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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. Dyslexic doG

    Jesus was just David Koresh 2000 years earlier. A sociopathic conman with a good story and lots of charisma. All this foolishness, without a shred of proof, has sprung up from there.

    utter, mind numbing nonsense.

    August 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  2. Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

    Good discussion, folks – believers and non-believers and everyone in between. Thank you.

    Time to sign out.

    August 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • AE

      I am out of time, too. Unfortunately. Thanks for sharing everyone.

      August 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  3. Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

    Why do Christians call the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the "ultimate" sacrifice? Where, exactly, IS the sacrifice, when a supposedly all-knowling, all-powerful god sends a tiny bit of himself to Earth in human form (Jesus) knowing in advance that this Jesus will live, be crucified, die, come back to life, and then ascent to Heaven to rejoin itself. So Bill Gates lends someone a penny, knowing in advance he's going to get the penny right back, and also knowing that he can make an infinite number of pennies in any event. You wouldn't call that a sacrifice – let alone the "ultimate" sacrifice – on the part of Bill Gates.

    And that part about "He so loved the world he send his only begotten son". Why not his daughter? Could it be that the authors of the Jesus story – being Bronze Age goat herders in a patriarchal society – saw THAT as the worst thing that could happen so someone, and so anyone who willingly sacrificed their only son, and willingly ended their line, was worthy of great praise.

    Can any fine Christians help me out here? It simply makes no sense whatsoever.

    August 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      jeebus had a bad weekend for your sins.....

      calling it the "ultimate sacrifice" gives christians wood

      August 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Colin

      The reality of it is that the concept of Jesus dying to free the World from the original sin of Adam and Eve suimultaneously solved two problems the early Christians were having. First,it allowed them to explain away how their god could be nailed to a tree as a common criminal and second it gave them a basis for claiming he saved the Jews from something.

      August 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Skeptic Al

        What kind of God dies on a cross? Pfft.

        August 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • Thor

          Jesus had nails...I have a hammer. Any more questions?

          August 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • AE

      Look into the servant role that Jesus chooses. Unlike most god myths that demand humans serve them, this God serves humans.

      August 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • Bob

        Done your daily goat sacrifice to your sky fairy yet AE? Your Jeebus said the old demands form your god still apply, or so Matthew said, so go jump that goat.

        You are an idiot.

        August 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • Bob

        Done your daily goat sacrifice to your sky fairy yet AE? Your Jeebus said the old demands from your god still apply, or so Matthew said, so go jump that goat.

        You are an idiot.

        August 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • AE

          Whut?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • sam stone

        Isn't it the christians who are always blathering on about we were made to serve god?

        August 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • Colin

        "Look into the servant role that Jesus chooses." I don't know, AE, claiming to be the Son of God, the MEssiah, or God himself (depending on which gospel one believes) hardly sounds like an act of humility. It is probably the most egotistical claim a person can make.

        August 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • AE

          Yes, if he is not God, than it is not humble at all. But, if in fact He is God, than such claims are just honest. Not really immodest.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Surely the point about humility is to hide your light, not continually announce it.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The fact that no convincing evidence to support claims of his self-appointed divinity point to extreme arrogance and narcissism on his behalf, assuming those characteristic weren't given to him after his lifetime for him to fit the Messianic bill (which is likely what happened).

          August 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • AE

          I don't think Jesus demonstrates extreme arrogance and narcissism. I see him taking a stand against a religious society that embraces such a way of life.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Anybody who claims to be a god or the son of a god displays extreme arrogance.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • AE

          I disagree with your opinion. If they are God or the son of God than they are being honest.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, but they obviously aren't being honest.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • AE

          That's just your opinion. The Gospels are at least honest enough to show that other people thought like you, too. God didn't act like they wanted, so they couldn't believe.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's not my opinion, it's a fact.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • AE

          Obviously if you say obviously that makes it a fact. It is that simple.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You betcha.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Jesus serves humans? Then get him to knock it off with children suffering and dying needlessly ok?

        August 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • AE

          Are you trying to help them?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Is Cheese an omnipotent deity?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • AE

          A lot of children are suffering because of the life that people like me and Cheese live. Even if we don't see it, our standard American way of life depends on the suffering and exploitation of other people so we can get our not-really-necessary products and leisure at an affordable price.

          A lot of children's suffering comes at the hands of other people. There is enough food to feed every person on this planet, but in my opinion due to human greed and selfishness people are starving to death.

          Are you doing anything to help? I am. I'm trying to do more and more each day.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          AE,

          I was hopeful Jesus would be will to try and help them, since accoring to you he serves humankind. I can help a bit but that is nothing compared to what an all powerful god that created the entire universe could do. He does serve US right?

          Dave,

          Why would cheese be a deity? "Blessed are the Cheesemakers" isn't to be taken literally....it means blessed are ALL makers of dairy products.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          What about the numerous diseases which have more or less no relevance to humanity's greed, malaria for example?

          I personally don't care about starving children, so asking what I'm doing for them is irrelevant to the point being made, although if I was an omnipotent deity, I'd probably give them some food.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "A lot of children are suffering because of the life that people like me and Cheese live."

          Really? You know nothing about me and somehow think I am responsible for children suffering? A bit presumptive tonight are we. Your god could stop it all, and he serves us according to you so

          He either chooses not to and therefore does not actually serve us

          or he is impotent to do anything about it and is not all powerful.

          Why don't you hold your god that serves us accountable instead of trying to deflect it on me?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • AE

          @ Cheese
          That is one aspect of Jesus. He asks us to serve other people. Especially God's people: the poor, widowed and orphaned.

          An all powerful God and He calls our human outcasts "His people"?

          @ Dave

          Malaria: Look for a cure or treatment.

          God asks His people to help the starving children. I guess you are lucky if you don't hear their cries or feel their suffering. Looks like you have been blessed or just lucky to be you.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • AE

          @ Cheese

          Dave used you as an example, that is why I used you as an example to. I didn't mean anything personal, that is why I included myself, too. As Americans, like it or not, we support such things as child labor (slavery basically). We may not see it, but if you look into it, your computer you are typing on probably came from such exploitations.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          'Look for a cure or treatment' is a cop-out. Why create malaria in the first place?

          Lucky? No. Blessed? Ha. I just happened to be born in the developed world and to be a hard-hearted b@stard.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • Thor

          @AE "That is one aspect of Jesus. He asks us to serve other people."

          But you said HE serves us. And my question was why doesn't he take care of problems he is capable of taking care of? Why are you deflecting the question away instead of answering it?

          August 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • AE

          I don't know why malaria and other diseases exist. But I know if there is a treatment it is good to offer that to other people. Thank God we have people who dedicate their lives to helping others. With science and medical advances we can treat diseases that occur, whether they exist and the consequence of our past decisions or not.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Instead of thanking your deity of preference, why not thank the people themselves?

          August 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
        • AE

          @ Thor

          Did you mean to post as "Cheese"????

          I asked you to look into the role of Christ as a servant.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • AE

          I do thank them. I'm not sure why you imagine I don't.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yes, Thor is my alter ego.

          I know you asked me to look into Jesus as a servant. It is rediculous. I asked questions that were attempting to get YOU to think about it. The CHristian god is absurd, just as absurd as Thor, ect. Making claims about any god that cannot be verified or demonstrated is meaningless.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Great post, 50 footer. Some points about the Jesus "sacrifice" that aren't made often enough.

      August 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        Thanks, Bob. For a mythology so fundamentally flawed to form the basis of a major religion up to the present really is a prime example of what a powerful grip religious leaders had – and continue to have – on people. Fortunately, more and more people are questioning the old mythologies.

        But I throw that challenge out there again. Can ANYONE explain how this is the ultimate sacrifice?

        August 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Colin

          The more interesting question to my, 50 foot, is why such an obviously flwaed doctrine has survived for so long. It is patently absurd and collapses at the first puff of logic, so how the fvck has it hoodwinked billions and billions of Christians, many of whom are educated, smart people?

          The only explanation I can come up with is that the desire to survive our own deaths is so strong in our psyche that we will overlook flaws in any doctrine that promises a way around death.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          It was the ultimate sacrifice for many reasons. The first one that comes to mind is that he is the only who could do it. Also, consider that he took all the sin of every believer who has and will ever live. Those are plenty to call it awesome or the ultimate sacrifice.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Colin

          Robert Brown, you said, "The first one that comes to mind is that he is the only who could do it.". Why is he the önly one who could do it." Is God not all powerful? Could he not decide to forgive humans without the gruesome act of crucifiction?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • Observer

          How heartless could any father be to sit and watch his son slowly die when he could have saved him?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Robert – again, where is the sacrifice? Was Jesus a part of God initially? For the purposes of this example – yes. Was he alive as a human? Yes. Was he alive as a human after his crucifixion? Yes. Did he rejoin God after? Yes. If God is infinite in power and wisdom and capacity, your God surely has the "capacity" to hold all of the "sins" of mankind.

          So, again – where is the sacrifice?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Colin,
          He was the only one who could because he was the only one able to live a sinless life in human flesh. He was the only one able to conquer death, hell, & the grave.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          If he's omnipotent, why not just do those things instantaneously? Seems like overkill to me.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer,

          That was his demonstration of love. Minus the consequence of all that sin, all humans would be for ever separated from the love of God.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          Geez, Robert, for a good Christian you sure don't know your bible! It's full of references of people rising from the dead. Lazarus. What about Matthew 27.50: "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,"

          So, rising from the dead – conquering death, as it were, was no big dead back then

          August 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Attack,
          I'm a little slow, but may be catching on. You seem to think that since the death wasn't permanent, it wasn't an ultimate sacrifice. On that point I guess we'll have to disagree.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • Observer

          Robert Brown,

          "That was his demonstration of love. Minus the consequence of all that sin, all humans would be for ever separated from the love of God"

          Nope. It was totally heartless to let his son die. If God knew Jesus's sincerity and willingness to die for it, there was no reason to prove it. If it was to try to prove the existence of God, there are an infinite number of easier, non-fatal ways to do it. Totally unnecessary and cruel if it actually happened..

          August 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dave,
          A few thousand years may not be a lot of time to an eternal being.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That doesn't answer the question.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Robert – I guess we do disagree. If someone "dies" on the operating table for 30 seconds is it the ultimate sacrifice? 30 minutes? I guess my issue is that the bible story itself says that Jesus rose after 3 days, wandered around, then ascended to heaven to be with God. Hmmm – ascending to heaven to be with God. Isn't that the ultimate reward?

          Can you start to see why i'm having difficulty with it – it simply makes no – zip, zero, zilch – sense whatsoever. Doesn't your brain start to get sore trying to come up with the rationalizations and brain knots necessary to even start to attempt to make the story fit the slogan.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • AE

          What Robert says makes a lot of sense.

          If I believed that nothing really matters and that I am a product of some kind of highly illogical and random occurrence than I would think that sacrifice was pretty trivial, too.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          "If I believed that nothing really matters and that I am a product of some kind of highly illogical and random occurrence"

          Who have you ever met in your life who has expressed that belief?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • AE

          That is me crudely trying to explain life without God.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer,

          It wasn't about Jesus proving his willingness. It was about sinless blood.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Observer

          Robert Brown,

          God is omnipotent, supposedly. He did not HAVE to let his son die for any reason. Unfortunately, God seems to have little problem sitting around watching innocent people die.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          AE

          How would you describe existence without Ganesha?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dave,

          I can't tell you why an all powerful being does things the way he does. The way God considers time & the way we look at time does seem relevant. Another observation for your consideration is that God seems to use his creation to carry out things. Why that is I don't know.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-59ezAQarKY&w=640&h=360]

          August 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Attack,

          I can see your difficulty with. A very close friend of mine asked me similar questions several years. Thankfully, his search for answers led to faith. By the way, I wasn't able to provide him with answers either.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • AE

          @ How would you describe existence without Ganesha?

          God.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That literally makes no sense.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer,

          God cares about human life, especially the life of the soul of humans (the breath of life).

          August 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • AE

          @ How would you describe existence without Ganesha?

          Easy. Existence isn't dependent on Ganesha.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Nor is it dependent on any other fictional character. Please define existence without Ganesha.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Doobs

          He was the only one who could because he was the only one able to live a sinless life in human flesh.

          Jeebus was a racist with an anger management problem. He got pissed at a fig tree for not having fruit when it was out of season and killed it. He beat the people in the temple courts who sold doves and other animals to people who didn't have their own animals to sacrifice, with a whip he made out of cords. He called the Canaanite woman a dog.

          That doesn't sound particularly sinless to me.

          Of course, there are many excuses from the apologetics for these, including this ridiculous one – that Jesus used the Hebrew word for "puppy" or "house pet" instead of the word for "outside dog", so it was really a term of endearment, not an insult. LOL!

          August 27, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • fred

      The Bible reveals Gods purpose for creation which is to give life eternal for souls that truly desire what God has purposed. Man due to free will eventually desires what God clearly presents as sin which leads to death (separation from God). One must reject God in favor of desire.
      In Jesus crucifixion we see what sin looks like to a holy God. It is ugly, painful, disfiguring, physical and emotional darkness that is in contrast with the light and Glory seen in the radiance of Holy. Man is blinded by the serpent and finds that which God warns against as desirous while on Christ we see what sin actually looks like. It is not the equivalent of pennies to Bill Gate as the rape of child for example even if it happens millions of times in history retains its individual significance to the victim and a Holy God.
      Symbolically we see the impact of sin on God (Christ was God) and what it really looks like. Symbolically we see the loving forgiving nature of God in bringing us back. The scorcher is when Jesus called out Father why hast thou forsaken me and we see the anguish of separation from God. The Son of God was never separate from God and that separation is the eternal pain experienced when unity with God is forever lost. Accept Gods gift of forgiveness and you will not experience that eternal separation.

      August 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        No it doesn't, no we don't and no we don't.

        August 26, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • fred

          Well, then you have bought the deception of the serpent completely and see only the natural which lacks soul and hand of God is lost.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:20 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 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          Really, Fred? Do you actually believe in talking snakes? Snakes that can talk and plan to actively deceive people? Have you ever seen (or perhaps heard) a talking snake?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • fred

          The serpent was well understood 6,000 years ago as symbolic of deception. It matters not if it was figurative event in the Garden of Eden or literal since the story remains exactly the same as when presented in oral tradition who knows how many thousands of years ago.
          You should be amazed and in awe of the Divine nature of such writing that it had capacity to convey the story to the Chosen Ones since first presented.
          The deception of the serpent was that rejecting Gods plan was pleasing to the eye. That which brings death is desirous and makes man wise.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm amazed and in awe of the blind adherence to dogma.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Fred; so people deceive each other. Big deal. Nothing magical about that. And as for being in awe of the bible, I'd be more in awe if your god – who supposedly created all of the living things – knew that a hare didn't chew its cud, or that a bat isn't a bird. your god wasn't much of a zoologist, apparently.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • fred

          I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          "I'm amazed and in awe of the blind adherence to dogma."
          =>It still remains the best explanation for good and evil.
          =>Tell me about your blind dogma regarding why there is or is not good and evil in our world.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
      • Bob

        fred, read the thread above re the crucifixion "sacrifice" nonsense. Your entire nasty religion is based on invalid premises.

        August 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
        • fred

          The premise is that life is more than the physical. We are physical and spiritual beings unlike simple organic blobs.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Fred – and what do you base your premise on? You have to establish the truth of your premise before using it in your argument. You can't simply assert your premise as true, then use that premise for proof of what you are as-serting.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • fred

          Your rules of philosophy tickled the Greeks but are not of use when discussing soul. There is no evidence for soul. If you cannot sense it or feel it as self evident there is nothing a source outside of the Bible can offer to validate it.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Another variation of 'the book is true because it says so in the book'.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          Fred: thank you for your honestly in saying there is no evidence for the existence of the soul. That is being intellectually honest. And i have never tickled a Greek .... well, there was this one time.

          So, I have absolutely no issue with you saying, "it is my belief that" of "it is my view that" or "it is my hope that" there is a god, a soul, and afterlife, etc. What tends to bug people is when people of faith as-sert it as a fact, as opposed to a tenet of their beliefs.

          Try it – it won't hurt. "It is my belief that ..."

          August 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • fred

          I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          "Another variation of 'the book is true because it says so in the book'."
          =>The Bible is true not because it says so but because for me belief in Christ played out just as the Bible said it would. Prayer was answered just as the Bible said it would be. The Holy Spirit instantly converted me from agnostic to a believer who could actually see the hand of God at work from the beginning, Faith that symbolically or literally the Bible gives me the best picture possible to draw out something I cannot possibly comprehend. I understand that Abraham had to step out in faith before he could see the fullness of God because I had to step out several times in faith to understand things are not as the Serpent makes them appear.

          August 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        So, Fred, since you say that the Son and God are never separated, Jesus calling out "Why have you forsaken me?" was just for show? Again – there's no sacrifice. It's just a cheap trick, to try to impress the yokels.

        And as for your allusion to child r-ape, where was your God when all of those Catholic pedophile priests were doing their dirty business? And where was your Jesus when those poor girls were kidnapped and r-aped for years and years. God sees all, but does F#kk-all about it apparently.

        Open your eyes, Fred. You've been brainwashed and hoodwinked by religion. Fortunately, it's not too late, because evolution has given you a great big brain capable of rational thought. So jump on in to the sea of reason – the water's fine!

        August 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • fred

          Christ knew what was coming which is why he asked that this cup be passed. You and I have never experienced existence outside the presence of God. The Light shined in the darkness but the darkness knew it not. Even though we think we can handle that unknown abyss that is without the creative power and glory of God we have never known it or experienced it. Christ felt it and went through that abyss the thought of which caused tears of blood. It was not pennies to Bill Gates.

          Yes, this world is ugly filled with sick priests the reality the serpent has covered up not God. We are blessed in that God restrains evil in the present and in the future when evil is separated eternally there will only be the glory of God. This is a very short existence that simply allows your soul to reach it fullness of good or evil then the end will come. A hundred year life span is non existent on the landscape of eternity yet alone the periods of pain and suffering that are not even noticeable.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Please explain how an omnipotent being could have a rival.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          Fred, your Bible says that Jesus told his disciples what was going to happen: he would be taken, and scourged, and crucified and would die, but then would rise on the third day. he KNEW IN ADVANCE what was going to happen, including rejoining God – or himself. So, again – no sacrifice. It;s like me saying, "I have to go to Jersey for 3 days, but I'll be back".

          No sacrifice. Please try again.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • Mary

          So all of the rape and heinous crimes I endured as a child is nothing cuz I'll be taken care of in the afterlife if I just have faith? Sorry, it was lost long ago the first time the priest decided I was to be his hairless plaything. Kiss my ass.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • fred

          Mary
          Sorry, to hear that . I was not minimalizing the pain or event. When you look at my post I made it clear the pain and suffering from the rape of a child retains it individual hurt and consequence which is why Christ suffered so when taking on the sins of the world.
          If there was no God then I would be upset because there must be consequence and accountability for harm caused others that extends well beyond our short time here.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • fred

          Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear
          Christ was abandoned by all his followers, spit upon, mocked, beaten, whipped and hung by nails until dead. A painful process since they drive the nails through the main nerve in the feet and wrist. Worse he may have trusted while alive that God was faithful but, that moment of complete separation from God was never experienced. It is one think to know I am going to hit your thumb with a hammer and another when I actually hit it. Three days in abyss may have felt as an eternity and all without the presence of God. Jersey seems like a cake walk.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Have you been to Camden?

          August 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • Mary

          Jesus's "sacrifice" 2000 years ago doesn't mean a damned thing to me. If Jesus wanted to help, he would have flipping materialized and sacrificed himself once again. I find your platitudes not comforting to me at all. The way I see it, HE sacrificed ME, and I didn't even get to die and come back to allocades. Give me a break. His "sacrifice" wasn't.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Fred – lots of people go through far worse physical anguish than that. Ever try chemo? I wouldn't recommend it. And remember – Jesus, according to the Bible, KNEW IN ADVANCE that he would rise after 3 days. He said so (at lease, according to the bible!) He KNEW it was only temporary. And as for attributing what Jesus felt while in the tomb – pure speculation. Probably more like falling asleep then waking – it feeling is that no time has passed.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • fred

          I am sorry Dave
          I think you are referring to Satan. Satan is not a rival simply evil. Evil and Good refine the soul. Without both there would be no need for free will.
          Satan was a break from the most beautiful of angelic beings falling to desire just as man did. God said he will separate good and evil when it comes to eternal position.
          I like to believe that.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'd like to believe that Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale are waiting in my bed for me, it doesn't make it so.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • fred

          Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear
          Agreed, speculation on my part. What we know is he cried out about being forsaken not all the other pain and suffering from some brutal guys. He was silent as a lamb to slaughter until that moment of separation from God. Separation from God is meaningful.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • fred

          Mary
          The picture I have of God is that he feels far more than we can imagine. If I mention hell for an unrepentant rapist most people would claim that was overkill on Gods part and the punishment should be less than eternal torment. Well in the present it seems eternal and I hope I have clear picture of a just and loving God.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • AE

          Evil is real and exists. I've suffered tragedies in my life. Not as bad as I can imagine Mary suffered. But still very horrible and at a time that destroyed the innocence of childhood I help to protect in others today. I don't know why that evil was allowed in my life, but without God it would still be destroying me today.

          For me, that evil tried to separate me from God. And it almost won. But today I can draw a line and say no more. May peace be with you Mary.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  4. Jim

    The ancient people who wrote accounts were describing things from their perspectives. They didn't have cladistics or modern astronomy to provide the scientific answers many seem to want to hold them too. The Bible is NOT a science book. But what it reveals about the creation is supported by modern day science. There is no scientific proof that life can form naturally from non-living chemistry. Nor is there any proof that it formed anywhere other than earth. Genesis describes the intentional formation of man from the earth. And man's dna can be traced all the way back to that one original organism that WAS CREATED from the clays of the earth. A particular type of clay too, "montmorillonite" which has been found to produce primitive forms of rna.

    August 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      So, Jim, I take it from your comments that you do NOT believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, but was in fact written by men?

      August 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • Jim

        It is the Word of God written through men and perhaps women, as well. IMHO, of course.

        August 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well why didn't Yahweh instill the knowledge of astronomy in these men?

          August 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          But what does that mean? The Word of God written thru men and women? What about the obvious errors in the Bible? Why would God allow those to happen? God – being omniscient – would know in advance that such errors would cause people to doubt the Bible. And if there are ANY errors in the Bible, then how can we determine what is true and what is error? Leviticus, for example: Bats are birds, Insects go about on 4 legs, hares chew their cud. No, no, and no. And if, as Genesis claims, man is given dominion over all other living things, why do viruses kill humans?

          Jim, could it be that the Bible is NOT the word of God, but simply the words of men?

          August 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And you have no proof that life WAS CREATED either...so we are no closer to what actually happened. Just because you claim to have an answer doesn't mean anything until you can demonstrate it.

      August 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • Jim

        This true. The argument remains open, not closed, as most seem to advocate here.

        August 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you are admitting your god is an opinion and not a fact I am OK with that. But when one such as yourself makes the assertions you claim, more often than not they are stated as fact.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      "The Bible is NOT a science book."

      At least your post made some sense.

      August 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • AE

        If you are trying to read The Bible like you read a science book you might have some problems.

        August 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Unquestionably. Tolchocking yahoodies don't mix with science books.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • Athy

          If you are trying to read the bible you might have some problems.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • AE

          There is a reason why top notched English literature programs require its reading... its influence on culture is an important thing to know about. Be open minded!

          August 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Who's denying its cultural significance?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • AE

          Athy.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Fair enough, I'd never try to stop somebody reading the Bible from a secular viewpoint (or any viewpoint, although I'd certainly advise against any literal reading of it).

          August 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Observer

      With no way to test the reliability of most of the stories in the Bible, the most reliable source is to look at scientific events in the Bible. It is the Bible's contradiction of most of the laws of science that leave it so irrational. Based on the Bible, all of the laws of science aren't always consistent, but just optional. The story of Noah's Ark may be one of the first examples of science fiction.

      August 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Jim

        The account of Noah may have been a local event ? The Black Sea event ? Or not. I can think of a scenario where a truly global flood COULD occur. And maybe we are looking for evidence of it in the wrong time period ? What if Noah existed 60,000 years ago ? Anyway, one can imagine the tectonic plates suddenly contracting and sinking into the mantle briefly, bringing the mountains down to sea level and then just as suddenly resume their original positions. Just putting that out there for you Sci Fi buffs ! Which I also enjoy !

        August 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          So... Noah was a ghost shark?

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

          August 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
        • Dippy

          Jim, knock off the floating punctuation. It makes you appear to be stupid. Are you?

          August 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          @ Jim; could you please outline your scenario as to how a global flood could occur, recognizing that the Noah story talks about ALL of the land being covered by water. At last count Mount Everest was a shade over 29000 feet above sea level, so make sure that your scenario covers the source of the volume of water necessary to achieve that, an the source of that water. Oh, and a scientific explanation as to where that water went after the flood.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • Jim

          To "attack of the 50 ft. underwear guy" I provided the scenario of how Everest could have been covered with water. Did you read what I wrote ? A brief sinking of the tectonic plates into the mantle bringing the mountains down below sea level and resuming there current position when it was all over. The water didn't have to go anywhere. Of course a lot of water could have been subducted back into the mantle at the edges of the tectonic plates.

          August 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  5. Lionly Lamb

    Lucifer's Evil Twin wrote, ”You're straying away from comprehensible English again LL... the society and culture you live in has always prescribed what is morally acceptable and what is regulated by societal law... religion has played a part in codifying some of those, but anthropology and the study of other societal mammals proves that religion is not necessary to define what is right and what is wrong...”

    Sired LET… I have neither society nor culture of which I am living in… I have been a loner, a recluse so to say for a good many seasonal years… I attend no church and I do not socialize with the exception of here on Belief Blog… What is “morally acceptable” for me is not “regulated by societal law”… and most certainly, religious scriptures’ wholesomeness is not my calling nor is it my codifying trait… Your mixing of humanistic anthropology with social mammals only proves there to be similarities in their overlapping conditionings and in no way disproves the needs for religious anthropology…

    For our better parts, we humans are but socialized creatures of habitual yearnings and hardly do we ever entail ourselves upon meanderings of intellectual foresight… Whenever anyone of lessor mindedness considers issues being intellectually compliant, they are usually ridiculed toward such an insulting degree by others who aren’t even portraying anything of intellectual importance but rather many ridiculers do so just to get their jollies off by ingratiating tactics of subversion and deceitfulness…

    August 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Kaysi

      I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my father.
      Not screaming in terror as the rest of his passengers.

      August 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMYSWiPm7E0&w=640&h=360]

        August 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I always preferred 'Godzilla' from BOC...

          August 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • Kaysi

          Oh goody a video that's not available. Thanks Lamb! Did you ever stop to consider that your childhood enamoring way was due mostly by your childhood desires which your parents imparted for you to wantonly mimic?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  6. AE

    Not bored. 🙂

    August 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Athy

      Not to a religie. Gotta be the most exciting thing there is.

      August 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • AE

        You keep coming back!

        August 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  7. jdf45646

    Ask them DEMAND THAT DIRECTLY 1,000,000 DOLLARS FOR EACH TELOMER DAMAGED.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Typical Christian false advertising

    The parable is supposed to illustrate god's forgiveness; but, god does not let you go try out hell for a while and if you don't like it, let you repent and go to heaven

    August 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Not false advertising when read in context...the Bible clearly indicates that it is appointed for a man to die once and then face judgment. If it were any other way, sin would have no consequence.

      August 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Reality clearly indicates that sin exists only in the mind of the Abrahamist.

        August 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Sin can have no consquence within Christianity so your argument is invalid.

        "Forgive me Jesus for I have sinned"

        See? All better....and no consquence!

        August 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • Comprehend

          You are still responsible for what you do! You will still "reap what you sow".

          August 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          How can free will exist with a creator who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent?

          August 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Really? If I am forgiven for my transgressions because I have accepted Jesus into my heart where is the "you will reap what you sow" part? It is taken care of by god sacrificing himself to himself right?

          August 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          google temporal punishment

          August 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I did but the absolute nonsensical ramblings hurt my brain.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Bill,

          Oh, well let me just use one of these handy "indulgences" that your Church allows then.....what a crock.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Merriam Webster:

          Definition of TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT
          : a punishment for sin that according to Roman Catholic doctrine may be expiated in this world or if not sufficiently expiated here will be exacted in full in purgatory

          In other words, you are forgiven but you still have to fix what you broke.

          There. Not so hard now was it?

          August 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Indulgences are available cheesy. You can earn them but God gets to decide who redeems them. LOL, you could do a spiritual act of mercy and end up praying Hitler out of hell. Still want to go for it?

          August 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So just in case anyone is confused. Bill has cleared things up.

          God loves everyone unconditionally...with some conditions.

          God is all just and all merciful....even though mercy is about witholding justice.

          Jesus died for our sins so we are not punished the way we deserve to be....but you are still going to be punished...unless you use a "get out of jail free" card....but only God decides if you will be allowed to use it, so just cause you have it doesn't mean anything.

          Wow, you are right Bill, that all makes so much sense! Now that it has been explained to me properly I don't know why I ever questioned it to begin with.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • AE

          I think you missed the point, Cheese. That is not what he said.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Really AE? That is what I read, I paraphrased it of course. If you feel I have "straw manned" his point maybe you could explain what I missed.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Parable

      your relationship to God is simply not defined by your really bad decisions or your squandering of resources. But also your relationship to God is not determined by your virtue. It is not determined by being nice, or being good or even, and I struggle with this, but it’s not even determined by how much you do at church. Your relationship to God is simply determined by the wastefully ex.trav.agan.t love of God! A God who takes no account of risk but runs toward you no matter what saying all that is mine is yours!

      August 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        I assume you don't believe in Hell then?

        August 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • ME II

        Great! Everyone goes to heaven.

        August 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  9. Observer

    Lawrence of Arabia,

    You talk about Christians repenting. The Bible says that men can get divorced and remarry and not be adulterers if their prior wife was an adutlerer. Please give the verse where it says a woman can divorce and remarry without becoming an adulterer if her prior husband already was an adulterer.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • hharri

      what an idiot

      August 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    Lucifer's Evil Twin wrote, “Insipid drivel – propaganda/brainwashing television programs for children are shameful...”

    Lionly Lamb wrote to Sired LET, stating, “So... The teaching of life's morals is what you call "brainwashing"..? So sad...”

    Lucifer's Evil Twin wrote, @LL – “since you asked me the question in comprehensible English, I'll answer you... yes, all religious teaching/indoctrination is 'brainwashing' and yes it is sad...”

    Lionly Lamb responded to Sired LET... asking, “How then are people supposed to understand human dignities if not thru being taught righteous moralism within reasoned ways being passed down from generation to generations..?”

    August 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You're straying away from comprehensible English again LL... the society and culture you live in has always prescribed what is morally acceptable and what is regulated by societal law... religion has played a part in codifying some of those, but anthropology and the study of other societal mammals proves that religion is not necessary to define what is right and what is wrong...

      August 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  11. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    No it isn't.

    August 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Wrong place.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        So it is

        August 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Indubitably.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Lawrence of Arabia

    And what does he mean by "boring" anyway? Is he meaning that we're boring to the world, so we've got to have the world's music and crowd surfing? Well, church was not meant to be "entertaining" to to world. Psalm 150 talks about all of the ways that we are to praise God – music, dancing, singing, etc., but we are to sing a NEW song... One that's different from the world. If church becomes entertaining to an unsaved world, then we've got to make sure that we're not using the world's idea of entertainment. We are in the world, not of it, and we are in church for spiritual concerns, not to get a "buzz."

    August 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You obviously take this religious crap too seriously... I bet you're fun at the Christian_Mingle swinger parties...

      August 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Swinging is allowed Biblically.

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUIU6yDeSgw&w=640&h=360]

        August 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Kaysi

          You like my writing enough to quote me! Yay! Did ya know you won’t find a single statue of Abraham Lincoln in the whole of the republican south…. but you’ll find a statue of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Boothe in every southern town square? Guess that’s possible, as you seem to be sharing your only brain cell with a Twix wrapper. I’m pithiest! Yes?

          August 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lawrence
      Religions WERE meant to be entertaining. One of the only forms of entertainment was storytelling, which is where men create stories and many are adopted into religions.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Story telling certainly has an etertainment value, but the story of the Christ is no mere story. Simply because we are 2000 or so years removed from it, it may seem like a mere story to many, but to others, it is the only explanation for life that makes sense.

        Science, even when properly understood, in the end can only speculate.
        Philosophy, though it has its applications, it never can solve the problem of evil...
        astronomy can give us a view of the vastness of this universe, but in the end, it only creates more questions...
        The story of the Christ, as passed down from eye witnesses in letters to the churches, then cherished and faithfully reproduced with awe from devout men dedicated to its purity have given us a book that is the most accurate of any ancient manuscript.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          To compare with Homer’s Iliad for example, we only have about 500 manuscripts for this story, and they were written some 500 years after the story was originally written. The New Testament alone has more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts, and 9,300 manuscripts written in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic, and Armenian. These manuscripts exist in partials or wholes where the dates of these manuscripts range from 125AD (the John Ryland's manuscript, P52; oldest copy of John fragments) to the introduction of printing in Germany in the 15th century. There are more manuscripts that preserve the New Testament than there are for any other ancient writing.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Odd that you proclaim its accuracy when it is obvious that the story of christ was modified from previous religions, and the bulk of Christs teachings are straight from the Buddha, from 400 years prior.
          As for eyewitnesses, I saw you dancing in a chorus line in drag yesterday. I am an eye witness. You cannot verify what I say, and no one can verify what they allegedly said. How do you know all the "eyewitness" accounts were real? They could have been made up by the same writers and editors of thebible to bolster the story.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          What a load of crap... "The story of the Christ, as passed down from eye witnesses in letters to the churches, then cherished and faithfully reproduced with awe from devout men dedicated to its purity have given us a book that is the most accurate of any ancient manuscript." Bible scholars admit that the earliest books of the bible were written approximately 90 years after your Christ's supposed life and death. There were no 'eyewitnesses'... People can't retain absolute accuracy of a short story for 10 minutes let alone 90 years.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard, but at the time of the writings, when Jesus appeared to 500 eye witnesses, the doubters were challenged to question those eye witnesses to see if what he was saying was true.

          You may say that you saw me in drag the other day, but you would not be willing to be crucified for claiming what you saw – the apostles were, and did get crucified for it. Many people will believe a lie, but I don't know of anyone who would willingly die for a lie that they know isn't the truth, and doesn't benefit them in any way...

          August 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Where's your proof of eyewitnesses being put to death?

          August 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Evil Twin, well, the act of remembrance of all of the happenings of Christ from the eye witnesses was a miracle in and of itself
          John 14:26 – “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

          August 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm Sorry Dave, Fox's Book of Martyres is one example.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          faithfully reproduced with awe from devout men dedicated to its purity
          ------
          In more realistic terms: groupings of religious leaders of the time(Council of Nicea) gathered to finalize the ideas/writings THEY wanted to be part of the greater work of the bible. And, ideas/writings they didn't want in the bible. Not God's word.........man's word.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Lawrence of Arabia

          No it isn't.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Madtown, then you don't know what those church councils were all about... The Old Testament was pulled together into the Canon that we have now by the scribe Ezra in the 400’s BC. (Nehemiah 8) By the time John completed the book of the Revelation in 94-96AD, the New Testament books were completed and had already been widely circulated as scripture. The New Testament was not compiled by any church council or by any decree of a ruler, rather, the apostles themselves dictated what the Scripture was (2 Peter 3:1-2, 15-16, Jude 17-18, Galatians 1:1-2, Acts 2:42). It was only later, in the 100’s AD when the Gnostics began circulating their own texts and claiming apostolic authorship, that the true church decided that it became necessary to weed out all heresies that desired to creep into the canon, so they developed a standard test to determine the canonicity of scripture. In 398AD, at the Third Council of Carthage, the church once and for all settled the parameters of the scope of scripture by officially confirming the Canon according to the writings that the apostles themselves confirmed.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm Sorry Dave, then I await your copy and paste from some atheistic source because you haven't done any research into the topic yourself.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Wait away, it's no skin off my rosy nose.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Lawrence
          You keep falling in the same trap.
          How do you verify a story from 2000 years ago? If I do not beleive in the first place, you saying that it was verified carries no weight, for you have the same problem. How do I know that jesus was seen by 500 people? How do I know these 500 weren't just made up to boldter the story? How do I verify the verifiers?
          Knowing how much of the bible was written, and knowing quite a bit about the culture of the time, the stories were enhanced and embellished all the time. Without solid verification, the stories are not substantial on their own.
          No one believes the Illiad and the Odyssey, they are fiction, but I bet If I was there in the time, not only could I convince many that it is real, but you would eventually have many who claim not only that it was real, that they witnessed parts of it. Basic human psychology.
          And it still doesn't address why either Christ was a Buddhist or the people who embellished his story, used much of the Buddhas teachings into the Christ character.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Richard, I don't understand why you have a conflict called Buddhism. If two people look at the same object and describe it with similar terms, why is that a problem. Wouldn't you have a better argument if the Buddha held truth that Christ didn't?

          August 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          " a book that is the most accurate of any ancient manuscript"

          Except for Gilgamesh.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard, you bring up valid points, but by saying:

          "the stories were enhanced and embellished all the time"

          you are falling into the same category of unprovable claims then...

          All false worship began at the Tower of Babel... Read about the story of Tammuz and Semiramis. In this story we have the basis of all false religions all over the world. Tammuz went by many names after all of the languages were introduced; in Samaria, he was known as Gilgamesh, in Phoenicia, his name was Baal, in Egypt, Osiris, in Greece, Eros, (also Adonis), in Rome, Cupid. It's all the same mother/child cult that's been going on through the systems of religion since Genesis 10. And, strangely enough, when God brought the reality of Mary and Jesus, the whole pagan system got tangled up in it and produced what we now know as Roman Catholicism.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          A few points – 1. People die for a lie all of the time (Politics and religion are pretty much nothing but lies) 2. "because the bible says it's true" is circular reasoning and not a valid argument 3. If you must suspend disbelief to have “faith” that your particular religious delusion is real, then you are most definitely psychologically impaired and/or damaged and in need of some therapy/medication.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          Tammuz was the Sumerian god of food.
          Gilgamesh was the hostorical King of Uruk.
          Gilgamesh was a real person – the city of Uruk has been unearthed by archaeologists.
          Manuscripts of the Epic of Gilgamesh pre-date the Old Testament by 1,000 years.

          Several paralells exist between Genesis and Gilgamesh, such as the almost precise retelling of a global flood and multiple paralells between Enkidu/Shamhat and the Adam/Eve stories.

          Just as there is evidence for a historical Jesus, there is evidence (more of it, actually) for the existence of a historical Gilgamesh.
          Neither one of them were demi-gods, however.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Madtown

          the true church decided that it became necessary to weed out all heresies
          -----
          I'm happy to see you at least admit to the fact that the bible is 100% the creation of the human mind. Written, edited, and modified. "Weed out heresies" = remove the parts than ran contrary to their opinion.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • OTOH

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          Re: The alleged 500 witnesses:

          - Who exactly were they? Where are their verified testimonies?

          - Even if there was a group who *claimed* to be witnesses, perhaps they were questioned and found to be unbelievable by the vast majority of people living at the time. If all of these stories were true - most, if not everyone would have believed. They did not.

          Again, most people of the day did not buy into those stories. Was this allegedly most earthshaking event since the beginning of time so obscure and unavailable to all? Today, while there are certainly some naysayers regarding our landings on the moon; the vast majority of people believe that it actually happened.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The retroreflectors on the moon disprove the conspiracy theorists.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          "the stories were enhanced and embellished all the time"

          "you are falling into the same category of unprovable claims then"

          Incorrect. Many psychological studies have proven that:
          A) Eyewitnesses are unreliable. No two people remember everything the same way, and almost all peoples memories are inaccurate.
          B) People will alter stories, because they do not remember them properly, and will believe they are correct, until proven they are not right

          We know because we have the evidence that I am not making a wild a$$umption...though I cannot prove beyond doubt that the stoires of any individual are inaccurate in this case, understanding of human psychology presents overwhelming evidence that it is so.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          For reference Rich, ass doesn't set off the naughty words alarm.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Sorry to tell you but dying to self is not entertaining. It is a great fallacy to think that discipleship is easy. I wouldn't recommend to anyone who has any other options. If you have a great intellect or lots and lots of money, stick with that. However, if the world has failed you and you are broken, sick and weary. Come to Christ

        August 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Dying to self is not entertaining" Amen to that... I'm in the middle of a book called "Hard to Believe" and that's what Christianity is all about. The message of the gospel is simple, but it's not easy. It's not about making bad people good, it's about making dead people alive!

          August 26, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "if the world has failed you and you are broken, sick and weary. Come to Christ"

          Ah yes, religion works hard at guilting people into feeling broken, sick and weary so they can rebuild you into an automaton that shows up every Sunday to drops some dough on the plate and get their fix of salvation. People who are not fooled by the guilt trips are just avoided by the religious.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCWPCiHJ8rk&w=640&h=360]

          August 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Madtown

          However, if the world has failed you and you are broken, sick and weary. Come to Christ
          -----
          "Who is Christ?"

          – signed,
          any of the many humans that God has placed in any number of different areas of this world where they will never learn the first thing about christianity.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "However, if the world has failed you and you are broken, sick and weary. Come to Christ"

          Yep, Christianity has been praying on the vulnerable for 2000 years, thay have turned it into an art.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Preying, surely?

          August 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Dave, my mother is the english teacher, not me. (I knew that was probably wrong and hit the button anyway)

          August 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • tallulah13

          The world has never failed me. The world owes me nothing. I am simply another life form that has adapted to live upon the current incarnation of the planet. If anything, I owe the world.

          Humanity has let me down several times, and humanity has wonderfully exceeded expectation several times. I have failed myself several times, and I have several times lifted myself up by my own bootstraps. Reality fulfills all my needs. I don't need fantasy to survive. I'm sorry that you do.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Tallulah and those like minded. As i say, if you are satisfied with the way your life is and that is sufficient then I say go on with yo bad self. Christ said he came to save sinner and heal the sick. There are plenty of us. The rest of you are free to go.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          Christ said he came to save sinner and heal the sick. There are plenty of us.
          ------
          "Thanks Bill, but I still haven't heard of this Christ person. Interestingly, the religious traditions that I have available to me talk of similar notions; redemption for us, and where we go when we leave here. But, you've never heard of my traditions or my divine spiritual guide. Who's right, you or me?"

          – signed,
          that same guy, who doesn't know christianity exists(because christianity doesn't exist everywhere, unlike it would if God created it as such)

          August 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The rest of you are free to go."

          Apparently not, I have asked to be excommunicated from the church and they won't do it. 😦

          August 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • tallulah13

          So Bill, what you are saying is that christianity is for people who just don't want to take responsibility for their own behavior. Please don't pretend that your laziness is a virtue.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      T.E.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  13. Lawrence of Arabia

    Hey, Jon Acuff – the story of the prodigal is about the forgiveness of sins to a repentant heart... It's not about giving a celebration for people who have done wrong. If that's what you're truely teaching, then I'd advise you to read James 3:1.
    (Just in case the authors of these articles search for their names in the posts)

    August 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Jim

      Jon says, "Christians should offer hope in exchange for hurt, new in exchange for old, parties in exchange for pain."
      It appears when he uses the term 'new in exchange for the old" he is referring to a repentant sinner.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I hope that's what he's indending because when you read his examples you surely don't get the impression of a repentant heart.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          *Intending... sorry, bad speeler.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • Jim

          Agree, it's hard to assume what he intends to say unless he specifically calls out ' repentance' in the article. In the absence of which your understanding is probably right.

          The parable itself is very clear as to the life principles that is conveyed.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Joshua

        I wonder if he is saying an exchange for the person with hurts etc for hope that should be provided by Christians at a church? Isn't that what Jesus offers? Hope in a hopeless world? Is Mr Acuff challenging the church to perform this exchange?

        August 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Maybe, but if that is the case, then his examples still don't make sense. In the example of the spousal argument, there is no repentance of the husband, either implied or otherwise, and she still throws a party for him. This has no scriptural backing at all, so given the example, I am questioning his point. If his point is hope, then he need only modify his example, if he's saying that we should show mercy to sinners without the benefit of repentance, then I want to know what scriptures he is using.

          What the scriptures teach us (take the example of the woman at the well) is law to the proud, and grace to the humble.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Hey Larry, the story of the prodigal son was about not judging others. The father represents God, the prodigal son represents the sinners of the world that God can forgive at any time for any reason for he is the judge, and the brother who stayed home and worked hard for his father but resented the attention paid to his sinful brother represented the Jews Christ was speaking to and the one's the story was meant for. They were the ones who believed themselves Gods chosen people and were judging the tax collectors and prostltutes and even judging Christ for associating with them.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No it wasn't, because scripture is full of passages that tell us to judge... Just don't judge hypocritically. There's nothing wrong with "judging," after all, every time you choose a Sprite over a Coke, you're judging... When it comes to people, we use judging, not in a condescending way, but in a sense of seeing who should be ministered to, and how.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "every time you choose a Sprite over a Coke, you're judging..." wrong, you are just exercising your freedom of choice, having an opinion, which is a far cry from judging someone or something. If you were to slap the Sprite out of my hand then yes, that would be judging.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostltutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:28-32

        The parable ends giving advice to the brother who stayed home, not to the brother who had returned. I believe that clearly denotes who this parable was for and to.

        August 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          If you really want to dig deep into this topic, a great book is "A Tale of Two Sons" by John MacArthur. It's a great read.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I've dug deep Larry, read it and cross referenced it for years, studied it, gave several sermons on it. What you seem to be missing is the simple reality of who Christ was talking to when giving this parable. At the beginning of Luke 15 it says "But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” at which point Christ gives three parables, the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, all for the benefit of those listening to the pharisees and starting to think "Hey, maybe they are right and this Jesus character is not being righteous enough to discern between the faithful and the wicked for he dines with these "amharets" or dirty people, dogs."

          I may be an atheist but I know my scripture.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • Athy

          Most atheists do know scripture. That's primarily why they are atheists.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          From my experience, it's a myth that most atheists are well-read in scripture. Most people I've met and discussed it with, Atheist and Christian, are completely indifferent to the contents of the Bible.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Observer

          One must remember that anyone who can copy and past on the internet can "claim" to be well read in Bible.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • Observer

          *paste

          August 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • iCopy iPaste

          😉

          August 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Copy and Paste: The curse of the lethargic classes.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Joshua

        @ Just the Facts

        I think your partially right. I feel the prodigal had to choose to return to the father here and intern the father offered grace and mercy to his son. The son chose to return after the judgment or hardship came upon him. In my view this illustrates god allowing the judgment and waiting to see if the individual comes back to the father, its a choice. It shows the father has not forgone judgment but allowed a hardship to bring the relationship back together. Therefore when the son returns there isn't any judgment waiting because it has already occurred.

        August 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You're
          It's

          August 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Joshua

          Is this grammar school or belief blog?

          August 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's business time.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Athy

          Joshua, it you're (note spelling) going to post here, at least write like a grown up.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Walkforest

          It's gramma' time! (.... can't stop this)

          August 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Walkforest

          It's gramma' time! (.... can't touch this) [Oops]

          August 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "It's Gramma Time!" is of course the next in a long line of Martin Lawrence movies where he wears fat suits and cross dresses.

          August 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • Christian propaganda

        In the parable the father lets the son experience the outside world and accepts him back after he repents. According to the bible god does not let people experience hell and then repent and go to heaven

        August 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Vic

      Belief in exchange for disbelief
      Forgiveness in exchange for condemnation
      Grace in exchange for works
      Faith in exchange for religion
      Faithful in exchange for Pharisees
      Hope in exchange for despair
      Fun in exchange for boredom

      BTW, belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior is "repentance" from sin. Righteousness is only imputed to us through Jesus Christ, the ONLY righteous and NOT through our own doing or lack thereof.

      August 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Vic, can you explain why it is moral to reward and punish based on "belief"?

        August 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Actually, it's just more religious rigamarole designed to make you feel included in a special club.

        Personally, if I do something that hurts another, I apologize to the person I offended and try to make amends. My morals are based on fact, experience, empathy and compassion, not on a book written by men who created a god in order to fill the gaps in their knowledge. I do no accept that I am responsible for the "sins" of mythological ancestors, and I most certainly do not accept the murder of an innocent man as "atonement" for any harm I may have done.

        August 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Vic

        God is Sovereign, He wants us to believe in Him to be saved. I can not view it as moral or not because I don't know but I believe God is just.

        Also, my first reply is in disagreement with the root poster on the message of the article!

        August 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Vic,

          If you claim god is just than you are saying you do think it is moral....but you still haven't explained why.

          "He wants us to believe in Him to be saved."

          Why is that necessary?

          August 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Narcissism?

          August 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • sam stone

          what unmitigated gall, vic is purporting to speak for god

          vic.......jeebus is waiting. suck on the end of a 12 gauge

          August 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That's a bit excessive, isn't it?

          August 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  14. Rundvelt

    These two things have the same level of excitement.

    1) Christianity.
    2) Me, surfboarding on a wake of lava, being shot at by raptors in helicopters with missle launchers while listening to ring of fire by Johnny Cash.

    They also have something else in common. They're both not true.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Walkforest

      That's silly. Everyone knows that Raptors are Beliebers.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you... "surfboarding on a wake of lava, being shot at by raptors in helicopters with missle launchers while listening to ring of fire by Johnny Cash." sounds just as plausible as Christianity...

      Oh... and who was the jackass who taught the raptors to fly a helicopter!?

      August 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • ME II

        Likely the same idiot who taught them to use rocket launchers.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      What kind of raptors? The dinosaurs? The birds of prey? The Toronto NBA team?

      Actually, they all would be pretty frikkin' terrifying.

      August 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Johnny

      The second scenario sounds pretty exciting, dangerous but exciting none the less.

      August 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  15. fintastic

    The mythology of christianity is boring just like greek mythology is boring.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, Greek mythology was rather unboring to me as a student. They had lots of gods and god helpers and interesting stories on how they came about and what they did. But you're certainly right about christianity. Boring to the max, and no way to fix it.

      August 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        The OT has its moments.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Sara

          Jeah, the OT is more fun, but it's no Mahabharata. Both beat the Quran, however, which holds the lead for most boring religious text ever.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • ME II

          @Sare,
          hmm... some of the "tech" from Scientology is right up there. 'Course that depends on one's definition of religion I suppose.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I love Greek mythology. I've been fascinated by it since childhood. The Greek pantheon is a fascinating reflection of the ancient Greeks, just as the christian god is the reflection of the evolving jewish god. The Iliad is truly a great read, if you find a decent translation.

      If I was to believe in gods, I'd probably be a polytheist. It's a lot more interesting than monotheism, and a lot more personal. I suspect this is why the catholics have so many saints - because one god fits all really doesn't fit all.

      August 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • Athy

        I'm with you. Why stop at one god? It only makes sense that if there were gods there would have to be many, not just one. Maybe one boss god, but with lots of specialized helper gods. And new gods coming on board all the time as needed. Makes a hell of a lot more sense than the "one-god-fits-all" approach.

        August 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.

    August 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  17. Zombie God

    I started to read this article but stopped...it was too boring

    August 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Zombie God

      I went back to counting my socks

      August 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        An admirable endeavor.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Zombie God

          Well it is by far more exciting than reading the article. The comments on here offer more than what the writer of this article could offer.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The quality of article writing on this blog has diminished significantly.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Agreed.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think we're all in agreement on that point

          August 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          hey Bill. having a good day?

          August 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Brody in RI

    Great parable!

    Important life lessons!!

    August 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Lost coin

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEq8goiMWwo&w=640&h=360]

      August 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • niknak

        To long, too boring......

        August 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Insipid drivel – propaganda/brainwashing television programs for children are shameful...

        August 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired LET...

          So... The teaching of life's morals is what you call "brainwashing"..? So sad...

          August 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @LL – since you asked me the question in comprehensible English, I'll answer you... yes, all religious teaching/indoctrination is 'brainwashing' and yes it is sad...

          August 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired LET...

          How then are people supposed to understand human dignities if not thru being taught righteous moralism within reasoned ways being passed down from generation to generations..?

          August 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The moral of the prodigal son story to me is found in the second to last lines, "‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostltutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ Luke 15:29

      Here we have the perfect example of self-righteous Christians who think they get to judge their brothers and determine who is worthy and who is not. The whole parable was pointing the finger at the self-righteous Jews who believed they got to be God's chosen people and no one else should get the same rewards as they, the chosen ones. Christ was pointing out how even those coming to the table late were still welcome and deserved just as much reward as those who had remained faithful.

      As an atheist I don't believe there is any true reward to be handed out, no party to be had by the returning sinners, but I can at least see the point of the story.

      August 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Great parable!

      This parable is about a sinner who walked back repenting to a father who was waiting for him. Repentance and forgiveness are the core principles that are at display in this parable.

      August 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        True... It's just a shame that the author of the article didn't get it.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Lee

    It's not really boring nor is it really exciting.
    Christianity is a business meant to extract money from it's loyal "followers" i.e. sheep.
    This religion suckles money from a typical Christian by making them feel guilty, fear of hell, want of heaven, give a purpose, not feel lonely anymore, reunite with dead realities through soulful interactions existing eternally amongst the cosmos etc.

    Christianity is a middle eastern religion from 2,000+ years ago. It involves improbable unproven events involving the supernatural. Raising from the dead? Really? after 3 days? Rigor mortis would have set in by then. As for a virgin giving birth? This would mean Mary's hymen was intact when she gave birth to her son, meaning Jesus popped his own mom's cherry (gross!).
    Also Jesus' first miracle is "turning water into wine"? No, it was getting a bunch of middle easterners drunk at a wedding so his mother wouldn't be embarrassed...really? Anyone dumb enough to believe a bunch of obviously ancient fairy tales deserves to WASTE their lives and DIE by this nonsense.

    August 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Just Sayin

      A bit harsh wouldn't you say?

      August 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Lee

        Sorry dude, but I haven't forgotten all the men/women/children that died in the name of Christianity, nor the people who have been disowned/ignored/isolated because of this wonderful religion.
        The church apparently needs BILLIONS of dollars to function as a religious organization.
        The church covers up abuse of children (of all people!).
        The church is blatantly man-made/humanistic, yet poses as the official authority of "GOD"

        We got internet, and, if literate, the ability to comprehend subjects such as SCIENCE and a basic understanding of HISTORY. Christianity, as a religion, fails to live past it's own time period, contradicts the basic laws on science/nature, and was made obviously made to control the masses/sheeple. It's a joke religion at this point.

        August 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's = It is

          Its = Possessive

          August 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Now now.. lets not throw around the "joke religion" terminology when it comes to Christianity... that term is already reserved for Mormonism and Scientology... I believe Christianity/Islam have already reserved the term "hate religions"...

          August 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Joshua

          I think your confusing people who claimed to be Christians while commiting various heinous acts with actual Christians. I also think your discounting and even not mentioning the huge amount of Christian organizations that help people based on Biblical teaching.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No True Scotsman

          August 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Also, it's you're. Your is possessive.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Handy Hint

          Joshua,

          I think you are confusing "your" with "you're".

          Your = belonging to you
          You're = you are

          August 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Joshua

          Thanks for the grammar lesson. Do you have any response to my comment? There are spelling and grammatical errors throughout this blog. I feel its just part of the deal.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I did respond. No True Scotsman is a pretty apt, succinct response.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The "no true Scotsman" fallacy actually proves Joshua's point and disproves Lee's.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No it doesn't.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Does so

          August 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Nope

          August 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Lee

          Why so many comments about grammar?
          If you can actually infer the meaning of the word you are correcting, your correction is POINTLESS. It's belittling to the original commenter and serves no purposes other than to derail the conversation.

          And @ 'but I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that'
          "It's = It is
          Its = Possessive" is a sentence fragment. And an obnoxious one at that.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Actually, it isn't a sentence fragment as I didn't punctuate in the manner necessary for it to be considered a sentence. It really isn't your day today, is it?

          August 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Lee

          Fine then.
          @I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
          "No True Scotsman" & "Nope"
          You didn't punctuate in either case here, Princess. I'm not even sure those examples can be considered sentences. Who even knows what type of sentence (declarative, interrogative, etc...) you meant to make!? It's really bothering me.
          It also proves your extremely low intelligence and hypocrisy.

          Have a great day 🙂

          August 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          They're Laconic phrases. Your linguistic failings are impressively cretinous. I offer my obeisance to your idiocy.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Lee

          "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
          They're Laconic phrases. Your linguistic failings are impressively cretinous. I offer my obeisance to your idiocy."

          Actually honey, a laconic phrase is just short terse wording. It has nothing to do with punctuation, which could easily change the meaning of the words you used, hence why you needed to punctuate. You even later on used a Laconic phrase and punctuated.
          No one said you couldn't be short in your answers, they just do all contain proper grammar and it should be noted because it makes you a foolish hypocrite. 😀

          August 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Lee

          "No one said you couldn't be short in your answers, they just do all contain proper grammar and it should be noted because it makes you a foolish hypocrite." should be "No one said you couldn't be short in your answers, they just DON'T all contain proper grammar and it should be noted because it makes you a foolish hypocrite."

          Gosh, this is really annoying to keep commenting to...

          August 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Technically, punctuation and grammar are separate aspects of word/sentence structure, so any correction of your grammatical errors doesn't imply hypocrisy due to my cavalier punctuation of laconic phrases.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Grammer can save a life.

          It is the difference between

          "Let's eat Grampa"

          and

          "Let's eat, Grandpa"

          August 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • niknak

        If reality is harsh.

        But I think he pretty much summed it up as it is.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Agreed. There are many genuinely pious Christians, as are there many intelligent and knowledgeable Christians.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When The Rapture comes and all the good, true, humble, pious, charitable, compassionate, forgiving, non-judgemental Christians ascend bodily to Heaven, I'm sure we'll miss both of them.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I get that you're joking but, in my experience, many Christians fit that description.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Lee

        o.O;;
        don't know what to say except...why aren't you editing for a major newspaper/publication instead of making grammar corrections on a religious blog? Their typically slight errors, nothing gross, so why waste your talent for editing on this nonsense? None of us are posting comments on here so our grammar can judged.
        We are machines that can do that in the real world...you know....robots that can process and apply the arbitrary rules of grammar to sentences. Cause it's a really big deal. to retards.

        August 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Dippy

          They're, not their.

          August 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      True Christians need no manly built churches to be of godliness... Our physical bodies are Godly made buildings by which all of God's generations do take up residencies within us... To say otherwise is to deny the godliness of Life's consecrations of holy deliberations...

      August 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Lee

        "Our physical bodies are Godly made buildings by which all of God's generations do take up residencies within us... To say otherwise is to deny the godliness of Life's consecrations of holy deliberations..."
        The current Christian bible, and it's practices do not believe this. The bible never says any of that nonsense either. Dude, to really believe that, you are not Christian. They require $$ money to function and you must contribute. You must blindly believe that a man literally awoke from death after 3 days and then walked outside. And then vanished.
        I'm not sure what exactly you think you believe, but you are no Christian.

        August 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Dippy

          Lee, it's "its", not "it's". You seem to have a lot of trouble with this one.

          August 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Lee

          @Dippy

          "Lee, it's "its", not "it's". You seem to have a lot of trouble with this one." I'm confused? When did I say anywhere I would follow English grammar rules to a T? Why would I even care?
          Perhaps you should focus on a username that doesn't make you sound like you have the intellect of a power puff girl and actually try commenting. Or do Christians consider themselves superior now because they have "godly" grammar skills? Are the arbitrary rules of grammar as appealing to you as the arbitrary rules of the old testament?

          August 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Where did Dippy say that he/she is a Christian? Your comprehension skills are lacking also.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Lee

          "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Where did Dippy say that he/she is a Christian? Your comprehension skills are lacking also."

          Where did Dippy say he/she wasn't?
          Me thinks you are desperately trying to pick a fight because your precious Christianity's existence is being threatened...by someone with half a brain, who thinks following grammar rules exactly are for type A sheeple who will die alone wishing they corrected more people's grammar!

          August 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Dippy also didn't say that he's a crime fighting hamster. Should we assume that he is?

          Also, Christianity is neither mine nor is it precious to me.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Your "half a brain" assertion is irrefutable though. Kudos are due for your succinct self-appraisal.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Dippy

          Nor me.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Lee

          "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
          Your "half a brain" assertion is irrefutable though. Kudos are due for your succinct self-appraisal."

          I never said nor implied I was some sort of genius, although good to know no matter how good a point is, if the arbitrary rules of English grammar are not followed, one will be considered incompetent?
          I overcame dyslexia after many many years of struggling with it so I'm sorry my mind as doesn't easily comprehend letters as quickly as I'm sure your does. It must make you so much smarter than me? ::shrugs::

          August 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Groovy.

          August 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Dippy

          Gravy.

          August 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  20. flying spaghetti monster

    I dunno, I think there are lots of exciting things about xtianity, just look at all the fantabulous happenings in their holy book: demons; magic and witches; giant man-eating fish; apocalypses, both historical (flood) and threatened (rapture); god sending a pack of bears to kill a bunch of kids who dissed on one of god's peeps; human sacrifice; or.gies.... the list goes on and on!!

    August 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • niknak

      Also, think how much fun it must be to be able to feel morally superior to others that don't share your view, and to be able to tell others how they must live their lives.
      With their make believe grading system, they get to do all sorts of things behind closed doors that they tell others they can't do, yet still attain heaven by being forgiven as a believer (nice get out of jail free card).

      And also have the ability to dam n people to eternal punishment if they don't go along with the myth.

      Make believe land sure is fun!!

      August 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      They should put all those stories into a book or something! Or maybe a series on Lifetime...

      August 26, 2013 at 1:59 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.