By Arielle Hawkins, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Targeting 'Les Miserables' to Christians pays off at the box office
In spite of tepid reviews from some film critics, "Les Miserables" is booming at the box office, and that financial success can in part be traced to a group of its biggest boosters: Christians, particularly evangelicals whom NBC Universal went after with a microtargeted marketing strategy. The story in "Les Miserables" is heavy with Christian themes of grace, mercy and redemption. The line everyone seems to remember is "to love another person is to see the face of God.”
CNN: 'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article
One of the most anticipated articles in religion circles will be absent from the pages of the January edition of the Harvard Theological Review. Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King's final article on the "Jesus wife" fragment did not make the scholarly journal because further testing on the Coptic papyrus fragment has not been finished.
St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Financial Times: Crisis of faith over Vatican cash machines
A stand-off between two titans of finance, the Bank of Italy and the Vatican, has forced tourists to abandon their visits to the Sistine Chapel – unless they have cash in their pockets. Italy's central bank has blocked all electronic payments through cash machines and by credit cards in Vatican City following the world's smallest state's failure to fully comply with international anti-money laundering rules.
Tweet of the Day:
"And fasting is good for you, if you only knew." Qur'an 2:185 (1400 years later) "Fasting my protect against disease" washingtonpost.com/national/healt…— Qasim Rashid (@MuslimIQ) January 04, 2013
"And fasting is good for you, if you only knew." Qur'an 2:185 (1400 years later) "Fasting my protect against disease" washingtonpost.com/national/healt…
Photos of the Day:
Indian Hindu Saddhus (holy men) participate in a religion procession as the first 'royal entry' for the Kumbh Mela at Sangam in Allahabad on January 3, 2013. The Kumbh Mela, which is scheduled to take place in the northern Indian city in January and February 2013, is the world's largest gathering of people for a religious purpose and millions of people gather for this auspicious occasion.
Indian Muslims prepare kheer, a traditional rice pudding dessert, for devotees observing 'Muhorram Ka Chalisa', which marks forty days after Moharram, on the banks of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad on January 3, 2013. Thousands of Muslims thronged the Sabarmati river bank near Khanpur Gate in Ahmedabad to mark the occasion.
A Bahraini Shiite Muslims girl watches the Arbaeen religious festival from a window in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, on January 3, 2013. Arbaeen marks the 40th day after Ashura, commemorating the seventh century killing of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein.
Religion News Service: Faith leaders want Americans to pray for collegiality
At a time when the ideals of compromise and collegiality seem like a distant dream in the nation’s capital, an unusually diverse coalition of religious leaders is asking Americans to pray for civility. “Through daily prayer, we are calling on the ‘better angels of our nature’ needed to sustain our nation and solve problems,” said the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, immediate past president of the National Council of Churches and one of the faith leaders taking part in “18 days of Prayer for the Nation.” Prayers begin Thursday (Jan. 3), the first day of the new Congress, and end on Jan. 21, the day of President Obama’s second inauguration.
Catholic News Agency: Catholic dorms to debut at two secular universities
The Newman Student Housing Fund is working to establish faith-based dormitories on two college campuses, housing students starting the fall semester of 2013. “We're just putting people together in a dorm who are faith-based, and want to keep their faith through college,” Matt Zerrusen, president of Newman Student Housing Fund, told CNA Jan. 2. “We're just putting them in an environment to succeed.” Florida Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University – Kingsville, both secular universities, will offer student housing coupled with campus ministry for Catholics next academic year.
Haaretz: Muslim Brotherhood deputy chief calls for the return of Jews to Egypt
Dr. Essam al-Erian, deputy chief of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, called on Thursday for Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Israel to return home. In an interview with Egyptian network Dream TV interview, al-Erian said: "Why did Gamal Abdel Nasser have to expel them from Egypt? They consequently participated in occupying Arab lands." He added that Egypt has no right to prevent the return of any Egyptian, and that the Jews could have their property back. This way, he said, "they will make room for the Palestinians, since the Palestinians' right of return is indisputable and no one can cancel it."
NYT: Children, Choosing Their Religion
The fastest-growing religious affiliation in the United States is no religion at all. That has meant an increase in parents raising their children outside of the community provided by a church or synagogue. In “Losing Our Religion,” Katherine Ozment (raised Protestant, but with a husband raised Jewish) traces her journey through explorations of secular humanism and Unitarian Universalists to an ultimate acceptance that while she and her husband may have been successfully raised in their respective religions, their children didn’t need to have the same experience. But it’s a rueful acceptance — and that rue is unnecessary. There’s nothing wrong with raising children outside of a religious tradition, and that upbringing doesn’t preclude them from being part of a community or later finding a community of their own.
The Christian Post: The Atheist 'Church' to Host Godless Sunday Gatherings in London
Two British comedians have announced their plan to start an atheist "church," known as The Sunday Assembly, to be offered for free once a month in London." We thought it would be a shame not to enjoy the good stuff about religion, like the sense of community, just because of a theological disagreement," said Sanderson Jones, a stand-up comedian who hatched the idea for the "church" with fellow comedienne Pippa Evans.
Join the conversation…
Tibetans at a protest in Taipei in 2011 display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation.
CNN: My Take: Blood on Chinese hands in Tibetan self-immolations
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, wrote an article for the Belief Blog last summer criticizing the Dalai Lama for not speaking out against the increase in Tibetan self-immolations protesting Chinese rule. His article was recently quoted by China Daily, an English-language newspaper and a mouthpiece of the Chinese government. Prothero now clarifies his position saying: “When I criticized the Dalai Lama for his silence on the self-immolations, I should have criticized the Chinese government even more forcefully, for carrying out a policy of cultural genocide in Tibet.”
Robert Brown, stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.
Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they?
The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate.
And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.
Say what? Pass me some of whatever you are smoking. It must be pretty good stuff.
Jill isn't smoking anything.
She just has a knack for imitating the blowhards that inhabit this blog and imagine themselves to be Plato.
Ok, I received some good responses to my ideas on creation for those who have objections to the God of Abraham. No agreement whatsoever, but some good responses anyway. If you’re interested, it is on down the page. Next in our objection series is the Garden of Eden.
If you could accept the first chapter of genesis is a parable or allegory, or not, then let’s proceed to the Garden of Eden. Regardless of how you believe humans developed, at some point, you get to what we today understand as humans, a very distinct, intelligent, self-conscious, thoughtful, species when compared to all related species. If you view the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve as a parable about an example pair of the first modern humans and their interaction with this creative force and their development of an understanding of right (righteousness, thought and behavior God approves of, thought and behavior that humans esteem) and wrong (sin, behavior God hates, or the human guilt complex if you like). In the parable we have this transition from being unaware or being just happy go lucky smart animals, to awareness, something, somehow, removed from the animal kingdom. So, regardless of how you feel that developed, it is presented in an instantaneous realization brought about by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. The fruit and the tree represent this awareness or knowledge. Was the sin taking and eating from the tree, developing the awareness or knowledge, that first lie they told God, or the desire to know more, which could be akin to pride? A side note here ladies, if you look at it from this context, women developed superior intelligence first, then gave it to, or taught men. If you go along those lines of thought you have to deal with the serpent. Could this serpent introduced into the story be the desire for knowledge? Why would it, this desire, be considered a bad thing by the creator, innocence lost? “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” As parents do we not endeavor to protect the innocence of our children, and as children don’t we desire to be a grown up? It could be that the serpent is the desire or pride, a separation or a want to go in a direction contrary to the will of the creator, innocence lost.
Next we will consider the flood.
Can't you make paragraphs out of your posts? I get lost trying to read your posts! :-)
Ok, sorry, it has been a long time since English class. Just assume every form of punctuation is the end of a paragraph.
I don't know which Gospel your read. I read the KJVB at blueletterbible.com.
Genesis ! deals with God while Genesis 2 deals mostly with LORD God. Genesis 1 states that God created men and women and told them to "replenish" the Earth. Could God in Genesis 1 be the father God and God's son being called LORD God in Genesis 2? Could LORD God be imitating his father God in that LORD God created a facsimile of what LORD God's father being God created in Genesis 1 but on a super small scale?
I know,,,, too hard to assimilate,,, :-( :-) :-(
Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they?
I prefer the King James Version, because that is what I have read for years. When online I use biblegateway.com. I switch to other versions sometimes, especially when I try to figure something out. Sometimes it helps, most times not. There are some bible commentaries available on the site. I like Matthew Henry’s.
Interesting observation, I have never noticed or considered that before. I don’t read Hebrew so I don’t know what the word difference was, but there must have been one. There are Bible Scholars who have learned Hebrew and read the Hebrew texts and they say the King James Version is a very good translation. There are some words that some of them clarify because there just wasn’t an English word that was a good fit.
The parable idea is more for the benefit of those that haven’t had a personal experience with God. It is ok with me to see the thing literally.
One thing of interest that I remember from reading some good bible commentary, the Hebrew word that means create from nothing only occurs three times in genesis. The rest of them are the equivalent of make in Hebrew. If memory serves it was verse 1 heaven and earth, the sea creatures and birds, and animals and man. The thinking is that verse 2 was actually a redo, something terrible happened that destroyed the original. Hence, no need to create plants, they just grew back from the seed and roots of the first go around etc.
There is a tv preacher, Joseph Prince, that does a lot stuff with the Hebrew. Also, J Vernon McGee, the speaker on the radio program, Thru the Bible, explains some Hebrew stuff.
Robert Brown, focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.
Jill, you might be a third ___ on the loving duo of LiaredlyBlather and Robert but you sure are funny. In a Bizarro sort of way.
Why don't you take some lessons from her, Chardalicious?
Are you feeling ok?
I am attempting to get those who can believe in the possibility of a God over their objections to the God of Abraham. This may not be the correct way to go about it, but who knows?
Robert doesn't get it.
Robert Brown, resort! There is no caveat to the Klein bottle, and there will be no gold watch for the unspoken zero.
Focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
I must not. What?
Jill is like a real intellectual version of Liardly. Maybe she's his older sister.
What's also funny is Liardly asking Robert to break up into paragraphs.
in an ironic sort of way.
You caught that cognitive dissonance as well.
It's not surprising LL can't follow a train of thought. He's been off the rails for years.
I can understand some of what LL writes. Jill is another story.
Oh, the irony.
Out of the three loonies, LL, RB, and her, Jill makes the most sense by far. At least she can write pretty well. Wait, no, Jill might be pretty sane, relatively speaking.
Jill is a hoot. She nails LL and the rest of the blow-hards perfectly.
Jeebus, the fundies are in full babble mode tonite!
They must have all gotten back from the same retreat or something.
I have watched Prince among many other TV evangelists. Mostly background noise. Sometimes though I am drawn to listen to the teachings. Have you ever gone to blueletterbible.com ? They have a good collection of different Gospels and easy to switch from one to the other(s).
@niknak: Either that, or one of them jumped a guard at the loony bin and they all escaped.
No, I haven’t tried that one. I might give it go though. The biblegateway also has the bible in a lot of different translations. Some of them like the contemporary English version are very easy to read, but I have noticed some problems with it and others. I try to stick with KJV as much as possible. The biblegateway also has a good search engine, you should check it out sometime.
If you ever catch one of Prince’s sermons where he is into the Hebrew check it out, I really enjoy those. Greg Laurie is another good tv preacher, he is like an x hippy and explains things in a real down to earth, easy to understand way.
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
Do you think some type of power, force, or deity is a possibility, or are you a confirmed atheist?
Neither. I see no evidence of a divine creator, a benevolent landlord, or any other such being. I don't assume there isn't one; I simply have seen nothing to indicate its existence. If you have evidence of one, do present it.
Addendum: To answer you more thoroughly, Robert: I see no evidence that the beliefs you and others here ennobles you in any way, shape, or form. I have no quarrel with those who believe and actually live their faith. I see no one here who appears to do any such thing.
I went to biblegateway.com and wasn't impressed. blueletterbible.com shows individual chapters and its search engine seems to be better than gateways. If you go to blueletterbible.com, I'm fairly sure you'll like it!
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
I have thought about the evidence question before, done some research, and posted the results.
I didn’t find any evidence that convinced anyone who wants it. What I did find were some scientist who explain the complexity of life and the universe just are not possible without a higher power.
I don’t have any evidence and if anyone did I am sure they would share.
I am sorry you don’t think that I am a good ambassador for Christ and I hope he provides you with what you need to believe.
I checked out the blueletterbible.com, it is cool, Thanks.
Good points above by "Tom Tom the Piper's Son". I agree.
Robert, your "need to believe" is at the core of your delusion and is causing you confirmation bias. Think harder about why you can present no acceptable evidence for your sky creature and maybe you'll get over your need, or at least see through it.
I believed long before I had these thoughts and ideas. I have faith and I am attempting to share it. Maybe, someday you will see your need for a savior and get over yourself.
Robert, I did not say you were a poor ambassador. I simply don't think this is a venue that will allow you to persuade anyone regarding god.
Acts convince where writing cannot.
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
I definitely agree that actions speak louder than words. The behavior of Christians you personally know have the most important effect on how you view God. Sometimes that is a good thing, sadly sometimes not.
Those Christians I admired most were the most poorly treated by your god, Robert. That's why I have so little respect for his cheerleaders.
The 3 Piers of Cosmologies
1. The atomized cosmologies of the inner realms
2. The celestial cosmologies of the outer realms
3. The cellular cosmologies of the living realms
The atomized cosmologies make up and are as the proponent properties for celestial and also the cellular cosmologies. Without there being the atomized cosmologies the other two cosmologies would never be. Likewise, without both the atomized and the celestial cosmologies there could not have been formed cellular cosmologies of living realms.
Our life arrangements as being solitary embodiments of multi-cellular cosmologies of the living realms are divided into many other varying solitary embodiments and each body is dependent upon its multi-cellular cosmologies remaining as part of a living realm via the consumptions of consuming other living realms of multi-cellular cosmologies.
We as beings of a multi-cellular cosmology of ardent living realms do live because we eat other living realms who themselves are also consumers of other multi-cellular cosmologies, The individualized bodies of multi-cellular cosmologies breaks down their body's consuming potentials to its base roots of varying atomized cosmological orders wherein the body's specialized cellular cosmologies compartmentally breaks up the consumptions of its body's consumable proponents of other fractionalized multi-cellular cosmologies into the body's needed fractionally atomized desirable necessities.
Every cellular cosmology of all living realms eventually gives up and does depredate into its atomized cosmological orders giving rise to another conundrum. Is it because all cellular cosmologies are made flawed that their eventual outcome is their atomic dispersals back into the inner realms of atomized cosmologies? Therefore, cellular cosmologies, in being flawed, have limited spans of life according to their life's atomized compositions.
LL is the belief blog idiot and only posts drivel ramblings because they are a pseudo intellect.
My 18 year old has just informed me that she's joining the Mormon's next week. Her Dad is livid and I'm a little weirded by it. I don't quite understand why a kid with an Atheist for a Mother and a Pagan for a father would choose a much more mythical path.
Just wait until she comes home and declares she is a vegitarian and goes down the destructive self image road to hell.
It will make moronism look like a walk in the park.
What's your beef with vegetarians? ;)
I eat a vegan diet, so going veggie is light to me.
But I have had known many young woman who end up with horrible eating disorders, and each one started out by going "veggie."
My sister is still dealing with image/eating problems and she is going on 35.
Ah, I see. I'm vegitarian myself, tried vegan, no prob with giving up meat, but I love me some cheese.
Some Mormons must have gotten to her in some way – like maybe she's attracted to one of them and thinks this will help her form a relationship. She's thinking with her va-g. There isn't much you can do about it if that's what's going on.
It is either peer pressure, lust / attraction to an individual, or whatever....but since you guys raised her without religion, I wouldn't worry about her becoming brainwashed too much unless she doesn't have a good sense of humor.
Humor is a very effective counter to brainwashing.
However, it could be she's just trying it on to see how it fits. Is she materialistic? Mormons are all about moneymoneymoney.
Is she attracted to a married Mormon man? Then she wants to be one of his wives.
Bottom line, if the brainwashing isn't extreme, she won't be a zombie but will likely leave the cult.
Or maybe she's just testing you guys or rebelling in some way. Considering how level-headed you and AtheistSteve are, I'm sure she'll be fine one way or the other. But my first guess is her being attracted to someone within the cult and just wants to get "closer" to them. (wink wink)
What's for dinner? I'm thinking mexican.
If you live in a fundie household, then it is fear for dinner.
Like it is every night.
Niknak, this made me giggle madly...thanks!
So I've been playing around with an idea. Suppose we have a universe that obeys physical laws. Now also suppose that there exists a being that can actually break physical laws at its whim. Maybe, as most fruits have a tendancy to fall on the heads of physicists, when oranges break from the tree limb, our sneaky creature makes them fly skyward. Despite all of our previous studies of gravity, our discovery of the flying orange confuses us, but we conclude there is something wrong with our theory of gravity. So the point of this ridiculous discussion:
If any physical law can be broken, how can we trust the results of any scientific expirement?
Maybe at CERN some devious little imp is playing with fundamental particles. Maybe some one did rearrange the fossil record to decieve us. There would seem no way to use science to prove a diety when the laws of science are not fixed.
For those who believe in the God described in the bible, being able to break physical laws is easily accepted. What that idea does to a scientist, I don’t know.
Afternoon Mr. Brown. This propossed conlict would really only make it contradictory to claim scientific law some how proves some aspect of a particular diety, being that what the scientist percieves as science is actually supernatural. But that poses no consequence for faith of course.
Yeah Robert Brownstreak, keep telling yourself your god can break phycal laws.
Then give us some proven examples where those laws were broken.
Your god only exists in your head.
God dwells in another dimension... heaven.
He created time, matter and physical laws for this dimension... that he created for man.
So we've been told... and told... and told.
lunchbreaker et al,
Could not Christ's body be the temple being but a building manifested by God and God and all God's kinds and these godly entourages took up residences seeded deeply within the building or temple body of Christ? 1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"
This is for those who believe a force, power, or deity is a possibility, but have rejected the God of Abraham for several reasons. If you are convinced there is no such thing, then don’t bother reading further.
Some say the stories in the bible are unbelievable and some are proven false by science. Specifically, the ones that really bother most folks are the creation and the flood. So, you can believe some force or deity can start the ball rolling, so to speak, but our understanding doesn’t line up with a literal 7 day creation? Ok, fair enough, what if the whole creation story is a parable or allegory? Some would say well that could be ok, except, the sun was created after plants in genesis. I have noticed that as well, but if you want to just find what you consider a problem then give up and quit, why bother questioning in the first place? A couple of things to consider on this subject; first, is the obvious one “let there be light” from there on, after each day in the story, it says,” and the evening and the morning were” and then whatever day it was, finally, when plants first emerged it is suggested that the earth’s atmosphere was cloudy and foggy until the plants grew long enough to clear some of the CO2. So, if you look at it from an earthly perspective, while light could be perceived during the day and lesser light at night the sun moon and stars weren’t clearly visible until the atmosphere cleared. You know God communicated with several people in the bible using dreams and visions. Suppose he gave Moses a vision or dream about creation to write down, it would be like a slide show, the first frame darkness, then light, water, land, plants, the sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals, people. If you were sitting on earth watching it unfold in super-fast forward it could have appeared just like that. The key to creation if you can accept a power, force, or deity had some hand in it, is Genesis 1:1” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” If you can then accept that what follows is a parable given to Moses by God, it would seem to me that it would be reasonable that it is a very simple story that a man who lived in ancient times could understand and accept. It follows at least to some degrees the steps of the development of life on earth, as we think they occurred. If you view chapter 1 in that context it could alleviate some of your objections to that part of the creation narrative.
If you believe some power or deity is possible, but not the God of Abraham, did this shift your concerns past the first chapter of the bible?
Next we will consider the Garden of Eden.
No, thanks you can't stop with your drivel now.
I said, don’t read it if you don’t see God as a possibility, but thanks for your heartfelt comment anyway.
The way I think about it is: If a truly omnipotent god existed, and he/she is not bound by laws of any nature, then what would it matter what order he/she created things. He/she could have created man before the heavens and the earth if it was his/her choice. If one is not bound by laws of any nature and is truly onmipotent, then order does not matter.
True, and if there is a God with even some limitations, but he had the power to start creation, he would still be more powerful and knowledgeable than anything we can comprehend.
Robert... For thousands of years hundreds of thousands of pretty smart people tried to bring the holy books that were written thousands of years ago in agreement with the facts about the world that were constantly discovered. In my opinion, trying to "explain" the world around us using a book written 2,000 years ago is a pretty worthless effort. Further, I disagree with the idea that this or another holy book tells us not only what happened in the past, before the book was written, but what will happen in the future because this idea reduces the living acting God to a machine running a program that was coded thousands of years ago in a book.
Jim... If the world was created then the laws of nature were created by the very same Creator as well for the simple reason the laws of nature are part of the world we live in. They are the rules defining how the objects in the world interact with each other.
Yes, there are those who spend and spent their lives in the area of apologetics. I have become somewhat interested in the subject recently. Just so you know, I personally take a fairly literal interpretation of the bible, not because I have tried to connect it with what we know today, but because of years of personal experiences with God. The post above is intended to help those who have not had those experiences. It could be the wrong approach to take, but the motivation is for the good of those who think along those lines, at least I hope so. If you have someone who can believe that there is a God, just not the God of Abraham, and you can get them to consider the God of Abraham as a possibility, and they have their own experience with the son of God, the holy spirit can bring them to know what they need to know. I believe God is alive, present, powerful, responsive, and the bible is his written word. Does the hoped for result justify alternative explanations of God’s word? Could some ever be reached if you insist that current scientific evidence and thought is all wrong?
Yes, true, but that doesn't mean the creator is bound by those laws he/she created.
All of what you said can be summed up with "Anything that doesn't fit with reality, just call it metaphor, BOOM problem solved yaaaayyyy".
I hope you are doing well. My memory is poor but I didn’t think you thought of God as a possibility?
Which one? Definitely not the one of the bible. Logically inconsistent gods are not a possibility.
The thoughts above were developed with those in mind who could entertain the idea of a God, but have a problem or problems with the God of Abraham. So do you fall in this camp or not. Your reply indicates you definitely have problems with the God of Abraham, but do you think the idea of a God is possible at all?
You consistently using the capital G (which is fairly unique, as far as I'm aware) shows you only think of your belief. I find the idea of a god/gods to be possible, although highly unlikely in light of evidence. I aslo think the god of the bible is impossible and cannot exist.
All religions originally were simple stories that satisfied people who lived in ancient times so they could "understand and accept" the capricious nature of life; explanations for rain, drought, thunder, lightning, earthquakes, etc. So they substitute a capricious god, but we have scientific explanations for all of that and more. Why would a god need to speak allegorically or metaphorically. "Acts of god" are indistinguishable from pure chance and there's a reason for that – they are pure chance.
When you replied to bill I think you meant me. Anyway, yes, I am partial to the God I know. No big surprise there. So, what are your objections to the God of Abraham, aside from creation, the garden of eden, and the flood? The reason I asked I have noticed those are some of biggest objections to God, even by those who think a higher power could be possible. I have put a little thought into it and typed up some ideas. I noticed you didn’t care for the one above, and the rest kind of run along those lines. Does the idea of those three as parables or allegory, not allay any of your objections?
Robert Brown et al,,,
I remember a time in my youth, mother was in the hospital. I was in my room trying to get to sleep. Dad came into the room and knelt by my bed. I could hear him sniffling. He was in tears. As he began to speak to me, I could smell beer on his breath. He in a stumbling way told me that he believes in a supreme being. I did not respond to him and played I was
sleeping. I was around 11 at the time.
To this day, I envision God as being an extremely intelligent being that might possibly be but a mortal just like we are. It stands to reason that a supreme being could not bare being an immortal for the simple fact that we have reasoned that nothing lasts forever. Only thru conceptualizing can anything continue on, therefore God can only be a mortal essence in the grand schemes of chasms in cosmological orders.
As for your idea regarding the literal seven days of creation goes, is it not written that one of our days is equal to a thousand years God's time? Could such a parable of time be under rated in that a billion perhaps two billion years God time is as being but a day our time?
Just some thoughts to ponder upon,,,
In Santa we trust,
What you said is true for rain, drought, thunder, lightning, earthquakes, etc. There are lots of gods from lots of cultures where those things and more were attributed to them. So, based on your handle and post you appear to have some problem with God of Abraham, what is it, or do you not believe that a God is possible?
I also believe God is an extremely intelligent being, but it is difficult for me to think he could be mortal and the creator. You can’t read much in the way of apologetics and not come upon the thousand years to a day thing, so yes it is taken into account in the ideas I put forward above. When it comes right down to it, I don’t know if he did it seven literal days or billions of years and it doesn’t really matter to me. I believe either way.
Robert, I do not believe in a personal god. I am open to the possibility of a god that put everything in place pre-Big Bang; I think it unlikely as it just moves the "who created the universe" question to "who created the god". If a god can just exist then so can a universe. The answer to "we don't know" is not "a god did it".
In Santa we trust,
Ok, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I can accept the big bang as how he did it, but I also think he had to do and continues to do things to keep things running the way he wanted and wants. I think I will move on to the garden of eden. You probably won’t find it interesting, but I welcome and appreciate your thoughts on it as well. Thanks.
Robert Brown et al,,
To me, anything taking on a physical semblance will someday die. For to me in the beginning was only God being the holy spirit which was and is always shall forever remain the nothingness which reaches outwards onto celestial infinity and inwards unto the finiteness of the atomized cosmologies. The physical essences of God and God's entourages dare I say only exists in the beginnings as being elemental beings of quasi-atomic prodigies.
To my way of thoughts, I see 3 orders of cosmologic relevancies as I have postulated many times. The atomized cosmologies, the celestial cosmologies and the cellular cosmologies are what I deem as being the most prevalent cosmologies. If one could physically be upon the atomized cosmologies dimension one would see space as being quite similar to our celestial cosmologies night skies. But, if one were to be physically upon the outward constraints of the whole celestial cosmology one would be standing upon a newly forming earth with a newly formed sun and stars.
I don't know if what I'm writing makes sense, yet to me it does,,,,, :-) :-( :-)
All of what you write, I admit, does not make sense to me. But, that is ok, the part I think I understand is that the holy spirit is what we call space. We don’t really know what space is, so maybe that is where you get the idea, since we can’t detect anything in it, that is where God is. Possible, I suppose. Let’s see, atomized cosmologies equals stuff so little we really don’t know what it is. Celestial cosmologies equals planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies, etc. Cellular cosmologies equals life forms like us for example. How’d I do?
You get a prize! Except you seem indecisive on Nothingness being the Holy Spirit, Even the states of all atomized essences have great voids and chasms if one would be physically upon the atomized plains and in the atomized realms one would see stars and moons and whatever else as we see in our celestial night skies. The voids and chasms of nothingness does bind and hold together all physical anomalies be it of great and even small in sizes. Gravity itself is the power of nothingness in all mannerisms of physical parodies being ever held in bondages within all extremities of cosmological orders be it atomized or celestial or even cellular.
Thanks, throwing gravity in there helps some. While we understand some things about it, there are still some unknowns, but it definitely does stuff, attracts, repels etc.
Notice the paragraph. Have you ever looked at microscopic photos of the inside of a cell? Some of it reminds me of photos of space. Ever considered the similarities of an atom and a solar system? Were you aware that the planets in our solar system have the most circular like orbits of all the ones we have looked at? Pretty neat stuff.
Yes I meant you. One of the objections to the god of abraham is pretty much most of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which I find highly immoral, divisive, philocidal, and really plain crazy with absolutely no discernable reason.
I was in 7th grade science class learning about 'atoms' and asked our science teacher if atoms could possibly be solar systems. All he did was give me a snide look.
Living embodied cellular cosmologies seems to me to be living abstracts of celestial cosmological orders in that a single cell equates to just one universe. Our cellular embodiments are to me, but a solitary miniature cosmos of atomized universes whereby one cell is a singular universe. Our celestial universe is in sameness just a singular universe amid innumerable universes all becoming a grand Cosmos of ginormous size!
Your problem with God is his law to the children of Israel, really? Do you understand the context of those two books? Do you know that those were conditional instructions for those specific people to inherit and keep the land?
Tell you what, pick out the worst one you can think of, or find, and I will see if I can help you with it.
I told a boss of mine something similar about 20 some years ago. He gave me a similar look, so I can relate.
My thought took it to infinity in both directions to the point where I said, what if our solar system and universe is just an atom and cell somewhere in the body of God.
My perspectives takes the grand scheme of our universe being but a single cell inside a ginormous sea life living within the waters of an even more ginormous planet/earth. Our atomized realms of cosmological orders is nearing a finiteness of spatial relevancy where time itself is spinning at such a velocity a zillion years goes by while but a single second may go by our time. For it is my view that cosmological relativities in time are based upon what cosmological order one finds ones self being upon. The smaller the cosmological order the faster time goes by and the larger the cosmological order the slower time winds away.
So then moral edicts from your god are not for everyone? So do you support gay rights, fornication, and all other kinds of things that the old testament has in it? Where are you getting your so-called moral edicts from if not the old testament? Saying the OT laws are only for the israelites is a complete cop-out, and doesn't even make sense.
Ok, now I see what you meant about God being mortal. I don’t agree, but I think I get part of it. A billion years in our perception, may only be a tick in his.
No, it is not a cop out, but I can’t demonstrate unless you can be specific. Speaking generally is easy. Yes, some of the instructions are for specific people, at a specific time, in a specific place, not only that, but some of them were conditional. In other words, I will let you stay in this land, if you do X. If you do Y, I will kick you out.
I do believe h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u/a.l and adulterous thoughts and acts are sin. The old testament makes a good sin mirror, it shows every human that they are a sinner in need of savior. Most importantly, it helps you realize you are sinner in need of savior. Even if you accept your pardon, you will still be a sinner, because guess what, you will still be a human. The only difference is that you will be a human who is reconciled to God.
So is that the deal, you think certain things are morally ok, that God says are sin?
Robert Brown et al,
So then you can imagine my spirited soulful impartations? I find your posts to be inspiring yet held in reserve. I'm nearing 58 and have been for the past few years posting here my ever malleable issues regarding three cosmologies that I find being of noteworthiness along with my perception that the Holy Spirit of Godliness is the completeness of Nothingness. The nothingness that bonds and binds up our embodied cellular cosmologies is of God's Holy Spirit as in being the rivers and creeks of nothingness itself flowing ever upon the atomized shores of inner spatial relatives of sub-cosmic orders.
When we die and depending upon what one does with our dead body is how our holy spirit is either released by cremation's pillars of fire or our bodies are transfixed and put inside the ground never giving the body the ability to release its portion of the holy spirit back to its Holy Spiritual Father being the celestial nothingness of outer spatial regions. I am going to be cremated and hope I am choosing right, :-) :-( :-)
Thinking and discussing these ideas and thoughts is interesting and entertaining, but some of the stuff you write concerns me. Are you saved, born again, converted, or ever how you term it, do you know Jesus, are you a forgiven child of God ready for eternity?
Congrats Robert, you cannot claim an overarching moral system in your bible by your own admission. Either way, the concept that a perfect god purposefully creates imperfect beings and will send them to eternal torture for being how he made them, oh but he loves us. Not to mention that we're supposed to have free will and that's not supposed to be messed with, yet in Exodus it specifically states that your god hardens the heart of pharaoh so he won't let the israelites leave. Then there's the concept of Lucifer being this incredibly evil being that wants to drag all of humanity into hell, yet he (debatedly and only according to certain denominations of christianity) only does 3 things in the bible that I can recall. The garden, challenging god on Lot, and tempting Jesus. Pretty ineffectual lord of lies if you ask me.
You ask the issue I have Robert, it's that the entire thing is stupid, unbelievable, and has all the hallmarks of a man made god by a bunch of wandering thugs sacking cities as they move through the area.
I am my brother's keeper. Ever since our parent's died and my brother inherited our parent's home, he and I have been living together. He hasn't worked in around 5 years. I have been a ward of our nation so to say. I had a nervous breakdown at the age of 33 and been on social security ever since my mother did the necessary paperwork and was approved for receiving social security benefits. It was about 8 or 9 years ago that I was finally put on medication that seems to have given my brain the abilities to stay somewhat sane and I have had no relapse.
Do I believe our Lord Christ Jesus has paid the price for all souls no matter their deeds done here in this physical realm? Yes, I believe. Do I believe once we are given an afterlife it will come with a price for one to be paid in order to receive it? Yes, I believe.
The price I am paying here is to be my brother's keeper until I am dead and I remain ever hopeful that I will not die until my brother is old enough to get Social security. I am nearing 58 and my brother is 48. Twenty more hopeful years to be lived and I will then die and meet my body-called building's makers!
1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"
You mentioned a lot of things there but I will try to see if I can help. First off, I don’t mean this as insult, but you will probably take it as one anyway, based on your complaints, I don’t think you have ever done more than read the bible like someone would a novel.
The first thing you mention that is specific is where God hardened pharaohs heart. The preview to that according to you is free will that is not supposed to be messed with. Would you care to quote a bible verse that says God won’t mess with free will? The reason I ask is that I can tell you several instances where he did, not including pharaoh. But getting back to the exodus, it does seem strange that God would punish the Egyptians the way he did. He could have sent one plaque, the pharaoh says I give, and off they go, no problem. Read a little about the Egyptian gods. Read some good bible commentary on the exodus, then read the account in the bible again. God not only wanted to take his people out of Egypt, he was judging the Egyptians for their idol worship. Each of the plagues is specifically directed at a specific Egyptian god. He not only wanted to judge the Egyptians for their idol worship and destroy their gods, he wanted to teach his people not to worship idols and that he was superior to them.
Go on a good bible website that has a search engine and type in devil, satan, and Lucifer. You will be amazed at how many more times he is mentioned than three.
There is a lot of fighting in the old testament, guess what, there is a lot of fighting in our time. The methods may have changed some from OT days till now, but people still kill people. The wars in that day pale in comparison to the one’s in just the last couple of hundred years.
I am very sorry to hear all the trouble you have had in this timed world, but I am glad to hear that you are feeling some better and that you have some meds to help you. Most of all I am glad that you believe Jesus paid the price for sin.
I think if you can accept that he paid it for you as well, you will find that it costs you nothing.
He says come to me and I will give you rest. Literally, I will rest you or I will be your rest. The work is done the price is paid all you have to do is accept it.
Surrender your will to his and trust him. Take his yoke upon you, it is easy and his burden light. If you believe then all you need to do is pray and trust him to do what he said he would.
No one can explain suffering or hardship, certainly not me, but with him as your helper and friend, you can make it, he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He promised to go all the way, to never leave you or forsake you.
Lionly (and Robert Brown),
"Our celestial universe is in sameness just a singular universe amid innumerable universes all becoming a grand Cosmos of ginormous size!"
I have had similar flights of fancy like that... but they include other possibilities such as our universe could be like a sneeze droplet or shedded skin cell or energy discharge from some kind of a super-ent'ity. This ent-ity need not even know that we exist... or is possibly not even alive anymore.
The stories from Hebrew men from the Middle East and their offshoot religions (and any other man-imagined god scenarios) hold no more fact than my fantasies (except I know that mine are fantasies). Maybe we'll know someday, but until then, don't take any wooden nickels!
A God said, "Let US create man in our image" after "our likenesses". Dumb dumbs be they high on the hogs or low down and shameless cannot even see in Genesis chapter one that there were more godly beings around then just a God! Whether they were sons and daughters or as Godly beings themselves should be our rallying points questionings. One God principalities may well have been but a moment in time that became an instantaneous growth in myriads of gods in lower orders being but 'elemental gods' within dispensations of relative relational cosmic orders.
I’ve always thought of “us” as father, son, and holy spirit. I suppose it could also include what is termed in the bible as the heavenly host, angels and such.
I dare not agree Robert. "Let US create man after OUR likeness and OUR image". For you to be right what would that make us if your claiming that US is anything but Godly beings of sameness?
That is a good question, what does God mean by image and likeness? I tend to think of it in the spiritual sense, also, intelligent, self-conscious, with a freewill.
Good up day to all! May the powers that be keep one's heart pumping and never skip-beats! You atheist dreamers, may your days be filled with whatever floats and tries not to be sunk. You religiously congenial types, may your life be filled with an advent of selflessness ever keeping afloat by whatever is found floating! Though the world seems full of wars, rumors of wars, poverty and of famine, there are those who float above Life's illnesses. May all the above ills' floaters be given and give in heartfelt ways and means while helping those who dare float yet are sinking fast, for drowning within socialized reservoirs is not a good way to go!
Just got back from a brisk walk from the new coffee house in my hood.
They roast their own beans and the coffee is wonderful.
Smells good just walking by the joint.
Gonna be another beautiful day without god(s).
Is there a Coffe God? Chock Full O Nuts always said they were Heavenly!
I also seem to remember a legendary figure called Juan Valdez back in the old days
(That is REALLY showing my age I guess!)
All hail the Coffee God!
Coffee??? Oh, no no no, dears. It must be freshly made espresso, and fresh cream. If, when you close your eyes to take your first sip, you don't envision a young, strong, Juan Valdez milking a cow, there's something wrong with you. lol.
Welcome Oh worshipers of the Goddess Caffeina and her consort Juan Valdez, God of Coffee, welcome one and all to their Temple. The Temple is under constant construction, it moves and breathes as a living thing should and this monument to the Generous givers of the Elixir of life is a labor of love and something you too fellow worshiper can enjoy.
Come forward Oh faithful worshiper through the Great Hall of the Holy Bean, Hear the monk's chant of javajavajavamochamochamochajavajavajava and let it sooth you. Take off your shoes and walk upon the new gift of the Goddess, the Coffee Carpet which as you step bathes you in the aroma of the Holy Elixir and lets you feel as if you are walking upon the gently warmed Holy Bean, it has been rolled out for you. Stop at one of the many alcoves of the past great ones of our way and give proper admiration and respect to they who dedicated their lives to the service of our Lady Goddess Caffeina and her consort Juan Valdez, God of Coffee. There is Mr. Coffee, Patron Saint of Makers of the Holy Elixir who is also called Saint Java and Saint Joe. Folgers, Patron Saint of Speed (instant that is) and Perculation. Cappucino, the patron saint of flavor. Espresso the much admired Patron of Concentration and the Jittery and the many, many others who are the most revered of our many patron saints such as Saint Mocha the Chocolatey who sacrificed mightily of herself to bring foam and flavor (and a sprinkling of cinnamon) to the Holy Elixir.
Make your way to the Altar of the Holy Bean and sacrifice the sacred offerings of Cream and Sugar or perhaps you crave flavored essences like French Vanilla or Hazelnut they are here for you or if you prefer the simple blackness and untouched aroma of the Elixir then sit and ponder the deep blackness of it and may you find enlightenment in the refelction of the Goddess in liquid.
May the Blessings of the Bean be upon you
And a godless good morning to you, niknak.
I remember Jaun Valdez!
He would wear that Poncho Villa outfit and hand pick his coffee and ride a donkey.
While his neighbors were growing coca, wearing Armani suits and riding in big SUVs with hot woman around.
Re: Atheist 'Church'
Badly written article.
Plans for organized atheist worship have been acknowledged by atheists in the past, who argue that a communal gathering of praise and worship is contrary to the central atheist belief that there is no higher power.
Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/atheist-church-to-host-godless-sunday-gatherings-in-london-87652/#zoLsGBU4C9WR5Cpu.99
Besides being mostly wrong, it doesn't make much sense. Who makes plans contrary to their own "central beliefs"?
Just an excuse to play naked Twister!
We Non-Believers are a competetive lot!
Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe !
"His answer is "M-theory," which, he says, posits 11 space-time dimensions, "vibrating strings, ... point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other objects that are more difficult to picture and occupy even more dimensions of space." He doesn't explain much of that in the excerpt, which is the introduction to the book."
And people feel my views are loony! Stephen my lad, you truly are a hawking of witticism!
LL, in order for people to find your views looney, they must first successfully interperet your words. I jest of course. HOw goes your day?
I woke up! That's a good sign at least! My day started with making coffee. Still drinking it.
How has your new year been going lunchbreaker?
Mine is going okay. My brother made a resolution to quit drinking alcohol! If he makes it till June, I promised him a deal that may help keep him sober at least till June! I know he can do it! I have faith in the powers that be, that such powers will hold my brother steadfast!
May 'your' ongoing year and years ongoing be of your earnest hope and hopes awash with wisdom keeping ever the lid of intellect open just a pinch!
William, do you ever have any warm, fuzzy, happy thoughts? Will you share them here?
Well actually I have some good news
My dog died, so I wont have to fertilize my garden next year
Should save me about six bucks!
Each year it becomes harder for the Protestant Agenda to gain any traction!!
I would just LOVE to hear one try and explain to a Hindu or Buddhist why their children need to learn about Jesus in school!
The next steps?
Encourage non-believers to admit nonbelief. Will have consequences, so they will need support!!
Position a Non-Abrahamic for the Supreme Court. Any "different" religion would be fine!
Identify and target Christian extremists for PAC money challenges. Keep them on the ropes
It is feasible the right can become a minority in the House, the Senate, the Executive branch and even the Supreme Court within this Presidential term.
Keep them paranoid about tax hikes, and target the rest of their agenda.
There may be hope for this country yet!
Less Guns and Less Gods, More Science and More Diversity!
For all those in the snow belt...stay warm & stay safe.
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.