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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: Uncategorized

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    @lolCat2000, it's funny you say that...I think Christians have been claiming to know right from wrong for over two thousand years and many times to the mortal detriment of others who didn't agree. You can't speak with such moral and ethical authority based on nothing but "faith" without expecting others to react negatively when the ask for concrete PROOF that makes your righteousness justified. I agree with you that there is no "truth" when it comes to God. You cannot prove or disprove so maybe you should just sit quiet in your Faith and collect your rewards when your life has run it's course instead of telling your unbelieving neighbor "you're doing it wrong"

    February 10, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • truth be told

      When sin runs rampant in a nation it is a disservice to all mankind to sit quietly by. Atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries because the world sat quietly by. Shall we sit quietly by as so called atheists inject lie after lie into our country? Shall we sit quietly by as diseased ho mose xuals pervert and abuse our children? Shall we sit quietly by as millions of innocents are murdered under the abortionists knife? I think not !

      February 10, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Shall we sit quietly by as so called atheists inject lie after lie into our country?

      Pretty arogant arent you ?
      ITS NOT YOUR COUNTRY !!!

      February 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Icon of Sin

      And what are you going to do about Tbt? Xtans don't have the balls to do anything but whine and cry about non-believers.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Aldewacs

      @Icon: bite your lip! Don't provoke them! Next thing they'll be starting up another inquisition, this time with nuclear weapons.

      February 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  2. Eugene

    "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

    - The Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21-23)

    February 10, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  3. GenericMan

    If you want to be a good christian just ignore the politics. Christ teachings before your political party affiliations.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Towers3

      Yes we're all suppose to be good tranquil little sheep who turn the other cheek at the first sign of a fight. I on the other hand don't wear a robe and made no oath to anyone. I believe as Saint Augustine in a "just war." We are living in a country that is being threatened by Satanists. Most of us can't see them and it isn't because they're hiding so well, it's because most of us are good little sheep. I say, being a Latin Christian bring back the inquisitions point out these Satanists and give them their day atonement. Why wait for judgement day? We can light the fires just as hot as those burning in Hell and they can do their little Satanic ritual being their own sacrifice.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      To poster Towers3

      I say do what the Romans did, toss all Christians into a pit with lions. It is Christians like you who give thje rest a bad name.
      Maybe your pastor is Satan in disguie but you are too blind ot see it.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  4. Carlton

    CNN, you better stop mocking and scoffing Christianity and those who follow Jesus Christ. God always warns and give opporunity to repent because He is a graceous God, but He only does this until an appointed time determined by Him before He deals with sin, and in this case you who are mockers and scoffers, because He's also a God of justice, righteousness, vengence, and recompense. Only people who do not really know God like you CNN would do this kind of stuff. God is taking note of what you are doing and you are not fooling anyone!

    February 10, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Thanks for providing an example of the sort of "christian" the author was referring to.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      Looks like the author has made his point

      February 10, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Rich

      hahahahahaha... CNN is going to stop because you said so? Get over yourself. There is NO God. You my friend have been dupped! When you die, you live in a box the rest of your life. That is it.Nothing more, nothing less!

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

      And you aren't fooling anyone by making veiled threats of godly violence to come (you allege) toward CNN and anyone else who is not a member of your particular sect.

      But your comment illustrates the problem with the blog poster's call to make christianity less nasty... It is impossible to do so. The nastiness is right there in the old scrolls. And many christians use it so often, they may not even really realize how nasty they are being. It is impossible to clean up a religion that claims that all unbelievers will be tortured in a most grotesque manner for eternity for the crime of practicing thoughtful reasoning.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • JuStic

      You're someone that frequently misses the point, aren't you?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Rev Foistus Uponyou

      God is taking note of what you are doing and you are not fooling anyone!

      Your god is too busy creating universes to bother with score cards.
      You just dragged your god, down to your petty level.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Dear Carlton,
      Please learn to spell before you claim to represent me publicly,
      Sincerely,
      Gord

      February 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  5. Reality

    Only for then new members of this blog-

    Being nice and at the same time truthful:

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    February 10, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  6. Jerry Fallswell

    ..."the wicked (atheists) are not purged out. They are called rejected silver. because the LORD has rejected them."

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

      Putting Jeremiah 6:30 in proper 21st century perspective:

      reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      February 10, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

      February 10, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Leif

      God created atheists. They are part of God's plan.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • truth be told

      God has rejected atheists, they are not part of anyone' plan they are a useless burden in this world and condemned in the next.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  7. alice

    Thank you. Well said.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:14 am |
  8. huhb

    So, Republicans need to stop being stupid, and Christians need to stop being hateful.

    Might as well tell water to stop being wet.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • truth be told

      Truth is not hate.
      Just because you disagree with a Truth it goes not make the Truth hate.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      I think you just want that to be true.

      Where exactly did you see hateful christians (outside of fringe groups like the westboro baptist church)?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Steve

      Why are you being so stupid and hateful? Are all liberals that way our just you?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Bernard Webb

      It's apparently in their DNA. Haters gotta hater. Claiming to follow Jesus just gives them a license to hate even more.

      When was the last time you heard any right-winger quote the Sermon On the Mount, the centerpiece of Christ's message? "Blessed are the poor"? I think not. Today's Christians prefer to cherry-pick "confirmation" of their bigotry from the wrathful, destructive God of the Old Testament rather than listen to the loving God of the New.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      Well said poster Bernard Webb

      February 10, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Rev Foistus Uponyou

      ***********
      truth be told

      Truth is not hate.
      Just because you disagree with a Truth it goes not make the Truth hate
      --------------------------------

      You Christians are supposed to follow your bible, all of it, correct ?
      Yet, you constantly use "leviticus" to bash gay people,
      while tossing the rest of "leviticus" aside because it is no longer useful.

      HYPOCRITS.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing
    Prayer changes things

    February 10, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Prayer makes you weak and dependent on an illusion.

      So, you're right.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Softship

      Prayer changes things – - but not for the better.

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

      prayer leaves one with dirty knees

      February 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  10. lolCAT2000

    Atheism currently behaves like an aggressive cult with polarizing us. vs. them retorics and claims of "access to the truth" (scientific evidence) et cetera.
    Christianity on the other hand is moving slow...

    The picture over this article is dangerous, it reminds me of the way Jews were depicted during the 3rd Reich.
    It's easy to discredit people with propaganda like that.

    Somewhat shameful for CNN.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • SixDegrees

      What goes around, comes around. After centuries of being browbeaten with hateful rhetoric – and sometimes much, much worse – atheists are not going to welcome their persecutors with open arms.

      Maybe if christians stopped trying to ram their religion down everyone's throat and let those who disagree with them live their own lives as they see fit, without having creationism hijack science in the classroom, or without having to risk one's life to have a simple medical procedure performed, atheists would be more tolerant. Until that happens, though, expect your own hatred and intolerance to be reflected right back at you.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • truth be told

      There have not been that many so called atheists but those there have been have been horrible. Atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Science

      For all creationists and bible thumpers !

      Earth’s timeline works better than the bible's timeline !

      Trace our planet's geological and biological ages .

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

      Peace

      Interactive timeline
      East to find FACTS.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Science

      Oops EASY to find facts .
      .

      February 10, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      @SixDegrees
      Who exactly is "prosecuting" you?
      Our current situation is very different than that of previous generations.

      A siege mentality and polarizing retorics will not increase peace and understanding for sure – on either "side".
      But I don't think there really are theses "sides" anywhere else but in the heads of people who are religiously involved in their respective individual cult.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      @Science
      indeed, religion doesn't seem to make sense in the binary of "evidence" vs. "delusion",
      but what you are overlooking is the gap between "evidence" and "common sense".

      An "us" vs. "them" / "good people" vs. "evil people" dichotomy is what characterizes cults of any denomination,
      and Atheism is no exception to that.
      BTW – no cult will ever admit to being one!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Science

      Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

      In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven

      February 10, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Science

      We are in a test tube

      News Release
      Jan. 30 2013

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

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

      It is Called

      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions

      February 10, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      @Science Science itself doesn't really have much to do with this – this is about an agreement on how people should treat each other.

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

      They should not have created the wedge

      February 10, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Karen Stewart

      @truth be told...you might want to go and do some reading. Ex.christian.net (a blog encouraging those thinking about leaving Christianity behind), has quite a bit of info for you.

      15th century: Crusades against Hussites, thousands slain. [DO30]
      1538 pope Paul III declared Crusade against apostate England and all English as slaves of Church (fortunately had not power to go into action). [DO31]
      1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels in (then Spanish) Netherlands. [DO31]
      Between 5000 and 6000 Protestants were drowned by Spanish Catholic Troops, "a disaster the burghers of Emden first realized when several thousand broad-brimmed Dutch hats floated by." [SH216]
      1572 In France about 20,000 Huguenots were killed on command of pope Pius V. Until 17th century 200,000 flee. [DO31]
      17th century: Catholics slay Gaspard de Coligny, a Protestant leader. After murdering him, the Catholic mob mutilated his body, "cutting off his head, his hands, and his genitals... and then dumped him into the river [...but] then, deciding that it was not worthy of being food for the fish, they hauled it out again [... and] dragged what was left ... to the gallows of Montfaulcon, 'to be meat and carrion for maggots and crows'." [SH191]
      17th century: Catholics sack the city of Magdeburg/Germany: roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain. "In a single church fifty women were found beheaded," reported poet Friedrich Schiller, "and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers." [SH191]
      17th century 30 years' war (Catholic vs. Protestant): at least 40% of population decimated, mostly in Germany. [DO31-32]

      That's just the wars. We haven't even gotten into burning witches or all of the native peoples of MANY lands who were killed when they refused to become Christian.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • infiddleaway00

      Karen: If the NT were written to include the level of killings in the name of God as in the OT there will
      be revulsion. Hand it to the OT writers. The NT stops way short of what happened after and the consequences
      of the NT religion. Killings started from the get go as soon as it became the accepted religion by Rome.

      It's a lesson for what we read about wars in our own era. Perhaps "understanding," "empathy," "knowledge," "information" will be the wave of the future.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Aldewacs

      @lolCat2000: I'm sorry the bad, bad atheists have decided to no longer be the easy targets that religions have, over the centuries, been able to treat them as. Distressing news for you: the cat is out of the bag, buddy ... don't expect to return to the "good old days" of being able to crucify those who refuse to proclaim that they believe the fairy tales that you obviously are a sucker for. Atheists are not being 'Aggressive' – they are just warming up to the assertiveness required to be able to live a decent life without having to kiss religious a$$. I fail to weep for the erosion of religion's superiority complex.

      - – - – -

      " 'I'll tell you what you did with atheists for about 1500 years. You outlawed them teaching at the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. You dehumanized them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, imprisoned them, stabbed them, disemboweled them, hung them, burnt them alive. And you have nerve enough to complain to me that I laugh at you?"

      -Dr. Madalyn Murray O'Hair "

      - – - -

      February 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  11. Karloff

    Christians are the least Christian-like people I've ever met.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • Dnal

      Gross generalities are wrong no matter what race, religion, or creed you are referring to.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Karloff

      Dnal: It is not a gross generality–it's my own experience with so-called "christians."

      February 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Softship

      Agree completely.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  12. The paradox of this article, and living in the tension

    At first read, it is easy to agree with this article wholeheartedly. I too am embarrassed by the ungracious venom of so-called Christians, but not by the claims of Christ. But we face a paradox when relating to those who embarrass. Should we not react, but merely act otherwise? Or, should we challenge them, in love? This article advocates for the latter by example, but this example also leads to division and controversy within the church. This is not a happy outcome, but perhaps an inevitable one in which we must live. The Apostle Paul warned frequently about those who cause division, but also suggested that division was inevitable to show which of us "have God's approval" (1Cor 11:19).

    February 10, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • Tina

      Very well put! I feel that the unhappy but inevitable outcome in which we must live describes modern humanity very well. Yes,religion may have a "perfect" vision of the world, but when it comes down to it the world isn't perfect. That doesn't mean you leave religion (or ethical morality, or whatever makes you be a good person!). It just means you learn to deal with it graciously and fairly.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Conflict is the birthplace of new ideas.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • JC

      Oh contrare. Religion has the least perfect vision of the world I've ever encountered. And that applies equally to every single one of them. A pox on all of you.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  13. Aristocles

    CNN, or whoever runs these stories, just stop this blog RIGHT NOW. You are picking fringe wackos and trying to spin it off as topical, relevant news. You are taking tiny, unjustifiable viewpoints that no one cares about, without regards to the very content of the religions on the blog. You are embarrassing yourself in front of anyone who knows so much as a shred of Christian theology, and it is really embarrassing. This is clearly the result of anti-Christian bias on the part of a major media outlet, and it is sickening.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional nonsense wrapped in the mantle of persecution is still nonsense.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Ack

      As a Christian, I am puzzled by this comment. The article resonated with many of my thoughts, although it is clearly theology-light ... a very preliminary treatment of the issue, but perhaps all that can be attempted in this kind of forum.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • m

      perfect example of what this article is about. "i demand you do what I say is right!!!"

      February 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • TerriS

      Did you not read the article? You are spewing the hate this article is about.... please re-read. Jesus would never have such choice words or say He "can't stand" someone... please reconsider your point of view...

      February 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  14. TOPPERG

    Christianity is runng out of steam. To many inconsistencies in the bible(after all it was written by man). All the crap being uncovered in the Catholic Church. When you have no direction in life or you need something to blame your failures on, you profess to becoming a christian and all is washed away. That is funny. Most christians are hypocritics and eventually get caught doing the same things they preach against. Actually your just hiding behind a false door. A dying breed, hopefully to be extinct in the next decade or so. I would be embarrassed to. I am glad I don't drink the kool-aide.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Ack

      Christianity is hardly running out of steam. Rather, it is thriving, as it historically has always done, in the midst of adversity and opposition. Christianity also has no monopoly on hypocrisy; great evils have been done in the name of Christ, but we certainly don't need Christ to commit great evils. Non-Christians drink their share of the kool-aid.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Aldewacs

      @Ack: Au contraire, Christianity is eroding everywhere except in the third world, where education and information still need to catch up and people's living standard must get to a level where they don't have to fear the boogey man.
      Education erases religion.

      February 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Marlin

      And the third world is growing rapidly.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:15 am |
  15. Offended

    My religious practices are anything but Christian, however that picture above the story is totally offensive.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  16. Woody HILLIARD

    Bravo! Well said. My hope is that because of teaching like this article will encourage many "hater" to repent and strive to understand the true message of our Master.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:56 am |
  17. rr

    Here we go with another bash Christian story. I love how our beliefs are always wrong and we are always the bad guy. People need to wake up and see the truth. Everything is black and white. There are no gray areas. There is a heaven and a hell and there is only one God and one savor and his name is Jesus.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • midwest rail

      You didn't read the story, did you ?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • TOPPERG

      lol that's your stroy and you ca stick to it.....what a rude awakening you won't have when you die....

      February 10, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • terri

      I have seen many hateful posts by gays (in response to anyone who says their behavior is morally wrong). Further, what I have seen in many blogs is that gays misinterpret a statement that their behavior is reprehensible to God as a statement of hate by Christians. On the other hand, I have not seen any actual hateful posts by Christians. I would suspect that many supposedly hateful posts by Christians to be "planted" by gays in order to gain the sympathies of politicians. Note: The author did not state where he was seeing hateful posts by Christians. In addition, whether a person is a Christian, an atheist, or somewhere in between, an advanced civilization should use civil language during discussion/debate and that is why CNN has a "report abuse" button below every post.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • midwest rail

      " On the other hand, I have not seen any actual hateful posts by Christians. " You're doing some awfully selective reading.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  18. sgraffwriter

    I think we overlook the fact that the vast majority of Americans aren't trolling the web to make comments against pundits with whom they disagree. Christianity should be divorced from politics and political issues. I think that's what Jesus meant when he said "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's....and unto God that which is God's." Liberal and conservative believers alike can venture into politics for their own purposes ignoring that scripture doesn't support most political views from either side. Scripture only supports the acceptance of Christ and following Him: take up your cross and follow Him. And the two greatest commandments tell us exactly how we are supposed to act in this every day world. Hate and hate language via tweets and posted comments is unchristian.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • terri

      Hate and hateful posts are also uncivilized and reflect a lack of education and intelligent thinking.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Aldewacs

      @Terri: BINGO!
      The blind faith of religions also "reflect a lack of education and intelligent thinking.". See the parallel?

      February 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  19. John Williams

    More CNN anti- Christian propaganda- uninsightful but very purposeful. And they are preaching to the choir. If you you want to know about about Christians, well, today is Sunday. I know how you can hang out with them.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • m

      as with another few people that have replied, it appears that you did not read the article. read the article, then read through the comments, then carefully think over your opinion. a large majority of people posting would definitely not wish to hang out with you or some of the "christian" ilk on sunday. why would they wish to be among the closed-minded?

      February 10, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  20. Eric Sotelo

    Matthew 21:12 – 13 says that, "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
    13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."

    What this author fails to see and many self professed christians like this author fail to see is that a true Christian, is something that stands up for what is right in God's eyes, not man's. Jesus was not concerned about what his fellow man thought of him, because his only mission in life was to live according to how his Father in Heaven lived, acted and demonstrated His love. God isn't always nice and courteous.

    The media and many liberal minded people mix up their theology with humanism and emotionalism. This is not God's love. THis is man's attempts to understand something that can not be understood with human intellect and emotions. It's only in the complete Truth of Christ and being filled with God's Holy Spirit that we can understand such great love. Our human misguided attempt to understand the complete truth of God's love is poor at best. This author is completely off base and
    I can tell you that it's not rooted in the complete wisdom of God.

    That's ok, I'm not perfect either. I am willing to admit it and I live by one motto. Love, show mercy and extend grace, because one day we will need it.. :)
    Eric Sotelo

    February 10, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • sgraffwriter

      Standing up for what's right is certainly something that Jesus preached. Later, his apostles and Paul preached the same message all over the world where the Gospel was spread. But never once did that include acting against the government. I'm not defending the government, but it represents politics, and there is no place in the New Testament where taking strong political stands on issues unrelated to our salvation is supported or can be supported. In taking these stands, christians are acting outside of the dictates of scripture–which is okay to a point–as long as we act in good faith and follow the precepts of our faith. One such precept is to love our enemies, perhaps the most difficult commandment to follow. But we must try to follow it. Christ's message and life serve as the examples that we must try to follow.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:00 am |
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About this blog

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.