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Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'
Conservative Christians say their churches have been unprepared for cultural shifts on same-sex marriage.
June 28th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - With its ivy-covered entrance and Teddy Bear bouquets, Arlene’s Flowers seems an unlikely spot to trigger a culture-war skirmish.

Until recently, the Richland, Washington, shop was better known for its artistic arrangements than its stance on same-sex marriage.

But in March, Barronelle Stutzman, the shop’s 68-year-old proprietress, refused to provide wedding flowers for a longtime customer who was marrying his partner. Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in December.

An ardent evangelical, Stutzman said she agonized over the decision but couldn’t support a wedding that her faith forbids.

“I was not discriminating at all,” she said. “I never told him he couldn’t get married. I gave him recommendations for other flower shops.”

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson disagreed, and filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers. The ACLU also sued on behalf of the customer, Robert Ingersoll, who has said Stutzman’s refusal “really hurt, because it was someone I knew.”

Among conservative Christians, Stutzman has become a byword - part cautionary tale and part cause celebre.

Websites call her a freedom fighter. Tributes fill Arlene’s Facebook page. Donations to her legal defense fund pour in from as far away as Texas and Arkansas.

“For some reason, her case has made a lot of people of faith worry,” said Stutzman’s lawyer, Dale Schowengerdt of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.

Those anxieties have only increased, conservative Christians say, since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door to gay marriage in California.

Taking a line from Justice Antonin Scalia's sharp dissent, Southern Baptist scholar Albert Mohler said it’s only a matter of time "before the other shoe drops" – and the high court legalizes same-sex marriage from coast to coast.

“Christians will have to think hard — and fast — about these issues and our proper response,” Mohler wrote on Wednesday.

“We will have to learn an entire new set of missional skills as we seek to remain faithful to Christ in this fast-changing culture.”

His fellow Southern Baptist Russell Moore put the matter more succinctly.

“Same-sex marriage is coming to your community.”

`The debate is over'

Well before the Supreme Court’s rulings, many conservative Christians said they saw the writing - or the poll numbers - on the wall.

Survey after survey shows increasing support for same-sex marriage, especially among young Americans. That includes many religious believers.

Most Catholics and mainline Protestants, not to mention many Jews, support same-sex relationships, according to surveys. The bells of Washington National Cathedral pealed in celebration on Thursday.

Even among those who oppose gay marriage, many think it’s a losing battle.

Seventy percent of white evangelicals believe that legal recognition for gay nuptials is inevitable, according to a June poll by the Pew Research Center, though just 22 percent favor it.

“The gay marriage debate is over,” said Jonathan Merritt, an evangelical writer on faith and culture. “Statistically, all the numbers move in one direction.”

Young Christians have grown up in a far more diverse culture than their forebears, Merritt noted, and many have befriended gays and lesbians.

Pew found that more than 90 percent of Americans overall personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, a 30 percent increase since 1993.

“It’s far easier to wage war against an agenda than it is to battle a friend,” Merritt said.

At the same time, many conservative young Christians say they’re weary of the culture wars, and of seeing their communities labeled “judgmental.”

When Christian researchers at the Barna Group asked Americans aged 16-29 what words best describe Christianity, the top response was “anti-homosexual.” That was true of more than 90 percent of non-Christians and 80 percent of churchgoers, according to Barna.

Tired of being told the country is slouching toward Gomorrah, many young Christians have simply tuned out the angry prophets of earlier generations, evangelical leaders say.

“The shrill angry voices of retrenchment are no longer getting a broad hearing either in the culture at large or in the evangelical community,” Merritt said.

But the battle over same-sex marriage is far from over, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

“I don’t believe most Christians are going to give up the fight,” said Brown, who is Catholic. He said his movement includes many young evangelical and Orthodox Christians.

“And they are more energized than ever.”

Love thy gay neighbors

Energized or not, conservative Christians must prepare for the moral dilemmas posed by the country’s growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, said Moore, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Is Your Church Ready for the Marriage Revolution?” Moore asked, while promoting a special session on homosexuality at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Houston in June.

Many evangelical pastors have seen homosexuality as a distant culture-war battle that’s fought far from the doors of the churches, Moore said.

Now, it’s as close as their front pews.

“I think it’s not so much that churches haven’t wanted to talk about it,” he said, “but they haven’t recognized how much the culture has changed around them.”

The first step, said Moore, is learning to defend traditional marriage without demonizing gays and lesbians.

Walking through Washington’s Union Station last Thursday, Moore said he saw several lesbian couples kissing in celebration of the Supreme Court rulings.

“If we can’t empathize with what’s going on in their hearts and minds, we’re not going to be able to love and respect them.”

Then come a host of secondary questions: How should conservative pastors minister to same-sex couples? Should Christians attend same-sex weddings? Should florists like Barronelle Stutzman's agree to work with gay couples?

`Don't give in' 

Florist Barronelle Stutzman.

In the 17 years she’s owned Arlene’s Flowers, Stutzman said, she’s worked with a number of gay colleagues.

“It really didn’t matter if they were gay, or blue or green, if they were creative and could do the job,” she said.

Stutzman suspects that some of her eight children privately don’t agree with her on homosexuality, even as they publicly support her decision.

Online, Stutzman has been called a bigot, and worse.

She said she’s lost at least two weddings because of her refusal to provide services for the same-sex marriage.

Conservative activists say her case is the first of what will surely be many more, as gay marriage spreads across the country.

As she gets ready to face a judge, the silver-haired florist offered some advice for fellow evangelicals.

“Don’t give in. If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for?”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (5,210 Responses)
  1. Austin

    Rory
    "so, if you want proof of God, first you have to believe in God ... and, if you can manage that, then no proof is necessary."

    Approach the Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit is responsible for bearing the truth on your heart. And of course , people are incouraged and commanded to believe and be faithful. and the times where you can't have the faith you should, your faithful loving Father still has promises for us, we are redeemed.

    He is Risen. This One name, Jesus, is above all other names.

    At the same time, Faith is God's work.

    July 2, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Austin
      "The Holy Spirit is responsible for bearing the truth on your heart."
      That is a highly evocative, though semantically null statement.
      As there hasn't yet been any credible evidence for the existence of spirits, ghosts, ghouls, demons, goblins or grendels, one may safely conclude that they do not exist.
      There is no such thing as magic "Truth" from on high. Throughout history, gods only ever reveal "The Truth" to a select few prophets – the rest of us have to take their word for it.
      Your use of the word "heart" in this context seems like another plea to the supernatural in that you actually mean "spirit", "soul", "etheric enti/ty" or some other esoteric concept.
      You're basically saying that the King of Ghosts influences everyone's inner ghost.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #5 – Circular "holy" book reasoning + sweaty fervor = mental retardation. (See Law #4)

      July 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Alias

      Austin,

      This reasoning would apply to aliens or Allah as well as it does to your Holy Spirit.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes, to believe and receive proof, you must first believe!

      July 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Rocket

    Liberals are a cancer to this nation. Immorality seems to grow larger when the democrats are in office

    July 2, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Why do equal rights for all bother you?

      July 2, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • Primewonk

      And yet your Jesus was the biggest liberal ever. Your cognitive dissonence is astounding.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • But

      But Jesus is a democrat. You don't read the Bible (a.k.a How NOT to be a republican.) much do you.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Did Rocket mention Jesus once?

      July 2, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Hey Rocket Man, name something more immoral than leveling a country because you think it might have "weapons of mass destruction" and your god wants you to?

      July 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  3. atomD21

    Being a reformed evangelical, I all too often parroted the awful things that were said about g@y people as if they were absolutely correct. Then I began to meet and befriend some of them and immediately realized what a load all that stuff was. Someone I have known since they were a toddler has recently come out, to the surprise of almost no one that was paying attention. All that to say, I have yet to figure out where the extreme opposition comes from. And yeas, I have read the entire Bible, and know that the Old Testament prohibitions were included among a bunch of other ones designed to keep the Israelites alive while they wandered through the desert, away from any sort of sanitation facilities and proper food preparation tools. I also know that Jesus, the guy that Christians are supposed to be emulating, never talked about this seemingly essential issue, but instead focused on teaching us to love all people because God does. Only Paul, the former ardent Christian hater and devout Jew, who would have been still largely following the OT laws, talks about same s3x relations. Nowhere in the book discusses g@y relationships, just the s3xual act itself. It is almost as if the talking heads in charge of the conservative wing are trying to hide their problems or something by continuing to make different groups the enemy...

    July 2, 2013 at 6:06 am |
  4. Bootyfunk

    conservatives brace for civil rights...

    yet again.

    slavery, segregation, women's voting rights, minority voting rights, right for whites and blacks to marry, same s.ex marriage...

    being on the wrong side of history is nothing new for conservatives.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:24 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Define conservative.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Saraswati

      Don't forget the older fights for those without land or money (who couldn't afford poll taxes) to vote. Even some of the religious restrictions persisted after Independence in certain states. The remaining restriction of being in prison or having felony past (in most states), even many years ago, is also much more strongly supported by Republicans.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • WASP

      @dave: CONSERVATIVE-Adjective
      Holding to traditional att/itudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in politics or religion.
      -Noun
      A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and att/itudes, typically in politics.

      ASK AND YOU SHALL RECIEVE. 🙂

      July 2, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  5. Curt

    I think the correct term would be "Marriage Desecration".

    July 2, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's unlikely you think at all.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • atomD21

      Curt, explain to anyone how allowing two loving adults to marry and have that union legally recognized desecrates marriage? Since DOMA was struck down, my marriage has not all of a sudden dissolved, I am not suddenly attracted to men. I argue that Christian hetero couples rushing into marriage too quickly so they can consummate all they want and then realize they can't stand the person so they divorce in a couple of years or have affairs desecrated marriage long before the same s3x marriage argument was even a thing. So the destruction of traditional marriage was on its way a long time ago, by traditional couples.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:16 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The correct word for what?

      Two of the people I stood up with and officiated for back before Prop 8, were two men who had been together for 35 years. They had raised two children together who both stood beside them as they spoke their vows. One of them was wheelchair bound, but determined to stand for his wedding, and spent the week before working hard to be able to stand for the 5 minute ceremony. His son held him up as he spoke his vows. And once they had exchanged rings, his new husband held him and helped him into his chair.

      These two men loved one another for more than 3 decades, lived together, raised a family together, and stayed with each other despite all the problems. Sadly, they are together no more. M died only a few months after the wedding. But he was happy that he finally got the chance to make his marriage to the man he loved nearly his whole life, an official one.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  6. Austin

    If you want proof, you have to approach God, as He has interveined with us, on His terms. You need to acknowledge your need for a savior under the premise that you have inherited sin. This is known information, and if you reject this, you will not have the benefit of the mediator.

    The Helper, the Paraclete, The Advocate, The Intercessor, The Mediator, The One who shows you the proof supernaturally.

    July 2, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Austin

      Approach the Holy Spirit and be honest. He IS THERE .

      July 2, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Rory

      So, if you want proof of God, first you have to believe in God ... and, if you can manage that, then no proof is necessary.

      Convenient!

      July 2, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • ??

      interveined??

      July 2, 2013 at 2:52 am |
    • WASP

      @austin"If you want proof, you have to approach God, "

      seeing you're so equal to everyone else in the bible, then let's perform a test, shall we?
      so you have the power to invoke god to show himself, and i will be there with a news crew to watch; deal?

      ELIJAH: " Rather, he just prayed this prayer, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (I Kings 18:36-37) God sent fire to consume the wood, the sacrifice, and even all the water in the trench."

      July 2, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  7. CommonSense

    The scariest thing you could hear from someone you love: "I love you because God loves you."

    July 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Rory

      If that was even just their primary reason, it would be scary.

      And really sad.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Curt

      I feel sorry for you.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • CommonSense

      @Curt, don't be. If you are a non-believer and hear that you know what to do - run, run as fast as you can!

      July 2, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  8. Douglas

    Why LGBTQ Celibacy?
    Celibate LGBTQ Christians have abandoned fornication
    and the spectacle of "Pride March" debauchery
    in favor of dignity and modesty expected of Christian believers.
    Their behavior is worthy of the highest praise!

    July 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      Making people feel guilty about how they were born is a really ignorant idea.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Douglas

      Observer,

      we are talking about LGBTQ Christians who throght celibacy
      have found the way to salvation and avoided the condemnation that comes
      with a lifestyle of fornication.
      For this they will be honored.
      Remember, for a Christian...gay coitus iremains a sin!

      I

      July 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Douglas,

      Skip all the HYPOCRISY. If you cared about sinners you'd pick on the MUCH GREATER number of Christian adulterers.

      People WHO ACTUALLY are psychologists and psychologists largely disagree with your method of making gays feel bad about themselves. Stay celibate yourself, but don't put a guilt trip on others. You apparently lack the background of the professionals.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Curt

      That is a very good explanation of the truth. Simple, direct and not putting guilt on anyone. If people feel guilty from reading this then it is from within themselves.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • Saraswati

      Except that we have very strong evidence that a) people are happier and contribute better to society when in relationships and b) relationships are much stronger with se.x. You are essentially pushing for unahppy people and social instability.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  9. lol??

    Flood ponderings:
    1)Science and scripture show man's origins in the middle east.
    2)I'm not a Hebrew scholar, however I don't see global really mentioned in the KJV.
    3)If man had not yet traversed his wanderings globally, his perspective would likely be "all the earth" for his little chunk of the planet.
    4)The flood stories were carried with him when he formed other cultures.
    5)The destruction of the genetic manipulators, the mighty men of renown, has been taught as a reason for the flood.
    6)Why did King David have to fight one?? Not all drowned or the Sons of God were still playing games??
    7)Population studies have shown the race was at one time almost wiped out and can be visualized as an hour glass.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lol,

      Good stuff!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Austin

      there are verses stating the stars and moon to be round, also a verse about the earth on an axis.

      They bible states the earth as round in the old testament.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Observer

      There's no reasonable way to look at the story of Noah's ark and not see it as science fiction.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Austin

      information not readily available.

      im sure you read Enoch?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      Since God was the only one who could look down on the earth, he should be bright enough to know it is NOT a circle but a sphere. BIG difference.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Austin

      This verse is copied from the book of Enoch? and also Peter mentioned and reorganizes the book of Jude ( Jude is Jesus half brother)
      Jude 1:6.

      And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Austin

      they were smarter than us. we are losing wisdom and have lost the major science of the stars that they had, it because dark. it was probably misused and became cult.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Austin

      I wonder who is locked up inside mars? Have you noticed the mountain range? Not exactly natural.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So when the bible says that the flood waters covered all the mountains of the earth it was lying? That's fvcked up.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Observer

      "they were smarter than us. we are losing wisdom"

      – ACTUALLY posted by Austin, using the relatively recently devoloped computers and Internet.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I'm not that impressed by a book that claims that the moon is round. I seem to remember my daughter making that observation before she was a year old. (She would argue with me in complete sentences with cogent premises at 11 months old!!)

      July 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Austin

      social security?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Rory

      Austin
      Does this sound like an example of ancient "wisdom" to you?

      He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. Psalm 104:5

      The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. Ecclesiastes 1:5

      He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. Job 9:6

      that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? Job 38:13

      July 2, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Curt

      There is no book of Enoch in the Bible.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:48 am |
    • Austin

      Curt Enoch is however in the Ethiopian Cannon

      July 2, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • WASP

      @lol and other christians: ok a small part of the world had it rain for 40 days and 40 nights, ok i'll bite.
      please explain how he kept the lions from eating all the other animals along with his family; now mind you no magical words allowed. these are beasts that require meat and only know to ki11 and devour things, not fantasy creatures.
      where did he store all the food for the mega fauna?

      July 2, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • ME II

      @lol??,
      correction ponderings:

      1) Man's origins are in Africa, not the middle east.
      2) I'm not a Hebrew scholar either, but "all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered" (Gen 7:19) and "all flesh died that moved upon the earth" (Gen 7:21) amoung others, sure seems to indicate "global" to me.
      3) A large local flood does seem a reasonable seed for the Biblical flood story, but that would negate the 100% accurate claim.
      4-6) What are you talking about?
      7) Genetic "choke points" have occurred, but they aren't related to a global flood and only go to population minimums in the hundreds if not thousands, not a single family.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Alias

      @LOL??

      In #2 you say the flood is not global, but in #9 you claim the population is like an hour glass.
      If the flood didn't kill everyone, what did cause the population to drop so low?

      July 2, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • WASP

      @alias: "If the flood didn't kill everyone, what did cause the population to drop so low?"

      catholic missionaries, only possible answer. lmfao

      July 2, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • lol??

      ME II
      7)What are the chances that science will crown Mrs; Noah, Mitochondrial Eve. Slim to Noe??

      That would make her Mrs. M(itochondrial) E(ve) N(oah) and MEN are supposed to rule.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    “Christians will have to think hard — and fast — about these issues and our proper response” That is their problem. Christians feel they must respond, and respond out of their Christian ideology. They are being led by the imaginary requirements of an imaginary God, believing that its every whim is the very stuff of right living if only it will somehow tell them what to do. But if it ever seems clear what it wants, the proper response is to shut down, do nothing, and wait for help.

    July 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      What God wants is very clear. He wants us to love him and each other.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Rob......................"What God wants is very clear. He wants us to love him and each other."

      Does that include gays and lesbians?

      July 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Athy

      Why does god want us to love him? Can you answer that, Robert?

      July 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Athy................We all want to be loved. Me, you and everyone else. The only difference is we'll TELL YOU OURSELVES.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God doesn't seem to know much about love. He simply equates "love" with "keep my commandments." That's not love; that's tyranny. It sounds like something Kim Jong Un might say to the residents of North Korea: "Love me!!! That means do what I say!! All the time!! Every time!! Oh yeah, and worship me to!!!"

      July 1, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Rob.....................We're waiting for your answers? Rob are you there?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ken,

      Yes, everyone is included.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Athy,

      God wants us to love him because he loves us.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      But then God also wants us to play a little game, Robert. God wants our love, but wants it on certain terms. We must love with no evidence that God is real at all.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The other one,

      You can't expect to love someone you don't know. One step at a time.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You can't get to know someone who is invisible and undetectable.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      Invisible, in a way. Undetectable, not hardly. You just need to turn your detector on. Let me see if I can help, you know that little boy or girl deep down inside, there's your detector.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Austin

      not make himself and his will obvious

      Would you let the Holy Spirit give you faith if it could do that?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Vic

      God tests people by Faith. God wants every soul to believe in Him. If God were to show Himself or anyone to have a direct proof of Him, there can be no test, and no one can have true faith anymore. A believer has it in his/her own heart that God IS.

      We CAN NOT see God BUT we see His mighty work.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Austin

      He can do it. oh WOW! Yes and there is no name like Jesus.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Austin

      Vic, God showed Himself and dealt directly with every single person in the bible that it says so.They still had the element of faith aside from proof. do you think it was hard for Moses to believe? no it wasnt it was known and with proof, but he still sinned because his faith was at times not overcomeing his flesh.
      People do have proof, and no it does not amount to faith. Proof is not faith. and you can have proof, because the Holy Spirit is a supernatural God, and testifies of His presence. So I somewhat disagree with you, but agree about faith. This aspect is , which is not the verb "believe", is truly a gift enabled by God.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Vic

      Austin,

      God ONLY spoke to Moses but DID NOT show Himself! Also, prophets had direct revelations from God but did see Him. God choose certain prophets because of their prior faith. When I say every soul, I am talking about all other humans. Not every human who believes in God has a direct revelation from God! So, in all cases, it is a matter of faith, and God NEVER showed Himself!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Vic

      Austin,

      God ONLY spoke to Moses but DID NOT show Himself! Also, prophets had direct revelations from God but DID NOT see Him. God choose certain prophets because of their prior faith. When I say every soul, I am talking about all other humans. Not every human who believes in God has a direct revelation from God! So, in all cases, it is a matter of faith, and God NEVER showed Himself!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Robert, I don't have little boys or girls inside me. That would be gross.

      We've been over this ground before. You can provide me no way of verifying that I'm actually hearing from your god or not, and you have no way to verify if anyone is hearing from your god or not. All you have is your own opinion that you happen to be "feeling" what god wants you to "feel" to "believe" that you are in some weird way "hearing" his "voice." It's all bvll sh!t and you know it.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Austin

      Jesus was God, and God the father had the shikinah blue feet. and that is it. you are correct, however on the matter of proof, many people have proof of God. you don't have to see Him have proof. proof of God, is real, and it does not disqualify a person from the seal of faith, the seal of the Holy Spirit. I dont see proof as an obsticle for faith.

      people who expect proof though will have problems with faith. this will be a major problem. is that what you mean? Take Paul for example ,the Demascus road experience. He had proof. and He had his faith tested.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Observer

      The most important thing to God is NOT whether you are a "good person" or a "bad person", but whether or not you believe in something that cannot be proved and refuses to prove itself. It would take less than 5 seconds for God to prove he exists, but that's asking too much to "save" billions of souls.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Vic

      No one can see God.

      Now, direct revelation was exclusive to prophets, who already had faith in God, whereas natural/indirect revelation is given to everyone/every soul!

      God ONLY reveals but DOES NOT show Himself!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Vic

      No one can see God.

      Now, direct revelation was exclusive to prophets, who already had faith in God, whereas natural/indirect revelation is given to everyone/every soul!

      God ONLY reveals but DOES NOT show Himself!!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Austin

      Jehovah Shammah
      Our Lord is There

      July 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Vic

      "God ONLY reveals but DOES NOT show Himself!"

      Yep. It would take less than FIVE SECONDS.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Austin

      observer, its your atti.tude and i am only saying asking this, do you want the holy spirit to give you a supernatural faith? Because He can and will. You have to approach Him.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      I am an agnostic. If God wants to do ANYTHING to prove he exists, I'll accept it. So far: bumpkis.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Vic

      It takes a few glimpses around to realize that this Universe & Life in it ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE of God!!!

      July 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Austin, what verifiable method can I, a scientist, use to approach "the spirit." When I do finally "approach" "the spirit" what test can I perform to know, without a doubt, that I have contacted "the spirit?" I ask because I would like to approach the spirit and know what he wants me to know, but I'm not just going to believe anything is the spirit or that what I feel might be the spirit. So what will I be able to do with "the spirit" that I can't do right now without "the spirit?"

      July 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The universe and life are evidence of the universe and life. There's no evidence for god. If existence IS god, then fine, but that's not what you're saying. Pull you head out of your azz.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Observer

      Vic,

      The "prima facie" evidence of the existence of the world can be offered as proof that it was created by Zeus or a committee of zombies or the Three Stooges.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Vic

      @Cpt. Obvious "..a scientist..."

      Did you know that Francis Bacon, the founder of the modern scientific method, was a Christian?!

      July 2, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Observer

      Did you know that Francis Bacon died almost 400 years ago, long before exposure to Darwin's theories or all the advances made in all branches of science that give us a much better picture of the composition of the universe?

      July 2, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Athy

      Vic doesn't care. If he can find a christian scientist, regardless of when he lived, he's going to use him as an example.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Ken

      Vic
      "It takes a few glimpses around to realize that this Universe & Life in it ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE of God!!!"

      The first impressions of people relying on only their limited senses might lead to that impression, but an in-depth study of the universe leads many people to realize that no god was necessary.

      July 2, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Curt

      Do you even realize how dumb that comment is?

      July 2, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      Since you are scientist, would you look for a living aquatic species on dry land, or a orange in a apple orchard?

      If God spoke to you from a burning bush, would you believe? You are alone, no camera or phone with you and it only happens one time, would you believe?

      July 2, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert Brown,

      There are things that could make me, and probably almost anyone, believe in a god. However no one who understands psychotic disorders and the nature of related hallucinations would believe based on so little. That kind of everience is pretty typical.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Sara,

      Do you think believers suffer from a disorder?

      July 2, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert Brown,

      I do not think most believers suffer from a disorder (at least not more than most people). But I also don't think most believers have heard a burning bush speaking at length. Even if they had, if occuring just one time, it would (assuming it's not really god) likely be qualified as just a brief psychotic disorder and not a persistent one. As long as the continued belief didn't qualify as delusional (not fixed despite contary proof and as a religion fairly cultural normal etc.) I suspect on our current standards it wouldn't even be an ongoing delusional disorder, although that would get tricky to determine on a case by case basis.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Saraswati,

      Ok, I’m glad you don’t think that. I personally know several believers and they are happy to tell anyone who is interested, why they believe. They all have reasons for their belief and the common theme is personal experiences with God. What do you think about that, from a psychiatric perspective?

      July 2, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robert Brown
      Some have a supernatural experience and they're called prophets.
      Other speak with God and are deemed insane.
      As there is no way to intercept and decode divine, psychic messages, they're all equally credible.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 young kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.
      All of these people have been found legally insane by the judicial system, so if you hear God's voice speaking to you, it's time to check with your local psych ward to see if you need a huggy jacket.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Austin

      Saraswati, you have to understand at the same time, that God looks at psychological craftiness as a tendency and effect of being enslaved to waywardness.

      You can not approach God or beware of God based upon the case of many schitzophrenics. This is a sideways tactic.

      I am suggesting that you seek personal contact with someone who will testify of His presence.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert, Yes, I think it's a bit presumptuous for anyone who isn't very familiar with the topic to assume they have an easy answer for other people's beliefs when even experts in the field don't fully agree. I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, btw, just to be clear as someone in another context recently thought I was. But I am referring to disorders in the DSM above and am reasonably familiar with the diagnoses – no, not from personal experience. 🙂

      While most Christians have personal experiences with god (or what they believe are that), I'm not sure if that's the instigator in most cases of initiated (rather than born) belief. Either way, I see any conversations with gods, spirits or ancestors as natural extensions of our nature as social animals. We need others and thrive on communication, and we spend years under the care of family members. In hard times I it seems quite natural for us to seek the communication and reliable support we had, or often sadly didn't have, as children. We survive as a species because we are willing to have faith in elders, and I think a god offers an ideal object for that faith.

      I doN't consider religion crazy or unnatural, but very in line with our nature as humans. That doesn't mean I don't think outdated forms can be dangerous.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc,

      You have definitely provided examples of folks with either mental problems, those who listened to the devil, or both. It is clear in God's written word that he doesn't tell people to kill their children and before you bring up Abraham and Issac, just remember he stopped him before he did it. On careful examination what you will find is that God judged those nations who worspipped gods that required children to be killed.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Sara,

      Thank you for your very thoughtful reply. I agree that our ancestors influence us, but I don't think anyone can have a lasting abiding faith without experiencing God for themselves.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert, I agree they are unlikely to have a lasting faith without believing they experienced God for themselves. Where we differ, I think, is on whether what people think they experience is, in fact, what they experience.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      God and prayer are placebos. People assign importance to their "gut" feelings and actively look for ways they could interpret answers to their prayers and supplications to a higher power. It is all internal experiences and feelings that are given external explanations by people who know less about their minds than they do about their bodies and they don't even know their bodies very well.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The proof that God and prayer are placebos is that virtually every religion on the planet experiences about the same percent of prayers claimed answered and claims of divine experiences but come from dozens of different Gods. So either they are all equally valid Gods or none of them are real and they are all enjoying a placebo effect to reinforce their belief.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Sara,

      True, that does seem to be where we differ. I understand why you would be skeptical of another's experience. I do believe it is God who gives the experience. It is his Holy Spirit that does the convincing and draws you to God. How can someone seek God if they are convinced there is no such thing?

      July 2, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Just,

      Following your line of reasoning some other options come to mind, it is the same God communicating with different cultures in different ways or one is God and the others are the devil.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      So the devil is just trying to keep pace with God answering prayers? You would think if he was able to answer them maybe he would step it up and show God how it's done because the prayers claimed to have been answered is not all that high. Do you think God put some limiter on how many they each get to answer? The more you go down the road of making excuses to cover your beliefs the more lost you get. Dump the placebos and start living a real life, it's better than one imagined.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Robert Brown

      I could be convinced to believe in your god, but I would still know he is the most evil azzhole ever because of the bible and because of his practice of hiding himself. I would not remain convinced if the reasons for believing were not repeatable or verifiable.

      Yes, I could be convinced that your god existed.
      No, I could not be convinced that he is "good" unless my sense of good and evil got swapped around in my brain. The behavior of biblegod is disgusting whether or not he actually exists.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Just the Facts Ma'am...,

      I think the devil is doing the same things he has been doing since he rebelled against God, he’s trying to take God’s place.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt. Obvious,

      I certainly hope you get convinced and that your sense of good and evil gets swapped around.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Observer

      Robert Brown

      "I certainly hope you get convinced and that your sense of good and evil gets swapped around.'

      So you believe that everyone should now support slavery as good?
      So you believe that everyone should now support discrimination against women as good?
      So you believe that everyone should now support discrimination against the handicapped as good?

      You have a very strange idea of "good" and "evil".

      July 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I think Occams razor supports my first assertion, that God and prayer are in fact, just placebos. The low rate of claims and getting the same statistics in every religion as to divine experiences and prayers being answered can only lead to one conclusion, they are all false, for almost everyone claims it's the only one.

      Instead of being faced with one person who can only tell lies and one person who can only tell truth to lead you through the safe door, you are faced with a whole bunch of people who all tell lies. The answer is that there is no safe door.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert,

      "How can someone seek God if they are convinced there is no such thing?"

      Here again we differ. My questions are:

      1. Why would anyone seek god when there are an i nfinite number of other explanations for the universe and there is nothing to indicate a god is the more probable. We have a finite life that most of us don't want to use up checking to see if ants are actually a complex networked intelligence running the US government. Can I say for sure they aren't? Nope. Will I take time to investigate it...probably not.
      2. Why would I bother to investigate god when the best evidence you can offer me is something that resembles psychosis and can be reconstructed under laboratory conditions. Plenty of people think they talk to and feel Elvis' presence and are convinced Cleopatra or Isis dwell within them or, on a more simple delusional level, that the power of qi comes up through the ground to empower them. There is nothing substantially different in these experiences, so I have no reason to put the Christian god experience above these.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  11. myweightinwords

    Every year I work as a volunteer at San Francisco's LGBT Pride celebration. This year, as I hoofed past City Hall at the height of the festival, on my way to check on some of my volunteers and assist in moving out some unlicensed hot dog vendors, there were couples on the lawn and on the stairs, having just gotten married, on their way to be married, getting married....it was an amazing and beautiful thing.

    I can't wait to officiate at my next same-gender wedding (I did a few during the short time it was legal before prop 8). Love is a beautiful thing.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Akira

      Brava!

      July 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Hopefully you'll have the option to officiate in all 50 states.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Have you noticed the massive heat wave has swept through states that DO NOT allow gay marriage? hmmmmmm...

      July 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Well, it was pretty darn hot in San Francisco this weekend too. I am pretty sunburned even though I used sunscreen!

        July 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Athy

      Well, Ken, this may be significant to the religies. Maybe they'll do the right thing for the wrong reason, eh?

      July 1, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @athy.........It wont be significant to them because they can't use it. But it is something we can throw at them when they say "God works in mysterious ways"

      July 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @My.............Was it over 110 hot in SF? Arizona and Las Vegas heat would make the devil go DAMN!

      July 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Not quite that high, Ken, but in SF you also have the humidity, and the crowds of people.

        The thermometers and weather apps were saying high 80s and low 90s, but add in the humidity and the crush of people, and it felt like the low 100s.

        July 2, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Athy

      Yeah, that's their usual excuse when disasters happen.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You mean with all that gayness going on right there in public god did nothing!!!?!?!?! Not a thing? No earthquakes or floods or locusts or other plagues?? You mean god just let it happen? Oh my....... It's almost as if he doesn't exist or doesn't care.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Indeed. Right there in the sight of everyone. Men held hands with men. Women held hands with women. There was kissing and everything.

        And yet, San Francisco is still here.

        July 2, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Curt

      Enjoy it while it lasts because it won't last very long. God gives us the freedom to go against his will for now, but it won't last forever.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:53 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Enjoy what while it lasts?

        How long is "won't last very long"?

        Which god?

        Vague threats of an even more vague someday is not very frightening, Curt. Perhaps you could be more specific?

        See, my gods have no problem with any of this. They think it's great. The world needs more love, more hand holding, more kissing and less hate, less fighting, less threatening.

        July 2, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  12. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    All fluff and no grit.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  13. Observer

    AE,

    You said that God destroyed all the children, babies, and fetuses in the flood because they were evil. Obviously, this was programmed before they were born and God felt that freewill wouldn't enable them to change.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • AE

      No, that is not accurate.

      I do believe in free will. All my choices have consequences. And God lets me choose and experience the consequences of each decision.

      July 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Observer

      AE,

      So which story is it? Is there freewill or did God kill all the children, babies and fetuses because they ALREADY were evil and couldn't change through freewill?

      July 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • AE

      The text says God was saddened and hurt by the wickedness of mankind. That makes me think he didn't intend for them to live in such a wicked manner.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • AE

      God did provide a way out for those who would listen to His voice.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Except for the babies, of course.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Mirosal

      If your god is "omniscient" as your doctrine claims it is, then the concept of free will is a moot point.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mirosal, knowing doesn't prevent you from doing.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Mirosal

      It doesn't matter ... your "god" supposedly knows all the outcomes, so whatever you choose has already been predetermined. Your choice is irrelevant.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • AE

      Perhaps God know everything there is to be known. And the future is still an unknown.

      Why does my God ask me to confess and repent? That seems to completely support free will.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Athy

      I'd like to repent too. But I haven't pented for the first time yet. Guess I'm a pent virgin.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mirosal,

      I disagree with that line of thought for many reasons. To keep it short I'll just say that the bible is full of examples to the contrary. It is not his will that any perish.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Mirosal

      not his will that any perish ... well, EVERYTHING perishes.. so it looks like your god struck out there. You just don't get it. Your little book was written by nomads, who had NO idea how the worlds works, and who did nothing but repeat the myths they grew up on. It's a book written over the span of several hundred years for societies that no longer exist. And yet you and your ilk want nothing more than to keep us locked away in that kind of place where a petty "god" who has a serious inferiority complex wants us all to do its bidding. Just which god out of the 10,000+ that have been worshiped are we to follow? You'll readily admit that all of the others don't exist, why is yours different? And before you yell out about that dead cult leader zombie guy jesus, who was born of a mortal mother and had a deity for a father, can you say "Hercules"?

      July 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AE, The Noah story says god only provided a way out for Noah and his family (plus 2 of each animal); the rest of those animals and all plant life must have been evil or maybe they didn't tithe enough.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • AE

      Mirosal

      Death is not the final outcome.

      We will all die, but not all will perish. (According to that book, which I don't think you read)

      Hercules? Dude, was born normal. He drank the queen of the gods milk to become immortal

      July 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Robert: So you're either born doomed for hell or you're born doomed for heaven? If we're all your imaginary friends children, why would he create some that he would wish eternal torment on and favor others? Is a parent not wrong if they favor one child over the other? So what makes you god different.
      Your god is not necessary in the end. If a person is just going to choose their path in life then it is them in control and no god is required.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mirosal,

      As far as you know, everything perishes. You have some idea of how the worlds work. Many gods have been worshipped. Are you absolutely convinced there is no such thing as God?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Truth prevails, I like your handle. We are all born doomed for hell. You are either a child of God or a child of the devil. The good news is you can switch sides. A child of the devil can become a child of God, but not the other way around.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      He's really not that bad when you get to know him. His judgement is aweful. His grace is awesome.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Apparently children are of the devil when they don't know the devil any more than they know God, if I understand you correctly, Robert. Thinking of it another way, evil is something people, even children, are – not something people do.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The other one,

      People are evil & do evil things. Literal children are capable of meaness and yet are innocent.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      Don't fault God because he didn't create robots.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Austin

      People struggle on a daily basis and leave God behind the emotional upheaval for the "time being" we let down and complain. We are all helpless yet called to testify that we have been redeemed. Because we have, thank the Lord. there are so many trivial things.

      and there is an issue called "striving". We should be on more of a spiritual plane, but we are tricked and distracted by a sinful insatiable connection to society. And this is a major stumbling block. Yet an opportunity and God is calling out His kingdom.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I cannot respect a being who is invisible and undetectable and does not make himself and his will obvious and yet judges as if the contrary were true. As Sun Tzu said, "If the orders are not clear, it is the fault of the commander."

      July 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Austin

      Evil becomes a condition.

      If it isn't smacking you in the face with an idolatrous image. Dont look at them.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Robert and Austin: You contradict each other. Robert says you can't become a child of the devil, thus leaving god and Austin says you can leave god. This is just proof of the inconsistencies of christianity and how each person's perception of their god is their perception only.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I fault god for not making heaven, first. Or, at the very least, he could have NOT made all the people destined for eternal torture in his eternal torture pit and instead put "robots" in their place. An honest look at the bible, god's plan in it, or what the Christians claim shows god as an evil, sadistic, azzhole.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      Heaven first, the garden of Eden.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It wasn't heaven if it was so easily corrupted. Is heaven going to have a big bowl of 'no-no' in the middle of it that will make heaven fall apart into a wicked place the first time someone looks at the big bowl of no-no?

      C'mon, Robert, you're not this stupid. You know what I mean, and you understand how your god is a retarded azzhole, too. Your token "defences" of god demonstrate that fact.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      AE? Stick with the mythology you know. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Perhaps you've forgotten that Zeus was the god at the top of the Greek pantheon.

      And there is no evidence that death is anything more than the cessation of life. There isn't a single factual reason to believe in any sort of afterlife. All you have is empty promises and wishful thinking.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Peter

      Austin
      I can think of many, many things that are far more evil than worshipping an object.

      July 2, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Ken

      Austin
      Plenty of people leave God on a daily basis simply because they finally realize that he isn't real.

      July 2, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt,

      I think God can take care of himself. He doesn't need lil ole me to defend him, token or otherwise.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      " It is not his will that any perish."

      Perhaps you mean that He hoped no one would perish, but according to the Bible hasn't He actually ordered the death of people and in fact killed some himself.

      "A child of the devil can become a child of God, but not the other way around."

      You mean other than Lucifer, right?

      July 2, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Robert Brown

      ME II,

      Lucifer and all the angels are created intelligences. Humans are created intelligences. It seems there are some differences and some similarities. Out of pride the devil conceived in his heart the idea to rebel and overthrow his creator.

      July 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • ME II

      So, "the other way around" right?

      July 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • WASP

      @robert: "Lucifer and all the angels are created intelligences. Humans are created intelligences."

      now seeing no where in the bible covers when angels were created, so we will say he created them while creating the universe.
      seeing evil didn't exsist, well unless ofcourse god created evil as well or it had always been here meaning your god isn't powerful enough to have bansihed it before creating everything; where did lucifer learn "evil"?

      where did he learn to covent power?
      how did he convince 2/3rd of god's angels to rebel?
      if 2/3rd's of any population went to war with 1/3rd i would say the numbers are in their favor, wouldn't you?

      so long story short; god is evil because he created the devil knowing he would bring pain and suffering to a creation "he claims to love" yet is more than willing to exterminate when not pleased by us....................yeah he sounds like a 100% T total a s s ho le.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  14. ME II

    @Camus,
    I agree, the Bible should not be used for science, however many want so much to believe it inerrant that will disregard evidence in order to support an idea which seems unnecessary, i.e. that the Bible must be scientifically accurate.

    July 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible is represented by Christians as the perfect book about life, inspired by God. The idea that the Bible does not have to be scientifically accurate is far from any logical reasoning. Please get serious.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • AE

      Sorry, Observer.

      Not all Christians represent the way you claim.

      Look at what this Christian said:

      Peter Gomes: “The Bible alone is the most dangerous thing I can think of. You need an ongoing context and a community of interpretation to keep the Bible current and to keep yourself honest. Forget the thought that the Bible is an absolute pronouncement.”

      July 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Wondering

      At no point will any religious text be scientifically acurate. You need to take it with a grain of salt or not at all.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Observer

      AE,

      I'll give you credit. There don't seem to be a lot of Chrisians who admit they don't believe in freewill and that "the Bible is God's inspired words"

      July 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • AE

      What do you mean by "admit they don't believe in freewill"?

      July 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Seems to me if one has to take a supposed truth with a grain of salt, it's not really truth.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Dippy

      How can anyone expect the bible to be scientifically accurate? It was written thousands of years ago, contains no references, provides no experimental data, and totally ignores accepted scientific methodology.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Curt

      Dippy, don't you know what the term "scientifically accurate" means? You are referring to literary formatting. The Bible is 100% scientifically and historically accurate.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:59 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "The Bible is 100% scientifically and historically accurate."

      Not likely. The flood is impossible to have happened; virgin birth is impossible; the resurrection is impossible. Only 10% of christians have read the buybull. Maybe if they all read it they would see the craziness within; it is after-all the greatest path to disbelief.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • ME II

      @Curt,
      "Dippy, don't you know what the term "scientifically accurate" means? You are referring to literary formatting. The Bible is 100% scientifically and historically accurate."

      Not sure that you know what the term means. There are many errors in the Bible if it is taken literally. If not taken literally, then perhaps "100% accurate" shouldn't be taken literally either.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Alias

      I CHALLENGE ANY OF YOU TO FIND ONE SCIENTIFIC ERROR ANYWHERE IN THE HOLY WRITINTGS OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY.

      July 2, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • EnjaySea

      @Alias

      I challenge you to locate your caps lock key, and depress it gently before posting again.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      All Christians are like poorly used caps lock keys, gently depressed... AND THEN THEY TRY TO SHARE THEIR DEPRESSION...

      July 2, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  15. AE

    I believe God tries to speak to our heart through scripture. Not just our mind. That is why so many stories are poetic, and they don't have morals.

    It is also important to know about the cultural context in which it was written. I know God through Jesus Christ today, thousands of years ago people didn't have access to this.

    A lot of texts are difficult to accept. We usually talk and discuss them in my church.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Camus

    I apologize, I meant the story of Er and not Gyges.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  17. Camus

    I am curious how many of you look toward Plato for the science on the structure of the Earth? (Ring of Gyges)
    Of course you don't, his writings were not meant for that purpose. But then why do you do it to the Torah?

    July 1, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  18. Cpt. Obvious

    The scriptures dealing with the flood and others that deal with geography and the "structure" of the earth match a flat earth, coin-shaped, held up by pillars, with an "underworld" where the dead go and a "heaven" above the "dome" of the sky.

    See the picture, here: https://www.google.com/search?q=dome+of+the+sky+drawing&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&rlz=2I7RNVD_enUS0536______&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=2fbRUd7_NJSC9gTtr4GQCw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=942&bih=429#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IjiJZjVeEFaPVM%3A%3Bj-X7FjpPvy3wkM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fapi.ning.com%252Ffiles%252FCsgAOpbMYCNdEJkX3Zt15Tp6KYInYtsinBs5hihn*TDw-iZW17S2oyE-GmorfelQKPetCR-xnMXaJ*4O3ZsmW8McvbvPMGmM%252FOTcosmos.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ftheologica.ning.com%252Fprofiles%252Fblogs%252Ffor-the-world-is-hollow-and-i-have-touched-the-sky-part-one%3B1425%3B952

    July 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  19. ME II

    @Bill Deacon,
    To clarify, yes, I think there was a large local flood that got exaggerated into the global flood described in the Bible. In other words, the Genesis account of a global flood is incorrect.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  20. ME II

    @Bill Deacon,
    For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b] 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
    (Gen 7)

    Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
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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.