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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. TYRANNASAUR

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

    Again I'm an ATHEIST.....and no they don't know how to party.....the ones partying are the major sinners that don't give a crap about this never ever existed so called person...jesus.

    August 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Hmm

      youve never partied with catholic school girls. too bad.

      August 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
      • G to the T

        LOL... nothing encourages an.al and or.al se.x like a "purity" pledge!

        August 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  2. TYRANNASAUR

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

    In fictional works you can see anything...but with the bible YOU REALLY HAVE TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION....talk about a beyond BORING BOOK OF CRAP...THIS IS # ONE.

    August 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  3. skytag

    There are several comments in this discussion that collectively illustrate why I find believers so frustrating, even infuriating at times.

    Let's start with the Christians who talk to atheists about God and Jesus as if their existence is a proven fact and quote from the Bible as if it has the undisputed credibility and authority of a mathematics textbook. They do this knowing full well the people they're addressing don't accept any of that as factual. This is not only baffling to me, it's frustrating when someone uses an argument he knows I have no reason to accept.

    When challenged to explain why they believe all this stuff for which there isn't a shred of evidence they either offer truly tortured logic or appeal to their "personal experiences."

    When it's pointed out that the kind of personal experiences to which they refer are not objectively verifiable and that such "experiences" are notoriously unreliable indicators of what is and isn't true, they simply ignore the point. When it's pointed out that people who have conflicting religious views claim the kind of personal experiences supporting what they believe as well, our Christian buddies ignore this reality as well.

    Then we have mzh, who is a Muslim, doing pretty much exactly what the Christians do, except he uses Muslims phrases and platitudes and quotes the Koran instead of the Bible. But he is every bit as convinced of the correctness of his beliefs as say, Vic and AE are of their beliefs. And like the Christians here, mzh talks to us as if his beliefs are accepted facts.

    Of course none of these people can give me a reason I should believe anything he says or tell me why I should believe he's right and all the other people with competing narratives are wrong. Not Vic, not AE, not mzh, not any of them. It's like trying to reason with someone on my TV. No matter what I say, the guy on my TV never goes off script. The guy on my TV can't hear me, so it would be unreasonable for me to expect him to address my questions, but people here can "hear" me, so there is no excuse for their failure to address the issues I raise.

    August 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • ^^^

      nothing to do with the article.-the man is just babbling about something.-blaming others for his problems.
      walk away folks. walk away.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • skytag

        You sound like a Christian who has a history of walking away from hard questions about your beliefs.

        August 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • hharri

          o, you mean like observer?

          September 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "just babbling about something" nice! You read enough to comment but chose not to understand his well articulated arguments because you don't agree. Instead of refuting a word of it you just call it babble so obviously you can't refute a word of it.

        August 30, 2013 at 4:13 am |
    • TPrevails

      That is all your problem, not Vic, mzh or AE's.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • AE

      You mean they sound like they actually believe what they say they believe?

      It is quite reasonable to find people talking about God on a message board dedicated to faith and belief – especially a message board dedicated to a story that is about the subject of Christians and their belief in God.

      That is the main reason this message board we are posting on right now exists: because of a story written about Christianity.

      There are other message boards on stories about atheism. But you choose to come here. And whine about Christians and and one Muslim and their faith in God.

      Completely illogical thinking on your part.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Austin

        Everything I say is reasonable. Who are you to gainsay me if you don't belive.

        August 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • sam stone

          Everything you say is reasonable?

          Including the self-congratulatory divine revelation tripe?

          August 30, 2013 at 5:59 am |
      • skytag

        You completely ignored my point. Deliberate evasion or just too dumb to understand it?

        August 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • Austin

          Say gain??

          August 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
        • EA

          You want me to apologize for having trust and confidence in God?

          Nope.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • skytag

          @EA: "You want me to apologize for having trust and confidence in God?"

          Did I say that? No. Save your intellectually dishonest straw man responses for someone else.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
        • EA

          What? No 10 paragraph rant where you try to scape goat religious people for all the ills in society? Are you feeling ok?

          August 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
        • skytag

          @EA: "What? No 10 paragraph rant where you try to scape goat religious people for all the ills in society?"

          I've never done that, and in fact I've taken issue with people who take that position. But hey, you're a Christian, so what's a few lies to disparage someone who challenges your fairytales, right? You love The Truth™, but not real truth. Typical Christian hypocrite.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          This thread is a fantastic example of the behavior of typical christards. Not one single comment so far has addressed even one of the points brought up in the original post by skytag. Not one. Lots of foaming at the mouth and irrelevant comments about stupid side issues, but not one single solitary comment on a single point raised. And I'm guessing that this is about the best we can ever expect.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
        • EA

          "There are several comments in this discussion that collectively illustrate why I find believers so frustrating, even infuriating at times."
          Ok. You choose to come here and read them. It is not like we are knocking on your door at your home. Look at the web address. Look at the subject of this article.

          "Let's start with the Christians who talk to atheists about God and Jesus as if their existence is a proven fact and quote from the Bible as if it has the undisputed credibility and authority of a mathematics textbook. They do this knowing full well the people they're addressing don't accept any of that as factual. This is not only baffling to me, it's frustrating when someone uses an argument he knows I have no reason to accept."

          God is real and does exist. This is what Christians believe. This specific message board exists because of the above article. A Christian writer who believes God exists as a fact wrote it. And it really seems he is targetting a Christian audience in his opinion piece.
          Nobody has to prove God exists to you. Get frustrated all you want. But it is really quite reasonable to find people that know God is real and to express that on a blog dedicated to faith and belief.

          "When challenged to explain why they believe all this stuff for which there isn't a shred of evidence they either offer truly tortured logic or appeal to their "personal experiences.""
          I have evidence of God. He is real. Every thing I know as a fact has come to me from personal experiences. Any experience with God is no different.

          "When it's pointed out that the kind of personal experiences to which they refer are not objectively verifiable and that such "experiences" are notoriously unreliable indicators of what is and isn't true, they simply ignore the point. When it's pointed out that people who have conflicting religious views claim the kind of personal experiences supporting what they believe as well, our Christian buddies ignore this reality as well."

          Basically, you have failed to prove God doesn't exist. You've just expressed by your standards you don't believe. But the universe does not operate by your standards. You are a human being that does illogical and unreasonable things. You are flawed and imperfect. And so are your standards. Not everybody wants to live by your standards. Really, they are just your opinions.

          "Then we have mzh, who is a Muslim, doing pretty much exactly what the Christians do, except he uses Muslims phrases and plati.tudes and quotes the Koran instead of the Bible. But he is every bit as convinced of the correctness of his beliefs as say, Vic and AE are of their beliefs. And like the Christians here, mzh talks to us as if his beliefs are accepted facts."

          So don't read his posts. You ignore a lot of very questionable things being posted by other people, it seems. But if somoene talks about God it infuriates you.

          "Of course none of these people can give me a reason I should believe anything he says or tell me why I should believe he's right and all the other people with competing narratives are wrong. Not Vic, not AE, not mzh, not any of them. It's like trying to reason with someone on my TV. No matter what I say, the guy on my TV never goes off script. The guy on my TV can't hear me, so it would be unreasonable for me to expect him to address my questions, but people here can "hear" me, so there is no excuse for their failure to address the issues I raise."

          You don't think I feel the same way about you at times? It is not like you are some true source of logic and reason. You get infuriated at me for not answering all your questions (some questions you posted to old posts, some questions you replied incorrectly and I didn't see it, some questions were so disrespectful and un-called for I didn't want to read anything you had to say).

          I honestly believe God exists. If I pretend like he really doesn't like you imagine, I would be dishonest. And I don't want to be a liar. I honestly try to answer your questions. If you want to talk to people who live in a world where they imagine no god exists: they have message boards for that.

          God gives me serenity – being called slur names like 'christard' by the troll in the post above doesn't infuriate me today. I know the truth and that gives me all I need.

          May peace be with you.

          August 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • skytag

          @EA: "Ok. You choose to come here and read them. It is not like we are knocking on your door at your home."

          I'm not knocking your door either.

          "Look at the web address. Look at the subject of this article."

          Grow up. This is the CNN Belief Blog, not a For-Believers-Only blog. Anyone can post here. If you want to have discussions in forums where atheists aren't allowed because they ask too many hard questions you don't want to deal with then start your own blog or find one like that, because that's not what CNN is running here.

          And since you seem to have a short memory, let me remind you that sometimes they have articles about atheists and atheism too, and plenty of believers post comments under those, including a lot of lies about atheists.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:44 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "God is real and does exist. This is what Christians believe."

          Then say "Christians believe God is real and exists" instead of stating it as a fact and then qualifying as a belief. I know you believe God exists. I don't know why you're telling me that since I've never questioned whether you believe he exists. You're good at stating your beliefs, but not so good at addressing the questions I actually pose.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:48 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "God is real and does exist. This is what Christians believe."

          Then say "Christians believe God is real and exists" instead of stating it as a fact and then qualifying as a belief. I know you believe God exists. I don't know why you're telling me that since I've never questioned whether you believe he exists. You're good at stating your beliefs, but not so good at addressing the questions I actually pose.

          "This specific message board exists because of the above article. A Christian writer who believes God exists as a fact wrote it. And it really seems he is targetting a Christian audience in his opinion piece."

          Are you saying mzh shouldn't comment either since he isn't a Christian?

          The author of the article wrote a piece CNN posted on their web site for anyone who has access to the web to read. You apparently don't understand how the Internet works. This is not a members-only site. Anyone who hasn't been banned can post here.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:53 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "Nobody has to prove God exists to you. Get frustrated all you want."

          My frustration is not due to your inability to prove God exists. Either you're too dumb to understand my point or you're deliberately engaging in these straw man tactics to avoid my point. Which is it?

          My frustration is with your simple-mindedness and intellectual dishonesty. All you ever do is regurgitate your stock Christian phrases. You completely ignore the points I make and the questions I ask. That makes you a coward in my mind, someone who is afraid to deal with the hard questions your beliefs raise.

          In my original post I pointed out, as I have so many times before, that you completely ignore the fact that there are billions (literally) of people in this world, most of whom have some kind of belief in one or more gods, but don't believe what you believe about God. Christians are only about a third of the world's population, yet for some inexplicable reason we're supposed to believe the Christian narrative but not any of the others, such as the Muslim narrative.

          In fact, Christians agree on very little, so one has to pick one of the Christian narratives to believe if he favors Christianity.

          You've never been willing to address the profusion of religious beliefs and why any objective person should believe any of them over any of the others.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:06 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "I have evidence of God."

          Sure you do. In your head, where none of us can examine it.

          "He is real. Every thing I know as a fact has come to me from personal experiences. Any experience with God is no different."

          Wrong. You may be the first exception to this that I've encountered, but in my experience when people talk this way about "personal experiences" with God it's never anything anyone else can see or objectively verify. It's all in your head. Other kinds of experiences can be documented, recorded, examined by others, but never so with spiritual experiences. Those are always personal and private, something they have in common with delusions.

          "When it's pointed out that the kind of personal experiences to which they refer are not objectively verifiable and that such "experiences" are notoriously unreliable indicators of what is and isn't true, they simply ignore the point. When it's pointed out that people who have conflicting religious views claim the kind of personal experiences supporting what they believe as well, our Christian buddies ignore this reality as well."

          "Basically, you have failed to prove God doesn't exist. You've just expressed by your standards you don't believe. But the universe does not operate by your standards. You are a human being that does illogical and unreasonable things. You are flawed and imperfect. And so are your standards. Not everybody wants to live by your standards. Really, they are just your opinions."

          Basically you have yet again dodged my point because you're unwilling to deal with it. The constant dodging, often involving personal attacks to change the subject is what's so frustrating about people like you. When confronted with reason and logic for which you have no answer you just dodge and flail and lash out at the messenger. Hey, it's not my fault you can't face hard realities.

          Come on, enough with the weasel behavior. Man up for once in your life as a Christian and address the fact that people in all religions believe they have "personal experiences" confirming what they believe about God, even when it differs from what you believe.

          Then explain why I should believe any of you when you all claim to know the truth about God, validated by conflicting "personal experiences." You won't tackle this reality because you don't want to deal with the answer. I know because you've consistently dodged it many times in the past. That tells me you don't value the truth, you just want to preserve your beliefs.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:35 am |
        • EA

          **"I'm not knocking your door either."**

          You kind of are when you post a long message criticizing me. And then I see 2 days ago you posted a series of messages aimed at me, yet it doesn't look like you posted anything to anyone else. And nothing I was posting 2 days ago had anything to do with you.

          I've apologized for bad behavior of mine in the past. And just tried to ignore you. Especially after you said you had no respect for me and demonstrated that by being extremely disrespectful and rude.

          The point I'm trying to make is not that you shouldn't post here. Or a Muslim like mzh shouldn't post here. That is not at all what I believe.

          I guess, I find it very ironic that you criticize Christians for talking about God like it is a fact, but you are doing so on a message board (not the whole blog, just this message board) from a story clearly written by a Christian who talks about God as a fact.

          To me, it seems like you are ifuriated and trying to boss people around. But you don't pay us. You don't really bring up compelling arguments. And you are very disrespectful and engage in personal attacks.

          **"In my original post I pointed out, as I have so many times before, that you completely ignore the fact that there are billions (literally) of people in this world, most of whom have some kind of belief in one or more gods, but don't believe what you believe about God. Christians are only about a third of the world's population, yet for some inexplicable reason we're supposed to believe the Christian narrative but not any of the others, such as the Muslim narrative."**

          Look, I agree that there are many people who don't believe what I believe. I accept this. I don't ignore it. I guess I don't respond to this fact you make, because I don't disagree.

          For this reason, I embrace tolerance and acceptance of other people's beliefs.

          I have never said you are supposed to believe the Christian narrative. So I don't know what to say about that.

          I believe it. It is a fact in my life.

          **"Then explain why I should believe any of you when you all claim to know the truth about God, validated by conflicting "personal experiences." You won't tackle this reality because you don't want to deal with the answer. I know because you've consistently dodged it many times in the past. That tells me you don't value the truth, you just want to preserve your beliefs."**

          I can't speak for all Christians.

          But since you asked, if you want to know why I think you need Jesus Christ: I think he can bring some serenity into your life. He can take charge of those areas that infuriate you, leaving you free to devote your time to what is truly important in your life, helping and loving other people.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Katie

          skytag, thanks for being so restrained and for being a voice of reason here. Kudos; great posts you've been making.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • Johnny

          EA what we want an explanation of is why we should consider your personal experiences as being true, and at the same time reject all those of other faiths who have had personal experiences that reveal their god or gods to be true. So what makes your personal experiences more believable than say mzh's personal experiences? Also might I suggest that if you are not looking to openly and honestly discuss why you believe what you believe then perhaps it is you who should find a different blog, and not skytag.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Tom

          Katie (or Honey Badger Don't Care): welcome (or welcome back)!

          August 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • EA

          I'm not here to give you an explanation as to why you should consider my personal experiences as being true.

          But I am sharing what I do believe to be true. And quite often someone will as.sume something about me that is not true.

          And I stand up for what I believe and I deny such claims. There is an example of me and Sara having a reasonable discussion about this.

          I've had discussion with other atheists, one that ended with the atheist saying he would die for my right to believe what I believe.

          Do you want to read that exchange?

          *"So what makes your personal experiences more believable than say mzh's personal experiences? "*

          Because they are my personal experiences. If I had mzh's personal experiences, I would believe like him. If I had your personal experiences, I would believe like you.

          I'm initially here in response to the story above written about the prodigal son and how to make Christianity more exciting. Why do you choose to come here?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • JimK57

      I believe in a creator and I have zero proof. I am curious why it bothers you so much what I believe.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • internet bully

        Because you don't play by his rules.

        August 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • JimK57

          I do not understand.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • internet bully

          If he doesn't believe in God... than everyone else shouldn't believe in God either. skytag is like a little dictator, an internet bullyl.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • JimK57

          is he short, and that is why he is so mad all the time???

          August 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • skytag

          @internet bully: "If he doesn't believe in God... than everyone else shouldn't believe in God either. skytag is like a little dictator, an internet bullyl."

          Name-calling and bearing false witness. Standard tools of the Christian apologist?

          August 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • JimK57

          Believing in a creator doesn't make me a Christian apologist, you piece of dvmb sh!t.
          I call you a dvmb sh!t because you just proved you are by wrongly azzuming I'm Christian.
          And if you are mad because you got short man's disease than I'm telling the truth. If you are mad for some other reason; i'm sorry! I'm wrong.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • skytag

          @JimK57: By starting my comment with "@internet bully:" it should have been obvious it was addressed to "internet bully," not you. Boy, talk about dumb.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:48 am |
        • JimK57

          The hateful posts above were not done by me. Some 13 year old is using my handle.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • skytag

        I believe in dealing with reality, not hiding from it in wishful thinking and comforting fairytales. While the latter make make you feel better, but it also creates problems. One of the biggest I've seen in a modern society such as ours is that when people believe in a god in order to maintain that belief they learn to see faith (i.e., belief) as being a more reliable indicator of what is and isn't true than facts, evidence, logic, and reason. In fact, this is exactly what religions teach, and they teach it because their authors know full well their religion isn't supported facts, evidence, logic, or reason.

        Instead they teach people to trust their feelings about what is and isn't true about God because they know feelings can't be refuted with facts or evidence, and they can be easily manipulated by a good speaker, a favorite scripture, or even a good song. Sunday services are brainwashing sessions. A bunch of sheep sit in pews to devote their full attention to a good speaker (the pastor), hear inspiring Bible verses, and sing their favorite hymns. What they call building their faith I call reinforcing their brainwashing.

        This feelings-or-evidence mindset become particularly problematic when it spills over into other arenas such as politics. Thus more than 100 million voting Americans believe they can understand complex issues by trusting their feelings without any need to educate themselves about the issues and challenges that face us.

        In short, religion makes people stupid by teaching them they can just "know" things without study or reason. In fact, they teach it's superior to "just know" things. Study and reason are for weak-minded folk who aren't spiritually aware enough to just know everything by the spirit.

        Another big problem, of course, is what happens when the number of believers who share a common set of beliefs in a country or state becomes large enough that they can codify their beliefs into laws. Here those take the form of the old "blue" laws, banning gay marriage, banning abortions, and so on. In Muslim countries it takes the form of Sharia Law.

        There is something profoundly disturbing about passing laws based on "what pleases God" when no one can even demonstrate he exists, or if he does, that one person's idea of what pleases God is anymore correct than any other person's idea of what pleases him. It's a numbers game. If there are enough Christians you get Christian laws. If there are enough Muslims you get Islamic laws. If there are enough followers of some other religion, you get a different set of laws based on that religion.

        August 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • mzh

          "religion makes people stupid" – it should be the other way around... a true religion should make one a best example of the society and an example for that society for the mankind but unfortunately its very rare these days...

          August 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • EA

          Much of what skytag writes about is not really supported facts, evidence, logic, or reason. He just feels strongly against religion. And then imagines silly things like going to church,a place where people voluntarily go and are free to leave at any time, is an good example of brain washing. He is right, sometimes one person does most of the speaking (although some services all multiple speakers, and some churches allow speakers from outside the faith speak) but there are many other inst.itutions that practice this technique, like universities.

          I usually don't respond to his long rants because they are so opinionated, it is not that he is wrong, I believe he thinks it is that way. But it is just not based in reality or logic or even reason.

          August 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • Sara

          EA, I don't know how it was in your university, but at mine we could speak up and disagree in a lecture and no books were considered inerrant. We also didn't chant and sing and perform ritual acts to reinforce ideas without logic and reason.

          August 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • EA

          Sara

          The educational format in the classes at my university varied. Some were centered around a discussion atmosphere. But most were lecture based, mainly an expert in the field teaching us.

          At my church it is like college, we also have educational opportunities which are very much like a discussion. We are free to disagree and question. It is actually encouraged. We even invite experts in fields outside of our shared belief system – like scientists and members of secular charities.

          We sing and chant, just like human beings have done throughout their known existence. It can be quite beautiful.

          I really don't think it is done to reinforce ideas without logic and reason.

          We actually use logic and reason to come to understandings. Just like you, I imagine. Of course, like you, we are not logical creatures. We are human beings – imperfect, illogical and unreasonable. So we do imperfect, illogical and unreasonable things, like sing.

          What kind of imperfect, illogical or unreasonable things do you do? Or to put it another way, what kind of human things do you do? You can't do everything perfect, logically or reasonably... unless you are some kind of superior being?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:02 am |
        • Sara

          EA, I do all sorts of things that aren't based in logic, and and just for fun. But when it comes to important issues of ethics, metaphysics and science, I regulate my desire to learn with enough logic and skepticism to make sure I'm backing ideas that are in line with the latest data. You can't do that when you believe a text is free of error. Do you belong to a religion without sacred texts?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • EA

          Sara

          I'm the same way in my education.

          I'm a Christian, I worship a living God that is alive and available to me right here, right now today. We do have texts that are sacred, or dedicated to a religious purpose that we have great respect and reverence toward. Are they free from error? Of course not. Some are very ancient and come from a culture that spoke a different language from us in an era very different from one we live in now. And we are human beings, so we do our best to take this sacred text and put it into a context that makes sense for what our teacher, Jesus Christ, asks of us.

          In other words, we worship God. Not the Bible. The Bible is a library of

          August 30, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • EA

          ancient texts that point to God. But the texts are not God.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:22 am |
        • Sara

          EA, do you belong to a particular Christian sect? I am imterested in groups that recognize the possibility of errors in the Bible and would like to look up the tradition.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:22 am |
        • hharri

          lol

          take a hike with your twin

          no one cares

          "There are several comments in this discussion that collectively illustrate why I find believers so frustrating, even infuriating at times."
          Ok. You choose to come here and read them. It is not like we are knocking on your door at your home. Look at the web address. Look at the subject of this article.

          "Let's start with the Christians who talk to atheists about God and Jesus as if their existence is a proven fact and quote from the Bible as if it has the undisputed credibility and authority of a mathematics textbook. They do this knowing full well the people they're addressing don't accept any of that as factual. This is not only baffling to me, it's frustrating when someone uses an argument he knows I have no reason to accept."

          "When challenged to explain why they believe all this stuff for which there isn't a shred of evidence they either offer truly tortured logic or appeal to their "personal experiences.""

          "When it's pointed out that the kind of personal experiences to which they refer are not objectively verifiable and that such "experiences" are notoriously unreliable indicators of what is and isn't true, they simply ignore the point. When it's pointed out that people who have conflicting religious views claim the kind of personal experiences supporting what they believe as well, our Christian buddies ignore this reality as well."

          Basically, you have failed to prove God doesn't exist. You've just expressed by your standards you don't believe. But the universe does not operate by your standards. You are a human being that does illogical and unreasonable things. You are flawed and imperfect. And so are your standards. Not everybody wants to live by your standards. Really, they are just your opinions.

          "Then we have mzh, who is a Muslim, doing pretty much exactly what the Christians do, except he uses Muslims phrases and plati.tudes and quotes the Koran instead of the Bible. But he is every bit as convinced of the correctness of his beliefs as say, Vic and AE are of their beliefs. And like the Christians here, mzh talks to us as if his beliefs are accepted facts."

          "Of course none of these people can give me a reason I should believe anything he says or tell me why I should believe he's right and all the other people with competing narratives are wrong. Not Vic, not AE, not mzh, not any of them. It's like trying to reason with someone on my TV. No matter what I say, the guy on my TV never goes off script. The guy on my TV can't hear me, so it would be unreasonable for me to expect him to address my questions, but people here can "hear" me, so there is no excuse for their failure to address the issues I raise."

          lol

          zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          August 30, 2013 at 12:32 am |
        • EA

          I am an active member of an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) church. And I also go to a non-denominational church, but they don't believe in offering formal memberships.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • Sara

          Thank you. I will keep an eye on them and watch with interest how they navigate the issues surrounding error in the Bible.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:46 am |
        • EA

          http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/The-Bible.aspx

          August 30, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "Much of what skytag writes about"

          Blah, blah, blah. The good Christian continues his pattern of personal attacks because he can't refute my reasoning.

          "but there are many other inst.itutions that practice this technique, like universities."

          I've attended multiple universities, have multiple degrees, and have taught at multiple universities, and my experiences in those schools was consistent with Sara's observations. Comparing a worship service to a university class is just silly.

          "But most were lecture based, mainly an expert in the field teaching us."

          This doesn't make a college class equivalent to a church worship service. This is the kind of idiotic argument that makes you so frustrating. College professors do not teach faith over facts, evidence, and reason. They do not read from a book held to be inerrant. They are not considered "called of God." They don't teach classes based on a belief in supernatural forces. College classes don't involve singing hymns. You earn a real, documented reward for passing a college class, not a promise that you'll be rewarded after you die. In most classes students can ask questions.

          In every church service I've ever attended the people in attendance just sit there silently having Truth™ poured into them without questioning. They sing some songs to reinforce the group mentality and evoke positive emotions.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:40 am |
        • skytag

          @EA: "And then imagines silly things like going to church,a place where people voluntarily go and are free to leave at any time, is an good example of brain washing."

          Unlike you I don't have to rely on my imagination. I witnessed this behavior for many, many years.

          A standard Christian worship service is an exercise in brainwashing where the listeners hear doctrine and engage in behaviors that reinforce the idea that they are members of a group with a shared belief system, not individual thinkers.

          You seem to think it can't be brainwashing because people volunteer for it, but that's not true. They don't volunteer "to be brainwashed," of course, but without realizing they are in fact subjecting themselves to brainwashing tactics. The only differences between mainstream churches and religions widely viewed as cults are that cults tend to embrace one or more behaviors most people would consider extreme, and they have much smaller numbers of followers.

          The Germans who attended Nazi meetings and rallies didn't go there to be brainwashed, but those events were most definitely designed to brainwash the people who attended them. People can seek out activities with the best of intentions and still end up being subjected to brainwashing tactics. The military brainwashes the people who join. People don't enlist to be brainwashed, but psychological indoctrination is an important part of military training. The idea that you can't be subjected to brainwashing tactics if you volunteered for something is what's silly.

          It's always the other guy who is in a cult. I've heard Mormonism called a cult. Some would describe Islam as a cult. An atheist sees all religions as cults.

          Furthermore, most people in churches were raised in a church, so in those cases their brainwashing started as a small child when it was forced on them. Millions of kids are forced to go to church in Christian churches every Sunday where they hear about God, stories from the Bible, they sing songs, and so on. The brainwashing starts at very early ages.

          "We sing and chant, just like human beings have done throughout their known existence. It can be quite beautiful."

          Of course. It wouldn't be very effective if people didn't enjoy the music. 😉 To be effective it has to evoke strong positive emotions.

          "I really don't think it is done to reinforce ideas without logic and reason."

          Of course you don't think that. It wouldn't be a very good brainwashing program if you could recognize it as such. 😉

          Why do you think people sing hymns? It's something you all do in unison, which reinforces the idea that you're a just another sheep in the flock, not an individual. The music stirs emotions, and emotions are always an impediment to rational thinking. Positive emotions make you less critical, more trusting, and more open to suggestion. Although a typical Christian hymnal contains hundreds of hymns, in practice only a very small percentage of them are used in services. People often memorize the more popular ones and can sing them from memory.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:58 am |
        • EA

          **"Blah, blah, blah. The good Christian continues his pattern of personal attacks because he can't refute my reasoning."**

          What about your personal attacks? You think that is reasoning? NO, that is what the dictionary calls arrogance.

          **"This doesn't make a college class equivalent to a church worship service. This is the kind of idiotic argument that makes you so frustrating."**

          You compared church worship to brainwashing!

          **"College professors do not teach faith over facts, evidence, and reason. They do not read from a book held to be inerrant. They are not considered "called of God." They don't teach classes based on a belief in supernatural forces. College classes don't involve singing hymns. You earn a real, doc.umented reward for passing a college class, not a promise that you'll be rewarded after you die. In most classes students can ask questions."**

          If that is what you feel, don't go to church. I'm not telling you you have to.

          If that is what church was like, I wouldn't go. But that is not my experience.

          I can ask questions in church. I've asked questions similar to yours. You can probably do that in your city, too. I'm sure some churches would welcome you to ask a pastor tough questions.

          **"In every church service I've ever attended the people in attendance just sit there silently having Truth™ poured into them without questioning. They sing some songs to reinforce the group mentality and evoke positive emotions."**

          Well, each church has a different flavor. Some don't sit there so silently. Some are discussion based. Some invite people from outside their Truth™ to allow different points of view.

          Some strive to never think of truth as Truth™.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • EA

          **"An atheist sees all religions as cults."**

          BS. You see it as a cult. Not all atheists feel that way. You don't speak for all atheists.

          I know atheists that don't believe what you believe. That makes all this brainwashing/cult theory just that... your theory. Not a fact.

          "**Why do you think people sing hymns? It's something you all do in unison, which reinforces the idea that you're a just another sheep in the flock, not an individual. The music stirs emotions, and emotions are always an impediment to rational thinking. Positive emotions make you less critical, more trusting, and more open to suggestion. Although a typical Christian hymnal contains hundreds of hymns, in practice only a very small percentage of them are used in services. People often memorize the more popular ones and can sing them from memory."**

          Yea, but not all church services use music. And some use original music, and don't use any hymns. I've been to a church that included popular music, like the song "La Bomba". And not all people actually sing. And some people can't hear the music, like deaf people.

          Nice theory. I'm not buying it.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:20 am |
        • Maani

          EA: thank you for your patient and humble voice.

          Sara, Skytag: the inerreancy of the Bible is a fairly recent phenomenon, and was barely known prior to the late 19th century, with the coming of the "hard-line" evangelical sects (Adventists, Charistmatics, Pentecostals, etc.). The Catholic Church NEVER taught an inerrant Bible, and except perhaps for the Baptists and Anabaptists, no major Protestant sect did or does either (e.g., Methodists, Lutheranists, Episcopalians, etc.). So Sara, you could walk into almost any Catholic or Protestant church and find clergy who do not teach Biblical inerrancy, and who welcome questions and challenges to Scriptural interpretation.

          Skytag: "A standard Christian worship service is an exercise in brainwashing where the listeners hear doctrine and engage in behaviors that reinforce the idea that they are members of a group with a shared belief system, not individual thinkers."

          Methinks you overestimate the "single-mindedness" – much less words-into-actions – of many, perhaps most Christians. After all, how many self-proclaimed, church-going Christians – who hear a sermon about love, patience, humility, etc. – actually go out and practice those things with focused devotion? Nope, my friend. Sadly, many of them hear that sermon, say they believe it ("Amen!," in church) – and then go home and "kick the dog," hit their wife, or do any number of decidedly un-Christian acts.

          August 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • Sara

        I don't care as long as your beliefs don't extend further into area that run counter to science and history and may influence you to vote dangerously. If it's a simple belief in an unspecified creator, believe away.

        August 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Maani

          Define "dangerously." After all, don't I, as a Christian-American, have the same right to have my (faith-informed) "voice" heard in the democratic process as anyone else? Suppose I "want" something that is neither anti-science nor anti-history, but is nevertheless faith-informed: is THAT okay? Where are you drawing the line? And in a Const.itutional democracy, isn't the very act of drawing a line "dangerous," since it leads to a VERY "slippery slope?"

          August 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        You don't live the rest of your life with faith in stuff you cannot prove. You wouldn't buy an investment, property, etc. without some evidence that it exists ans that it is what it is claimed to be; you wouldn't cross the street without checking for traffic, so it makes so sense.
        Secondly, many believers in this country are christians and want society and the law to be based upon their religious beliefs, yet strangely are very resistant to, say Sharia law. So many believers want to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

        August 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Try that again

        You don't live the rest of your life with faith in stuff you cannot prove. You wouldn't buy an investment, property, etc. without some evidence that it exists and that it is what it is claimed to be; you wouldn't cross the street without checking for traffic, so it makes no sense in this case.
        Secondly, many believers in this country are christians and want society and the law to be based upon their religious beliefs, yet strangely are very resistant to, say Sharia law. So many believers want to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

        August 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • mzh

        You would find plenty of 'proof' in yourself Jim.... today probably you are a man whereas yesterday you were young man, prior to that you were a baby when you couldn't even move yourself and talk or ask for food when you got hungry or thirsty, prior to that you were inside your mothers' womb (may the Almighty bless all the mothers) where none had access to put you in shape with bones, flesh... prior to that you are just breathed the soul in a piece of meat which is mixing of sperm and ovum and prior to that you were not even exist and today you are saying what you are saying...

        Say, "It is He who has produced you and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful." – 67:23

        Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful. – 100:6

        Peace...

        August 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • Kate

          mzh, enough of your dishonest exhortations of "peace" already. You've been caught out in your frequent lies, and here are some excerpts of how violent the
          "guidance" in the Quran really demands that you be:

          It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

          Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

          Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

          Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
          (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

          ..... martyrs.... Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

          But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

          O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

          Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

          O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

          Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

          When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

          Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

          mzh, you are a lying, deceptive con artist. Be gone!

          August 30, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • Maani

          Kate:

          With respect, your comments show both an ignorance and insupportable intolerance of Islam. Yes, like any other ideology – both religious and political – Islam has been used (and, sadly, continues to be used) by some in hopelessly fundamentalist ways. However, your most obvious error is the same one many atheists make in their arguments against Christianity; i.e., they take Scripture out of context to support their positions. (Sadly, the reverse is also true: too many Christians take Scripture out of context to support hopelessly UN-Christian positions.)

          Anyone can cherry-pick lines from Scripture (Bible or Qur'an), and say, "See! You advocate violence and death!" But it is quite another thing to be intellectually honest and look at Scripture IN CONTEXT. In this regard, what you will find about the Qur'an is that a large majority of the types of passages you are cherry-picking are not applicable in the way you seem to think. I am not the Qur'anic scholar (or even armchair scholar) that mzh is. However, I have read the Qur'an three times in my three-decade study of comparative religion, and I can assure you that what you have been told – the post-9/11 propaganda perpetrated by our government and much of the media – about Islam is simply not true. It IS, in every way that counts, FAR more about peace, community, humility and compassion than it is about aggression, violence and death. Just as far-right preachers cherry-pick the Bible to support unloving, unforgiving and, as noted, often un-Christian positions, so too do far-right mullahs and imams "use" certain portions of the the Qur'an (and other Islamic texts) to support the positions you seem to think are the prevailing positions of the text, or that of most Muslims.

          You would do well to study more, and "regurgitate" less based on out-of-context passages.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • mzh

          Thanks so much Maani for your kind wordings... may HE reward you with the best...

          I hope Kate and Reality will learn a great lesson and will correct themselves and be nice to their neighbors...

          Peace be upon all of you..

          August 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • sam stone

        your belief doesn't bother me at all

        August 30, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Skytag,

      You are absolutely correct, no person can give you a reason to believe. We can only share the good news. One sows, another waters, but it is God who gives the increase.

      August 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
      • EA

        Very good point.

        August 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
      • mzh

        If I want to change myself, I have take the initial step then only the change will come... otherwise sitting at home and expecting a paycheck to come, naah it does not work that way... God will not change someone if he or she does not want to change himself or herself...

        August 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • skytag

          God doesn't change anyone. People change themselves. And while they change themselves, they need to believe they can be successful in making those changes. Sometimes this is referred to as the power of positive thinking. A belief in God can often cause someone to believe he can accomplish something he couldn't accomplish without God to help him, and that belief inspires him to make the effort needed to make the change. But at the end of the day there is no God involved, just a belief in God. It's an example of the placebo effect, which is well documented.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:07 am |
        • Maani

          skytag: In your attempt to gainsay mzh's claim that God helps him, you end up twisting yourself into tortuously illogical knots.

          Your ultimate claim is that mzh is experiencing a placebo effect. However, the placebo effect is prima facie based on a "real" medical substance (e.g., a pill, etc.) or procedure (e.g., surgery, etc.). Thus, in claiming that mzh is experiencing a placebo effect, you are in effect accepting the existence of God as a "real" thing.

          Since we all know that you do not believe in the existence of God, your reference to a placebo effect is inaccurate here.

          Nice try.

          August 31, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Believers cannot give a reason to believe because there is no reason – believing in unproven gods is completely without reason.

        August 30, 2013 at 12:02 am |
        • Robert Brown

          HotAirAce,

          You miss the point entirely. I have a reason why I believe and I can tell you, but I can’t give you my reason. God has to give you your own reason.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "One sows, another waters, but it is God who gives the increase."

        This reminded me of the story of Rock soup. One brought carrots, another brought onions, but the Rock made the soup taste good... funny how it tastes like cr ap without the carrots and the onions though...

        August 30, 2013 at 4:05 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Just the Facts Ma'am...,
          The miracle of life.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • skytag

        Standard, feel-good drivel unsupported by any evidence whatsoever.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:01 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Skytag,

          For God so loved the world…..

          August 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          .....that he had his son tortured and killed (but temporarily) when he could have just forgiven people

          this is prima facie evidence that this vindictive pr1ck god is the product of vindictive pr1ck man's imagination

          August 31, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • sam stone

        Why do you feel that people want to hear your "good news"?

        Especially when it revolves around the Christian schtick that we are born sinners?

        You have never questioned the religion of your parents, never seriously considered the possibility that no god exists. If we want to hear parrots,we can go to the pet store. Robbie wanna savior? Awwwwwk...

        August 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          sam stone,

          It is the responsibility of all believers to tell the good news, someday you might hear it.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Maani

          "You have never questioned the religion of your parents, never seriously considered the possibility that no god exists."

          With respect, this is a hopelessly narrow statement. After all, only about one-half of all Christians are raised in Christian households, and thus "indoctrinated" (according to atheists) in their parents religion. (And, of course, atheists seem to forget that many "indoctrinated" children eventually either "fall away" or otherwise change either the nature of their faith, or even their entire faith.) Since the other half "come to faith" in young adulthood, middle age, or older age, your statement does not apply. Indeed, neither are you considering people who START OUT as atheists (even "committed" atheists), and "come to faith" anyway. You might want to broaden your horizons in this regard. Peace.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: it is then the responsibility of non believers to ridicule you

          August 31, 2013 at 6:26 am |
        • sam stone

          robert: would you want believers in other religions to preach to you?

          August 31, 2013 at 6:27 am |
        • sam stone

          robert: i have good news for you. sin is a man made concept, as are heaven, hell and god.
          there is no judgement. there is only life and death

          if it is told often enough to you, perhaps you will have the intellectual honest to consider the possibility that your belief system is all man made mythology.

          but, i am not counting on it

          August 31, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • mzh

      skytag

      it was nice of you that you put things together and you also summarized about what other think and so on….

      Please know that I am not here to convince anyone and to convert/revert back to Islam and I am not in charge of any other human fellow and I am not a manager over anyone…

      Before Islam Arabs used to travel to South India for trading and they (Indians at least from that part) used to love doing business with Arabs and it was because of Arabs were so honest… they never cheated on any trade and so on… so then after Islam came to the mankind, they continue doing their trade with them and Indians came to know about this religion and they accepted Islam as their way of life…

      Islam does not want someone’s external part but real Muslim are those whose spiritual heart is disease free of any kinda associates that they do with The Almighty…

      These days mankind identify Islam as all these evil things which I do not blame them as whatever they see in the media… but this is not Islam… so I feel responsible to do as much as I can to change this mentality and I know very well that not every one will buy me but even if I can find one person who has changed his thinking of Islam – that’s all my goal is… and if some comes to Islam will not benefit me in anyways but that does not mean that I do not wish anyone to be Muslim, yes and God knows what I have in my heart, I wish every single human among the mankind to be a good Muslim but again its my good wish…

      Also as a Muslim I am commanded to let others know about Islam and let them decide… that’s all… if you like to come under this umbrella, you most welcome and if you chose not to, its your choice… so I like to use the verses from the Koran as Koran is the complete book in order to live this life as we have laws we need when we drive…

      10:108 – Say, "O mankind, the truth has come to you from your Lord, so whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not over you a manager."

      some says that he insulted me and my religion – I have nothing to do with that…. If someone wants to insults Islam, its up to him/her… the only obligation from my side is to let the person know that this is what Islam teaches in this regard.

      Peace be upon all of you...

      August 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
      • Sara

        Islam didn't really take off in India until the 11th century conquests, which did, by the way, include attacks on temples and looting. A Muslim ruling class was established, and as happens in most places, the lower ranking people fell in line behind the conquerers. There was nothing special or magical about it...just a normal pattern of culture change influenced by wealth and power.

        August 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • mzh

          What about Malaysia or Indonesia and any other part there?

          What about USA?

          Has anyone been forced to be Muslim?

          Answer is: NO

          I know if one study the history of those kings prior to British took over that part, most of them were corrupted ones... and was greedy of power and salute and so on and God knows best as these are just my assumptions...

          August 30, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Several millions have been forced to be muslims. And more millions have been forced to be christians. By their parents! Why can't or won't parents stop indoctrinating their children into the cults they were also forced into?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:15 am |
        • Sara

          mzh, these misunderstanding on your part keep coming up again and again. Where are you learning these thing? Are you getting propaganda from some sort of Islamic controlled media or something? Because really, you are way off on most of your assumptions about history and culture.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:32 am |
        • Maani

          Sara:

          Your ignorance and intellectual dishonesty are breath-taking.

          First, Islam traded with India from its earliest days, just as mzh suggested; he did NOT suggest that India had adopted Islam yet. In this regard, your dates are wrong. Parts of India first adopted Islam as early as 750-800 A.D., just 100 years after its founding; by the date YOU provide, India already had a burgeoning Muslim population.

          Second, you mention "temples" and "looting" and a socio-economic class structure. However, this is a "straw man," since mzh NEVER mentioned ANY of this, or alluded to it, either yea or nay.

          Your thus far insupportable disdain for Islam is clouding your ability even to engage in honest debate.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • mzh

          HotAirAce

          "Several millions have been forced to be muslims" – why don't they go back to where they came from or as you said forced from?

          Let me give you my humble Opinion: because they tasted the sweetness of Islam and they do not want to go back from the TRUTH...

          Peace...

          August 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  4. Vic

    God is One of Three. One Godhead, Three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit.) That is the Christian Holy Trinity.

    The Holy Trinity first mentioned in Genesis:

    Genesis 1:26,27
    "26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

    Scripture Is From:

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

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    August 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • AE

      God in relationship.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • skytag

      Blah, blah, blah. More regurgitating like the brainwashed simpleton you are. Get back to me when you find the integrity to address my questions.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • Vic

        Read a few comments back, and you will see that it was brought up!

        August 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • bbbeth

          "brought up" as in vomit.

          August 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • skytag

          If you're responding to someone in a fresh post you should include something from the original comment so people have some context when they read your response.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • mzh

      112:1 – Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One.

      112:2 – Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).

      112:3 – He begets not, nor was He begotten;

      112:4 – And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

      August 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Vic

      The Deity of Jesus Christ

      Jesus Christ (Savior God Messiah) is the Son of God, God Incarnation In The Flesh, The Second Person of the Triune God (Holy Trinity,) the Actual Word of God, and Lord & Savior.

      Isaiah 48:16,17
      "16 “Come near to Me, listen to this:
      From the first I have not spoken in secret,
      From the time it took place, I was there.
      And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

      17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

      “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
      Who leads you in the way you should go.”"

      Matthew 28:19
      "19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,"

      John 1:1-5
      "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

      John 10:30
      "30 “I and the Father are one.”"

      John 15:26
      "26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,”"

      The Word Made Flesh & Sacrificial

      Jesus Christ, when on earth, was fully God and fully man. That was not at random. The death in the flesh that is without a blemish was the requirement for atonement (for the remission of sins;) the once and for all sacrificial "Lamb of God;" the "Penal S u b s t i t u t i o n!" (All sacrifices before where temporal)

      Isaiah 7:14
      "14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

      Matthew 1:23
      "23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”"

      Luke 2:11
      "11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

      John 1:14-18
      "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."

      Galatians 4:4,5
      "4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

      1 Timothy 3:16
      "16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

      He who was revealed in the flesh,
      Was vindicated in the Spirit,
      Seen by angels,
      Proclaimed among the nations,
      Believed on in the world,
      Taken up in glory."

      Hebrews 4:15,16
      "15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

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

      Jesus Always Is

      John 8:58
      "58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”"

      John 1:1,2
      "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning."

      John 17:5
      "5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."

      Hebrews 13:8
      "8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

      All Scripture Is From:

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

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      August 30, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • mzh

        Dear Vic,

        With due respect to you and to the entire Christian world, I see lots of contradictions within sometimes even in same page… I did ask a friend of mine these question and how is of course a Christian as I would not go to a Buddhist to ask something about Christianity and he had no answer and the preachers of the church also do not have any answer as my humble assumption is no one is dare to ask or since they know that there is no answer, so better not to ask…

        Here are few things from your posting and I tried to put a verse from Koran in regards of these verses:

        John 10:30
        "30 “I and the Father are one.”"
        – I think Mr. John forgot to include the third one the ‘holy spirit’ as the God is three in one, so the third one is missing…

        5:72 – They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

        5:73 – They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

        John 15:26
        "26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,”"

        Helper – every translation used different word, so not sure what was the original word

        61:6 – And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."

        John 8:58
        "58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”"

        A common sense – how can a grand grand grand <> son could exist before the grand grand <> father?

        Here is what Quran says and there is none contradiction within the Koran regarding this:

        3:65 – O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?

        3:67 – Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

        3:68 – Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah ] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.

        3:84 – Say (O Muhammad SAW): "We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob) and Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya'qub (Jacob)] and what was given to Musa (Moses), 'Iesa (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam)."

        3:95 – Say, " Allah has told the truth. So follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of the polytheists."

        Peace!!!

        August 31, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • G to the T

      You believe you confuse proof of a trinity with evidence of early polytheist beliefs among the hebrews.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • G to the T

        Doh! "I believe..."

        August 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  5. mzh

    32:07 – He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay,

    32:08 – Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained.

    32:09 – Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.

    32:10 – And they say, "When we are lost within the earth, will we indeed be [recreated] in a new creation?" Rather, they are, in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord, disbelievers.

    32:11 – Say, "The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned."

    August 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Kate

      And now let's have a look at what mzh's evil holy book of his religion of terror really demands him to do to "infidels":

      It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

      Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

      Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

      Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
      (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

      ..... martyrs.... Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

      But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

      O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

      Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

      O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

      Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

      When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

      Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

      mzh, you are a lying, deceptive con artist. Be gone!

      August 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  6. nogodomo

    There is no God.

    Man came to be due to an accident of nature. There is no creator. There is no soul. There is no soul mate. There is no meaning of life. Your life has no meaning. There is no fate. Nothing was ever “meant to be”. There is nothing sacred. Your body is not sacred. When you’re dead, your body has no value, no meaning, no significance. It’s just rotting meat. You are no different from the meat in a BigMac. Remember, you are just an accident. A freak accident.

    August 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I recommend you chill out before you have an aneurism... There is no god, but your life has all the meaning you can wring out of it my friend...

      August 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • fred

        ok, I really don't understand that concept. You actually believe Epicureanism as purpose of existence brings meaning to life?

        August 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Blue Yonder

          You actually believe the Christian cr@p of the bible? Wow. You must be pretty stupid.

          August 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • fred

          Blue
          Not sure what crap you are talking about in the Bible.

          The notion that Stoicism or any other philosophy on finding purpose in life is any more or less meaningful than say Epicureanism is nonsense. It is meaningless because purpose is limited to self. The atheist believes we are accidental animals thus your meaning and purpose for existence is that of a dog or bird etc. Glad you believe that crap.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • Johnny

          The purpose of my life at the moment is to win the chilli contest that is coming up. My first practice batch is being made this weekend.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • fred

          Johnny
          May I suggest you prepare it like a stoic (with virtue and gusto) then eat it like an epicurean.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "The notion that Stoicism or any other philosophy on finding purpose in life is any more or less meaningful than say Epicureanism is nonsense. It is meaningless because purpose is limited to self"

          First, I hope you aren't just saying that Atheist are selfish, e.g. hedonists/epicuriianists.

          Assuming that you are not.
          Isn't your judgement of "meaningless" limited to your own estimate of meaning or purpose?
          Your acceptance of your god's purpose as your own, is only done because you assign meaning to what you think your supposed God finds meaningful.
          In the end isn't it dependent on your own judgement, or limited to self, i.e. what you yourself find meaningful?

          August 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          Actually it is the reverse. We must die to self. In short Christ is the model and it is only in Christ that a Christian enters the purpose of God for his or her life. The core thought is that the only thing of value is that which God does in you and through you. Thus, our nature begins to blend with Christ. The Kingdom of God only contains that which is of God all else is burned away.

          August 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Big Bad Wolf

          fred,
          "We must die to self."

          All the better to control you with, my dear. This is a pure and simple cult tactic.

          August 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • fred

          Well, a lot of that came from Paul who very passionate and from a very restrictive religion.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • skytag

          Who are you to decide what someone should see as being his purpose in life?

          August 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • G to the T

          I believe we can find purpose in the things that we can actually observe in the world. As Buddha observed "suffering exists". That to me is more intellectually honest place to start than "god exists".

          August 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Except that every atom and all of the energy is recycled by the universe.

      August 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Solution

      So, quick, dream up a fantasy to make yourself feel better and more important... or believe what the ancient Israelites, et al, dreamed up if it's easier and quicker.

      August 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • Solusyano

        I just make myself the center of the universe. Everything I say is true and infallible. Everything I do is good. I love and worship nobody other than myself. Call me ateyista.

        August 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • ricshannon

      Wow .... what a depressing thought! No purpose for life just random chance and survival of the fittest. Darwin aside I think we have to be her for more than just as a drain on the natural resources on the Earth. There is of course no shortage of them anytime soon at least and even if there were there is nothing that humans can do to fix that short of reducing the number of humans. At the rate we are going we will starve way before we use up the oil reserves, or the forests, or the spotted owls.

      Are you comfortable with the idea that ALL elements necessary for life came to ancient Earth by chance from major collision, asteroids, meteorites? Please ... JPL people are the only ones that actually believe that! Well OK so do cosmologists, astrophysicists, and a lot of scientists that want to believe it too!

      Wait ... does that make big bang creation a "religion" if it takes "faith" in order to explain the small probability numbers that creation could have happened that way? Where is Carl Sagan when I need him ... oh yes dead, not to be resurrected at a future date. Darwin either or was he religious (e.g., saved) before he died? Seems like that was politically correct back in the day.

      Thankfully the Roman Catholic Church has thrown all of us science minded types a "bone" – intelligent design! GOD at least had a hand in creation. The finger of GOD stirred the primordial stew and baked the universe! Now we have it consensus at last – science and religion come together! Guess all the atheists were wrong and there is a GOD after all ... you non-believers better hurry – THE END IS NEAR! REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED! .... and evolution is still OK too!

      August 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      nogodomo wrote, "There is no God. Man came to be due to an accident of nature."

      So then, there is no Mother Nature or Mother Earth which made manifest all forms and formations of atomized cellular abundances..? Is there then no atomic natures of cellular creationism that underlies the fundamentalisms of all living manifestations of immeasurable atomized celled deviations that have a lengthy history trail of Life's Emergent Evolutions..?

      August 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • G to the T

        Nope. "Sh!t happens"

        August 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      There is no meaning of life
      ----
      Actually, that's not at all true, I've seen the movie. It's one of my favorites in the Monty Python series.

      August 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • ME II

        best answer

        August 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • hharri

      excellent

      August 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Reality seems to upset you. Why?

      August 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  7. Knights Who Say...

    Chairman: Item six on the agenda, the Meaning of Life. Now Harry, you’ve had some thoughts on this.
    Harry: That’s right, yeah. I’ve had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we’ve come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, matter is energy. In the Universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person’s soul. However, this soul does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man’s unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
    [Pause.]
    Max: What was that about hats again?

    August 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • bostontola

      [Geoffrey is confronted by a hooded figure with a scythe.]
      Geoffrey: Yes?
      [Pause.]
      Geoffrey: Is it about the hedge?

      August 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Knights Who Say...

        Grim Reaper: Shut up! Shut up, you American. You always talk, you Americans, you talk and you talk and say 'Let me tell you something' and 'I just wanna say this.' Well, you're dead now, so shut up.

        --------------------------–

        Grim Reaper: Be quiet! You Englishmen! You're all so fvcking pompous. None of you have got any balls!

        August 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Maani

          "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!"

          August 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  8. Lionly Lamb

    People on either sides of the fenced lines of psychological conditionings have many commonalities within many rooted behaviorisms as being ever grounded within Life valuations itself and all its engendering major roots forever grown under the fences of socialisms being made a beneficial regularity...

    August 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Kaysi

      Maybe he's developed a taste for it. Like when you feed your pet gerbils hamburger and they learn to like meat and so they start fighting each other and your little gerbil cage becomes the Thunderdome: two gerbils enter, one gerbil leave. The spectacle becomes all the rage for the kids on the block so the next thing you know is that you are spending all your allowance on new gerbils and soon you have to start charging a cover fee for your little gerbil fights.

      August 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  9. Brother Maynard

    If god is eternal, how can he ( jesus ) return at the end of time?
    Eternity is endless time.

    August 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • ricshannon

      Eternity is "in the eye of the beholder". A moth's eternity can be measured in hours but not years. Time is relative says Einstein, that seems to work here too. Jesus is eternal since he is GOD. Since GOD "makes" time he kind of has control over events that are dependent on time. When GOD decides that Jesus will return then Jesus will show up and "redefine" eternity for all of us who are still around and for those of us who were saved and have been waiting to be resurrected and returned to GOD.

      My time on Earth may seem like a long time but it is just a flash gone in a moment compared to what I expect as part of salvation – the "real" eternity.

      August 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Willful unabashed ignorance... the lifeblood of Christianity

        August 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Hey

          what does Lucifer's Evil Twin say to a follower of christianity who has ACTUALLYL contributed more to human knowledge than him?

          'would you like fries with that?'

          August 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Colin

          i get it. if there is just 1 christain that is smarter than him, that makes Lucifer's Evil Twin become ...Ignorance's lil bi@tch.
          hahahaha

          August 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          That's pretty funny considering you have absolutely no idea who I am or what I do for a living... yet you assume that somehow I must work in fast food or am not educated... because I do not espouse your ridiculous religious superstitions?

          August 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • ricshannon

          Blissful ignorance seems to be more of the atheist's mantra not the Christian's. Christians operate using a set of rules and guidelines that they feel very strongly will move them in a direction that reforms them over a lifetime and prepare them for an eternal life. So I think you err a bit in relating ignorance with Christians, we are not ignorant of the step of faith we take nor are we ignorant of the effect of being faithless or worse a part of "preaching" against GOD.

          August 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Belief in something that doesn't exist is for children, but I don't recall 'preaching' against it...

          August 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • ricshannon

          Lucifer's Evil Twin –

          Rather than your question regarding eternity I am surprised you aren't more interested in what happens when you die (e.g., your personal eternity)? I assume that you aren't comfortable with being "religious" so I assume you must be comfortable with having no possibility of anything like a "life after death". I have no problem with that if that is what (maybe all that) you want. It takes nothing to take that path on the other hand with just a little more work you could have an eternal life. If I am wrong then I wasted my time and you didn't, but if I just happened to be right and you knew I was, would you become a believer to have that eternal life? With have that chance while we live, I am not sure whether we get "do overs" once we die. So take a chance it doesn't cost a thing – just a little faith ....

          August 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @ric – It's time for me to go home now... but what you describe is called Pascal's Wager and it has been debunked... look it up, because using that argument on an atheist is pretty useless. To paraphrase Samuel Clemens – I fully expect to go to the same place I was... the 10 billion years before I was born. Auf Weidersahn...

          August 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Johnny

          Unless, of course you chose the wrong god, then you are in just as much trouble as all the atheists. Maybe you should believe in all of them just in case?

          August 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Hey

          Luciver,
          i don't know what you do...but if there is just 1. ONE. christian that is smarter than a man who says they are all ignorant, what does that make that man?

          August 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Brother Maynard

        'Eternity is "in the eye of the beholder".'
        Sorry ricshannon you seem to be making this up as you go.
        Eternity, by definition, IS endless time
        Time maybe relative ... but it is still time. So as you move closer to the speed of light ... time slows, but it is still moving.
        Eternity in this has not changed, time is just slower.

        August 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Fire on High

          Music is reversible, time is not
          turn back, turn back, turn back......

          August 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • skytag

        More evidence religion makes people stupid. Eternity is not relative.

        August 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Vic

      God Himself (Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit) Is Eternal in Generation, His creation is temporal/timed. The end of time of this life realm is what's meant by it

      August 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        In the words of the late Whitney Houston 'Crack is Whack'

        August 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • mzh

        "God Himself (Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit)" – would it be 'Himself' or 'Themselves'?

        August 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Vic

          God is One of Three. One Godhead, Three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit.) That is the Christian Holy Trinity.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • mzh

          112:1 – Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One.

          112:2 – Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).

          112:3 – He begets not, nor was He begotten;

          112:4 – And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • skytag

          This is great. Vic and mzh can talk past one another, each "knowing" he is right and the other is wrong. LOL

          August 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • Maani

          You may be right, skytag. But at least they are doing so respectfully, without rancor or demeaning the other. You (and others here) could learn from this.

          August 31, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • sam stone

        Wow, more meaningless blather from Vic. What a surprise

        August 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          amen

          October 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Athy

      That explains why Jeebus has never returned and never will. He can't return until time ends, and time will never end. QED.

      August 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • mzh

      You are mixing two things up between The Creator and The Creation...

      August 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Johnny

    The strongest piece of evidence in favor of evolution is that only the far right wing religious nut jobs think it is false. Can any of you out there come up with even one person who is not religious and thinks that evolution is false?

    August 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Good question

      Early 20th century communist leaders were strictly opposed to evolution and many of them were atheists.

      And there are atheists in the world who are not educated about evolution.

      August 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "Early 20th century communist leaders were strictly opposed to evolution and many of them were atheists." LOL

        I would love to hear more about this and the proof you have. What exactly would an atheist believe as to how we got here if they did not believe in some form of evolution? I'm just curious because i've never heard a competeing theory that did not include either evolution or some sort of unexplained magic doing it. I guess they might have believed in the alien origin theories but that seems unlikely.

        August 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Another Good question

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

          August 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Lysenkoism – adequately describes ID/C...

          August 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives."

          August 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • G to the T

          As I recall the early soviets preferred Lamarkian theory over Darwin's natural selection. Set their biological sciences back for decades.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sire(d) Johnny...

      I am very religious and yet I believe in the theoretic ideas of the evolution of mankind coming from a singular atomized cellular increment of many eons passing... What does that make me out to be..?

      August 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Johnny

        Just because lots of right wing nut jobs don't believe in Evolution doesn't mean that all religious people don't believe in Evolution. If you believe in Evolution then I wasn't talking about you.

        August 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny...

          I am not very adept in the knowledge-base of right wing of left wing connotations of even centrists... All I know about such issues is that much of society either assumes one thing or the other thing... Leftists don't play with the right winged yet I do not know any of either armed continuities with much thoughtfulness... Should I..?

          August 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Johnny

          Personally, I feel like anybody who considers themselves a Republican or a Democrat is part of the problem in this country.

          August 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Colin

          I wish just excluding oneself from either group made me part of the solution. but it doesn't

          August 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          So then Johnny...

          Your views regarding politics of a two-party system needs to be more fluidly dynamic with ever more variations of political partisanships coming into the fold..?

          August 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Johnny

          I think we should ban all parties, that way people wouldn't be able to vote by party line, and instead would actually have to listen to what the candidates say and make an informed decision. As it stands now, I feel that too many people just vote for the D or the R in front of the person's name, and that that is how we got to where we are today.

          August 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny...

          Is it not the influences of political action committees being the main problem within politics nowadays..? The money streams from big businesses via PACs should be abolished instead of doing what you say...

          August 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • ME II

        Whelped Lionly Lamb,
        ... a vocabularized pseudo-intellectualiser of verbalisms.

        August 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • midwest rail

          WAY too kind, but I'll defer...

          August 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          I am found humbled to your fascinations around your pseudo conflagrations of potential idiocies beckoning wayward convolutions of jibe gibberish fooleries...

          August 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • ricshannon

      No, I think you are correct. I also think that your definition of "religious" and "right" are flawed. I think anthropologists have seen that most of ancient mankind has had some kind of "god" or "supreme" being type belief system. Either ancient mankind has some belief or they don't. The non-Christian religions also have "creation" stories to fill the need for understanding from where things came.

      As a Christian though I am bond by faith to believe that what GOD says is true; by virtue of the BIble which was inspired by GOD it also has to be true; by virtue of Jesus as "the WORD of GOD" the New Testament of Jesus Christ must be true. Given that as a premise then I believe that GOD created all things. I can however understand that the Bible is not a science book and that there are things that appear in natural law that appears to be in conflict with the words in the Bible. In those cases I feel that there does not have to be conflict but rather a difference in how facts were captured by authors in an ancient time; were kept verbally over thousands of years before being written down; then rewritten many, many times be scribes belonging to many sects who may have changed the meaning of statements many times over.

      So you are right! It holds true that persons who argue that evolution is wrong are probably religious. Otherwise why would they be arguing at all? Maybe "they" shouldn't be persecuted for their belief in their religion by you either ....

      August 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Johnny

        Where did I persecute anyone?

        August 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Vic

      That's a testimony to that Evolution is ONLY a political statement against Belief in God, and that it DID NOT happen!

      August 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • Johnny

        No, I think it is the opposite Vic. Especially since the Creationist side only tries to discredit the other side, and never offers any proof to support their arguments.

        August 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny...

          The sides for Creationism should not be against Evolution at least in my opinionated construct... Neither should those who do not believe in Creationism be ever inflaming the creationists... Live and let live yet be ever mindful of each other's opinions... I am a creationist and I believe in Evolution and can mix it with my creationist beliefs... Many creationists are simple minded and likewise many non-believers of Creationism cannot seem to fathom that Nothingness if God's spiritual essence... Hell, even the creationists cannot fathom such a simplistic principle...

          August 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Nothingness is God's spiritual essence...

          August 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • sam stone

        What has evolution got to do with a belief in god, Vic?

        Have you gone off our meds and onto a tangent?

        August 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sammie...

          Evolution is a construct being made by God's sons who have taken up residencies within the frameworks of the atomized cosmologies... All celestially terrestrial Life is made from God's sons as being their living buildings within which they reside and take up residencies... These sons of God living within us reap what we eat and consume... They live a life of luxuries

          August 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • sam stone

          gee, LL, as usual, you use lots of big words to say absolutely nothing

          my initial post was in response to a insuination that god and evolution were incompatible

          August 30, 2013 at 6:09 am |
    • Maani

      Johnny: Your original question seems self-serving: it is all but self-evident that no one other than religious fundamentalists believe evolution to be "false." However, I could provide you the names of quite a few non-religious people – including scientists, some of renown – who do not feel that the theory of evolution is quite as "solid" as you and others may think.

      August 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Maani

      Johnny: That is a hopelessly self-serving question. False? No. But I COULD provide you with a list of non-religious people – including many scientists, some of renown – who consider the theory of evolution weaker than you and others probably believe it to be.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  11. bostontola

    The bible is perfect,

    except for the following:

    1. Factual errors of inclusion.
    2. Errors of omission.
    3. Universal laws that are temporal and don't make sense today.
    4. Contains moral stories that are immoral today.

    Other than that, it's perfect.

    August 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Science is dumb. It classifies animals that are warm-blooded, and have fur, and their babies are born alive, and a baby lives on its mother’s milk, as mammals. Bats do all those things, but bats are clearly birds as the bible instructs us. The bible is never wrong.

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

        Imagine us crazy people today, we don't think that children should be punished for the transgressions of their parents when the bible says punish down 4 generations, now that's morality.

        Who are we to banish slavery when the rules are spelled out in the bible.

        August 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • hharri

          why don't you already know that you have interpreted this passage incorrectly?

          August 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • AE

      1. God speaks to our hearts, not just our minds.
      2. Context is important.
      3. Poetically, the way human beings communicate, it does make a lot of sense.
      4. It reveals truths. It is not a moral code book. We would not need Jesus if all we needed was a better set of moral codes.

      If a person wrote an honest story about your life it probably wouldn't have a good moral, either.

      August 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        Are you stipulating that the bible is imperfect?

        August 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • AE

          Sure. I don't worship the Bible. Or try to make an idol out of it. My limited understanding and translation can very much make it imperfect.

          I make a lot of sense out of the Bible from Peter Gomes understanding who said things like:

          “The Bible alone is the most dangerous thing I can think of,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “You need an ongoing context and a community of interpretation to keep the Bible current and to keep yourself honest. Forget the thought that the Bible is an absolute pronouncement.”

          But Mr. Gomes also defended the Bible from critics on the left who called it corrupt because passages had been used to oppress people. “The Bible isn’t a single book, it isn’t a single historical or philosophical or theological treatise,” he told The Seattle Gay News in 1996. “It has 66 books in it. It is a library.”

          August 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE, sensible.

          August 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • mzh

        God does not talk to any human, its human talks to him/herself like whisperring and this become a teaching of religion...

        Only prophets received revelation through angel Gabriel... and only Moses talked with God Almighty...

        This is a teaching has been given to the mankind incorrectly and human believes in it...

        Please be honest with yourself who says that God talked to me... its you that talked to yourself...

        August 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    I was hiking the other day and a voice came out of a burning bush and told me that if you post on CNN's Belief Blog using someone else's name, you go straight to hell.

    uh oh faith/hhari ... someone on here is in biiiig trouble ...

    August 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • bostontola

      Bearing false witness.

      There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
      —Proverbs 6:16–19

      August 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Colin

      it is just words posted in a little box....we don't get paid for this. dont let it hurt what really matters: your ego. my ego is the only thing that ultimately matters to me...i have failed to see anything bigger or more important than that.
      all hail my ego!

      August 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • bostontola

        If your point were true, would that make it alright to pose as someone else and lie? If not, why defend that behavior?

        August 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Colin

          nothing matters, ultimately. if i don't get punished all is fine – it is not like there is a god or anything to provide justice – just us evolved apes trying to survive until we die and the end.

          August 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Colin

          there is no god. lie, cheat and steal, just don't get caught by human beings. other than us – nothing matters.

          August 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          Colin,
          Wow, I must have touched a nerve.

          August 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          there is no god but there does not need to be. there are things like self respect and pride. I live in hope that my fellow man will have some of both.

          August 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Colin

          there are these things {not based on your ego}: respect for others, compassion
          i live in hope that you can practice those – and no god needed either.

          August 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • romnesia

        The fundies don't have anything sensible to post so they post using atheist names to be sure their ignorance is well known.

        August 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    A question for Christians:
    How many of you believe in The Rapture?
    Of those, how many believe it is going to happen in the near future?
    Why?

    August 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ok, so technically 3 questions.

      August 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the neighborhood Christians are keeping well clear of that question Doc ...

      August 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The official Catholic Position.

      Catholics take the view that was put forth by St. Augustine which is similar to the ‘ “Amillennialists”, who believe in the coexistence of good and evil on earth until the end. The tension that exists on earth between the righteous and the wicked will be resolved only by Christ’s return at the end of time. The golden age of the millennium is instead the heavenly reign of Christ with the saints, in which the Church on earth participates to some degree, though not in the glorious way it will at the Second Coming.’

      In other words: we are all in it together until the end when Christ comes again.

      August 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Thanks Bill.
        I'm more interested in those folk who are afraid they're going to be "left behind" when the Rapture happens and are firmly convinced that it'll be any day now.
        Catholics don't tend to think that The End is Nigh...

        August 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Sure we do. We just tend to think of it in more personal terms. Most Catholics I know pray daily for the end of self. When we receive communion we are offering ourselves to become more Christ-like so that we meet the world with His Kingdom in hand.

          August 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • sam stone

        "The official Catholic Position."

        Bent over a pew, pants down, praying the rosary and hoping the father finishes his filthy business quickly?

        August 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Maani

      Okay, I'll bite. (Even though I know skytag, redzoa, and some of the other, more "fundamentalist" atheists among you will happily swoop down on me like vultures on a mortally wounded animal...LOL)

      I believe in the Rapture. As for its timing, even the Scripture tells us, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

      That said, there are a number of "signs" (i.e., fulfilled prophecies) that must occur prior to the Rapture. And while some of those signs have in fact occurred (and have been occurring over the past 60 or more years), many have not, and there is no knowing when they will occur. This is why any attempt to "date" the Rapture (or "Armageddon") is hopelessly flawed, if not blatantly arrogant.

      August 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  14. bostontola

    "Christians refute Evolution based on Scientific Research and not mere opinions! ", Vic.

    Vic, you can refute a theory of evolution, like Darwin's theory, or Lamarck's theory, but you can't refute evolution because it's a fact. It is a directly observable fact. There may never be a theory that captures all the modes of evolution, but evolution is a fact.

    Saying you refute evolution is like saying you refute gravity. The Newtonian theory was not completely right, the einstein theory is not completely right, but there is gravity.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      amen!

      August 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired Boston...

      So... The gravity of thoughts are..? The gravities of reasonableness are..? There are too many gravimetric nuances around philosophical astuteness... To acknowledge all mankind's gravitational surroundings of philosophical methodologies would take a millennia of time to profess and even longer to apprehend...

      I love the values of thoughtfulness be they godly or not... It makes little difference to me what anthologies one stands upon yet it makes me wonder why one stands upon someone else's anthological works instead of one's owned esthetically pleasing works... Should I dare take guesses upon the conundrums of philosophies oozing all over everyone's mental conditionings leaving many to be but airheads..?

      After-all: my sometimes many airheaded beliefs leave many folks to be analogously incontrovertible thought-provokers of disingenuous mediocre slaying retorts meant to be inflammatory in their natures connotations...

      August 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • UncleBenny

        LL – what have you been smoking? I want some!

        August 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Uncle Benny...

          I await the time when marijuana becomes legalized nationwide here in the USA... Until then all I can do is wait with apprehensiveness for the day of legality for marijuana consumers to righteously light up with no lawful phobias being a hindrance to one's smoking of mother nature's finest herb...

          August 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Johnny

          Lionly, laws were made to be broken.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny...

          I was smoking reefer ever since I was 16... Now 58, I am to phobic to smoke it because of its current illegality... I await the day when our federal laws will be challenged by the general populace making it legal... Until then I must refrain from smoking reefer... 😦

          August 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Maani

          Lamb: I don't know what State you live in, but you probably know that Colorado and Washington have both legalized pot. As well, 8 other states have decriminalized it (to varying degrees), and a few more have legalized "medical" marijuana but not "social" pot. I am about your age, and gave up pot (except once a year...long story...) many, many years ago, mostly for health reasons. But I support its decriminalization and legalization. I hope your State joins those who have at least decriminalized it. Peace.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Vic

      I leave it to the experts to articulate:

      http://www.arn.org/docs/newman/rn_statusofevolution.htm

      August 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        And so do we:
        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIjyqAMYhJ8&w=640&h=360]

        August 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • bostontola

        Vic,
        In his definitions evolution is a fact. Why didn't you just agree?

        August 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Vic

        Creationism is highly appropriate for children.

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-AyDtD6sPA&w=640&h=360]

        August 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Way to go Vic, use the one thing that supports your side...a dumb creationist. Are you that afraid of your whole belief falling apart if you accept the actual evidence that shows creationists are preaching pseudo science? You'd think that if they were right it could be taught in schools but it can't be due to the complete lack of evidence for it!

          August 30, 2013 at 1:00 am |
      • Johnny

        I'm with Bill, if you want to be a Creationist fine, but don't make your kids stupid.

        August 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny ny lad...

          Exactly how does teaching children about creationism make them stupid..? I was always under the impression that creationism is but a story about how all material matter came into existence from Nothingness which is God's spiritual essence...

          August 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Johnny

          Teaching kids things that you can't prove are true makes them stupid. Until you prove there is a god somewhere in the universe you shouldn't be teaching kids that god can do anything.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Evolution is a lie

        Good post! Keep sharing the truth, the 'believers' of evolutionism normally don't like to hear the truth, though!

        August 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          That's an idiotic post. You can try to change the definitions to make you feel better all you want but that doesn't make your opinion the truth.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  15. Vic

    In case you missed the discussion:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/24/should-christianity-be-so-boring/comment-page-24/#comment-2547378

    August 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Johnny

      Why do you feel the need to make yourself look like a fool in as many places as possible?

      August 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        because he/she's really good at it?

        August 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Vic

        This not about me, it's about the Truth!

        August 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @Vic – you have a very narrow-minded and biased interpretation of 'Truth'

          August 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Johnny

          The "Truth" (as you like to call it) is that Evolution is the most logical explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.

          August 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Colin

          capitialze Evolution because it come from God

          August 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • Vic

          Creation by God is the most logical explanation by reason and detection by sentience whereas Evolution is farfetched and defies common sense!

          August 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Willy Wonka

          Vic
          Strike that, reverse it.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • sam stone

          beware of those who capitalize the word "truth"

          August 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • skytag

          Whenever you capitalize "truth" it tells me you're not referring to truth, which refers to things we know to be true. Instead, you're referring to something that hasn't been shown to be true, but has been named "Truth" to fool people like you into believing it's true.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • ME II

      I case you haven't heard, "Intelligent Design" is not science and Meyers is not a scientist.

      August 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.” ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

      August 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        perfect!

        August 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Evolution is a lie

      Where did that other post go? looks like the evolutionists are not so sure about their belief after all!

      August 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  16. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I see the love fest is still ongoing...

    August 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to Atheists. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    August 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Believers want someone with immense power to love them, love them personally and take care of them. What particle accelerator could give them that?

      August 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        God. The one who loves you so much, that he created hell in case you don't love him back... LOL

        August 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • She Loves You

          You think you've lost your love
          Well, I saw her yesterday
          It's you she's thinking of
          And she told me what to say

          She says she loves you
          And you know that can't be bad
          Yes, she loves you
          And you know you should be glad

          She loves you, yeah yeah yeah
          She loves you, yeah yeah yeah
          With a love like that
          You know you should be glad

          August 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          And kiIIed the entire population of the planet except for 8 people. What a loving god.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Technically the flood killed them; if the people listened to god they'd survive the flood-
          and we wouldn't be here today-cuz the way the people were living was going to destroy everyone – not even 8 people would've made it out alive-had not god stepped in
          but it is just a story (but at least get it right)

          August 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          thanks for posting with my name, whoever you are. classy.

          August 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Alias

      Einstein’s equations and quantum physics do not reconcile.
      Get it right or provide disclaimers. You make the smart and well educated athiests sound like fools.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Aren't you a fool, for Christ's sake?

        August 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Alias

          Not by most measures. Of course, being a sarcastic commenter on this blog will qualify me in many opinions.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        i'm not smart or educated, but that doesn't stop me from being an atheist. all it takes is denying god and then you are an intellectual. that easy baby!

        August 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Alias

          I'm not so sure smarts and beliefs have any correlation.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          atheists are smart
          christians are deluded
          they are not mutually exclusive

          August 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          thanks for posting with my name, whoever you are. classy.

          August 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • hharri

          condemn sammy much? what class

          September 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    Science is dumb. It classifies animals that are warm-blooded, and have fur, and their babies are born alive, and a baby lives on its mother’s milk, as mammals.

    Bats do all those things, but bats are clearly birds as the bible instructs us.

    The bible is never wrong.

    August 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Alias

      But at least it got the parts about the world being the flat, unmoving center of the universe right.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and Man being created from dirt, or woman from his rib. The 6,000 year old earth. Every species of animal on one boat. The bits about unicorns, half man half goat beasts, flaming snakes, seven headed dragons, rocks that scream if you can't praise Jesus, talking snakes, donkeys and flaming foliage. All right. it's very accurate for a story book.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • mzh

        That applies to Bible...

        August 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • ^^^^^ Look at the evidence ^^^^

      only looney atheists and right wing fundie religious oppressors say such things

      August 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Johnny

        Unfortunately right wing fundamentalists seem to make up close to 50% of voters in this country.

        August 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  19. Philip Hefner, Ph.D. is a religious nut case

    Phil Hefner 1997.jpg. Philip Hefner, PhD. Fields, Systematic Theology, Philosophy of Religion. Inst1tutions, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago • Alma mater.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      like having a Ph.D in Tinkerbell.

      August 29, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        It's a perfectly legit field of study.
        I myself received a Sacred Theology Doctorate from the University of Baptist Scripture.

        I'm quite proud of the STD I got from the U of B.S.

        August 29, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • bostontola

          funny

          August 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          LOLOL

          August 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Johnny

          Nice.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    Since it's a slow day around here and the evolution debate has come up again, let's go over some core principles.

    A PRIMER IN EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

    Firstly, we need to clarify a few basics.
    1) Evolution does not deal with abiogenesis. The "spark of life" is not addressed – only the development of life.
    2) The colloquial definition of "theory" is not the same as the scientific one.
    A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers.

    In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

    There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
    1) Evolution as such.
    This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
    2) Common descent
    This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
    3) Multiplication of species
    This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
    4) Gradualism
    This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
    5) Natural selection
    This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

    Creationism / intelligent design are not theories – they are rationalizations.

    August 29, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • AE

      My church actually had a lesson similar to this recently.

      We also discussed this quote:

      "Traditional religious creation stories and evolution are complementary. Science and religion together can weave a rich tapestry of new meaning for our age."

      – Philip Hefner, Ph.D.

      August 29, 2013 at 11:33 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        listening to voices from inside your bubble won't let you see the real world ...

        August 29, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • AE

          The topic was: "Blind Chance or Divine Plan?"

          It was a discussion. And we were free to make our own decisions. Not everybody agreed or walked away with the same understanding.

          Of course, my church and my experiences are nothing like you seem to imagine. Thank God.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          yes I am sure that life inside your bubble is nothing like I imagine ...

          August 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Since Darwin first posited his theory, evolutionary scientists have tried to lessen the conflict between evolution and religion.
        They worry that the public association of evolution with atheism will hurt evolutionary biology, perhaps impeding its funding or acceptance.
        The great majority see no conflict between religion and evolution, not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution.
        Sociobiological evolution is the means to understanding religion, whereas religion as a "way of knowing" has nothing to teach us about evolution.

        August 29, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Thanks Doc. Beautifully put. Unfortunately, you know that the Christians are going to twist it and deny it and misrepresent it and confuse and obfuscate ... unfortunately you can never argue with an idiot ... they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience"

      August 29, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        I think Jean Baptiste Lamarck and Gregor Mendel might disagree.

        August 29, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Bill, you would have to be one of the smartest Christians I know. unfortunately, deluded and smart are not mutually exclusive.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • mirror

          dawG, you aren't very smart though. by your own standards, you are deluded.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          Popes Pius XII and JPII did wonders for Catholic acceptance of scientific truths, especially when it comes to evolutionary biology. The Vatican no longer espouses biblical literalism and makes no bones about Genesis being straight up allegory.
          The Vatican even has astronomers now who contribute to our understanding of the cosmos and its true age.
          One can pick on the RCC all day long for any number of things, but at least they eventually came to terms with reality when faced with evidence.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Vic

      Christians refute Evolution based on Scientific Research and not mere opinions! Take a look:

      http://evolutionisntscience.wordpress.com/evolution-frauds/

      http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v11i3e.htm

      http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-biologically-impossible/

      http://www.icr.org/article/biggest-problems-for-evolution/

      August 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Too bad none of those sources have any actual scientific credibility...

        August 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        OK Vicky, I'll bite.

        FRAUDS:
        Haeckels embryo drawing were made almost 200 years ago.
        In case you weren't aware, we now have imaging technology that allows us to directly observe ebryonic development in real time with astonishing, microscopic detail.
        The principle those sketching attempted to illustrate is sound and has been confirmed using these modern techniques.

        Piltdown/Nebraska/Java Man are all quite old frauds – 100 years, give or take.
        Thanks to instant global communication and a much more robust and interconnected scientific community, such chicanery is far more easily and rapidly exposed in the process of peer-review.

        The "Primeval Soup" articles attempt to conflate Evolutionary theory with abiogenesis. The former makes no claims about addressing the latter.
        This creationist tactic is dubbed "The God of the Gaps" – jamming a supernatural explanation into any area where there is an incomplete scientific explanation. The problem for them is that those gaps get smaller and smaller with every new discovery.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Vic

          It is man's finite being and limited knowledge and capabilities that is of the gaps! God created everything, and everything has always been around! It just so happens that man has been discovering things and arriving at science of what already exists, which in turns bridges the gaps in man's knowledge, little by little, but could never be all!

          August 30, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        Vic
        Here is an excerpt from one of your sources.

        "To test simply the alleged self-combining tendency of carbon, I placed one microliter of India (lampblack) ink in 27 ml. of distilled water. The ink streaked for the bottom of the test tube where it formed a dark haze which completely diffused to an even shade of gray in 14 hours. The carbon stayed diffused, not aggregated as when dropped on paper. At this simple level, there is no evidence that the "primeval soup" is anything but fanciful imagination."

        Seriously?...All I have read is backhanded comments and dismissals of research based on ridiculous experiments like the one above.

        You had previously shown a complete lack of understanding of science and sceintific method. The above proves you know even less than previously indicated. If you read the articles you posted, Thre is not ONE SINGLE SHRED of actual scientifically conducted data to work with, and there are so many places where backhanded comments show that the writers are simply trying to discredit actual scinetists. Their bias shows through, which invalidates every word.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Vic

          The carbon excerpt you used is a "reflection in the mirror" of what Abiogenesis is really like. And you know very well that it was done to wittingly demonstrate how ridiculous Abiogenesis is! It is total disrespect to the readers to allude to that it was intended for a real scientific experiment, as if the readers can't know for themselves, let alone staining my track record on this board. I thank the Lord for the knowledge He bestowed upon me, and I am not here to display my resume nor to boast in my achievements; I am here to witness to Him, Jesus Christ our Lord and personal Savior.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Vic
          Now you are flat out lying. The experiment they did had nothing to do with any science, it dows not demonstrate nor take anything away from the special properties of carbon. This "experiment" is shown as a real test Vic. Being an actual scientist, I can identify frauds when I see them, and all of your references are frauds, just like your bible.

          September 1, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • taken

          "Being an actual scientist, I can identify frauds when I see them, and all of your references are frauds, just like your bible." chromusdomous

          u r a scientist alright

          just like your baable is a fraud

          September 1, 2013 at 9:43 am |
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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.