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January 6th, 2013
07:28 AM ET

College students raise funds to fight slavery

By Jordan Hultine, CNN

Atlanta (CNN)–More than 60,000 young Christians packed the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for worship and inspiration at the Passion 2013 conference that wrapped up on Friday. They came together from 56 countries and 2,300 universities, according to organizers, “to shine a light on modern-day slavery.”

“We believe when you fill a dome full of people who say they follow Jesus, there should be some tangible action,” said Bryson Vogeltanz, chief steward of Passion’s freedom initiative. That tangible action came in the form of tens of thousands of towels and socks donated by conference-goers to be handed out at local homeless shelters in the weeks following the conference.

Vogeltanz and his team also wanted a global initiative. They focused on four key goals, which they called awake, prevent, rescue and restore. They identified 19 nonprofit organizations working around the world to eradicate modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The organizations were showcased during the conference and students and volunteers had the opportunity to donate money to the cause.

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The United Nations estimates 27 million people are entrapped in modern-day slavery at any given time around the world in a market valued at $32 billion.

Last year, Hagar International was one of the recipients of those donations. Hagar helps women and children recovering from horrific abuse and human trafficking in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

“We have been able to serve children who have been released from egregious abuse of being trafficked for sex, both boys and girls, in Cambodia,” said Jane Tafel of Hagar. “Those children have a new life now because of Passion 2012.” Tafel returned to the conference this year for the organization and was anxiously waiting to hear final donation numbers.

Wellspring Living, an organization that provides restorative services for girls who have been trafficked or suffered sexual abuse, said it was able to open a new transition facility as a result of the gifts that conference-goers gave last year, according to president and CEO Mary Frances Bowley.

Read More: The new Christian abolition movement

“This generation has the potential not just to end slavery, they have the potential to do anything,” Vogeltanz said. “Jesus was the original abolitionist. We’re just following what he’s already done in our lives for us," he said, referring to the Christian belief that Jesus saved all mankind from slavery and sin.

Students spent each day of the four-day conference participating in “community group” learning sessions and praise and worship led by well-known Christian musicians like Chris Tomlin.

An Atlanta-based pastor, Louie Giglio, started Passion in 1997. The goal, he said, was to see college students around the world “awaken to the reality of an omnipotent and glorious Creator.” Since then, organizers said, millions of students have joined the movement at Passion events around the world.

Sarah Stone is a college student from Atlanta who came to Passion with her church group. She said she came looking for a way to live her faith more fully. “Christianity is not just about saying a prayer and going to church on Sunday, it’s about living for Christ with every single thing you do,” Stone said.

CNN's Belief Blog the faith angles behind the day's big stories

Belmont University student William Dodd said it’s inspiring to be surrounded by so many other college students who are gathered for the same purpose, and he is leaving with a desire to “get in the fight to end (slavery). God made us powerful creatures with a really big voice.”

“It’s inspiring to see a generation so engaged and looking out of themselves and looking at things like slavery and actually committing to making people aware of it and it’s only the beginning,” said Jolie, who declined to give her last name, a conference volunteer who traveled from Australia to be a part of the Passion.

Passion organizers said the students gave $3,170,639 in support of their freedom initiative. Beyond fund-raising, organizers said, the goal was to shine a light on a worldwide problem and to inspire action.

Ramses Prashad, a college student from Orlando, Florida, said he has no other choice but to make a change when he gets home. “I can’t say that I didn’t know and say I wasn’t aware, so I have no other choice but to raise awareness and to do as much as I can for the cause and for the people.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. kevobx

    God he is rest. Him satan is peace, and the tabernacles are planted in the middle of the sea. *Jeremiah 8:15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! *Luke 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

    January 7, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • georgekuan83

      Good article!here

      January 7, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • JustSayin55

      If they agreed to do work for a particular price they are not slaves. If they have the right to start their own employment agency and bill over their own hired employess it does not make them slaves for being to lazy to do so. I get so sick of people complaining about how much someone else makes.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  2. kevobx

    How come no man knows where do bees, or even flies come from? Are not these the creepy things after it's kind. Can a man be after it's own kind, but as the beast himself, (*Genesis 1:24 and it was so.) *Genesis 1:26 And God said Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: *Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. *Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, *Jeremiah 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it. (Are the heavens darkness or do believe God is he, a black man Christ himself, hung on a tree, fulfilling the law) The most High his grace and truth, hate opininons. *Job 32:10-11 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. *Matthew 9:5 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

    January 7, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "How come no man knows where do bees, or even flies come from?"

      An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages, and include the insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. One estimate indicates that arthropods have 1,170,000 described species, and account for over 80% of all known living animal species. The earliest fossil crustaceans date from about 513 million years ago in the Cambrian. The oldest known arachnid is the trigonotarbid Palaeotarbus jerami, from about 420 million years ago in the Silurian period. The oldest definitive insect fossil is the Devonian Rhyniognatha hirsti, dated at 396 to 407 million years ago,

      We know a great deal about the evolutionary history of arthropods. They make up the bulk of the animal fossil record and are much more likely than soft fleshed animals to be completely preserved. Of course you would know this if you bothered to open a science book.

      And finally "kind" isn't a recognized classification of any species, anywhere outside your Bible. You know the book that also says hares(rabbits) chew their cud.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • bspurloc

      how come u lack and education and assume everyone else does too

      January 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  3. Sam Yaza

    correct me if i'm wrong; but doesn't the christian God Condone slavery?

    January 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      What happened to Pharoah's army? To the southern states during the civil war?

      January 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Do not forget letter X on their flag, Sign of hinduism racism, Pharaoh's pyramid at bottom and his hindu filthy Prophet, fortune teller's pyramid up side down, intersecting point making Swas tika.

      January 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • lee webber

      no not really

      January 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Aj

      Definitely does not condone slavery in the sense that we are talking about here. Slavery, the term, can mean different things. In this sense, it is just a worker, just like you work for a boss right now in modern days, we call that an employee, back then it was called a slave. And God instructed masters or "bosses" to treat them fairly and justly, and he said to people who were stealing other people to sell them for money, they should be killed actually. This is before the New Testimate and Jesus ding in their place on the cross forgiving them and offering them a free gift of life. kind of like the term cheating is normally a bad term, but one way the term can be used is to give up something to gain something else. Not always a bad thing. You gotta read in context, I pray that you're blind hate or curiosity of the bible to even know such an obscure detail of the bible, such as God's views on slavery, would change to read things in context and actually look deeper at the truth there is. Take this for one simple thing 1. Jesus was a real person, not a lot of people question that, they just question if he was "the son of God" or if he was just some wise guy or crazy lunatic, but not that he was real and walked this earth. 2. Now when he died and then apparently rose again, all the romans would have to do to crush this entire religious movement, would be to parade Jesus's body through the streets and show he did not. There are many theories as to where the body could have gone and the likelihoods of things happening because of duties and skill levels of different people involved, and if you look into it, you will see, the most logical answer is he actually did raise from the Dead. And for the most logical answer, that is a pretty crazy thing indeed, but man, that is some true power that should not be taken lightly. I hope you come to know this savior who loves YOU so much.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      @Aj

      Wow...where to begin.
      First of all if slaves in the Bible are roughly equivalent to employees then I wouldn't want to be working for that type of boss. So long as a slave didn't die after 2 days beating them nearly to death was just fine. That's immoral. Indentured servitude could be inheritied too and that's also immoral. Finally all those rules only applied to Jews and Gentiles. If you weren't a member of either group then your goose was cooked and your worth as a person under Gods law was nil. Again immoral.

      But lets move on to your take on the resurrection. I wont even address the question of whether or not there was an actual person representing Jesus because it's irrelevant. Believing a flesh and blood person existed doesn't strain credibility. Claims of miracles performed or of his rising from the dead are another matter entirely. Even the gospels are all over the place with regard to details about his resurrection. Mary Magdalene alone at the tomb, with other women, with guards, with Peter brought back afterward. None of these people are the ones telling the story. Of all the Apostles only Paul was educated enough to be literate. Plus all 4 canonical gospels didn't appear until decades after Jesus' death from anonymous authors.
      What you seem to be doing here is glossing over the fact that the Bible is a religious text. It's purpose and intent is to win over converts. It is blatant propaganda. Even if you take ino account extra-biblical sources that point to a living person in Jesus they say nothing at all about his supernatural nature. Only the Bible does this.
      I could introduce you to people ALIVE today who are absolutely convinced that they were abducted by and experimented on by aliens fron outer space. Actual first hand testimony. But would you believe them? Certainly not simply at their word. And yet you are willing to believe the even less credible accounts of 2000 year old stories designed to lure you into accepting its concept of a particular deity.
      The moment to believe walking on water is possible is when it is demonstrated. The moment to believe a person can magically rise from the dead is when someone does it, not before. I don't believe for a second that Jesus, if he existed, did any of those things any more than I'm willing to believe someone has been face to face with an alien, ghost, bigfoot or (insert superstitious nonsense here).

      January 7, 2013 at 4:15 am |
    • Bill

      Wrong Wrong Wrong Sam.
      Are you saying that if God was really God then we would have had a perfect civilization with no atrocities thousands of yers ago?? that's absurd. God allowed human history to follow its course and allowed certain human-made atricities such as slavery to be eliminated in due time. How about giving kudos to these kids for their efforts? Is it that hard? They are doing a great thing. And by the way it was Christians who led the fight to end slavery in England and the USA ... NOT atheists.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bill,

      According to christians god took the time to put " thou shall not murder" in a book,

      Why couldn't he have also put "thou shall not own other people as property"?

      Answer: Because it is not god talking, it is man, it is proof that morality does not come from the christian god or christianity. Christians like to claim moral absolutes and yet their morals have evolved just like everyone elses.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • etjla

      AtheistSteve...So you also believe the Paul was also a fictional character? All he believed in and went through for Christianity was made up as well? What about Acts? There is plenty for you to disprove. Sounds similar to Ahmadinejad denying the holocaust.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • bspurloc

      all christians are against slavery....unless u live south of the mason dixon line

      January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ....wow so many that are historically and biblically illiterate...

      not even going to wast my time teaching you all,... and that's bad because teaching humans was why i was created...

      January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  4. dilberth

    We have slavery right here in America. The slaves are unpaid bodyguards and unpaid chauffeurs. Collectively, they are called HUSBANDS.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You must live a very weird life.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • endreligionz

      doh!

      January 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  5. Leah

    Awesome! Fantastic! Marvellous!. Keep up the good work! Help rescue young children from s e x u a l slavery.

    God Bless each one of you that pledged support and also the victims of this horrible crime

    January 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  6. Correctlycenter

    " Then the kings of the earth, the rulers, generals, the wealthy people, the people with great power and influence as well as every person hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. They cried to the rocks; Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One Who sits on the Throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who will be able to survive." Revelation 6:15-17...

    January 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Answer

      Look at that...

      A useless christian with a useless babble quote.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • fintastic

      "It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents – that there was all the difference in the world."................. (Harry Potter)

      January 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Jill

    Robert Brown, you are roaming the woodlot without a toad to tickle you.

    Gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

    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.

    January 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • fintastic

      Gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

      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.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • fintastic

      Huh?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  8. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    Cathy
    Darkness refuses the light.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    Correctlycenter
    " Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32...

    Get off the drugs and get on with Christ...

    Proof of hinduism absurdity of followers of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism, Migi, crook christian, book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism,bible refers hindu fabricated Jesus as he, a person but other hindu crook Christian writes him as "HE". The God, Shame on you hindu crooks, enemies of humanity and truth absolute GOD.

    January 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Answer

      All your religious bantering are still garbage. It's garbage every day and any day.

      Do keep it if you're that afraid of reality. XD

      January 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      You hindu's crook by nature have no clue of reality, truth. Answer my post, hindu's. crooks. show proof of existance of hindu fabrication Jesus.

      January 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • bspurloc

      and john knew this only after his opiate break

      January 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  9. Answer

    That a whole lot of useless christians packed into one place.

    January 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Bunch of hindu stupids and hindu Migi's, filthy crooks.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Jake

      Forgive me for being so forward, but I was one of those "useless Christians." You believe over $3 million raised to help stop modern day slavery is useless?

      January 6, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • lee webber

      so ending slavery is useless

      January 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Funny but you don't see atheists helping out people EVER!

      January 7, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Bill

      Useless?
      Based on the Teachings of Jesus and backed by the power of God, Christians led the fight to end slavery in England and the USA.
      What are the big contributions atheists have made to the growth of human nature?
      More to the point Answer .. what have YOU accomplished? Fed the poor? clothed and housed the homeless?
      Nah, I didnt think so.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • John A

      Atheists are armchair quarterbacks in life. All talk no action.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Atheists are armchair quarterbacks in life. All talk no action."

      Funny how Christians can't follow even the basic teachings in the Bible.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Answer

      Very successful. I commend you.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Correctlycenter

    Those super-intelligent, sophicated, brilliant minds that understand science CAN know the correct answers about Creation. They can do some "research" in God's true word, the holy bible, beginning in Genesis chapter 1...

    January 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Religion has never proven any of it's claims. Truth does not ask to be believed, it asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday or Sunday and sing…”Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have Faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Space Horse, Course to Course

      You believe in talking snakes? Wow. Religious people are scary and dangerous.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Can anyone prove the existence of truth? If not, how can we say that it exists?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • End Religion

      @NClaw441: we prove "truth" every moment of every day with the collected laws of our reality: science. If you've used a computer or driven a car you've agreed science is a reliable descriptor of truth.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • bspurloc

      and those super unintelligent can learn the truth that no human female egg can be fertilized without a male polly wog entering through the tunnel of love.
      and if u r deceased and raised from your grave u r either a Mummy or a Zombie but since both dont exist u r high on opiates

      January 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  11. Correctlycenter

    If you think the LORD God Almighty of the bible is a myth, then how can you explain creation? Things just do not appear from nothing to something and somewhere. If you believe in the "big-bang" theory some 3.5 billion years ago, who created the matter and energy to spread throughout the vastness of limitless space?

    How can a sophicated, educated, intellectual person think that non-living matter can produce life? DNA from a monkey can "morph" into a human being in a couple million years or so? Isn't biogenesis correct science? We have our parents DNA and their parents, etc...

    January 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I would generally call myself agnostic, so I'm not sure if you're addressing me, but I should point out that the same argument holds for your god...where did he or she come from? Non-believers have a great diversity of beliefs: many will tell you we just don’t know enough about the nature of physics and time, and others will tell you we have had “reality” for eternity or that time is non-linear. Still other non-beliers may be religious, but simply not believe in a god. This is a very complex and diverse subject.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Cathy

      John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      John 1:2   The same was in the beginning with God.

      John 1:3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      John 1:4   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

      John 1:5   And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      God of hindu corruption called bible is none other than, hindu criminal Constantine and his hindu criminal Prophet, fortune teller hindu, crook, none other.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "who created the matter and energy to spread throughout the vastness of limitless space?"

      Why would it have to be a "who"? You have justify this before you can even begin to start an argument for the christian god and you would still have a long ways to go. Just because your religion supplies an answer to the question of creation does not mean it is the right answer. I can make up my own god and creation story and it would be just as valid as yours.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • NClaw441

      I am a Christian, but I don't have a problem with infinite existence into the past. Most of us have little problem with the concept of time going forward infinitely. Why not going in the other direction? I just believe in God as the infinite, rather than a universe without God. Ultimately it is a matter of faith, however we believe.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • End Religion

      The leading hypothesis for the origin of life on our planet:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143530.htm

      (note it doesn't involve "gawd dun it wiff spelz")

      January 7, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • bspurloc

      a book written by dudes high on opiates that has been changed over time is most likely a good historical book

      January 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  12. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    Very hindu hypocritical act by followers of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior Ism, called Christianity, speaking of end of hindu gentile ism, criminal slavery, but confessing under sign of hinduism, racism Cross. hindu's stupids in following hindu hyenas, criminal secular s to hind fool humanity.

    January 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      " Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32...

      Get off the drugs and get on with Christ...

      January 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      hinduism, absurdity of a follower of hindu racist Mithra ism, prove by facts, if any one ever lived by this hindu , fabricated name Jesus. Get off of hindu filthy Magi ism, filthy trickster ism, follower of hindu gentile ism, criminal slavery ism in deception, hindu criminal christian's hindu's, enemies of humanity and truth absolute GOD.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Correctlycenter............... Get off the fairy tales and get on with reality!.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • End Religion

      ack!

      January 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    "Ok, agreed. Leave the garden, out of the equation.

    Mr. Brown,

    That is the point, if we take the garden of eden out of the equation there is no need for salvation and therefore no need Jesus. The whole christian premise is that humanity is diseased with original sin and therefore require the cure of salvation. Now Christians will argue about how that salvation is to be obtained, whither through belief alone or in conjunction with works but most all christains would say some form of belief is required.

    "Wouldn’t you have to believe there is a God, Jesus was his son, he died and rose again for your redemption, and somewhere in that collection of beliefs, you are a sinner in need of a savior?"

    No, not without original sin.

    "That is “the choice” in my mind, to accept him and trust him or to reject his offer."

    Once agian, the premise is completely flawed, I can't accept Jesus unless I accept the premise.

    "If you are at the point where you question the existence of a God"

    I reject the notion of a Christian god, it is nonsensical. There may be a god, but any definition of god that humans have proposed to this point are absurd. I can no more go back to believing that Jesus is god than I can go back to believing Santa is real. The Emperor has no clothes.

    January 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Posted in the wrong place

      January 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Cathy

      Darkness refuses the light.

      John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      John 1:2   The same was in the beginning with God.

      John 1:3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      John 1:4   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

      John 1:5   And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Cathy,

      Using the bible to try and prove christianity is called circular reasoning....it is useless. Try again.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • NClaw441

      I have a hard time with the concept of one "choosing" what one believes. Do we really choose to believe that God exists, or that He does not? (For Christians this is answered in Ephesians 2:8– grace provides our faith) How do we come to believe what we believe? I tend to think it is more a matter of our life experiences, internal searching, and, in my view, God's intervention in our lives. True belief (of whatever kind) requires serious consideration and introspection.

      I have trouble with statements such as "I could never believe in a God who...." etc. Belief and faith must be more than a simple choice.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      NClaw,

      I agree with you, belief is not a choice, but if you accept that than the christian world view falls apart.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  14. Akira

    The fight to end human s3x slaves is a worthy endeavor.

    January 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Agreed – it's always good to see people working together for something positive.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  15. Santi Clause

    How could a Christian fight slavery? Noah, the most righteous man who walked with God, cursed Ham's descendants to slavery. There were Words of God on how to deal with slavery.

    January 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Jim

      Hello Santi I do want to thank you for all the work that you are doing to end modern day slavery. You have done far much more than 60,000 students ever could.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jim that is not the point and you know it.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Art

      But the fact is that these students are doing what they can to stop slavery regardless of what is stated in Genesis. But still Jim does raise an interesting issue (albeit misplaced) Will we see 60,000 atheists gathered together to help stop slavery or are they just going to gather together to hear a series of talks by Richard Dawkins droning on about the evils of religion?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Art,

      Secular organizations exist to fight slavery, ever hear of Amnesty International? Those are the types of organizations atheists support for that cause. You are making the same pathetic straw man argument as Jim.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Cathy

      Secular organizations taking another concepts from Christianity. Atheists believe they thought of this and other concepts all on their own then they say, other religions believe in them too. God does work in mysterious ways ... and there is nothing new under the sun.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The bible justifys and condons salvery, christians stole the concept.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Santi Clause

      If you want to fight slavery, fight slavery. Christians fighting slavery is very oxymoronic statement. God was the master slave trader in the OT. How many times did He delivered the Jews into bondage? How many verses dealt with the strict guidelines of owning slaves, as per God's orders, are there in the Bible?

      January 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • lee webber

      so i guess God freeing people from slavery means he's for right that makes sense

      January 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      The bible very clearly instructs us that slavery is good and expected of its adherents. I find it wonderful that these college students are standing up for free thought and proudly showing their atheism by fighting back against the ultimate oppressive slave master, god and his sissy son jeebus.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  16. Robert Brown

    Jill, did you write some kind of program to post that automatically? You know kind of like a virus. Or, are you actually doing that manually? Either way, it is kind of spo.oky, instead of being flattered now I think I'm being stalked. Yikes!

    January 6, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  17. Jill

    Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

    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.

    January 6, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  18. Jill

    Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

    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.

    January 6, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  19. New Athiest

    I can't help but be amused that a religion based on a book that supports slavery would raise money to try to stop it.
    Those feelings ofguilt get complicated some days.

    January 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Jim

      Glad to see that you are doing so much more to stop modern day slavery.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Jim, were YOU in the georgia dome for the conference?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • JIM

      Short answer No! However I watched the podcasts. But I still ask that will the atheist community do to help stop modern day slavery. Will they step up to the challenge and supersede the Christians?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Yes Jim, some people do good things without a religion to scare them into it.
      The company i work for asks $20a month for causes like United Way, Sandy relief, Junior achievement, and a local children's hospital.
      We also have food drives and blood drives.
      No need for some false god to get involved.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jim,

      As I pointed out to Art, Amnesty International would be the type of organization that atheists would support for this cause. They are secular but not specifically atheist as there is no reason to label such organizations with religious labels (pro or con). To do so would just be a way of marketing the view and that shouldn't be the point should it Jim?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Cathy

      New Athiest, so if someone wasn't a slave, you'd rather they starve to death. Same with employment today. You'd rather no one worked?

      January 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Cathy, that is just rationalizing the immorality of the bible.

      Is it moral to own other people? Yes or no? If the answer is no than whay does is not say so in your "good book"

      January 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      The bible very clearly instructs us that slavery is good and expected of its adherents. I find it wonderful that these college students are standing up for free thought and proudly showing their atheism by fighting back against the ultimate oppressive slave master, god and his semi-retarded son jeebus.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Cathy

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers and End Religion, since you both have no concept of the beginning of time ... slavery at that time was employment as we know it today. OMG, can any of you atheists use your minds instead of parroting the negativities that you are drawn to to prove you miserable existence.

      As for the answer to end religion. Josephus propagates lies regarding Herod's actions with John the Baptist. Josephus says John was put in prison because Herod feared a rebellion. God says John was put in prison because John rebuked Herod for having his brother's wife (Luke 3:19). Josephus says Herod killed John "to prevent any mischief he might cause." Scripture says Herod killed John "because of his oaths and because of those who sat with him" (Mark 6:26). Knowing this, why would we be inclined to believe his statement that John the Baptist was "a good man" and "commanded the Jews to exercise" "piety towards God"? The only reason we know this is true is because Scripture bears witness to John's character (e.g. Matthew 11:7-14), and that he did indeed preach to the Jews (Luke 3:1-18). Apart from the Word, we would not know when Josephus lies and when he tells the truth.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Cathy

      New Athiest, Jesus doesn't scare me. In fact, he inspires me to be the best that he meant for me to be. If you can't get this concept, you are lost and are in desperate need for his saving Grace. To fear God means to begin to learn his teachings (aka obtain his wisdom).

      January 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Cathy

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers, I'm not rationalizing anything. I'm telling you to open your eyes and see what slavery was back then. A roof over your head, sandals on your feet, clothes on your back, food in your belly. Mmmhhh, what does that sound like you today? Employment. Working so you can do something to ensure your survival. Just because you don't like the words used at the time, means to me you can't think outside the box.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Cathy

      End Religion, putting aside your lies, there are not that many atheists in the world, let alone on this blog. Just because you use multiple handles to post your lies, doesn't make that "a lot of you".

      January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Zandigra

      I can't help but be saddened (though not surprised) by your igrnoance of the Bible and your ignorance of New Testament believers vs. Old Testament believers.

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

      @Cathy

      Leviticus 25: 44-46
      Telling them where they can purchase slaves, and that they are considered property and can be inherited. Does your company own you? Can your company beat you? It was not the same, and your spin merely shows how religion can damage the thought processes of otherwise rational people.

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

      Cathy, your ongoing denial is amusing, at best. Speaking of opening one's eyes, it sure appears that you are the one not reading what you are presented with.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Robert Brown

    This is for those who believe a force, power, or deity is a possibility, but have rejected the God of Christianity for several reasons. If you are convinced there is no such thing, then please 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?

    Here are some things to consider on the plants appearing before the sun. First, is the obvious one “let there be light.” Next, and 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.

    January 6, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Robert Brown

      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 humans to obtain awareness 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.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Some say the old testament God was just too mean and is not worthy of worship. Why would he create humans knowing they were going to rebel and then kill them wholesale? There are several examples in the bible, the most extreme is the flood.

      It is not believed because we do not see evidence of a worldwide flood and if there was one, the God who did it could not be a good God worthy of worship. Not only that, but the idea that humans and animals developed to some point then were all but eliminated from the earth just does not line up with what we think we know of the history of the earth, at least as far as timing.

      First, let’s look at what we do know, there are in modern times examples of huge catastrophic floods. There is evidence from ancient times of floods. Now, could Noah’s flood have been a local or regional flood? Could one family have built a boat similar to the dimensions recorded in the bible? Would a boat of this size be adequate to hold a family, their livestock, a collection of local wild animals, and all the food and water the group would need to survive for a long time? If you can accept that all this is possible, then the story, parable, or allegory also seems to be a reasonable possibility.

      Would a God who would destroy a bunch of extremely mean people and preserve some good ones still be unworthy of worship? If so, then what would be the lesson or message of such a parable? It seems very simple to me, God is demonstrating his intention to create, allow people the opportunity to choose good or bad, allow the ones who have chosen evil to change their minds, and then ultimately, eliminate evil and preserve good. What could possibly be wrong with that?

      January 6, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mr. Brown,

      One of the big issues is the idea of free will and how a god should determine the everlasting life or punishment on belief or non-belief. Belief is not a choice. I can not suddenly decide that Zues or Vishnu are real gods, I don't think you could either. Therefore rewards and punishments based on belief is an immoral premise.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,

      “Therefore rewards and punishments based on belief is an immoral premise.”

      Do you think there should be consequences for actions? For example, if I did something to injure you, should I be punished? Not that you do, but if you believe in consequences for actions, don’t those originate from thoughts and even beliefs?

      January 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mr. Brown,

      Actions should be punished, if they are criminal..... belief or non-belief in a god is a completely different issue. You are wrongly conflating the two.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • OK

      batcm
      Sort of like they did find cheese stuff in Poland, from 7,500 years ago or the boys that just found the dino bone that is 13,000 years old.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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 yourself as usual 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.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

      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.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,

      The enormity of the one over the other is not debated, but it is still a good extremely simple example.

      This is one of the keys to God, in my opinion of course, God is just. If there were not consequences then he couldn’t be just.

      You could be viewing good and bad from a humanist perspective. There are good people who do not believe in any gods. You could be a very good person in the eyes of others and in the eyes of yourself. You probably love others and have others who love you.

      God loves everyone in that he has provided a way for us to be reconciled to him. God thinks all people are bad when they reach the age of accountability. Rebellion, disobedience, and disbelief are all bad thoughts and deeds in the eyes of God because they stem from pride.

      So you are correct, if you don’t believe there is any such thing as God, then you take your morality from a humanist perspective and say there is nothing morally wrong with not having the evidence to believe, which is in disagreement with Gods morality.

      God is a spirit. Flesh is flesh, spirit is spirit. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

      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.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

      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.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Good morning Jill. I hope you are doing well. I shouldn’t feel this way, but you, following me around, is kind of flattering. Thanks and have a great day!

      January 6, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "God thinks all people are bad when they reach the age of accountability."

      Mr. Brown,

      That is the problem, I bear no responsibility for the fall of man, we are guilty in the christian dogma just for being born. It is wrong for us to blame the son for the wrongdoings of the father but your demented god does it. That is not moral and saying it is ok because god does it is arguing for "divine command theory" which is about as immoral of a concept as man could come up with. The only way you can argue that morality comes from the christian god is to argue that immoral actions of the christian god are actually moral. That takes quite a bit of mental gymanastics.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
      “The only way you can argue that morality comes from the christian god is to argue that immoral actions of the christian god are actually moral.”

      By, “immoral actions of the christian god…” do you mean killing humans? If not, you can straighten me out, but I will comment on that assumption.

      As humans our mortal life is precious, no shocker there. This is the only life we know, most of us want to keep it. From Gods eternal perspective, this life is like the blink of your eye or the beat of your heart. Before you know it, it is over. If you can imagine it from God’s perspective, while he wants to bless us in this life, eternity takes precedence.

      So, from his perspective not ours, moving a human from this life to eternity may not be a bad thing.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No Mr. Brown.

      Like I said, it is immoral to blame individuals for a "crime" that happened thousands of years ago. And it is immoral to offer "get out of jail free" cards for belief. As I said belief is not a choice, but christianity has to teach it IS a choice or the entire dogma falls like a house of cards.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
      “…it is immoral to blame individuals for a "crime" that happened thousands of years ago.”

      Ok, agreed. Leave the garden, out of the equation.

      “…it is immoral to offer "get out of jail free" cards for belief.” You may be including everything in the word belief, maybe not. Wouldn’t you have to have faith to even desire salvation, conversion, spiritual rebirth, trusting Christ to do what he has promised, or what you term get out of jail free cards? Like I said, you may be including it all in the word, “belief”, but I think a lot of things happen in the process, not that I could explain them, and not that they couldn’t all happen in such a close succession that they would seem to happen at the same time.

      Wouldn’t you have to believe there is a God, Jesus was his son, he died and rose again for your redemption, and somewhere in that collection of beliefs, you are a sinner in need of a savior?

      The choice that counts, at least the one I think of as counting, is if you get to the point where you believe you are a sinner in need of a savior and God by his holy spirit lays it on your heart to accept his son as your savior. That is “the choice” in my mind, to accept him and trust him or to reject his offer.

      If you are at the point where you question the existence of a God, you may be very close to the choice, but you are also in many ways, a long way from it.

      That was really the whole point of my parable idea, some people may need to take it slowly, one step at a time. Believe there could be a God, believe the God of the bible is that God, believe he is God, believe Jesus is his son, believe he sent his son to save everyone in the world, believe you are a sinner in need of a savior, then be offered the choice you speak of.

      Believers know where the power comes from, who does the work, all we can do is present the word, the words reception is the work of God. While there is a choice involved, if you get presented with the choice by the power of God, could anyone make the wrong choice? I couldn’t but who is to say what someone else could do?

      I think you are on the right track, because you are thinking about it, not that you haven’t already, but that you still are.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Ok, agreed. Leave the garden, out of the equation.

      Mr. Brown,

      That is the point, if we take the garden of eden out of the equation there is no need for salvation and therefore no need Jesus. The whole christian premise is that humanity is diseased with original sin and therefore require the cure of salvation. Now Christians will argue about how that salvation is to be obtained, whither through belief alone or in conjunction with works but most all christains would say some form of belief is required.

      "Wouldn’t you have to believe there is a God, Jesus was his son, he died and rose again for your redemption, and somewhere in that collection of beliefs, you are a sinner in need of a savior?"

      No, not without original sin.

      "That is “the choice” in my mind, to accept him and trust him or to reject his offer."

      Once agian, the premise is completely flawed, I can't accept Jesus unless I accept the premise.

      "If you are at the point where you question the existence of a God"

      I reject the notion of a Christian god, it is nonsensical. There may be a god, but any definition of god that humans have proposed to this point are absurd. I can no more go back to believing that Jesus is god than I can go back to believing Santa is real. The Emperor has no clothes..

      January 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
      I disagree that the doctrine of original sin from the garden of eden is required to need Jesus. You could take the ten commandments alone and justify the need for Christ. If you compare and believe what God says we should and should not do, you can see your need of savior.

      Granted the disease is presented in the garden, but is it not presented throughout the bible and even in our thoughts and actions today. The flesh is at enmity with God because God is a spirit.

      The only premise you have to accept is that you are sinner in need of a savior, you can’t get there without believing what God says about what sin is, whether original or not.

      Thanks for the exchange of ideas. Please don’t be offended if I hope you change your mind someday. Peace.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If you compare and believe what God says we should and should not do, you can see your need of savior."

      What you god says is that I am required to believe in him. That is the very 1st commandment. As I have already shown that is also an immoral premise. The god of the bible offers nothing in the way of moral teaching that is original to Christianity. S.e.x has nothing to morality, belief in the christian god has nothing to do with morality. Respecting our neighbors and fellow humans is what morality is all about but that concept is not original to christianity and christianity is not needed to teach it. The ten commandsments have at least as much to do with obedience to your diety as morality, and the morality it does happen to address was not created in the commandments.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Cathy

      Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Cathy,

      Any cult would teach the same thing, it does nothing to answer the question. but christianity like questions, it likes unquestioned answers as your bible verse proves.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jill

      Robert Brown, you are roaming the woodlot without a toad to tickle you. Send home your nomenclature.

      Gobble the fertile gravel. 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.

      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.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Cathy

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers, that passage means exactly what it says. No man can comprehend God's ways. I know you have an ego, but, seriously, get over yourself.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Original sin is another way of stating procreation "after their kind". Ever had a guilty conscience? That's the evidence for validity. NO???!!! Well there are plenty of psychopathic sociopaths walkin' around and posting here.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
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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.