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: Uncategorized

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. funkymonkey

    I concur that Christians need to act with civility at all times as a demonstration of their faith in Jesus's teachings. It is ok to disapprove of things that are similarly disapproved in the bible, but disapproving and acting civil are mutually exclusive things. Many self-professed Christian in America seem to forget that, though this seems to be a problem of American society in general.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Nate

      Including the Jesus teaching where those that don't obey his commands get cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth? No, we will probably need to gloss over that bit of jealous and insecure stupidity.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:56 am |
  2. Philip

    Shane, What a lame thing to say. I didn't say I hated you, I said that I hated that you found it necessary to call me names. You talk a lot but you sound very muffled as far as I am concerned. You are really stretching to try to sound like somebody. May God have mercy on your soul. You did call me names which by the way, sticks and stones anyway. As I stated, I forgive you and you really make me laugh.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:37 am |
    • Shane

      I didn't call you any names before, but I will now: You are a joke. Go pray away something.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:42 am |
    • Science

      Soul is on bottom of shoe can be replaced or repaired period.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:40 am |
  3. Philip

    Shane, Thank you for your wonderful comments. Look, you say what you want and you believe what you want. I am very sorry that you took such offense to what I just stated. I know you obviously are not a born again Christian because your words are very clear. I also hate that you found it necessary to call me names. It's ok, I forgive you, I know you are a sinner, just like me and that you need a Savior just like Jesus. Oh yes and thank you for proving what I said to be correct. God bless you and your family.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:21 am |
    • Shane

      There you go, you "HATE" that I called you names (which, by the way, I didn't). You Christians can't have it both ways-–either you act like Christians and stop with the hate, or admit you're as big a fraud as your religion.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:32 am |
  4. conqui

    Jesus would probably have problems with all our denominations today, perhaps some more than others. The author of this article gets at the central point of what Jesus would hope Christianity is about: Love God and Love your neighbor. There are many details about this fundamental, but there is zero evidence that Jesus or his early followers like Paul considered details to include the exclusion of people we don't like. There is lots of evidence Jesus and early Christians were for INCLUSION of those thought to be on the margins of society. That's why they were persecuted. Who wants to love people we impulsively hate? Adulterers, murderers, thieves, poor people who might be lazy, lazy people living off the wealth of inheritances, gay people, Muslims, even people with AK rifles, etc. Let those of you without sin cast the first stone.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:13 am |
  5. sam stone

    neither do proxy threats

    February 11, 2013 at 4:12 am |
  6. Philip

    This article is supposed to be about Christians not acting like Christians. All I have seen in this forum is a lot of hate towards people who happen to be following Christ. Some of you are down right Vicious with your statements. I have been nothing but courteous and truthful and all I have gotten back have been sly remarks about how I believe along with other derogatory statements from many of you. I suggest that you know that as a Christian I am telling you the Truth about Jesus and you having to struggle with the truth because you are blinded by sin, can't stand to be reminded that there will be a day of reckoning and you will be judged, whether you believe it or not. I honestly love you and do not want to see any of you perish. That of course is your own choice, I've done made my decision. So when reading the article, realize that not all Christians are hypocrites. I don't want to see any of you go to hell. Trust Jesus today and through his grace, he will show you the truth and it really will set you free. Do it while it is still there to be had, like the greatest treasure on Earth. Even Jesus has his limits and one day the door of Grace will be closed to all. God bless you all.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:03 am |
    • Shane

      LOL!!! You epitomize everything I hate about religion: You think you know what's best for us "sinners"; you are sanctimonious; and you think you are somehow chosen to deliver messages from guy in the sky. In reality, you are probably a lonely, slightly neurotic, deluded little man.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If all you really want to do is save people, you should start by proving:

      - the existence of your ,or any, god,
      - that The Babble is truly the word of your god and
      - some dude named jesus was crucified and resurrected as The Babble claims.

      If you cannot do these simple things, you are mentally ill, a liar or both.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • Seeker

      Then as a believer to a christian stop spewing out tales of hell. don't even mention it. Hell is death, nothingness, not a fiery chasm!! God even has compassion for the most devout unbeliever. Just love & forgive, you don't even have to preach about God, Jesus or anything in the bible. If you do this people will believe in love & that's what Jesus ultimately is.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  7. phillie

    I find it funny that the majority of responders on here are atheists and the majority of the responses are mean. The message of this opinion piece, if it really matters, should be nice, without a relation to a singular group. A religion mesage board, as this one, has jerks from both sides (obviously). A sports board is all jerks. The fashion boards are mean. Etc. Every board anywhere is mean. Christianity has nothing to do with it.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • Shane

      You missed the point completely. Here's what the author himself said: "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."

      February 11, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • phillie

      ...and you missed my point. The article would be more effective not to cater to one group. There is not a group in the world that doesn't have mean people, and all but one, have some other then Jesus telling them to be nice (with exception to groups created from hate, i.e. Nazis).

      February 11, 2013 at 4:06 am |
    • Shane

      Why do you not understand this?!! Your chosen religion-Christianity--is telling you that in the Bible it says play nice and not hate the other kids in the playground. You are trying to justify your point by saying, "Hey, if the other kids aren't going to play nice, I'm not going to either." But you can't have it both ways.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:34 am |
  8. Jill

    A "jealous God"?! . . . Seriously, sometimes I don't even have words. I just want to know this: At what point do you say to yourself, "It's illogical, it's hypocritical, and requires me to put common sense and intellect aside-OK, I'm a believer!!!"

    February 11, 2013 at 3:38 am |
    • Philip

      They don't call it faith for nothing.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:44 am |
    • Jill

      Blind, unthinking, ignorant faith.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  9. Sam

    Wesley (sp?) said: In the essentials – unity. in the non-essentials – discussion. In all things – charity. (this is a bad paraphrase.) This article is consistent with that thought and as an evangelical Christian, I appreciated it. Jesus does not want our help, he wants us to accept His and to extend it to others. He did not chastise Romans and other gentiles. He chastised those who claimed to be His (God's) followers. We are to exhibit His love. He will handle the judgement part.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • Seeker

      Excellent post sir. They have 2 good eyes but they cannot see.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  10. Kai

    This man wins the internet this week as far as I'm concerned.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Check

      Don't they need a good "Smash, Smash, S-a-a-mash" once in a while to rein in their havoc!?

      February 11, 2013 at 3:22 am |
  11. Philip

    Catholicism is the religion created by Satan in the early church. Making "man" the center of the Church instead of making Jesus the center of the Church. Yes it is full of ritual and that with bubblegum will get you nowhere but hell. Jesus did not instruct me through his word to worship his mother as an equal to himself. Nor did he ever say to pray to the saints either. In my Bible, God says that he is a jealous GOD and not to have any other "gods" before him and that includes a statue of Mary or a picture of a priest. A personal relationship with Jesus, centered around Jesus and his word and then following him is what the true Church or the body of true believers really is. Not some religious hocus-pocus which is what Catholics do. You don't confess to a priest to get forgiveness of your sins. You can go boldly to the throne of Grace and ask Jesus to forgive your sins for only he has the power to forgive sin.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • Dave Green

      @Philip Hmmmmm...But I bet you have no problem considering every last Catholic a Christian when the discussion turns political and people are claiming the US is a majority Christian nation huh? Did you support Rick Santorum? He's a Catholic. How about the fact that biblical canon derivied from the Catholics?
      Hey, whatever, it's your religion. You believe it any way you want, but I hope you at least have the integrity to be consistent.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • derek

      Good Job Proving the Author of the article correct... Continue to cast stones...

      February 11, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • Shane

      1. Christians "help others in the name of Jesus" so they will be awarded entry into their big, fluffly-clouded hotel in the sky and not because they really give a crap about poor people. 2. If they're not so-called "helping others in the name of Jesus," they are spewing their sanctimonious drivel down everyone's throats. 3. When I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, it was a small step to realizing that God was similarly non-existent.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • NII

      Shane that was not the question at hand on this thread or you did not read it.

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

      @NII--I didn't know there was a question pending. Oh, that's because there isn't!!! So, why don't you go pray away something.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • mk

      It's too funny when one religion calls another religion "hocus pocus".

      February 11, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  12. bcopenshaw

    CNN must rename this to 'Unbelief Blog'. The articles are almost always in attack to Christianity, and almost all of its readers are atheists.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • Damocles

      Did you read the article? No, of course you didn't, otherwise you wouldn't have smeared my screen with stupidity.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • Dave Green

      @bcopenshaw AS I JUST SAID.;....

      This article isn't even about Christianty per se. It's about people not acting the way they claim to believe. That crosses all barriers. If you say "I believe it will rain tomorrow," and then plan a picnic in the park, and leave your umbrella at home, I have to question if you really believe that or not. If you say "I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and Life," and then spend all your time in the pursuit of money and material possesion, I would have to question if you really believe that.
      This is not an indictment of christianity. It's an indictment of those who claim to be christian, but act anything but.
      SO, if you are a Christian, and you take offense to this article. I'd suggest you check yourself, before you lash out.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • sam stone

      the was written by a pastor

      February 11, 2013 at 3:42 am |
    • Shane

      Or maybe we should call it: "Whiny Christian Corner"

      February 11, 2013 at 5:40 am |
  13. Dave Green

    This article isn't even about Christianty per se. It's about people not acting the way they claim to believe. That crosses all barriers. If you say "I believe it will rain tomorrow," and then plan a picnic in the park, and leave your umbrella at home, I have to question if you really believe that or not. If you say "I believe Jesus is the way, the truth and Life," and then spend all your time in the pursuit of money and material possesion, I would have to question if you really believe that.
    This is not an indictment of christianity. It's an indictment of those who claim to be christian, but act anything but.
    SO, if you are a Christian, and you take offense to this article. I'd suggest you check yourself, before you lash out.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • NII

      Thanks Dave

      February 11, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • Kat

      Nobody on earth cares what you claim to be. They judge you on what you DO. Labels are labels, proof you have love in you because of your professed label is where so many fall short.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:41 am |
  14. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    For the enlightened observer, or student of fact, all religions lead to atheism.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • phillie

      Incorrect. Everyone is an agnostic until they find a religion or choose not too. The large majority chooses to side with religion.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • Dave Green

      @Phillie Pure semantics. The point is, you either believe there is a god, or you don't. even if you acknowledge that there could be a god, but don't actually believe in any particular concept of a god, you are still an atheist by definition. Not that it matters. the label is inconsequential.
      As for myself. I have no idea what the origions of being are, if there even IS an origion of being, and I do not think anyone else knows either, despite their religious beliefs. Label it anyway you want. *shrug*

      February 11, 2013 at 3:16 am |
    • phillie

      David. Not semantics what so ever. There is a huge difference between and atheist and an agnostic. Quite simple: an agnostic believe that they do know if there is a god. An atheist believes there is not a god. I would imagine there are many more agnostics then atheists.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:02 am |
    • Shane

      @Phille--Not true. Everyone is not agnostic. I have never believed in a God and never will. Stop with your blanket claims. Just because you believe it to be one way, it doesn't make it so.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:45 am |
    • Seeker

      That is not true. I am living proof of that. Growing up my parents tried every religion known to man, searching desperately to find the right one. However I found out they were all false & self serving, just like the bible said they were. The bible is not a religion IT IS a survival manual for all mankind. That being said if all the bibles on earth were destroyed, some would still be called.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  15. DC

    "We don't always bash religion, but when we do, it's because we hate religion."

    -CNN

    February 11, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      "I'm too stupid to distinguish between opinion pieces on the internet and actual news" – DC

      February 11, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • Damocles

      'I always take the time to not read the articles I see on news sites and when I do take valuable time away from my oh so busy schedule to not read the articles, it allows me to snuggle deeper into my nice, warm, consipracy theory security blanket.' -DC

      February 11, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • Shane

      "I don't always read articles, but when I do, I don't understand them anyways." -–DC

      February 11, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  16. Sam27

    One of the reasons Christians have a bad reputation is because the media only focuses on those Christians that have said or done outrageous things. The media does not care about the Christians who are quietly helping those in their communities and around the world. For instance, at my church every day, not just once a week, there are groups of people of all ages getting together to serve and volunteer at shelters, orphanages, prisons, etc. After a full day of work, many professionals offer free counseling to people who are going through the trauma of a divorce, domestic violence, depression, addictions, etc. My church also offers help to single parents, elderly, etc. No membership nor money is required to get help. The next step is to open a free clinic for those who can not afford basic medical expenses. By no means we are a bunch of "righteous" people who claim to be holier than others. We are a bunch of people who commit plenty of mistakes but we are just trying to be good and help others in the name of Jesus. Since this is not outrageous nor scandalous, it is not media worthy.

    February 11, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • sam stone

      how about the rallying of votes to deny other their civil rights? and,i am not claiming that all christians do so, but the big opposition to gays getting married comes from the religious community

      February 11, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  17. Gavin Ford

    Give up the myth – embrace science and reality.

    February 11, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  18. lionlylamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1yRugYZjtI&w=640&h=390]

    February 11, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • -.-

      Because eeeeeeeeeeverything on the net is true.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9w-i5oZqaQ&w=640&h=390]

      February 11, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      I own a one eyed giant with an unquenchable thirst for blondes and tight spaces.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  19. Bill

    Christians are the source of 98% of the hate in the world.

    They like to call their hate "religious beliefs."

    February 11, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Topher

      Interesting. My beliefs don't include hating anyone.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • Observer

      Many Christians don't "hate" people. They just think others deserve to spend eternity burning in hell. It's "love".

      February 11, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Topher

      I wouldn't say "others" deserve it. I'd say we all deserve it. Including me. And the word would be "just".

      February 11, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Damocles

      So it's an S&M religion.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Philip

      The ones who are truly saved and following Christ in this world, do not hate people, rather we hate the sin in the world that causes hate and everything associated with it. It is so sad that many people only read one side of a story without exploring the whole story in general. People who have claimed to be Christians down through History while their actions showed otherwise were not "Christian" . It is surely evident that Satan corrupted the early Church and through his actions he has led many astray, while empowering others to persecute those which they really just wanted to exploit for land and money and sometimes even for human slavery. I have often heard that there are many people who sit in the Church pews who are not saved. You must understand and realize that we are fighting a spiritual battle, we are up against powers, and principalities, and spirit wickedness in high places .

      February 11, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      So you consider yourself to be such a disgusting, uncaring, selfish, murderous lowlife that you deserve to spend eternity in hell?

      I certainly wouldn't think you are deserving of eternity in hell based on what I've heard from you on the blogs, but I'm not God, of course.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • Damocles

      @phil

      Mmmm.... nothing like a good old holy war between believers who can't get the perfect message correct.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      "So you consider yourself to be such a disgusting, uncaring, selfish, murderous lowlife that you deserve to spend eternity in hell?"

      Yes. I've broken God's laws and deserve His just punishment. I've broken every one of His commandments.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Observer

      Topher

      "Yes. I've broken God's laws and deserve His just punishment. I've broken every one of His commandments."

      Congratulations. That qualifies you as a human being. Welcome to the club.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      Congratulations. You'll get me to eat my words if you tell me you've killed people.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      Jesus said if you hate someone you've committed murder in your heart. So yeah, I'm guilty of that one, too.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Damocles

      Oh boy.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      So you haven't actually killed anyone, you've just let 2,000 year old stories convince you that you have.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • truthseeker

      Check, Right. No evidence for hell. That's because the Biblical hell is not a place, it is the eternal separation from God. More importantly, the scientific evidence for the existence of God is more compelling than the absence of God. This includes the Ontological argument, the Moral argument, the Teleological argument of physics and biology, and the Cosmological arguments and more. You can learn more at reasonablefaith.org

      February 11, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Topher

      No, I've never stuck a knife in anyone. But that doesn't matter. God knows your thoughts and sees your heart. That's how high His standards are.

      And yes, I think the Bible is true.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Christians are such drama queens

      Topher “I've broken every one of His commandments.”
      No you haven’t
      "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk"
      - Exodus 23:19, 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21

      February 11, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      So you haven't actually killed anyone, you've just let 2,000 year old stories convince you that you have. That's scary.

      Quit beating yourself up. If you can see an attractive woman (as a hetero) and not lust, then you are not normal. A normal person then is an adulterer if you want to thoughtlessly accept such nonsense.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      "Quit beating yourself up. If you can see an attractive woman (as a hetero) and not lust, then you are not normal. A normal person then is an adulterer if you want to thoughtlessly accept such nonsense."

      I'd agree with that. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      "We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

      So you have convinced yourself that God invented s-x; told everyone to "be fruitful and multiply"; and then set everyone up to automatically go to hell for committing adultery by lusting? And you think God is reasonable in his expectations? Wow.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Topher

      Observer

      "So you have convinced yourself that God invented s-x; told everyone to "be fruitful and multiply"; and then set everyone up to automatically go to hell for committing adultery by lusting? And you think God is reasonable in his expectations? Wow."

      I understand why you'd think of it that way. Or you can understand God's standard is perfection. The Commandments show us that we aren't. We need a Savior. God,to His glory, provided that for us,

      February 11, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      A perfect deity's standard is perfection. Ok. So, it fails to make perfect angels. An argument against a perfect deity. It fails to create perfect humans. Another argument against a perfect deity. So, instead of scrapping the whole project and starting over, it creates billions of flawed humans? Then demands that they be perfect even though he didn't make them perfect?

      February 11, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Topher

      I know you won't like this answer, but ... He did create man perfect. They willfully chose to defy God.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      He did? Why then did adam request eve to be made? Did, perhaps, lowly old adam realize his imperfection from the get go in that he was unable to procreate all by his lonesome?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • Observer

      Topher,

      Any god that would create you to be attracted to women and then send you to hell for lusting for them must be extremely sadistic.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      "He did? Why then did adam request eve to be made?"

      He didn't.

      "Did, perhaps, lowly old adam realize his imperfection from the get go in that he was unable to procreate all by his lonesome?"

      God said he needed a helper. It is a blessing to have a spouse.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      So, first he made adam, supposedly out of clay or whatever. Then he decides, in his perfect wisdom, that he should have made 2 right from the start, so he flubbed up there. Instead of making yet another form from clay or whatever, this being the perfect way to make something since a perfect being would find the perfect way of making something, it goes a different route and makes the second form from a bone?

      When does this perfection attribute kick in?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • redzoa

      "I know you won't like this answer, but ... He did create man perfect. They willfully chose to defy God."

      Wait a sec...Didn't God know they would "willfully chose to defy" Him, omniscience and all? So what your saying is our willfully defiant nature is "perfection." Good to know...

      February 11, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      Nope. No "flub." It was the plan from the beginning.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Damocles

      This is the problem with perfection, well one of many. A perfect thing requires no creation impulse. It exists, on its own, with no thought but of itself.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      Why would a perfect being (adam) need a helper? Did he need help being perfect?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Mass Debater

      @Topher – Ah, perfection, that is the crux of this debate. I believe we have evolved over millions of years to this state we call humanity and we are continuing to refine that humanity and morality and rid ourselves of ignorant racism and bigotry. You believe we started out a few thousand years ago as perfect as we were ever going to get and have been degrading ever since Adam ate of Eve's apples. I believe the bible is a book with an ancient peoples sensationalized history interwoven with some of those socially evolved morals that it and many other ancient books and tablets, some far older, contain. You believe it the divinely inspired word of an infallible invisible creator being and because science has not answered every question of the universe yet that seems the most plausible explanation for everything and you are willing to accept the idea of eternal torment for the promise of maybe getting to some other dimension we know nothing about.

      If we were to put the history of mankind on a sliding scale I believe we would be getting closer to what some might idealize as perfection, not further away. We are learning more about ourselves and our world than ever before. Has it solved everything yet? No, but it certainly has improved the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people around the world. We have a long way to go so don't be a hindrance, stop trying to calk block science at every turn.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      Are you married? If so, isn't your life so much better with your spouse in it?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      Ah, ah, ah *wagging a finger* I'm not perfect, remember? If I was a perfect being and could be husband, wife, brother, sister, 1st cousin, 3rd cousin twiced removed, the creepy uncle that no one talks about, annnnnd was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound while making a building tall enough to disallow me from doing so, then no, I wouldn't need a spouse. Long sentence, but you get the point.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • Topher

      Mass Debater

      "If we were to put the history of mankind on a sliding scale I believe we would be getting closer to what some might idealize as perfection, not further away"

      Really? Do you ever read the newspapers?

      " ... stop trying to calk block science at every turn."

      I don't think that's fair. Science is very valuable. I like science ... unless it's historical science.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      True, you're not perfect. And true you don't NEED a spouse. But that doesn't mean they aren't a blessing to you.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      I rather doubt that if I had a nagging shrew of a wife I would consider her a blessing. You are missing my point, possibly willfully.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      Entirely possible I'm missing your point. I'm getting tired.

      Why would you marry someone who is a nagging shrew?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      Oh, you know, people lie and whatnot.

      My point is that a perfect being doesn't require something else. Why make someone to love you when you can love yourself perfectly?

      February 11, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • Topher

      I think you might be missing MY point. This wasn't about Adam needing someone to love. This was part of God's plan. He'd create man and woman, they'd sin and introduce the curse, fill the world and God would be glorified by either redeeming them when they didn't deserve it or be glorified for justly giving them what they did deserve.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:42 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      Say what? You know, I may be a jerk to some people, but I don't think I'd do something as evil as setting my kids up to fail and then beat the crap out of them when they fail.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:46 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      Of course you wouldn't. Neither would I. But that's a man-to-man standard. You need to look at this on a God-to-man standard.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • Damocles

      @topher

      Stop backsliding. You wanted to bring this down on a human level when you asked me about a wife and now you don't want to apply those very same, dare I say 'morals', to the deity you worship? We respect those that share the same values as we do, or at least we respect those that we can have amicable conversations with. Your deity, as you present it, offers no values that I share and is tellingly mum on the subject.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:55 am |
    • Topher

      Damocles

      "Stop backsliding"

      I haven't backslidden on anything.

      As for the rest of that ... that's your opinion and you're welcome to it. But I think you're wrong. So dude, you better be sure you're right.

      Anyway, I'm off to bed. Have a good one.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • sam stone

      Topher: Your religious beliefs include denying others their civil rights. How is that not hate?

      February 11, 2013 at 3:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Topher: You broke god's laws? Your god is a vindictive little pr1ck. Luckily, your god is also impotent, so he is only relevant to self loathing dweebs like you

      February 11, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • sam stone

      "Why would you marry someone who is a nagging shrew?"

      Because they were not nagging shrews in the beginning.

      Why would you worship a vindictive pr1ck god?

      The answer is that you a snivelling grovelling sycophant.

      You show it all the time.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:08 am |
    • sam stone

      "This was part of God's plan. He'd create man and woman, they'd sin and introduce the curse, fill the world and God would be glorified by either redeeming them when they didn't deserve it or be glorified for justly giving them what they did deserve."

      Glorified?

      Your cvnt god has an ego problem.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:24 am |
  20. lionlylamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq4iFwskChU&w=640&h=390]

    February 11, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      Leaving aside the impossible physics for a human being to be that large with the gravity of this planet, any amateur photoshop user can see the signs of a bad photoshop job. The halos are a dead giveaway.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:59 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.