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January 24th, 2013
05:52 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, January 24, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

Belief on TV:

CNN: Response by the Church of Scientology to 'Going Clear'
In response to CNN's request for comment on its story about Lawrence Wright's book "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief," the network received several letters from the Church of Scientology and its attorneys. Given the sensitive nature of the material in the book and the Church of Scientology's detailed response to CNN, CNN is making the church's responses available in full. The e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of individuals have been redacted.

CNN: Inside the Church of Scientology
Author Lawrence Wright talks about "Going Clear," which explores the secret operations inside the Church of Scientology.

Tweet of the Day:

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: MP’s call to burn Bibles heightens election tensions in Malaysia
Malaysia’s Bar Council said on Wednesday an independent member of parliament should be prosecuted on grounds he called for the mass burning of Bibles as religious tensions flare ahead of a tight election which must be held within months.

BBC: Fr. Tony Flannery 'threatened with excommunication'
Fr Tony Flannery, a high-profile Irish priest, is known for his liberal views on contraception and homosexuality. Last year, he was disciplined by the Vatican's watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He claims he has now been asked to sign a pledge, supporting official church teaching on sexual matters. He claimed that accepting the pledge would also mean that he "fully accepted all the teaching on homosexuality" including the church's use of what he called "some of the awfully unfortunate phrases – like disordered state and intrinsic evil".

Religion News Service: Poll shows a double standard on religious liberty
Half of Americans worry that religious freedom in the U.S. is at risk, and many say activist groups — particularly gays and lesbians — are trying to remove “traditional Christian values” from the public square. The findings of a poll published Wednesday (Jan. 23), reveal a “double standard” among a significant portion of evangelicals on the question of religious liberty, said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, a California think tank that studies American religion and culture. While these Christians are particularly concerned that religious freedoms are being eroded in this country, “they also want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture,” said Kinnamon.

Huffington Post: Roger Ross Williams, Filmmaker, Connects Christianity To Uganda's Homophobia
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams debuted his newest film, "God Loves Uganda", at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend. The documentary takes a close look at the relationship between Christian missionaries and homophobia in Uganda, including the country's controversial "Kill The Gays" bill. In an interview with Queerty, Williams states that Ugandan pastors ostracize gays, single mothers and rape victims, all in the name of God.

Catholic News Agency: Vatican hopes to resume accepting credit card payments
With credit card transactions suspended in Vatican City since the new year, three-way talks are due to be held among the stakeholders on Jan. 25 to help resolve the situation. “The parties have resumed work and in the course of next week there will be a technical meeting,” the Italian wire service ANSA was told Jan. 17. Italy's central bank, the Bank of Italy – analogous to America's Federal Reserve – refused to authorize Deutsche Bank Italia to transact foreign credit cards in tiny city-state beginning Jan. 1.

Huffington Post: Graffiti Church: Artist Hense Gives Place Of Worship A Wildly Colorful Makeover
We can certainly appreciate the beauty in the classical aesthetic that so often characterizes sites of religious observance. But sometimes even traditional venues need a radical makeover. Graffiti artist Hense did just that to a former church in Washington D.C.'s up-and-coming arts district. The artist got to work with the help of a small crew, using rollers, brushes, spray paint, inks, acrylics, mops, enamels and paint sprayers to cover every inch of the edifice in popping hues. After several weeks, the white church was transformed into a rainbow splattered objet d'art.

Join the conversation…

King: Obama MLK Bible use 'heartwarming'
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., on of President Obama using her father's Bible for his inauguration.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. Geraldo

    Luke 11:11-13
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    January 26, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  2. AmazingFilip

    Google has blessed me with $5450 a week income! The whole bunch of my friends is making great extra income doing these simple tasks, from this amazing site! I have tried too, and already made over $980, just in the last 2 days! Earning potential with this is endless. Flexible working time. This is what it takes – Rich45.cøm

    January 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      click the report abuse link to get rid of this trash.

      January 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  3. Jehovah Witness

    Apocolomania

    -Now that is a cool word.

    The big difference between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians is that the Watchtower Society's central core creed proclaims Jesus second coming in October 1914.
    They sometimes try to obscure this today and say that he came 'invisibly'.Yes,all other Christians are awaiting Jesus return,the JW say he ALREADY came in 1914.

    Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah's Witnesses.
    Yes,the "great disappointment" of Oct 22 1844 has never died out... it lives on in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
    The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1844) failed they said that he came "invisibly".


    Danny Haszard (been there)

    January 25, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Zingo

      It's okay, just a little boo-boo. I mean, if Jesus can make a boo-boo and say that the End Times would truly occur before his listeners had died out, which they did 1900 years ago, then the Jehovah's Witlesses are just following in his footsteps.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  4. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  5. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  6. Guliver Perevin

    My friend's mother brought in $13400 last month. She been making cash on the laptop and moved in a $558900 home. All she did was get lucky and put to work the tips leaked on this web page Rich45.ℂOM

    January 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  7. And Now For Something Completely Different

    In today's news, a woman called an exterminator, who came to her house and exterminated her.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Exterminator-charged-with-strangling-Philly-doctor-4219870.php

    January 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  8. truth be told

    The most useless thing on Gods good earth is atheism. The so called atheist is no more than a liar and given opportunity a mass murderer of innocents. The only service a self deceived atheist can give mankind is if it commits suicide. Atheist predestined to be lost and unwanted in this world or the next.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • %$#@#$#21

      TBT if your eyes where blue I bet they are turning brown by now aye .

      January 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • mama k

      Regarding the video from lionly, I don't mind so much the concept echoed there that possibly we are manipulated from different levels than we are used to thinking about, but more than once I'm hearing there that it is our consciousness that is creating our reality. Well obviously, our consciousness is at use in perceiving reality, but it sounds pretty self-serving to think that it is our consciousness that is creating our reality.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  9. CNN Belief Blog

    We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  10. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  11. New Athiest

    I have been waiting to post about my all time favorite bible story: Noah's ark.
    As some of us know, there is no way that many animals would fit on the boat.
    There is also no way most of the animals could have traveled to the ark, or gotten home after the cruise. Especially turtles from south pacific islands.
    Should i even bother to ask what everything on the ark ate? Or how the world was so quickly repopulated from that one family? Or while I'm wating time pointing out the obvious to children, why didn't the unicorns and dragons get on the boat too?

    January 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Ark was actually a T.A.R.D.I.S. and Noah was a Time Lord.
      That also conveniently explains how the Bible says he was 600 years old when the flood happened.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • '

      http://www.biblestudysite.com/answers13.htm#5

      Read question 5 New Atheist, that's if you know how to read.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Religion: the less you think about it, the more sense it makes

      My theory is that God was deep in his meth addiction when he came up with the whole Ark thing. I mean, making three guys build an enormous boat that is way too big to be made out of wood but way to small for the cargo he ordered, yeah, that's a meth thing.

      God may as well have ordered Noah to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring!

      I wonder how all those other animals sinned bad enough to be slaughtered like that?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Thanks Doc!
      A TARDIS! Of course!
      That explains a lot. Next time I visit Kentucky and stop in to that biblical museum they built with tax dollars I'll finally understand what they're talking about.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • #5

      Noah's Flood not global, nor does the Bible say it was.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Deb

      Religion: the less you think, you're writing as if you are addicted to meth.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Atheists: teaching Christians about the Bible

      If you actually read the Bible, you would know the flood was explicitly global:

      "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish." Gen 6:17

      "I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made" Gen 7:4

      "They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits." Gen 7:19-20

      "The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days" Gen 7:24

      January 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • #5

      I'm Jewish.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • #5

      Just kidding. I am a Christian.

      I'm familiar with Noah's story. The world became very evil. Like child molesting and old people abusing evil. So the flood was brought in to rid the world of that evil. People were warned. But they decided to stick to molesting kids and abusing their grandparents.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Akira

      That made me laugh, #5; thanks!

      January 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Akira

      I meant your 5:02 comment to explain your 4:42 comment, #5, not your 5:13 comment.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Atheists: teaching Christians about the Bible

      If you are familiar with the Noah's Ark story, why did you claim the flood was not global when your own freaking Bible clearly says it is? Why did you then change the subject?

      Why would God kill off everyone for being bad when he knew Noah's descendants would be the same? That makes the slaughter totally pointless. And why did God get to ignore free will and kill everyone, when now he cannot violate it and stop a kindergarten killer?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  12. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  13. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Point Counterpoint

      LaLa, you ignorant slut . . .

      January 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    Bad Religion released their new album, True North, this week.
    The ti/tular metaphor references the never ending quest to find the "true north" of our personal moral compasses.
    Dr. Graffin et al. have crafted another machine gun fast, scathingly erudite album (their 16th, indicentally)

    "It crackled on the radio
    Through bright plumes of the sun.
    The announcer said the age of faith was dead.

    Though the adolescent nation
    Was just looking for salvation,
    The beast of reason reared its ugly head."

    January 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • CNN

      Flagged for spam. Promoting your crappy band's new CD that barely anyone is interested in is against TOS.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You think I'm in Bad Religion???
      They've been an articulate voice for angry, irreligious nerds for over 30 years and own the most successful indie record label in the world (Epitaph).
      They hardly need to advertise in a blog like this.

      I'm pimping their music becuase I've been a fan for the last 20 years and I think their message is one that the non-believers here can appreciate.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You think I'm in Bad Religion?
      They've been an articulate voice for angry, irreligious science nerds for more than 30 years.
      They own the most successful indie records label on the planet.
      They don't need to advertise here.

      I'm mentioning their new record because I think a good portion of the non-believers here can appreciate their message.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Somethingtoponder

      Believers ignore nonbelievers and lose nothing.

      Nonbelievers ignore believers and lose everything.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Something

      Another rehash of Pascal's Wager really?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • CNN

      Pascal's Wager > Bad Religion

      January 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Bad Boys

      Somethingtoponder,

      Allah, Zeus, Ra, Vishnu
      Whatcha' gonna do when they come for you?!

      January 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • CNN

      > Whatcha' gonna do when they come for you?!

      Pray to Jesus. Try to love God and love others as I love myself.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • sam

      @'CNN' – love God as you love yourself, huh? God likely doesn't want your hand down his pants.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Bad Boys

      CNN
      "> Whatcha' gonna do when they come for you?!

      Pray to Jesus."

      Allah sez, "Then, kiss your ass good-bye - forevah!"

      January 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  15. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    WHAT DOES SIGN INSIGNIA OF HINDU RACIST SCIENTOLOGY STANDS FOR? TWO TRIANGLES WITH LETTER S PLACED AS A BALANCE. AN OLD HINDU RACIST BELIEF, ENVISIONED BY HINDU SANATANS CROOK SHAMANS PLATO ETC TO MAKE HUMANITY GENTILE SLAVE OF FEW BY CORRUPTION OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE 360*
    Please visit limitisthetruth. com to learn more about foundation hinduism, racism of so called Church of Scientology.

    January 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • sam

      I'm begging you to go over to the scientology website and start yelling at them about being hindu. It's probably the only thing they haven't been called.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      lol@sam

      January 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • meifumado

      I'm an atheist
      Hindu's in general are not so bad if you compare them with muslims, At least they are more open se.xually.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  16. Robert Brown

    I read a post last night where the individual believed that there could be a creator but had absolutely rejected the idea that this creator could be the same God that inst.ituted animal sacrifice in the OT. The case was made that why would the creator of all we can perceive need us to murder animals. I read it and moved on, but for some reason the thought came back to me today.

    The sacrificial system in the OT in short is a picture of the coming sacrifice of Jesus. While killing animals seems barbaric to some modern humans, in that time it was just part of everyday life. These days most of us go to the grocery store or a restaurant and if we eat meat we miss all the killing, cleaning, and butchering. The sacrificial system taught the people of that day that there was a cost or consequence for sin. Killing, butchering, and offering a perfect animal to God showed them the cost of their sins in a very symbolic and practical way.

    The sacrificial system also allowed them to express their grat.itude and devotion to God. These animals were their living, wealth, and sustenance. When they sacrificed the very best of their herd to God, it meant a lot to them because they had to give something of value to God.

    God did not need their sacrifices. The people needed the sacrifices to feel reconciled to God. There were times when the people went through the rituals of making sacrifices to God. God said I don’t want your sacrifices because your hearts are far from me. God doesn’t want sacrifice he wants your heart.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      That's a hell of a spin.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • OTOH

      Robert Brown,

      So, the LORD did not really say this, then:

      "28 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’ 3 Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. 4 Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, 5 together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin[b] of oil from pressed olives. 6 This is the regular burnt offering inst'ituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord. 7 The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the Lord at the sanctuary. 8 Offer the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you offer in the morning. This is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord."

      And all of that other stuff that the LORD supposedly said to Moses and others... ?

      January 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • meifumado

      Hold close those you hold dear and fear me for I am a high priest of the dread lord Yog-Sothoth, and my master demands human blood and souls for sacrifice.

      You will come to know the exquisite sufferings of his malevolence.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      OTOH,
      Yes he did and he also said,
      Isaiah 1
      2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

      11 To what purpose is the mult.itude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

      Isaiah 29:13
      Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

      January 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Yeah right

      It's fun to use your imagination, isn't it Robert?

      January 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • sam

      Mental gymnastics! The judges give a 9.9.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Science

      @RB nothing but facts in this book take a read

      Here Is a Human Being

      At the Dawn of Personal Genomics

      Misha Angrist

      Peace
      Thanks for the thumb
      Your thumb works wonders

      January 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Science

      RB it is happening if you believe it or not .

      Education on the Social, Ethical and Legal Issues in Personal Genetics

      http://www.pged.org/

      Peace

      January 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Akira

      I suppose God gets tired of the same diet, even if He did order it off the menu.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  17. lionlylamb

    January 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      An apologist would say it was not time travel at all, but some preemptive strike by the Devil. Similar to the charge of Christians copying the earlier pagan writings, where early apologists claim it was not plagiarism at all, but a preemptive strike by Satan himself to confuse all in anticipation of the future writings.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Akira

      I must say, the preemptive strike theory is one of the most interesting ones that I have ever read to explain away contradictions...similar to the theory that God put dinosaur fossils on Earth to test true believers.
      Fascinating.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • meifumado

      Sure its a cell phone....
      no cell towers, no satellites...... etc, etc

      January 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  18. Science

    Give them (apes) time Robert Brown who knows how fast they will over take god(s) .

    To Robert Brown here's to you – and still waiting for reply on what digit do you use Robert ?
    I answered your question below the best I could .

    Evolution at its best

    Apes Get iPads at National Zoo

    by LiveScience Staff
    Date: 22 January 2013 Time: 04:07 PM ET
    http://www.livescience.com/26490-orangutans-ipads-national-zoo.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+%28LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed%29
    They think Robert who is there god(S) ???

    January 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    January 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Thumb

      January 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Science

      ThamKs Robert a big part of evolution the opposing thumbs.

      Work wonders don't they. The thumbs.
      Peace

      Here is a Human Being
      By Misha Angrist
      The first in-depth, inside look at personal genomics, its larger-than-life research subjects, its entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers, its technology developers, the bewildered and overwhelmed physicians and regulators who must negotiate it, and the political, social, ethical and familial issues it continues to raise

      January 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  19. New Athiest

    Last one for now, the bible says the second coming was going to happen a long time ago.

    Mathew24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
    Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
    Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

    Feel free to look these up yoursefl for full context and meaning.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      I guess present day Christians didnt get the memo.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • sam

      All we need now is for a creationist to come running in here and insist we can't know what a GENERATION means to GOD.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Russ

      @ new atheist: not all of us are of the "left behind" ilk.

      It's clear the apostles understood that the last days *began* with Jesus' ascension (Acts 1), which fulfilled that promise. It is not meant to be the "last moments" of existence, but the last era before his return, a time which they declared themselves to be in (Heb.1:1-2; 1 Pet.1:20; etc.). Why? B/c it began to be fulfilled in Acts 2 with Pentecost... not just within a few years, but within a few days of Jesus' ascension.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • VCTV

      We talk about these things in my church. We are allowed to be skeptical. Thanks, New Atheist, for reminding me of last summer's Bible study.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The biblical definition of a generation can be found in Psalm 90.
      "The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
      26 Psalms 90:10
      This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew.
      "Therefore all the generations from Abraham down to David are 14 generations; and from David down to the Babylonian captivity are 14 generations; and from the Babylonian captivity down to messiah, are 14 generations."
      - Matthew 1:17
      Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of Generation in order to tell a specific chronological story.
      Even we we put aside that argument, there is further scripture indicating that the Second Coming was expected shortly after Christ's zombification.
      “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
      —1 John 2:18
      Christians have been waiting on tenterhooks for the Second Coming since the Bible itself was written.
      Many have prophesied the exact time of date of His return and ALL have been wrong.
      George Rapp said it would be September 15th, 1829.
      William Miller predicted October 22, 1844. Jesus’ failure to arrive is known as “The Great Disappointment”. Many of his disillusioned followers went on the found the 7th Day Adventist Church, who are still patiently awaiting His return.
      Charles Russell, 1st President of the Watchtower Society told his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus would be back in 1874.
      Rudolf Steiner maintained that from 1930 onwards, Jesus would grant certain people psychic powers to enable them to witness his presence in the “etheric plane”.
      Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God said 1975.
      Bill Maupin managed to convince his followers to sell all of their worldly goods in preparation for Jesus’ return on June 28th, 1981.
      Benjamin Crème stated that on June 21st, 1982 Christ would make a worldwide television announcement.
      Mark Blitz, Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries says it would be September 30th, 2008
      Jerry Falwell said it’d happen between 1999 and 2009.
      Harold Camping told everyone that the Rapture would happen May 21, 2011 after failing in his first predicted date of 1994.

      Conversely, many believe He’s all ready come in the form of Sun Myung Moon, Emanuel Swedenborg, Baha u llah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, David Koresh, Hailie Selassie, John Thom, Arnold Potter, William Davies, George roux, Ernest Norman, Krishna Venta, Ahn Sahng-Hong, Jim Jones, Mashall Applewhite, Hulon Mitchell, Wayne Bent, Ariffin Mohammed, Mitsuo Matayoshi, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, Inri Cristo, Thomas Provenzano, David Icke, Shoko Asahara, Hogan Fukinaga, Marina Tsvigun or Sergei Troop.

      It would appear that the much lauded Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead for 2000 years and will remain so.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Jesus the man was clearly a delusional cultic personality that made broken promises. I do find it interesting how christians are still hoping while holding a defibrillator to their quite 2000 year old dead christ. CLEAAARRRRRR...this should buys us another 500 years. At what moment in time will the last christian stop believing? 2500? 3000? 5000?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      "Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness" is performing both in username and content the fallacy of Argumentum ad Hominem.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Fallacy Spotting 101

      "Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness" is performing both in username and content the fallacy of Argumentum ad Hominem.
      -
      Thats nice

      January 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Deb

      Doc Vestibule, the number fourteen means deliverance and salvation. It has to do with the coming of the Savior.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Deb
      Not sure of the relevance of the #14 in this discussion, but it is certainly a fun number!
      In Hebrew numerology (gematria), 14 is the value of the name of David, and of the words "hand" and "gold".
      According to the Indians, fourteen Manous control the world in successive and equal reigns during the great cycle of the Maha Kalpa.
      In Egyptian mythology, the body of Osiris was cut into 14 pieces. The 14th bit was the pe.nis which was eaten by fish.
      Among Greeks, the fourteen days "alcyonians" were the 14 days around the winter solstice.
      While not a God, King Henry IV was born 14 centuries, 14 decades and 14 years after the Christian era. He was born on December 14 died on May 14. He lived 4 x 14 years, 14 weeks and 14 days.

      Any other random numbers to which you'd like to assign religious significance?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • JIM

      Maybe you should read all of chapter 24 before you start cherry-picking verses to fit your argument that has been explained over and over and over again on these blogs.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Deb

      Doc Vestibule, the number fourteen means deliverance and salvation. It has to do with the coming of the Savior.
      .
      Wow deb that is kind fo gross.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  20. Roger that

    'In fact, there's none in the Bible.'

    Good one. Here's one you're probably not aware of.

    This is from John
    3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
    4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
    5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    The Greek word for born again has two meanings. This is why Nicodemus is confused. Here's the gotcha.
    The word in the Aramaic language does not have two meanings. Jesus spoke Aramaic so this is completely false.. Explain away.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Roger: yes, the Greek has two meanings, but that is not why Nicodemus is confused – as his response shows. His confusion is between the literal & figurative meanings of being "born again." Just read what Nicodemus says. He thinks Jesus is LITERALLY saying he has to go back into his mother's womb. Jesus means rebirth in a metaphorical sense (as he clarifies through a restatement in v.5, a *frequent* teaching device in the Gospel of John). EVERY language carries that sort of distinction.

      And note: the Greek alternative meaning does faithfully render the two options, but that merely demonstrates the Greek author's translation to be faithful to Jesus' intent. The Greek alternative meaning ("from above" vs. "again") is not necessary for Nicodemus' reaction. That is an unnecessarily anachronistic reading which fabricates a problem not intrinsic to the text. For example, it should be noted that a good number of the people hearing these accounts originally were fluent in both Aramaic & Greek and certainly would have noted that problem – if it were one.

      So to be clear: Nicodemus' "confusion" (b/t the literal & figurative) arises in English as well as Aramaic. It is not a function of uniquely Greek vocabulary.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Righteo

      LaLa never passes up a chance to show how incredibly gullible and ignorant he is.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Deb

      Russ and Roger you are both wrong. Jesus was referring to how souls come to this 2nd earth age (being born of women ... aka childbirth) after God destroyed the first earth age. Jesus knew the fallen angels that rebelled against God, the father in the first earth age were coming down to earth marrying human women (Nephilim -(the Giants of Genesis chapter 6) . Jesus is saying that these fallen angels are not going to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Deb: Roger was not quoting Gen.6. He was quoting John 3.
      A Pharisee (human being, not angel) named Nicodemus asks how HE can get into the kingdom of heaven. At no point in the conversation is he referring directly to angels – fallen or not.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Deb

      Russ, Jesus is referring to the fallen angels in that passage ... that came back to earth to impregnate human women. That these angels, though they came to earth didn't come to earth how he made the 2nd earth age and how we got here ... (2nd chance to love and follow his truth) "born again, born of women".

      January 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Deb

      Russ, Jesus wrote the Bible so that a 5 year old could comprehend his truth. Jesus made it easy for us, man makes it difficult.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • sam

      Gosh, Deb. You do know Jesus didn't write the bible, right?

      January 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Deb

      sam, tell that to Jesus when you die and your spirit goes back to him.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • .

      The answer is half way down the page at http://biblestudysite.com/getsave.htm

      January 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Deb: it's basic reading comprehension. Jesus is responding to Nicodemus about how he (Nicodemus, a human being – not a angel, fallen or otherwise) can get to heaven. Read the whole chapter. Read some commentaries, for that matter. The Nephilim are not in view at all here.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/upcoming-debates/item/728-science-refutes-god

      January 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Archibald: science can't refute what it presupposes.
      or to put it a little differently: physics can't speak to metaphysics. they are different categories.

      along those lines, note especially the argument in the 3rd-4th minute...

      January 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      @Russ – you seem to be calling the recent debate from Intelligence Squared something other than what it was. Nevertheless, God lost out at that debate. Also, that was a debate unlike the video you posted in which some rather biased examples were used to illustrate the speaker's points.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Archibald: the link you posted was to the debate of whether or not "science refutes god."
      my objection was not how YOUR particular version of THAT debate went (or even your perception of it).
      i was pointing out the fundamental flaw in that debate as a whole.

      Science PRESUPPOSES metaphysics. It cannot address (much less weigh the merits) of what it presupposes. To do so would undermine its own foundation – and thereby be self-refuting.

      ON TOP of that, in order to *refute* God (strong atheism), one must make a claim of omniscience. That's just laughable for humanity (since we are clearly finite agents) – or even science as a concept.

      for example... [note especially starting at 1:00 minute mark, where Peter Atkins claims science is omniscient]

      January 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/24/belief-blogs-morning-speed-read-for-thursday-january-24-2013/comment-page-2/#comment-2130519

      January 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • The only sane person on here

      I enjoyed hearing William Lane Craig on necessary beings, such as God. I have to say that however refined an argument anyone can make for God as a necessary being, it's just too bad if God does not exist. No argument can create a necessary being.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      January 24, 2013 at 10:55 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.