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September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

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.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. Shawn Irwin

    Christianity is a nihilistic system of belief that uses hyperbolic distortion of good and evil . . . bad deeds always outweigh good deeds. Hence "sin" is considered more weighty than any good deeds that someone has done. As a result, according to their belief system, all those who are not "believers", no matter how much good they have done, or how little bad they have done, are destined for a place of unimaginable torture . . . . christains are not only nihilistic, they are sadistic too.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Randy Martinez

    Everyone is so quick to condemn the second person, Mr. Driscoll. I do not agree with his version, but he makes his case clearly, cogently and concisely. I do not think there is the eternal "torment" of lakes of fire as he describes. Either you are in heaven or out of heaven, and if you are out, that is your torture. However, what is really dangerous about the evangelicals is that they promote this absolute nonsense of "just saying your sorry clears it all". It doesn't. God's forgiveness does not buy you a pass at judgment day. We can all forgive murderers and rapists. They can repent their sins. But the stain of what they did will always be remembered by God and when the bell tolls, those acts will be dealt with. God forgives but he does not forget.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • steve

      Ummm. Yes He does forget. When a person asks for forgiveness he casts all the person has done into "the sea of forgetfulness". Have you not read that in the bible?

      September 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  3. jackhudson

    Hell obviously exists as anyone who has ever spent time in a slum in Africa, or talked with someone who has seen the worst of war can tell you. We can see evidence of hell every day – one need not be religious at all to see it. The question that must be answered is whether it (or any experience) persists past death – atheism has nothing to tell us about this.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Answer

      So hell to you is something you see? A bombed environment with rubble from a war is hell?

      That's funny. I can just state that it needs re-arranging and that hell disappears.
      What a retarded mentality to define what you see and just label it as "hell: indeed it is real".

      You're just over-hyping the issue of what one looks at and what one wants to label. Really stupid.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Answer

      The word for a war environment is "appalling". It is tragic. War is brutal. War is death.

      These are the human conditions brought out in full -due to hate and differences- that words alone can not resolve.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  4. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Only by hindu absurdity of a hindu, hindu and pagan. Filthy Christian Captain Crunch dog. Filthy pagan islam pig dog. Filthy Randy Jackson dog. Filthy hebrew national beef dog. Ron Jeremy foot-long-dog.

    NO DOGS!!!! Who let them be out? Quran means nothing else but path of triple abdullah absolute quantified. please visit ahmadinebinpaid.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. But turn virus protection off before..

    September 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      YES!!!!! Finally, we agree: who let the dogs out? Who? WHO? WHO? WHO?

      September 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      SORRY GUYS I DID NOT MEAN TO SAY NASTY THINGS. MOHAMMAD IS CONTROLLING MY MIND, MY THOUGHTS, MY BEHAVIOR, HE IS THE ONE MAKING ME WRITE NASTY NASTY THINGS. HELP ME I AM BURNING IN HELL OF HATE CREATED BY MOHAMMAD AROUND ME. PLEASE HELP ME.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  5. blinky

    The second author can't explain what the first author makes the key to his argument: that Jesus on the cross intercedes for our forgiveness. If the second author is right, Jesus could not have spoken those words, Yet he did, which repudiates the second author. If you believe in the Bible, then you cannot believe there is eternal punishment.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  6. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Hell is REAL. Ask my Mohammad. I hear his screams every night.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  7. BigSkyHumanist

    Is anything really worth dying for? What if your wrong, what if there is no heaven nor hell. Then what. YOLO!

    September 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  8. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    HELP ME SOMEONE PLEASE HELP MEEEEEEEEEEE. PLEASE ALL SANE PEOPLE PLEASE HELP ME!!!! I CAN'T TAKE THIS HELL ANY MORE. PLEASE HELP ME GET ME OUT OF HELL OF HATES.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Gregg

      Erasing memories and starting over is hard.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  9. ArchAngelFromHell

    For anybody that doesnt believe in god this is completely useless. I was expecting a decent argument but all this guy did was restate biblical and religious text that the majority of human sheep in this world blindly follow. My take is, If there is a hell and demons inhabit it they are in trouble because I'm going to tear their limbs off and beat God over the head with a devil's torso until he looks like Osama Bin Laden's bloated face after a few months under water. I'm going to take all my rage from having to deal with ignorant human destroying the environment and blindly following the elitist of each nation to their own demise.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Sam

      whoa help is out there for you, chief.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  10. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Hell is REAL, being a follower of Mohammad, I hate everyone on this board, I hate everyone not muslims. I hate Shia MFkers. I hate Gays and Lesbians. I hate my parents for making me what I am, a hateful person. YES HELL IS REAL MY FRIENDS AND I AM LIVING IN SELF-CREATED HELL.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Good for you.

      Kindly detonate yourself into pieces and go to your god. You know you want those virgins so go ahead.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Do they magically remain virgins after you ream them out?

      September 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Fish Flakes

      You and only you can change your life. If you are a hater, and don't want to be one, you have to stop feeding your hate and actively try to cultivate love, compassion and joy. You may have had a bum rap growing up, but as an adult, your thoughts and feelings are within your control. So, stop blaming and start behaving like you wish you were inside, and you'll create the change.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  11. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Why is the Judeo-Christo-Islamo-Mor(m)onic "god" such a repeat LOSER?

    1. If "he" is all that omnipotent and omniscient, then why did "he" fail the first time by creating Lucifer, whom "he" had to have known would (a) have enough power to put up a formidable fight with heaven, and (b) have the will to do so?
    2. And then after making this mistake, "he" went on to create man with the will to do exactly what Lucifer did (i.e., to fight), when "god" must have known beforehand that this would happen?
    3. And then on top of that, "god," as if not knowing any of this would have happened, got ANGRY with man and destroyed everyone but Noah and his family and some farm animals to let them repopulate the whole world again so mankind could ONCE AGAIN turn against "god"?
    4. Send "his" "son" to a remote spot in the Middle East at a time when humans had barely begun writing things down and certainly had very limited knowledge of science, geography, etc.? This allegedly all-important message, was thus doomed to not reach some of mankind for at least 15 centuries later (e.g., Native Americans).

    WHAT A LOSER! Incompetent apprentice of a "god"! Utter failure!

    September 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Gregg

    The only way to know if hell is true is first you need to get Mel Gibson drunk.

    September 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      Shots of Jagermeister all around!

      September 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • j

      classic person that will be going to hell, always talking about beer, whiskey and sinful ways and lifestyles

      September 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      i must have missed the part of the bible that said talking about alcohol was a sin. If even talking about alcohol is a sin, what's the deal with communion? Why would jesus have turned water into wine?
      Ecclesiastes 9:7 "drink your wine with a merry heart"

      September 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  13. John

    For those of us who have found no reason to believe that the bible is the word of god, let alone the inerrant word of god, Mark
    Driscoll's argument is totally worthless. It does show us how ridiculous christianity is if taken to it's extreme.

    September 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  14. ButterSquash

    This is exactly what happens when you die. It's been proven and verified many times:

    ou want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

    And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

    And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

    And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.

    http://thankgodforevolution.com/node/1960

    September 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Daren

      Well said and food for thought.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  15. AvdBerg

    God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Heaven is a reference to the spiritual realm.

    The word ‘hell’ was translated in the Old Testament from the word ‘Sheol’ which comes from an Assyrian root meaning ‘chamber’. It was regarded as an underworld for the dead, often called the grave.

    Two words are translated in the New Testament by ‘hell’, namely ‘Hades’ and ‘Gehenna’.

    ‘Hades’ is the Latin translation of ‘Sheol’ and means literally ‘the unseen world’ or the ‘grave’.

    ‘Gehenna’ is however the word that is most often used. Originally the valley of Hinnom (Ge-Hinnom) was the area where Molech and Tammuz were worshipped and eventually became the place for burning the local refuse and was regarded as a fit symbol of the destruction of wicked souls.

    The words ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ are strictly symbolic in nature as are many other words in the Bible. A symbol is something that relates to or is characterized by a symbol.

    At the return of Christ only those that are dead in Christ (referred to as asleep) will rise with him (1 Thess. 4:16). It is noteworthy that there are only few that are dead (asleep) in Christ (Matthew 7:14), as this whole world has been deceived (Rev. 12:9).

    At the final judgment, all those whosover was not found written in the book of life will be cast out into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).

    The above mentioned article by Frank Schaeffer is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media industry as the main culprit.

    He is spiritually blind as the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:15).

    In order for anyone to be able to understand the Word of God they must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18). Frank Schaeffer does not know what spirit he is off (Luke 9:55).

    The Word of God is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20) and it is the discerner of every thought and intent of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    The local media, including CNN, Fox and your local TV stations and newspapers are a very important element of social and political behavior, as society is shaped by what it sees, hears and reads and it is conditioned by the events that influence the mind of every person. You reap what you sow.

    To allow anyone to be directed by public opinion is dangerous because most public opinion is the view of the media. If the media does not like something, their bias taints information getting to the public, and this forms public opinion. Public opinion is never based on research and facts. The public uses the media for its sole source of information and for this reason social behavior will continue to deteriorate and wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

    The media does not provide accurate information on ‘Religion’ as it continues to ignore the truth and the history of deceptions (John 14:17). They only report how they want you to hear things. They have created the big chasm that now exists without offering any solutions.

    For a better understanding of the role of the media we invite you to read the articles ‘Influence of the Media’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Consider the truth about Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Evangelicals and Christianity and all other religions and ask yourself the following question.

    Are so-called Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Israelites and Evangelicals and all those that call themselves ‘Christians’ followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, or do they follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8)?

    For a better understanding of the history of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Christianity, and Judaism and its spread throughout the world, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’ and ‘Clash of Civilizations’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7)

    September 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Translation – " Please buy my book, no one visits my website so I come here to steal advertising. " There ya go, fixed that for ya.

      September 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      midwest rail

      But the natural man (like yourself) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:15).

      In order for anyone to be able to understand the Word of God they must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit you are of) unto God (Acts 26:18).

      But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).

      http://WWW.AWORLDDECEIVED.CA

      September 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      For those who must believe in a god, what if there is indeed a god and his true test, which hasn't been revealed in any faith/book was whether or not you exercised your free will to believe in any of the various faiths/books of hate and intolerance that man created? What if the true test was something like: "Here are many versions of false religions to believe in, all of which purport to be based in love yet are clearly awash in hate and violence. Will you blindly follow the men who've told you their religion/book is holy, or will you use your mind to determine that in reality none of them are good? And that real, virtuous good only comes from your personal decision to do so without threat of pain? Everyone who is deceived by a holy book will be punished for eternity simply by not being allowed into the afterlife extravaganza.".

      September 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • FactoidLover

      Went to your website. The one thing I noticed immediately was the similarity of your claims and of the Catholics, Islamists, Protestants, Reformists, and others have in common. You all claim special understanding of the same anecdotal writings of bronze and iron age writings. Is it possible that all parties are deceived by these sources?

      September 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Revelation?? Everyone knows that whoever wrote that mess was high as a kite. St. John the Opium Addict, evidently.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Observer

      AvdBerg,

      Repent from telling lies about people and skip the hypocrisy.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "AvdBerg", but all of your assertions regarding everything are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      AvdBerg is a troll on this blog, don't bother going to the website it's full of lies so they can sell their cult, click the report abuse link instead.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  16. Answer

    How can you Yahweh believers not believe in all the other gods?

    How can you justify and ignore the other gods?

    How can you refuse and reject the other gods?

    Are you afraid?

    Are you mad at them?

    Why don't you look up at the sky and see that Zeus gave you the universe? Why do you not believe in even the Spaghetti Monster that spun out his noodly appendage to give life to this universe?

    September 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Pete

      Those aren't gods. They were just a bunch of jealous angels who wanted people to worship them as gods.

      September 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Answer

      So Pete can absolutely distinguish between a real god and an angel.

      Oh please enlighten us all of where your profound eye for gods came from. Do tell.

      September 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      (PSSSTTTT: Pete: I think he's talkin' to you!)

      September 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • FSM

      So, Pete – you're saying that i exist, but that I am only an angel, and not god. Hmm – I'm a bit disappointed, but i am pleased that you believe in a magical pile of flying, angelic pasta, complete with angelic – albeit meaty – balls

      September 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  17. Kristal

    Mark really needs to put his Hebrew bible quote into perspective..........the chapter speaks of Jesus not all men...........Jesus shall die once and be judged and when he returns will be without sin (the resurrection or his life lived after his supposed death in India?) ............unlike the priests who will enter a church over and over again..............and the blood he shed shall eliminate all sin for all others.............at least that is how I read it but some just need to believe in hell and damnation so they may move through life in fear and shame.......pathetically sad actually.

    September 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Whaaaaat?!

      September 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  18. capnmike

    "Hell"is a human invention,and is cut from the same sleazy fabric of lies and fairy tales as religion in general. NONE of this supernatural crapola actually exists..."Hell" was invented to frighten the brainwashed into behaving in an approved (by their religious hucksters) manner, just as "heaven" is the carrot opposite the stick. Unfortunately too many people actually believe this incredible nonsense. The human race has a LONG way to go before it grows up and accepts the fact that religion in all its facets is an enormous LIE and should be dumped onto the trash heap of history where it belongs .

    September 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  19. Sarkazein

    Let's see... let's take a book that was written initially over 2,000 years ago, and then modified through roughly the 6th century, and then apply it to modern religion.

    Modern religion, Christianity in particular, has a bad history in the past 20 years of covering up their own inconsistencies. The church has lost billions of pledged dollars in lawsuits for hiding child molesters and other indiscretions. The Bible preaches (in so many words) that a simple life of giving and living within your means (like Mother Teresa) is the way to go, but the Vatican is more opulent than the most gaudy Las Vegas hotel. And, for some reason, though this is a forgiving, merciful God, anyone that doesn't believe or questions even a single word or punctuation mark is going to "hell".

    Please. It's very simple. Be a good person. Don't be an idiot. Don't overreact and point fingers. Take responsibility for your own actions. No "God" or "deity" in any religion is pleased with killing other humans. This is common sense stuff.

    Religion at this point is a crutch instead of a guide. The weak preach it and get the weaker to follow. The stronger learn what is meant and live the life described instead of criticizing those that don't.

    September 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  20. frank zermoanno

    heaven as well as hell is a fiction. learn some science!

    September 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
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About this blog

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