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My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God

Editor’s note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

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What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.

He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article

The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.

Not exactly have a clean-cut image.

He had a rather shady reputation.

Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.

For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.

Jesus was sarcastic, too.

He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers “snakes” that were probably sons of “Satan.”

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That’s not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.

It’s the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.

Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?

Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus’ humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it’s simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.

The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.

Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.

Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.

Jesus didn’t come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn’t decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:

He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.

In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.

He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. Chad

    What investigation have you done into the claims of Christianity outside the bible to know they are true?

    January 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • David B

      what razorbutt fails to realize is all those people who go around killing are actually going to be with him in heaven since belief is all that matters to the gods.. have fun with that pal.
      sounds like hell to me.

      February 27, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  2. Buster

    @rbud
    @brown stain

    Biblical explanations are universal because God created the universe and continues to sustain its existence.
    The bottom line is that Jesus was outwardly and inwardly clean. Any appearance of Him being outwardly unclean
    was done for the purpose of object lessons (upbraiding hypocrisy amongst the Pharisees in cleaning the outside of the glass while leaving the inside dirty), and didn't necessarily represent his normal and usual condition. The fact the post author focuses on Jesus' outward level of cleanliness and not His important message, is an example of how many religious fanatics treated Him during his lifetime.

    January 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      HAVE ANY PROOF THAT IT EXISTED?

      STILL WAITING.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Wow! Thanks Buster! I've never met someone over 2,000 years old. So you were there, huh? You met Jesus. Cool! Because, otherwise, what you are spouting would only be your BELIEF. And yet you asset it as a FACT. Okay, so, now that you're over 2,000 years old, here's the question: how many times doe you have to get up at night to pee? Because, you, know , the older you get, the more you need to get up.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Buster", but "His", "Him" and "God" are elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Any appearance of Him being outwardly unclean was done for the purpose of object lessons (upbraiding hypocrisy amongst the Pharisees in cleaning the outside of the glass while leaving the inside dirty), and didn't necessarily represent his normal and usual condition."

      I believe Richard Nixon would be a fan, if Christ does it then it's not unclean...

      Dinner with prostltutes unclean? Not anymore...
      Hanging out with debt collectors a bad idea? Not anymore...

      January 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      buster, sadly, no member of mankind's pantheon ever existed. Would be neat if some of them did, though. Gee willickers!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Saraswati

      How can you judge an author's beliefs on this single piece of writing? If you had in front of you 100 essaysby this man on god's "important message" and this one, to explore a different angle, on the human-like life of Jesus would you still be criticizing him?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  3. Chad

    What investigation have you done into the claims of Chadism to know they are false?

    January 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  4. Chad

    What investigation have you done into the claims of Hinduism to know they are false?

    January 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  5. Chad

    What investigation have you done into the claims of Islam to know they are false?

    January 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  6. deltarazorback

    The CNN comment section. A cesspool of self proclaimed geniuses who know that Jesus was a fairytale and that organized religion should be banned from the world.

    January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • NickZadick

      I disagree ... not genius' ... more like... above 80 I.Q.

      we do it because we love you!! and want you back in reality land!!

      January 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • deltarazorback

        You mean this "land" where 20 somethings walk into schools and theaters and mow people down with AR-15 machine guns? This "land" where many people don't know where their next meal is coming from? "This "land" where drugs are rampant and parents abuse their children?

        I'm glad this life is only temporary. As a Christian, I am ready to spend eternity with Christ. And for the unbeliever, I shudder to think what an eternity in hell will be like.

        January 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Delta, if you're ready to spend eternity with your saviour, and you believe it, what's holding you back? Why are you still kicking around here? Now, I certainly don't advocate you doing something stupid, because once you're dead, well – that's all she wrote. But why are you still here?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • deltarazorback

        I'm here until Christ decides my time on this earth is done. I had a near death experience last summer and I certainly understand that each new day is a gift. I am not promised the next minute. Truthfully, none of us are. I try, and fail, at serving Christ. I try to imitate Him in all that I do. Some might point out that my first post on this thread was rude. I don't see it that way. Jesus wasn't afraid to put the Pharisee's in their place, and I don't mind calling out those who seem to be hell-bent on destroying and tearing down those who want to have faith in Jesus Christ. I am not going to make fun or belittle another persons religion. We live in the United States, and part of what makes this nation great is that we all have the freedom to choose what type of religion we want to follow. Do I believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way? Yes. Will I bash someone else because of their Muslim or Buddhist faith? Never.

        January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ delta – very good of you to say that you won't criticize another person's faith. What about militant Islamist suicide bombers? Killing themselves – and others – in the name of their god – shouldn't one speak out against that?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • deltarazorback

        I would say yes. Killing an innocent person in the name of religion is wrong.

        January 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • End Religion

      "I would say yes. Killing an innocent person in the name of religion is wrong. "

      oh dear... so what would you say about christianity's putting to death of millions of non-believers and folks from other religions "in the name of religion?"

      January 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Eric G

      "I would say yes. Killing an innocent person in the name of religion is wrong."

      (insert crucifiction joke here)

      January 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'A cesspool of self proclaimed geniuses who know that Jesus was a fairytale and that organized religion should be banned from the world.'

      well i wont call myself a genius but you got the rest right about jesus and religion

      January 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  7. Robert Brown

    Contemporary historical non-biblical evidence of Jesus

    LETTER TO TIBERIUS CAESAR FROM PONTIUS PILATE

    (The original of this letter is in the library of Rome. An authenticated copy is in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.)

    A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day, I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multi.tude. I was told that his name was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected, so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden coloured hair and His beard gave to His appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His hearers with their black beards and tawny complexions. Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he read in the words of all the philosophers, anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble, and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews – not the poor but the rich and powerful.

    Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having a morning walk and as I faced Him my feet seemed fastened with an iron band to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb, as a guilty culprit, though He was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling nor in His character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I told Him that there was a magnetic simplicity about Him and His personality that elevated Him far above the philosophers and teachers of His day. All in all He made a deep impression upon me and everyone because of His kindness, simplicity, humility and love.

    Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken tirne to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health, calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any criminal offence and as others have said, we must agree truly this is the Son of God!

    Your most obedient servant,

    PONTIUS PILATE

    January 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • ME II

      "...we must agree truly this is the Son of God!"
      And yet Pilate had him killed, or rather tortured then killed. Odd that.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • frank

      Hey, if anyone's interested, I know where you can get some very authentic-looking diplomas for cheap. They can be for any school and any discipline or area or specialization – no problems.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Forgery. Like the Christian interpolations in Josephus. How gullible can one be?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Which Old Testament prophecy was that? I'm a little rusty on Old Testament prophecies, but it is obvious that this one is a totally accurate prediction of the coming of Jesus. Hallelujah!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      we are supposed to believe this letter was geniune? too funny.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bet

      It's a shame that we don't know how to confirm when this was actually written. If we could somehow show it was written at the time of Christ, that would prove once and for all that he really lived.

      Oh, wait...

      January 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      @Bet ... If we could somehow show it was written at the time of Christ, that would prove once and for all that he really lived.

      It could just as easily prove that it was forged during his supposed time.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:48 am |
  8. deltarazorback

    The CNN comment box. A cesspool of self-proclaimed geniuses who know that Jesus was made up and that organized religion should be banned from the world.

    January 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      My invisible pink unicorn is praying that you get a clue.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • The Truth

      The CNN comment box. A swimingpool of self-reclaimed ordinary people who know that Jesus was made up and that organized religion should be banned from ruling the world.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  9. NickZadick

    @ Iron ... your sky fairy has you in irons!

    January 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    This is one of the funniest articles I've ever read on this so-called "belief" site. Pointing out all of the flaws in the myth, but yet still believing the myth. Christards are awesome.

    January 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Save the world and slap some sense into a Christard today!

      Agreed.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Chad

      What investigation have you done into the claims of Christianity to know they are false?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Chadbait

      Ooo, I'd like to tussle with Chad, but it would be against the law.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I read your stupid book. That was more than enough.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Chad

      What in the bible lead you to that conclusion?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Don't Bother

      Don't bother telling @Chad what kind of investigation you have conducted. He will still say that *no-one* has *ever* told him what they read, studied, discussed and pondered over their many years' journey out of Christianity or theism. He routinely denies having read the posts of several former preachers, ministers and bible-babblers who have come to not believe it anymore.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • sam

      Come on, please don't encourage Chad. I'll cry.

      Better yet, he and geordiesue can square off and live happily ever after.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      humor, facts, reality – all good

      name-calling, personal insults – not so much

      January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin- exactly what flaws are you talking about? The image of Jesus from religious artwork that came after the Bible was put together?
      I think most believers and those that don't believe in the spiritual, realize that Jesus was not glowing white with power wherever he went and such. He was human.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • deltarazorback

      My question to you is, why are you on the CNN Belief Blog? If you don't believe in Jesus Christ, or any other type of faith. Why be here?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bet

      I usually don't bother with Chad, because it's no fun. He just asks the same question twenty times a day and no matter what you say, his response is "Nope."

      I think that you could even respond "I completely agree with everything you have ever said." and Chad would find a way to dismiss it out of hand.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @deltarazorback,
      This is a common question.
      While some believers think "Belief Blog" is targeted solely at believers, it is actually about belief not necessarily for believers only.
      Additionally, when beliefs get enacted into law it affects all our lives and is therefore a subject open to all.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Chad – our repartee is over, you are a waste of my time ... kind of like this blog

      @deltarazorback – "Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."

      January 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bet

      @ deltarazorback

      It's a belief blog, not a religious blog. Everyone has beliefs. I believe my husband loves me. I also have over three decades of evidence to support my belief. No god required.

      Also, it's a public blog. Anyone can come here. You don't get any say in it. Boo hoo.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What flaws did he point out? I believe there are a lot of flaws, but I didn't see the ones I am concerned about mentioned here?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      chad: what research have you done into other religions to determine they are false? also, what KIND of research is done into matters of faith? how do you test to determine which is the objectively correct faith?

      January 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  11. John P. Tarver

    Darwin originally attempted to publish his racist doctrine as science in 1853, but was rejected. Then in 1859 Darwin published his racist doctrine, by appending a scientific ant study to his text. Over the next century tens of millions of humans would die as a result of Darwin's dogma.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • sam

      Yuk yuk!

      January 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam

      Come on, John, did Darwin dishonor your great grandmother or something? You have a very personal hard on for the guy.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @John P. Tarver,
      What rubbish!
      Please cite your sources.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You're conflating evoluion with eugenics.
      That's like saying that neurology is invalid beause phrenology is bunk.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Sam- Darwin is the hero of the dead and in hell.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • ME II

      I wonder if Tarver has been name-jacked?
      Or perhaps he has just been a very good Poe, previously.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What are you referring to? Are you saying that The Origin of Species is racist? Please explain. I think you'll find that his family were active in the ant-slavery movement.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Thoth

      Relevance? The modern theory is quite different. Also, how many people died as a result of Constantine converting Rome to Christianity? How much human data was lost when they burned Alexandria? Hyperfocusing on Darwin's theories limited to 19th century understanding would be as crazy as still believing theories about gods generated by people trying to explain things based on their understanding of the world thousands of years ago.....oh wait.....now I get it.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Darwin's "science" was about taking away the humanity of another. Although Lincoln never freed a single slave, he did insist that taking away the humanity of another human being is wrong; as a result 250,000 uniformed Americans died.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Oh I see John. Your point is that Darwin caused the civil war.

      By the way, what school did you go to? I'm going to make sure not to send my kids there.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • sam

      Maybe it was your great-grandmother AND great-grandfather he debauched.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @John P. Tarver,
      Now you're tying Darwin to slavery?
      What a joke.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Sam ' yuk yuk' sums up your lack of intelligent replies perfectly, an announcement to every one not to bother responding.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      JPTarder is at war. He's cranking out the radical propaganda.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • sam

      geordiesue, did I annoy you? Why don't you cowgirl up and go answer Matt's question below, blowhard?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • wow

      But geordie-sue you responded...maybe that was the only part you could read best?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Origin of Life

      @johnp
      Origin of Life
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143530.htm

      January 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      You really just love making stuff up, don't you, John P. Like Jesus being a Roman citizen and some of your other gems. Sorry you're offended by Darwin's eliminating the need for your Big Sky Daddy and dethroning YOU as the pinnacle of his creation. Tough. Get over it.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  12. MKinSoCal

    Actually, the author makes Jesus sound more like the Roman and Greeks gods than anyone else. They, too, exhibited humanity's flaws and frailties and also dwelled among people.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jesus

      That's because I was borrowed from previous myths.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Dionysus

      Man the stories I could tell you, but I need another drink.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Helenizing Jesus is what the Gnostics are all about cal.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • For a good time, call Mary Magdelen

      Hey Dio,

      If you wanna know which god got the "special endowments", buy me a drink and I'll spill the deets.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "That's because I was borrowed from previous myths."

      Funny how there are never any hard facts that support that. Just opinions and claiming similarities where there are none.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      UNCOUTH, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. THERE ARE PLENTY OF ITEMS IN THE MYTH THAT ARE KNOWN FACTUALLY TO BE BORROWED FROM OTHER MYTHS. THIS IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @THE BROWN NOTE- provide your citation. And please, not those websites with an agenda. Try to make them neutral sites.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Bet

      How about the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 10, 402-404?

      That's the section on Mithraism. It explains how Mithraists believed in a heaven and hell, Mithra had shepherds at his birth, and that the sun becomes Mithra's father but Mithra is "one god". It speaks of floods and deluges, Mithra saves mankind, and returns to heaven once things are going well back on earth again. He has a "last supper" with friends, resides in heaven and intercedes for his followers. Mithraists believed in an immortal soul, and that sinners are dragged to hell. When the world ends, Mithra will come back to earth and give out a "drink of immortality". The writers then go on to dismiss any similarity between Mithra and Christianity, as you would expect. But the "coincidences" are striking, no?

      Now, I'll admit that the Catholic Encyclopedia may have been written with an agenda, but since the agenda clearly favors your beliefs, I've included it anyway.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Bet-" But the "coincidences" are striking, no?"

      Mithraism shouldn't have been borrowing from Christianity.

      In the Catholic Encyclopedia:
      Mithra had no martyers.
      Mithraism excluded women....christianity did not.
      Mithra was not born of a virgin....but born of a rock.
      Nothing in the CE about sheperds at his birth that I found.
      Mithra was an abstraction of diffused daylight.
      Basically the CE does not agree in any way that Christianity borrowed from Mithra. Mostly because so little info is actually known about Mithra and the religion. That and no one in the academic world that has done in depth study into Mithraism and Christianity agrees that one borrowed from another.

      So..I have to still diagree...there is still no evidence that Christianity borrowed from Mithraism.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Uncouth

      It would have been pretty stupid to make it obvious, wouldn't it? Even uneducated, superstitious people might notice something that blatant. They made it into the model they wanted, and changed the details to fit.

      Both believe in an immortal soul. Both believe in heaven and hell, and the concept of sin. Both have a savior, who lived on earth among humans. Both have a father and a son, yet the father and son are one god, and a "holy ghost" in the case of christianity. In both, the savior rescues mankind and ascends into heaven, where he resides and acts as a mediator for humans. Both will return to earth at the end of the world as conquering heroes, and bestow eternal life on those who are worthy.

      That the Catholic Church doesn't recognize this isn't surprising either. Why would they? It wouldn't serve their purposes to do so. The RCC has always pushed knowledge aside in favor of dogma, as do most religions. Galileo waited 350 years for the Vatican to admit that they could have handled the whole heliocentrism thing better.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Bet- "They made it into the model they wanted, and changed the details to fit."

      That is an opinion and not fact.

      "Both believe in an immortal soul."

      So doesn't the Hindu but you wouldn't say that Hinduism borrowed from either of them would you?

      "Both believe in heaven and hell, and the concept of sin."

      Many faiths believed in these concepts as well but that doesn't mean they borrowed from Mithraism.

      "Both have a savior, who lived on earth among humans."

      I believe it makes much more sense to say that Christianity took their concept of a savior from Judaism.

      "Both have a father and a son, yet the father and son are one god, and a "holy ghost" in the case of christianity."

      No, Mithra was not considered the same as the Sun God of the Persians.

      "In both, the savior rescues mankind and ascends into heaven, where he resides and acts as a mediator for humans."

      A spiritual being saving mankind is not unique to either of those faiths. Similarity does not equal causality.

      "Both will return to earth at the end of the world as conquering heroes, and bestow eternal life on those who are worthy."

      Mithraism does not do this.

      "That the Catholic Church doesn't recognize this isn't surprising either. Why would they? It wouldn't serve their purposes to do so. The RCC has always pushed knowledge aside in favor of dogma, as do most religions. Galileo waited 350 years for the Vatican to admit that they could have handled the whole heliocentrism thing better"

      Straw men aside, the only source you gave was the CE and it disagrees that Christianity took anything from Mithraism. If you don't like what the source said, you should find a better source to cite.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Uncouth

      I don't expect you to change your mind based on what I posted. I wouldn't. When it comes to what you believe and why, you shouldn't trust anyone or anything to be your sole source of information.

      So doesn't the Hindu but you wouldn't say that Hinduism borrowed from either of them would you?

      The Vedas were written well before 2000 BCE. No original manuscripts have been found, but temples and evidence of ritual practices have. So no, I wouldn't say Hinduism copied the idea of an immortal soul from Mithraism or Christianity, I'd say it was the other way around. Hinduism is older than either of them.

      Many faiths believed in these concepts as well but that doesn't mean they borrowed from Mithraism.

      I never said they did. I was simply pointing out that the idea of sin, heaven and hell is not original to Christianity.

      No, Mithra was not considered the same as the Sun God of the Persians.

      In many inscriptions Mithras is invoked as deus Sol invictus, the invicible Sun-god. Together with Cautes and Cautopates he represents the sun at the three main divisions of the day, morning, afternoon and evening. An inscription by a "T. Flavius Hyginus" dating to around 80 to 100 AD/CE in Rome dedicates an altar to "Sol Invictus Mithras", for example.

      A spiritual being saving mankind is not unique to either of those faiths. Similarity does not equal causality.

      Salvation is a common theme in many faiths. Christianity is not the only faith to have a deity who must be appeased, and there is often an "innocent victim" used as a sacrifice to achieve this. Virgin sacrifice was popular, as were animal sacrifices. Jesus, of course, is referred to as the Lamb of God, a sacrifice to satisfy god's anger at man's "sin".

      Mithraism does not do this. (referring to a triumphant return to earth and bestowing of immortality)

      This is what the CE says: "At the end of the world Mithra will descend to earth on another bull, which he will sacrifice, and mixing its fat with sacred wine he will make all drink the beverage of immortality. He will thus have proved himself Nabarses, i.e. "never conquered"." That sounds like a triumphant return to me.

      Straw men aside, the only source you gave was the CE and it disagrees that Christianity took anything from Mithraism. If you don't like what the source said, you should find a better source to cite.

      You asked for a reference that wasn't from a "website with an agenda", so I provided this one. It's certainly not the only site where you can see the striking similarities between Christianity and Mithraism, or Christianity and other faiths, and it's definitely not the best. It just seemed to fit your criteria.

      I also never said that Christianity only borrowed from Mithraism. It borrowed from many others. Many others borrowed from Christianity as well. Religions plagiarize from each other all the time.

      Like I said, I wouldn't trust just one source either. But there are plenty of sites to research this if you really want to. You have to read carefully, check the source material, and wade through a lot of nonsense. It takes a lot of time and it's hard work. That's why most people don't bother, and accept what they are told as a child or in church without ever questioning it. Doing serious, unbiased research can also uncover truths that perhaps some people would rather not face. They might prefer to stay complacent and not have to rethink long-standing beliefs, even when their beliefs are not the truth.

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/index.html

      January 8, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Bet- "When it comes to what you believe and why, you shouldn't trust anyone or anything to be your sole source of information."

      Well, it's not so much about belief that reli able facts on this topic. If one would say that it appears that there are similarities between Christianity and Mithraism...with that I would agree. But when one says that Christianity took from Mithraism, there simply aren't any facts to support that claim.

      "The Vedas were written well before 2000 BCE. No original manuscripts have been found, but temples and evidence of ritual practices have. So no, I wouldn't say Hinduism copied the idea of an immortal soul from Mithraism or Christianity, I'd say it was the other way around. Hinduism is older than either of them."

      So simply being older means that Mithraism and Christianity took from Hinduism? That is a flawed argument. Older has nothing to do with causality. Shockingly, it is more likely that a bunch of early Christians who were raised Jewish, lived in a Jewish nation and has a heritage based on the religion founded by their ancestors might have took aspects of that faith to incorporate a new aspect of Judaism we call Christianity. The idea that Christianity took from a pagan religion more than from their own nation faith of Judaism is an odd thought.

      "I was simply pointing out that the idea of sin, heaven and hell is not original to Christianity."

      That I agree with. Judaism and Zoroastrism had those conce pts before Christianity.

      "In many inscriptions Mithras is invoked as deus Sol invictus, the invicible Sun-god."

      As your date said, it came in the late period of Mithra worship. In the original (from Persia) he was not the sun-god.

      "Together with Caute s and Cautopates he represents the sun at the three main divisions of the day, morning, afternoon and evening."

      See, he represents a time period of the sun more than the sun itself. This is different than Christianity, where most deno minations look at the Trinity as God equally and not simply a three aspects of a god.

      "Salvation is a common theme in many faiths. Christianity is not the only faith to have a deity who must be appeased, and there is often an "innocent victim" used as a sacrifice to achieve this. Virgin sacrifice was popular, as were animal sacrifices. Jesus, of course, is referred to as the Lamb of God, a sacrifice to satisfy god's anger at man's "sin"."

      Agreed but that of course does not mean that Christianity took that concept from any other faith though.

      "This is what the CE says: "At the end of the world Mithra will descend to earth on another bull, which he will sacrifice, and mixing its fat with sacred wine he will make all drink the beverage of immortality. He will thus have proved himself Nabar ses, i.e. "never conquered"." That sounds like a triumphant return to me."

      Curious if this is from the later Roman worship of Mithra or from the Persian worship.

      "You asked for a reference that wasn't from a "website with an agenda", so I provided this one."

      Well, I was aiming toward a more e d u site I suppose. I was trying to steer clear of the atheist fav sites that usually all slanted toward proving that Christianity took from Mithraism...even when the evidence isn't there.

      It's certainly not the only site where you can see the striking similarities between Christianity and Mithraism, or Christianity and other faiths, and it's definitely not the best."

      Of course, as said...a similarity does not mean causality.

      "I also never said that Christianity only borrowed from Mithraism. It borrowed from many others. Many others borrowed from Christianity as well. Religions plagiarize from each other all the time."

      Perhaps it does but saying it is a factual thing that Religion B took from Religion A requires true evidence. Most likely, Christianity took primarily from Judaism first and foremost. That is there is actual evidence that they did.

      "You have to read carefully, check the source material, and wade through a lot of nonsense. It takes a lot of time and its hard work."

      I agree completely, that's why I check out numerous sites and various sources on this and other topics.

      January 8, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Bet

      @ Uncouth

      @Bet- "When it comes to what you believe and why, you shouldn't trust anyone or anything to be your sole source of information."

      Well, it's not so much about belief that reli able facts on this topic. If one would say that it appears that there are similarities between Christianity and Mithraism...with that I would agree. But when one says that Christianity took from Mithraism, there simply aren't any facts to support that claim.

      Not sure what you mean by this. I simply said that everyone should think for themselves and not believe everything they hear, no matter who says it. This applies to everything in life, not just matters of faith.

      So simply being older means that Mithraism and Christianity took from Hinduism? That is a flawed argument. Older has nothing to do with causality. Shockingly, it is more likely that a bunch of early Christians who were raised Jewish, lived in a Jewish nation and has a heritage based on the religion founded by their ancestors might have took aspects of that faith to incorporate a new aspect of Judaism we call Christianity. The idea that Christianity took from a pagan religion more than from their own nation faith of Judaism is an odd thought.

      I never said that the older myth wins. Merely pointed out that Hinduism and Mithraism are older than Christianity and they all share commonalities. Feel free to add Judaism, I won't disagree. Let's put in Buddhism, Taoism and Wicca too. Put in any religion you want.

      See, he represents a time period of the sun more than the sun itself. This is different than Christianity, where most deno minations look at the Trinity as God equally and not simply a three aspects of a god.

      Dualities and trinities are common themes in many faiths. They are simply explanations of the different, and often contradictory "personalities" of their god, i.e. the angry father figure + the perfect, innocent sacrificial offering to appease + the bestower of "blessings" and "opened understanding".

      Curious if this is from the later Roman worship of Mithra or from the Persian worship.

      I'm sure you can find that out on your own. I just put that in because you stated that "Mithraism does not do this.". Clearly, it does.

      Well, I was aiming toward a more e d u site I suppose. I was trying to steer clear of the atheist fav sites that usually all slanted toward proving that Christianity took from Mithraism...even when the evidence isn't there.

      Yes, I got that. That's why I chose a religious site.

      Of course, as said...a similarity does not mean causality.

      Never said it did.

      Perhaps it does but saying it is a factual thing that Religion B took from Religion A requires true evidence. Most likely, Christianity took primarily from Judaism first and foremost. That is there is actual evidence that they did.

      Christianity certainly took from Judaism because their savior is a Jewish man, but contains many elements from other faiths popular at the time, and long gone belief systems. A single point means little, but when you look at the whole, looking not only at Judaism, Mithraism, Hinduism, and all the other religions, Christianity isn't original or unique.

      It's been good discussing this with you. I probably won't return to this post because I've got a lot to do this week, but I've enjoyed our exchange.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  13. Iron Sharpener

    yet...your still posting...Bet? End Religion Sam, hawaiiguest......even with bad punctuation, grammar, ect. It's awesome.!!

    January 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      Religious Delusion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_delusion

      January 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • I wonder

      Iron,

      Maybe some of us are making it a leisurely Monday. You are just too easy to refute and rebut.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Dippy

      Iron, it's you're, not your
      Etc, not ect.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • mama k

      I think Iron's pencil lead went dull in grade school.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bet

      It's called laughing at you, not laughing with you. I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet, so I'm still going for the low hanging fruit.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ iron. Grammar: The difference between knowing your schit and knowing you're schit.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • UR

      Which God?,

      Excellent! :)

      January 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  14. Iron Sharpener

    He raised lazerous, he cured leppers, he healed the infirmed, he parted the red sea, he led Moses, he died for us...and rose again.!! He did all that for Us, not for religion....humanity.! Be blessed.....

    January 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Thoth

      Were you there for these miraculous occurences?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam

      Yes, and he's coming for you! Maybe you should camp in the yard and wait, like Linus did for the Great Pumpkin. Do you have a very sincere yard?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bet

      He didn't raise Lazarus, he didn't cure lepers, he didn't part the Red Sea, he didn't lead Moses, if he existed, he did die for me, and he sure didn't come back from the dead.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bet

      Dang it. That should have read "he didn't die for me".

      January 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      but he couldn't cure his own diarrhea?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Iron: How old are you? You were asked earlier to back up your claims...is that too difficult of a task?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • sam

      Coming back from the dead and leprosy are easy. Curing the runs, though? That was way above his pay grade.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • I AM

      Yea !!! and look what happened to Lazarus. (the correct spelling).

      January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      That would be fantastic Iron Sharpener, if any of those assertions were true. But since I don't believe a single one of them, I'm miserably unimpressed with your cheery proclamation.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Iron Sharpener

    End Religion... I agree with your name. As for serving well..different story.

    January 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      You realize there's no god, right? You realize the bible and jesus, all of it, is a fraud, right?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Bet

      @ End Religion

      He doesn't even know how to use the reply function. What chance is there that he will use critical thinking to make decisions?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Iron Sharpener

      end religion.....no... I do not. I believe and maybe one day your eyes & heart will open? Lord, right where he or she is right now...bless them.!! I pray this in your name...Amen.!

      January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      I hope my heart doesn't open any time soon. Its purpose is generally soured when it has random gaping holes that aren't attached to arteries and such.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  16. Iron Sharpener

    you have a problem hawaiiguest...get over it.!! or keep trying to explain away Jesus...right up until you need him...?? your choice, your not going to like the outcome.....do not take my word for it.! I just know what I'm going to continue to do....and keep praying, ...for you and UR MR II, and so on...you keep trying to pounce on my vocabulary or sentence structure...lol..ok.., that's it,.....that's your stance...your rebuttle...your kidding right

    January 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Iron Sharpener' contains a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://fallacyfiles.org

      January 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Thoth

      What an excellent example of fear-mongering.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • sam

      What's a rebuttle? Is that like that surgery skinny chicks get to obtain booty?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • mama k

      My goodness you sound frantic. You know old fred's little hunchback helper. You sound like his helper's helper. It's like Helper Helper – there's just no meat.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Automatic Translation

      "LOL UR GOIN 2 HELL"

      January 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      @sam: to be fair, I'm getting on in years and a considering rebuttle surgery to get back that youthful ass of mine.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bet

      If your posts made sense, your spelling and grammar issues wouldn't matter. The combination of logic errors, fallacies, AND poor language skills points to educational laziness though. If you are too lazy to use a period or comma properly (or at all), and to distinguish between "your" and "you're", AND you post unproven myths as facts, over and over, why should any intelligent person believe you?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • sam

      @End Religion – true; age can flatten some things.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Matt

    Born in some Western country = Christian
    Born in middle eastern Country = Muslim
    Born in India = Hindu
    Born in Tibet = Buddhist
    Born in Greece 3000 yrs ago = Greco Gods
    Born in Scandaniva 1000 years = Odin, Thor
    Born in Papua New Guinea = some druid crazy snake thing...
    Born anywhere where thousands of gods and divine miracles have been done thoughout the world...

    At the end of the day we know not all religions can be correct, BUT ALL OF THEM CAN BE WRONG!

    Would you be a Christian and believe in the divinity of Christ if you grew up in say...Nepal?? If you are answering honestly...the answer is No...

    January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Perhaps this will give you food for thought Our church records indicate there are nearly 2 million Christians and about 4,000 churches in Nepal now. But most of them don’t have a final resting place, as Christianity is still not recognized in Nepal. It is as if we don’t exist.”
      Operation World’s estimate of the number of Christians in Nepal is lower than the church’s – 850,801 – but the latest edition estimates a higher number of congregations, 9,780, than the Putalisadak church does.
      Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/nepals-churches-live-under-threat-discrimination-54261/#GstBYVEoG5Y1G1lx.99

      January 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Matt

      Well first of all that is completely irrelavant...you didn't answer the question...just skipping around it.

      Ok...lets try another....what religion would you follow if you were born in Afghanistan? Be honest.

      in all sincerity if your answer is not Muslim...you have either a) absolutely no rationality b) or you are lying to protect yourself.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • geordiesue

      MATT A more careful reading and understanding of the comment would reveal even to you that 2 million in Nepal believe in the divinity of Jesus......perhaps I type too fast for you? As I do not live in Afghanistan I will ignore the irrelevant question.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam

      @geordiesue – it didn't start out that way, missionaries introduced it to them. So what?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Sam, how does anyone believe anything in any country unless they hear about it......

      January 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      Ok, I'm laughing way too hard to keep at this, now.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Matt

      I don't care how many people live in Nepal are Christian, nor do I care how many you believe are in middle Eastern countries....Now I ask the question again since you keep avoiding the question:

      What religion would you most likely follow if you grew up in Afghanistan?? I don't care if you live there...

      This is a simple question, a simple question about relevancy and rationality....if you don't want to answer WE all know why already...more importantly you know already...that is the difference, some of us are willing to be honest withourselves.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Sam your foolishness is very transparent, you have nothing of worth to add to the discussion.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Madtown

      Matt is exactly right. No matter how many missionaries are able to spread this supposed "divine word", the truth is that there will always be humans on earth that have no idea who Christ is, and have no access to christianity. Missionaries can't possibly reach everyone, they'd have no idea where to look for some primitive peoples. If there really was only "1 divine truth" that was universally true for all of humanity, God would have provided it to all of humanity, no need for missionaries.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      geordiesue: What Matt is getting at is that if you did not know about the christian god, you would not know about it. His question about what would your belief be if you lived in Afghanistan to make you think. We happen to live in countries that tend to allow for the practice of many variations of god and therefore we know of the other gods, however if you lived in Afghanistan where the belief system is Muslim and they worship a different god, you would not believe in the christian god. A lot of times, even in our countries we see where certain area's have a higher ratio of protestants opposed to catholics.

      Actually Stephen Roberts said it best "“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      January 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Unless your family is unusual for the region, you would have been exposed to C of E or RCC as a child. Buddhist is the norm for Nepal, Tibet, etc.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bet

      I love this. Geordiesue makes Jerry Springer's guests sound like frakkin' Rhodes Scholars.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • sam

      Nice try, Matt, but your question shorted out geordiesue's tiny logic center. Nothing coherent is going to be forthcoming from her.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Truth prevails..Your help is not needed here I am perfectly aware of Matt's intention, however misled he is. I have lived in muslim countries, no truth in the land or the following of islam....Lack of capitalization intentional

      January 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • sam

      She doesn't get it...or worse, she does, and can't figure out how to turn it around so that it's in her favor. She keeps stumbling in her mental gymnastic routine. Come on, geordiesue! Stick the landing!

      January 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Madtown

      no truth in the land or the following of islam
      -----–
      According to you, and those who indoctrinated you. You are not the arbiter of truth. As Matt correctly stated, had you been born in Egypt(something out of your control), you'd be a Muslim and believe it to be the "truth". You'd then also believe that there is "no truth in the following of christianity".

      January 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      geordiesue: Ah did the dose of reality scare you? I don't give a rats ass if you think my opinion is needed or not, like you I have one and I don't recall Matt asking you to comment either. Oh wait a minute..it's called freedom of speech something christians like to try to oppress.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Perhaps this will give you food for thought Our church records indicate there are nearly 2 million Christians and about 4,000 churches in Nepal now. But most of them don’t have a final resting place, as Christianity is still not recognized in Nepal. It is as if we don’t exist.”

      yeah, the christian population of Nepal is considered to be about 1%. There also happens to be a 4% Islamic population but still does not change the fact that around 80% of the population is Hindu.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  18. End Religion

    If you believe in god and hell then there is no question god sends people to hell if they don't play his game properly. He supposedly set the game in motion and forces one to choose.

    Just like Jigsaw from the movie Saw, god supposedly puts a game in motion, forcing people to choose his way or torture. While the poor cattle in the movie indeed get to "exercise free will" they've still been bound into a game against their choice, then forced to play by its rules.

    And you call this god a loving god... lol.. He's a horror movie monster...

    January 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • geordiesue

      You are mistaken God does not send any one to Hell they go there of their own free will. You are free to believe in anything you wish....as are the others who comment here. Perhaps you should not get so upset over something that you believe does not exist, has no power and is a 'horror movie monster'.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam

      I love how if you change the wording a little it becomes your fault. God built hell and set up a bunch of rules and if you screw up, well, oops. LOL

      January 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The whole believe in me or else. Doesn't sound like anything I'd want to be around....sounds more like an abusive spouse or parent.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • geordiesue

      Sam, you attempt to say that God does not exist, but created some place.....conflicted much?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • sam

      @geordiesue – are you for real?? Seriously, that's what you got out of that?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      sam: You didn't use simple enough words or explanations in your reply.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • sam

      Apparently not. Tomorrow we'll work on colors and shapes!

      January 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bet

      @TruthPrevails

      ...sounds more like an abusive spouse or parent.

      It's like standing by, watching your two year old put his hand on a lit stove burner and then saying, "You're only getting what you deserve. I told you not to touch the stove. Also, since you didn't obey me, you"re out of the will. Now, stop that crying and come tell mummy how much you love her."

      January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Geordiesue
      The doubter says:
      "I could never follow Stalin. He sends people to the Gulag"
      The truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the GUlag. It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary thinking. This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise. It grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes. He respects their free will.
      So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

      Sound familiar at all?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      A man approaches you with a gun and says, "Tell me you love me or you will be punished."
      While you do have a choice in this situation, it is known as "coercion" and is considered a "no no" in polite society. Some find it immoral.
      How is this different from your god?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      Doc, that was awesome.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Doc Vestibule

      *standing ovation*

      January 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Doc Vestibule

      Very well put.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      @doc: nice!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Thoth

    It amazes me how people talk about god and jesus as if they actually know them. These posts that go on and on about how jesus did this, jesus will do that, jesus wouldn't like this, but he dressed like that. And of course, he must have been the son of god because all these people wouldn't believe it if he wasn't. Nonsense. There may very well have been a man wandering a tiny, illiterate region of the middle east preaching about the end days, but he didn't even make enough of an impression to be directly mentioned by contemporary scribes, save a few footnotes. Nothing about miracles or large crowds. No mention outside a spec of a region. As for so many people believing....well, two things: 1) It was spread via violence for 1700 years, and 2) there's a reason for the term "ignorant m.asses"...

    January 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  20. Iron Sharpener

    As bold as some of you think you are in squelching Christianity, I am twice as BOLD in preaching the word. It's not arrogant or self serving...you got part right...I am supposed to serve, as the Lord had served. I will take a verbal beating...that's laughable, internet verbal chastising...that's all you have? I'm supposed to read your posts and say to myself, those with a great vocabulary and well spoken and educated are right? or I should rethink my stance? Jesus is coming back, and I am ready...I need to pray that you are, I can't believe anyone would want to be eternally damned?? That makes absolutely no sense....you can and probably will keep doing things your way...but I just pray you don't....self serving...c'mon...lol..really...

    January 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You say you're bold, but you can't even stay on the same thread to defend yourself. Do you want to know how people know you're an arrogant, self-serving moron? Because you can't even comprehend that there are people out there that don't believe in your hell, your jesus, or your god.
      The evidence is when you said:
      "I can't believe anyone would want to be eternally damned??"
      Get off your high horse, squelch your cognitive dissonance, and actually start thinking about what you're saying.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • JWT

      "eternally damned" – aproxy threat from somethign that does not exist. Pretty sad when you think about it.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I was going to comment but "hawaiiguest" said it perfectly.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Matt

      well said Hawaii

      January 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @Iron Sharpener,
      " I'm supposed to read your posts and say to myself, those with a great vocabulary and well spoken and educated are right? or I should rethink my stance?"
      No. You are supposed to, hopefully, recognize a logical argument and either logically refute it or reconsider your position.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Iron Sharpener

      I don't need to defend anything..especially myself.You keep calling me arrogant, self serving..I said I was not already. I said I can't comprehend in today's world there are people that still have an issue with Christianity? I have a problem with that, I am here for one reason...to sow as many seeds as I can... that's the only reason for my existance.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And I can't believe there are people who actually WANT to die in bed like a pansy instead of gloriously in battle, bathed in the blood of their enemies.
      How do they think they'll get to Valhalla if they live their lives all meek, mild and forgiving?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bet

      I'm supposed to read your posts and say to myself, those with a great vocabulary and well spoken and educated are right? or I should rethink my stance?

      No, you shouldn't believe everything anyone says, no matter how great their vocabulary or verbal skills are. You should always question what people say when they are telling you what to believe and what to do. And if you find that the people telling you things are not telling the truth, or what they say has no evidence to back it up, you should definitely rethink your stance. There's no shame in changing your position if clear, proven, repeatable evidence shows you something different. That's was intelligent, critically thinking people do.

      Only very young children, the uneducated, the superstitious and the mentally ill insist on believing in things when evidence proves it's not so.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bet

      "That's was intelligent, critically thinking people do."

      Should be "what", not "was".

      January 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Iron Shrpener
      Which Bible has the TRUE translation of God's word?
      American Standard Version, American King James Version, Amplified Bible, An American Translation, ArtScroll Tanakh (Old Testament), An American Translation, Berkeley Version, Bible in English, The Bible in Living English, Bishops' Bible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Children's King James Version, Christian Community Bible, English version, Clear Word Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Contemporary English Version, Concordant Literal Version, A Conservative Version, Coverdale Bible, Darby Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision), EasyEnglish Bible, Easy-to-Read Version, English Jubilee 2000 Bible, English Standard Version, Ferrar Fenton Bible, Geneva Bible, God's Word, Good News Bible, Great Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Inclusive Bible, International Standard Version, Jerusalem Bible, Jewish Publication Society of America Version Tanakh (Old Testament), Judaica Press Tanakh (Old Testament), ia E. Smith Parker Translation, King James 2000 Version, King James Easy Reading Version, King James Version, King James II Version, Knox's Translation of the Vulgate, Lamsa Bible, A Literal Translation of the Bible, Leeser Bible, Tanakh (Old Testament), The Living Bible, The Living Torah and The Living Nach. Tanakh (Old Testament), Matthew's Bible, The Message, Modern King James Version, Modern Language Bible, Moffatt, New Translation, James Murdock's Translation of the Syriac Peshi.tta, New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Bible, New English Translation (NET Bible), New International Reader's Version, New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, New International Version, New Jerusalem Bible, New Jewish Publication Society of America Version. Tanakh (Old Testament), New King James Version, New Life Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Quaker Bible, Recovery Version of the Bible, Revised Version, Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Revised English Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, The Scriptures, Simplified English Bible, The Story Bible, Taverner's Bible, Thomson's Translation, Today's New International Version, Third Millennium Bible, Tyndale Bible, Updated King James Version, A Voice In The Wilderness Holy Scriptures, Webster's Revision.... ????

      How do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Iron Sharpener, why does your purportedly omnipotent sky fairy need you to do its marketing for it?

      The reason is that your god doesn't exist.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Iron Sharpener

      "... that's the only reason for my existance."

      You need a hobby. Have you tried model building?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      @IronScraps: you serve imaginary creatures

      January 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Iron Sharpener

      Bob....hawaiiguest...he loves you.!! I am doing a form of building hawaii, may not be to your liking...but I'll try anayway, I hope & pray the best for you.!!

      January 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • sam

      This is the Poe-iest Poe I've seen in a while.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @sam

      I don't know. I'm thinking he's real. I've met people similar in real life, and they couldn't actually address any points either.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam

      True...they do exist. We rarely get such a textbook specimen in here.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bet

      @ sam

      The lady who claimed Da Vinci's Last Supper proved that Jeebus and Mary Mag had a thang goin' on was pretty good too.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      sam: At least it's cheap entertainment. :-)

      January 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      I was so hoping that Last Supper lady was so crazy she might think the "documentary" I posted for her was real.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • NickZadick

      Jebus is coming back....it's written in the big book of fairy tales!

      January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • christ_child1991

      @Iron Sharpener you sound like you have it under control but as we as children of God are to go to church to uplift I am here to uplift you and to help you out with these unbelievers so Matt 24:14"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." so here we go Rom 10:13"For whoever will call on the name of the Lord, will be saved." Rom 10:9"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."John 3:16"For god so loved the world, he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life."
      Precious heavenly father I pray right now that who ever reads this preaching/posting of the gospel that you start to work on their hearts and that their hearts are open to what was said here in this post and that they understand that if they dont know you and come to know you they will eternally damned to hell which is not where you want them to go and I ask all these things in Jesus' precious name amen

      January 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • .

      Iron Sharpener = christ_child1991

      January 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      If you're going to pray to your imaginary friend, kindly keep it between you and him. Don't post it on a public forum. That's just annoying.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • NickZadick

      @ Christchild... Who exactly were the men who wrote those lines? why do you trust every word they wrote? you do know they were written years after Jesus died right ? anyone can quote fictional tales... your salvation is a myth!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bet

      That prayer of christ_child1991's sure takes me back. It is just like every other fundie prayer ever uttered, right down to the "I ask this in Jesus' name". That last part is important, because the prayer won't work unless you say those words, or perhaps more flowery, like "I ask in the name of your most precious son, Jeebus".

      I'm not exaggerating. That part actually had to be there, like some sort of magic spell or charm.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • christ_child1991

      iron sharpener does not equal christ_child1991 and I have the freedom of religion to pray in public and on a public sight and @ NickZadick I trust their writing because I believe they are true and whether you do or not is your own belief I cannot and will not force you to believe but I will give the gospel and pray for you. and obviously Matthew wrote Matthew and Paul wrote Romans

      January 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • TBT Watch

      "and on a public sight"

      LMAO! If you're not the same you must have had the same English teacher.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @christ_child

      Saying "obviously X" doesn't really do anything you know.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      Mathew 6:6
      "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
      Mathew 6:7
      "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."

      January 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      this country has afforded you the ability to pray in public. Your god, however, has commanded you to pray in private. How dare you deny your Lord's commands?!? Are you denying the Holy Ghost his commandments?????

      January 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      iron maiden: you are arrogant.

      January 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • christ_child1991

      @End religion
      Luke 6:12"In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God." and God said go to your secret place and I can be in my secret place and pray online as I pray for each and everyone of you and that verse is an example of public prayer

      January 8, 2013 at 10:35 am |
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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.