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August 2nd, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Why millennials need the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - For a time, I counted myself among the spiritual but not religious, Christian but not churchgoing crowd.

Like many millennials, I left church because I didn’t always see the compassion of Jesus there, and because my questions about faith and science, the Bible, homosexuality, and religious pluralism were met with shallow answers or hostility.

At first I reveled in my newfound Sunday routine of sleeping in, sipping my coffee and yelling at Republicans who appeared on ”Meet the Press.”

But eventually I returned, because, like it or not, we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us. Here’s why:

Baptism

As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

In a culture that stresses individualism, the church satisfies the human need for community, for shared history and experiences.

And in a world where technology enables millennials to connect only with those who are like-minded, baptism drags us - sometimes kicking and screaming as infants - into the large, dysfunctional and beautiful family of the church.

Confession

“Sin” is not a popular word these days, perhaps because it is so often invoked in the context of judgment and condemnation.

But like all people, millennials need reminding now and then that the hate and violence we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

We can be too idealistic, too convinced we can change the world from our iPads.

The accountability that comes from participation in a local church gives young Christians the chance to speak openly about our struggles with materialism, greed, gossip, anger, consumerism and pride.

Healing

While the flawed people who make up the church can certainly inflict pain on each other and sometimes on the world, we also engage in the important work of healing.

At their best, local churches provide basements where AA groups can meet, living rooms where tough conversations about racial reconciliation occur, casseroles for the sick and shelter for the homeless.

Millennials who have been hurt by the church may later find healing in it.

Leadership

Like a lot of millennials, I am deeply skeptical of authority - probably to a fault.

But when I interact with people from my church who have a few years and a lot of maturity on me, I am reminded of how cool it is to have a free, built-in mentoring and accountability program just down the street.

We can learn a lot from the faithful who have gone before us, and the church is where we find them.

Communion

One of the few things the modern church has in common with the ancient one is its celebration of the sacred meal— the Eucharist.

There is simply not the space here, nor in many volumes of theology for that matter, to unpack the significance of remembering Jesus through eating bread and drinking wine. But when I left the church, it was Communion I craved the most.

Churches may disagree on exactly how Christ is present in these sacred meals, but we agree that Christ is present. And millennials, too, long for that presence.

There are some days when the promise of Communion is the only thing that rouses me from bed on Sunday morning. I want a taste of that mystery.

Confirmation

Many churches practice a rite of initiation, sometimes called confirmation.

Theologian Lauren Winner, in her book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” quotes a friend who said:

“What you promise when you are confirmed is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that that is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

The church, at its best, provides a safe place in which to wrestle with this story we call the Gospel.

Union with Christ

Those who follow Jesus long for the day when their communion with him becomes complete, and Jesus promises this will happen through the church.

The apostle Paul compared this union to a marriage. Jesus describes it as a banquet.

No matter what the latest stats or studies say, Christians believe the future of the church is secure and not even “the gates of hell” will prevail against it.

As much as I may struggle to fit in sometimes, as much as I doubt, question and fight for reforms, I am a part of this church, through good times and bad, for better or worse.

The astute reader will notice that each of these points corresponds loosely with a sacrament—baptism, confession, the anointing of the sick, holy orders, communion, confirmation and marriage.

Some would say there are many others. We could speak of the sacrament of the Word or the washing of feet.

But even where they are not formally observed, these sacraments are present in some form in nearly every group of people who gather together in the name of Jesus.

They connect us to our faith through things we can eat, touch, smell and feel. And they connect us with one another.

They remind us, as writer and Episcopal priest Sara Miles put it, that “You can’t be a Christian by yourself.”

This is why I haven’t given up on the church, and I suspect why it hasn't given up on me.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to her.

Evans has written two previous posts for CNN's Belief Blog: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Faith • Opinion • United States

soundoff (4,825 Responses)
  1. lol??

    Did the little lady vote in the commie contest??

    Bill Clinton Won a ‘Father of the Year’ Award, and It Was a Real Award
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/bill-clinton-father-of-the-year.html

    Chelsea voted yea! "Dad got me a socie job!!."

    August 7, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • niknak

      What the hell are you talking about?

      August 7, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • midwest rail

        'Tis a mystery. No one is sure what color the sky is in lol?? world.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  2. Topher

    Good morning, everyone!

    August 7, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Austin

      Topher, Is that me?

      August 7, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • LinCA

      Morning, Chris.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Colin

      Good morning Topher. Do you have any more quotations from the bible you would like to present of evidence that the authors of the bible knew something that "science would not discover until centuries later"?

      August 7, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        You seem to really have a burr under your saddle Colin. Why don't you go sit by a pond somewhere and think about your breathing for half an hour?

        August 7, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Studebacher Hoch

          While we're at it Bill, what's up with that eating zombie blood and flesh thing you believe in?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  3. Truth Prevails :-)

    Where has Austin disappeared to?

    August 7, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • midwest rail

      Troll heaven ?

      August 7, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Could we really be that lucky?

        August 7, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  4. lamelionheart

    I'll see science's big bang and raise the pot a few million big bangs... Will you call me or raise me a few trillion big bangs..? It sort of makes one wanting to have Nothing to do with big bang tectonics... Oh the Nothingness of it all... Shall we play a game..?

    August 7, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The Big Bang for Dummies

      Here's what we know at least as far as theoretical physics can take us.

      A few billionths of a second after T=0 the universe is an (almost)infinitely small, hot and dense maelstrom of energy.
      Unstable it has already begun expanding and cooling. There Is no matter, just energy. When the universe has expanded and cooled sufficiently to allow baryonic matter to form without being torn asunder the only elements occupying the universe is hydrogen and some helium. If fact much of the matter in the universe is still dominated by those 2 elements. It took billions of years for gravity to cause the first stars to form from that primordial matter and it's through the process of their deaths(supernovae) that all of the constituent atoms that make up my body and everything on Earth were fused. If ever there was a benefactor of gratitude for my existence it would be those stars...not some imagined needy god.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • niknak

        Steve,
        I can read about anything science related all day long. Loved Cosmos when it was new on PBS as a kid, and have been fascinated by science ever since.
        And the beauty of science is not that it is correct, but it is so interesting as we discover new things daily.

        Religion on the other hand is wrong, and so dang boring.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • niknak

          Typo correction.
          Science is correct.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • lamelionheart

        Multiple Big Bang Theory

        A. Stevie...

        Is not science's designated breadth of their perceived "universe" just a mere 16 billion light years in distance giving the shape of the supposed universe a spheroidal shape..? The main problem with such a scientific stance is that it leaves open the potential for multiple big bangs 32 billion light years (plus or minus) away from a relationally simple minded perspective of there being multiple big bangs spaced within relative distances from each other...

        For scientists to "not consider" the very real plausibility of there being unknowable quantities of big bangs tells one that scientists are "close-minded" ad bereft of understanding the principles of constructive rationalism...

        August 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          You can make up all the crap you desire. I'm gonna stick with what we actually know.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Rick Shaw

          Who is claiming otherwise?

          August 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          AtheistSteve...

          Rational constructivism is not your cup of tea then is it...? Your stance is like those case hardened scientists unwilling to reason the constructive essences of rational thinking regarding unknowable amounts of big bangs within the vastness reaches of outer spatial relationships... It's the renaissance all over again or the dark ages at least in your ways of thinking Stevie Wonderless...

          August 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Lee

          @lamelionheart
          "Rational constructivism is not your cup of tea then is it...? Your stance is like those case hardened scientists unwilling to reason the constructive essences of rational thinking regarding unknowable amounts of big bangs within the vastness reaches of outer spatial relationships... It's the renaissance all over again or the dark ages at least in your ways of thinking Stevie Wonderless..."
          ? Bizarre comment at the very most and a poor rebuttal. Not knowing or understanding all aspects of the vastness of the universe does not mean "God did it in a mysterious way". That's absurd!
          If people had thought the way you did (dismissing something unexplained as "magical") then science, technology, NOTHING would have progressed. Science does not say its "correct" or you need "blind faith" in order to understand. Science changes a little with every discovery we make, and can actually better itself through this evolving....evolving as we gather more intelligence is something the RCC has been against since the dark ages.
          They want your money dude, so they have their way with little boys in peace....you should be ashamed for contributing to any "christian" religion!

          August 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Jim wrote, "? Bizarre comment at the very most and a poor rebuttal. Not knowing or understanding all aspects of the vastness of the universe does not mean "God did it in a mysterious way". That's absurd!
          If people had thought the way you did (dismissing something unexplained as "magical") then science, technology, NOTHING would have progressed. Science does not say its "correct" or you need "blind faith" in order to understand. Science changes a little with every discovery we make, and can actually better itself through this evolving....evolving as we gather more intelligence is something the RCC has been against since the dark ages.
          They want your money dude, so they have their way with little boys in peace....you should be ashamed for contributing to any "christian" religion!"

          I Jim attend no church and do not donate to any church that is manmade for the "True Church" is one's body which are the buildings created and maintained and taken residencies by God's family tree.

          The rest of your post is nothing but dribble.

          My theory regarding there being unknowable amounts of big bangs having taken place amid the vastness of outer space is a reasoned construct that should be taken into considerations instead of standing firm with there being but one big bang which I find being bogus and nearsighted...

          Can anyone with textured thoughtfulness really stand firm on there being only one big bang happening within a cosmos so vast that it would take gazillions of light years to cross it..?

          August 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  5. Prove nothing can form anything and James Randy will give you $1000000, atheists.

    Funny... that's right, you too can win $1000000 if you can prove science is right.

    August 7, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • I wonder

      Oh? Is he related to the investigator of paranormal and supernatural claims, James Randi?

      August 7, 2013 at 4:49 am |
      • Prove nothing can form anything and James Randy will give you $1000000, atheists.

        Is that how you spell his name? Atheists claim nothing is their god that formed everything, when the only God there is, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob already claimed he made everything. Given the god of nothing is the atheist's god, they're also up for the challenge, to prove the supernatural using nothing. Good luck...

        BTW, if God ever agreed to the challenge... it wouldn't matter, he'd be the one working, he'd get the money, and he doesn't need the money, he can form anything at any time. Randy's cash is pointless in the eternal... the treasure woth dying over, is in heaven.

        August 7, 2013 at 4:59 am |
        • sam stone

          atheists have no god. try to keep up

          August 7, 2013 at 5:06 am |
        • utalkintome

          the religious: ignorant and uneducated

          August 7, 2013 at 6:11 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Oh the idiocy of some people! Where's your evidence for your god??? Are you sure you have the correct one? You might want to visit godchecker.com before making absurd claims...many claim their god is correct but not one of you can provide the evidence to support your claims.
          Atheists simply dismiss the notion of a god of any form based on the complete lack of evidence. I understand that due to the brainwashing within your cult this might be hard to grasp but you need to think for yourself instead of letting your pastor think for you.

          August 7, 2013 at 6:11 am |
        • lee

          As an atheist, I don't claim nothing formed something. I see the best evidence indicating that the earliest we recognize the universe is in its "singularity" form. Before that (if the word "before" even makes sense in this context) we simply don't know. I admit to not knowing. You think you know but you actually don't. You are basically saying you don't know... therefore my magic man dunnit!

          The same arguments were once made for lightning, rainbows, seasons, the tides, etc. We now know the source of these things and they are all natural. Just because we don't know exactly how the universe began doesn't mean it has a supernatural origin. Every time we find out the ACTUAL origin of something previously thought to be supernatural, it turns out to be natural. Every time.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • niknak

          General Lee,

          I use that same argument with the fundies I work with, but nothing can get thru their stone age skulls.
          They just will never let go of their myth, regardless of how much evidence mounts up that smashers their claims.
          Look where they are now, all the way back to the big bang as their line in the sand as to their creator myth.
          Science will figure that out too, and they will then say, "Well, what came before that? God."
          Sad.
          A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion......

          August 7, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • AtheistSteve

        " Atheists claim nothing is their god that formed everything"

        Where did you get that idea? Even Big Bang cosmology doesn't make such a claim. The theoretical starting point of our universe is a singularity. A puzzling situation where everything occupies nowhere but at no point is the total energy of the universe non-existent or even diminished in the least.
        Try again.

        August 7, 2013 at 7:00 am |
        • lamelionheart

          A.Steve...

          Your standing knee-deep in a singularity of doo-doo there Stevie Wanderer... To say your pot has always been filled is pure doggie-doo-doo... Science's "theory" that only a singular big bang established the celestially contorted expanse of Nothingness flies in the very face of rational constructivism...

          The total amount of big bangs being formulated within the allness of the vast state of Nothingness will never be fully fathomed with any reasonable certainty... For I am fairly certain that there were millions or billions or trillions or maybe an infinite number of big bangs being once formed and perhaps still being formed within the great vastness of absolute Nothingness... Sleep on this perspective for a few long years and get back with me when it fully sinks in to your dense mind of case hardened scientific dementias unwilling to stay constructively astute...

          August 7, 2013 at 8:13 am |
        • lamelionheart

          You're standing knee-deep in a singularity of doo-doo there Stevie Wanderer...

          August 7, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Wow Steve, getting called dense by someone who believes on faith and usually has no clue of what reality is...it's quite laughable.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:23 am |
        • lamelionheart

          Sup it up Truth Prevails :mrgreen:

          Condescension thru arbitration is foretelling of one's sidelined theatrical espionage... I'll bet you a few trillion big bangs that you cannot eve fathom the bets potency...

          August 7, 2013 at 8:33 am |
        • lamelionheart

          I'll bet you a few trillion big bangs that you cannot even fathom the bets potency...

          August 7, 2013 at 8:36 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          lamelionheart

          Sorry to burst your inflated bubble there liony but I'm not making any claims inconsistent with the Big Bang theory...but you are. Big Bang only brings us back to the point of the singularity and not one step further. Whatever else you think is pure speculation.
          All I said is that there isn't any need to defend the "something from nothing" drivel when everything remains from the start.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • fintastic

          @AtheistSteve "Where did you get that idea?".......

          His pastor told him what to think.. You just have to laugh at therse nut-jobs!

          August 7, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • lamelionheart

          AtheistSteve...

          It's all about relational constructivism when considering the potentials of there being multiple big bangs Steve... If there is one big bang, it stands to reason the potential for perhaps an unlimited amount of big bangs permeating throughout outer space relatives... Just to base a singularity of only one big bang being condensed and then expanding to form just a single "universe" tends one to become closed minded when contemplating the overall vastness of continual Nothingness that we have named as being Outer Space... You Steve seem to have a close minded personality when considering "relational constructivism"...

          August 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      I don't know that atheists, by and large, are claiming that nothing can form anything. But, by all means continue your blather

      August 7, 2013 at 4:50 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      It's Randi, not Randy. Randi's foundation has already shown many who claim to have special powers as being wrong...if it can't be tested, it can be shown to be correct and thus should not be accepted as real.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:55 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        "it can be shown" should read 'it can't'

        August 7, 2013 at 6:07 am |
    • utalkintome

      i'll give you 5 bucks if you learn how to spell first....randi has put this up to anyone that can prove psychic abilities....sylvia brown etc.....of course no one will come forward because then they will be found out as total fakes

      August 7, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • skytag

      You are proof religion makes people stupid.

      August 7, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm still looking for Kirk Cameron's Crocoduck.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Aardvark Sneezes

      Already proven. Look it up.

      The original comment is an obvious troll. Stop falling for this.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Whereas he's happy to believe that a god came from nothing and created the universe from nothing.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Ken

      A universe created from nothing is a religious notion. Science makes no such claim.

      August 8, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  6. Atheist, me?

    AE
    The point is that most Atheists are Atheists because they have chosen to leave the Church rather than learn more than memory verses and pop doctrine.
    I have experienced God in ways that make me shudder to this day. I didn't get it by knowing what the Bible says but by doing what it said I should do. I stutter now and then but I know the joy of eternal life because it is when you practise it that u understand but many Atheists are afraid that if they obey Christ they won't experience him. It started while they were in Church and they actively feed the fear now.
    If you say the other books are similar then they are but they are not equivalent!
    I read the Bible like a story book and pick out the moral lessons to practise them.
    This is the root of faith. I doubt. I fear. I practise. I experience. I know.

    August 7, 2013 at 2:16 am |
    • sam stone

      How can you know the "joy of eternal life" until you have died?

      You know that promise of it.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:39 am |
    • skytag

      @Atheist, me?: "The point is that most Atheists are Atheists because they have chosen to leave the Church rather than learn more than memory verses and pop doctrine."

      Every time you bear false witness against atheists it's proof Christianity is a fraud. All you're doing here it trying to convince yourself that atheists don't have a valid basis for their beliefs by spouting nonsense about them. Go peddle your lies about us somewhere else.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • skytag

      @Atheist, me?: "I have experienced God in ways that make me shudder to this day."

      Such claims of personal experiences are notoriously unreliable and far too subjective to be considered evidence to any objective outsider. Shuttering is an emotional response and emotions are easily manipulated. Some people shutter at the thought of jumping out of a plane.

      "I didn't get it by knowing what the Bible says but by doing what it said I should do."

      Your willingness to invest time and energy learning what they Bible says and let it guide your actions says some part of you wanted it to be true, and when someone wants something to be true badly enough it's almost inevitable he'll find a way to convince himself it's true.

      Only 3 people in 10 are even Christians. If you'd been born in a place where Christians are a small minority it's highly unlikely you would have any idea what the Bible says, you wouldn't have done what it says and you wouldn't have had those experiences. Instead you have known what the Torah says or the Koran, or the sacred works of some other religion and you'd be claiming you'd experienced the Muslim god or some other god in ways that make you shudder to this day.

      This argument from inside the Christian bubble, where people believe only Christians have experiences with God and the Bible is essential "finding God" simply doesn't carry any weight with those of us who live outside the bubble.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • skytag

      "I stutter now and then but I know the joy of eternal life because it is when you practise it that u understand but many Atheists are afraid that if they obey Christ they won't experience him."

      More lies. I'm not afraid of anything. You're projecting. It's you who is afraid that if you don't do what you're told you'll miss out on something. Why do you make such glaringly stupid claims? Are you really dumb enough to believe an atheist in Saudi Arabia or in some other place in the world where Christianity is not a dominant religious force is afraid that if he obeys Jesus they won't experience him? More proof religion makes people stupid.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Rhaj - Haja Raza

      I am atheist, and I chose to "leave the Church" at about age of 12. I did not feel that "superpower" of God or Jesus in life and on earth. The more "verses and pop doctrine" I read, the more convinced I am for NOT feeling it, and its mere existence.

      I do NOT see I am nor I should be "afraid" of something or someone I don't even feel its existence, or the existence of its superpower.

      I understand your "doing what it said you should do" makes you "shudder" and gives you "joy", but for me, the whole thing is just a social convention of the time, and I do or I can respect that social convention and (some of) its "moral lessons" without the need of a superpower, or a stick (hell) or a carrot (heaven). I can also feel joy for doing rational things, good for my friends/family, for my neighboring/working and volunteering community.

      I hope that can help you understand (one) atheist, and makes you think again before defining from your reference what atheists are or feel or do.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • skytag

      @Atheist, me?: "many Atheists are afraid that if they obey Christ they won't experience him."

      I remember when I started questioning what I'd believed for so long. I was afraid that if I stopped doing all the things I'd believed I was supposed to do all manner of problems would befall me as the Lord withdrew his blessings from me. That's when I was afraid. Now I no longer fear the actions (or inaction) of beings who are nothing more than the creation of people's imaginations.

      It's clear you are terrified of reality, and that's why you believe this nonsense you tell yourself about us.

      "It started while they were in Church and they actively feed the fear now."

      zzzzzzzzzz

      "If you say the other books are similar then they are but they are not equivalent!"

      Gee, a Christian claiming the religious writing of other religions aren't special like the Bible. Who'd a thunk?

      "I read the Bible like a story book and pick out the moral lessons to practise them.
      This is the root of faith. I doubt. I fear. I practise. I experience. I know."

      This is the root of self-induced stupidity. You read a book of inspiring fairytales, pick the parts you like, incorporate them into a larger program of immersing yourself in Christian influences and then one day, voilà, the brainwashing takes effect and you decide something you experienced was God's doing.

      None of this makes you any different than hundreds of millions of people in other religions. It's only your ignorance and naivete that allow you to tell yourself this is a confirmation of Christianity.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • AE

      – Atheist, Me

      Yes, it is one thing to know about god or gods, it is quite another to know God.

      And that is what I think Jesus was showing us. He has the way to the father; and that means we can, too.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:51 am |
      • Madtown

        AE
        Yes, it is one thing to know about god or gods, it is quite another to know God.
        And that is what I think Jesus was showing us. He has the way to the father; and that means we can, too
        ------
        You first have to hear of Jesus, and know who he is. Did God create us all equal or not?

        August 7, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • AE

          I imagine Jesus will help us all. He defeated death and takes sin from the world. I'm sure he can take sin from a man or woman after their death, too. He loves us equally, yes. And desires for none of us to perish.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • Madtown

          I imagine Jesus will help us all.
          ----
          That would be great, I hope so. What this would also mean, is there's no need for religion. If God helps all, even those who've never heard of a particular religion, then God clearly doesn't have religious requirements in place in order to "help" us.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Those statements are totally unfounded; there is no evidence that Jesus was divine, that he died for your sins, or anything really.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • AE

          I imagine if we have Jesus we don't need a religion, because a religion won't save us.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • AE

          @ Santa

          There is spiritual evidence.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "There is spiritual evidence."
          The only thing that is evidence of, is delusion.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • fintastic

          @AE..... "I imagine ....." Yes, you do!. The problem is you confuse your "imagination" with reality.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Madtown

          AE
          I imagine if we have Jesus we don't need a religion
          -----
          Problematic, because you don't really have Jesus without religion. Again, someone living in a society where christianity is not practiced, may have never heard of Jesus. They don't have Jesus.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • AE

          Good zingers, guys. But this is a board dedicated to faith. And faith deals with things that are unseen.

          If you want evidence for things that are seen, try a science blog. Try this one: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/

          It doesn't look like it is updated that much, but perhaps if you start discussions based on physical evidence you can get the ball rolling.

          Peace be with you.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          "But this is a board dedicated to faith."

          No it is a belief blog and not all belief's are based on faith. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • AE

          Madtown

          Good point. There are books on the subject that tackle that issue. To me, it seems Jesus didn't come to start a religion the way many of us our practicing it today. Many times I find myself acting like the Pharisees Jesus spoke against. That is where I look for guidance as I seek to do what Jesus desires, not what a religion or man desires.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • AE

          "The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories,...."

          August 7, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          AE: What is your point? Every day you are trying to say that we shouldn't be posting here and finding excuses to back you. Why do you care so much?? This is a site owned by a person who doesn't support religion, so why are you here? FOX news accommodates your special brand of crazy...you might find more like-minded people there, people who won't care that you have imaginary friends because they all do also. (see how this works...respect is a two way street)

          August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • AE

          –Truth Prevails: What is your point? Every day you are trying to say that we shouldn't be posting here and finding excuses to back you.–

          My point is I believe it is reasonable to as.sume that there are people on a blog dedicated to belief, faith and religion to talk about God. And a lot of times when I post, the same few people start posting demeaning comments.

          My point also is, instead of just trying to insult me, why don't they talk about what they have an interest in. Empirical evidence. And there are blogs dedicated to that discussion.

          I'm not saying you shouldn't post here. It just doesn't seem very logical, reasonable or rational to do so.

          I don't like Fox News, I don't watch it.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          " It just doesn't seem very logical, reasonable or rational to do so."

          Who are you to make that judgement? It doesn't matter that you think that, it won't change the fact that we comment, so why keep pushing it?
          You gave us an alternate website, I suggested one to you.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Madtown

          Jesus didn't come to start a religion the way many of us our practicing it today
          ----–
          I agree with that. My greater point is only that I consider all of humanity to be equal. Because of this equality, I don't think individual religions have any answers when it comes to these classic questions, primarily and simply because there is no religion that is universally relevant to every last human on the planet.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • AE

          Who is "we"?

          August 7, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • AE

          Madtown

          Peter Gomes, a Christian, suggested:
          "When devout Christians believe that only Christians of a particular doctrinal stripe have access to God, that, for example, God hears their prayers only, they stand in cosmic immodesty."

          And I agree. I try to share what works for me. If somebody doesn't agree, I should walk away. I think Jesus demonstrated how to do that. There were times when his disciples wanted him to do more for people who were rejecting Jesus.

          He said:
          "And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate."

          August 7, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          We meaning the people you are suggesting not comment here.
          I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on your ignorance, you're young and somehow you've fallen in to your belief system...live a little and gain some experience in this world, you might just eventually grasp what we've been saying.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • AE

          TP:

          I was posting to 2 guys who routinely post snide remarks to me.

          Not to you. I didn't start posting to you until you initiated contact with me.

          When you say "we" do you imagine your are speaking for all the atheists? Or just the internet atheists that post on this faith blog?

          August 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I imagine Jesus will help us all."

          Finally starting to realize this is all in your imagination?

          "I'm sure he can take sin from a man or woman after their death, too."

          You're sure? Is that what the Bible says? Or is that just something you need to believe because you can't accept what the Bible teaches about it? According to the Bible Jesus says no man cometh unto the father but by him. Is that one of the parts of the Bible you choose to ignore because you don't like what it means to 5 billion non-Christians in the world today?

          "He loves us equally, yes. And desires for none of us to perish."

          You believe this but can't explain why the biggest indicator of whether someone will be a Christian is where he was born, an event over which he has no control whatsoever.

          Christianity tells you fairytales that allow you to avoid dealing with harsh realities of life. Now you're trying to avoid dealing with harsh realities of Christianity.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I imagine if we have Jesus we don't need a religion, because a religion won't save us."

          Without religion how does one find Jesus? It's been Christian denominations that spread the Bible and taught the principle of salvation. Without religion you would never have heard of Jesus, if if you did, it would be only in passing.

          That's why 5 billion people in the world don't "have Jesus." Most of them live some place where members of some Christian denomination didn't have a chance to teach them about Jesus.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • AE

          Hey Skytag!

          –Finally starting to realize this is all in your imagination?–

          Everything you write about me is what you imagine. So, yes, we both utilize our imaginations. But Jesus is not just in my imagination.

          "I'm sure he can take sin from a man or woman after their death, too."

          –You're sure?–

          I believe so.

          –Is that what the Bible says?–

          Yes.

          –Or is that just something you need to believe because you can't accept what the Bible teaches about it? -

          No.

          –According to the Bible Jesus says no man cometh unto the father but by him. Is that one of the parts of the Bible you choose to ignore because you don't like what it means to 5 billion non-Christians in the world today?–

          No. I don't ignore that. Jesus has the way to the Father, that entails I can find it, too. That is why I follow Jesus' way.

          –You believe this but can't explain why the biggest indicator of whether someone will be a Christian is where he was born, an event over which he has no control whatsoever.–

          I guess if I was born where you were born I'd be an atheist. And if you were born where I was born you'd be a Christian devoted to following Jesus.

          –Christianity tells you fairytales that allow you to avoid dealing with harsh realities of life. Now you're trying to avoid dealing with harsh realities of Christianity.–

          No, that is what you simply imagine.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "But this is a board dedicated to faith. And faith deals with things that are unseen."

          Like delusions? The Christian emphasis on faith is designed to get people to distrust more reliable, objective means of determining the truth in favor of your feelings, which are easily manipulated by a good speaker and moving stories.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          AE

          I will extend an olive branch and concede that Jesus' moral teachings were, for the most part, intended to promote our compassion and cooperation over contention and animosity towards each other. That actually coincides with secular humanism and is arrived at rationally as beneficial to society in general. The only contention involves the claims of spiritual relevance. Long before Jesus people were following the moral teachings of their gods. Greeks, Romans, Vikings and more were all subject to eternal consequences for worldly events. Many as hapless victims in the case of vindictive gods. The afterlife wasn't new and often wasn't desired when Jesus began preaching his form of brotherly love. The hook still hinged on invoking a divine authority to compel the converted to capitulate. What made Jesus and Christianity different, and likely why it persisted especially during its formation, is a classic example of passive resistance. Martyrs were pilling up because believers were convinced that Divine Justice would balance the scales. It's a powerfully meaningful conviction to sacrifice your life for your god, to fulfill your part in design.

          So AE here is what I believe. I believe you're totally wrong. The insidious notion you have bought into. That a beautiful, perfect eternal existence awaits you as promised by your "God". When you took that leap, you, and every Christian like you, has belittled and diminished the value and preciousness of this life. The only one we know exists. Like lemmings you are all being fed into the meat grinder with glee and this world be damned...In fact according to you it already is. And the only function of Christianity is to convert more Christians.

          Life can be cruel, heartless and unfair. It can also be joyful, loving and prosperous. Any real meaning is derived from how we deal with that. No feel good platitudes, no imagined divine rulebook. That's right...I don't get to believe that some terrible injustice will be compensated for. Reality is harsh. It is also awesome. More awesome than the insubstantial stepping stone you consider it to be.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • AE

          Skytag
          –Without religion how does one find Jesus?–

          You probably have a point. I am encouraged to seek a relationship with God, and not necessarily be religious. And that God is more concerned with me loving others than what I memorize or routinely do.

          But, yes, this takes place through people coming together in what we call a religion.

          My pastor asks me to not be another example of religious hypocrisy. What a bold and honest challenge.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "My point is I believe it is reasonable to as.sume that there are people on a blog dedicated to belief, faith and religion to talk about God."

          I talk about God, faith, and religion here a lot. You just can't handle what I say about it because my views are backed by facts, reason, and evidence.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          I guess if I was born where you were born I'd be an atheist. And if you were born where I was born you'd be a Christian devoted to following Jesus
          ---
          What's interesting, is that had you been born in Egypt you'd very likely be a muslim. You'd then think that christians have it all wrong.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • AE

          Atheist Steve
          - That a beautiful, perfect eternal existence awaits you as promised by your "God". -

          I never said I believe that. I believe I will meet a beautiful, perfect eternal being: God.

          And that being will hold me accountable for what I do. So this life really does matter.

          - And the only function of Christianity is to convert more Christians. -

          Maybe for some people. But not all.

          My church doesn't ask me to convert people, it asks me to help people. God's people are the poor, widowed and orphaned. Help them.

          -Life can be cruel, heartless and unfair.-

          Yea, a lot of the Psalms and others stories touch on that subject. When you follow Jesus, expect some suffering.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • AE

          Madtown

          And if you were born as an elite scientist, you might be studying the natural world right now instead of philosophizing and imagining hypothetical birth scenarios. You could perhaps think it would be silly to be posting on a belief blog, when you could be doing something better.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • AE

          skytag

          –@AE: "My point is I believe it is reasonable to as.sume that there are people on a blog dedicated to belief, faith and religion to talk about God."–

          –I talk about God, faith, and religion here a lot. You just can't handle what I say about it because my views are backed by facts, reason, and evidence.–

          a. I wasn't talking to you

          b. You imagine your views are logical. But you fail to demonstrate that

          August 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • AE

          "You just can't handle what I say about it because my views are backed by facts, reason, and evidence"

          This tells me you are incredibly arrogant and immodest.

          And when you write stuff to me, you come of as if you think you are better and smarter than me.

          That is why I usually avoid reading your rants and ramblings.

          It is painful to read such conceited musings.

          And the fact that you insist I avoid reading your stuff because I can't handle your version of the truth just proves my point.

          I'm trying to answer your questions, but I'm getting sick of your accusations and as.sumptions.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Madtown

          instead of philosophizing and imagining hypothetical birth scenarios. You could perhaps think it would be silly to be posting on a belief blog, when you could be doing something better
          ----
          LOL at you suggesting I could be using my time more wisely! You seem to be here as well, and posting at a much higher rate. As to the hypothetical scenario, yesterday you incorrectly suggested I wasn't open-minded. My open-mindedness is what prompts me to suggest this hypothetical birth scenario, because the point is that none of us choose where we are born. You could say God places us where we are born, but we don't choose it. It's mainly the cultural forces at play in whatever society/culture/region/country that we're born into, that determine which religion we prefer, if any. So, for anyone to say that the religion they prefer is "correct" is not at all open-minded, because it doesn't take into account the fact that we didn't choose we where are born and raised, and if we were born elsewhere we'd likely follow a different religion entirely.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • AE

          Madtown–

          I don't say the religion I prefer is "correct".

          I say I'm a Christian. I follow Jesus Christ.

          Some people as.sume or accuse me of false ideas, and I will say that is "not correct" about me.

          I don't deny where I was born plays a factor. I don't know why you act like I don't seem to realize that. I mentioned the other day a pastor talked about this fact in a sermon. I accept it.

          But aren't you also implying that you are what you are because of where you were born? And if you were born somewhere else you would be different?

          I wasn't born and raised in a Christian household so I don't completely fit your hypothetical theory, but I generally know what you mean.

          And in my opinion people who claim to be open-minded, really aren't.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          "When you say "we" do you imagine your are speaking for all the atheists? Or just the internet atheists that post on this faith blog?"

          You just don't get it. I use the word 'we' in a general sense not necessarily referring to any one group of Atheists. Once again this is a BELIEF BLOG not a faith blog. I have plenty of beliefs but none of them are faith based, to do so would be not caring that what I believe is true.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I never said I believe that. I believe I will meet a beautiful, perfect eternal being: God."

          And then what? I find it unlikely you believe you will spend eternity meeting God, so what happens after you meet him?

          August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • AE

          –Skytag
          –And then what? I find it unlikely you believe you will spend eternity meeting God, so what happens after you meet him?–

          I don't know. Serve the people I harmed?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Hmmm...servitude.
          Not only is your notion of life meaningless even your heaven sounds dreary.
          You're welcome to it .

          August 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • AE

          A life dedicated to serving the poor, widowed and orphaned has some meaning.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Not if it's done to serve God and not simply doing good for goodness sake. It is its own reward. No god required.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • AE

          Goodness has a purpose or motive? Goodness sounds like God.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          There seems to be some part of this you aren't getting. None of the things you point to, helping the poor, sick or needy is bolstering your argument. Secular humanism mirrors all of the good things, charitable things that your Christianity does. In fact it one ups them but all without appeals to the supernatural. Being good without god isn't just reasonable, it's preferable. But you won't see it that way because your Bible tells you we're wrong. No explanation...just a bald statement. "those atheists are fools"
          To date none of you have been able to explain to the rest of us why we should believe what your Bible says. Quite the opposite there are many reasons why we should not believe. Faith isn't good enough. I want valid reasons for believing in things so I can be confident that my beliefs are true.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "And that being will hold me accountable for what I do."

          To hold you accountable means to judge how faithful you were in doing what God wanted you to do. And therein lies the crux of a dilemma you seem either can't grasp or just refuse to deal with: How do you know what God wants you to do? Now, before you give us another one of your simpleton sound bites, hear me out.

          There have been thousands of religions throughout history teaching an almost infinite variety of things regarding what their god or gods expect of their followers. Even if we limit the discussion to Christianity there is still a considerable amount of variation in beliefs regarding what one must do to be considered faithful.

          For example, Amish men believe it's important to God that they not shave. Mormons believe God has commanded them to pay 10% of their gross income in tithing and abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco. Christian Scientists believe obedience to God means forgoing modern medical treatment (although in the face of dwindling numbers they have modified that stance somewhat of late). Some Christians believe handling snakes is an act of faith. Some believe God requires strict Sabbath day observance and others don't. There are widely varying stances on abortion and homosexuality. Some don't believe in dancing.

          If you go outside Christianity the sky's the limit on what people believe God expects of them.

          There are sincere, devote believers in all religions, as sincere in their search for "truth" as you, yet despite all their study and prayer, they still can't begin to agree on God wants. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that there is no God. I think it's obvious you avoid dealing with this issue altogether by just not thinking about it.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • AE

          @ AtheistSteve

          "Being good without god isn't just reasonable, it's preferable. "

          According to you. Or according to Secular Humanists that is the better way.

          But we are all not you. And we are all not Secular Humanists. Some people prefer God.

          "To date none of you have been able to explain to the rest of us why we should believe what your Bible says."

          What? Who is "the rest of us"? Atheists have converted to Christianity. You are speaking to one.

          I've been told China and some of their neighboring countries are contributing to the largest revival in Christian history right now.

          According to some people posting on here, you probably are only a secular humanist because of where you were born. And if you were born where I was you'd be an atheist turned Christian right now.

          -

          Hey, for this man, I had to seek humility to find God. I believe my pride, ego, arrogance, hypocrisy, jealousies and selfishness stood in my way to finding God. And Jesus had a plan for me to follow that involves putting others first, among other things. One of the good consequences of the new way of life is my relationship with God.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: –According to the Bible Jesus says no man cometh unto the father but by him. Is that one of the parts of the Bible you choose to ignore because you don't like what it means to 5 billion non-Christians in the world today?–

          "No. I don't ignore that."

          Of course you do. I've brought this issue up several times and you never address it. You just spout some sound bite like this that says nothing about it:

          "Jesus has the way to the Father, that entails I can find it, too. That is why I follow Jesus' way."

          Nothing here addresses my point that there are 5 billion non-Christians in the world today. I state this fact and you babble something about you that has nothing to do with what I said. That's just sad.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • AE

          –According to the Bible Jesus says no man cometh unto the father but by him. Is that one of the parts of the Bible you choose to ignore because you don't like what it means to 5 billion non-Christians in the world today?–

          I know and admit that there are 5 billion non-Christians in the world today, and that implies they don't know about Christ's way to the Father.

          I didn't think that was a profound point. Yea, that is something I imagine most Christians are aware of and will admit.

          You write a lot, forgive me if I don't respond to all your points.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "–You believe this but can't explain why the biggest indicator of whether someone will be a Christian is where he was born, an event over which he has no control whatsoever.–

          "I guess if I was born where you were born I'd be an atheist. And if you were born where I was born you'd be a Christian devoted to following Jesus."

          Yet another idiotic remark to avoid dealing with a reality you don't want to face. Keep it up. Your need to avoid dealing with reality only confirms my assessments.

          August 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • AE

          If I am a (fill in the blank) strictly because of where I was born, the same logic applies to you, too.

          Why not?

          August 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • niknak

        Hey Truth,
        Maybe Faux still has some kind of belief board, but they got rid of their political board long ago.
        It was only up for about months. I was on it posting as Erik the Red's Cousin (my cousin Erik posted under Erik the Red).
        Faux had to shut it down because the level of creepiness and violence and racism was so rampant, they figured it made Repubs look terrible and shut it down. It was really that bad.
        I can only imagine how bad a religious board would be with the viewer Faux has.

        Like I always say, just scratch just below the surface of any fundie/repub, and you find some really creepy stuff.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • skytag

        "Yes, it is one thing to know about god or gods, it is quite another to know God."

        Indeed. The former doesn't require you to commit to a particular delusion. After all, before you can know God, you to pick one to know. There are so many to choose from.

        August 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I used to believe in a god, first the christian god, then in some nameless higher power. I used to get quite emotional about it. Then one day I considered what and why I believed, I realized that all my faith, all my emotions were simply a product of wanting very badly to believe in something. There was no factual basis for my belief. There was no epiphany or signs for god, and all the things I believed were signs from god were simply natural occurrences.

      Then I looked at the facts, and it became obvious: There are no gods. Just the human desire to control and bargain with that which they don't understand. Gods are nothing more than an ancient human habit that some of us have finally broken.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  7. Got Jesus?

    You know you want him and need him in your life. Get a New Testament, believe it, and read it. It is the truth, it's from God through the Holy Spirit. Truth you need in your life.

    Don't listen to those 'got nothing?' atheists. They literally have nothing... nothing.... seriously, they have nothing.

    August 7, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • Athy

      We don't need any of your religious nonsense. Some weaker people may need it, which is fine, but we don't. Just don't push your crutch on others.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:45 am |
      • Got Jesus?

        You people always talk like Jesus would have to be a guy on the road in a wheel chair with a message board saying someone else should tell others the wisdom of God, while God is building planets, and the Holy Spirit is showing a sign someone misses a couple times around.... whatever. The Bible is very clear that God is the creator, that Jesus died for our sins if we believe him and repent, and do the will of God... and recognize the Holy Spirit is quite active in daily life.

        That's how it is... really.

        August 7, 2013 at 3:21 am |
        • sam stone

          Wow....you sure are delusional.

          If you really want to be with jeebus, it is easy.

          Do you have tall buildings where you live?

          August 7, 2013 at 4:57 am |
        • skytag

          This is what you believe, nothing more. There is no evidence for any of it, and only 3 people in 10 in the world share your beliefs. Show me some objective evidence. Until then I will continue to think of you and your kind as people who have embraced a comforting narrative because you can't deal with the harsher alternative.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • skytag

          @sam stone: "Do you have tall buildings where you live?"

          LOL So true. They wax rhapsodic over the thought of being in a better place with Jesus until the prospect of dying is eminent, at which point they fight tooth and nail to stay in this crappy place with us.

          Most Christians are such frauds. Why don't Christians advocate faith healing over modern medicine? If God wants you to live he can heal you. If it's your time to go to the "better place" and be with him, why use the the knowledge of men to thwart that?

          As best I can tell the Amish come as close as anyone to living the life the Bible admonishes Christians to lead, and in the things that should matter to Christians the Amish are much more successful, with low rates of divorce, mental illness, crime and so on. So why aren't more Christians Amish?

          Talk is cheap. Christians talk big, but they rarely actually live what they believe.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:42 am |
        • mk

          "The Bible is very clear that God is the creator, that Jesus died for our sins if we believe him and repent, and do the will of God... "

          Well......if a BOOK says it...

          August 7, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • fintastic

          The bible says the bible is true!

          August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • sam stone

      Got Jesus?: Atheists have reason. All you are is a condescending sycophant. Now, get back on your knees and grovel

      August 7, 2013 at 4:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So I'm supposed to believe it before I read it?
      That seems a mite backwards...

      August 7, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • skytag

      "Get a New Testament, believe it, and read it."

      In that order. Thanks, but no thanks. And for the record, dimwit, I've read it. A lot.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • skytag

      "Don't listen to those 'got nothing?' atheists. They literally have nothing... nothing.... seriously, they have nothing."

      We have reality and the truth. We do not have comforting fairytales to offer anyone. If reality is too harsh for you to deal with you should definitely try Christianity.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  8. Leigh Anne

    Quote-As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

    Actually you can it is very easy to dunk in water.

    The article seems to assume that churches have something to offer that Millennials need but cannot find elsewhere...incorrect. There are many many spiritual groups out there that bring one closer to one's Higher Power without all the baggage of religion.

    August 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • AE

      I think the author implies she is writing to millennial Christians, or Christians who don't go to church.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Athy

      That assumes there is a higher power, an assumption for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • AE

        Testimony is a form of evidence.

        Do you mean empirical evidence? Because a higher power, or God, is something that some scientists claim they gain knowledge about by studying empirical evidence.

        August 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • EE

          The saying "Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence" applies here. Testimony is insufficient when used to support the existence of something infinitely grand. Claiming to learn about a deity by studying empirical evidence is the standard fallacy of presuming a conclusion, those who would make such claims may do good works, but do not emulate the spirit of science.

          I'm inclined to support the OP's sentiment bonded with Athy's, church is one means to an end and that end can be found with or without an external community, the supernatural, or other placebos.

          August 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
        • AE

          Sure, but it seems like you are implying the article states non-Christians should go to church.

          It doesn't. She is writing to "those who follow Jesus".

          August 7, 2013 at 12:29 am |
        • EE

          I apologize for not being more clear,

          The term 'need' is one that I'm more concerned with than the distinction between Christians and non-Christians. Those who have left the church may feel more comfortable in a similar setting, but they have alternatives available to them. The Church needs followers more than the followers need the Church.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:41 am |
        • Athy

          2000-year-old testimony translated and retranslated many times is not evidence.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:46 am |
        • AE

          Jesus Christ asks his followers to be in community. And to do things like confession, baptism and communion. None of which you can do by yourself.

          I agree with the author, a Christian needs the church. Christians are created to be in relationship, like their Creator (Father, Son & Holy Spirit in relationship make God).

          August 7, 2013 at 1:04 am |
        • AE

          The Bible is a form of evidence. You may claim it is faulty evidence. But it is still evidence.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:08 am |
        • EE

          Well, personal opinions aside, Jesus didn't write the bible, dictate the bible, nor did he even live during the same period of time as any of the authors of the books within the bible. He probably didn't even live during the period of the writing of the library of books that never made it into the bible. What he may have wanted or stood for as a person is at best 3rd person information, more probably only loosely related.

          Are you aware that early Christians didn't even agree on the number of gods there were?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:10 am |
        • EE

          The bible is evidence to the same capacity that 'Spider man' comics are evidence.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          "The Bible is a form of evidence. You may claim it is faulty evidence. But it is still evidence."

          Sworn testimony in a murder case from the mother of the accused is also evidence, but that doesn't mean that one should trust it, right?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:20 am |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "The Bible is a form of evidence. You may claim it is faulty evidence. But it is still evidence."
          The only thing the bible is evidence of is the gullibility of people in large group.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:21 am |
        • AE

          Paul and Jesus were alive at the same time. They didn't meet until Jesus died and was resurrected, but even before meeting him Paul knew who Jesus was.

          What early Christians? The first Christians, the women Jesus revealed himself to? Or his disciples who abandoned him and completely doubted him? Or to one of the churches Paul wrote to?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:22 am |
        • Ken

          LinCA
          The Bible was written by a bunch of guys who loved their god emphatically. Would you trust anyone to tell the honest truth about someone they loved that much?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:24 am |
        • LinCA

          @Ken

          You said, "The Bible was written by a bunch of guys who loved their god emphatically. Would you trust anyone to tell the honest truth about someone they loved that much?"
          Me? Hell no!

          August 7, 2013 at 1:29 am |
        • AE

          The Bible is a collection of ancient stories, history, genealogies, poetry, songs, customs, laws, parables, prophecies, wise sayings and myths.

          It is an important piece of literature. It is evidence of how ancient people thought and what they did.

          But it is not God, and I don't worship the Bible. That would be idolatry.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • EE

          You might want to do some research, the book is referred to as written by Paul, but his name is the most commonly falsified name of that era. The majority of the biblical texts were forgeries, many others likely just shared the same name. It was common practice to use a famous name in ones own text to get it published and read.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • AE

          EE

          There are 7 books in the Bible attributed to Paul.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • EE

          Quite my point. 'His' contributions are entirely unreliable and generally accepted as not attributable to him.

          If you are accepting the bible to be a compilation of stories and myths, it seems strange to read instructions from it as though dictated by someone with authority. There are many book of different religions that contain much of the same wisdom, but with different roots and without the false claims of authorship.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:38 am |
        • AE

          EE
          –Quite my point. 'His' contributions are entirely unreliable and generally accepted as not attributable to him.–

          Paul was alive as the same time as Jesus. He wrote about him. He experienced Jesus in a way that modern people have, too.

          In your opinion this is not reliable, but in mine and in my experiences I can rely on the text. And I know other people who believe this way, too.

          –If you are accepting the bible to be a compilation of stories and myths, it seems strange to read instructions from it as though dictated by someone with authority. There are many book of different religions that contain much of the same wisdom, but with different roots and without the false claims of authorship.–

          I don't read the Bible as instructions dictated to me by someone with authority.

          I do read other books for wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

          But I'm a Christian – I'm not looking to join another religion. God is giving me exactly what I need today.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:49 am |
        • AE

          EE

          Thanks for the discussing this with me, but I need to run. Peace.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • EE

          You have turned to unfounded declarations. The only indication for Paul having written anything is within the texts which have been determined by religious scholars to have not been written by him. His experiences were not recorded by him.

          You had said previously that Christians should go to Church, etc, because of something Jesus stated. That would be a declaration based on authority.

          I believe and am glad that you have found something that works for you, regardless of what that may be.

          Goodnight.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • sam stone

          Which scientists are claiming they can know god through empirical evidence?

          August 7, 2013 at 4:52 am |
        • AE

          -Which scientists are claiming they can know god through empirical evidence?-

          Just to be clear: I'm not saying God can be proven through empirical evidence, but some scientists claim studying empirical evidence – or even the fact that there is empirical evidence – points to God.

          “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

          –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr.,

          “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”

          –Paul Davies

          “Physics filled me with awe, put me in touch with a sense of original causes. Physics brought me closer to God. That feeling stayed with me throughout my years in science. Whenever one of my students came to me with a scientific project, I asked only one question, ‘Will it bring you nearer to God?’ ”

          –Isidor Isaac Rabi

          August 7, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          If you cannot trust the Bible, which is the ultimate source of everything you were ever told about God, how can you be certain about what you believe about God? The well is tainted, isn't it?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • AE

          Because access to God is available to us today.

          It is not just something we read about in a book.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • Ken

        AE
        They may believe personally, but can these scientists actually speak professionally about justification for believing in a god? There are millions of doctors who still smoke, don't exercise and/or are obese worldwide. That's their personal choice of lifestyle, but can any of them defend it professionally?

        That's why I don't care who becomes an atheist, or who stops being one. I only care for their reasons for doing either. If they don't have good reasons, then what kind of example are they?

        August 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • AE

          –but can these scientists actually speak professionally about justification for believing in a god?–

          No, it is personal. You don't have to be a professional scientist to believe in or justify about your relationship with God.

          Your justification of God does not depend on what your peers or non-scientists who admire scientists personally believe.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  9. lol (ELL OHH ELL)

    Here's a wonderful debate between someone intelligent, and someone of faith (which means they are stupid).

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AS6rQtiEh8&w=640&h=360]

    Man. Just look at how stupid her face is. LOOK AT IT. That is pure stupid. Agonizing stupid. Perhaps the most painful stupid one can endure.

    August 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • niknak

      I did not get thru the whole thing as it froze up on me, but why didn't he ask her for her evidence of her position as to how we got here?
      She kept denying evolution, with it's mammoth amount of evidence, yet she provided zero evidence of her position.

      August 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
      • Dippy

        Its, not it's.

        August 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
        • niknak

          Thanks Dippy, I always get those wrong.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Handy Hint

          niknak,

          Just remember that the ONLY time you use an apostrophe in "it's" is when you mean "it is" or "it has".

          August 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • skytag

      Belittling someone's appearance to call her stupid is really childish. Sure, she's clearly trying hard to deny something she doesn't want to believe, but she doesn't appear to be that stupid.

      August 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
      • Colin

        Her looks aside, she is fvcking stupid. Really, really fvcking stupid.

        August 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • skytag

          Religion can make people look pretty stupid as they flail around trying to look as if their beliefs are consistent with the facts. And by that I mean, "you don't have enough facts to force me to admit I'd wrong." They never try to prove they're right, instead they're content to argue their opponents can't prove they're right.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • Sad little man trying to tear others down to feel better about himself.

          She must have turned him down.

          August 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • OOO

      I have seen this before. EXTREMELY painful to get through. Especially with that ignorant smile always beaming out while she says the most unbelievable things.

      August 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
      • skytag

        Yes, the smug smile is annoying. There are a lot of people who believe certainty is more important than being right. This is why Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin have such followings. They may say some of the dumbest stuff imaginable, but they say it with such conviction.

        August 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
      • skytag

        "I have seen this before. EXTREMELY painful to get through"

        I wouldn't know. I couldn't get through it. 😉

        August 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow, that was indeed painful. And to think over 40 percent of Americans believe the same way. It's almost as if she were a mindless robot with a tape loop for its audio track. How can Dawkins keep his cool during this encounter? I certainly wouldn't be able to.

      August 7, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • HarryGP

      Reverse evolution disproves evolution, and he lied, evolution is a theory, a got nothing guess. No one has ever witnessed nothing creating anything.

      God created the universe and sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ of Nazareth to die for the sins of those that believe him, repent and do the will of God. Thank you Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit!! Love you guys!

      August 7, 2013 at 1:01 am |
      • Ken

        We've witnessed bacteria and viruses evolve into strains resistant to medicine. Evolution happens. Nobody can seriously deny this.

        August 7, 2013 at 1:07 am |
      • Athy

        Well, HarryGP can. And after reading his comment one can easily see how intelligent and perceptive he is. So you just have to believe he's right. End of discussion. Thank you, Harry, for setting us straight.

        August 7, 2013 at 1:31 am |
      • sam stone

        oooh, "sins"....pretty scary stuff, for those who believe that tripe

        August 7, 2013 at 5:03 am |
  10. Colin

    The oddest thing about Christianity is that its god is not even mentioned in its holy book. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere in the entire Bible, is there a reference to the Christian God. This is because the zombie on the stick and the Holy Spirit were not added to Yahweh to create the Christian sky-fairy until well after the last book of the Bible was written.

    Amazing how few Christians realize this.

    August 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • fred

      You lost me. Matthew opens with the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

      August 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • lol (ELL OHH ELL)

        jesus? lol

        He died. Anyway, so what does that have to do with the original comment? You lost me when you sidestepped the original post.

        August 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • AE

      "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Genesis 3:15). "

      "Seed", "He" and "His" refers to what?

      August 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Colin- "The oddest thing about Christianity is that its god is not even mentioned in its holy book."

      Precisely what name are you referring to?

      August 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
      • Colin

        I'm not referring to a name, I'm referring to the Christian God – the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Not mentioned once.

        August 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • fred

          How many times did Jesus refer to the Father and the Holy Spirit ? A bunch.
          The Spirit of God was referenced throughout the Old Testament as was reference to Christ.
          The Nicene trinitarian doctrine did not show up till after the Bible was complete would be correct.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • Colin

          Fred, a rarely respond to you because you are really old and/or bat sh.it crazy, but please cite a clear Biblical reference to the Holy Trinity. Any.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @Colin- "I'm not referring to a name, I'm referring to the Christian God – the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Not mentioned once."

          I don't believe that there is any "god" called Holy Trinity but if you are looking for all three of them mentioned at the same time then please reference II Corinthians 13:14.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Colin,

          In one index I counted 30 references to the trinity throughout the bible. Here are few for you to sample, psalm 2:4-12, Ephesians 2:18, Matthew 3: 16-17, mark 1:10-11, numbers 6:22-27.....

          August 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • AE

          Genesis 1:26 – "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

          "our image" "our likeness"

          August 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • Reality

          Psalm 2:4-12, Ephesians 2:18, Matthew 3: 16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Numbers 6:22-27.....- all fail rigorous historic analyses,

          For example, as per the studies of contemporary Conservative Jewish rabbis, there were no Abraham and Moses, Ephesians was written by a pseudo Paul so there was no divine guidance, Jesus was baptized by the Baptizer but the dove and words from the heavens are pure mumbo-jumbo created by Mark and copied by Matthew. For added details see the studies of the contemporary NT scholars posted at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html .

          August 7, 2013 at 12:22 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          The queen of England often refers to herself as "our", but surely that doesn't mean that she is actually several people. Where were the other two back in the Garden?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Cliff G.

      Would you please repeat your comment in language the average person can understand?

      Or is this sky-fairy mumbo-jumbo?

      August 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  11. I'm a bad doctor

    Ever notice that uncouth swain never provides evidence for anything? He just disagrees and can never back up his denial. Classic DENY DENY DENY. Just like lycidas. They both say the same things. Their sentence structure is identical, and the ineptitude is a 100% match.

    I am so glad I'm not that guy.

    It is a known fact that jesus never existed, and his mythological story is borrowed from other myths. Common knowledge. Unless of course you're a blind believer helplessly and hopelessly clinging to the rotting deck of the sinking ship called christianity. Dig those fingernails in as hard as you can. But it won't do you any good. Marine wildlife can't wait to dine.

    August 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • hypocrite

      who do u usually post as? you want us to just imagine you popped in out of nowhere and came to this conclusion?

      August 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
      • niknak

        Yeah, I have been posting here a long time and have not seen that screen name.
        But the point he makes is valid nonetheless.

        August 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
      • Heil Seitan

        Yeah! Who do u usually post as cuz omg! Like I HAVE TO NO!

        August 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Uncouth Swain

        *snicker*
        Thanks, that made me smile. But what can we do...unimaginative haters are gonna hate.

        August 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • My cancer has aids

          Snicker? Are you that dumb blonde in the video above? Way to prove a point genius.

          August 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  12. Ken

    I've always wondered if Christianity would have become as popular as it has had Ponzi schemes been as common in the ancient world as they are today.

    August 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      There is no better Ponzi scheme than one where they don't have to show return on and of investment until after you die...

      August 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • skytag

      I'd say Ponzi artists owe a lot to religion, for it's religion that teaches people from an early age that feelings are more reliable for distinguishing between truth and falsehood than study, evidence, and reason. This mindset it what allows Ponzi artists to prey on people. Ponzi artists know how to make people feel they can be trusted, so the fact that they're offering unusually high rates of return or some other reward that sounds too good to be true doesn't raise a flag.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  13. niknak

    Gonna repost this as I wrote it lower down, but had some stuff to do and forgot to post it.

    Who would I be talking about with this description?

    1) Birth heralded by the star Sirius
    2) Born in a manger during the winter solstice
    3) Had no history between the ages of 12 and 30
    4) At 30 was baptized, and the baptizer was beheaded later
    5) Walked on water
    6) Healed the sick
    7) Was crucified
    8) Resurrected 3 days later and ascended to heaven

    Guess who?

    Jesus?

    NO!!

    Horus, an Egyptian god who existed some 1200 years BEFORE the jesus myth was invented.

    Do you xtians really think your jusus story was not totally ripped off and repackaged?

    Sorry guys, but you have fallen for a great big lie, invented to control you and separate you from your hard earned money

    August 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Colin

      Da.mn. I was going with Apollonius of Tyana or Mythrus.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Uncouth Swain

        Thank goodness you didn't because you would have been just as wrong as his Horus nonsense.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • Layla

          Not any more nonsensical than the Jesus myth. Nope.

          August 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          He ranks right up there with the fundies.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
      • Colin

        Not so. Before Jesus, Horus was a mythological figure from Egypt who was said to be born on December 25 to a virgin. A star in the East heralded his arrival and three kings came to worship the baby. At age 12, Horus was a prodigal child teacher and at age 30 he was baptized and began his ministry. He had 12 disciples, travelled about performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water and was known by terms such as “the good shepherd.” After he died, he was buried, but three days later he rose from the dead.

        Similarly, two centuries before the appearance of Jesus, the myth of Mithras (or Mythra) held that Mithras was the son of the sun sent to save mankind. He was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25, and his birth was attended by shepherds. Mithras sacrificed himself and, on the last day of his life, had supper with twelve of his followers. At that supper, Mithras invited his followers to eat his body and drink his blood. He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. The cult of Mithraism, which evolved out of the earlier Persian religion of Zoroastrism, was popular in Rome at the same time that Christianity was spreading.

        Similarly, before Jesus, Attis of Phrygia was said to be born of the virgin Nana on December 25, was crucified to save mankind and rose from the dead after three days, as did the Indian god, Krishna. So, for that matter, did the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus was hailed as ‘The Savior of Mankind’ and ‘The Son of God.’ Dionysus was born on December 25 after Zeus “visited” the mortal virgin Persephone. Announced by a star, he was born in a cowshed and was visited by three Magis. He turned water into wine, raised people from the dead and was followed by twelve apostles. His resurrection was a popular myth throughout the Roman Empire, although his name was different in each country. The rituals in honor of Dionysus included a meal of bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood. Other figures from the Mediterranean who died and were resurrected include Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Eshmun, Tammuz, Asclepius and Orpheus.

        I'm afraid your zombie of a stick is little more than a kernel of truth wrapped in a lot of prevailing mythology.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • Colin

          Sorry " zombie ON a stick"

          August 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • AE

          A zombie is the undead. Jesus was alive, resurrected from death.

          Big difference.

          You have posted this exact same thing before, where are your sources for the information?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Colin

          Try any treatise or introduction to the religion of the ancient Meditteranean.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @Colin- "Horus was a mythological figure from Egypt who was said to be born on December 25 to a virgin."

          Well, you got the mythological and Egypt part right. But you are wrong on the 25th and virgin part. The burden of proof falls on you.

          "A star in the East heralded his arrival and three kings came to worship the baby."

          Nope.

          "At age 12, Horus was a prodigal child teacher and at age 30 he was baptized and began his ministry."

          Nope.

          "He had 12 disciples, travelled about performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water and was known by terms such as “the good shepherd.”"

          Nope.

          "After he died, he was buried, but three days later he rose from the dead."

          Nope....good luck to provide credible evidence. The burden of proof falls on you here.

          "Similarly,... held that Mithras was the son of the sun sent to save mankind."

          Nope, Mithra was a sun god to the Romans and was the god of the morning sun to the Persions. Sent to save who? References?

          "He was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25, and his birth was attended by shepherds."

          Wrong on all that. He was born from a rock, not a virgin. Nothing about his death. He wasn't born on Dec 25th.

          "Mithras sacrificed himself and, on the last day of his life, had supper with twelve of his followers."

          Nope.

          "At that supper, Mithras invited his followers to eat his body and drink his blood. He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again."

          Nope.

          "The cult of Mithraism, which evolved out of the earlier Persian religion of Zoroastrism, was popular in Rome at the same time that Christianity was spreading."

          Hey!! OMgosh you got one right!

          "Attis of Phrygia...Krishna...Dionysus."

          Nope, nope, nope..all wrong.

          "I'm afraid your zombie of a stick is little more than a kernel of truth wrapped in a lot of prevailing mythology."

          I know of no zombie. You don't know anything really do you? You are such a sheep.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          But Jesus actually did die, and then rose again, correct? So, if you go by the Walking Dead version of zombies, isn't this the same thing?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • niknak

          Hey Uncouth, we HAVE the proof of Horus, as it is literally written in stone.
          The stone temple walls in the heiroglyphics in the pyramids and such in Egypt.

          But I know, if it contradicts your fairy tale, then you don't believe it.

          (funny side to this same story,
          A fundie at work with whom I had this same discussion actually took the time to look up the proof of Horus and found that yes, he was a god and his story was indeed in the writings of the Egyptians. He explained it as the same trap as the dino bones and DNA testing set by Satan to lead us away from god. You believers will never ever let go of your fairy tale regardless of how ridiculous it is)

          August 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • fred

          Colin
          Your first claim that Horus’ was born of a virgin conflicts with Egyptian text that states the goddess Isis was not a virgin given the golden phallus she used to conceive Horus.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • AE

          Aren't the Walking Dead zombies just a shell of what they used to be?

          There is a difference between a zombie and a person brought back to life. Right? Zombie undead. Resurrected person alive.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Hey niknak, no one denied that there was an egyptian god named Horus, Duh.

          "But I know, if it contradicts your fairy tale, then you don't believe it."

          Nothing you have put up conflicts with any of my beliefs. You haven't put up ANY evidence to back up the @ssertions you have made. You are no better than the fundies on here.

          "found that yes, he was a god and his story was indeed in the writings of the Egyptians."

          NO ONE said there wasn't a egyptian god named Horus. Pay attention.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • niknak

          Uncouth,
          The claim I am making is that an almost exact god existed with the same qualities as your jesus, in the same region, 1200 BEFORE jesus.
          That claim is proven.
          How can you not think that the people who wrote your bible did not copy that?
          You really think your jesus came along and mirrored Horus almost to a tee, and it was just some coincidence?

          And Horus is just one of many gods from other religions that existed before jesus that share many similarities with your bible.

          Face it bro, you have fallen for a myth.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @niknak- "The claim I am making is that an almost exact god existed..."

          But you have provided no evidence of this. Not one scrap of ancient parchment? Not one ancient carved wall? Nothing.

          "That claim is proven."

          The claim that the egyptians had a god name Horus is proven true. But that Horus was born of a virgin or any of the other things claimed have't been proven. None of it.

          "How can you not think that the people who wrote your bible did not copy that?"

          Probably because there is no evidence of it.

          "You really think your jesus came along and mirrored Horus almost to a tee, and it was just some coincidence?"

          I have no Jesus. Jesus did not mirror anything. You have yet to show otherwise.

          "And Horus is just one of many gods from other religions that existed before jesus that share many similarities with your bible."

          My bible is probably the same as yours. You seem to be missing the point. You have not shown ANY similarities between Jesus and Horus...none. You claim but you provide no evidence. Where exactly did you come up with the notion that Horus and Jesus are similar? Are you brave enough to say?

          August 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • niknak

          Dude, that is EXACTLY what tell you believers, that you have no EVIDENCE of your jesus and his claims of doing what he did.
          Just like the Egyptians had no evidence of Horus and virgin birth, walk on water etc, you have no evidence of jesus doing that.
          You don't even have any evidence he even existed. He in made up just like Horus.
          Worse part is he is not even original as they stole his story from Horus.

          I have no bible, as there is nothing contained in it that has any relevance to today or to me.
          It is a collection of stone age fables written and rewritten by goat herders to try to explain what they did not understand and to keep people in line.

          If you find something in it, then go ahead and believe in it.
          But stop trying to make us go along with it, and trying to pass it on as fact.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • skytag

          "I'm afraid your zombie of a stick"

          I think you know I don't give believers any slack, but this kind of provocatively disrespectful talk only makes you look bad. You have more than enough to work with without stooping to this kind of behavior.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @skytag- "You have more than enough to work with without stooping to this kind of behavior."

          Actually on this topic he really doesn't. He has yet to provide anything that shows Horus doing pretty much anything her claimed.
          I like that you didn't approve of his pointless comment on "zombie" stuff.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The mythical character of "Jesus" was nowhere near a stick when he became a zombie. You should use "cave zombie" instead.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • skytag

          @Uncouth Swain: "I like that you didn't approve of his pointless comment on "zombie" stuff."

          I think Christianity is nothing more than a comforting narrative designed to protect people from some of the harsher realities of life and encourage them to be better members of their society, but mocking things Christians hold sacred is childish and only serves to make useful discussion, which is difficult at best, impossible.

          I've seen Colin post some very well articulated arguments. He doesn't need to stoop to this to such tactics to argue that Christianity isn't what it claims to be.

          Of course no rational argument will get Christians to question what they believe. The authors of Christianity created for themselves a god so limitless, powerful, and beyond our comprehension that those who choose to believe in him can make up any rationalization they want to dismiss any argument offered. No matter what logic or test you try to use, there's always some reason it isn't valid because God is, well, you know, God. If God needed to be standing on every planet in the universe at the same time to refute an argument against him Christians could claim he's doing that at this very moment.

          Christians don't seek the truth, they seek to justify their beliefs.

          August 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          Resurrected bodies like everyone who has ever claimed a near death experience? Pretty common occurrence, and considering Jesus's short period on the cross, maybe points to his not really being dead in the first place, eh?

          August 7, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • fintastic

          Like Elvis??

          August 7, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @skytag- "I've seen Colin post some very well articulated arguments."

          I have as well but that's why it is so shocking to see him go down the pitiful road of blatant insults.

          "Of course no rational argument will get Christians to question what they believe."

          That I disagree with. Obviously if that was the case there would be fewer atheists out there.

          "Christians don't seek the truth, they seek to justify their beliefs."

          Would have to disagree with that. I've known many christians and religious ppl in general that search for truth.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • AE

      Can you post some references to back those up?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/better-atheist-fact-checking.html

      August 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • Colin

        Horus: Egyptian, 6000 BC
        Dionysus: Greek, 1500 BC
        Attis: Greek, 1200 BC
        Mithra: Zoroastrian, 600 BC
        Krishna: Hindu, 400 BC
        Jesus: Christian, 30 AD
        A) Born on Dec. 25 – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra and sometimes Jesus
        B) Virgin Birth – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
        C) Sign of Star in the East – Horus, Krishna, Jesus
        D) Adorned by 3 Kings – Horus, Jesus
        E) Teacher at age 12 – Horus, Mithra, Jesus
        F) Ministry started at 30 – Horus, Jesus
        G) 12 Disciples – Horus, Mithra, Jesus
        H) Traveled with Disciples Performing Miracles – Horus, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
        I) AKA The Truth, the Light, God’s Shepherd – Horus, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
        J) Betrayed – Horus, Jesus
        K) Crucified – Horus, Attis, Jesus
        L) Buried 3 days – Horus, Attis, Mithra, Jesus
        M) Resurrected – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus

        August 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • AE

          And where did you get that list?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/better-atheist-fact-checking.html

          August 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @Colin- You are wrong on all of this.

          "A) Born on Dec. 25 – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra"

          Wrong

          "B) Virgin Birth – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra"

          Wrong

          "C) Sign of Star in the East – Horus, Krishna"

          Wrong

          "D) Adorned by 3 Kings – Horus, Jesus"

          Wrong

          "E) Teacher at age 12 – Horus, Mithra"

          Wrong

          "F) Ministry started at 30 – Horus"

          Wrong

          "G) 12 Disciples – Horus, Mithra"

          Wrong

          Long story short...you are incorrect and have offered up to evidence because there is none to offer.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Uncouth, You're not providing any evidence either.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Timothy

          Uncouth Swain
          Source?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • AE

          Look at wikipedia. And then follow their sources. And you can read the actual stories.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "the book The Christ Conspiracy claim that Horus was born of a virgin. Egyptian texts demonstrate that Horus’ mother was the goddess Isis, and not a human virgin. Horus was conceived when Isis resurrected the dismembered god Osiris and had intercourse with him, which precludes the idea of virginity, and certainly parthenogenesis. However, Isis' intercourse with Osiris did not involve the use of Osiris' lost phallus, but, rather, the golden phallus Isis had fashioned. This standing, it may be said that Horus was divinely conceived of a female whom had not had intercourse with a male's organic phallus. So being, the term 'virgin' is debatable in reference to Isis, but Horus' birth by divine intervention (the golden phallus) through a female whom had not had intercourse with a male's organic phallus is not as debatable"

          August 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @In Santa we trust- "You're not providing any evidence either."

          HAHAHa...I don't have to. The burden of proof falls on the one making the positive claim. That's not me.
          Why are you not asking Colin and company for evidence?

          @Timothy- "Source?"

          Source for what? Evidence to prove the negative?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Colin

          Uncooth Swain – you have to keep the religious atmosphere that pervaded the ancient Mediterranean in context when evaluating any claims about Jesus. It is not as though Jesus dropped like a bombshell into a religious vacuum or would be somehow magically immune to mystical claims as his fame spread throughout a supersti.tious region. His life, the lives of those who heard and retold his stories and the lives of those who docu.mented his life all played out in a rich environment of paganism, Judeo-mysticism and mythology. Of course these people were heavily influenced by the religion of their times, just like you and I are.

          This pervasive air of mysticism and supersti.tion was not restricted to religious figures. Emperors and prominent politicians were also often assigned supernatural traits. The first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, who was emperor when Jesus was born, had the ti.tle of “the savior of the human race.” Roman legend held that Augustus had been born nine months after his mother was visited at night by the god Apollo. The poet, Virgil, reputedly foretold in 40BC that a king would be born of a virgin and it was believed that Augustus’ birth fulfilled this prophesy. It was widely (and falsely) rumored among ordinary Romans that, in the year of Augustus’ birth, the Roman Senate ordered the murder of all other children born that year.

          To think the zombie on a stick and the stories about him would NOT be influenced by prevailing mythology is very, very self-serving.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          @Colin- "you have to keep the religious atmosphere...."

          Blab blab blab....no evidence. Just factless theory. You are trying to change the subject now. Perhaps there was influence (though you fail to prove that too) but that isn't what was being asked. You made claims about those various characters and I say you have no reliable evidence to back it up.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Uncouth Swain

          "The burden of proof falls on the one making the positive claim."

          OK so let's hear your evidence for a god.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Ken

          I prefer actual books, with references to Wiki, which can be "edited" very easily. Try Don't Know Much About Mythology and Don't Know Much About the Bible by Kenneth C Davis for supporting references on the many gods and heroes who have things in common with Jesus.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          In Santa we trust- "OK so let's hear your evidence for a god"

          Why numbnuts? I've never made a claim that any god exists.
          Why all this focus on me? You should be attacking Colin for not providing evidence for his positive claims. You're not showing favortism are you?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Uncouth, Are you speaking for Lycidas as well?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Of course since I use both handles...never hid that fact.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Ken

        Try Lord Raglan's The Hero, A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama In it he outlined 22 common traits of god-heroes. They are:
        1. The hero's mother is a royal virgin;
        2. His father is a king, and
        3. Often a near relative of his mother, but
        4. The circu mstances of his conception are unusual, and
        5. He is also reputed to be the son of a god.
        6. At birth an attempt is made, usually by his father or his maternal grandfather, to kill him, but
        7. He is spirited away, and
        8. Reared by foster parents in a far country.
        9. We are told nothing of his childhood, but
        10. On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future kingdom.
        11. After a victory over the king, and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast,
        12. He marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor, and
        13. Becomes king.
        14. For a time he reigns uneventfully, and
        15. Prescribes laws, but
        16. Later loses favor with the gods and/or his subjects, and
        17. Is driven from the throne and city, after which
        18. He meets a mysterious death,
        19. Often at the top of a hill.
        20. His children, if any, do not succeed him.
        21. His body is not buried, but nevertheless
        22. He has one or more holy sepulchers.

        He scored several heroes according to his profile, and he found:

        Oedipus 21, Theseus 20, Romulus 18, Heracles 17, Perseus 18, Jason 15, Bellerophon 16, Pelops 13, Asclepius 12, Dionysus 19, Apollo 11, Zeus 15, Joseph 12, Moses 20, Elijah 9, Watu Gunung 18, Nyikang 14, Sigurd or Siegfried 11, Llew Llawgyffes 17, King Arthur 19, and Robin Hood 13.

        August 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Colin

          You can add any introductory treatise on Greco-Roman and/or Meditteranean mythology. There is a great series b ythe teaching company, "Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World" by Professor Glenn S. Holland of Allegheny College. Puts to the sword the silly claims of the Christians about the mythology of their zombie on a stick being original.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Thank you for at least trying Ken. Better than most on here.
          I also saw where it is said that, "Thus Raglan calculated the likelihood that these protagonists were actual historical figures."

          And from what I saw (don't have the book but it at least sounds interesting to get) about the book, he doesn't exactly prove any of his positions exactly. He doesn't offer up ancient evidence. If I missed something, please show me.

          @Colin- you still fail at showing any of what you claim as Horus history.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Ken

          Uncouth Swain
          By most accounts Jesus would score pretty high on this list, and if Raglan thought this was proof of all their historicity, that still puts Jesus in the same league as characters like Hercules. Being the son of a god was common enough in the ancient world then.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:04 am |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Scoring high on a list isn't proof that the story of Jesus took from anything else.
          I doubt the author did much in regards to indepth research and relied heavily on other people's work that came before. Perhaps I'm incorrect but I doubt we will know.

          August 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Ken

        AE
        That patheos site cites other web sites as references for its claims. Do you not see the problem with that?

        August 7, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Ken

      Too many possible answers to that one. That's why you'll probably never see it on Final Jeopardy!

      August 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • illusive

      As much as I would like what you said to be true, its not. Horus did not do all those things, the closest god to Jesus would be Mythra. Zeitgeist was just another "conspiracy theory movie" and most of what it said was wrong.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @niknak

      "Who would I be talking about with this description?"

      The answer is NO ONE.

      "1) Birth heralded by the star Sirius"

      No one.

      "2) Born in a manger during the winter solstice"

      No one.

      "3) Had no history between the ages of 12 and 30"

      Only Jesus, unless you can provide academic citation for someone else.

      "4) At 30 was baptized, and the baptizer was beheaded later"

      Only Jesus.

      "5) Walked on water, 6) Healed the sick, 7) Was crucified, 8) Resurrected 3 days later and ascended to heaven"

      Only Jesus, unless you got evidence to say otherwise...which you do not.

      "Horus, an Egyptian god...."

      Nope, Horus did NONE of those. NONE.

      "Do you xtians really think your jusus story was not totally ripped off and repackaged?"

      You have not shown that anyone ripped off anyone.

      "invented to control you and separate you from your hard earned money"

      Who invented it? Provide facts or go by the way side with all the other fundies.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • Alison Tschains

        STFU

        August 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • illusive

        Horus did do a few of those things.....just not all.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Uncouth Swain

          Which ones and what evidence is there?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  14. Colin

    So, with Lycadis' departure, I guess we're left with AE, and he isn't even a Christian. He's an agnostic.

    August 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Alison Tschains

      Mostly he acts like a douche regardless of what he believes.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Colin

        What I don't get is his Orwellian double-speak. He claims to be Christian, but when I asked him three fundamental tenets of Christianity, he responded as follows:

        AE

        -the origins of life on Earth

        Nobody knows.

        -the origins of the Universe

        Nobody knows.

        -the question of life after death

        Nobody knows.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        So, I guess he is either agnostic or too fvcking stupid to realize that Christianity claims answers to all these questions.

        August 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • AE

          Did you notice who posted that? I wasn't taking that guy seriously, because he wasn't honestly asking me those questions, but trying to lead me into some kind of lame trap.

          Man, you always claim to be some kind of fan of logic and reason. But it seems like the only reasoning you use is rationalizing your abusive and sick behavior as somehow being ok.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Colin

          Well, answer it now. I made the point that you claim to know the answers to 3 of the greatest mystries of all time (those listed) and you denied it. So make up your mind.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • AE

          Wait, were you posting as Santa?

          You didn't ask those questions!

          Any way, the basis of following Jesus is not based on answering those questions.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • AE

          I never made that claim.

          I follow Jesus Christ who asks me to believe in him and follow him.

          Not answer questions to the satisfaction of internet atheists. I'm not judged by your understanding of what a Christian may or may not be. Thank God!

          Usually, the only time I tell someone when they are wrong is when they say something wrong – like stereotyping all Christians or try to tell me what I believe.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Alison Tschains

          Great, now when you call him out on his nutty circular logic, he was 'not taking it seriously' and your behavior is 'abusive and sick'.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • Alison Tschains

          "Not answer questions to the satisfaction of internet atheists. I'm not judged by your understanding of what a Christian may or may not be. Thank God!"

          You sure act like it's important to you though.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Colin

          Allison, the problem he faces is that Christianity claims the answers to the greatest questions in the history of human thought, but when you confront an individual Christian with that fact, they suddenly realize how enourmous their claim is and have to cower away from the issue.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I probably do get a little worked up. It is just one man's opinion – and one, like mine, that has to be posted in the comment section of someone else's professional article.

          Nobody is paying any of us for what we write.

          So I'm not going to take this too seriously! 🙂

          August 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • AE

          Colin

          I don't think Christianity is about answering the greatest questions in the history of human thought. I have never heard anyone but you make that claim.

          And you present an opinion or what you imagine we believe and proclaim it a fact.

          And then you get hostile and call me demeaning names, and sometimes you cause our threads to get deleted because of your behavior and actions.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Colin

          AE – are you serious? Let me quote from the creed of beliefe you posted below.

          I believe in God, the Father almighty,
          creator of heaven and earth....

          the resurrection of the body,
          and the life everlasting. AMEN.

          So you DO claim to know the answersto f3 of the greatest mystries of humankind. I can only assume you are an ex-drug addict or alcoholic to post such contradictory posts with blissful ignorance.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I never made that claim...

          I follow the tailor Hesus Godt who made such beautiful translucent clothes and who asks me to model them and maybe buy more of his finery. It aint cheap but it's worth it!! It almost feels like i'm wearing nothing at all...!

          Not answer questions to the satisfaction of internet fashionistas. I'm not judged by your understanding of what looks good on me or not. Thank Godt!

          Usually, the only time I tell someone when they are wrong is when they say something wrong – like stereotyping my clothing or try to tell me to put some clothes on, as if i'm not wearing the most magnificent garments money can buy!!

          August 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Seek first the kingdom domains of God and once found give joys to those who dare proclaim its whereabouts..! Where then does anyone find their views upon God's kingdom domains presence..?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          No I copied Colin's questions as you have sidestepped them.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE
          "Did you notice who posted that? I wasn't taking that guy seriously, because he wasn't honestly asking me those questions, but trying to lead me into some kind of lame trap."

          I was honestly asking you those questions – you've been continually evading answering questions. You claim a god and have nothing to support your claims. When pressed you fall back on the "I believe and you need to be humble". On that particular thread I was repeating Colin's questions to you (as I tried to say above but omitted to address to AE).

          August 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • AE

          I can't take a man who has emotional outbursts and posts obsent.ities toward me(Colin) and a man named "In Santa We Trust" very seriously.

          So when I was presented with those questions, I posted "Nobody knows".

          I should have just ignored those men and their biased questions they were just asking to try and make a point. Sorry!

          Peace be with you all.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE
          "I can't take a man named "In Santa We Trust" very seriously."
          Why? AE is not your real name either. Trusting in Santa is as logical as trusting in a god. There's no evidence for either.

          "I should have just ignored those men and their biased questions ..."
          How are the questions biased? You claim a god and can provide no evidence for one. Those questions are fundamental to any religion.

          Again you have no answer.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • AE

          I am responding, you just don't like my answers.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, You may be using the Reply option but you are not answering the questions about the foundation of (your) christian belief and how that contradicts the knowledge that we have which the authors of the bible did not.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Dippy

          AE, you've just got to learn how to spell "obscenities". Do you think you could do that?

          August 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • niknak

      AE claims he is a xtian now.
      After some trauma in his life he won't divulge was settled by some xtian, he says he sees the light.
      I think it is just an oncoming train though.

      AE, give yourself more credit.
      You got thru your issues because of YOU, not because of some big brother.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • AE

      Whatever you imagine a Christian is and how you have described it, is not me.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Colin

        You are like a sliipery eel. You constantly assert the existence of the Judeo-Christian God, but when the enormity of that assertation is put in your face, you deny it.

        I think I just heard a c.ock crow three times – or was that once......

        August 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • AE

          I deny your understanding of God.

          I'm not denying Jesus Christ.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Colin

          So, do yo ubelieve he was the Son of God, sent to save mankind from their sins so they could have everlasting life in the presence of the creator of all?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • AE

          I believe in God, the Father almighty,
          creator of heaven and earth.

          I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
          who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
          born of the Virgin Mary,
          suffered under Pontius Pilate,
          was crucified, died, and was buried;
          he descended to the dead.
          On the third day he rose again;
          he ascended into heaven,
          he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
          and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

          I believe in the Holy Spirit,
          the holy catholic church,
          the communion of saints,
          the forgiveness of sins,
          the resurrection of the body,
          and the life everlasting. AMEN.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • illusive

          So basically the standard Christian (most likely Roman Catholic), how is this different from the christian we imagined you were?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Colin

          So, you DO claim to know the secrets to the origins of the Universe, the oprigins of life on Earth and the question of life after death. Why did you deny this earlier?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • illusive

          Technically he did not, he just claimed to believe the Jesus thing, many Christians do that while not taking things like Genesis seriously, but in that statement he made he DID answer one of those questions (afterlife).

          August 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • Colin

          Illusive – read the first tow and last two lines of his creed.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • AE

          Colin

          Honestly, the way you phrase it is not how I would. So, no, I don't accept the words you are trying to apply to me.

          I believe in God. I have been saved by Jesus Christ. And I am living my life in response to that.

          I humbly accept that God is my creator, has a purpose for my life and that death is not the final outcome.

          August 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          How could you tell that you were actually saved by Jesus Christ rather than saved just by your belief in Jesus Christ?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • illusive

          For some reason I guess I missed the line "creator of heaven and earth", I stand corrected.

          AE- after you claiming that you don't know the answers to those questions, you then go on to give answers to those questions.
          1. Origins of earth and universe– "creator of heaven and earth"
          2. Is there an afterlife? – "he ascended into heaven" and "Life everlasting"
          3. Ok, you have not technically answered the origin of life question....can I assume for the sake of argument that you (or the church you believe in and follow) claim "God created all life" as well?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • skytag

          @illusive: "So basically the standard Christian (most likely Roman Catholic)"

          I believe he said he's an Anglican lay minister planning to enter the seminary. From his comments I would guess he's not very bright and has no background in a field that makes significant use of logic. His comments are of a simple nature, often little more than regurgitating standard Christian teachings and sound bites. He often seems to miss the points people are making and seems to believe quoting a scientist who believes in God proves something.

          He never even attempts to answer my questions, either because he can't understand what I'm asking or because he doesn't want to confront the fact that he has no answer. In fact, all of his "answers" seem to be limited to stock Christian sayings and teachings. I have yet to observe any comments from him displaying independent thought. He makes an ideal Christian.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • illusive

          Skytag- I have only seen this pages worth of comments, I was not "privileged" to read all the others. So basically the standard apologist, got it.

          Only guessed roman catholic because of a few lines in his comment "holy catholic church, the communion of saints"

          August 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • AE

          "holy catholic church, the communion of saints"

          No, "catholic" mean "universal" in this case. Some denominations now say "Christian" instead of "Catholic", but many Protestants still say "catholic" (but use the little "c" definition).

          August 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • illusive

          Like I said it was a guess...point is you do claim to know the origins of earth and universe (God did it) , and whether or not there is an afterlife (there is one).

          August 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • AE

          I told you what I believe. How this was done and what the after life entails is still a mystery to me. The questions and statements aimed toward me seem to imply some kind of certainty that I'm not trying to claim.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          But i asked how you could tell that you were actually saved by Jesus Christ, a being, rather than saved just by your belief in that being? Wouldn't just the belief in this being helping you have accomplished what you claim without him actually being real?

          August 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • AE

          I wasn't saved by my belief. I came to believe after being saved.

          August 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Zombie God

          AE

          I wasn't saved by my belief. I came to believe after being saved.
          ....................

          Before the moment you accepted that you were saved, you had to believe. The moment you decided to have faith out of the absence of credible evidence....you felt the emotion and comfort of being saved. You "believed" in a man that died for your sins and rose as a zombie. You eat of flesh and drink of his blood as a zombie would do.

          It was through belief that you believe or have the perception you were saved.

          Praise Zombie Christ

          August 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          I don't buy your timeline of events. If you experienced some life-changing event, you had to believe in Jesus before hand. Otherwise, how did you decide that it was Jesus working on you afterwards when pretty much every other religion, and quite a few philosophies, have alternative explanations?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • illusive

        I generally imagine Christians however they describe themselves.

        So what kind of christian are you?

        August 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • fintastic

          I love when they pull the "not a true christian" card from the deck.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • skytag

        @AE: "I wasn't saved by my belief. I came to believe after being saved."

        This is universally inconsistent with Christian doctrine, which states that to be saved you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, or stated another way, that you believe he is the literal son of God the Father, sent here to die on the cross and take upon himself the sins of all those who would believe in him. According to Christian doctrine you cannot be saved before believing.

        August 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
        • LinCA

          @skytag

          AE said: "I wasn't saved by my belief. I came to believe after being saved."
          To which you said, "According to Christian doctrine you cannot be saved before believing."

          I doubt it is inconsistent in the mind of AE. My guess is that AE claims to have been an atheist under the notion that someone who doesn't go to church for a few years is an atheist. I sincerely doubt that AE ever stopped believing in the god of his/her indoctrination. I suspect that he/she may have been angry at his/her god. Probably in his/her late teens, or early twenties. Likely because no signs of it were discernible.

          Atfer a few years of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll (you know, the typical atheist fare), some insignificant event was blown out of proportions, the doubt chucked aside, and the fundie born.

          August 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Jalnar

          skytag, I understood this to be an issue of dispute among different Christian sects. Is there a place in the bible from which you are getting that claimas so definitive?

          August 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • skytag you big dumby!!!!1!!!111!!!11

          saul was on his way to persecute xtians, and jesus savgd him eventhough he didnt believe in jesus!

          August 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
        • LinCA

          @skytag you big dumby!!!!1!!!111!!!11

          You said, "saul was on his way to persecute xtians, and jesus savgd him eventhough he didnt believe in jesus!"
          Holy fucking shit. Please tell me that you are an atheist who is just trying to make fun of christians by making them look even dumber than they already are. Don't bother, they don't need any help in that department.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:17 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          The actual joint declaration accepted by both the Roman Church and the Anglican community says "We are saved by grace, through faith..." Point being, it is God who does the saving, not man. The act of salvific grace is a pure expression of God's love and mercy. The only response required of man is acceptance of that grace. At which point, the penitent enters a new life, in which he is invited to a deeper experience of that grace. This he acquires by faithfully receiving the sacraments and accepting the yoke of Christ.

          Hope this helps.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • Ken

          Bill Deacon
          How many people actually "get saved" right out of the blue, without the help of some Christian to teach them that whatever they are experiencing has to be the Holy Spirit working in their lives? Doubtlessly, millions of people in non-Christian areas also experience life-altering events, but why are they assuming that it's their god, or philosophy at work and not the HS? Isn't it more obvious that the HS is just a cultural explanation for some internal process of self-rejuvination?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  15. lamelionheart

    As my aged self gets one day ever closer toward my finality-day, I arise and do rise up from a dead sleep never quite sure of my dream-states reasoning away... What that is which I once was, will I ever be such again..? Where then does rationality begin amidst any a daydreamer's revelations..?

    August 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Huh???

      Over there, in that little box next to the table.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Please dont feed the troll.

      August 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why wait?

      August 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • niknak

      See, now that one was more like a 5 on the Emulating Cowardlylion scale.

      You are just not getting his cadence down right.
      Or his word order and punctuation.

      August 6, 2013 at 5:11 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.