also an Atheist. He was always asking questions and could never understand how a god more complex than the universe itself could come first. He sees all around him a child getting more complex not less. He simply used the honesty he has in his heart to the world around him.

    He isn't worried but it makes him very sad that anyone could think he was going to be tortured for eternity for.....what? For thinking? For being honest with how the world appears to him? For being a great human being? For being kind to everyone around him? For being the very ideal of a 'Christian' in every good sense of that word except believing in a god?

    And for that something is going to torture him without mercy for all eternity? And people 'pray' to this thing? Although John only has love in his heart, he is also a passionate man who hates bullies and those who cause others pain. And although he is thoughtful and imaginative all he can think is that such a creature has to be the biggest, most awful thing anyone could imagine. Taking a beautiful human being who has only made the world better for being in it. And torturing that being for eternity. What kind of monster is that?

    June 14, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  11. truth

    the only true God is the FSM.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:39 am |
  12. Flamespeak

    All I am reading from this article is 'A bloo bloo bloo ;_;'

    So your religious views point in a new direction than they previously did and others don't like it? Get over it. I have no sympathy for people that cannot shoulder their self-inflicted burdens.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • DrXym

      I'm glad to see some religious leaders realise that religion is a nonsense. At least they are honest enough to walk away from it rather than carry on the charade for what they know to be untrue. Sadly for every one that comes "out" I bet there are 10 more who stay because their nest is feathered and it's easier to live with the lie than to turn their lives upside down for the sake of their true beliefs.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Joe from Pittsburgh

      Flamespeak, how would you feel if all of your supposed "friends" stopped talking to you completely because you believe differently than them about a few things? So are saying he should have just kept lying to the people in the church and put up a hypocritical front? You are an idiot.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  13. truth

    Matthew 24 >>
    New International Version 1984

    4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,a’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

    9“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Cq

      Could Jesus have been giving a warning about Paul, and not to follow his false ideas?

      June 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      truth, all of that stuff has been happening for the last 2000 years.

      June 14, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  14. truth

    Daniel 11 >>
    New International Version 1984

    33“Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • Cq

      And how do you interpret this passage applying to the article?

      June 14, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  15. Apocalypse Now

    *facepalm*

    Speaking for myself, I'm not living in misery and am certainly not devoid of hope. Perhaps you should stop projecting. I've never been happier since I dropped my faith. Your god's extortion tactics are worthless

    ****
    God doesn't use 'extortion' tactics. Please don't confuse that with disingenuous people preaching from the pulpit trying to extract Obedience out of you in order for you to SERVE THEM.

    Ok, I have to say goodnight now. Please thing about what I've posted here, people, I really do implore you.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Apocalypse Now

      I meant 'THINK'

      June 14, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • *facepalm*

      The bible is quite clear about 'believe or burn'. That's extortion. Infinite punishment for finite 'crimes' makes Machiavelli seem like a wuss.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • truth

      Facepalm that Makes no sense! I dont agree with God so I dont beleive in him because if I dont beleive he will throw me in hell. So basically what you are saying is you beleive in God but you no longer follow him and you would rather burn in hell than serve him. Even though he is the creator of heaven and earth and love and justice.?????????

      June 14, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Kim from Pittsburgh

      I am an atheist. That means that I disbelieve one more religion than you do.

      There are a lot of Christians on this board who have strong faith...would you say that those Christians who "speak in tongues" have strong faith? Or the ones who handle snakes–do they also have strong faith? If so...do you believe what they believe?

      If you don't believe that God is making them speak in tongues, or God is protecting them from the snakes...why do you think they are doing those things? I think they really believe what they are saying/doing...and they are under the spell of a mass delusion.

      Now, if it's possible that those people are under a mass delusion...isn't it possible that ALL people who believe in a religion are under the spell of a mass delusion? That they are good people who really believe what they feel is real, but they are simply following the masses around them? If you were raised as a snake handler or a kid who spoke in tongues, would you still be doing that today? Why not?

      Just posting some things to think about...

      June 14, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @truth – I have no idea where you got that I believe in god. I was just trying to make an accurate portrayal of a mythical being. Zeus was a jerk, too. Do you think I also now believe in Zeus?

      June 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  16. Blane

    To the atheists:

    Even though you have wandered astray, God is waiting with open arms to take you back into the fold. If the parable of the prodigal son is any measure, He will pour out boundless grace upon you. You don't have to live out your life in misery, devoid of hope. God understands the pain you are in, and He will take the pain away. Place your trust in the Lord.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Speaking for myself, I'm not living in misery and am certainly not devoid of hope. Perhaps you should stop projecting. I've never been happier since I dropped my faith. Your god's extortion tactics are worthless.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Blane

      Put another way, there is no reason for anyone to burn in hell because God's grace is endless.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Actually, his grace is definitely not endless. It ends at the time you die. See, an all powerful god has the option of not having people get tortured for eternity because they didn't sufficiently satisfy his childish ego, but he doesn't.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Let's put this another way.

      Abusive parent: Do as I say or I'll beat you.

      child: You're mean.

      Abusive parent: I'm not mean. I'm endlessly loving ... as long as you do as I say.

      child: but you're not even clear about what you want.

      Abusive parent: Then I suppose you'd better guess right.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      god killed the first born of egypt – god is a baby killer. why would i want to embrace a baby killer?

      June 14, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • sam stone

      You do realize that talking to atheists about a being in which they do not believe is only so effective, don't you?

      June 14, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • sam stone

      In misery and devoid of hope? You are nothing but an arrogant mother mounting freak.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Cq

      The "prodigal son" was a selfish hedonist. That's not an accurate description of atheists generally. There is nothing "wrong" with the way we live, act, or in what we believe.

      We are more like the sons of abusive or absentee parents. We moved away, and are doing just fine on our own.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  17. Apocalypse Now

    tallulah13

    Hinduism is older than the judeo-christian belief system. Perhaps you're worshiping the wrong god(s).

    Also, I think it's funny that the church named after Christ gets so many of it's rules from a guy named Paul (a.k.a. Saul), who wasn't even born by the time Christ was reported to have died. Christianity may as well be called Paulism.

    *****
    I don't worship Paul, I worship and revere Christ. There's a difference. An enormous difference. And actually, if you want to go way way back, lets go to the beginning ~ in the Sumerian realm, where Gilgamesh hailed from and was the first concept of one deity. The Hindus stole the idea of Gilgamesh.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Apocalypse Now

      Sorry Hindus. I shouldn't have said 'stole'. More like 'borrowed the idea'. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers with my crass statement. It's late and I'm exhausted and all decorum at this late hour flies out the window for me.

      Good night everyone, and may God bless. You've been a blast.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Cq

      I think the argument is that you may worship Christ, but Christians largely follow the teachings of Paul, and often prefer them to what Jesus actually taught in the Gospels. Paul never learned from Jesus. Actually he began as an enemy of the Jesus movement Jews and he was often in sharp dispute with the actual followers of Jesus, men who had listened and witnesses his teaching, after he did convert. When it comes to topics like h0m0$exuality conservative Christians typically fall to Paul's opinion rather than Jesus' non-comment. Christians may worship Christ, but they do largely follow Paul.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  18. Guillermo

    As a Christian we are called to suffer. Most, if not all, of the disciples of Jesus died a gruesome death because they were teaching about Christ. One might ask, "why would I want to suffer?" That's a great question. Why would the disciples have gone pursued proclaiming Christ unless what they witnessed in Jesus death and resurrection. They witnessed something that was worth their lives. Unless I knew something was true I wouldn't want to put my life on it. If it weren't true I could picture the disciples saying, "those three years were fun, but Jesus is dead and our ride is over." But it wasn't over. They continued on at the risk of their lives. That being said, I'm sorry that this man's prayers weren't answered. God answers prayers in three ways: yes, no, or not now. To pray with the expectation that God is going to answer my prayer is selfish on my part and is asking God to work on my terms and not on His. That's not submission to Christ. Suffer well. Love the Lord with all you're heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. I love you all!

    June 14, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Lots of people died for David Koresh. Maybe you're worshipping the wrong Messiah. Or maybe Allah is the real god and we should revere those who fly planes into building in his name.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Madtown

      That is some wacky stuff there. I believe in God. I'm not suffering, I'm quite enjoying my life. I think it's because I don't believe in religion.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • sam stone

      Good. If you want to suffer because it makes you feel all pious knock yourselves out. In fact, you can nail yourselves to crosses if you really want to get the Jesus experience.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  19. Apocalypse Now

    God's chosen people are the Jews. Their mission was to bring the idea of God to the rest of the world. And they did indeed do that.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • wisdom4u2

      Amen! And may Peace to Jerusalem.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • Madtown

      I'm sure that sounds nice. Truth is, to suggest God plays favorites with his creations would mean that you're assigning human characteristics to God, which is very likely not the way it is. Of course, none of us know for certain, but it's far more likely that God actually just considers us all equal, regardless of whatever wacky religions each of our cultures have created.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Stan Van den Brook

      It's actually far more likely that no such thing as god exists. There is 0 proof for anything supernatural, don't waste your time on delusions

      June 14, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Cq

      Well, they invented true monotheism, the idea of worshipping one god alone in a religious system, but I'm not sure that it was their mission to bring that idea to the rest of the world. The expected messiah was supposed to do that, along with bring peace to the world, but that hasn't happened yet.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  20. wisdom4u2

    Atheism….PFFT!!!

    Isaiah 53

    53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

    4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
    though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
    by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Ooooh, can I try. Here's one that says to kill people that believe differently than you:

      "Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God."

      So peaceful and loving, that christian god. Bit of a pyromaniac, though.

      June 14, 2012 at 2:53 am |
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
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.