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.
I am a a follower of christ. The moment you pass judgement and have hatred/loathing/contempt/violence against a fellow human being ( of which ever faith), you cease to be a follower of christ. But you still can belong to the various denominations and it wouldnt make any difference in the book of life. Convince those who dont believe or of any other faith by your faith in christ, by the goodness and love you have in your life and you share with others.
I thought all I needed to do was accept Christ as my savior?
except jesus was the most judgmental of all. he said no one gets to heaven unless they worship him. worship me or burn in hell forever? pretty damn judgmental, imo.
That's not exactly true. If you read the Bible carefully, you will see there are two different "camps" that are talked about. God's seed (children) and the serpent's seed (children). All of the scriptures that talk about loving and turning the other cheek are referring to the brethern. The more judgemental talk is directed towards the enemy's seed (Kennites, Nephilim, etc...)
there is no "enemy seed" for goodness sake. They're just different people. You vilify them as devil/demon because it is easier than doing what your jeebus commanded, which is to love your enemy. You support a corrupted view of the "loving" part of christianity, you know, the part that is helping us create more atheists every day.
The term 'Christian' is man made and simply means follower of Christ. Sadly, most self proclaimed Christians are hypocrites. You can't be half holy. Jesus was in fact killed by religious people who couldn't take his assault against their hypocrisy. The greatest assault being the fact that he lived a sin free life. Those who truly love God are severely pained by the ungodliness of our country and the world in general. However, we realize that ultimately, God spared our lives second-by-second and eventually allowed out hearts to soften, letting Him in. We therefore long for others to experience the same, all the while realizing it will most likely never happen.
"who truly love God are severely pained by the ungodliness of our country"
I dunno. Most of these god-lovers I've met seem awfully pleased that those who disagree with them will be deep-fat fried for eternity.
And the "godlessness" of the country is why it's not been completely ruined by now.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Now tell us another fairy tale, Fred!
fred, you described mass delusion pretty well.
" However, we realize that ultimately, God spared our lives second-by-second"
we should be thankful he hasn't murdered us like he did to 99.99% of the people on earth in his great flood? yahweh is a disgusting baby-killer. he drowned babies. read that again: BABIES. on a monster could drown a child and call it divine justice.
Those who truly love God are severely pained by the ungodliness of our country and the world in general
If the believers are that disturbed by people who are not godly then that is their personal problem. Not anyone else's problem at all.
This is suppose to be a happy occasion. Let's not argue and bicker over who killed who.
"What, the curtains?"
ou don't frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called "Arthur King," you and all your silly English K-nig-hts. now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
good morning, christian brothers and sisters. have you heard the good news? there is no god. we just have each other, humanity. atheists love christians so much, we want them to free themselves of the mental shackles and become free thinkers!
What is your reaction to the Christians who are Christians because they are free thinkers? May they remain free thinkers or should they change to think like you do?
2,000 years and they can't even figure out that they should be nice?
2,000 years of Christianity is a lot more than the 800 odd years when the OT writers wrote their material. Yet, there's much more brutality it seems, and brutality hasn't gone away either.
Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3:
Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights:
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Mendel, the list goes on of important scientists who were Christian. Even when persecuted by the church, their faith didn't waiver. They clearly were extremely intelligent people, so belief and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.
So why do many Christians fear and deny many parts of science?
We live in a country where ignorance is encouraged and education is treated as something to be scorned. It's not at all surprising that so many American christians behave the way they do.
no, intelligence and belief are not mutually exclusive. not at all. there are very intelligent men of great faith. they don't take logic to it's full conclusion - but they're not dumb. however, scientists these days have a much much higher rate of non-belief than the general public. what does that tell you?
and why is science and religion at odds? well, the bible says the earth is flat. the bible says there was an earth and light before there was a sun. the bible gives a wrong account for the order of animals/plants. the bible says there are unicorns, dragons, satyrs and c.ockatrice. the bible says there are talking donkeys and talking snakes. the bible says there was a great world-wide flood, but scientists can find no evidence of it - in fact, they find evidence to the contrary. the bible says the earth is 6k years old.
science and religion go together like oil and water.
Um, the psycho 15 minute of famer cheerleaders pushing a repackaged mythology, as "new" are disgusting pukes.
Cutesie bootsie says,
"........... the bible says the earth is 6k years old..........." Show me the verse.
Bostontola asked ,"So why do many Christians fear and deny many parts of science?"
Christians are non-intellectual acidic quantifications of social discourse and are the rudimentary basing of awed juxtapositions hammered and honed toward becoming a lewd singular dynamo of unreasonable angular momentums. Cha-ching!
playing ignorant? it's many verses. do the math backwards on the genealogies and it takes you back 6k years to adam and eve. this was worked out by christians, thus creationism. you've heard of creationism...?
The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity. It is made up of two parts, roughly equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first part, Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:3, Elohim, the generic Hebrew word for God, creates the world in six days, then rests on, blesses and sanctifies the seventh day. God creates by spoken command ("Let there be..."),
Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago. Its primary adherents are those Christians and Jews who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, using a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as a basis.[
It does not work Genisis
Wsn't man the last to be created? What does a genealogy of man have to do with the age of creation?
Many Christians say that the parts of science based on unproven assumptions by scientists may not be true.
Take a commuter train. Man gets on at last stop. 5 min's later he 's at the station. He thinks that's a day trip and thinks God's days are 1,000 times longer. He then figures the whole train trip is 1,000 times 5 minutes or 5,000 minutes = 83.333333333333333 hours, or a God day?
Christians, Mormons, Islam, etc., cling to religion and continue to endorse it as reality and insist that it somehow should govern morality and law-making. One can lay out all the evidence and build (and have built) an airtight case against every single religion on Earth past and present, but still believers will not budge from their point of view, even when presented with the lies and contradictions in the very scriptures they base their beliefs on.
Understand, I am not talking about a belief in God. I do understand that. I am talking about religion. Every one of which has been empirically proven false but yet clings like moss to ancient rocks.
I believe the single most important factor in this inability to see through the foolishness of religion is fear. Children’s stories of heaven and hell. The initial indoctrination for many, simply cannot be undone.
Secondly, there is a feeling of community that comes with any “club” Naturally this is not relegated to religion so it does not qualify as an excuse.
Lastly some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives. What are those alternatives? Well we have to turn to science, but also we have to accept what we don’t know and keep looking. And in truth, we don’t really know anything about how the universe came to be, what came before and where it is going. If there are multiple universes and time lines through which we move, these would be marvelous discoveries. There was a wonderful article in Scientific American a few months ago regarding a new spin on the Quantum theory. That being the quantum universe could have foamlike fluctuations that rule spacetime, not unlike the 0’s and 1’s that are the foundation of computing and storing information.
If we wish to believe in the supernatural, we have to make things up. Hence religion. It doesn’t mean there is no god, or gods, or aliens, but it does mean that we don’t have the answers and most likely never will.
Now we arrive back at fear. What will happen to me when I die? For me, I look forward to an eternity of nothing. Others fear this prospect and prefer to believe in fairies and fantasies and are not even ashamed that their mental description of an after life is akin to that of a 5-year-old’s picture book.
I believe the Universe and the “everything” are FAR more bizarre than we could ever imagine with the faculties we have thus far obtained via evolution on this planet. And I wonder how many millions of civilizations across the vastness of space and time have pondered likewise.
Finally, the entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superst.ition and mythology. One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history.
My Uncle just died, and his sister, my Aunt, who knows that I am not religeous, made it a point to tell me, that, "Because David was religeous he had NO fear when he died, becaue he KNEW that he was going to go to live a wonderful existence in Heaven."
Well, David had a wife he loved, here on Earth, and motorcycles, and children he adored, and grandchildren he also adored.
I listened to her, and tried hard to not say, something like, "What life could he possibly be given in "Heaven", and loss ALL of the things that he loved SO much on Earth, that would be so "wonderful"?
For many of us, who have lived good lives here on Earth, and for whom the result has been wonderful friends, clubs, activities and wives, children, granschildren, and even pets, who we love so much, in my viewpoint, there would be NOTHING that could replace the "loss" of ALL of those things, and make me happy.
But, religeous people, will reply, "We simply are unable to fathom, the happiness that living in Heaven would give us, so we cannot understand, that it would be SO wonderful, that NOTHING on this Earth could equal it."
And, I would look at them and think, "And that REALLY makes SENSE to you?"
I honestly laugh, inside when someone, who was extremely religeous like my Mother was on her deathbed, and in spite of her having told us children, that I KNOW that because your Father wasn't religeous like I am, he was afraid when he died. I WON'T be afraid at all." she was in a panic, and began to cry, because she said, "I'm not SURE if I'm going to go to Heaven. I really HAVEN'T been a very good person in my life, in MANY ways, and now, I'm afraid that he might tell me that I'm going to Hell."
So, rather than her being SO religeous giving her peace, and comfort, at the end of her life, it instead caused her great stress, because she had been told that she, "woudl be judged by this superhuman being", and a reality is NONE of us, no matter how hard we may try, and believe me, we non-believers try just as hard to be good people, good neighbors, good parents, and children, none of us, can ever hope to completely accomplish being always good.
We all fail, because we are only human.
I can not know, but I believe, that I won't be in a panic when I die.
Well, because long ago, I accepted that, I would not be judged by anyone other than myself, when I died, and that,
the reality was, that my body, would just slowly shut down, and then die.
I would lose conscienseness, and that would be all that I would know.
Then, my body would either decay or be cremated, and return to the soil for plants, etc. to use to grow, and if you want to call it that, "the circle of life" would begin over again.
And, I find that I am happy and content with knowing that.
I don't need the promise of anything existing for me after I am dead, and in fact find it rather comforting to know, that, I will just cease to exist.
I don't have to worry myself about someone coming along and "judging how I loved my life after I am dead."
I don't have to worry about burning in Hell, a crematorium, maybe, but not Hell.
And I am good with that.
No one has disproved Christianity. If you think they have, give one item of proof. And what do I have to make up to believe in the supernatural?
"[A] reality is NONE of us, no matter how hard we may try, and believe me, we non-believers try just as hard to be good people, good neighbors, good parents, and children, none of us, can ever hope to completely accomplish being always good." This is certainly true. None of us is good enough to enter heaven. That is why God sent Jesus to take the punishment that belonged to us for not being "good." If we accept His sacrifice for us and the resulting forgiveness, then we can enter heaven, based not on our goodness or even our trying, but on His righteousness.
Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children and the murder and enslavement of thousands of women and children in Numbers: 31.
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.
Relying on glib stereotyping, on the other hand, is the ultimate sign of a serious and sophisticated mind.
Generalizations only have to be true of most of the members of the subjective group.
I think that what you have written for the most part is true.
I am glad that the gentleman who wrote this article being critical of many Christians, is a minister, himself.
I lived in a very religeous area for most of my life, and I was treated very, very badly, by those around me, who were Christians, when they found out that I was not relgeous.
I was told, that, I" was a Devil Worshipper", "an unfit Mother", "had no right to inflict my beliefs onto my children", that "my children were going to grow up to be rappists and murderers".
And, these Good Christians, seemed to feel that they had, not just the right to say these things to me, but they seemed to feel that it was their duty to say these things to me, as "They were trying to save my children from my influences".
They "knew" that their beliefs were "right" and "good" and mine were "wrong" and "evil", and therefore, in their viewpoint I "had no right to be raising children".
But, I never "taught" my children to believe what I did, as they seemed to feel I was working as hard at, as they were working hard at teaching their own children "the right things".
I taught my children about ALL religeons, and their how they came to exist, what the followers believed, and why.
I taught them to be "free thinkers", and make their own decisions about what they did or did not believe.
I allowed religeous friends or relatives to take them to their churches, and only resented that they felt that it was fine for them to tell my children that their "beliefs" were "facts" and NOT just "beliefs".
But, those religeous people, who I knew were very verbally abusive toward me, and seemed to feel very justified in treating me that way.
When people claim to be loving and caring, but are only loving and caring toward those to share their same beliefs, and are cruel and mistreat anyone who believes anything other than what they believe, then to me, they are NOT behaving in any kind of loving or caring way, and they do NOT represent their faith well at all.
I have been told by some religeous people, that "I had be be lying or making it all up, and no one who was religeous would ever treat anyone the way that I say I was treated." But, I know that I am completely truthful about it.
Top 10 (maybe) signs that you are an atheist;
10 – You put forth the logical fallacy that if not all gods exist, then we can conclude that no God exists.
9 – You insist that life came from non-life, even though no one knows how it happened or even that it could happen, while
claiming it is silly to believe God created life.
8 – You don't realize that the Trinity represents three manifestations of God, not three Gods.
7 – You judge the actions of God in delivering judgement by your extremely limited knowledge of the situation. Because it doesn't seem right from your perspective, you refuse to acknowledge that an infinite God could have knowledge, reasons, and justifications that you don't know.
6 – You (apparently) don't realize that Christianity does not deify humans and that birth of Jesus does not involve anyone sleeping with anyone.
5 – You refer to the "scientifically established age of Earth." even though assigning that requires making assumptions of unknown validity, and even though dating methods can at times be inaccurate (for example, rocks in Hawaii known to be about a hundred years old but dated t billions of years)
4 – You claim that the punishment given by God for rebellion is not deserved, even though God says it is. Thus, you criticize God for what you have decided He is doing rather than what he is actually doing. And you fail to recognize God's loving offer to forgive the rebellion that leads to punishment.
3 – You claim that modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics somehow show that God exists, even though none of those fields investigate His existence.
2 – You somehow come up with a very low "success rate" for answered prayers. You use this seemingly arbitrary rate as evidence that prayer doesn't works without investigating prayers that did and didn't "work."
1 – You assume without knowing what Christians know.
Selling "nice" has been standard fare of Christianity from the beginning. The NT was sold as one last mother of all killing by the OT God for man kind's sake. If the NT was written to include events of how well the Christians fared since the origin of the religion it would be far less "nice."
Whose Godhead is your conscience adhering to and toward? Are you a thinker of someone else's thoughts or are you streamlined and innate not really having any genuine thoughts of your own? My best guess as to anyone's thought potential is that anyone's potential to think is brought about thru mimicker-like philosophies. Who among your lot in life dares to equate any singularity outside all life potentialities within thought provocations?
Nothing about the sun being clothed?
sun being clothed? I used to have some dress-me-up Ken doll refrigerator magnets.
Hey CNN...I've got another article that chips away at Christianity.
CNN: "Yeah! Let's do it!!! Yippee!!!"
Yeah, an article written by a christian pastor admonishing christians to be nice sure does chip away at christianity. I'm glad you can see it, too.
Thank you for proving the entire point of the article, steve.
I know many Christian ministers who agree with the pastor that wrote this. Suggesting that Christians should be kind rather than hateful is not "chipping away at Christianity".
Sir, sometimes our worst enemy are Christians themselves. Of course not most, but if the world only sees the ugly face portrayed by so many who claim to be Christians, well, what do you expect? While watching the recent political campaign, I was dismayed when I saw so few (if any) Christian leaders stand up against some of the most hateful behavior. I'm sure many nonbelievers have the occasion of a Republican party crowd cheering, applauding the comment of Texas high execution rate stuck in their memory. Rather you believe in the death penalty or not, its a serious issue. These folks looked more like those during Roman times in the Coliseum. Showing such hatred and disrespect towards Obama – who claims to be a Christian – and at least has a walk more Christian than many of his ememies, is unScriptural. We're to pray for our leaders. I don't recall seeing one Christian leader on the left speak out against abortion. Lets not blame the 'media' for capturing the actions of ugly behavior.
I have read every bit, as many articles written by people who wanted to talk about why their believed in God, and why anyone who did not believe was "wrong to do so".
That this article is written by a minister, saying that he, "has read some of the nasty things that many so-called Christians have written online, and is ashamed of how these Christians are behaving and treating others." is significant.
This is NOT a "non-believer" attacking Christians for believing what they believe.
It is a relgeous person, simply saying, "Please, believers, lets behave nicely toward others. When you treat others badly through your words or actions, you then make yourself look badly and represent our religeon badly."
I feel that that is true for both sides.
I have read posts from non-religeous individuals that have been equally disrepectful and nasty.
My Mother used to say to me, "I CANNOT understand, how you can see all the wonderful things in this world, and NOT believe?"
And, I used to look at her, and think, "I CANNOT understand how you can see all of the horrific things in this world, and believe?"
The religeous and the non-religeous will NEVER see "eye-to-eye", ever.
But, we could, on both sides, try to agree to treat each other with the same respect and kindness that we would like to be treated with.
We all have to live together in this world, whether we all believe the same things is not so important as that we all manage to live together harmoneously.
Many posts get automatically blocked by a word filter.
For example, you cannot post the word const!tutional, because it has t!t in the word.
you cannot use the word h0m0s$exual, because of the h0m0, and the word $ex.
If you look around you will see lists posted of what is unacceptable.
Out of control PC pwogwessives. The ALWAYS wanna be on top.
Wow, This has degenerated to a lot of name calling and acrimony on both sides! I would hope that whether or not you agree that Jesus was the son of God, a prophet, or simply a "good teacher" with a lot of good things to say that we could all at least agree that his way of living was the right way to live our lives. Do we do it? No. Human history has proven that over and over again. We are basically flawed. Do Christians always get it right. Absolutely not! Should we do better? You bet! Go back and read the article. That's what he was saying. If we cant at least agree on an ideal, the right way to treat each other, then we are in DEEP trouble.
An argument on the internet has degenerated into name-calling and acrimony? This is unprecedented!
Jesus' way of living was not the right way to live. What is with this urge to stamp out Jeebus clones? How boring...
"...we could all at least agree that his way of living was the right way to live our lives. "
I'd be interested to hear your views on the right way to live your life. His way of treating each other seems to be the best way I have seen so far.
"we could all at least agree that his way of living was the right way to live our lives."
Encouraging people to leave their families to follow him? Condemning people for thought-crime? Attacking dutiful businessmen?
Jeebus is the most anti-human, anti-American personality I can think of.
First, you said the "right" way to live, which implies an absolute standard which is not in evidence.
Second, even the golden rule is not always optimal. Not everyone wants to be treated the way I personally want to be treated. Some consider the "silver" rule to be better, "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you".
I'm not arguing that Jesus' example is 'wrong', but to claim it as "the right way" is a bit too far in my opinion.
Never heard of the silver rule, but it seems to convey about the same meaning. I can agree that is a good rule to live by. I would suggest that simply "not doing" things to people might leave out positives such as doing justice, loving your neighbor, etc. Simply not doing wrong may not be enough. Loving your neighbor (not warm, fuzzy feelings, but doing good) is not covered by the silver rule as I read it.
I think I said "some consider" it better. I'm unconvenced that there is a "right" way to live, but if the choice is to err on the side of restraint versus potentially forcing what someone thinks of as "love" on someone else, I would prefer the restraint. However, life is never so simple as to boil down to a single rule, nor a single example, such as Jesus.
I agree with you.
Believers will never be able to persuade those who do not, to become believers. and non-belivers, like myself, will never be able to persuade those who believe that they are wrong.
But, we all have to live together in peace in this world.
We all need to learn to treat each other with respect and kindness.
That, I believe can be hard for some religeous individuals, because they feel that anyone who does not believe what they do, is "wrong" and "bad".
That is a shame, because, I know for a fact that all of the non-religeous people who I know, are every bit as nice, as caring, as good of neighbors, as good of parents, as the religeous ones that I know.
We all try hard to be good people, and to raise our children to be good people.
The only difference is that some of us believe in an "afterlife" and a "God" and some of our do not.
But, in all other ways, we are really not all that different, and in fact have much more in common than many of us want to admit.
Linda, Read some of your posts. Sounds like you have had your hands full with Christians in your life! I agree that there are many wonderful people who are atheists. I dont happen to know any myself, but you sound like the type of person I would like to have as a neighbor. I was brought up Catholic, came to the conclusion that was not for me and spent many years as an agnostic. I have come around to being what I hope to be is a good Christian. (not necessarily Catholic). This was a journey. I do believe that we have the "God shaped hole". At least that is true for me. All I can say is that I try not to believe simply because I need to, I try to ask hard questions and expect answers that make sense. So far, I have gotten those. If you are happy with your life, great. However, if you ever feel that "God shaped hole" just understand that there is something to fill it up. No value judgements. Being an atheist does not preclude you from being a good person, in my opinion.
I'm just going to let the Word of God comment on this one. 1 John 4:17-21, "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love: but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: he who loves God, must also love his brother."
God should love unbelievers to the degree that he destroys the lake of fire. Otherwise, he's the biggest azzhole terrorist of all time; coercion is not "good news."
It is unfortunate that those who profess to be Christian do not heed these words more.
schtick doesn't like justice, now or later.
Psalm 137:9 – Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
lol?? thinks that neverending torture with fire is "justice" somehow.
Is infinite punishment for finite crimes ever justice?
For those who act naughty and stay naughty, yes naughty ones.
"For those who act naughty and stay naughty, yes naughty ones."
That is not a requirement. Once dead, punishment is eternal. That is why I said infinite punishment for finite crimes.
Moby Schtick: My state legislature is meeting right now. Should they pass a bill that says, "We want to be loving and to give people freedom. We also need to reduce the budget. Therefore, we are abolishing all laws, closing all jails and releasing all prisoners, and disbanding all police forces." Would that be a loving benefit to society?
For God to eliminate all punishment would be no more loving.
I believe in Jesus, but I stopped taking my kids to church because of all the hate. I tried to enroll my son into a youth group, but he wasn't interested because the kids in the group were the same kids that were calling him a "gay-wad" a year earlier. He was only in 5th grade and didn't even know what gay meant. Is this the way you parents talk to your children at home when you are not in church? You are the most hate-filled members of the community. Do you know how many 5th graders have committed suicide for the exact same thing? This is not the way Jesus would have wanted to be represented to our children. Shame on you.
Exactly.. those that claim to believe are so much more two-faced than many of the people I know who DON'T believe at all..
I have heard a Sermon every week for decades and have heard almost no hate. Maybe it is not hate that you are hearing; maybe it is an opposing view, which you hate.
I appreciate how you feel and applaud you protecting your children but you are incorrect when you say these "Christians" are the most hate filled people in our community. I say this from the prospective of a gay man who is fairly socially liberal. There are many on the other side of fence from the Christians who are just as hate filled and nasty, I may agree with their stances but I DO NOT agree with how they say things. I DO NOT agree with their constant attacks on ALL Christians, they are stereotyping and discriminating which is exactly what they accuse Christians of doing.
I hear people all the time saying moderate Muslims should denounce the terrorists. Well I got news for you moderate liberals and moderate conservatives need to stand up to the hate mongers on their sides and denounce them because the extremist on both sides are doing as much damage to our country as the terrorist do, maybe more.
Until we sit down with the other side and have a meaningful discussion without the hate we will never move forward.
And the moslems can do what they want to huh...stupid article...
This article was written by a Christian pastor in response to questions asked about Christians. It would have been inappropriate for him to discuss how other religions act. There have been similar articles by Muslim Imans on Islam.
Actually, yes, they can.
Christians can too, it's a free country... within limits.
once again the most liberal atheist news network talks about something they dont believe in .......HAHA how dumb can u be and still breathe...........omg CNN ur just a patheitc excuse for news talk about stuff u do believe in how about that :)
The piece was wrtten by a pastor. Speaking of "how dumb can you be...."
Did you notice that the author is a Christian minister? I know many other Christian ministers who agree with him.
@WOW ~~~ LOL! I know....right?
Why are you so proud to be ignorant? This guy isn't a CNN employee - he's a pastor. If you claim to be religious, you should spend more of your time contemplating God, and less time feeling superior about your horrible misuse of your religion.
What the article is asking is for people to be civil, that are not asking for you to give up your view points just think about how you say things, I have had many discussions with Christians who believe my being gay is wrong, I didn't convince them, they didn't convince me but we came away with a better understanding of each other because we did not descend into the hate that many on both sides just can't seem to let go of.
If you are a Christian you should agree with the article, Jesus taught love not hate. It's ok to express your views but remember it's not what you say it's how you say it.
Christians ignore Jesus
Christians are Liars
Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. For example:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Matt 13: 22
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
The message is clear. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to "sell your possessions and give to the poor." It is a very simple message, and easy to do. Have you done it? The fact that you are reading this page would indicate that you have not. Chances are you own a computer, pay for an Internet connection every month, live in a home or apartment, have a car, etc. In other words, you live a life at a level of wealth unimaginable in Jesus' time. Meanwhile, billions of people on the planet live in startling, abject poverty.
Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requests in the Bible? The reason is simple:
Jesus and God are imaginary, and you know it. If Jesus were real, you would do what he says.
Lying is wrong. You do not know if God exists or not yet you say that He is imaginary. That is illogical.
Christian7 – If the Christian god exists, he has made himself undetectable, so there's no reason for anyone to think he exists.
John Brown, How did life begin on earth? You can't naturally select from nothing to get the process started. Where did the genetic information come from to begin with?
So, because I don't know the exact details of the mystery of how life began on earth I have to believe in an invisible and undetectable sky wizard who spoke magic spellz and "poofed" everything into existence? Ha! I don't think so. I'll stick with the honest "I don't know."
Very well said. I have an employer who claims to be so christian, He even brings religion to work, forcing us to sit and pray during our gatherings... pathetic. BUT, he's the first one to throw you out the door, even when you're not at fault for anything. He's the type that repeats this process over and over, all the while, goes to church to ask for forgiveness....
Does anyone know the definition of insanity? Repeating the process the same way while expecting a different result.
I'm far from religious, but consider myself to be a very spiritual person. Read 'Secular spirituality' on Wiki. I believe in living that kind of life to it's full potential. And they say I'm going to hell because I don't believe in a God?? REALLY?? What about those that are religious and constantly ask God for forgiveness. Wouldn't God think that it's getting old after a while? You're still asking for forgiveness about the same things you were asking about years ago.God is thinking, "you still haven't learned a thing, have you?". If I were God, I would be telling those people to quit whining.
You mean to tell me that it's OK to live like that??? Common.. seriously...
Christian7 – Religions have provided countless explanations for the beginning of the universe. How many did you research before you settled on the one you believe?
Moby Schtick, Your choice to say you don't know is an excellent first step. Congratulations. At least you have not jumped to the conclusion that God does not exist.
In your first 3 words "Christians are liars" you prove you are just as bad as the "Christians" this article is written about.
I am a gay man who was raised christian but luckily for me my parents were not very religious, I did not get the boatload of guilt and self hate many gays raised in the church get. I
Most Christians are not liars, most have a deep belief in something, and just as they do not have the right to push it on others you do not have the right to push your views on them. If you want to have a civil discussion that's fine but as the article above says, stop being a jerk.
Christian7 – Still waiting for an answer to my question, although I think I likely know the answer. You've rejected all the other religious suggestions on the beginning of the universe as absurd, but for some reason can't understand why someone would think the same of yours. Just because science doesn't have an answer for something doesn't mean they have to accept unsupportable possibilities.
John Brown, You have no idea why I believe that God created life. You do not want to hear my answer and you would not understand it. You seem perfectly intelligent, please don't misunderstand. It is a paradox. God gave me faith.
" For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."
Christian7 – Fair enough. And not to argue, but your response does beg one question: What made you special that God chose to just give you faith? Why doesn't he do that for everyone in a manner that works for each person?
For some reason CNN is refusing to post my comments. LAst night the tagged them as awaiting moderation. They contained nothing inflammatory and yet they posted 18 pages of comments on both articles. My comments were not posted and they were not updated on Disqus. And today I have attempted to post a simple comment and it is not posting. If this is intentional selective censoring again from CNN then I WILL contact the ACLU.
Snif, snif.... Awwwwww....
I was having the same problem, but I could post the same thing as REPLIES, just couldn't post anything as an original post. Must just have been having issues.
Guess what, dude? You're posting on a private web site and they can moderate it however the hell they want. Your civil rights are not being violated, so stop acting like a hysterical nitwit.
ACLU?! Your going to the wolves! You think they;re on your side?!
It's not cnn's fault...:twisted:
@Voices in the Rain,
"If this is intentional selective censoring again from CNN then I WILL contact the ACLU."
They are not out to get you. This blog has a simple character filter that blocks posts with "bad" strings of characters, like doc.ument or ti.tle. There are many more.
Here on the Belief Blogs, they use this filter.
(There is a different one on Disqus, however)
Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
ho-oters…as in sho-oters
ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
p-orn… as in p-ornography
pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).
Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Mendel, the list goes on of important scientists who were Christian. Even when persecuted by the church, their faith didn't waiver. They clearly were extremely intelligent people, so belief and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. So why do many Christians fear science?
You must be new here. There is an automated censor on this blog that will not allow any post that contains combinations of letters that might be construed as offensive. This is why you will see certain words, like "Const.itution" or "circ.umstance" with extra spaces or characters in them. There are ways around this bock, but it requires a knowledge of which words are proscribed and the use of html codes. Forbidden combinations are often se.xual slang words or racial slurs. There's a list of these words that gets posted here fairly often.
Ha! And there it is!
Tom it is more than just sniff sniff. Two years ago I reached out my Local Dept. of Human Services to try and bring attention to a man who abused and was responsible for the death of my best friend in 1975. This man went on to work for the police dept as a councilor alone with teens on survival courses in tents in the woods. This is a very bad man but he has been protected by very powerful wealthy people. I reached to everyone including CNN who refused to respond. No one responded. What you think you have of the press is BS. If you have money and power people protect you. And others who you see covering stories as a service to society whom you would think might care. Do not. Not if it involves liability. Even the ACLu when I reached out to them about so many people who have been hurt and asked them to make the state respond...responded to me in email that it was beyond their resources. A year I was hurt severally and since then I have learned to shut up. But I reach out in a simple comment on CNN and its the same old crap. I commented twice yesterday and was told my comments were facing moderation and they were not posted although over 18 pages of comments were on both articles. But mine were not posted and they never showed in discuss. You see I was kind of testing to see if this world was still so vile...and it is. And I have no course of action because I chose not to get hurt again.
There was nothing contained in the article at all that I am aware of, I have checked the copy I made. Nothing. . If that is the case...a censor that detects then a good Web Programmer should pop up an info page. I am a former Web Programmer and C++ Programmer and to simple clear the page is poor standards. And there is nothing close to these words in the post. If you read my other post you may understand that I have encountered CNN censoring in the past. I thought they were above it at this point.
And again to those who posted that I was in a private forum and such and not to get ruffled. It is a little more than that. CNN has refused to even respond for three years my attempt to get someone to make our local Dept. of Human Services respond to my reports concerning a juvenile counselor who abused me when I grew up next door to him when I was a child. He is responsible for the death of my best friend in 1975. DHS in my state has since been disbanded after a law suit because they were so corrupt. I contacted the State and Federal AG. The Federal AG did not respond. The state AG responded stating that I had used the wrong form when I submitted my concerns and they would not look into it. They did not provide me alternative way of contacting them or reporting it.The Gov. responded in mail saying it was not his responsibilty and that I contact the police dept this man works for. CNN never responded. MSNBC never responded. The ACLU said it was beyond their scope of responsibility and that they did not have the resources. Staff at the White house responded in three emails directing me to ChildWelfare.gov and the State Liaison Officer. On the date I was told there would be an inquiry two officers came to my door. I keep quite now. And I expected a little more than this from CNN. It was a simple comment with no confused or intentional words. Just like the two last night which were never posted and just like the two before that. I posted five times on one comment and have not been able to until just now. You would have thought that sometime in the past they could have at least acknowledged receipt of my email. You would think if there was a problem with the contents it would have posted a correct info page. You would expect a lot of things I guess.
"It is no longer enough that we pray that God may be with us on our side. We must learn again that we may be on God's side."
— Wernher von Braun (chief architect of the Apollo Saturn V rocket )
another opinion quote...Is there some point to posting other peoples opinions?
Do you have any of your own?
If you would like to read my opinions just see all the post I have already posted to this article all day.
Appeal to authority fallacy.
all I have seen is you posting the opinion quotes of other people, which has no bearing as it is evidence of nothing, and not even your own words.
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.