Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.
My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell
Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."
By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN
Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.
And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
What a pair George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden made! On the one hand, an American president who was a born-again evangelical with a special "heart" for the state of Israel and its importance to the so-called end times, and on the other hand a terrorist leader who believed that he was serving God by ridding the Arabian Peninsula of an American presence and cleansing the "defiled" land of Palestine of what he believed were “invader Jews.”
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So whether you're an atheist or not, the issue of who's going to hell or not matters because there are a lot of folks on this planet – many of them extraordinarily well-armed - from born-again American military personnel to Muslim fanatics, who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell.
And so my view of "hell" encompasses two things: First, the theological question about whether a land of eternal suffering exists as God's "great plan" for most of humanity.
Second, the question of the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology, politics and culture, as if somehow simply killing one's enemies is not enough.
What most people don't know is that there's another thread running through both Christianity and Islam that is far more merciful than the fundamentalists’ take on salvation, judgment and damnation.
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Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace"
“Our God,” Muslims are asked to recite, “You are peace, and peace is from You.”
Since Christianity is my tradition, I can say more about it. One view of God - the more fundamentalist view - is of a retributive God just itching to punish those who "stray."
The other equally ancient view, going right back into the New Testament era, is of an all-forgiving God who in the person of Jesus Christ ended the era of scapegoat sacrifice, retribution and punishment forever.
As Jesus said on the cross: "Forgive them for they know not what they do."
That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally. This is the less-known view today because fundamentalists - through televangelists and others - have been so loud and dominant in North American culture.
But for all that, this redemptive view is no less real.
Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.
For a profound exploration of the madness caused by embracing the “justice” of “godly” revenge and retribution, watch the film “Hellbound?”
The film shows how the "hell" of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell.
Do we really want to go back to a time of literalistic religion. Wasn’t 9/11 enough of an argument against retributive religion?
We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frank Schaeffer.
My Faith: Hell is for real and Jesus is the only way out
Editor's Note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN
As a pastor, my job is to tell the truth. Your job is to make a decision.
When controversies over biblical doctrines arise, it’s a humbling opportunity to answer questions about what the Bible teaches without getting into name-calling and mudslinging. Near the very top of the controversial doctrines is hell.
What happens when we die?
Human beings were created by God with both a physical body and a spiritual soul. When someone dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes into an afterlife to face judgment.
But death is not normal or natural—it’s an enemy and the consequence of sin.
Think of it in this way: God is the source of life. When we choose to live independently of God and rebelliously against God it is akin to unplugging something from its power source. It begins to lose power until it eventually dies.
The Bible is clear that one day there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation in heaven or eternal condemnation in hell.
Christians believe a person’s eternal status depends on their relationship with Jesus and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Our lives are shaped by the reality that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
What does Jesus say about hell?
Jesus was emphatically clear on the subject of hell. He alone has risen from death and knows what awaits us on the other side of this life. A day of judgment is coming when all of us — even you — will rise from our graves and stand before him for eternal sentencing to either worshiping in his kingdom or suffering in his hell.
The Bible could not be clearer: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
These are not just obscure Bible verses. In fact, Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in Scripture. Amazingly, 13% of his sayings are about hell and judgment, and more than half of his parables relate to the eternal judgment of sinners.
Keep in mind that Jesus’ words come in the context of the rest of Scripture, which says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Furthermore, he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
God is far more loving, kind and patient with his enemies than we are with our enemies.
What does the rest of the Bible say about hell?
The Bible gives us many descriptions of hell including (1) fire; (2) darkness; (3) punishment; (4) exclusion from God’s presence; (5) restlessness; (6) second death; and (7) weeping and gnashing of teeth in agony.
A common misperception of Satan is that he’s in a red suit, holding a pitchfork at the gates of hell. But Satan will not[j1] reign there. Hell is a place of punishment that God prepared for the devil and his angels, and it’s where those who live apart from God will, according to Revelation:
. . . drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.
At the end of the age, the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice.
Jesus says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these will go away into eternal punishment.”
Is there a second chance after death?
The Bible is clear that we die once and are then judged without any second chance at salvation. As one clear example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
We live. We die. We face judgment. Period.
How long does the punishment last?
Some argue that the punishment of sinners is not eternal, a view called annihilationism. This means that after someone dies apart from Jesus, they suffer for a while and then simply cease to exist.
Annihilationism is simply not what the Bible teaches. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus speaks of those who “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Grammatically, there is no difference here between the length of time mentioned for “life” and that for “punishment”; rather, there is simply eternal life and eternal death.
Am I going to hell?
The good news is that the closing verses of the Bible say, “Come!” Everyone is invited to receive the free gift of God’s saving grace in Jesus. Jesus is God become a man to reconcile mankind to God.
He lived the sinless life we have not lived, died a substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. He endured our wrath, rose to conquer our enemies of sin and death, and ascended to heaven where he is ruling as Lord over all today. He did this all in love.
The stark reality is this: either Jesus suffered for your sins to rescue you from hell, or you will suffer for your sins in hell. These are the only two options and you have an eternal decision to make.
My hope and prayer is that you would become a Christian.
Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, seeking forgiveness and salvation?
If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.
A different take;
We should abandon hell and all notions of religion altogether.
Creationism isn't a "theory" it hasn't been proven, peer reviewed, or even made to seem slightly plausible, it is simply the explanation for things that some people don't know. Evolution on the other hand can be easily proven and is peer reviewed by almost ever life scientist on the planet. Creationism is an ideaology, unlike a theory that is not true until tested and reviewed... and ideology assumes with no basis in fact that something like god and jesus are real and then tries to fit explanations into that way of thinking. It is not science, it is not correct, it is the faith of the uneducated, not the understanding of the intelligent.
you say '...Evolution on the other hand can be easily proven...' Give me your source.
Evolution is the perfect MYTH for a sociopathic society.
"Evolution is the perfect MYTH for a sociopathic society"
You might want to get a grasp on the definition of myth so you don't look like such an idiot.
As far as sources, I would recommend a biology text book. Now I must ask why do you call evolution a myth when there is ample evidence fore it?
Bert, give me the name of the book and page number, too.
@Anybody.. way to distract the point of argument by clinging on to the most trivial of the points.. at the same time, I can not help but notice that you yourself have not done what you ask others for.. why?
I would recommend Evolutionary Biology by Eli C. Minkoff, pages 1 through 627.
BERT, that's rather windy. Quote him..
C'mon now, the Believers claim it's easily proven.
Absolutely not, I am not here to do your research for you. If you want something you can read without leaving your computer Wikipedia has an excellent article on evolution complete with meticulous citation. And you still haven't answered my question. Why do you say evolution is a myth?
Answer:Societies have a habitual habit of creating myths. The evolutionists are fond of researching THAT. Now where's that easily proven proof?
It's evidence, proofs are for math and alcohol, and I told you were to find it in my above post. Now, if you have anything to add or any more questions I'll be listening, otherwise I'm done here.
"Societies have a habitual habit of creating myths"
You got that damn right.. which is why they created the biggest myth of all.. God!.. It is sad that you refuse to apply your own logic to your belief.. denial, much?
Well Bert, Darwin gave a socially acceptable racist book with his 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life' and now Leakey says we be all the same. Somebody is cookoo. TRUE biology doesn't need evolution. You do.
And saying god did it fits with biology?You are absurd.
I am officially calling poe on Anybody.
Evolution is is part of the foundation of biology. All taxonomic classifications are based off of evolutionary relationships. Animal testing of pharmaceuticals is based on evolutionary theory. Genetics and evolution are inextricably linked. I could continue but you won't believe me anyway.
@Anybody know how to read?,
Science doesn't deal in "proofs", however there is plenty of evidence for evolution, such as:
fossils like ambulocetus and tiktaalik
biogeography like marsupials and penguins
genetics like Human Chromosome-2 and ERVs
From Berkeley:Evidence by example '...Artificial selection in agriculture or laboratories provides a model for natural selection....' The leap to evolution is unwarranted for all life. It's a flawed model for that. Apples and oranges.
From SI:'....While the genetic difference between individual humans today is minuscule – about 0.1%, on average – study of the same aspects of the chimpanzee genome indicates a difference of about 1.2%......' Soooo what! Does that mean if I'm starving I can't eat one? VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE.
The issue is education.. .we were moving away from myth worship as our education level rose... now as it plummets the myth worshippers are growing quickly in number. Aside from the fact that the jesus myth is not historical, chances are the guy never even existed, but he was absolutely not resurrected for example as it isn't even added to the myth until 600 years later. Now we are forced to tolerate scientologists and mormons. It takes about 5 min of history to discredit either... Joseph Smith was simply a con man. Yet, we have to show these uneducated liars respect? Respect for their completely wrong and in most cases absurd beliefs. Stupidity deserves NO respect... we need to value education again and this problem will work itself out. If this offends you, then you should drop some faith and pick up some non-fiction books for a change.
You say '.....we need to value education again....' It has a value: the skin off your back. Pay up.
BERT, that's rather windy. Quote him.
post in the right place and I'll give you a substantive response.
if you are going to post as an adult, please use facts. Your statement about 95% of science is 100% bogus. No evidence of creation? If you want to debate science or the Bible with me....please let me know. We can do this in an online forum much like this. Otherwise, get off your parents computer and get your homework done.
Well this is 100% in the wrong place you tard.
Debate that with yourself all you want but we saw you do it.
From what I've read on the internet; hell is real, people go there quite regularely in astral travel and smoke cigarettes.
Satan is a Tolkien elf in the multiverse who is one of many Nordic aliens that communicate via electromagnetic waves and high and low frequency sound waves.
It was on the internet. It has to be true.
The internet isn't real... it's all telepathy.
I'd like to hear Satan's version of this. I mean with every religion sending every other religion to hell isn't it a little crowded?
Sorry, I read that as "I'd like to hear Santa's version..." and had a good chuckle, thanks!
He already knows he is going there.
@red: i do agree with you. if, as i was taught as a southern baptist, the devil is renting the earth while god owns it; then wouldn't it seem to reason he would have inspired someone to write his side of what happen in the "war of angels"?
i do find that to be one of the largest failings in religion.
Well, okay. You want to hear my take on this..there is no fire in hell. None. I've got two cartons of cigarettes and not even so much as a lighter. I'd sell my soul to myself for a hot coal right about now. I haven't had a smoke in over eight thousand years. Now that is hell.
I don't get it:
Satan is supposed to be The Master Deceiver - a real schmart cookie.
Satan reads The Bible, presumably all the way to the finale, where he loses. W T F?
We can abandon all we want, but the Bible and Jesus spoke of it, and therefore I believe it is real. I'm not going to be testing the heat temperature though. And for those who choose to test our Lord and Savior..... well I pray they have a change of heart before their life ends either by death on earth or when Jesus comes again.
I don't have it in me to believe in something for which there is no proof, on the say-so of an old book and a couple thousand years of cultural habit.
What if I was born into a portion of the world where christianity wasn't practiced, or even existed. I can't follow Jesus, because I've never heard of Jesus. I'll never hold a bible in my hands. My culture has it's own concept of God. Is this testing the Lord? What do you think will happen to me?
Good for you, Shirley. Some of us choose not to spend our lives on our knees, but it it works for you, that's great
Pascal's Gambit was refuted long ago.
Shirley; How can you expect that someone can (even if they want to) have any feelings toward beings in which they do not believe? Do you fear Bugs Bunny? Do you love Odin?
The bible has been translated and edited by many people across different cultures with many nuances of language. Given that, how can you be certain WHAT jesus said?
Because "water", "l'eau" and "agua" all mean the same thing
Don't forget Sam the stories were also written 30 – 50 years after this Jesus died. History has a way of being sugar coated by those that want to support a specific idea, that is exactly what happen with the Bible.
Look up what "fanny" means in England. This is the *same* word in the *same* language!
Isn't that slang? We're not talking about the deformation of meaning by colloquialism. We're talking about the substantive meaning of Scripture as studied by countless scholars and theologians. Granted the vernacular has been modified over time and distance but can you cite any substantive variation from one version of Scripture to any other? Not just semantic differences but differences in meaning. I'll wait
"Not just semantic differences but differences in meaning."
Semantic differences matter. It's one of the reasons that there are thousands upon thousands of different flavors of Christianity.
Muslims also brag that not one word of the Quran has been changed in 1400+ years.
Tallulah: You say you don't believe in stuff in an old book! Do you believe pennicillian comes from mold? Do you believe that the earth is round? Do you believe a diamond is formed by years of pressure? All of that came from some old science books.. Who wrote them? Men. Why did they write it? They saw it, witnessed it, and wrote about it. Have you actually witnessed any of this? Have you actually watched mold grow pennicillian, have you actually gone outside the atmosphere to see if the world is round, have you actually seen a diamond be pulled from the earth to know how it is formed? Well, then why do you believe in this? Men wrote about it as well.. So, why do you believe in one without the other.. The Bible was written over hundreds of years by different prophets that saw, or heard the stories and had vision revealed to them by God. Some books were written by men who never met and never lived to see the prophecy that they themselves were shown and wrote about.. Also, if you do your research all parts of the Bible corresponds in so many ways it has to be true.. So think about that the next time you say you don't believe in an old book. A lot of things that people take as the gospel can not be seen but is believed by so many but yet they rebuke the Bible? Doesn't make sense to me... I think they are just stubborn and do not want to live right so they CHOOSE to not believe what is obviously right. Dont tell me you believe in the BIG BANG THEORY!! Yes, there was a big explosion and so many different things just magically appeared out of thousands of particles of dust.. trees, dirt, water, fish, rocks, ameobas, etc. That sounds just as unbelievable to me... But I choose to believe that a higher being hand created everything to go together in a circle of life and that he oversees his creations.. When you die isn't it better to believe? You have lost nothing if you believe and do what is right in the world and show love and kindness to your fellow man, than to not believe and in the end you find out you were wrong and burn for an eternity.. Think about that.. I will pray for you....
Bill. There are many disputes about the actual translation of certain words – not all languages have a one-to-one correspondence with another. So intended errors were probably introduced. Also, as someone else noted, the early bible texts were edited for effect and later ones for standardization (not that that worked out too well).
Then there's the one about the meaning of "is":
- This *is* my body - really, really
- This *is* my body - in a metaphorical sense
Carla, it's penicillin, and it can be grown from mold over and over and over again in a lab. Facts can be proven. The conclusions of scientists can be verified by experiment. The existence of God cannot be proven, nor can the divinity of Jesus.
The difference is you could grow penicillin if you chose either by experimentation or following a "recipe"; you could go into space and see the earth or you can believe the pictures you see (because you know that flight and photography are existing technology), etc. etc.
Very little in the bible is literally true.
Water can be produced with the righ mix of hydrogen and oxygen and lightning, etc. etc.
Trees, fish, etc. did not appear at the big bang but evolved with small incremental changes over billions of years.
There is proof for evolution but none for any creation myths including the christian one.
Finally, Pascal's Wager does not offer other plausible choices: you pray to the wrong god who sends you to hell, you pray to the correct god who knows you weren't sincere and sends you to hell; you don't pray to the correct god and is benevolent and lets you into heaven anyway.
I still haven't seen anyone produce two versions of the same Scripture that mean different things. I understand that interpreting Scripture is open to study and debate and that sects have developed over time that accentuate one aspect of Christianity over another. But the claim is that because there are so many versions of the Bible that we cannot rely on the message it carries cannot be supported by showing contradictory versions.
"Not just semantic differences but differences in meaning. I'll wait"
se·man·tic (s-mntk) also se·man·ti·cal (-t-kl)
1. Of or relating to meaning, especially meaning in language.
2. Of, relating to, or according to the science of semantics.
Are you sure you have the semantics of that word correct, or does it just mean the same thing? ... and you're saying the Bible is 100% correct? I'll wait.
"...I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
So, I'm not sure what 'fulfilling' a law means in Aramaic, but I wouldn't use that phrase if I wanted to say that most of the OT is valid law but that no longer needs to be followed.
I don't pretend to be an ancient Greek grammarian, but have read there are issues with translating Greek words used in source texts for Gospels to Latin for words that end up in English as:
– girl (particularly a for young woman versus a child where we might use teen or tween today),
– maiden (which is a highly imprecise word) and
There is a lot of potential for doubling down on dogma which might be due in some large measure to sloppy translations.
Look at Luke 1:38. A simple online search nets such variants in different translations as:
and even "willing to be used".
Each of these translation choices has highly variable emphasis.
I bet Mark Driscoll has tattoos. All the hipster, jean and hoodie, new pastors have them. All image, no substance.
I don't believe in something as horrible as eternal torture without a 2nd chance, just because it's written in a book. I also can't believe in eternal unconsciousness and non-existence -inconceivable. My mind just slides right off it. Just as I CAN'T imagine that god has NO beginning ! Again my mind slides right off it !
Those who believe in hell try to shut the door to heaven in the face of as many people as they can. Their 3-headed God finds every excuse to damn and damn and damn. Avoid any "One True Church". Also avoid any church that sets dates for the end of the world as we know it., or claims a prophecy was fulfilled invisibly in heaven...
Why on Earth would eternal unconsciousness and non-existence be inconceivable? Damage the brain and you damage the person, right? When your brain dies, how can "you" possibly survive? To me it makes no sense to imagine my consciousness surviving after my brain dies. I know that sounds like a bummer to you, but that's reality.
It boggles the mind that an adult can't accept the concept of mortality. Why exactly do you think that a finite existence is inconceivable? Death seems like the only natural, logical conclusion to life, as far as I can see.
Two things. He does give you a second chance. God did not destroy humanity for it's rebellion from the beginning, but has offered a means of salvation through Jesus Christ. That's your free invitation. The fact that you are arguing against him, while still breathing is proof of his grace towards you and patience. He doesn't find every excuse to damn, but one reason to save!
"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." (2 Peter 3:8-10 ESV)
Second, it is not the church that shuts the door to Heaven, or opens it. It is Jesus Christ alone, who on the cross, made it possible for anyone to be saved from their sin. If he was willing to take the just wrath on himself for our rebellion against him, and give himself up to be murdered by his own creation, rising again to prove his rule over it, his purpose is clearly not about you being damned. If you choose eternity apart from Christ, then it is your choice, and you have no-one to blame but yourself.
" So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
(John 10:7-11 ESV)
I hope you do not resist him until your second chance is over.
has offered a means of salvation through Jesus Christ
Well, I guess it would then really suck to be born into a culture that lived in the rain forest jungle of South America. Those HUMAN BEINGS will never hear of Jesus Christ, through no fault of their own. They aren't choosing to argue against him or resist him, they've never heard of him!! I guess you think those humans(who are your equal) will not achieve salvation?
A valid concern. Many have come to a knowledge of Christ through dreams or visions that are consistant with the truth of scripture. No one is outside of the reach of an Omnipotent God.
Jesus said that, "All that the Father gives me will come to me ... and No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6) For examples: http://www.haventoday.org/
Jesus said that...
Your circular reasoning makes me dizzy. Again, it doesn't matter what Jesus said, to anyone that doesn't know who Jesus is and will never learn what he said!! You don't appear to understand that religions initially developed culturally. If an individual has "dreams or visions" of God, they are formulating their own concept of God, and it won't align with yours. That is ok, since your concept of God(religion) is not the "correct" one. There is no correct religion.
There is a difference. Jesus claimed to be God and died, and rose from death, so what he says has tremendous authority. And yes, we have a tendency to make up our own existential beliefs out of a need to answer the most important questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Which is why God reveals himself authoritatively through his word, and through the incarnation and ministry of Jesus. A bit about how he reveals himself through his word: http://marshill.com/media/doctrine/revelation-god-speaks
Which is why God reveals himself authoritatively through his word, and through the incarnation and ministry of Jesus.
You're still not getting it Jeff. God has not revealed anything through his word, to the primitive culture I described in the South American jungle, because they have no bibles, have no access to christianity and never will. If christianity was the one and only way to salvation that God accepted, he simply would provide the way to all his equal creations. He has not, so the christian way is not the only way to God. Or, maybe you just think you are special, and better than any other human being who has no access to christianity?
While I admire your persistence and continued use of logic, especially in the face of jeff's insanity, I must point out that it is impossible to reason someone out of a position that they did not reason them self into in the first place. Good luck.
so, god (being omnicient) knows from the beginning who is going to be saved and who is not. he knows that the vast majority of the world will not, but chooses to set the game up this way. god can forgive just to forgive, but he doe not. the question i have to you, paul, is why you would want to spend eternity with such a petty vindictive pr1ck?
"Jesus claimed to be God and died, and rose from death"
And it had been done way before Jesus showed up on the scene. Your stories are amalgamations of other culture's stories, yet you appear to be too stubborn to see this
@jeff: "All that the Father gives me will come to me ... and No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6)"
i love the part where your jesus said " unless the father draws him" so basically if god doesn't summon you he is ignoring you to hell. such a sweet and loving god you have, he picks and chooses whom he will summon to his son/himself.
"...so what he says has tremendous authority"
it doesn't have ANY authority to those who do not accept it's "authority"
do you acknowledge other religion's texts authority?
if not, why do you feel that others should acknowledge the authority of the bible? because YOU do?
One final comment. I appreciate your responses. I believe there is sufficient evidence that Jesus died and rose and, and that the Bible has textual integrity, and if so that is cause enough to investigate further. I grew up around Christianity, but was not one for a long time. A while back God flipped the switch on, and however inconvenient, it all rang true. Since then I have been passionately pursuing the relationship with God that he initiated, and I am confident of it's truth. You, like I am able to choose whether or not to believe it. I for one do. I am grateful that God would offer forgiveness, and justly deal with all the evil this world has because of man, give us the possibility of a clean slate. A Christian doesn't believe they are better than anyone else, but has come to recognize the depth of their depravity and need for a savior, and has been met him.
I have to get some work done...
"I believe there is sufficient evidence that Jesus died and rose and, and that the Bible has textual integrity"
@jeff: "the depth of their depravity and need for a savior."
nothing personal to you but to me that statement is a copout. yes humans have failings but WAITING for anything is just being lazya nd not taking responcibility for human problems. no savior nor any god of creation is going to be our nanny and come clean up after us. it's our problem and our mess, time to get to work and become adults.
it is impossible to reason someone out of a position that they did not reason them self into in the first place. Good luck
LOL Huebert! You're right, just having myself some fun!
Isn't it interesting that the author who talks about what's good for politics is the one who thinks we ought not think about Hell, but the one who focuses on the soul and holy texts acknowledges Hell? Seems to me that if you're thinking about your soul, you come to one conclusion... but if you're thinking about what's politically expedient, you come to another. Which kind of person are you? Soul-minded, or looking for political expedience?
What makes christian scripture holy, above reproach or critique?
What evidence do you have for the existence of the soul?
What happens to people who have their brains injured? Are their "souls" injured as well? All kinds of things that can change a person's personality can be done through drugs, injury, surgery and so on which is very strong evidence that what makes you "you" is wholly physical within the brain and that, when your brain finally dies, "you" will die along with it.
You may "feel" that death cannot be the end, and you can hope and pray that it isn't, but what other possible reason do you have to assume that death won't be the end of you?
Scott thinks he knows what happens when we die. He's either a fool or a liar.
Naw, probably all teeth.
Atheism is proven false,
because one and only true GOD has made Himself absolutely Manifest
through the "Language of Mathematics" now
with which He has thus created His book of Universe and His book of Religion
based on 19 coded, Symmetrical most superb Language!
UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES
How does this prove a god?
Mortal opinions wrote the bible, 2357.
The language of mathematics is logic.
Something you consistantly fail to apply to your reasoning
Come on, Blowhard 4 All....how does this "prove atheism false"....
Do you have a point, or are you yet another post-and-run-like-a-coward Jeebus follower?
Thanks Pathagoras, now go play with your dodecahedron.
No kidding. What a waste of space on a ridiculous topic. Next question: Where do fairies hide in the garden?
My son Sammy once questioned whether he should believe in the Almighty Lord God. I hit him with a car lock so hard that it knocked a tooth out. It was a baby tooth so it grew back, but he learned that day about the vengence of our Lord. Never again did he question me or God's Word. He is in college now.
Samuel, is violence your answer to all of life's questions, or only to those asked by your son?
You're a troll so I hesitate in responding, but just wanted to say for any non-trolls out there that a loving God doesn't take vengeance. Vengeance is a human concept.
God is a human concept.
I hope Madtown is right and you are just a troll trying to get a reaction. Because if you are telling the truth, you are a disgusting human being.
God is a human concept.
Maybe. I think religion is a concoction of the human mind and a farce, but I'm also not an athiest. I think the only thing we can say for certain, is we don't know anything for certain. Statements of definitiveness from either side aren't correct.
While it is true we can't know for certain weather or not god exist, the same can be said about faeries and trolls, I mean the bridge trolls, we are all know that the internet trolls exist. No one has any problem saying, with absolute certainty, that faeries do not exist. This is due to the fact that their is no evidence for faeries. But once the same standard is applied to god their is a great chorus of "you can't be sure". I am as sure of god's nonexistence as I am of faeries, and I can defend my position on both.
Hey Huebert, I'm really with you for the most part. I'm just not ready to say anything with definitiveness yet, because we still have so much to learn. Interesting topics for discussion though! Cheers...
I see your position as well, and honestly, there is no fault in it. I'm glad you enjoy the discussion. Have fun in your search for knowledge. :)
"If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons."
– Sir Winston Churchill (on the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union)
Most of creation will end up in Hell. Don't be one of them. Trust the Lord with your life.
Why would most of creation end up in hell? For how long, and for doing what?
Why does your god punish "thought crimes"?
Most of us live in hell already everyday. When we see the world in black and white, good and evil, us and them, this is a living hell. Death may be an escape, but why wait? Peace is available to you today. Let go of your fantasies and resistance to reality. Life is a joy. Don't wait for some fantastical heaven that may or may not exist after death to find it.
Nancy, how do you know that most of creation will end up in hell? Do you have some privileged information the rest of us don't have? Why do you fundies and vangies keep coming up with such blatantly unprovable and unsubstantiated bullshit? Can't you think at all?
"Act NOW, this is a limited time offer..."
What are you selling, cheap copies of gold coins or the SlapChop?
Mortal opinions are worthless. God allowed his Son to be slaughtered by atheists. And every one of us is next in line. Many among us will not even make it past tonight. Wise up, plead to him who casts you
body and soul into hellfire.
Blessed are the Cheesemakers
God is interested in thought crimes because that the only place where he exists; in people's thoughts.
Wow, 2357, you'd have been a hit in Salem, Mass around 1600.
The drivel the fundies spew never ceases to amaze. God's son slaughtered by atheists? Where in the bible does it state the religious inclinations of the Romans? Most of "creation" in "hell?" There is no evidence either that things on Earth were created, or that hell exists. People used to think that the earth was hollow, and hell was inside. Science has taught us that is not the case. Science also tells us that 95% of the stuff in the bible is pure B.S. Reason tells us that claiming to know the nature or existence of god is pointless. No one (save a few lucky souls in the Old Testament) have ever seen God or evidence of God's existence. Why doesn't God send down bolts of lightning, part the sea, and stuff like that now? The Bible is full of unsubstantiated stories that are taken by fundies at face value. They are STORIES, not eyewitness accounts of what happened. They wrote whatever they wanted, and fundies hang on every word thousands of years later. People need to wake up, take charge of their own lives and quit using religion as a crutch to limp through life on.
Mother nature who you revere, is killing you cell by cell this very instant. The fire of hell is no earthly fire. It burns hottest the sin of pride. So how proud are you before your Creator God? How contemptuous are you concerning His slain Son?
Man, what a croc of shit. How do people get this way?
I could scream at the altar of a church, with a crucifix stuck deep up my asshole, that I fuck Jesus Christ hard through the hand holes and cream on his crown of thorns, and I will never hit the level of blasphemy that’s required for someone to pray to god for their family’s pet dog to return home. The idea that someone can claim that they know there’s a god because they feel it, because they trust a book that they were raised with, because they had an epiphany, and then ask this god to change its mind about its plan for the universe is arrogant. Once you say you have the answer to everything, but you can’t prove it to anyone else, I don’t think you can accuse anyone else of being arrogant. I think you are the king of kings of the arrogant assholes.
Perfect meaninglessness. How can anyone actually believe that? Its not possible. And to say that you do only makes you a foolish liar.
@2357, Trollriffic! So Jews are atheists? Also, you do know Romans had quite a few gods, right? You pay tribute to them when you call the planets by the names and use the months of the year and some days of the week. I say "some" because some other days of the week are Norse gods. A little knowledge goes a long way out here. Don't feel insecure about your ignorance. We all had to start learning at some point. There's no time like the present. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
Roman executioners were real atheists. I have no evidence of your atheism. Your convictions are a joke. You should be ashamed to claim it as conviction. End Religion, really? What a buffoon. Go burn a Christian, then ill take you seriously.
@2357, I burn christians everyday... it's just that CNN won't cover it. It's hard to get good press these days.
Lie fallen tree.
Why would you want to spend eternity with such a pr1ck, Nancy?
Forget Salem, 2357....with the amount of time you spend on your knees, you would have been a hit at Fire Island in the 1980's
2357..,you could be kneeling before Jesus by day's end. What is keeping you here? Don't you have tall buildings were you live? Don't you have the courage of your convictions, slave boy?
So far it appears that I've here to compound the condemnation of loudmouth fools like End Religion. Were all on the witness stand at the murder scene of the child of a king. It is all being recorded, or "written" into the divine hard drive. You gawk at the proxies but feign oblivion at the original thing itself. Everything here is a mere projection of the things up there, people of the cave.
Please provide evidence there is a place called "hell". Have you actually spoken to someone who's been there? Photographs?. There is absolutely not one bit of evidence of the exsistance of heaven or hell.
Just imagination..... fantasy,,, nothing more......
2357....you make no sense...of course, what with you being a fool, that is no surprise
Ever hear of a supernova? Its the material equivalent of hell. Except hell is hotter, and does not cool down.
The Romans use to call Christians "atheists" because they didn't believe in the state gods. Ironic, isn't it? Of the thousands of other gods out there you likely reject all of them but one, making you 99.999% atheist yourself. Ironic, isn't it?
"Ever hear of a supernova? Its the material equivalent of hell"
Based on what, the voices in your head?
You showed in every imaginable way just how broken you are. Seek truth.
Based on heat, Sam Stoned. Pure heat.
So did you put a thermometer in hell or something?
Great comment, GodFreeNow. Those who spend their lives fearing hell and damnation are already bound there, without even having to die. Free your mind from dogma and try living!
A supernova is when a star collapses quickly.Hell is just something from the bible.There is no comparison.
@2345: "Roman executioners were real atheists. I have no evidence of your atheism. Your convictions are a joke. You should be ashamed to claim it as conviction. End Religion, really? What a buffoon. Go burn a Christian, then ill take you seriously."
Source for claim that all roman executioners were atheist please? Not that it matters, but it'd be interesting to see. I mean there isn't a shred of evidence from that time that Jesus actually existed. I can't imagine all Roman executioners somehow managed to have their 411 survive any better.
My atheist convictions are super cool! Only the coolest kids can be in this club. Calling me a buffoon is closer to truth thatn you probably think, since I'm sitting here naked, in the buff, so to speak.
Why would anyone burn a Christian? Why would anyone burn ANYONE? What a horrible thing to do. It takes a religious person to dream that up and think it's somehow a good thing to do.
@2222 "So far it appears that I've here to compound the condemnation of loudmouth fools like End Religion."
Condemning me for speaking freely? God bless America! Good thing those "christian founding fathers" were smart enough to separate ye olde church from ye olde state in anticipation of dimwitted bullies exactly like you. That must actually be a neat feeling for you that they were thinking of you, exactly, while creating ye old country.
"Were all on the witness stand at the murder scene of the child of a king. It is all being recorded, or "written" into the divine hard drive. You gawk at the proxies but feign oblivion at the original thing itself. Everything here is a mere projection of the things up there, people of the cave."
sweet bejeebus, you are a gadlfy. Just no fun at parties I'd wager. The paranoia is creeping in... always watching... always recording... better not wax your pole, jeebus is watching. Excuse me while i "gawk at the proxies but feign oblivion". I'm sure you'll excuse me. I'm just a person of the cave.
@ECassious2 "You showed in every imaginable way just how broken you are. Seek truth."
You must have a limited imagination. Don't tempt me.
"Yeah Rhodes, I am saying your god is a made up myth.
And until you have some kind of proof to prove me wrong, then that is exactly what it is.
You have nothing.
It is a "made up myth." You just conitue making claim you cannot prove don't you?
"And each day, science is shattering your line in the sand."
Oh really....how is that? Has "science" somehow proven God does not exist? Is that another claim by you?
"Where did intelligent design come from? Not the bible. No mention of ID there."
Not real sure what you are talking about?
"It was made up to try to somehow inject your mythical god into the conversation."
It is made up is it? Is that another claim you haven't the slightest evidence to back up?
"Science totally destroyed it."
"And your religion has to now draw yet another line in the sand.
They are calling it biogenesis. The latest in yet another long sad slide that your religious people have had to make to accommodate the vast scientific facts that disproves your myth.
Science will shatter that too.
Enjoy your long slide into oblivion."
I think my point is proven..if you are going to make claims then maybe you should back them up with facts...by the way..is abiogenesis proven? I'll answer for you...no. Just keep talking...the more you do the more it reveals you have nothing to base your ideas on except what someone has told you..
Atheism is to religion as abstinence is to promiscuity.
Marty Kay Zee
I put the comment in the wrong place...
So, what makes more sense? Living cell magically evolving by itself, or living cell magically evolving because of a Creator?
Please use common sense. Thank you.
Evolving by themselves makes far more sense then being created by some creator.
But you believe the earth is only 6000 years old, so how could anyone even have a conversation with you.
Science proves evolution to be fact. If some god or other had a hand in formulating the rules for the evolutionary process, he didn't leave any evidence of it. If people want to believe that some magical sky fairy has something to do with evolution, I have no problem with that, but don't try to act like that opinion is scientific or credible–it's faith. Own it.
So who created the creator? If the creator can just exist then so can the universe and the building blocks of life. Over billions of years, small changes really add up.
Darwin, I know this will fall on deaf ears (more a likely a deaf brain), but I'll give it a shot anyway. Cells, and all life, for that matter, did not evolve on its own. Everything evolves within its environment to most successfully succeed within that environment. The environment constantly changes so living things also have to change in order for its genes to survive and continue replicating. Ones that don't are automatically eliminated. Cells started as much simpler molecules that could replicate and, over billions of years, became life as we now know it. All this has been extensively studied and even observed in species such as microbes and some insects with short generation intervals. All this information is available to read, just get off your knees, leave that fucking church, go to a library and educate yourself. But I've got a hunch you're unwilling or unable to do this.
How can anyone abandon something that they embrace?
Where has the benevolence of America gone?
I think hell is like an eternal concentration camp. So, when people fail God in some way, he loads millions of them into cattle cars and sends them to the gas chambers. Kinda reminds you of someone else you've heard of, doesn't it?
Adding insult to injury, considering that the person you are referring to was a Christian, he will probably be sitting in heaven along side some of the people he gassed. Most of the people he gassed were Jews and of course they will get the pleasure of being tourtured for eternity because they don't believe that Jesus was the son of God. Such a "loving" god they have.
Or you could just make up what you think and then denigrate that. Oh wait, you did.
How is that characterization of hell inaccurate?
Because God doesn't send us to hell Huebert, we send ourselves. So to defame God because of a choice we make is, theologically incorrect, logically fallacious and spiritually ignorant. Makes for a good laugh among the heathen though.
Bill D, so god is our judge, but isn't? I'll have to remember that dodge. Good one, not. FAIL!
Bill Deacon's posts are a good laugh for the smart.
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.