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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. Ron

    "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me" ...Jesus (John 14:6) It is very clear that the Son of God taught that there is only one way to God the Father. "there are many paths to God'...is a false teaching.

    August 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • redzoa

      "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." 1 Samuel 15:3.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Ron

        Red, let me clue you in. The God of love is also a God of wrath. Unless you repent, it is not his love that you will experience, but his wrath. How ironic, since you like to quote such verses.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • redzoa

          How can an infant repent before being hacked to death? What infant exercise of free will deserves a brutal slaughter?

          August 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • redzoa

          P.S. Your response is typical of battered spouses defending the abuser . . .

          August 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Who would want to worship such a petty narcissist?

          August 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • One one

          Ron, you don't have to worry about it because its just a myth.

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

          Red, really. More ignorance on your part. If you would just bother to look at the context it would be clear to you that the time for repetance had long passed for the Amalekites. God is rich and compassion and mercy, and slow to wrath. He gives many opportunities to repent before He brings His judgment upon us. I was talking about you. You still have a change to repent. The way you are going now, you are just heeping judgment upon yourself.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • redzoa

          @Ron – I understand the context quite well. I see you conveniently failed to answer either of my simple questions . . .

          August 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Tandy

          Ron, really. More ignoranve on your part. What do you not understand about babies being innocent of the Amalekite parent's sin? Wow. You're really bloodthirsty. Keep being an apologist for Godly infanticide.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Ron

          Tandy, tell us all please. I for one am curious. Are you pro life? Or are you just another godless hypocrite?

          August 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron,

          EVERYONE is pro-life. It just depends if that life is the fetus or the mother.

          Speaking of HYPOCRISY, the Bible NEVER mentions abortion.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • redzoa

          @Ron – I see you still neglected to answer my questions . . .

          August 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          What is the deal with the "wrath", why can't you god get over himself and just let it go? Oh....that's right....it would make all of your dogma and required belief completely moot.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Tandy

          Ron, I sure am pro life, you Christian hypocrite. And these infants God killed were blameless. Now apologize, you snarky snot.
          Of course, you will call it God's "justice". I call it murder.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Colin

          Ron, your Bible is very inconsisten on the exact nature of your sky-fairy. Here is a quick list of about 20 contradictions about it. You can say anything about it and back it up with scripture.

          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

          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

          August 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Brett

          tandy, so you feel that abortion is murder? Right, since you are prolife? And, do you speak against the murder of the unborn on these blogs?

          August 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You have shown the first clue...The bible is indeed false teaching.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • mzh

      Ron,

      Did you know what Quran talks about Jesus the son of Marry (pbuh)? here are few of them for your reference:

      WHO WAS JESUS THE SON OF MARRY:
      3:45 – [And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ].

      3:46 – He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.

      3:47 – She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is.

      3:48 – And He (Allah) will teach him ['Iesa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

      3:49 – And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

      3:50 – And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.

      JESUS WAS LIKE ANY OTHER MESSENGER CAME BEFORE HIM:
      5:74 – The Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books (see Verse 66:12)]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).

      JESUS PERFORMED MIRACLES:
      5:110 – (Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). "O 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.' "

      JESUS WILL BE ASKED ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT:
      5:116 – (Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). "O 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.' "

      ABOUT HIS DESCIPLES:
      61:14 – O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah , as when Jesus, the son of Mary, said to the disciples, "Who are my supporters for Allah ?" The disciples said, "We are supporters of Allah." And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant.

      3:52 – Then when 'Iesa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah's Cause?" Al-Hawariun (the disciples) said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah)."

      3:53 – Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger ['Iesa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

      3:51 – (Jesus said) Indeed, Allah is my (Jesus) Lord and your (the disciples) Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path."

      JESUS CONFIRMED ABOUT COMING OF MUHAMMAD (as it is also mentioned in John):
      61:6 – And (remember) when 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. But when he (Ahmad i.e. Muhammad SAW) came to them with clear proofs, they said: "This is plain magic."

      HE WAS NOT CRUCIFIED:
      4:157 – And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]

      BUT HE WAS TAKEN UP TO THE GOD ALMIGHTY:
      3:55 – And (remember) when Allah said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad SAW, 'Iesa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Quran] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute."

      4:158 – Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • Ron

        mzh, you follow a man. You do NOT know God. Mohamed was a fasle teacher. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to atone for our sins by dying on the cross. You are being lied to you and you are feeding your lies to others. Unless you repent you will die in your sins.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • mzh

          Ron,

          I only wish peace and blessings up on you...

          Let me ask you something... if you believe that bible is the book of God then why would it have incorrect information which was known to a man (Galileo) and was not known to the one who Created the universe? and why would the Catholic church would punish Galileo and after centuries they would apologize? see the verses below which was conflicting between Catholic Church and Galileo's theory:

          1 Chronicles 16:30
          New International Version (NIV)
          30 Tremble before him, all the earth!
          The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
          Psalm 93:1
          New International Version (NIV)
          1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
          the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
          indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
          Psalm 96:10
          New International Version (NIV)
          10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
          The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
          he will judge the peoples with equity.
          Psalm 104:5
          New International Version (NIV)
          5 He set the earth on its foundations;
          it can never be moved.
          Ecclesiastes 1:5
          New International Version (NIV)
          5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
          and hurries back to where it rises.
          Job 26:7
          New International Version (NIV)
          7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
          he suspends the earth over nothing.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • mzh

          I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah who has no partners and I also bear witness that Mohammad and Jesus the son of Marry was just a messengers of God Almighty...

          August 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Tandy

          You both are freaking nuts. "My religion is better than your religion." Can you say "divisive"? I thought you could.
          Look, worship whom you please, but keep your ridiculous "my way or the highway" threats to yourselves...you both sound silly.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Ron

          mzh, you bear witness to lies. How can Jesus be a Prophet if He is lying about being the Son of God? That would make Him a false prophet. You follow men, you do NOT know the God of Israel, and the God who rose Jesus from the dead.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Skeletor would kick both their asses.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • mzh

          There is no threat Tandy... I am not here to force anyone anything... I am here just to let you know and rest is in your hand whether you accept or reject...

          You sounds so angry and you I feel have very little religious tolerance... this is the place where everyone is placing his or her opinion and as for me I never push anyone and I do not know about others as I do not talk on behalf of other posters... take it easy Tan...

          I wish peace and blessings be upon you as well... 🙂

          August 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Tandy

          I'm not angry. I just dislike silly absolutes such as yours and Ron's. You both are on here drawing lines in the sand, and guess what? They're the same exact God.
          And just as YOU get to post, I have that same right to post. My beliefs are as valid as yours, and Ron's.
          You sound patronizing, smug, and condescending. There. I can make baseless assumptions about you too.
          Peace be unto you, also.

          August 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Neo Agnostic

      I found God in my own way. I do not need to go through Jesus or the Bible. Those two have no place in my life. My relationship is with God not his supposed son or his supposed book of teachings.

      August 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • skytag

      It is very clear this is what the Bible says. Why should I believe it?

      August 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • G to the T

      It's obvious that the author of that particular book thought that what Jesus taught, but that's really all you can say about it whithout making some pretty big assumptions.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  2. Ron

    "Unless on is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". ...Jesus (John 3:3)

    August 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Ezekiel 23:20
      There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Ron

        Well Dys, I know many people have their favorite verses. To each his own. lol

        August 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Doobs

          Ur jess jellus of dere bigazz deeks.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      gosh, ron.....A QUOTE! sure did kick your reasoning skills into high gear with that one

      August 25, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  3. Ron

    "Man shall not live by bread alone, but be every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God'. ....Jesus Mathew 4:4/Deuteronomy 8:3

    August 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Psalm 137, 9:
      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Deo Masur

        Drawn and quoted like a true simpleton. Do you even know the context of this quote, if you did you would understand how ignorant you are

        August 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Ron

          Deo, right. It is amusing to see how the godless handle the Word of God. They have no idea what they are doing, and they are proud of it. lol

          August 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • One one

          Christians quote scripture all the time without providing "context". "Context" ! Is the last retreat of a believer in denial.

          Does this have a "context" that makes it acceptable ?

          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 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Ron
          a) As far as anyone can tell, everyone is godless.
          b) Your "word of god" was written changed, edited, over and over. No god ever wrote one word. Until such time as anyone can actually show that any gods were involved it is the word of men.
          c) If it truly is the word of god, why is so much of it false, some of it proven flat out wrong?

          August 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Ron

          one, acceptable to whom? Who are you trying to please? Clearly man. So lets see, God should take a poll before He acts each time, to see whether or not man approves? lol You speak as a fool. I wonder why?

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

          Richard, ty for providing to us more worthless godless babble for our enrichment. lol

          August 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • One one

          @ron, who am I trying to please? Anyone who finds raping a man's wife in public to be repulsive. Apparently you are OKWith it.

          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 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Doobs

          It's either taken out of context, mistranslated, only true at the time, an anomaly, or one of many pathetic excuses Christians have for their psycho killer god.

          Didn't Abraham pimp out his wife, Sarah, at least twice to different sovereigns? She was hot, and he knew he'd be killed so they could bang her, so he lied and told them she was his sister, and allowed her to be taken to the sovereigns as a "gift".

          August 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Ron
          Ironic that you would claim what I said is "worthless godless babble" when you can't refute anything I said.
          your bible is false, as it is flawed throughout. There are many things that show your bible was cobbled together from previous cultures and religions. Jesus must have been a Buddhist since the Buddha was teaching most of Christs words over 400 years before your christ character allegedly did his thing. ( the whole non-violence thing, do unto others( the whole golden rule thing), fixing self before criticizing others, community over self, on and on and on, all Buddha)

          August 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • sam stone

          nowhere near as amusing as watching the pompous claim they know the word of god

          August 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Ron

        Dys, what is the context of Psalm 137? Do you have a clue, or are you just posting off your clueless atheist list of verses?

        August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Deo Mansur

          So dizz what is the context? He was not insulting you just asking if you know, wow a little touchy

          August 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          So because the verse was in reference to the revenge they wanted to exact against their captors, fantasizing about infanticide is acceptable? I'm not sure what your point is about context, it's bad no matter which context you take it in.

          August 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Johnny

          It doesn't matter what the context is, it is never acceptable to take infants and bash them against a rock.

          August 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        aaaah the loving christens ... as soon as someone disagrees with them they revert to personal insults.

        what mind numbing foolishness.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • I found the verse!

          "Don't not give to dizzlectic dogs what is holy" Matt 7:6

          August 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  4. Ron

    "For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword.." ...Hebrews 4:12 He accomplishes His purposes through His Word. Salvation to all who receive it, as well as condemnation to those who reject it.

    August 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      more hokey, greeting card sayings.
      like safety blankets for Christians.
      they can spit them out on demand.
      and somehow think that they proved a point.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yes, exactly the sort of self affirming garbage one would expect. Similar technique as brainwashers use. You don't really think it would come out and tell you that all of this is purely hypothetical, right?

      August 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Neo Agnostic

      That which is not dead can eternal lie, with strange eons even death may die.
      -Abdul Alhazrad The Necronomicon

      August 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      ron: your god is impotent.

      deal with it

      or choke on it

      either way.....

      August 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  5. Ron

    "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away" .....Jesus Mark 13:31

    August 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'Yeah, but he's a pervert dude.' – Walter Sobchak

      August 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Neo Agnostic

      "I would sooner believe that Stephen King's It is real before I would the bible." – Me

      August 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    a tougher day than usual. only one of the Christians I spoke with today realized the foolishness and become an atheist.

    so much work to do but such a worthy cause. one person freed from the chains of bronze age voodoo. it's a great feeling. 🙂

    August 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Deo Masur

      Like I said before, when they discovered they were "casting pearls before swine" they decided to go to church and pray for you instead, knowing your insults don't negate truth, only confirm it...

      August 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        what does that even mean?

        I talked with 6 people today and one left Christianity behind, finally knowing its foolishness. the other 5 at least have something to think about now that they have glimpsed outside the bubble you Christians all keep each other in.

        17-20% of the Christians I speak with are leaving their faith. It's a new dawn in America and your bronze age voodoo is on the way out! 🙂

        August 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Deo Masur

          Hogwash dizz you are. Joke

          August 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Deo Masur

          Just what I thought dizz you have no idea the context of the quote, it's in the bible. If you want to debate points of view you better have an informed background or your arguments are laughable....

          August 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Doobs

          Do you have any other arguments besides "You're taking it out of context!"?

          August 26, 2013 at 12:54 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        deo
        You claim he is insulting when your bible insults any who are not gullible enough to buy into it. I am not swine, I just see that you do not have pearls.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Deo Masur

          Not insulted in the least. Besides his insults don't change truth. I do however pity him, for his lack of ability to engage in healthy debate which I do enjoy. And the pearls vs swine. I am sure somewhere in your life there is something you treasure that when it is romped on you merely consider the source and move on, that is all I am saying...

          August 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    August 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    Christianity church Christians, they all follow the traditions of men, their own free will. When death comes to the door, are you with Christ and his people the Israelites? Allah is a false god, there is only one God. The most high God, and one Lord Jesus Christ. *Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Israelites are his people. What about those people in the world today *1st John 2:15-16)

    August 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Any who follow any religion, follow only the traditions of men. Men created all religions, and as far as anyone can tell, men created all gods as well.

      August 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        There is but One God and the perceived rest are but God's sons...

        August 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • bostontola

        This post illustrates that even religious people accept that man created every god of every religion but theirs. It's not a stretch to believe that man created them all. That doesn't mean there is no god, just that none of the gods from man made religions are real. If there is a god, it is a seriously stealth god. No involvement with natural laws or the people of this planet. In that case, it is indistinguishable from no god, so who cares.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      The Legend of King Arthur is not evidence for Merlin.
      The Greek Myths are not evidence for Heracles.
      The Epic of Beowulf is not evidence for Grendel.
      The American Folk Tradition is not evidence for Paul Bunyan.
      The New Testament is not evidence for Jesus.
      The Old Testament is not evidence for Yahweh.

      The miracles happened ... in the story.
      The prophesies were fulfilled ... in the story.
      The character was emotionally appealing and morally right ... in the story.

      Get out of your stories.

      August 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Stories serve a very important role in our culture until some people claim that they are more than stories. IF your story has moved beyond "informing" to "demanding" let it go.

        August 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          well said Sir!

          August 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Maani

        Dyslexic doG's post is not evidence that Dyslexic doG exists.

        August 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When death "comes to the door", I will cease to exist. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that there is any form of "afterlife.". There is only wishful thinking and futile attempted bargaining with the unknown.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Deo Masur

        Sounds like you are very comfortable I your Nilhism, good for you!,

        August 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Not believing in an afterlife doesn't equate to nihilism.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I prefer to think of it as Realism.

          August 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  9. bostontola

    I have been critical of Christianity a lot on this blog, the truth is I have issue with all religions I have explored. So this post will be about Islam instead. Islam is also old enough to to show its own evolution through history that reflects Christianity in many ways. It has splintered into sects that fight each other. It started as a strong supporter of science and natural law until it led to conflicts with dogma. The early Islamic scientists were key to saving the early Greek science during the Dark Ages. They were key pioneers in the scientific method itself. Sadly, the religious leadership behaved much like Christian leadership later and shuns modern science where it conflicts with dogma. This Islamic resistance to concepts outside of dogma extends beyond science. Some islamic leaders put out death sentences for authors of literature they feel is contrary to dogma. A sad swing from one of the most progressive religions to one of the most regressed.

    August 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Regression needs an author of sordidness...

      August 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Deo Masur

      I truly thank you for your candor. This is very refreshing considering the level of snarky remarks. I appreciate this

      August 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  10. Thought Purification

    or Should CNN Belief Blog be so boring?

    August 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Doobs

      Well, they have been publishing a lot of "Jeebus is cool, really, he IS!" stuff lately.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        to most of this country, Christianity is just a social club.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Doobs

          True dat.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    "We still have a running God. And he is ready to throw a party."
    +++ yes, the End Times will start with a great party as jesus opens his daddy's seven seals, releasing death, plague, famine, war, etc. on the earth, killing 2/3 of the human population. all kind of natural disasters designed to kill more people. sounds like a hoot!

    August 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Well, as long as he brings punch and pie, the mass slaughter can be excused.

      August 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Party pooper...

      August 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  12. mzh

    A good reminder for the mankind:

    4:1 – O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since we know we did not all descend form one set of DNA, your entire statement is false.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • mzh

        Okay I respect your scientific explanations and that does not mean I reject my faith and I do not disrespect your faith as well...

        August 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          we need to respect you as a person, but not your crazy ideas. we're free to have and express our own opinions. don't try the guilty censorship approach, won't work.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you Bootyfunk:

          I do not push or force anyone to my faith and nor do I disrespect anyone's faith... I am here just to let others know as you are expressing your intellectuals to others... there is no compulsion in religion...

          August 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        I don't know what faith you refer to with me. Just showing that your "faith' is misplaced as it goes against reality.

        August 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Going against the realities of the many is unrealistic and should be skewered every so often in order for meekness to become a thoughtful relativism of realism...

          August 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • mzh

        The Quran talks about the finger print which is unique:

        75:3 – Does man think that We will not assemble his bones?
        75:4 – Yes, We are Able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers.

        What if we see it from an angle of going back generation by generation? Then wouldn’t you find one of your and mine father was the same?

        August 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Not enough room on this blog for the entire explaination. Take some classes in genetics and epigenetics. For now, the short answer is a qualified yes, and no.
          The variations in human dna could not possibly have come from one source. Humans do not all share 100% dna with each other, while if your story is correct, we would have to.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • mzh

          Richard Cranium:

          I say glory to the one who created the entire universe and anything in it... who else can create the way HE creates... it actually makes my believe in Islam more strong and strong... I am a Muslim and I am proud to be a Muslim American...

          August 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          There is no evidence or reason to believe in any creator. That is just one hypothesis out of an infinite number of hypotheses. It is only your desire that it is true that makes you need to believe.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Maani

        "In the field of human genetics, Mitochondrial Eve, who is estimated to have lived approximately 140,000–200,000 years ago, refers to the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all currently living anatomically modern humans. In other words, she was the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, on their mother’s side, and through the mothers of those mothers, and so on, back until all lines converge on one person."

        As with your incorrect comments re Darwin, evolution, life and a Creator, you seem not to do much research before you make proclamations here.

        August 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • mzh

      57:20 – Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.

      Peace and blessings be upon all of you!!!

      August 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i suggest an evolutionary biology class. it'll clear up many of the misconceptions you have about the evolution of man.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • mzh

        I wouldn't mind learning new staffs... as a matter of fact when I see the computer hardware works by different programming languages, makes me saying 'Subhanallah – We Glorify Allah the one who created the entire universe and anything in it'....

        Would you accept if I suggest you to take few classes to learn about Islam which may help you to clear things up as well?

        August 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There is no reason to believe in any here-after.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Desperation and fear are pretty good reasons.

        August 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • mzh

        22:5 – O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then [consider that] indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed – that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then [We develop you] that you may reach your [time of] maturity. And among you is he who is taken in [early] death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit [old] age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows [something] of every beautiful kind.

        August 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          mhz
          This is not a reason, none of the quran is reason.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I hope he closes his eyes when I'm jacking it.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  13. BlahBlah2112

    It's not that it's boring, it's that it's not real.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      little of column A, little of column B...

      August 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Kaysi
      Time to get my pepperoni pizza folks.

      August 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      Doobs
      Enjoy. I just had a big burger and a margarita on the patio. Gorgeous weather today.

      Life is good.

      August 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      Kaysi
      You are so lucky you can eat pepperoni pizza! I can't have pepperoni 'cuz of the nitrates in it. They have a pizza place in the popular 1970s TV series, Laverne & Shirley, the purpose of the Carmine Ragusa character was to keep Lenny and Squiggy in line. The Lenny and Squiggy characters are arguably the best thing in the series.
      The "Lenny and Squiggy" act was originally formed when both actors were undergraduates, attending Columbia University in New York City.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    "The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy."
    ++ it sure is, considering god usually kills his problems away. he didn't throw a party for sodom and gomorrah, he melted the cities and everyone in them, including children. god drowned every human on earth but one family in his great flood - no party there, just millions of dead, floating bodies. when some children make fun of one of god's prophets, god sends 2 bears to slaughter the children - no party there either.

    this author is ridiculous.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Doobs

      The Big Flood party was after the genocide, when Noah got wasted and nekkid.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      lol?? Pithiest, YES!!
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      God can raise the dead. You killers can't.

      August 26, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  15. Vic

    Vic
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    Faith in God is boundless, it transcends everything. Many people believe in God while they differ in their circumstances. Some have the luxury to live a protected and organized life while others are in harms way, but both have the same Faith in God. I always thought "religion" is very high maintenance and circumstantial while "Faith" is free and independent. At the end, it is Faith alone that matters to be saved!

    August 25, 2013 at 9:38 am | Report abuse | Reply

    Well, here is my response ply to a deleted reply to the above deleted comment:

    Hello A o t 50 F M U,

    What I understand of what I believe is that God requires man to fulfill His Law with 100% correctness to be redeemed. Since that's not possible, God substituted all the Law and its temporal sacrificial offerings with the "Ultimate One" that is without a blemish. Now, no man ever existed nor ever will that is without a blemish to be the ultimate sacrificial offering; therefore, God incarnated in the flesh to be the "Ultimate Sacrificial Lamb" that is without a blemish. In other words, ONLY God is without a blemish (Holy) who could fulfill the Law and its sacrificial system for the "remission of sins."

    As for the "Son of God," that is the "Second Person" of the "Triune God" (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) Who incarnated in the flesh but is NOT a created being. Jesus Christ, when on earth, was Fully God and fully man. He had to confine Himself as God to the human level to fulfill the Law and its sacrificial system for the "remission of sins." I am of the opinion that "begotten" means God's Son in the human flesh, and that can only be done by God. In other words, only God can be the "Son of God" and be "begotten" by God in the flesh!

    August 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there is no such thing as god. realize you don't need an invisible sky fairy friend to be a good person.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • Vic

        Morality is given to everyone (built-in) but to be saved, we need to believe.

        August 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          that's what the cult told you. you have been brainwashed into believing something that is not real, silly in fact. leave the cult, think for yourself - you won't regret it.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          If morality is given to everybody, how come it varies greatly from person to person?

          August 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Commenter

          Vic,
          "to be saved, we need to believe."

          Do you have verified data on that?

          August 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • sam stone

          interesting that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be saved.

          sort of a spiritual stockholm syndrome

          good for you

          August 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Vic

          Morality is the same that is part of the "Law of Nature" by God but every "individual" chooses what to apply or not based on his/her "Free Will." That's where the variation lies!

          August 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI&w=640&h=360]

          August 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Vic

          God and His requirement for Salvation are testified and witnessed to in the Holy Bible for the most part and regardless of what might be scribal, translational, and/or interpretational errors regarding certain details.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Summer & Sand

          Vic,

          It is immoral to allow a female to expose even an inch of bare skin in public. Do you allow your female relatives to do such a thing?

          August 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Evangelical Rule of Thumb

          "...regardless of what might be scribal, translational, and/or interpretational errors regarding certain details."

          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 or metaphorical; 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 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Vic

          I may or may not object to how people dress in general based on appropriateness for the situation but not based on Sin Law whatsoever!

          August 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Observer

          Evangelical Rule of Thumb,

          Amen.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Correct, Rule of Thumb. At least five or six times (actually probably ten or so), I have had Christians explain, in the space of a few sentences that a verse means EXACTLY OPPOSITE of what it clearly states. It's kind of at that point that you realize what you're up against.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Observer

          Cpt. Obvious,

          A couple of my favorites are that "dead" means "alive, but spiritually dead" and that "women cannot talk in church" means that women can talk in church but just not tell gossip.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Your problem, Vic, is that you think your built-in mortality is something you need to be saved from. Death is simply the natural conclusion of life. It's something to be respected, not to be feared.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Observer

          Cpt. Obvious,

          Another classic is when God said "incense is an abomination". That means that God likes incense, he just didn't like that particular one.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          my all time favorite is 'slavery' made into 'servant'. then you point out passages where the bible gives instructions on how to beat your slaves/servants... didn't know you were allowed to beat servants.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Vic

          I am a born again Christian Protestant. I believe "Morality" is NOT requirement for Salvation but is part of the "Natural Law" by God. As far as I am concerned, a porn star can be a Christian and "saved!"

          August 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Morality is given to everyone (built-in) but to be saved, we need to believe."

          And the irony is that rewards and punishments based of "belief" is immoral. You have just proven your religion immoral.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Observer

          Bootyfunk,

          "And ye may take a rod and break the arms and legs of thy elderly female housekeeper and ye shall suffer not a punishment if thy beloved elderly housekeeper doth not perish in a day or so".

          August 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Vic

          Using Old Testament Law to discredit Christianity is a canard at best. Christianity is NOT based on the Mosaic Law whatsoever! Christianity is based on Salvation by the Grace of God through FAITH ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Observer

          Vic

          "Using Old Testament Law to discredit Christianity is a canard at best.'

          Christians constantly tell everyone that the world is falling apart because schools don't have the Ten Commandments from the OLD TESTAMENT. Ooops!

          It is the same PERFECT, UNCHANGING God in both testaments. Or isn't it?

          August 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Vic,
          " Christianity is NOT based on the Mosaic Law whatsoever."

          It most certainly IS. Your Jesus character was a lifelong Jew; he quoted and referred to the OT; in fact, he (as "God") even *wrote* the dang-blasted thing and said he was not changing even a dot of those laws.

          August 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Using Old Testament Law to discredit Christianity is a canard at best"

          Without the Old Testament there is no need for the New Testament. Without the "fall of man", no need for Jesus.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Doobs

          "18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." – Jeebus, Matthew 5:18, KJV, italics mine.

          He's not referring to his supposed human self-sacrifice to himself/Daddy/pet bird, as Christians will claim, but the end of earth and "heaven", which clearly hasn't happened yet.

          August 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Vic

          That if it was "not fulfilled" but it was "fulfilled" by Jesus Christ on our behalf, meaning completed, accomplished, finished, done, cancelled out, taken out, nailed to the Cross, ended, abolished, over with.

          Luke 24:44
          "44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”"

          John 17:4
          "4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do."

          John 19:30
          "30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."

          Ephesians 2:14-16
          "14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

          Colossians 2:14
          "14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

          Hebrews 9:25,26
          "25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."

          2 Corinthians 5:21
          "21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

          Galatians 3:13
          "13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—"

          Romans 10:4
          "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

          Romans 8:1,2
          "8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

          All Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

          http://www.biblegateway.com/

          August 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Doobs

          None of which, Vic, explains why Jeebus himself said that the law would not change a "jot or tittle" until the earth and "heaven" ceases to exist.

          August 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • bostontola

      Faith in anything that requires no evidence is boundless, that's why I avoid it. When I want to stretch my mind, there is a lot of literature, music, and art I can enjoy, outside that, I prefer the real natural world. The funny thing is, it is much more beautiful and amazing than the religious fantasy version.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Vic

        Faith in God is beautiful but "religion" is NOT!

        August 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          wrong. faith in your brothers and sisters is beautiful. faith in a deity that doesn't exist is just a waste of time and life.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          We are much closer with a statement like that. I have no ability to discount a deist god, but every religion I've found is absurd and most have leaders that can't resist their power and are corrupted.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  16. bostontola

    What would we say if we found a society on a newly discovered continent where parents addicted their children to something that made them view the world as a fantasy with an all powerful being that circu.mvents natural law, rewards those that obey and persecutes for eternity those that don't. They teach the children to have contempt for science that disagrees with the addiction no matter how much evidence there is. They teach that the land, sea, and all the livings things are theirs to be exploited as long as they worship the all powerful being. They have an entire group of people that make and interpret the rules of the all powerful being and ask the other people to fund that rule interpreting economy. Many of the rules interpreters ignore the rules themselves and misuse funds.

    We would probably be outraged at the child abuse and fraudulent acquisition of funds.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Personally, I'd want in on the action. Anything for some extra greenbacks.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • JimK57

      I was brought up in a christian home and I was taught none of those things. I am agnostic-theist and my older brother is an atheist married to a christian. My point is, do not paint groups of people with such a broad brush.

      August 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Who said anything about Christians? Boston hypothesized an alien culture, it's you who drew the comparison.

        August 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          I find that many of the religious are so used to intuiting their way through life that they automatically respond this way.

          August 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        "What would we say if we found a society on a newly discovered continent where parents addicted their children to something that made them view the world as a fantasy with an all powerful being that circu.mvents natural law, rewards those that obey and persecutes for eternity those that don't."

        @Jim
        sorry, you may not like it, but this one at least applies.

        August 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • bostontola

        Jim,
        I wasn't using a brush at all, just trying to make a point using a hypothetical situation. If it touched a nerve, I'm sorry. Don't you think that religion is like an addiction though?

        August 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  17. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVmdCAT7Rc8&w=640&h=360]

    August 25, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    aaahhh it's Sunday.

    three of the Christians I spoke with yesterday argued and argued and finally thought ... and then realized the foolishness of their bronze age voodoo religion and became atheists. I can't tell you the joy that came from hearing them think for themselves and shake of the shackles that had bound them. little by little sanity is returning to the world.

    so much work to do but such a worthy cause. my goal is 3 again today.

    August 25, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Kudos...even 1 is a step in the right direction 🙂

      August 25, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Deo Masur

      Or maybe after discovering it was putting "pearls before swine," ( a biblical quote) they are in church today praying for you....

      August 25, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • Doobs

        I agree, trying to get a religious person to use their intellect is like throwing "diamonds before dingos" (a Doobs quote).

        August 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • G to the T

        You're right Deo, for it to survive, any good belief system is going to have self-reinforcing systems that make it "obvious" that those outside of the belief system are in error.

        The challenge to find one that's self-correcting....

        August 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • JimK57

      It is aways good to see people follow their hearts and do what makes them happy.
      Jesus said; "Do not do what you hate". Good to see these people following the teachings of jesus.

      August 25, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Turning in one's shackles for a ball and chain will not release anyone from their guilt...

      August 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  19. hharri

    There are actually two versions of Genesis in the Bible. The first is in Chapter 1 and the second is in Chapter 2. In the first version, God creates man and woman together, but in the second version, he creates man first, but Adam becomes lonely and he creates Eve out of Adam’s rib. In the first version he creates man and woman after all the animals, but in the second version, he creates man, then the trees and beasts and then woman. The creation of the birds also precedes or follows the creation of Adam, depending on which version of the myth one reads.

    It is in the second version that we get the appearance of the snake and the temptation of Eve. In the oldest versions of Genesis that we have, the author of the first creation story used the word “Elohim” as the name for the Jewish God and in the second version the author used the name “Yahweh”. This, along with other aids, has enabled scholars to attribute the first creation story to the so called “Elohist” source (or the Priestly source as a redactor of the Elohist source) and the second to the earlier “Yahwist” source.

    They were both inspired by earlier creation myths from Arcadia, Sumer and Persia. The creation myths of the bible appear to be largely compilateions of (i) the Enuma Elish; (ii) the Epic of Gilgamesh – another Babylonian myth in which a flood wipes out the entire planet, except Gilgamesh and his family, who survive by building an ark; (iii) the saga of Adapa and the South Wind – a myth involving two central characters, Adapa and Ea, in which Ea tells Adapa not to eat food while in heaven and Adapa thus loses immortality; and (iv) the story of Atrahasis, an earlier Sumerian myth involving a great flood and mankind being made from a mixture of clay and blood of the gods.

    The Epic of Gilgamesh is often cited as the first book ever written. It pre-dates Genesis by hundreds of years. Typical of literature of that region and epoch, it is more in the nature of an epic poem and was originally written on twelve stone tablets. Tablet 11 recounts how the god Ea warns one of the characters, Utnapishtim, that a great flood is coming. She tells him to build an ark of very precise dimensions and seal it with pitch and bitumen. Utnapishtim's family and workers go board the ark, along with “all the animals of the field”. Once they are safely inside, a violent storm arises that lasts six days and seven nights and destroys all of humanity, except the people and creatures on the ark. The ark eventually comes to rest on a mountain and, after seven more days, Utnapishtim releases a dove, a swallow and a raven. When the latter fails to return, he opens the ark and releases its inhabitants to repopulate the planet.

    August 25, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Jim

      Genesis 1 came before Genesis 2 even though Genesis 2 was the older account. This was arranged purposely some believe. Genesis 1 describes the evolution of our prehistoric ancestors. Genesis 2 describes how a completed modern man, Adam migrated east out of Africa into the Middle East, where the creatures that God had created followed. Eve was formed from Adam's genetic material. Scientists may one day be able to do the same thing !

      August 25, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Liars for Jesus

        August 25, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        There's no evidence for that. Eve was clearly not made from Adam. So fail on all counts.

        August 25, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Doobs

        Eve was formed from Adam's genetic material.

        You're so cute when you try to science.

        August 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Johnny

        IF that is true then Eve was a man.

        August 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  20. Jim

    On the particular subject of Jesus himself, it's interesting to note that the "Tree of Life" spoken of in the Old Testament, in which all people must take thereof and eat in order to live forever is viewed by Christians as the wooden cross and the fruit was Jesus Christ, who died so that man's sins may be forgiven so that they could live forever. And before you say, living forever is impossible, certain species of Jelly Fish are in fact IMMORTAL ! Unless they get ATE, of course !

    August 25, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Theoretically immortal. No one organism has been studied for any length of time.
      Regardless, there is still nothing that points to any god or creator. It just means we have much to learn.

      August 25, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • sam stone

      jim: how is man "sinful"? because we do not live up (or down) to a set of rules written by desert people 2 centuries ago?

      August 25, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Millenia, surely?

        August 25, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • sam stone

        you are right. i meant to type millenia

        lol......fellate your 12 gauge

        August 25, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Eaten would be more apt.

      August 25, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Doobs

      Certain cancer cells are immortal, unless they get irradiATEd, of course.

      August 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        Kaysi
        Time to get my pepperoni pizza folks.

        August 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
        Doobs
        Enjoy. I just had a big burger and a margarita on the patio. Gorgeous weather today.

        Life is good.

        August 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
        Kaysi
        You are so lucky you can eat pepperoni pizza! I can't have pepperoni 'cuz of the nitrates in it. They have a pizza place in the popular 1970s TV series, Laverne & Shirley, the purpose of the Carmine Ragusa character was to keep Lenny and Squiggy in line. The Lenny and Squiggy characters are arguably the best thing in the series.
        The "Lenny and Squiggy" act was originally formed when both actors were undergraduates, attending Columbia University in New York City.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.