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My take: A word to Christians - Be nice
February 9th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My take: A word to Christians - Be nice

Editor's note: John S. Dickerson is author of the book “The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that Will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare” and senior pastor of Cornerstone in Prescott, Arizona. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter @JohnSDickerson

By John S. Dickerson, Special to CNN

Last week a high-profile American writer and news personality asked me a painful question: “Hey pastor, can a Christian tweet hate?”

It was not a hypothetical question. He was asking because some of his 1.3 million Twitter followers claim to be “Christian,” and some of the meanest, most perverse hate-tweets he receives come from these self-proclaimed Christians.

We’ve all seen folks, Christian and otherwise, lose their cool in a Facebook face-off or in the comment section under a controversial news story. But as I scrolled through the “Christian” hate tweets to this news personality, I was baffled and ashamed by these so-called followers of Christ. One user describes himself not merely as Christian but as “sharing God’s message of Grace with everyone I encounter.” The messenger of Grace recently tweeted that he doesn’t merely hate this news personality, he despises and loathes him.

These are the moments when it’s embarrassing to be a Christian. I’m not embarrassed to believe the extravagant claims of Christianity: that Christ was born to a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the grave and is returning to rule the world. But I am embarrassed to be associated with some of the people who claim his name.

I have written in the past about the bad reputation that Christians have in America. Some argue that it comes from misrepresentation by the media. Others argue that “all who live godly will suffer persecution,” and that’s why we Christians have a poor reputation. Maybe there’s some truth to those claims, but we Christians have to acknowledge another reason why we are perceived as hateful: because many of our number are.

More and more, I see hateful Christians chalking up their disrepute to “persecution.” God tells us otherwise. In 1 Peter 4 we’re told, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed. …” And that’s the truth; sometimes we are insulted for proclaiming the good news of salvation in Christ. But listen to what follows: “If you suffer, however, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

The Apostle Peter is more or less saying: If you suffer for sharing the good news of Christ, great, you’re blessed. But if you suffer just because you’re being a criminal or acting like an idiot, then don’t blame it on Christ.

Some 2,000 years ago, Peter knew so-called Christians would be criminals and “meddlers.” He knew some would claim, “Wow, I’m really suffering for Jesus,” when they are really just suffering for being jerks.

The word “meddler” means busybody: someone who inserts himself into matters that are not his own. Might this include some people involved in the Twitter, Facebook and “comments” showdowns of our day?

So yes, “all who live godly will suffer persecution.” But let’s not be jerks, get persecuted and then blame it on Christ. American Christianity, with its past position of cultural superiority, gave birth to some self-righteous and condescending so-called Christians. These folks may be culturally Christian, but they know little of Christ and his actual message of humility and repentance. I am convinced that, if Jesus Christ were here walking among us, he would have nothing to do with those who claim his name and consistently spew hate.

Theologians and academics will argue about that last sentence. Isn’t Jesus “a friend of sinners?” Yes. Doesn’t Jesus’ grace wash away the sins of those who trust in him? Yes. Wouldn’t that include the sin of "hate tweet"? Yes.

In seminaries and churches, we tend to engage in obscure questions about theology. For example, “Is it possible for someone to truly trust Christ and spend their entire life tweeting hate?”

Maybe so. But Jesus didn’t engage in such esoteric abstractions. He taught simple truth with clarity, authority and practicality. On controversial issues—“Are hate tweeters true Christians?”—I find myself drawn to the simple words of Scripture. Theologians will argue and debate, but God’s word is simple and clear.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9,11)

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9,10)

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 12:34-36: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

If we will give account for every careless word spoken, might we also give account for every careless comment typed or tweeted?

Christians aren’t the only ones hurling hateful blows on the Web. But we are the only ones who claim to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. So let’s be nice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John S. Dickerson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • My Take

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. factoidlover

    Mr. Dickerson,
    I empathize with your embarrassment regarding your Christian community. I have the same feelings more often than I like for my non-theological, secular community. Humans of all persuasions can get petty, hostile, and mean towards others. You and I have fundamentally different views concerning how the universe works, I expect. But we do share our common humanity and there's enough hate already in the world. I will continue to promote evidence and reason as guides to life as I'm sure you will continue to promote faith in deity and revelation. I hope to persuade you as much you do me, I'd wager. I would affirm with you, though, that hate is persuasion's poorest companion.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:47 am |
    • m

      most excellent statement..."hate is persuasion's poorest companion."

      February 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  2. sick of christian phonies

    Christians THEMSELVES are largely responsible for the rapidly growing numbers of people that want nothing to do with organized religions. When I was young, we didn't care who was what- I have christian friends, I know of christians that do good work. But the militant right-wing, anti-woman, anti-gay, "my way or the highway" cast of today's "people of faith" gets most of the coverage and publicity now. My daughter and most of her peers want NOTHING to do with what they see as the hateful sickness of religion.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • Dnal

      Gross generalities are wrong no matter what race, religion, or creed you are referring to. There are "ugly" minded people in all sects, to include atheist and all other non-Christian groups, but there existence doesn't not come close to representing the whole. This applies to Christianity as well. The people of this nation are generally against universal statements against any religion, race, or creed except for Christianity. This is also hypocritical.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Softship

      Is "dnal" short for denial?
      You are in denial.
      "The people of this nation are generally against universal statements against any religion, race, or creed except for Christianity."
      The people of this nation are happy to propagate universal statements against Muslims, or haven't you been keeping your eyes and ears open?
      Full disclosure – I am not a Muslim, I am an atheist with a Jewish background.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • goops

      "Christians THEMSELVES are largely responsible for the rapidly growing numbers of people that want nothing to do with organized religions. When I was young, we didn't care who was what- I have christian friends, I know of christians that do good work. But the militant right-wing, anti-woman, anti-gay, "my way or the highway" cast of today's "people of faith" gets most of the coverage and publicity now. My daughter and most of her peers want NOTHING to do with what they see as the hateful sickness of religion."

      quote the resources relied upon to draw that conclusion

      March 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • midwest rail

      @ goops – do you really think that someone who commented on this six weeks ago is still checking the thread to respond to you ?

      March 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • goops

      "midwest rail
      @ goops – do you really think that someone who commented on this six weeks ago is still checking the thread to respond to you ?"

      thanks

      March 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  3. Morgan Guyton

    As a fellow pastor, I'm grateful for this word. I think a better way of understanding the salvation that Jesus provides is that Jesus is saving the world FROM US. I'm seeing it happen. Evangelicals who have been poisoned by a toxic theology are waking up. Here's something I wrote about that: http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/is-jesus-saving-the-world-from-us/

    February 10, 2013 at 6:43 am |
  4. Love, not fear

    Excellent article. I cannot tell you how many people entirely agree with this article. It could, of course, apply to any religion; if you think about that it would be clear. Suppose, just suppose, we all, every one of us, reacted from a place of love rather than a place of fear. And then did it again. And again. I once asked someone if Jesus would do (fill in the blank), and their surprised response was, "well, in a perfect world we wouldnt need to (fill in the blank) to keep us safe." my response was "that's the point. Jesus didn't act like Jesus because it was a perfect world. He preached love IN SPITE OF the fact we live in a very imperfect world. It wasn't always easy to be loving, and trusting, and caring. He did those things even when it was very hard. Christians' charge is to try to be Christ-like; not only when it's easy, but especially when it's hard. Try to interact with love, not fear.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:43 am |
  5. Surfer George

    I'm not a "Christian" per se, and not ALL Christians are unkind. nut if you wear shoes, you could check to see if this one fits.
    I think of the character of Jesus as a pretty good role model, I don't really care if He ever existed or not or if His depiction is accurate or not. I have always seen Him as Kind and Just, concerned for the well being of others. The only people I recall Him chastising were the selfish, the wicked, the ignorant of human dignity and NOW it seems like those are the "Christians" that are doing the judging and chastising, as if they have some God Given authority to do so.

    They don't – what ever happened to WWJD in the "Christian" community?

    February 10, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • Surfer George

      Should have read: I'm not a "Christian" per se, and not ALL Christians are unkind, BUT

      February 10, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      George, anyone who characterizes themselves as "not a Christian per se" then writes what you wrote is either being deliberately intellectually dishonest to try to score points or is self-deluded.

      You capitalize "He" and "Him" as well, which only Christians do. Give your head a shake man.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  6. the AnViL

    those who believe in an imaginary man in the sky are delusional and should be strictly prohibited from voting, serving on a jury, serving in any public office, purchasing/owning firearms or teaching public school.

    it is impossible for the adherents of any monotheistic religion to be nice. they are divided, and their religions are predicate on ignorance, hate, bigotry, and racism.

    tolerance of religious idiocy has to end.

    enough is enough.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • Surfer George

      When you get to heaven, be sure to apologize to all the people you have, over the entire course of your existence, verbally assaulted while being WRONG

      February 10, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • the AnViL

      there are several states that prohibit atheists from serving on juries or running for public office in their consti tutions..

      funny how many xian nutbags don't seem to like it when the ideal is reversed.

      - surfer george – you are delusional and ignorant – and the true force of darkness on this planet.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Lou

      When I die my conscience will burn out like a candle after burning all it's wax and my body will return to the earth to provide for the next generations. That is the way of things.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • goops

      in which states may an atheist not run for a position in the government?

      0

      as long as religious folk can;t vote, like MLK and Jimmy Carter

      March 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  7. Blackdruid

    First off I am not what you would call a normal flavor of religion. I am of esoteric hippie pagan type. We are ONE PEOPLE ONE PLANET ONE PROBLEM. The divine cannot be labeled in one box but made us in many different ways.
    OP3!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • the AnViL

      stop smoking pot, retard.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  8. Lone

    Jim- The irony of these forums is that there are more atheists commenting than anyone else. A proverb like that goes both ways, yet here we are.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      I fail to see the irony of atheists merely commenting. How is that ironic?

      Ironic would be if they were all attacking Christians for NOT being intolerant.

      As for "more atheists", there are more atheists in the general population than most Christians realize. The last national survey pegged atheism at 19% of the public, one of the largest singular demographics among the population. And those are just the ones who aren't afraid to admit it, given that religious fervor tends to make people dangerous.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Aldewacs

      @Lowell Thomson: I agree, and I'd pay good money to learn the REAL percentage of closet-non-believers who, if not being monitored by the family, the boss, and their surroundings in general, and if not afraid to be discriminated against by fervent 'believers', would admit to thinking the whole religion bit is just a ludicrous scam. And that includes many priests, bishops, etc and their equivalents in other religions.

      I'd also posit that the rate at which atheist ranks are growing, has a lot to do with a perceived lower risk of 'coming out', after many risked life and limb to stand up for what they believe in ... or rather, stand up AGAINST what they cannot pretend to believe in.

      Isn't it interesting, for instance, that (to my knowledge) the pope never claims to have talked to his god? And he's supposed to be the direct connection, presumably on his god's speed-dial. Wouldn't it be interesting to get the pope on a lie detector machine?

      February 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  9. mick burke

    Dear Jesus, save me from your followers.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:39 am |
  10. Fladabosco

    American Christianity has very little to do with what Jesus said to do. He said to help the least of us. He helped the poor and the sick.

    Jesus said rather clearly, though many rich people will 'interpret this differently, that to go to heaven you have to sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and follow him. I didn't say this, Jesus did, according to the Bible.

    Religious people love to use their holy books to justify their world views and what they want out of life. You don't want to be poor and follow Jesus? Then come up with some justification for not doing it.

    The reason the world's most successful religions have holy books that are thousands of pages long and written in dead languages is so they can be interpreted to fit a person's desires.

    Do Christians have to follow the 10 Commandments? Many say yes but some say Jesus brought the new law so you don't have to follow the old. BTW did you know the 10 Commandments forbids the drawing of fish, stars and tunnels? Don't believe me? Look it up (Exodus 20).

    February 10, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • a struggling christian

      teh coming of jesus doesnt signify the end of the law, He in fact asks you to take commandments to a deeper level.
      One commandment is thou shalt not kill. old testament doesnt stand much on love but when Jesus taught, He said, Old testament said thou shalt not kill, i say Do not hate- thus taking it a step further. Thous halt not commit adultery-
      He said dont even think of a woman with lust. These new teachings keep the hate out.

      Christianity is not a religion, its a relationship.
      The church is not a building, the people are.
      If we are to be the church (body of Christ) we need to be reaching out to people with our hands and loveing them, not striking.

      Casting crowns sang-
      But if we are the body
      Why aren't His arms reaching?
      Why aren't His hands healing?
      Why aren't His words teaching?
      And if we are the body
      Why aren't His feet going?
      Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
      There is a way

      February 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Jonathan

      If you look at the scripture where Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell everything and follow him it doesn't say Jesus told everybody to do this, though some are called to. This man had kept all the commandments and was asking what else he must do. Jesus wasn't just asking him to sell his possessions he was asking him to put Jesus first in his life, before his great wealth, which we see that the young ruler couldn't manage. It wasn't really a question of selling your stuff it was putting Jesus first above everything. I am also at a loss about the 10 commandments issue. I don't see the part you are referencing.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all invisible and undetectable which means that there is no relationship possible with any of them. Imaginary friends are for immature individuals. You should "put away childish things" as the bible says, and grow up and leave behind silly superst.itions.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • phillie

      I had to stop reading your post at "American Christianity."

      February 11, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "He said dont even think of a woman with lust."

      1984 has been upon us for two millenia.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • JC

      To a struggling christian: Even more importantly to people like me is that you need to keep out of my face. I'm not interested in your relationship with your god. In fact, I don't believe in the existence of your god. Stop assuming that non-believers are your projects waiting for conversion.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  11. Dina

    I spent a good deal of my teenage years with a Christian group. They were perfectly nice people, but they all had a trait that bothered me, even as a teenager: They had a real aversion to thinking for themselves–and chose to believe whatever their church elders told them to believe, about everything, not just religion. It was unbearable.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • Merc

      I went through something similar. The turning point came one day when, in seminary, the instructor was talking about how she felt sorry for everyone who believed in evolution. The whole class laughed; "Can you believe that some people think we're descended from monkeys??"

      I was shocked. Up until then, I had no problem consolidating my belief in evolution with my belief in a higher power. That was my last day of being a part of organized religion. I've since "evolved" along different lines of thought.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Don Camp

      Dina, I have been a parent and a teacher of teens for quite a few years. What you speak of is simply typical of teens as they first adopt the convictions of their elders and then wrestle with finding their own convictions. It is not a new phenomenon.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • phillie

      So your saying as a teenager you didn't want to listen to authority....sounds about right. That has nothing to do with Christianity. I suppose you haven't grown out of that period yet?

      February 11, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • jixero

      I hope that you aren't a chistian phillie because you missed the point of this article altogether or you simply don't care and will continue to judge.

      February 11, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • matt

      You need to find a different group of Christians. The circles I run in are the exact opposite. They are some of the most thoughtful people I know. They generally tend to be immensely aware of the their shortcomings and compassionate to those around them: like the author of this article. Even so, may I strongly recommend reconsidering what adult Christians do (find a local group and just ask) instead of your experiences with a bunch of teenagers? For what its worth, I find thoughtful introspective teenagers (of any persuasion) to be in short supply.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • NotFoolinMe

      Merc, you totally made that up. I'm an atheist myself, but that doesn't mean I don't know total BS when I smell it!

      February 11, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  12. Duff

    There are three kinds of christians (or any other religionist)

    Those who are too stupid to know better.
    Those who are smart enough to know better but have been trained not to think.
    Those who know its ridiculous, but believe anyway.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      Well said

      February 10, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • mark

      Wait Duff you forgot brilliant scientist like Copernicus, Pascal, Kepler, Kelvin, Newton and Nobel Laureates in Chemistry like Barton, and Smalley. But that's okay we all hit a bad shot on the course every once in awhile. You can't be blamed for what you don't know.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • RA

      completely agree.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Karen Stewart

      @Mark...why didn't you mention Galileo? Is that because the Catholic church locked him up for the rest of his life FOR BEING RIGHT???

      February 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • mark

      Whoops you right Karen. However, Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err, and saw his system as an alternate interpretation of the biblical texts.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Don Camp

      And those who have thought it through and have come to the reasoned opinion that what the Bible reveals about God is true.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Mark

      By faith I believe that most of those scientists you mention would be atheists had they the knowledge prevalent in the scientific community of today.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Don Camp

      One CANNOT come to the "reasoned conclusion" that what the bible says about god is true because the bible contradicts itself on what it says about god. The god of the bible cannot exist because of what the bible claims about it.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Guess what? We learn to figure out what can be verified before we accept the words or philosophies of *any* man.

      – Aristotle had some great ideas which have been verified to be useful and beneficial to us, but you should read how he thought that human conception occurred, and how males/females were conceived; and he believed that thinking occurred in the region around the heart and not in the brain.

      – Isaac Newton was heavily into alchemy, numerology and the occult.

      – Brilliant Nikola Tesla thought that a visiting pigeon was his wife.

      Verify, verify, verify. There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or events told about by men in the Bible nor anywhere else.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • kateU

      Don you are right on the money. Moby, when you study to the Bible to the extent that such Christians Don describes do, you come to understand that there are nuances and complexities in this literature, words that can't be taken at face value. There are several genres of literature in the Bible which explains some of the aparrent contraditictions. Just like real life has nuances, complexities, and gray areas that don't make sense at first.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • matt

      What exactly is a religionist? I think you missed the point. The article was a Christian calling other Christians to be kinder and be a better embodiment of the central figure of our faith. You choose not to believe, fine. Why attack those of us who do? This article is precisely written to those of us who want to be better people and better Jesus followers. We aren't going to be the ones who try to cram our beliefs or values down your throat. That's another place. Go spew your condescending tirades there.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  13. Steve

    Nice article. My first "human" reaction they are blasting Christianity. I rarely can trust my first reaction. :) After I thought of it, between the media and the message some Christians portray, it's no wonder our society and media are like they are. Granted, it's in our nature to be independent and not depend on God. I felt sad Christians today can't have a united front when sharing the good news of Christ with others. I for one have and continue to seek to be like Christ, I'm not perfect and try to be as obiedent as I can. God through his son Jesus changed my life 7 years ago and it's been awesome, there has been ups and downs, but none the less, I wouldn't go back to my old life of anger, bitterness. I challenge all Christians, think about this, what if a non-believer came to your local church where it was a traditional church, how would you welcome this person 1) with open arms or 2) would you ignore and shun them. First impressions are the most important in anything, including inviting them to church. I don't blame our secular society totally on ignoring God. I'm not sure where to begin with my frustration today with Christians and their varied views. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a good use case how various Christians can't get along. Here is the one of the most holy places in Christianity and we as Christians fight over it. That is said. You might wonder why I mentioned this, I visited Israel last year and it made me sad that at the most holiest spot, they can't get along. If we can't get along amongst ourselves, how can the world want to join or seek Christ. We are his hands and feet. I'm not sure the answer, but this article helped me realize Christians have along ways to go.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • JoeInMA

      I'm no expert, but Steve sounds to me like the kind of Christian that Jesus would recognize. Awesome post Steve!

      February 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      That's all very well Steve and good on you. But allowing yourself to become biochemically deluded (which is what belief is) is not a real solution to problems. It's a crutch. Sometimes, it's a pretty sturdy crutch, but it's a crutch nonetheless.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • craig

      Followers of Jesus know that they are saved by his grace and it is nothing we can do on our own. We welcome all unbelievers, because we were in there shoes once, and know that without Jesus we are nothing.

      February 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  14. Rachael

    I know there are a small percentage of Christians who actually accept Christ's message and practice what he preached, but it seems like so few. Fifteen years ago I realized that Christianity, as practiced by the majority in modern America, is a hate movement.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • Bob

      You really need to get out more and meet more real Christians. Your "hate movement" is a small percentage of American Christianity, though it is the PC thing to say.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • HenryB

      Christians decry other Christians who are hateful. The difficulty is that these "good" Christians never chastise the "bad" Christians. If you claim to be part of the same faith, then take responsibility for those who give that faith a bad name. "Good" Christians, don't tell me that a small group of Christians are "bad" Christians and that we should not generalize. You do something about those that give your faith a bad name. Don't blame CNN Bob, blame yourself for not standing up to these hateful Christians, the one you decry as "just a small part of Christianity". Do something!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      This is true

      February 10, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Christians DO chastise other Christians.

      But group belief is group belief. You still stick with the people in the group (even over the rules of the belief) because that's what we're biologically set up to do; to stay in packs for group protection.

      And protective packs are less likely to attack their own members than others. That's why they exist, to have people working together.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Austin

      Austin
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Austin
      @ Mass D
      "By the way, there are many people who keep dream journals, but only psychopaths try to decipher them as divine inspiration."

      i am going through this again...
      all of the dreams I had, that I discern were visioins, were because I was having dreams that were LEADING what my reality and awake life was about to actually present to me. Did I know when i wrote them down, or expect, for these dreams to be doing such a thing? there were a few where I knew that I could expect something. and they did hit .

      two nights in a row, and a little space between the third dream,

      #1I dreamt about the tile patio , a huge and beautiful rock tile with wide grout and a beautiful pattern and color, ater i had entered a stone arch entrance. There was an arm reaching into a whole, a whole chizzeled out of the ground. and the arm pulled out a leather bag full of gems. wrote these down in the middle or the night half asleep. The next day....I kept reading my bible.......

      Jeremiah 43:8-13
      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 “Take some large stones in your [a]hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh’s [c]palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of [d]some of the J.ews; 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.

      #2 the next night I dreamed that i was being attacked by a motorcycle gang and that the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn, att.atched to his seat. he could not even sit on his bike. he was trying to run me over. they were a rebel gang.
      the next day, i had finished reading Jeremiah and gotten into Lament.ations

      ◄ Lament.ations 2:3 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.
      ◄ Lament.ations 2:17 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.

      I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH AND THE STONES, AND I HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF LAMENTA.TIONS. i COULD NOT HAVE TOLD YOU WHAT ONE MAIN POINT WAS OTHER THAN I KNEW JEREMIAH WAS A PROPHET.

      #3 a few days later I had a dream that there was a huge pile of feathers underneath a bed. that day, I was reading in the book of daniel, ◄ Daniel 4:33 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

      the kid who i had the dream about, got into trouble that day, which i had suspected the feather was a sign that he would be humiliated. he had his work pass suspended which was a major blow.

      #4 dreamed I was poisoned by mercury in alcohol. the next dream, didnt have a single dream for two weeks, this next dream I had just let two snakes out of a cage. one was a viper, the other was a rattler. but I had not thought even thought the word viper for a long time. when i woke up, i said to the kid next to me................."something is going to happen today, this one is a sign" i knew the snakes were a sign..

      two hours later i went down to bible study, the leader, on the second passage, said turn to proverbs 23:32

      29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
      Who has strife? Who has complaints?
      Who has needless bruises? Who has blo.odshot eyes?
      30 Those who linger over wine,
      who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
      31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
      when it sparkles in the cup,
      when it goes down smoothly!
      32 In the end it bites like a snake
      and poisons like a viper.

      #5 Dreamed i was in a wh.ore house and I flooded it because i turned on a water spitot upstairs and just let it go and left it on. I had been praying about lust. I didnt catch this dream, until a few week later i did a study on water. I had no clue about this dream. i seemed like a random joke. but i got kicked out for letting the water run and flood.

      15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

      # 6 dreamed i was touring a house and went out back and there was an ABOVE ground pool with an flush deck and a privacy fence right around the deck.

      two days later the kid sleeping next to me pulled out a piece of paper , sheldon clay was his name, and he showed me his blue print he drew, of a new house, with an above ground swimming pool , with a flush deck around the pool, and a privacy fence on the deck.

      #7 this kid on night threw a roll a tp and racked me. I was furious and said to myself, I wonder if he has the light in his eye. and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition. THE NEXT MORNING he woke up and came up to me and said, "i had a dream last night that i was going around to see who had a special light in their eye to see if they were possessed or not"
      this kid was not a bible verse type of guy.

      #8 had a dream that the kid who was ripping on me lost his money
      a month later i over heard him talking about how he lost his money, and i said watch this, and pulled out the dream i had that he had lost it.

      #9 the cat dream. I had a cat at my house, that night i dreamed that a demonic voice sang to me which inverted my body and then presented the same cat, covered in blood.

      I woke up and the cat was dead in the highway, 550 feet from my house.

      #10 I had a dream i was inside the st. louis arch and I was in there with my cousin, and she was pointing at a glass case , with a bust of someone. she said "look, its thomas Jefferson" and the place was very nice. very expensive and ritzy.

      I had no idea what the st. louis arch was about. but what i had been doing, was getting heavily into the rumors about masons, and this dream just came to me. and when I googled this and I started trembling . this is called "a word of knowledge" which is a type of spiritual gift.

      There have been numerous other ones that I believe were spiritual words of knowledge that i wont get in to .

      None of this stuff, is me trying to fit things together. everything i dreamed, and then experienced in real life as i have stated. Some of these, are totally obvious. others, I have complete faith that they were also spiritual revelations, because I know %100 that some were, so I can have faith that others probably were too. and 8 of the first ten there, all happened in jail.

      This is organized, and relevant information that is a dream, relating to reality that i was about to live.

      That is spiritual revelation.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:46 am | Reply

      March 24, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Austin

      the AnViL™
      ROTFLMAO

      it's alllllways the mentally ill people who get all bent out of shape when you point out that mental illness isn't a divine gift.

      they crawl out of the woodwork, crying. they always tell on themselves.

      too funny

      March 29, 2013 at 12:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
      Austin
      Ok anvil, answer the question..

      Are you a doctor?

      March 29, 2013 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
      the AnViL™
      ROTFLMAO

      no one needs to be a zoologist in order to identify a duck, nutbag.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
      Austin
      Notice your use of "allllllways". As a major exaggeration, After you start off by" laughing your ar.se off".

      Then your diagnosis is done in vitriolic humor and powerful demand . And is this a humane treatment of a supposedly "without a doubt" mentally il person?

      So you are sure and this is how you project yourself ?

      You are a classic mentally abusive individual.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
      Austin
      You have been in more than one abusive relationship? You can't stop.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
      Anvil claims to be a doctor, or just acts like she deserves to be one
      Anvil, were you abused? Why are you so controlling?

      I have experienced revelation . And when I did the first time, I started writing dreams down, and journaling my days when I have a interesting dream. Sometimes I don't have time though.

      Anyways, I have dreams, with the time and date. And journal notes or remarks about my experiences. The details are mere observations. There is no way I am delusional, hallucinating , or schitzophrenic.

      You though, are in a wicked state of denial.

      I feel sorry for people like you.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
      the AnViL™
      austin – i'm going to repeat what i told you yesterday:

      you're literally demonstrating to the world that you've got some serious mental health issues – so don't get all bent out of shape when someone points out the obvious.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
      the AnViL™
      just want to take a moment to point out:

      schizophrenia is not a divine spiritual gift.

      it is a very serious mental disorder.

      March 29, 2013 at 12:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
      Bloated dead frog
      No but going around and saying that puts you on the same level as Hitler.

      Can I call you doctor? Dr anvil?

      March 29, 2013 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
      the AnViL™
      how, precisely – does pointing out an obvious fact – put someone on the same level as adolph hitler?

      March 29, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  15. Walter

    Yawn. Another story in the "Belief" section painting Christians in a negative light. What a surprise.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yeah – God forbid a contemporary Christian actually do any soul searching. Cant have that.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • Bob

      Would be nice if they wrote one article every so often on the good in the Christian community, but that wouldn't fit the CNN agenda.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • Surfer George

      I'm not a "Christian" per se, and not ALL Christians are unkind.
      I think of the character of Jesus as a pretty good role model, I don't really care if He ever existed or not or if His depiction is accurate or not. I have always seen Him as Kind and Just, concerned for the well being of others. The only people I recall Him chastising were the selfish, the wicked, the ignorant of human dignity and NOW it seems like those are the "Christians" that are doing the judging and chastising, as if they have some God Given authority to do so.

      They don't

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • midwest rail

      Bob, please do tell the class what the "CNN agenda" is. That's such an easy phrase to trot out, care to elaborate ?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • mark

      Midwest ....Christians don't soul search on a Cnn website, they do it in prayer. This is of this world we are interested in His revelation of true wisdom and of heaven. Hope to see you there.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  16. stefletcher

    Thank you for a well written piece about how people claiming to be Christian often are not identifiable as human beings! It would also be smart for other old school ministers and teachers of Christianity to look at your presentation as well.... I have been long lost from the organized religion/Christianity partially because of the very things you write about. I do believe in God and no longer choose to associate with threatening, hateful, ignorant and misinformed teachers.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • Merc

      Your last sentence is exactly how I feel.

      Well said. :)

      February 10, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • phillie

      steflether...you seem to have a lot of hate in your heart.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:30 am |
    • matt

      Faith separated from people, or, as you put it, 'organized religion', is nothing more than philosophy and of no earthly good.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  17. Longbow

    Christians be nice? At least the typlical evangelical response to criticism & ridicule is not to strap a bomb to their chests and blow up innocent people. I'll give them that. How about this article: "Muslims: Be nice! Stop blowing people up!"

    February 10, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Tim Jordan

      No they just kill abortion clinic doctors...

      February 10, 2013 at 6:19 am |
    • mark

      Hey Tim non believers kill kids does that make you associated with kid killers? Leaps of generalizations are the bane of the human dialogue. I will pray for you.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Aaron

      You don't know the first thing about what a "typical" Muslim response it! How many Muslims do you know personally? You are going to decry manipulation of facts and negative bias by the media when it pertains to a group you identify with and then in the same breath make an even greater and more sweeping generalization about a different group? I'm sorry, but – and I say this as nicely as possible – that makes you a hypocrite.

      Furthermore – do you own a Strong's or some other Biblical dictionary? Either way I implore you to look up the NT entry for "satan" – spoiler alert – it also means "false accuser" when you accuse the majority of Muslims of blowing themselves up (or wanting to) in response to criticisms (an accusation that is false) you are not being Christlike you are being a satan.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • whodatperson3

      Tim... that's just a hateful response. More children are murdered by abortionist's in a 5 minute span than abortionist's murdered since 1973.

      February 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  18. Douglas

    There is no "Christian case" for gay marriage since LGBTQ coitus and LGBTQ
    relationships are clearly condemned outright in the Holy Bible.

    Celibate LGBTQ relationships are not condemned and should be encouraged and supported.

    Reach out at your place of worship and share this good news with LGBTQ!

    February 10, 2013 at 5:55 am |
    • midwest rail

      And Douglas shows up on cue to prove the 3 main characteristics of contemporary Christianity are still thriving. Well done, Delusional One.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Softship

      Why do you care what other people do as long as their not doing it to or with you?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:04 am |
    • Science

      Guess it wasn't Chad in picture above it is dougie

      February 10, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Celibate LGBTQ relationships are not condemned and should be encouraged and supported"

      So it's okay to be gay/lesbian but don't act on your natural impulses...right? Ignorance based on belief in an imaginary sky creature...gotta love it!

      So Doug, when did you make the decision to be straight? Have you pro-created or had sex? How do gays and lesbians having se affect you directly or are you simply jealous that they have someone other than a blow-up doll (like you apparently do)?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      oops having se=having sex

      February 10, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • mark

      Midwest try not to judge people. Still praying for you to be nice.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  19. Griffith

    It sounds like a good plan. The goal is to get people to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    We don't need to water the Gospel down at all, Christ will speak to people's hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Father.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Not so

      Yeah, that prevented the Inquisitions and witch burnings and all those religious wars. And the oppression. And the bigotry.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • Science

      Repent for what ? Learning that science is the truth.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:02 am |
  20. microscopeconsultants

    The Christian religion (like most religions) is littered with contradictions in their texts, words, and actions. We live in a country that promotes freedom of religion so I'm tolerant of Christians saying one thing and doing another. In essence, being religious gives you a free pass to act like an asshat in this country.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:50 am |
    • Griffith

      Somebody told me a while back that the Epic of Gilgamesh proves that the Bible is wrong. I briefly read through the epic on the internet and found it to be a watered down, twisted, and demented version of Creation and the Great Flood. To me, it seemed like it reinforced the accuracy of the Bible, showing the sin nature of mankind.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • Science

      The creationists lost ! ID/creation was tried in a court of law and it lost in the US.

      Can not teach in public schools period

      Peace Big clue
      Check out the Dover trial results

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      The idea and concept of God is also illogical, and flawed.
      The Problems of Evil, the Omnipotent Paradox and Why Call Him God? by Epicurus are examples of how and why this God is illogical, flaswed and not real.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • mark

      Hey Science and No God do you know That Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." Whoops what an ignoramus he must have been. I will pray for you two!

      February 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Mark, you need to read a book other than the Bible. You just confirmed Einstein had no personal relationship with God, that he did not "believe." Then you suggest his idea that surely the universe must be able to be seen anthropomorphically is the same thing as religion.

      Clearly, you don't understand agnosticism.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:02 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.