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August 24th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Should Christianity be so boring?

Opinion by Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - No one has ever accused us Christians of being fun.

No one has ever said we are a laugh-filled group.

No atheist has ever said, “I might not love Jesus, but his followers sure know how to party!”

And yet, in my favorite story in the Bible we actually see Jesus paint the opposite picture.

If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke referenced in approximately 42 million sermons. If you’ve missed it though, allow me to summarize.

A young son said to his dad, who represents God, “I want my inheritance.” This was the cultural equivalent of saying, “I wish you were dead!” The father gives him the money. The son immediately runs off to the Jersey shore and fist pumps the night away with 4 Loko and Skrillex. [Not a direct translation.]

After squandering all the money and awakening in a pig pen, the son devises a plan. He will come home, apologize and throw himself at the mercy of the father. His greatest hope is that the father will let him be a servant. He can’t even imagine getting to keep the title “son.”

He comes home expecting punishment, but instead something weird happens.

The father sees him from a distance and sprints toward him. He runs toward him and embraces him. Before the son can even get his whole apology out, the father has already started planning the last thing he expected.

A party.

Instead of punishment he gets a party.

The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy.

Who does that?

Life doesn’t work that way. Imagine that you messed up at work. Your boss called you in and said, “Johnson you lost our biggest account! You just cost this company more than 3 million dollars. You know what that makes me want to do? Throw you a party!”

Or think about this in the context of a marriage. Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? Not a fake argument but one that lands you on the couch overnight.

You come into the kitchen and your wife is doing that “mad dishwashing” move we all do when we’re upset. Just power scrubbing pots and pans with a vengeance, mumbling the entire time.

You approach her slowly and say, “Heyyyy baby, how do you feel this morning?” Without looking at you, she takes a deep breath and says, “You really hurt my feelings. Last night, you really surprised me by what you did. My mom was right about you. I’m so angry and disappointed. This whole thing makes me want to get an inflatable bounce house and throw a huge celebration in your honor!”

That would be ludicrous.

Our worst mistakes don’t end in parties, but in this story in the Bible, it did.

When given the opportunity to talk to a group of people, the picture Jesus drew of his Father was of a party giver; someone who met sinners with welcome home banners.

What if Christians were like that?

What if churches became the place where failures found new beginnings?

What if we were known for our parties, not for our Pharisees?

It all feels a little crazy, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

Christians should offer hope in exchange for hurt, new in exchange for old, parties in exchange for pain.

Are we there yet?

Nope, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got a lot of things to work through, a lot of progress we have to make.

But when you think about the prodigal son story, I hope you will remember something.

Two people moved.

One walked.

One ran.

And we prodigals are the walkers.

We still have a running God.

And he is ready to throw a party.

Jon Acuff is a keynote speaker and the author of four books including The New York Times best-seller, START. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jon Acuff

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion

soundoff (4,711 Responses)
  1. Troll Hunter

    I thought this was an article about Christianity? Wonder why there are so many atheist trolls even reading it?

    August 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you make a common and childish error. articles in the belief blog are for anyone interested in them, not just for christians.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Troll Hunter

        I understand that TROOLS. My question was .... Why are the atheists even reading it? Remember TROLLS you don't believe in God orGod's as you often put it. So why waste your Saturday on something you don't believe in in the first place?

        August 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          what a dumb question. seriously.

          why do people that don't believe in odin, ra or zeus read about them?

          August 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          I don't. I also don't Troll atheist columns either.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Wow, you just got caught in your own lie..

          "Troll Hunter Aug 24, 9:14 am
          Not at all Truth. But someone who is continuously putting someone down for that belief,and implying that their opinion is the only opinion, is in fact a TROLL."

          So it is only christians who you think deserve a say.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          TruthTroll answer the question. Why are you reading an article that you care nothing about? You don't believe in God or God's remember?

          August 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          TruthTroll- Where did i lie? I am not putting you down. I simply asked why the atheist are TROLLING on the article. If being called a TROLL hurt's your feeling's , then i don't know what to tell ya.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Troll hunter is using a different definition of the word troll. It thinks that anyone who has something of disagreement to say is a troll, while others would define it as someone who posts off topic comments, or inflammatory remarks to provoke emotional response. Odd that it hasn't identified itself, but then it has been misidentifying trolls all day.

          August 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          Richard – I define a TROLL as someone who has to be hateful and disrespectful towards others and their opinions. I also define a TROLL as someone with no interest/belief in something, but yet has to ridicule others that do. That is precisely how i find TROLLS.

          August 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Dippy

          Troll Hunter, it's "hurts", not "hurt's". It's "feelings", not "feeling's". Go back to fifth grade. And stay awake this time.

          August 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ Dippy

          I used to teach fifth grade, and they would be laughing their asses off at this guy's grammar.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:01 am |
        • Doobs

          @ Dippy

          Fifth graders would be laughing their asses off at this guy's grammar.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • niknak

      Because we are tired of you believers trying to pass your fairy tale off as fact.
      If you believers would stop trying to get your imaginary friend into our government, our courts, our medicine, or schools and our bedrooms, then we would not care how much time you spend howling at the moon.

      And it would be nice if your houses of worship would start paying their fair share of local property taxes too.
      Freeloaders.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • niknak

      Because we are tired of you believers trying to pas s your fairy tale off as fact.
      If you believers would stop trying to get your imaginary friend into our government, our courts, our medicine, or schools and our bedrooms, then we would not care how much time you spend howling at the moon.

      And it would be nice if your houses of worship would start paying their fair share of local property taxes too.
      Freeloaders.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • niknak

      Because we are tired of you believers trying to demand that we recognize your fairy tale as fact.

      If you believers would stop trying to get your imaginary friend into our government, our courts, our medicine, or schools and our bedrooms, then we would not care how much time you spend howling at the moon.

      And it would be nice if your houses of worship would start paying their fair share of local property taxes too.
      Freeloaders.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • niknak

        Sorry for the multiple posts, the god filter is against me.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      you should be grateful, actually
      we're the only link to reality that you have left

      August 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • Troll Hunter

        Link to what? ROTFLMAO. How gracious of you.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      It's a fence-line issue I think... No gates... Only fence-posts...

      August 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Troll Hunter

      Austin, is that me?

      August 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  2. Arvoasitis

    It seems a very relevant to wonder whether we do associate the intended emotion, and in the correct proportion, with the Bible stories. For example, it is said that anyone who can read the story of Cain and Abel without weeping either does not grasp the enormity of the tragedy or else has a heart of stone. The story of the prodigal son also has a dark side in the repeating theme of brothers in conflict in the OT.

    Some of the NT sayings of Jesus might make more sense if it is assumed that Jesus was either jesting or being sarcastic. Consider, for example, Jesus and the Syrian woman or Jesus and the fig tree.

    August 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  3. toadfun

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

    Epicurus (c. 341 – c. 270 BC)

    August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  4. Jeebusss

    OF COURSE Christianity is boring. It's a badly written self-contradictory book written by a bunch of barbaric goat-herders 2000 years ago. A child could come up with a more impressive sounding and coherent story, with many less geographical and chronological mistakes.

    August 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Moz

      I'll bite: What contradictions?

      August 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Jeebusss

        Literally an endless stream. Even books within themselves can't get their story straight. Genesis for example says in 1:25 that man came after the animals were created, but then in 2:18 says man was created before the animals.

        Anyone who has actually read the Bible cover to cover knows what a laughable joke it is.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Archer

          That's Genesis, which is generally regarded as literary history, and was compiled before Homer wrote the Iliad. Christian belief is centered on the New Testament, which is less than 2,000 years old.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • niknak

          Of course Archer, you believers ALWAYS have an out when the babble puts god and jeebus in a bad light.

          But it is so easy just to make up an excuse for why the babble contradicts itself, and for all the horrible stuff it contains.
          When you are dealing with magic, anything is possible.......or explainable.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Colin

        Moz, here's 20.

        1. God is satisfied with his works
        Gen 1:31
        God is dissatisfied with his works.
        Gen 6:6

        2. God dwells in chosen temples
        2 Chron 7:12,16
        God dwells not in temples
        Acts 7:48

        3. God dwells in light
        Tim 6:16
        God dwells in darkness
        1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2

        4. God is seen and heard
        Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
        Ex 24:9-11
        God is invisible and cannot be heard
        John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16

        5. God is tired and rests
        Ex 31:17
        God is never tired and never rests
        Is 40:28

        6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
        Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
        God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
        things
        Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8

        7. God knows the hearts of men
        Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
        God tries men to find out what is in their heart
        Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12

        8. God is all powerful
        Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
        God is not all powerful
        Judg 1:19

        9. God is unchangeable
        James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
        God is changeable
        Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
        Ex 33:1,3,17,14

        10. God is just and impartial
        Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
        God is unjust and partial
        Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12

        11. God is the author of evil
        Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
        God is not the author of evil
        1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13

        12. God gives freely to those who ask
        James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
        God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
        them
        John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17

        13. God is to be found by those who seek him
        Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
        God is not to be found by those who seek him
        Prov 1:28

        14. God is warlike
        Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
        God is peaceful
        Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33

        15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
        Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
        God is kind, merciful, and good
        James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
        1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8

        16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
        Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
        God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
        Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5

        17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
        sacrifices ,and holy days
        Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
        God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
        sacrifices, and holy days.
        Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12

        18. God accepts human sacrifices
        2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
        God forbids human sacrifice
        Deut 12:30,31

        19. God tempts men
        Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
        God tempts no man
        James 1:13

        20. God cannot lie
        Heb 6:18
        God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
        2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9

        August 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Chubbs

          W00t! The King of the Trolls has returned!

          August 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Colin

          Chubb, disagree with any of them?

          August 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          more likely he just doesn't like the hypocrisy of the bible pointed out.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Chubbs

          The Bible was written over the course of a thousand years by dozens of people. God didn't personally write it; he inspired it. You really expect no inconsistency in such a compilation? I'm more impressed by how well it fits together given how it was written in the first place. It would be like putting a novel together in which the first chapter was written by Cicero and the last by Stephen King, with another 60-odd writers from interpolated times betwixt the twain.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • niknak

          Gotz news for you Chubby, the believers I work with say every word was written by god itself.
          And that god guides the hand of every doctor, every scientist and every good deed that is done.

          Funny how when it is the bad things, god gets a pass and it is free will of the offender.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • OTOH

          Chubbs,

          No, it would be more like Stephen King read all of the previous books and heard the stories and continued the saga in like form. Plus, the committee that compiled the 'final' version picked and chose only those stories which fit their party line.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        come on, you're playing the innocent. what contradictions...? how many do you want?

        Who is the father of Joseph?
        MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
        LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

        Which first–beasts or man?
        GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
        GEN 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.
        GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
        GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

        The sins of the father
        ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
        DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

        Jesus' last words
        MAT 27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
        LUK 23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
        JOH 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

        God be seen?
        EXO 24:9,10; AMO 9:1; GEN 26:2; and JOH 14:9
        God CAN be seen:
        "And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
        "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
        "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)
        God CANNOT be seen:
        "No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
        "And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
        "Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)

        there are literally hundreds of contradictions in the bible - do your homework.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • sativa619

        Here's just ONE (glaring) inconsistency:

        Thou shalt not Kill.

        Thou shalt stone adulterous women to DEATH.

        There are thousands of these little things.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Colin

        Moz, here's another example. Let's look at the contradi.ctory way the 4 Gospels tel lthe story of Jesus' resurrection.

        Who went to the tomb?

        Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.
        Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
        Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women. At least five women.
        John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – Only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

        What did they find there?

        Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the two Marys and Salome to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them.

        Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb. There is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at them a face like lightning. There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them Jesus has risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

        Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. No earthquake, no angels, no young man in robe, no guards. Instead, two men are there in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

        John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No angels, earthquakes, men in shining uniforms or guards are mentioned. She gets Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

        What happens next?

        Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

        However, in the forged last 12 verses that were added to the end of the Gospel according to Mark a couple of hundred years later, Christ appears first to Mary Magdalene “out of whom he had cast seven demons.” She tells the others who do not believe her, but Jesus then appears to two (unnamed) disciples as they are walking in the countryside. They tell the others, who still don’t believe, but Jesus later appears to all 11 apostles (Judas is persona non grata at this point and/or dead) and rebukes them for not believing Mary Magdalene and the first two apostles who saw him earlier.

        He then famously tells them to go out and preach the gospel to every creature and that he who believes and is baptized will be saved and he who does not will be condemned. Those who believe will speak in tongues and be unaffected by poisons and will be able to handle snakes and heal the sick by the mere laying of their hands.

        This forged passage above is, by the way, where the evangelical tradition of “speaking in tongues,” the Appalachian tradition of snake handling and the Christian Science tradition of healing through “laying of hands” all come from – and it’s a complete forgery. Oh, the irony is rich!

        Having told them this, Jesus zaps up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God.

        Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 apostles see Jesus in Galilee, some still doubting. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

        Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, rebuking them and then spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes.

        They tell the 11 apostles what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

        John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. He appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

        Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a strange conversation with Peter. The Gospel ends with the comment that Jesus did many other things that the author did not mention as doing so would be too great a task. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          Here's a big one.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Chubbs

          Just ignore him. Most of his posts are just cut and pastes from other websites, which he likely hasn't read or understood. He's just an angry atheist.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          Chubbs- They all are that way. Trolls will Troll to try to pick a fight and try to prove that they are superior.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • OTOH

          Chubbs & Troll Hunter,

          Yet we don't see you successfully rebutting a single thing that Colin states.

          (Colin writes his own stuff - and, yes, you may see it posted elsewhere and copied, since he doesn't mind sharing)

          August 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          OTOH-How do you know he write's his own stuff? Who really care's if he does? Just a bunch of CACA to me. I am sure that he thanks you for speaking for him tho.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • OTOH

          Troll Hunter,

          I have observed Colin's posts on here for a long time, have seen him polish and refine his messages and interact with other posters.

          Again, you have not a single valid rebuttal to anything he has written. Calling it all "CACA" means nothing... and is one of the hallmarks of a mindless troll.

          August 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Dippy

          Troll Hunter. It's "writes", not "write's". It's "cares", not care's." You have the writing skills of a fifth grader. Typical believer, what can you expect.

          August 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Colin

        Moz, here's 20 more.

        21. Because of man's wickedness God destroys him
        Gen 6:5,7
        Because of man's wickedness God will not destroy him
        Gen 8:21

        22. God's attributes are revealed in his works.
        Rom 1:20
        God's attributes cannot be discovered
        Job 11:7/ Is 40:28

        23. There is but one God
        Deut 6:4
        There is a plurality of gods
        Gen 1:26/ Gen 3:22/ Gen 18:1-3/ 1 John 5:7

        Moral Precepts

        24. Robbery commanded
        Ex 3:21,22/ Ex 12:35,36
        Robbery forbidden
        Lev 19:13/ Ex 20:15

        25. Lying approved and sanctioned
        Josh 2:4-6/ James 2:25/ Ex 1:18-20/ 1 Kings 22:21,22
        Lying forbidden
        Ex 20:16/ Prov 12:22/ Rev 21:8

        26. Hatred to the Edomite sanctioned
        2 Kings 14:7,3
        Hatred to the Edomite forbidden
        Deut 23:7

        27. Killing commanded
        Ex 32:27
        Killing forbidden
        Ex 20:13

        28. The blood-shedder must die
        Gen 9:5,6
        The blood-shedder must not die
        Gen 4:15

        29. The making of images forbidden
        Ex 20:4
        The making of images commanded
        Ex 25:18,20

        30. Slavery and oppression ordained
        Gen 9:25/ Lev 25:45,46/ Joel 3:8
        Slavery and oppression forbidden
        Is 58:6/ Ex 22:21/ Ex 21:16/ Matt 23:10

        31. Improvidence enjoyed
        Matt 6:28,31,34/ Luke 6:30,35/ Luke 12:3
        Improvidence condemned
        1 Tim 5:8/ Prov 13:22

        32. Anger approved
        Eph 4:26
        Anger disapproved
        Eccl 7:9/ Prov 22:24/ James 1:20

        33. Good works to be seen of men
        Matt 5:16
        Good works not to be seen of men
        Matt 6:1

        34. Judging of others forbidden
        Matt 7:1,2
        Judging of others approved
        1 Cor 6:2-4/ 1 Cor 5:12

        35. Christ taught non-resistance
        Matt 5:39/ Matt 26:52
        Christ taught and practiced physical resistance
        Luke 22:36/ John 2:15

        36. Christ warned his followers not to fear being killed
        Luke 12:4
        Christ himself avoided the Jews for fear of being killed
        John 7:1

        37. Public prayer sanctioned
        1 Kings 8:22,54, 9:3
        Public prayer disapproved
        Matt 6:5,6

        38. Importunity in prayer commended
        Luke 18:5,7
        Importunity in prayer condemned
        Matt 6:7,8

        39. The wearing of long hair by men sanctioned
        Judg 13:5/ Num 6:5
        The wearing of long hair by men condemned
        1 Cor 11:14

        40. Circu.mcision insti.tuted
        Gen 17:10
        Circu.mcision condemned
        Gal 5:2

        August 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • niknak

          Where you at Moz for brains?
          Did you run away when the atheists post chapter and verse to show you how f ed up your magic book is?

          Face it bro, you have bought into a great big lie.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Archer

      Goat herders? I thought they were carpenters, fishermen, and a tax-collector. You should know what you are disparaging; else you come across as an ignorant bigot.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        you think no goat herders became christians. sounds like YOU are the ignorant one.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Troll Hunter

          Found a rude one here.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Jeebusss

        I'm talking about the people who ACTUALLY wrote the Bible, not who they claim they were. Most of the gospels were plagiarized from a previously written source. The entirety of the old testament comes from pagan religions that preceded it, mostly the Caananites. The early Israeli kingdoms took the Caananite stories about Baal, El, etc and replaced their names with Yawah, their choosen pagan god at the time.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  5. 8UJIOPUJO

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    WE SENT THE INFORMATION TO THE FBI MANAGERS Interpol Europol, ON POLITICAL KILLINGS OF KINGS AND PRINCES.

    INVESTIGATIONS BEGIN NO, WHY ARE COMPLICES.

    -

    LET'S MAKE A PSYCHIATRIC EJERSICIO. TYPE BEAUTIFUL MIND IF WE KNOW THAT AGENCIES WERE NAZIS, TESTING TECHNOLOGIES FOR STIMULATION OF persepcion SENSO.

    TRY TO CALL TO SEE HOW YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE TO ALL AGENCIES OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES CALL.

    INFORMATION ON THE SHIP THEM AS CHILDREN OF PRESIDENTS MAKE CRIMES AND INFORMATION THAT WE DO NOT SHIP.

    PLEASE CALL FOR THAT WE WORK OR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES DO NOT LET THAT CALLS THE CELL CAPT.

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

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    Note that do not appear in PAGES OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS.
    August 24, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse | Reply

    August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Nietodarwin

    “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”
    _ William Harwood, Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology

    August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      faith is
      the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas
      insanity is
      the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence

      Double indemnity is not even worthy of calculative reasoning

      August 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Nietodarwin

    "Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops." Richard Dawkins

    August 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Maani

      "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Carl Sagan

      August 25, 2013 at 12:06 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Correct. But for most of the god described, there would be evidence. Oops.

        August 25, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • Maani

          I'll bite. WHY would there necessarily be evidence for God? Would not "verifiable" evidence completely undermine the notion of "faith?" Perhaps the evidence is there for people who know how to "see" it...

          August 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  8. bostontola

    The Christian god is quite a rascal. Creating the world full of scientific red herrings totally consistent with broad theories. This to confound that portion of his own human creation that has curiosity and logical, critical thinking capacity so they spend their lives chasing science instead of loving him. Yes, quite a rascal.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Relax Sired Boston...

      Just because Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together is no reason to become fixated by yet unsolved riddles now does it..?

      August 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • bostontola

        Lionly,
        I love nothing more than an unsolved mystery, that's why I don't like religion. The answers are all there, no room for anything else.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Goodly sired Boston...

          Socialized religious advents knows very little about God's true kingdom domains... Their religious hierarchies cannot fathom the scientific principles of atomized cellular cosmologies being created out of atomic and celestial cosmological domains that science cannot yet even out-rightly understand...

          August 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Nope .. it's better to ignore facts, stop looking for answers and just say God(s) did it, just like mommy or mr. pastor said.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  9. Mary

    What a load of crap.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  10. Moz

    1) God doesnt "fix" problems with parties, through his work on the cross; it doesn *result* in a party, but that's not the same thing as confusing the cross (which fixes things) and resulting parties. Or to put it another way, there are no parties apart from sacrifice. It's that whole sacrifice business the world finds odious. (2) Is the idea here that the world sees Christians having parties and says "Oh wow, I want to follow this Jesus guy"? Because, it seems the opposite actually happened to Jesus. In John 6, Jesus has done a lot to show people a good time, and basically, when he starts talking about his body and blood (you know, that sacrifice stuff) then everybody bails. It doesn't surprise him, of course. Why should it surprise us? Why should we go into a margeting frenzy or develop new marketing strategies rather than accepting that the Church was, is, and will always be the pleasing aroma of life to those being saved and to others, the stench of death (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

    August 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus tells us to beat disobedient slaves "with many stripes." i don't think someone who promotes slavery is the best example of an ethical hero.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Maani

        You make a common error. The Greek word that some bible versions translate as "slave" is actually more accurately translated as "servant." That is, more like a maid or cook, not a "slave" in the sense we think of it re "slavery."

        August 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          wrong. that's a common excuse christians try to use to explain away the bible's promotion of slavery. you don't beat servants. there are passages in the bible telling you exactly how to beat your slaves, how to sell them, what countries you can go in and take slaves from, how to sell your own daughter into slavery. your excuse doesn't hold water and is just untrue.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

          Sooo .. beating your "servants" is somehow better?!

          August 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • niknak

          Of course, you believers always have an out when it comes to passages of your "never in error" book of magic spells.
          It's a typo, it's a Greek word translated wrong, it's a scribe error etc when it comes to stuff you don't like or agree with.

          But when a passage supports what you want, then of course it is rock solid correct and has to be followed by all, even those who don't believe in your fairy tale.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Maani

          niknak: It is not an "out" to note errors. Even many secular Biblical scholars agree that the word often translated as "slave" is more accurately translated as "servant."

          Bootyfunk: The passages you refer to are in the OT. But the "laws" of the OT "passed away" with the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. And there are NO such passages in the NT.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Moz

        where does Jesus promote slavery, exactly? be specific.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          Luke 12
          47 And that slave, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes;
          48 but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • izbemused

          This is an allegory, as Jesus is also speaking of His second coming. He is speaking of a servant refusing to do the master's will although he knew it was wrong, would be punished. Because if the servant knew what the master expected, and instead did his own thing and went against the master, how does that show any loyalty or obedience to that master? Should he get a lollipop for disobeying?

          August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • niknak

          Typical, the non believer knows more about the babble then the believer.

          Ok Moz for brains, tell us how that is just allegory or some kind of scribe error and that jeebus did not really mean to support slavery.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • One one

          1 Timothy chapter 6: Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of god and our doctrine may not be spoken against.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "This is an allegory,"
          hahaha, no it's not. have you read the entire passage? it's not an allegory. and even if it is, you wouldn't use an allegory about slavery if you didn't believe in slavery. just like i wouldn't use an allegory about segregation unless i supported it.

          August 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "Because if the servant knew what the master expected, and instead did his own thing and went against the master, how does that show any loyalty or obedience to that master? Should he get a lollipop for disobeying?"

          no, he shouldn't get a lollipop - but apparently you think he deserves to get beaten for disobeying his "master"? you think walmart should be able to beat people to disobey too? you can't be that dumb...

          August 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • One one

          Jesus promotes r-ape in public:

          2 Samuel 12:11: “Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.”

          August 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Doobs

          Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

          If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

          August 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • Maani

          One One: Uh...how is a passage from the OT an example of JESUS somehow supporting r-ape? After all, Jesus came to "fulfill the law" through His ministry, death and resurrection. This means the old law has "passed away." Indeed, all of Matthew 5-7 is Jesus laying down the NEW law.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          maani
          Laying down the NEW law, while specifying that not one jot of the old law should be disregarded. He specifies he is not chnaging or eliminiating any of the old law. He never took anything away from the OT, just added to it.

          Odd that the new law that he spells out could have come straight from the mouth of Buddha.( Much of it did come straight from the mouth of the Buddha)

          August 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Doobs

      It's that whole sacrifice business the world finds odious.

      Yeah, no kidding, genius. What sort of batshit crazyass doesn't think that human sacrifice is odious?

      August 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  11. Loathstheright

    Some faerie tales are boring. And stories about fake, made up gods are extremely boring.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      nah, other religions/mythologies have much more interesting gods. lots of stories about deities are interesting - christianity, judaism and islam are boring. stories about thor fighting frost giants are pretty damn shweet.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • niknak

        And they give you more stuff too when you die.
        The muslims give you many virgin wives, the hindus give you reincarnation, and the Mormons give you a whole planet that you get to rule over like a god.

        All the xtian god give you is eternity hanging out with boring people.

        Maybe you xtians need to come up with a better carrot so you don't lose more followers.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Vic

    I wish if CNN could add a timed edit function to comments so we can have a window to correct typos!

    August 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      Maybe if you ask Jeebus purty please, he can get it done

      August 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Dippy

      Just correct them before you post. Is that too hard to understand?

      August 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    "The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy."
    +++it sure is, considering god usually "fixes" problems by killing people. why didn't god throw a party for sodom and gomorrah? instead, he melted the cities and everyone in them, including children. why didn't he throw a planet-wide party to "fix" people instead of drowning every single human on earth but one family? the author of this article can find one single time in the bible when a party was thrown instead of an execution and he thinks this is a positive thing. the christian god is a monster.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      It seems more than likely (based on biblical evidence ..I use that term loosely) that this God character thinks killing people IS a party!

      August 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Nick Burczyk

      You bring up a great point. What Acuff failed to acknowledge here is that repentence and returning to the father is required. Sodom and Gomorrah didn't repent, but rather were proud in their sin. Theologically, he misses the mark. The father didn't throw a party for the son when he said "I wish you were dead!" He also didn't go out to the Jersey Shore and throw the party for the son while he was in the midst of his rebellion. The son broke down, repented and returned to the Father in humility. This oversight is why all of his examples (the boss at work, the angry dish-washing wife, etc) seem bizarre.

      What he DOES shed light on, though, is that many times Christians see someone turning to the Truth and rather than celebrating (like ALL THREE parables in Luke 15 portray), we immediately lay down the rules, or pass judgment, or - perhaps worse still - are completely apathetic.

      Anyone who has walked into the church with the full array of apprehension that comes with bad experiences, a sordid past with church, not having been in a while, guilt for how their life is, broken hearts, broken relationships and every other kind of hurt would LOVE LOVE LOVE to walk into a church and have it be celebrated that they are just there. Save apologies for later. Save explanations for later. Save rules for later. Celebrate that the lost is found.

      That is what Christians tend to miss.

      August 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Doobs

        One of my fundie friends used to say, "Christians are the only people who kick their wounded."

        August 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Doobs

      It's not even a real bible story. (Oxymoron, I know.) It's a parable that Jeebus supposedly made up. A myth creating a myth.

      August 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    LOL! ever been to a christian party? talk about a room full of people that have no idea how to have fun.
    "no alcohol served here! this is a godly party!"
    "sorry, no dancing at our parties - only the devil gyrates his hips."
    "you know what i like best about Kenny G? no cuss words in his songs."
    "i heard at some parties people have one-night stands - i'm sure glad we're all virgins practicing abstinence here."
    "okay, it's 10pm, time to shut the party down before my mom comes downstairs and yells at us."

    August 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Well, to be fair, I am a recovering Catholic, and they can be a partying lot...

      August 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        yeah, religious people have fun at non-religious parties for sure.

        August 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Doobs

        I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but when I was teaching parochial school, and we had a teacher's work day, the nuns would make a big breakfast at the convent with Bloody Marys and screwdrivers.

        A couple of the nuns were my teachers years before when I went to the same school. We used to laugh our asses off at some of the goofy stunts my classmates and I pulled.

        August 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
  15. hrdwrknjoe

    As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and devout Pastafarnia, I can guarantee you I'm never bored.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      every friday is a holiday for pastafarians. and there's a beer volcano in heaven.

      Ramen!

      August 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Moz

      says the guy sitting in his boxers at his computer in the middle of the bloody afternoon!

      August 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        you say that like it's a bad thing...

        August 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Wait a sec, are you a member of the NSA? How else would know he was sitting in his boxers? How do you know they're not tighty whities?

        August 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Doobs

        So you're posting telepathically from another dimension? Hypocrite.

        August 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  16. Ambrose Smith

    If an alien from another galaxy accepted Christ as its personal savior will it get to Heaven? If it didn't will it go to Hell? What if the alien never heard of Christ?

    August 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I would really like to know the answer to your question .. since it would most certainly die laughing!

      August 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      as long as the alien is willing to stop using any sort of cognitive thinking and just obey.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • One one

      What about all the people that lived before the Jesus myth was born ?

      August 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Maani

      One One: The answer to your question about those who lived before Jesus is found in the books of Romans and Hebrews.

      Re aliens, the question is not as silly as you may think; there are scholars who have studied this questions. For myself (as a minister and armchair theologian), I would suggest that if there is life on other planets (whatever form that life may take, assuming it has "self-awareness" and "conscience"), then it, too, was created by God. In that case, one would have to posit that, whether it was Jesus per se or someone/something else, a similar "form" of the salvation story would exist for that life form.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        ".. then it, too, was created by God. In that case, one would have to posit that, whether it was Jesus per se or someone/something else, a similar "form" of the salvation story would exist for that life form."

        That is not an answer, it is a huge leap in assumption, one based on only one of thousands of tales of folklore throughout human history.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  17. Weiser

    Not boring if you live in Egypt. The muslim brotherhood is killing Christians.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Ambrose Smith

      And Christians are killing Muslims. Its always been that way. Christians in America would love to nuke the Middle East. Where have you been? Under a rock?? Get off your high horse.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • Maani

        Whoa there, brother! First, the incidences of Christians killing Muslims are few and far between (particularly in the current age), while incidences of Muslims killing Christians are a daily occurrence. Second, you have it exactly backward re American Christians, if by that you mean the so-called Christian Right and its ilk. Because they are radical supporters of Israel, since they believe that Israel remains the center of the "Armageddon" scenario, and thus must be protected at all costs. In this regard, while they do believe they can "expedite" the "Second Coming" somehow, nuking the Middle East is defnitely NOT what they want or have in mind, since it would destroy Israel along with everything else.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • hrdwrknjoe

      Isn't that called KARMA?

      August 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        So I guess the Buddhists win!

        August 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Doobs

      They are also killing police officers. What's your point?

      August 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  18. Vic

    One, Two, Three

    Father, Son, Holy Spirit

    August 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      One, Two, Three

      Larry, Curly, Moe

      August 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Vic

        Jesus Christ Lived on earth for 33 years.

        August 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Vic

          Oops, that was supposed to be a separate one. Sorry about that!

          August 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Scott

          where's his birth certificate? And I'm not talking just a certificate of live birth.

          August 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          well, according to the myth he did.

          August 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          so did john belushi

          what is your point, other than snivellng sycophantry?

          August 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • G to the T

        As a devout "Shempist" I find that very offensive.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      intricate comic book you got there, vic

      August 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Troll Hunter

        Here is another rude one.

        August 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  19. bostontola

    Page 1 of the bible is rife with factual errors. Why would you believe it?

    August 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Well, to be fair, just because part of it is obviously wrong, it doesn't mean that the rest is also.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        It certainly does not mean it is correct, but it is a very good indicator when the opening statement itself is flawed.

        August 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • bostontola

        FFT,
        The bible has factual assertions and moral stories. Many factual assertions are straight up wrong. Many of the moral stories conflict. In the Old Testament the focus is on obey or god will inflict unimaginable consequences (although no hell), there is a chosen people, in the New Testament the focus is love and sin, afterlife with love or pain. Very confusing stuff.

        August 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • nope

      @bastan
      nope

      August 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • yup

        @nope
        yup

        August 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Doh

        @nope
        Doh

        August 24, 2013 at 1:41 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.