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

My take: A word to Christians - Be nice

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

By John S. Dickerson, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • My Take

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. One one

    Nothing pi$$es off Jesus more than if you don't worship him.

    2 Thessalonians, 8-9:"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

    John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

    Mathew 10: “34 "Don't think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn't come to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
    36 A man's foes will be those of his own household.
    37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn't worthy of me.
    38 He who doesn't take his cross and follow after me, isn't worthy of me.”

    February 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Hank

    @Live4Him, even I hamsta know you are Mary and you are out of your mind.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  3. hypatia

    And in Arkansas, if you don't respond to niceness, they'll shoot you in church.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  4. Douglas MacNeill

    The term "evangelical," even in the form "conservative evangelical" is going the way of capital-F "Fundamentalist."
    Or so goes John F. Dickerson's column in the _Washington Post._ I'm prepared to keep the peace with anyone of
    good character, whether or not that anyone confesses God. However, Evangelicals are not prepared to keep the
    peace with me or mine. Need I say more?

    February 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Luther 23

      I've always found the term "Fundamentalist" interesting.. I mean beyond the pejorative label intended by nice liberals. What does it mean? Presumably, a person who adheres to some set of ideas, probably written down, and refuses equivocate. By that definition, ANYONE who has some written code to which they adhere would be a Fundamentalist. The alternative is someone who has no written code.. i.e., he makes up his rules as he goes along. As we are supposed to be a nation of Laws.. "written code " and not of men.. i.e. "do what I say totalitarianism" I would posit that America is and should be a "Fundamentalist" Nation, with our "Fundamentals" enshrined in the Declaration and the Consitution. What is a fundamentalist but a person who has worked out his philosophy of life and adheres to it?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      @Luther 23, interesting, but I think your argument is based on some false assumptions.
      By fundamentalist, one typically means someone that bases their worldview/beliefs on certain precepts, but without the ability, willingness or insight to understand when such rules–or even their own understanding of them–are wrong.
      You then proceed to say that one that is not a fundamentalist makes up their own rules. This is obviously false.
      I hope this helps!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Luther 23

      If an atheist professes his beliefs and tries to convince others into his camp, does he earn the label "Evangelist"? If he refuses to consider that he might be wrong, is he a "Fundamentalist"?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Luther 23

      Free: You've essentially said "people who disagree with me are stupid" ..ie they "Lack understanding", which, from my perspective, is the epitome of fundamentalist thinking. Re : "When such beliefs.. Are wrong" A great example of this is when Choice" advocates pretend that a baby, moments before it is born, is not a human being and therefore can be ripped apart limb from limb and tossed into a garbage can. They have adhered to a "precept" to the point that they do not recognize the blatant and merciless murder of another human being. To them the human is a "fetus" the way Jews were "subhuman" to the Nazis

      February 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  5. Where is your God now?

    You are 16 years old and taking swimming lessons with your aunt. You don’t know where the changing rooms are and your aunt points you in the wrong direction. You end up in the birthday party room. It is empty so you change there. You come out for your lesson and discover that the glass you were surrounded by is one way. Everyone on the outside could see everything you were doing on the inside. Where is your God now?

    February 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      is this "experimental theater"?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • rjo3491

      ...how bad is it? Did you just change, or did you do the mime thing on the glass in the nude?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ rjo3491

      That reminds me of a friend. She had a beauty shop, and one time, a couple of her employees were closing up shop late in the evening, after dark. This guy runs up to the store, whips out his junk, and presses it up against the plate glass window, then runs off.

      The next day, they were telling my friend about it, and she said, "Well, was he excited or not?"

      One of the girls thought about it for a minute and said, "I don't know if he was excited, but he was smiling!"

      February 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • peridot2

      God is where He has always been. You have a story to tell that will one day be amusing rather than embarrassing. Every person makes a mistake of this sort at some point in their lifetime. What's important is to move on.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  6. Observer

    Truth be told says that when God killed EVERY fetus on the face of the earth that either: (1) there were no pregnant women during the times leading up to the Flood or (2) the fetuses were guilty of sins just like we do.

    Can ANYONE offer ONE QUOTE from the Bible to support either nonsensical idea?

    February 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • truth be told

      Yes.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told.

      Still no answer from you. Still completely stumped. Still NOT ONE WORD of proof or support.

      WOW!

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

      @ Observer – when t.b.t./cap'n america/pervert alert posts, be prepared for lots of WOW moments. He/she posts merely to garner a reaction.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      hahahahahahahaha

      C'mon TBT ..you're joking right? please tell me this is a joke.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      You asked could anyone offer a biblical quote, you were answered . The answer is yes.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Luther 23

      Refer to Psalm 51

      February 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Stop being so suspenseful TBT

      DO TELL!!!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Observer

      According to Truth Be Told's theory, it appears that abortions might be sanctioned by God to kill sinning fetuses.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Luther 23,

      Please list just a few of the sins that a fetus could commit and then tell us about Free Choice.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • clarity

      wow. so if a woman trying to have an abortion claims that God has spoken to her and tells her that the fetus is or will be a sinner beyond redemption and that she should have the abortion and let Him take over, then why would another follower of the Bible contest that?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Observer

      clarity,

      Excellent point. Certainly Truth Be Told can't argue with anyone claiming God told them to do it.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

      Genesis 6:4

      These were the devil's children that were drowned. You really need to educate yourself before attempting to debate.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • clarity

      OK then. so if a woman trying to have an abortion claims that God has spoken to her and tells her that the fetus is or will be a sinner beyond redemption, Satan's pawn, and that she should have the abortion and let Him take over, then another follower of the Bible should not contest it (although I would certainly hope that her close friends and family do question her about her intentions).

      February 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  7. Mike

    Well said. As a Christian who's been on about every side of this at one time or another, love is the Way.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mike,

      Amen, love is really the best method. It works best when someone is out of control, angry, and slinging insults in every direction. Love works when nothing else will and it took me a long time to learn that lesson as well.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Bob

      Love is certainly not what you find taught in the Christian book of horrors AKA the bible, when it presents nasty demands from the horrid Christian sky fairy like these:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      February 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Luther 23

      Brother Bob up to your old tricks! I'd though you'd have a new tune by now.
      "Love is the answer, at least to most of the questions in my heart...". Jack Johnson.....

      February 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  8. Mike

    Well-written article, and very true.

    The suffering endured by Christians for living a Godly life is inflicted by the people who are Christians culturally but not in the heart. They favor hate, war, anger, and despise billions of God's children, and so they attack the Christians who truly want to live a peaceful existence, the way Christ intended.

    As soon as you say you hate another human being....for any reason...you have failed to follow Christ.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Where is your God now?

      Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

  9. When the Government and its military, courts and law enforcement, schools, healthcare, science, and industry are all properly atheistic we will welcome your niceness and be very very nice in return.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Mike

      Watch out for the U.S. Here there be religious freedom.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ,

      When all the nations of the world turn from God, then Jesus will come again to remove evil from the earth. Atheists at that time won’t get an opportunity to be nice because there will be no such thing.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, please stop promoting your bigoted, murderous ass hole of a god here.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Answer

      So god has a timetable that incapacitates his return. Good dodge.

      "If only all these humans find out that I exist then I'll make my return." <<– what a god.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Terry

      You're right about the nature of Christian god, if you take the bible as truth, Bob. He's repeatedly killed whole races of people in the stories there, and worse, and threatens to throw you in the big burner forever if you don't worship him. Punishment is way out of line.

      I'll go for the FSM. At least he's nutri.tious.

      RAmen

      February 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Robert Brown' concludes with a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      February 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  10. Live4Him

    @Observer : Now..if there is NO SUCH THING as Jesus Christ... Conversly there really is no such thing as A-theists because there would have to be a diety to take a firm stand against in the first place.

    Atheists would still exist as long as the possibility of a deity existed.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Suppose your God exists. Suppose I went to your church.

      THEN would you like me? accept me into your circle?

      My point is: Christians only like their own.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Answer

      "Be like us or burn in hell."

      February 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @CrossCountry : My point is: Christians only like their own.

      It DOES take some interaction before you can like someone. Therefore, the more time that you spent with me, the more likely that I would like you – if there were qualities that were common between us. This is true in all situations. However, love is a different quality altogether. You can care / love another without knowing them. For example, you can care about those injured / killed in some of the recent shooting. But this doesn't mean that you like them – you don't even know them.

      That said, there are many people that I like that are different from me.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Children are born atheist, and that would still be so if there were no deity. They do not take a stand against a deity. They are just atheist. They do not know of the possibility of a deity. They are just atheist.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One : Children are born atheist

      Not quite. They are born agnositic – which means "I don't know". They have no views on a deity, but can learn to believe either way.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      lives4him

      Can't disagree with you on that one. I get along with all sorts.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Babies lack belief. Since they do not have a belief in any god, then they are atheist.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      If there were a question in their minds, then perhaps agnostic. They've no belief in gods, so atheist is correct.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Answer

      "They have no views on a deity, but can learn to believe either way."

      -So here comes the train wreck question.. what makes you think your religion is correct?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Randy

      The problem here is the word "atheist." It is a word that was specially created to be able to categorize & stigmatize non-believers as "bad" people. There is not a word for someone who does not believe in unicorns. What is someone who does not collect stamps called? You say there is a god? You need to provide the proof, not us.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I think babies are believers, because of their innocence they can perceive things in the spiritual realm. They don’t remember the things they have seen but they react as they see them.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " They don’t remember the things they have seen....." How convenient.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      Because the bible says so says L4H YEC

      February 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Prestidigitator

      TomTom, are they also adeist? Atheism's new broad definition was "developed" agnostically in regards to categorization. Namean?Children have a lot of questions and the answers they receive, verbally or otherwise, determines what they will believe. They are a blank slate, inherently agnostic as someone else said above.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Not knowing the question or the answer?

      February 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Believers in God are agnostic by Live4Him's statement. It's common to identify knowledge with justified true belief. You know something if

      1) It's true

      2) You believe it

      3) Your belief in it is justified.

      1 and 3 are problems for believers in God.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      CrossCountry: I know plenty of Christians that would like you no matter what (if any) church/mosque/temple you attended – providing you are a nice person (and from your posts, it seems that you are). My family consists of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and agnostics and we have friends who we love like family that are Hindu and atheist. We don't poll people on their religion before we decide we like them, nor do we feel compelled to tell people about ours until they ask.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  11. truth be told

    Speaking the Truth in love may not always seem nice but nice doesn't get the job done. This "pastor" is in the wrong profession. Compromise with the filth of sin leaves the man without a use in this world or the next. Atheism is a deadly lie, ho mose xuality is a deadly perversion and abortion is just plain murder.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      God murdered EVERY fetus on the face of the earth at one time. Read a Bible about it.

      Ooops.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      TBT

      Oh yes...those preachers that like to tell it like it is. I know all about those. They are the ones taking late night drives to meet up with woman....or men.

      Come on now! Don't shout me down cause I'm preaching good!

      February 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • truth be told

      Gods judgment is never murder.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • clarity

      LOL – this from TBT, who when posting as "pervert alert" spews all kinds of homophobic rubbish.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      What sin did the fetuses commit?

      ANY ANSWER at all?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      TBT

      Didnt you read about Abraham? In the story, he tells Abraham to take his ONLY son and offer him up as a sacrifice. Apparently an angel intercepted that little family pow wow.

      That would have been considered murder.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      If there even were any at that time the same as yours.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      What sin did the fetuses commit?

      STUMPED?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Observer,

      We've all got our views on abortion...christian or not. The main thing about abortion is that you CAN'T take away the right of a woman to choose. People that support this view arent dancing around in glee because a baby dies. They are supporting the stance that we need to always leave free choice as the highest standard. Not every pregnancy situation is the same. You can not demonize woman that have had one. Once you broad stroke that then you've become ridiculous and uneducated.

      THINK BIGGER PICTURE.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      As to Abraham how could an event (the sacrifice) that did not happen be considered murder? "If "doesn't come into the issue. "IF" you were intelligent you wouldn't hate God.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Observer

      I don't understand the question : What sin did the fetus commit? I don't get what your saying.

      Would a sinful fetus qualify it to die?! What are you even saying here?!!

      February 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • truth be told

      @observer
      Once again because you did not get it the first time ... If there even were fetuses at that time ... the same sin, crimes as you.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      TBT

      well there you go painting me with your big ol brush. I don't hate God. I don't hate anyone really. Funny how you think that because I challenge you that I HATE God.

      Interesting and it proves that you are simpleton.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      If you didn't hate God your interpretation of Abraham and Issac would have been entirely different and you would have known that even had it been completed it would not have been murder. Your own words convict you of your hatred of God.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      Are you delusional enough to claim that fetuses commit sins like violating the Ten Commandments? Do they commit aduitery? Kill people? Disobey parents?

      lol. Answer the quesiton seriously this time.

      Still stumped?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      my bad @observer.

      I meant my long abortion rant for TBT.

      dam I need some coffee.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • truth be told

      @observer
      No...you were answered but as previously revealed you are a person devoid of honor or character and I will not continually repeat myself to a fool. Identify one existent fetus from that event.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • steve brickman

      So destroying the (sinless) unborn is murder. How does your god justify the murder of so many pregnant women who were on the earth when the (nonexistent) Great Flood happened?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • truth be told

      @steve
      Please identify one of those who were pregnant at that time.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      lol. So the Great Flood was a lie since you can't name one victim or animal that was killed.

      Is this the BEST you can do? Get serious.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

      Genesis 6:4

      It was the children of the fallen angels that were drowned in the flood. Do yourself a favor and actually read the book before commenting on it.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • but nice doesn't get the job done

      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.
      Please indicate the verse(s) in the bible that say if you don’t think Christ’s way is working you get to make up your own rules

      February 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  12. Observer

    Just playing "the devil's" advocate...literally or not is up to you...

    Atheist say: "There is no such thing as Jesus Christ" never has been never was"

    Christians say: "We are a people transformed by the healing power of Christ"

    Now..if there is NO SUCH THING as Jesus Christ...then, conversely there is no such thing as Christians. Conversly there really is no such thing as A-theists because there would have to be a diety to take a firm stand against in the first place.

    Problem solved. Go back to whatever it was you were doing.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Ben

      You need to differentiate between the belief in Christ and his actually being real. Christians simply believe Christ is real. They would exist even if he were not actually real just as Trekkies exist even though the Federation, Klingons, and Tribbles do not (as far as we know :-) )

      February 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Jimmy-James

      Atheists don't believe in ANY gods. Not just the Christian one. Just like you feel that the other deities throughout history have not existed just makes you and atheists that much closer; except, the only difference is that you only believe in one more deity than they do. You agree on the silliness of the rest.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Observer

      I am not sure if any dieties existed or not..including any through out history as I have insufficient information.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  13. CrossCountry

    I think the guy that wrote this was just 'trying' to be vulnerable are perhaps relevant in his perspective. I dont think he meant any harm. I think he was just saying that people in his club need to be nice to those around them. End of story.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  14. Live4Him

    @clarity : Some early Christian apologists claimed that the gospels were not plagiarizing earlier pagan stories, but that Satan set the whole thing up to confuse everyone.

    For plagiarizing to occur, the earliest manuscript is considered to be the original. Since the Jesus attributes were added to the pre-Jesus pagan stories AFTER Christ was crucified, then the pagan stories were the plagiarist.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Answer

      "then the pagan stories were the plagiarist."

      -Spin and wash.

      Are you trying to teach someone? It's okay to lie right? – because that's not teaching.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • clarity

      Gullible4Him – If things were as it seems to you now, based on surviving docs from an early church that you must trust, there shouldn't have been any reason for the excuses by the apologists. But no, they had to get satan involved. Today, if it were an email it would cause pause for consideration, and most likely a toss into the spam folder.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : Are you trying to teach someone? It's okay to lie right? – because that's not teaching.

      Yes, I'm trying to teach those willing to learn. No, I'm not lying.

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

      So the shackles of your bible don't have any meaning. Glad to see that you don't follow the bible that you do.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @clarity : Gullible4Him

      Ahhhh... so you've taken a new moniker now.

      @clarity : there shouldn't have been any reason for the excuses by the apologists.

      If manuscripts started appearing in 175 AD trying to dilute the Gospels, why shouldn't apologists react?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Answer

      What a wonderful justification that you pretend to follow that bible and then don't when it doesn't suit you.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • clarity

      Lie4Him – you must have missed where I mentioned the trust that one must have in the early church as in the handling of said docs, etc. So not only do we see excuses made by the early apologists, we also see the early breaking of the early Xtian church into factions over differences in the stories. Certainly a cause for suspicion and one must wonder when said stories of unknown authorship are in question.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : So the shackles of your bible don't have any meaning. Glad to see that you don't follow the bible that you do.

      Where's your evidence for such a claim. Put up or shut up. You're becoming a bother rather than a discussion.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Answer

      Here is the simple test.

      On a scale of 100%.. how much of the bible do you follow?

      Your bible is totally 100% infallible . Correct. So what passages that you don't agree with and don't follow?

      Care to say that you only follow 99%? XD

      February 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Answer

      Care to artfully dodge that 100% Lie4?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      For a YEC

      February 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  15. Buttfvcker

    Hitler was much cooler than Jesus.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • clarity

      (what Xtian trolls post when they get flustered)

      February 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      clarity: I vote for just plain old troll, rather than Christian troll.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      "K.C.s Sunshiney Disco Apocalypse
      sayz, .............................
      Actually, I don't want to know any more. It creeps me out that there are people like him walking the streets. At least as a felon he cannot own a gun."

      You don't get "crime and punishment", do you?? After somebody pays the fine and does the time they should be free and fully restored. Got a demon livin' in your temple?? BBBBBwwwwwahahahaha

      March 17, 2013 at 5:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
      lol??
      And no, I didn't demonize you. It was your own DIY project...BBBBBBWWwwwaaaaahahahaha..............................

      March 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  16. Maya

    This is a shining example of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. In order to avoid casting any of the blame on his actual religion, this author just claims that no REAL Christian would behave so horridly. This is, of course, self-righteous nonsense. These obnoxious Christians are as much Christian as he is. Christ never said that you have to be a nice person to be a Christian, he just said that you had to believe in him. This author is just trying to preserve the chauvinistic idea that true Christians are better people than the rest of us.

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

      interesting theory and definitely one to think on.

      Although, I think the idea behind Christian for Christians is to be 'Christ – like'.

      In which case they are failing miserably.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Observer

      How can anyone be "Christ"-like if there was never any such thing to begin with? They are humans just like the rest of us.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • DonatelloFortron

      I don't believe that's what he's saying. On the contrary, he called these obnoxious, vitriol spewing individuals, "some of our number," plainly including them in the ranks of Christianity. What's he's saying is that they SHOULDN'T act in this manner. Not that because they do, they're aren't Christian.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      I am not making an argument for this way of thinking. I agree, everyone has the capabilities to be generous, kind and loving. You dont need to be a christian to display these qualities.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Marlboro12

      In reading some of these posts I am completely amazed. Maya's comment "Christ never said that you have to be a nice person to be a Christian, he just said that you had to believe in him." leads me to believe that the Jesus of the Bible who taught about loving enemies, turning the other cheek, healing the sick, clothing the poor, loving your neighbor as yourself, etc, has been completely replaced by a totally hallow imaginary figure that only demands that you believe in him, period. No expectations, no requirements, no need to conform to any kind of behavior, just believe in this "thing" with no meaning, might as well make a ceramic idol that is hollow inside, because there's nothing left of the Jesus of the Bible who, IMHO, did expect you to be a nice person. I guess Christianity nowadays means to believe in this "thing" called Jesus that has no relationship to the Jesus of the Bible.

      I think the current political climate speaks well to that, so many devout Christians are against applying any of Jesus teachings in our larger society. (Healing Sick-National Healthcare, Feeding Poor-Welfare/ Social Security, Loving Enemies – Hate foreign people) . It's absolutely amazing.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  17. Love, not fear

    Jesus was brave and was ruled by love. Christians are taught that his message was love. Seems like all I hear about is fear. I think Jesus was amazing, and brave. It's brave to love, easier sometimes to be fearful and hateful. Be brave. Be like Jesus. He said to love our neighbors as ourselves...sometimes that is hard, but Jesus was VERY clear on that. What if our neighbor is a Muslim? LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. Jesus didn't have any qualifiers.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

      What does Jesus think about your guns? Huh conservatives?

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

      Who says this poster is a conservative? Or that they own a weapon? You have become blinded by stereotyping.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Lizzy10

      That sounds like good advice.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  18. Luther 23

    For those of you who seem to be inordinately focused on the "Gentle Jesus" I will refer you to Matthew 23, where Jesus goes into a vehement screed against the Pharasees. He frequently called people to repentance, warning of judgement. People hated Him, because HE told them They would be judged. The reality is that He used different methods, for different people...Law to the proud, Grace to the Humble.
    I would correct the author. ".. Christians, be nice when it is appropriate, and be stern when it is required". Considering that our current culture is flooded with overweening pride, and the prideful rarely respond to the Grace of God, calls to repentance are what America needs right now. But even a call to repentance can be administered in a graceful way, and there are certainly those who open their mouths these days and bring shame upon the name of Christ.
    If nice isn't working.. It's time to try something else to halt someone's headlong plunge into hell. Jesus preached for years in the temple, before erupting and turning over the tables of the money changers and chasing them out with whips.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      I know it will come as a huge shock to you, but: you're not Jesus.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Note, however, He did not go into the temples of other religions nor into government offices and demand that they change their ways. His criticism in the temple was regards to HIS OWN religion. Nothing He said gives anyone the right to harass or try to force others to follow Him. So, no, the Bible does not give you license to yell at people of other faiths.

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

      Sweetheart, Luther, your desire to "save us from hell" is nothing more than your very dangerous desire to appear that you know better than anyone else. That is the very trump card of Christianity. Our times and culture are no more overflowing with "overweening pride" than any other time and place in the history of the human race. It may seem that way to you, as you fill up every day on specious news and entertainment, all the while pitying your uninformed neighbor. The human race is the same as it has always been. And Christians love to "predict" that the end is near and ... and... just wait until your father comes home!! Give it a rest, honey. You may think you have been called on to Save the World, but a brief overview of history will show you that we are here until we are not. Best to enjoy the time you are given. A little advice to you: give up the fierce little drama that seems to keep you steaming.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Luther 23

      Livin:
      Jesus had many interactions with people of other faiths: The Samaritian woman at the well, to whom He said"you people workshop what you do not know". Also Roman soldiers whom he told to not to abuse their authority.
      This persistent expression from anti Christians suggestioning Christians "have no right" to speak is curious coming from so called "liberals" .
      Get out the duct tape for the Christians mouths, and fire up the bonfire for those Bibles! The totalitarians are puttin' on there jackboots!

      February 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Luther 23

      Jungle:
      I would tend to agree with you that humans have been exceptionally sinful for a very long time, and in fact that validates the basic most basic tenet of the Christian faith that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". I wasn't arguing that our times is more sinful than any other, just that pride is one of the outstanding characteristics of our current culture, and is a typical dashboard warning for the fall of nations.
      Your mocking tone is indicative of a prideful heart, and while you admonish me for preaching, you yourself preach, revealing utter blindness of hypocrisy.
      I say, let us both preach in this free country conceived by Christians. I don't wish for you to be quiet, neither will I be quiet, but let's us exchange ideas freely, and let the chips fall where they may.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Who ever said Christians have no right to speak? Please show me an example, because I,ve only ever heard anyone say that Christians must abide by the same rules as everyone else, and keep religion to appropriate forums. It's when special priviledges are removed that they start sqwacking.

      March 14, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  19. Sandy

    Why do nonchristians have a problem with Christians doing something that is unchristlike and hypocritical?
    Why aren't they ecstatic, instead?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : So tell everybody what that line in Timothy states.. girl.

      And what makes you think that I'm a girl? Furthermore, IF I'm a girl, you're certainly not my husband, now are you? And those would BOTH have to be satisfied for this passage to apply – but you didn't know that, did you?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Whoops. Wrong post

      February 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Answer

      The pick and choose nature of christians is exactly what I am following. No need to be your husband. XD

      –simply follow your bible girl–
      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 6:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh and honey .. don't get your panties in a twist okay?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  20. Live4Him

    @Answer : It is because they have been educated on it.

    Educated how? On what? What evidence did you base your decision upon?

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

      Using complete sentences would help us grasp your attempt at a coherent statement.

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

      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 5:56 pm |
    • Live4Him

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

      And what do you mean by this?

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

      Figures.

      You don't know your own bible. So you don't follow it.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged : Using complete sentences would help us grasp your attempt at a coherent statement.

      What facts did Answer use to deem the Bible to be false?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Answer

      The little creationist doesn't even open their own precious bible.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : You don't know your own bible. So you don't follow it.

      Obviously, I know it better than you do. I go thru the entire Bible at least once a year. And you?????

      February 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • clarity

      The gospels. Ah yes. Some early Christian apologists claimed that the gospels were not plagiarizing earlier pagan stories, but that Satan set the whole thing up to confuse everyone. That's the ticket – the gospels were not copy-cats – the older similar stories were a ruse set up by Satan – in advance! wink wink...

      February 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Answer

      "And what do you mean by this?"

      –Look at your own words.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : The little creationist doesn't even open their own precious bible.

      In English, Greek and Hebrew. Is that sufficient for you?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Answer

      So what does that line in Timothy state?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : "And what do you mean by this?" –Look at your own words.

      Still dodging the questions I see. Some are afraid they don't have the facts and need to hide it, while others...

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

      It's a dodging game after all.

      I'm better at it than you. XD

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

      So tell everybody what that line in Timothy states.. girl.

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

      so those early apologists put up the red flag for the rest of us – they must not have had a choice of other excuses to make; did they really think people would forever be so gullible and afraid as to not question these writings? hmm.... the old satan did it trick.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : So what does that line in Timothy state?

      1 Timothy 2:12

      But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (1 Ti 2:12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

      I never let women teach men or lord it over them. Let them be silent in your church meetings.
      The Living Bible. 1997, c1971 (electronic ed.). Logos Library Systems (1 Ti 2:12). Wheaton: Tyndale House.

      I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. † She must be quiet.
      The New American Bible : With revised New Testament. 1986; Published in electronic form by Logos Reseaarch Systems, 1996 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

      But I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to listen quietly
      The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 (1 Ti 2:12). Dallas, TX: Word Bibles.

      I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
      The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

      And pI do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
      The New King James Version . 1996, c1982 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

      I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.
      Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:11). Wheaton: Tyndale House.

      I permit no womanc to teach or to have authority over a man;dshe is to keep silent.
      The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1996, c1989 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

      I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.
      The Revised Standard Version. 1971 (Electronic edition.) (1 Ti 2:12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

      and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness,
      Young's literal translation . 1997 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

      but I do not suffer a woman to teach nor to exercise authority over man, but to be in quietness;
      Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

      But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.
      American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.) (1 Ti 2:12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

      They should be silent and not be allowed to teach or to tell men what to do.
      The Contemporary English Version : With Apocrypha. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (1 Ti 2:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

      I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet.
      The Good News Bible : Today's English Version. 1992 (1 Ti 2:12). New York: American Bible Society.

      διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω οὐδὲ αὐθεντει̂ν ἀνδρός, ἀλλʼ εἰ̂ναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.
      Black, M., Martini, C. M., Metzger, B. M., & Wikgren, A. (1997, c1982). The Greek New Testament (electronic ed. of the 3rd ed. (Corrected)) (1 Ti 2:12). Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Stupid4Him, the purveyor of such brilliant arguments as "If you can see the buybull, then everything written in it is true!"

      February 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Answer

      Well you can cut and paste. Good.

      Now work on following that 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 6:18 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer : So tell everybody what that line in Timothy states.. girl.

      And what makes you think that I'm a girl? Furthermore, IF I'm a girl, you're certainly not my husband, now are you? And those would BOTH have to be satisfied for this passage to apply – but you didn't know that, did you?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Answer – Well you can cut and paste. Good. Now work on following that bible.

      You didn't specify which translation, so I had to laboriously get all my versions :)

      Second, I am applying it.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh you are really?

      You're a girl and trying to teach. That foundation of your bible that you're breaking. Glad to see you really follow it.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "And those would BOTH have to be satisfied for this passage to apply"

      No it wouldn't. If you are a woman and trying to teach men you are going against the bible. If you are trying to say this is not what the bible says you are lying. If you are a woman and denying it you are lying. You are at the very least lying about the meaning of the passage and its application, and I use the term "lying" with great restraint. i don't believe we often see true lies in this debate – this is a rare, yet clear, example.

      March 14, 2013 at 9:46 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.