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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. Robert Brown

    I agree with the pastor we all should be kind to one another. Christians are as capable as anyone else to say or do things that are wrong when we yield to the flesh. When we are yielded to the spirit we can be nice, even to those who aren’t nice. Peace.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well , it's good to be nice because its just nice to be nice, Robert.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      And what would you call the Christian sponsored, vicious attack that was Proposition 8 in California? Was that a form of Christian "love"?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Athy

      That's really nice.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      Certainly Jesus would not want us going about overturning the tables in the temple or anything like that now would He???

      February 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Robert

      you dont need to be a certain color or race to be 'nice'. Just like you don't need to be a christian or non to be nice.

      Revelation: you can be nice by just ...being nice.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      It is and for some it comes naturally most of the time.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged,
      Prop 8?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I do see that people aren't particularly nice to you, Robert. You hold up your end pretty well.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      was blind but now I see,

      There is a time to be nice and there is a time to break out the whip and run the thieves out of town.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Tom

      agreed. I think some people are better at 'nice' than others.

      I really get my kicks out of being nice. Go figure. Must be because I am Canadian. ha

      February 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      CrossCountry,

      True, but what I was trying to convey is that just because someone is saved by the grace of God doesn’t mean they are incapable of falling back into the old nature.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Robert

      Now now....I am not so comfy with the whip. We only just met

      February 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Robert

      Well I'll agree with you on that one. for sure.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      Thank you.

      It is easier to control one’s response in this format. It is much more difficult face to face.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  2. Sandy

    So wars are fought for resources by people who just so happen to be religious (that is, most people)?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Platypus Rex

      No.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      ...building bombs for Jesus

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Sandy : So wars are fought for resources by people who just so happen to be religious (that is, most people)?

      All people are religious – Some follow an organized religion while others follow a set of beliefs that are unorganized (and don't realize that is is a religion).

      February 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • clarity

      Sorry, Gullible4Him, but that is just a ridiculous notion.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • JWT

      Time to get back to my hobby of not collecting stamps.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  3. joao

    Please remember that this Forum is "My Take". It is subjective and not meant to be a final word on anything.

    I would remind folks that "Christian" can be a label, and it can be a way of life, or both. For instance, the author says of those who spew hate: "so-called followers of Christ". He sees the contradiction there.

    This gives us the option of saying that Christianity is bad per label or of saying that if one does not follow the pattern of Christ, he is not a genuine Christian.

    However, to know the difference, once must be familiar with his life and teachings. So please read the Gospel accounts before commenting.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      You mean the gospel accounts that condone slavery and racism? The Bible is full of them ole notions.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Platypus Rex

      If you actually knew what you were talking about, you would know that atheists consistently score higher on tests of religious knowledge than religious people. We have read it, and we are astounded anyone can believe it.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Answer

      "So please read the Gospel accounts before commenting."

      -Yet another person who urges others to read their myths when it has been stated that it is the reason why there are atheists in the first place. It is because they have been educated on it.

      But don't let that fact bother you. Just keep on being pathetic.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Dear Joao

      I AM familiar with the teachings and the teachers who teach them. I studied theology and wasted many years in a church setting. I can give you a very accurate account of what goes on behind closed doors and the politics it takes to keep promoting these doctrines of falsity. Its disgusting at best. There is thousands and thousands of mismanaged dollars, affairs, hypocrisy, arrogance and intolerance. I could no longer be true to myself and my core beliefs by staying in such a system.

      HOWEvER, if the teachings of Jesus could be laid down to one thing being love your neighbor as yourself. Then I could stomach it. If people could actually just do this without all the other crap...then perhaps you 'christians' would have a valid argument.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      Cross Country. I'm afraid that you have allowed yourself to be lead astray by the vary same Kennites whom you refuse to admit exist. Ask your Father that your eyes might be opened. You could be very useful to Him with your background.

      6He answered and said unto them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of [them] hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

      7But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

      8For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such things you do.

      9And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.

      10For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever curses father or mother, let him die the death:

      11But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift devoted to God, whatsoever you might have received from me; he shall be free.

      12And you allow him no more to do anything for his father or his mother;

      13Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such things do you.

      Mark 7:6-13

      February 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Was blind but now I see,

      No...no....I wasn't led astray.....but nice try. Gold star for you.

      Oh. and no thanks.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  4. The Black Page

    My pastor preaches to live and let live. As long as it is consensual, swinging should not be a problem. It is certainly not at my church. We, as a congregation, are very close physically and spiritually and work hard in our community to raise awareness.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      ...awareness of your swinging lifestyles?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      haha

      Wowzers.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Dont get me wrong...whatever floats your boat. I have friends that definitely enjoy swinging.

      But its kinda weird in a 'church' setting. Just saying.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Is a neutrally attractive, middle-aged atheist allowed to join your church? I like to help people with hard work and I have a natural ability to make the female body reach o.r.g.a.s.m

      February 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Swing and let swing, CrossCountry

      February 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • The Black Page

      Hey man, we are just celebrating God's creation! Amen brothers and sisters! Peace and Love.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      bahaha

      I agree Moby. And I bet there is room in their club for you. :)

      February 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Shout-Out: TheBibleReloaded

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSKAGA7AwLQ&w=640&h=390]

      March 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Golly gosh, I have read many, many comments made on this blog about how religion, Christianity especially, has been the cause of most wars over the centuries. Where have you ostriches been sticking your heads? Go back and read some of the comments, especially on the story about atheists, or the woman who raises her children without God. There you will find them. Such comments are made so often, they have become hackneyed.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Yeah

      Nice straw man misrepresentation, Sandy.

      So you think that restating the truth makes it invalid and hackneyed?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Sandy

      No, I just wanted to establish that they are, indeed, made.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • December

      The world's most recent and most disastrous wars weren't religious disputes.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      @December

      How do you figure that?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      @December – The world's most recent and most disastrous wars weren't religious disputes.

      So what? The reason the religious wars didn't kill as many people as the more recent ones is 1) There weren't as many people available to kill; and 2) They lacked the industrial killing methods that we now enjoy.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  6. Answer

    Imagine that this article was put forth by the dear pope .. how would the responses be like?

    A good slap in the face and a hardy laugh all around. :D

    February 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Athy

      It's "hearty laugh," not "hardy laugh."

      February 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Answer

      @Athy

      Indeed. My mistake in spelling.

      Thank you.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  7. A. Theo

    Maybe X-tians have a bad rep in this country b/c of all the ridiculous, nonsensical, backwards thinking ideas and beliefs that they feel they MUST inflict on all of us grown-up, reasonable, non-religious people.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Kababspbs

      thats a strong use of the word "meddling", Social Workers "meddle", so does law enforcement. not a proper use of the word in this context

      February 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Yeah

      That would be a really good point if he actually used the word "meddle."

      February 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @A. Theo : on all of us grown-up, reasonable, non-religious people.

      How would you propose to demonstrate this?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • YeaOk

      And do you ever stop to think that Christians feel as if others push their lifestyles and beliefs on Christians when it is unasked for? You could write this article about multiple organizations, cultures or otherwise in this country. Sure, there are bad Christians, but there are also a huge number of good ones, and they do not make it on the news, into movie story lines or onto TV unless it is in a negative light. I feel many "mean" Christians are reacting (in a wrong way) to the hostility shown to them for the last 30 years in this country. Being Christian does not mean you cease being human, it does not mean you suddenly become perfect and do no wrong. Quit expecting perfection and quit the public persecution of Christians in this country and you might see a different side to many Christians that you might just be agreeable with.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Answer

      @YeaOK

      The author chose to write on this topic. Doing a bit of misdirection on what the author "should have" wrote up is nonsense.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      What test did you pass to ascertain that you are reasonable?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  8. Chris

    What? Are you kidding me? Is CNN a jihadist propaganda network? Christians aren't murdering people all over the world in the name of Christianity like Muslims are and this idiot tells Christians to "be nice"? Christians aren't constantly blowing up innocent people, cutting peoples hands and feet off for accused theft, beheading and stoning people for adultery, muslims are.

    This network is anti white, and Christian and anti west. CNN should be taken down and off the air, this is disgusting.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      Um, what about those nasty Crusades and the Inquisition? Killing, torture, maiming – in the name of Jesus?
      -
      Cast not the first stone – ye sinner.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Answer

      "This pastor is an idiot" – that is effectively what you have said.

      LOL.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I know, righ? Such an extremist view "to be nice" and from a jihadist-liberal-commie "pastor" (yeah right) no less!! How dare CNN publish an article from a christian pastor admonishing christians to be nice. How dare they?!!?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Yeah

      Islam is just a couple centuries behind Christianity, who used to do those thing but now limits itself to oppressing gays, trying to force creationism and their religion into schools, and otherwise turning America into a theocracy.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      Thank you for reminding us who this article is about. :)

      February 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • A. Theo

      Christians murdered Dr. Tiller. Christians are also inordinately interested in arresting progress, in retarding education, stifling free inquiry, and imposing their ridiculous anti-humanist biases on all of us. Also, radicals killing people is not a problem with a specific religion – its a result of people being religious, PERIOD. When you X-tians were in power (Middle Ages, Salem Witch trials, etc), you guys killed people left and right all in the name of your ridiculous sky father myths.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • ME II

      "anti white, and Christian and anti west"

      Did this article say anything about race? I suspect that you are a bigot.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahaah HAHAHAHAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH AHHAHAHA

      February 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged : Um, what about those nasty Crusades and the Inquisition? Killing, torture, maiming – in the name of Jesus?

      Do you always live in the past?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him

      "Do you always live in the past?"

      Great quote from someone who lives her life around stories from thousands of years ago.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : Great quote from someone who lives her life around stories from thousands of years ago.

      Need I post my "Here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus" again? Not ONE Bible reference. And yet you THINK it is there.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • YeaOk

      @Judgenot, please, using the Crusades to make a point is...pointless. Blaming Christians of today for something done over 1,000 years ago is presenting a weak and childish argument. The vast majority of Christians are no different than anyone else in this country, yet if you dare open your mouth in public and state you are Christian it simply opens you up for public criticism and hate.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      Jesus lived TWO THOUSAND YEARS ago. Check the calendar :)

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • clarity

      "need I post . . ." blah blah blah

      Of course much is still unknown, but we do know that some early Christian apologists claimed that the reason the gospel stories looked so much like earlier pagan stories is that it must have been a pre-emptive strike by satan. That's the ticket – the gospels weren't plagiarized – satan set up whole scenario in advance no less to fool everyone! wink wink.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • A Candid Look

      How little you know of those thngs.... yet you insist on frming them in todays moral ethos... Of course they look bad in todays "enlightened" world of the atheist... Of course they do... but what was happening then??? TheSpanish inquistion was under the authority of the Spanish crown and not the Church... it was a cross between religion and secular forces... It was primarily held in the kingdom of Aragon during the reign of Ferdianad of Aragon and Isabellea of Castile.

      As far as the crusades were concerned, the occupation of the holy city of Jerusalem. the 3000 Christian Pilgrims that were massacred there, religous convistion, the instinct to fight (present in all cultures of the time) Preachings of various monks and hermits, the threat of the Turks and possible invasion/possesion of the holyland, pope Urban II did it for many reasons not the least of witch was to re-unite the eastern and western churches... but also to keep the western kings from fighting ... Additionaly those nobles that went on crusades were broke giving the church a chanceto buy low and sell high the lands and holdings of the nobles on crusade. Sounds a lot like the current world, greedy, you do not have to be a christian to be greedy and because you are a christian that does not automattically make you greedy.

      Do a little research before you start parroting the current emotional dogma of the current day ... save yourself some embarasment!

      February 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Answer

      To Lie4Him

      –Follow your bible.

      1 Timothy 2:12

      I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Oh, dry up. The writer asks Christians to examine their own actions and stop being so holier-than-thou, and you and countless others get their knickers in a knot because you don't see CNN condemning Muslims. Wow, what a thought-provoking article that would be. "All you Muslim extremists out there, you really should stop blowing people up." What a stunning idea, sure to be the subject of endless and fascinating debate.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • A Candid Look

      Guess we could ask that of the non believers that post here as well... the are verbally abusive with the sole intent of irritating people. I guess they could be nicer too!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  9. RichardSRussell

    EVERYBODY should be nice.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  10. tony

    If religion doesn't pervert men's consciences, why would we need religion?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  11. tony

    Read the post. The President of the US is not our (or even a) religious leader, so my comment does not apply. The collection plate is the inductive proof of the non-existence of god. It benefits the religious organization. Never a god.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Answer

      God sure loves money but he doesn't have the power to magic up money for himself in his own domain.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Jesus

      I'm short on cash again, and Joel Osteen needs a new Lamborghini. Cough up.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • RayJ

      God needs us to burn that money on the sacrificial altar so that he can build up enough power to 'magic up' other money for the countless Christian charity organizations and to pay people to put together sermons for Sunday service. Don't ask why he does it that way, trying to understand people who are different from you is not as not as important at insulting them. (all of the above is sarcasm)

      February 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  12. UncleBenny

    @Dynamo ... I'd rather go through life with a crutch than go through it lame.

    How about going through it standing on your own two feet and being responsible for your actions?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  13. Douglas

    I AM NOT A CLOSET CASE!!!!!!

    Just because I talk on and on and on about gays and gay sex, that doesn't mean anything. Just because I think about gays all the time, with their promiscuous boinking and exciting leather outfits, no that doesn't mean a thing. Those bulging gays, hard, throbbing, just because I think about that all the time and talk about it all the time, no, that doesn't mean I am a self-repressed queen who's obsession with gays has taken the perverse form of ranting against them.

    It's perfectly normal for heterosexual men to think about gay sex all the time. Really.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      How long have you been a Catholic priest?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Akira

      Embrace your true self.
      Be free.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Akira : Embrace your true self. Be free.

      And where did that get you?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Akira

      And even though I know this isn't the real Philip December Douglas, it is a nice departure from the "lusting after tight boy anus" stuff usually written on This Just In by him.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Observer

      "Douglas",

      Grow up and let the real Douglas speak for himself. He doesn't need any help at all to look foolish.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Akira

      Mary:
      A happy home, a fantastic husband, lovely children, great friends...want to start with me again, Mary? Really?
      Pick your battles.
      I out liars.
      You're one of them.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Akira : A happy home, a fantastic husband, lovely children, great friends...want to start with me again, Mary?

      That's exactly my point – You're delusional – imagining that you can get a person's IP address, dream up a person's identity and BELIEVE that you ACTUALLY have the fact! I mean REALLY – You're free living has cost you your grip on reality.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ L4H

      Hmmm...methinks the Pastor was speaking of you in this piece. "Where did that get you?" is a co mmon response of insult...you don't know Akira, you don't know her life, you don't know where her freedom got her and, to my knowledge, you've not spent a moment in time with her.

      ...and, theologically, your "freedom" in Christ is seen by many thoughtful individuals through the centuries as a form of me ntal and emotional slavery.

      Like Chad, you talk the propositional truth of your beliefs...yet, I wonder if your life reflects any of the qualit ites that most American Christians like to ignore (because of the great cost to themselves)...starting with Matthew 25 and Luke 6. I would enjoy spending 6-12 months with you to see if you really live what you claim to believe.

      Certainly, from the co mments you've made over the months that I've observed, I have to conclude (with this co mment) that you, too are a coward hiding behind your apologetical knowledge (where it's safe from any personal sacrifice for the lives of the world your savior supposedly died for).

      ...other than that, any substance, L4H?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Platypus Rex

      I do enjoy the irony of a person who believes in an invisible magic super friend, who thinks it's everyone else who is delusional.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ L4H...

      "You're delusional"...

      Thanks for the confirmaiton...another coward.

      Why is there so little courage among the Body of Christ?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      agreed that doug doesn't need help looking looney.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @S-3B Viking : you don't know Akira, you don't know her life, you don't know where her freedom got her and, to my knowledge, you've not spent a moment in time with her.

      You're absolutely correct. And the same is true in reverse. However, I can say that she advances the cause of "free living", so she obviously follows that belief. Second, I can say that she knows NOTHING about me that I haven't revealed on this blog – and yet she thinks she knows me. This is what I call delusional. What would you call it?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @L4H...

      I wouldn't call it delusional...and you are doing what you claim Akira is doing

      ....and that makes you nothing but another "Christian" without integrity...as, i said, an all-too-co mmon quality of cowardice among the Body of Christ.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Mary,
      Absolutely false.
      If you were actually a computer teacher, you would know there are systems for tracking IP available; Cisco has them that can be wired directly into the mainframe.
      Sorry, Mary.
      I know you. Stop lying.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Pewtiepie

      Live$Him, Akira is correct. I have one. You are showing Niagra Falls as you IP address.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Pat

      Live4Him claims to have a background in computers and doesn't know about IP tracers? Nah, she ain't got a background in compters. LMFAO.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  14. Sandy

    If Christianity causes wars, then why were there wars before there was ever such a thing called Christianity?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • tony

      And why didn't they stop subsequently?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • You fail Logic 101. Back to kindergarten, and no home schooling this time

      Maybe because nobody said Christianity causes all wars.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      Let's just say that Christians turned the war volume waaayy up – starting with the Crusades.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Sandy

      Okay, fine. But some would argue MOST wars.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Nesus of Jazzareth

      You're presenting an invalid argument. If cigarettes cause cancer, why did cancer exist before cigarettes? See how inane that reads?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • box1813

      For the same reason Christianity causes them: Hatred. Any social device that dehumanizes a portion of the population will eventually create enough strife to invite conflict. That said, the Judeo-Christian religions are very adept at killing people for petty reasons (i.e. The Crusades, Hitler, Rwanda).

      February 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Golly gosh, I don't know. Do you suppose that there just might be other causes for war in addition to religion?

      I don't recall anyone claiming that Christianity was the sole cause of war, so why are you arguing against a statement that was never made?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @tony : And why didn't they stop subsequently?

      Wars are caused by the desire for resources. As long as one person (country) doesn't have something the does have, they will start a war.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • ME II

      ... resources like the Holy Land/ Jeruselem/ Palestine.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : resources like the Holy Land/ Jeruselem/ Palestine.

      Exactly! The Arabs waht the Holy Land and want to drive the Jews into the sea – and will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @L4H

      I'm glad I only gave you credit for your apologetical knowledge above, L4H...like Chad, you have no knowledge of history other than what you need it to mean...

      MEII made a point that Jerusalem is not a resource...it's a Lat itude and Longitude..and you couldn't even pick up on that bit of historical assistance...

      Your response confirms how blind your consumption of book knowledge has made you.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @S-3B Viking : MEII made a point that Jerusalem is not a resource...it's a Lat itude and Longitude

      IT is to you, but what about the Arabs? What does it mean to them? To them, it is the "third holy place" – i.e. a resource to connect to Allah.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      @ L4H...

      Please look up "resource" in its use regarding politics and conflict among humans. This also shows you know nothing more than your apologetical books have told you about Arabs and Islam. You apparenlty know nothing about what "it means" to an Arab.

      Just as with Mecca, there are sacred locations, but they have no resources for sustainable use...the Ja panese expanded through South East Asia, for instance in the late 1930's, to obtain resources due to lack on their home islands.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  15. Bostontola

    The pastor is right to ask his flock to behave as Christians. Civil discourse is preferred. To not do so is hypocrisy. For atheists, lack of civility is not hypocrisy, it is just being a jerk.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Well . . .

      You have to be a jerk against biots who are repressing you. Being nice doesn't work.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bostontola

      I'm afraid being uncivil doesn't work either. It may be more satisfying, but I'm pretty sure it's less effective.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Well . . .

      Being uncivil has worked for Christianity for centuries.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  16. Sursprise surprise

    Strange how so many Christian haters are experts on the Bible. Hmmmmm why is that?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • tony

      Education, education, education. So many sane people read about Physics and Mathematics too. Heard of them?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      ...education?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Answer

      Maybe it's all the talk about the cornered christian that says to the atheist "you should read the bible?"

      February 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      yeah, it does seem pretty obvious

      February 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • JESIII

      Because "Sursprise surprise".....most can say, "Been there, done that, read it." By the way, "Sursprise"? Really???!!??

      February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • It's not spelled "sursprise"

      So you are shocked that we actually read books?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Douglas

      Sursprise surprise,

      They attack the Bible because the Bible shines a light on the immorality of their lives.

      So to justify the sins they commit, they claim that they know the BIble and in the same breath and the Bible does not apply to them...then they turn around and claim their is a Christian case for "gay marriage" and that the Bible is silent about gay coitus.

      This is cognitive dissonance on steroids.

      But it is indicative of the moral dileema that is the topic of this discussion.

      Christians are supposed to be polite about taking a moral stand on murder, r@pe, child abuse by predators, slavery
      and poverty.

      Out in San Francisco, the city council had to debate about whether or not gay men could walk n@ked in front of an elementary school and sit around on public benches in a busy public park.

      ...Don't want to offend them... of course

      February 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • clarity

      So because of some local issue over nudity (which was not restricted to men by the way), Douglas is afraid of gays and can't distinguish between gays and pedophiles. Sad, really sad. Yep – this is one of the reasons Christianity is losing numbers – people like Douglas.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  17. james

    I know zillions of Christians – and they are all nice.

    This is just more CNN bigotry – holding up some Evangelical idiots as somehow representative of Christianity.

    About 75% of Americans are Christians.

    Are you somehow indicating that 75% of Americans have a problem with 'being nice'?

    Why don't you go publish an article telling the 'Jews to be nice'. Or the 'Muslims to be nice' and see what kind of reaction you get.

    BIGOT.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      I love the all caps name calling and belittlement by a stereotypical "Christian". :)

      February 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh it's only 75%?

      Well chalk it to the math -that according to you- that 25% can clearly persecute you christians so effectively.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Zeibodique

      James, since you know zillions, list 1000 that you personally know. I'd say we'd wait, but we'll be dead before you can honestly post 250 PERSONALLY Known people.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • tony

      With those sorts of numbers they be some of the owners of the 50 million or guns in the hands of civilians. All for turning the other cheek with I suppose?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Pat

      Well Said

      February 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • JESIII

      Because "james" as any holier-than-thou, us-againat-evil "Christian" will tell you......"there's a difference between being of a Christian sect, and "being save".............

      February 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Stephen Miller

      He's a pastor, criticizing people on his own side. This is a healthy, and necessary, part of Christianity - to focus first on your own sin, recognize your imperfection, and work out your salvation in fear and trembling. I fail to see why it is bigoted.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  18. Godzookie

    I'm a ninja! I'm a hoodie ninja!

    February 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  19. tony

    All the religious leaders here in the US, worship the all-powerful, holy collection plate. "Give" is uttered by then more times that "god" in very speech and sermon.

    Don't believe me, go listen for yourself.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • james

      Actually, that is a lie and it is bigotry.

      Most Churches are very, very poor and cannot afford basic repairs.

      Obama mentioned 'God' several times in his inauguration speech.

      Are you suggesting Obama just wants your money?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Icon of Sin

      @ James
      Yes

      February 11, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  20. Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

    Religion has long been co-opted by the rich and powerful to control the common masses. Religions have embodied slavery since the ancient Egyptians. Christianity is no different. Politicians continue to shroud themselves in religion to this day.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
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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.