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Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'
October 4th, 2013
07:09 PM ET

Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'

Opinion by Candida Moss, Special to CNN

(CNN)--Bill O’Reilly’s "Killing Jesus: A History" is the best-selling book in the world right now. But it’s far from flawless.

The Holy Spirit may have inspired "Killing Jesus," but he didn’t fact-check it.

Here are five ways it shows: 

1. Not everything Roman historians tell you is true

Of the first 80 or so pages of "Killing Jesus," only 15 are about Jesus himself. The rest is history, biography, and politics of the ancient Mediterranean. Much of this is gleaned from Roman and Jewish historians like the imperial biographer Suetonius and the Jewish general Josephus.

These are authors that O’Reilly trusts implicitly. Maybe it’s because Suetonius reads like the National Enquirer, maybe it’s because the Romans loved eagles, but whatever the reason, O’Reilly gives them too much credit.

The Romans were fantastic record-keepers but had different standards for their history writing. O’Reilly refers to the acta diurna – a sort of proto-newspaper recording political events, marriages, and divorces that was read aloud in public – as evidence for accuracy in Roman record-keeping.

But he is wrong to see these as transparent statements of fact.

They were propagandistic: the Roman orator Cicero complains that he is misrepresented in the daily reports, and the Roman governor Pliny retells a story he had heard in which a dog jumped in the river after his deceased owner. It’s a little more Buzzfeed than Wall Street Journal.

2. Paul was not a Christian

According to O’Reilly, Paul was “a former Pharisee who became a convert to Christianity.” Paul was not a Christian; he was a Jew who moved from one branch of Judaism to another.

He never uses the word Christian. It seems that the early members of the Jesus movement referred to themselves as followers of “the Way.”

The word Christian wasn’t used until the end of the first century C.E. The first generation of Jesus' followers lived and died as Jews.

3. The Pharisees were not self-righteous bloviators.

The same old caricature of Pharisees as “arrogant,” “haughty,” and legalistic pervades the book. There is biblical support for this view from the Gospels, but O’Reilly and Dugard claim to be writing history and separating ”myth” from “fiction.”

For the past 30 years, scholarship on the Pharisees has shown that the Pharisees were not hyper-legalistic hypocrites. To make things worse, the authors seem to think that John the Baptist told the Pharisees either to burn or be condemned to hell (a rather peculiar reading of Luke 3:17).

The irony here is that our modern stereotypes of the Pharisees are grounded in Protestant critiques of Catholicism. Protestant Reformers saw Catholics as just like the biblical Pharisees, championing faith through works, and lumped the two groups together as legalizers and hypocrites. O’Reilly and Dugard, being Catholic, are actually stereotyping themselves.

4. Jesus was/wasn’t political

Any follower of Internet memes knows that Jesus can be made to say anything. O’Reilly has vacillated between saying (on his television show "The O’Reilly Factor") that Jesus was not political and arguing in his book that Jesus died to interrupt the revenue stream from the Temple and Rome and that "Jews everywhere long for the coming of a messiah ... [because] Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want."

Even though there’s no evidence for a direct financial link between the Temple and Rome, there’s no doubt that Jesus advocated for the poor. But O’Reilly needs to make up his mind. Is Jesus the man of the people seeking to liberate the oppressed from a heavy tax burden, or is he a peaceful man of God just trying to make a difference?

5. History isn’t just a word, it’s a discipline

O’Reilly acknowledges (correctly) that it’s difficult to look past the agendas of his sources and separate the myth from the history.

Historians prefer early sources and events that are documented in multiple (preferably independent) sources. O’Reilly puts all of this aside and cherry-picks episodes from whichever Gospel version he seems to prefer.

He will sometimes omit stories if they seem historically implausible, but he doesn’t do this consistently. He omits Jesus' words, from the Gospel of Luke, as he is being crucified: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  In his CBS interview he explained that it was impossible for people to speak audibly while they were crucified. Fair enough; but then why does he include Jesus’s final words from the Gospel of John: “It is finished”? Is there something about the word “forgiveness” that sticks in the throat?

Apart from the methodological problems, the entire book is written in the style of a novel, not a history book. We hear the thoughts of Herod as he orders the execution of the male children of Bethlehem, for instance. It’s entertaining, but it’s historical fan fiction, not history.

Editor’s Note: Candida Moss is a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Myth of Persecution.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Jesus • Opinion • TV

soundoff (2,100 Responses)
  1. 5 things god gets wrong

    1. The only thing that is important is that people be obedient sycophants. People who do good but do not kiss my divine butt must be tortured. People who murder and do all sorts of evil get my super Disneyland in the sky if they subsequently kiss my butt.

    2. Playing hide and seek is somehow important. It is very important to make it seem very unlikely I exist or that other gods are true. This somehow proves something.

    3. I am not responsible for anything bad. Nevermind that I am omnipotent and created Satan and I made people the way they are and it's all my plan anyway. It's not my fault.

    4. I am angry and vengeful God of love who has an eternal torture chamber for those who don't kiss my butt.

    5. I exist.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • 5 more things god gets wrong

      1, Watching us poop
      2. Watching us have sex
      3. Watching us pick our noses
      4. Watching us pull our underwear out of our ass cracks
      5. Watching pee

      October 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
      • Doris

        I feel cheated that something as ugly as a crocodile has a much better immune system than us.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • bspurloc

          crocs have been evolving on this planet much much longer than mammals... so why wouldnt they?

          October 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        It's creepy that you've been looking my window for the past thirty minutes to get your inspiration.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • 5 more things god gets wrong

          1. Watching us drink the milk straight from the carton
          2. Watching us drink the tequila straight from the bottle
          3. Watching us smell our "stinky" fingers
          4. Watching us drop a booger on the carpet
          5. Watching us fight about god

          October 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • joe

      pretty funny.

      October 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • davidi

      Wow how can you be so mad at some being who doesn't exist?

      October 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Bob

        Doesn't he? Where's the proof...;)

        October 11, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  2. God Watches You Poop!

    I have wrestled with whether or not Bill O’Reilly was for real for quite a while. I think the joke is on the Republicans.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • It's all snake oil sales

      I always wondered if Rush Limbaugh actually believed anything he says. I often get the impression that he will say anything for money, and that deep down he only believes in his personal gain. I rather think he looks on his own followers as being incredibly stupid rubes who are easily separated from their cash with nothing but words.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • God Watches You Poop!

        I agree. They are very much the same thing as carnival side shows using a different medium.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • lol??

          Consulting mediums?? Oh, oooohhhh.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • chuckie

        Rush is the neer-do-well of his family (He makes lots and lots of money but failed in the family business). HIs family is upper middle class professionals). It is doubtful he respects his "ditto-heads". How could he really respect yes-men? The irony is that the label "ditto-heads" is synonymous with yes-men and sycophants. Can he have so little respect for himself and lack of confidence that he has to surround himself with buffoons? Even Jesus had out-spoken followers, e.g., Thomas who demanded that Jesus let him stick his fingers into His wounds.

        October 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Shaggy615

          Upper middle-class, and with a business with employees and pay taxes, how dare they?

          October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • Capt Nemo

        Why else do you think Rush needed to be on drugs? He needed to insulate himself from the slime he slung and the truth (which he knows) that most of his "facts" aren't fact-checked by his staff and are intended as propaganda.

        It's hard to live with what you know is a life of l i e s...

        October 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • joe

        I agree too. And Bill O'Reilly isn't far behind.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • marsha malone

        Kind of like a TV minister.

        October 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • may40

      You liberals are really and truly sheeple. You actually believe any lie it's embarrassing. This article is total trash and if you ever opened a Bible you'd know this.

      October 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • The Other Bob

        Anyone else see the irony in may40's post?

        October 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Bob

          iorny or oxymoron

          October 11, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • FactCheck

        It's unnecessary for you to append your IQ to your name: 1) it's bad form 2) we already know.

        October 8, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  3. lol??

    Did the little lass get approval from her hubby before writin' this article??

    October 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  4. Leigh Anne

    Quote- The word Christian wasn’t used until the end of the first century C.E. The first generation of Jesus' followers lived and died as Jews.

    Response- Most people would rather NOT hear this....they think Jesus formed THEIR church.......whatever that is.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Capt Nemo

      Roses are red
      Violets are bluish
      Don't ever forget
      Jesus was Jewish

      October 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Jesus didn't form ANY church(es), his was an open air talk. He didn't set up guys in funny hats and robes, and he didn"t tell anyone to drink the koolaid. that was left to the greedy, the sociopaths, the psychopaths, and the narcissists.

      October 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  5. Russ

    @ Candida Moss
    You said: "Paul was not a Christian... he was a Jew who moved from one branch of Judaism to another."

    a) Christianity – as it understands itself – IS messianic Judaism. it seems you are making a hard distinction where there is none. Christianity is claiming that faithful Judaism will necessarily recognize Jesus as YHWH. in short, you are making a false dichotomy.

    b) what do you make of Galatians? Considering it is virtually uncontested as a legitimately Pauline epistle – how can you make this claim considering the primary theme of Galatians (Gal.1:6f)? it requires ignoring the main thrust of the letter.

    c) the historical origin of the term 'Christian' is known solely from the book of Acts, which claims that the term arose in Antioch circa AD 45 – notably WHILE Paul & Barnabas were there, and prior to Paul's FIRST missionary journey. you have to know that – so why act as if it doesn't exist?

    Acts is the *most ancient* historical reference claiming the origin of the name (and in such close association with Paul himself), yet you are claiming it did not arise for another 50 years (which requires also ignoring non-Christian writings like Tacitus' claims about Nero & "Christians" in AD 60s) – and you make such claims not only WITHOUT the basis of ANY historical docu.mentation in support of your position, but in direct contradiction to ALL the existing evidence.

    SUM: your position here is as untenable & re-narrated as your book: "the myth of persecution." it's reconstructing history to fit your preconceived notions, and not holding your own positions to the same standards as those you critique.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/review/the_myth_of_persecution_how_early_christians_invented_a_story_of_marty

    as the critic summarizes there:
    "Moss is actually guilty of the very thing that she hates. She hates the sensationalized religious rhetoric in America’s political discourse. This book is nothing more than a sensationalized political agenda masquerading as religious history."

    In other words, when it comes to O'Reilly & you: pot, meet kettle.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • RT Van

      Neatly summarized!

      October 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      I have spent a great deal of my professional life in the study of the Gnostic Gospels. As it turns out, the majority of “prophets” contributing to these scriptures was quite illiterate and most likely drew pictures to explain their wisdom.
      Needless to say, transcribing pictographs to verse was a tough task for the monks in those early centuries.

      Moreover, Jesus was the worst of the lot. This poor man could not even draw stick figures in the sand and apparently could not be trusted with anything so as to draw. As the story goes, Jesus would have to play a primitive form of "charades" while his scribes tried to guess his meaning.

      Most scholars agree that this is why these books were omitted from the Holy Bible.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • Peanut Gallery

        Come on, Dr. You waste your time "studying" fictional, unverified, uncorroborated drivel and somehow figure from this you know the "real" Jesus and his Apostles? That's like watching Fox news and thinking you actually understand the world. It is Gnostic and not canonical due to my description above. Luke is called a physician in the Bible, Paul was a Roman trained at the feet of prominent Romans. He was well educated in law. When the Bible refers to them and "unlettered", this does not mean illiterate, but being without the letters of recommendation from the secular sources of the era. Yes, modern church is a racket. However, I am convinced that the history of Jesus and his disciples as well as miracles reported by Josephus, Tacitus and Heroditus as well as the reports of eye witnesses of the time remain real.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          What eyewitnesses?

          October 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
        • joe

          However, I am convinced that the history of Jesus and his disciples as well as miracles reported by Josephus, Tacitus and Heroditus as well as the reports of eye witnesses of the time remain real.
          ------–
          Nope. Not one contemporary eye-witness. Not one letter, one piece of jewelry, one clay tablet, one cave drawing, one piece of art contemporarily depicting Jesus.

          It took generations after the alleged event from people who weren't there to come up with the stories.

          Face facts. When your God was allegedly on earth, nobody cared.

          October 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Maani

          Joe:

          Not sure where you are getting your info, but Matthew and John were in fact with Jesus the entire three year of His ministry. Mark also knew Jesus, though more as a disciple than an apostle. Only Luke did not know Jesus personally. Mark wrote the first Gospel in ~60AD based on his own knowledge, but also that of others who WERE there. He also had some of Paul's writings as well.

          Peace.

          October 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Peanut Gallery

      Yes, Russ. I read her article and said the same thing: Has she read Galatians OR Acts of the Apostles? Paul believed and carried on the work of the person he was convinced was the Christ. Um...Sounds Christian to me...

      October 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • TELew

      Sorry Russ, but Dr. Moss is way out of your league.

      It always amazes at how little respect professional historians get from people whose background in history amounts to maybe a couple of classes in college and reading popular history–which is what O'Reilly's book is.

      Professional historians have been through years of graduate study learning how to evaluate historical materials and being exposed to the most important literature concerning specific topics. Furthermore she is a professor and has obviously expanded her familiarity with the subjects through teaching and research. I am sure she is familiar with the passage your referring to, and has good reason–not an agenda–for writing what she has.

      To sum up, she has been through years of rigorous study with open-ended conclusions. By contrast, my guess is that you have been through years of Bible study justifying a conclusion that was reached years ago.

      Show some respect!

      October 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Russ

        @ TELew: wrong. I have a postgraduate degree in biblical studies. but i'm not here to tout my resume. my point is exactly to the contrary: degrees in the field do not guarantee an accurate assessment of the facts. there are plenty in the American Academy of Religion who passionately disagree with her re-narration of the facts (which – according to you – is a disrespectful thing?). Hence the article link i posted above...

        so which is it: are you making an authoritarian plea (which ignores the debate in the field) or do you have a substantive response to the facts posted above?

        October 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • Doug

          Just be honest, Russ. It's because she's a woman, and your faith prohibits women from knowing more than you do about anything.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • jhonny ausemkock

          Just be honest Doug, you can't win the debate on merit, so like the mental child you are , you've reverted to name-calling and character disparagement. Grow up, would ya? Come back to the big kid table after you have and try again.

          October 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • Sabby

        Professors have their own agendas just like everyone else and it affects the things they study, what evidence they choose to emphasize, and how they present it. There are at least 2 obvious falsehoods in her comment on O'Reilly's Pop history. 1- She claims "The first generation of Jesus' followers lived and died as Jews." Which is absolutely false. Some continued to observe Jewish law while others were gentiles. 2 – Her all or nothing statement "history shows that the Pharisees were not all judgemental hypocrites." The whole statement is ridiculous since the gospels do not say the all Pharisees were hypocrites. At least one, Nicodemus, was intrigued by Jesus teaching and assisted with his burial. Were there others? 3- Our learned Professor spells Spells "judgemental" wrong . It is "judgmental". Trivia.

        October 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    "It’s entertaining, but it’s historical fan fiction, not history."
    +++ unfortunately, people promoting god will often butt heads with history. and facts. and logic.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Carl Spackler

      I am told by the Dolly Llama that on their death bed, Christians will achieve total consciousness.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        hahaha. 10+

        October 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • MakeThemEatCake

        So they have that going for them.. which is nice..

        October 8, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  7. Five more things Billy got wrong but thinks is right

    1. Jesus was divine and not just a human crackpot.

    2. There is a god.

    3. Bill O'Reilly has a clue

    4. Rage is a great way of life

    5. His way is the only way

    We will ignore the virtually endless stream of things he gets wrong on every other subject.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if jesus did exist, he certainly didn't do any of the magick cr@p in the bible. so if you take him walking on water, healing people by touch, turning water into wine, resurrecting, being the son of god, etc. - what do you have? a guy that went around telling people he was the son of god and only through him can you hope to enter the afterlife. so the question is, was jesus a liar or a lunatic?

      October 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Probably a lot of both.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • ThinkForYourself

        Why do you think his followers at the time accepted death if they have not truely witnessed these actions. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't die for a lie. They witnessed the truth; therefore, died spreading it for all people.

        October 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  8. There Something About That Name

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dumJhvyLfi4&w=640&h=360]

    October 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • There Something About That Name

      Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
      There's just something about that Name.
      Master, Savior, Jesus,
      Like the fragrance after the rain.
      Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
      Let all heaven and earth proclaim,
      Kings and kingdoms will pass away,
      But there's something about that Name.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • Wally World

        Just a silly little advertising ditty, brainiac.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • KC

        Yep there is something about the name, he cuts my grass.

        October 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Stanley Morgan

      Beautiful rendition!

      October 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Well that certainly settles it – whatever it is. . .

      October 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • Capt Nemo

        Render unto Caesar and
        Render unto God but
        Both of them, it seems to be,
        are fronted for by frauds.

        October 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Bob

          AMEN

          October 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    what a challenge to only pick 5 things O'Reilly got wrong. or that his ghost writer got wrong, anyway...

    October 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  10. Maurie

    Religion and politics .......

    October 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • The Other Bob

      You forgot the Great Pumpkin.

      October 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Bill O'Reilly is simply writing fan fiction base on one of the best bits of fiction ever written. Anyone who takes it as truth should also take the blame for being so foolish.

    October 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Yeah, but it's "fan fiction" he doesn't even believe. He has many times stated he believes a lot of it is allegory and specifically said He doesn't believe the ark stuff.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Usually people don't believe fiction, Topher.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
      • hharri

        Topher, is that me?

        October 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • If there's smoke...

        He, like many on top in the republican machine, know one very important fact. Christianity is not a religion, it's a target market, and an easily manipulated one. They know if you bring God into the sales pitch Christians almost can't say no, like it's some defense of their faith to buy more gold, get a reverse mortgage and buy Bill O's new book... if they don't, the liberal atheist monsters will win, oh no!!

        It would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • AE

          There are a ton of liberal Christians who say no to conservative Christians everyday.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          yes, and we appreciate it. basically, liberal christians don't follow the bible - conservative christians also ignore large parts of the bible, but follow it more closely than liberal christians. it's great liberal christians seem to have accepted the fact that the bible is full of magic events not to be believed (i.e. noah's ark) and cruel commands not to be followed (kill g.ays). i'm glad some christians have realized the bible is just plain wrong about some things.

          modern ethics > biblical morals

          October 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • AE

          I don't agree with your opinion. My church would fall under the description of a liberal congregation, and we follow the Bible. We don't worship the Bible, it is not our God. Jesus is our God. Who is alive and available to us today. That is what the Bible points to. Just because something is in the Bible, doesn't mean that God approves of it. The Bible is honest. And paints an honest picture of what the people were like. Warts and all.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Hey Topher, there's a fellow believer here who says The Babble is not 100% true! Please set him straight.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          you're pretty much backing up what i'm saying. you don't follow parts of the bible: " Just because something is in the Bible, doesn't mean that God approves of it." that's your reason for not following the bible. but conservatives would say the bible is the perfect and literal word of god and all commands are to be taken seriously and followed.

          "The Bible is honest. And paints an honest picture of what the people were like. Warts and all."
          +++ i mostly agree with that. it paints on honest picture of people living at the time it was written. that's why slavery is promoted throughout the bible, because it was commonplace back then. that also shows the bible is not the word of an all-loving god as slavery is the worst kind of evil. basically, if a compassionate god really inspired the bible, slavery would have been the first thing he would have outlawed - "Thous shalt not own another human - it is abomination." instead the bible says g.ays are abomination and are to be put to death.

          ethics have much improved since the bible was written.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • AE

          "Just because something is in the Bible, doesn't mean that God approves of it."

          We follow the Bible. But parts of it were not written for us as universal truths. They were written at a specific time for a specific group of people.

          I don't know any Christians that read the Bible and think we should own slaves or that g.ays should be put to death. Sorry.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          but you do realize a lot of h.omophobia comes from the biblical command to kill g.ays....? that they are "abomination"? you realize that while you may not kill g.ays, christians in 3rd world nations take the command seriously and do?
          and you realize the bible's outright promotion of slavery was used as justification for slavery in the U.S.?

          "We follow the Bible. But parts of it were not written for us as universal truths. They were written at a specific time for a specific group of people."
          +++ you sound like a nice guy/gal. but you're cherry picking the bible, following the parts that you agree with - and ignoring the parts you don't. many liberal christians use the excuse that the OT isn't to be followed any longer, only the NT is relevant. is that your opinion?

          October 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • AE

          There is no command to Christians in the Bible to kill g.ays.

          "Thou shalt not kill" is a commandment.

          H.mophobia and slavery is a human problem. Nothing unique to any belief group. Both exist in atheist and non-Christian communities today.

          Again, I don't know any that preach that I should kill g.ays or own slaves. Just a few CNN atheists make that claim.

          "+++ you sound like a nice guy/gal. but you're cherry picking the bible, following the parts that you agree with – and ignoring the parts you don't. many liberal christians use the excuse that the OT isn't to be followed any longer, only the NT is relevant. is that your opinion?"

          No. That is not my opinion.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • UncleBenny

          No command in the Bible to kill gays? What then is this?

          Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

          October 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • The Other Bob

          "First, I will create everything in the universe. Then I will move to a tent in the desert, perform glorified parlor tricks, and instruct my followers to burn certain food in certain ways because I like the way it smells, eat certain things and not others, and kill all members of certain groups I don't like." Anyone else see a problem with this short version of the first several books of the Old Testament?

          October 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • The Bible Is Fan Fiction

      The Bible is fan fiction.

      October 5, 2013 at 10:12 am |
      • Chickadee

        It's a collection of books with different authors, writing for different audiences over a wide span of years. It is not a scientific text. Nor is it a 100% literal depiction of events; many are literally true and many are allegorical. Mere literacy in the English language is insufficient to understand the text. It is not open to your personal interpretation. The old testament was written by the Jews. The new testament was written by the apostles and early disciples; the same ones who founded the Catholic church.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  12. Gol

    I think Miss Moss is reaching a little with, "The word Christian wasn’t used until the end of the first century C.E. The first generation of Jesus' followers lived and died as Jews."

    Yes, they would have looked at themselves as Jews. However, a little common sense should apply here.
    If a person pre-1860 smacked around a Jewish person simply because they were Jewish...you would call them antisemitic right? But the term wasn't created till 1860 by Wilhelm Marr..so what do you do? You still refer to them as antisemitic just like you would call Paul a Christian, with the understanding that yes..he would not recognize the term any more than a Jew hater would the term antisemitic before 1860 but would still be one.

    October 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Franco

      Jesus never once stated he was creating a new religion, nor gave instructions for any church or faction, nor even said to create them. Jesus didn't create Christianity – humans did. And they did a botch job.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        kind of a copp-out. jesus more or less created christianity when he went around telling people he was the son of god, which he wasn't. of course people are going to follow you and start a religion based around you if you tell them you are the perfect son of the only and true god. look at david koresh, lol.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Capt Nemo

          Jesus also spoke of the "new covenant".

          October 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Franco

        Actually I was pointing out that no Christian faction can claim any legitimacy based on anything their supposed messiah said or instructed.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          oh i agree with you there. if jesus existed at all, he was just a cult leader, a snake oil salesman. i wouldn't rely on the testimony of someone that claims to be the son of god. koo-koo!

          October 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  13. Gol

    CNN has a winner here. The Fox haters and religion haters can all take hands and sing Kumbaya together tonight.

    October 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • If there's smoke...

      Add in some details on Catholic Priests poking parishioner pubescent progeny and we'll throw a party!

      October 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Go! gets upset when someone points out facts he doesn't like.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • Gol

        How would you know? You never had any facts to give out before.

        October 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  14. Robert Brown

    There are many atheist on here who require evidence of God before they will believe. May I say that your position is admiral. It is logical and understandable. Your position is the same as everyone who has ever been saved by the grace of God. Those who have been saved have been presented with the evidence. You can too. Please go witness a demonstration of the power of God.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And just where does one go to see such an alleged demonstration?

      October 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        I have personally witnessed these demonstrations at several different denominations of Protestant services. My favorite is a good old time baptist revival.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • If there's smoke...

          So groups that get energized where you can feel the electricity in the air and everyone is in unison is a show of Gods power? Have you never been to a concert before? Would that make Lady Gaga divine?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • Jess

          Great response, If there's smoke...

          Robert Brown is full of B-S.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          And I have been to dozens of "houses of worship" for many cults and hundreds of services and nothing. In 2011, I was in the ruins of a cathedral in Spain and looked high and low for a sign of any god. In every case – nothing. Not a hint, not a whisper, not a tingle down the back, not a single hair standing up. Nothing. I have never seen any evidence for any god and no believer has ever produced any either. In any other domain, the conclusion would be obvious, as it is to more and more people each day.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          No smoke, it has nothing to do with group excitement as you might find at a concert. The demonstration of the power of God comes from the word of God being preached. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • Wally World

          Nevermind that identical "evidence" occurs at Mecca too.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I have been to plenty of Protestant services, people speaking in tongues, the whole bit. I felt more "scam" than "ghost".

          October 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Faith comes from willfully shutting down your critical thinking – many of us simply cannot shut it off. You may consider me lost, but my mind is my own and like it or not I cannot stop thinking. I am not saying that you are crazy, but I questioned religion ever since I was exposed to it. I am over 50, so I hid this for most of my life because I quickly found that if I showed any doubt, my family and friends and neighbors would do everything they could to "show me the way". All I am saying is that everyone is born with a brain, and some brains work differently than others – mine simply won't believe obvious BS.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Blessed,

          I have also been to Protestant services where I did not witness the power of God, regardless of how others may have reacted to the preaching. I encourage you to continue seeking. The next service you attend may be at the right place.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Why is the power of God not always apparent to everyone, Robert? If it can create or build faith, why isn't it everywhere?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dog,

          Yes, continue to think critically, be skeptical, no one can accept until they are fully persuaded.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Franco

          You had to be persuaded, Robert. Your faith was not automatic. You had to be surrounded by believers to even get the information, and you had to reject reason to accept it. Which is bizarre, actually

          October 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Tom,

          I am sorry if I hurt someone's feelings, but the only way to answer your question is to be painfully honest. Some preachers give out the word in their own power. They are giving out their thoughts. They aren't yielded to the spirit of God. Before anyone can witness the demonstration of the power of God, the preacher has to be speaking the word God has given him.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Robert

          I have had my fill of your version of persuasion. I have nothing in my life that I feel guilty about, and I have no need to devote my existence to anything other than my family, community, and society at large – adding in an unknowable god seems wasteful.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
      • Chickadee

        Faith is a gift from God. You have the option of accepting or rejecting Faith. Only Faith leads one to believe in God.

        I know that despite not being able to see, hear,smell or measure them, Truth and Love exist.

        God, who is the author of truth, is Love and exists.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • AE

      I have evidence of God. Or else I wouldn't believe.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Really? Do tell, or be lumped in with all the other believers who have made the same claim and been unable to back it up.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • AE

          Are you saying you want to know God?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          What does what I might want have to do with the claim you made? It's simple – you made an unprovoked claim about having evidence, so let's have it. Or are you playing some game?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • AE

          Like Robert stated in his message. I have evidence for God. It is not evidence based on your standards. I don't have to prove it to you to make it real. Whether you believe or not, God exists and His help is there. And someday when you need it, it will be there for you.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So we are down to the "ya gotta believe to believe" crap. . . And I thought we might have come across an honest christian, but no, it's just more of the usual bullsh!t.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • AE

          I honestly believe in God. And I do so because of the evidence. No reason to put me down. I'm asking about your motives. God is kind of big on our hearts and intentions. Why do you want to know God? I get in discussions with people on here, and it turns out they only want to prove themselves right, not seek God's will.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          I have determined that to a high degree of certainty, there are no gods. I am not searching for any gods. I merely replied to your unprovoked assertion that you had evidence, evidence that you now admit you cannot share. Why did you make your initial claim? Are you trying to convince yourself that what might be delusions are real?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • AE

          I can share my evidence if you honestly want to know God. If you are not searching for gods or God... good for you. Thanks for proving to me you don't believe in God.

          Why did I make my initial claim? Because I strongly agree with Robert. Those that have been saved have been presented with the evidence. And that evidence comes from God, not man.

          I have determined to a high degree of certainty, I am not delusional. And God exists.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          You do not *know* that any god exists. You believe things for which there is no real world (objective, independent, factual and verifiable) evidence. You have nothing but unsubstantiated claims. Period.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
        • AE

          I know God exists. And just because 3 or 4 CNN atheists get upset when I mention this doesn't make Him any less real.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yes, AE, you "know," but no more than the muslim "knows," or the Buddhist. You can make no measurement to verify that you "knowledge" is of any more value than the knowledge of the other believers.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Who's getting upset? You seem to be the one stamping your feet and repeatedly reiterating your beliefs despite not being able to produce any actual evidence for them.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • AE

          @ Cpt. Obvious

          I know God. And Jesus is the way for me. I don't know what Muslims, Buddhists or atheists know.

          I'm better off knowing God. That is a fact I can not deny.

          @ HotAirAce

          "You do not *know* that any god exists."

          How do you know what I know?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          You are just playing with words, but I will play just one more time. If you truly know something, and that something is factual, you would be able to demonstrate that it is. You cannot, so you are left with an unsubstantiated claim, a belief without evidence. One definition of faith is "pretending to know something that you don't" – I believe that is what you are doing.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • AE

          The main definition of faith is "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."

          I have complete trust and confidence in God.

          And not what you simply imagine what God is.

          God is much greater than whatever you are trying to describe to me.

          Seriously, God is real. Just because *you* don't believe it doesn't make it any less real.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Just because you emphatically say something is real, soesn't make it real. If something is real, it can be demonstrated BEFORE the belief is accepted. Your "evidence" requires belief to be accepted before it can be demonstrated. That is the definition of self-delusion....what you call faith.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
        • Doris

          Well of course God is real to you, AE. I happen to believe that the mental exercise that one goes through to keep the concept of God real to them is the same as the mental exercise that someone goes through to acknowledge that nature is in control before, during and after a satisfying bowel movement. I just find the latter a lot more real and satisfying.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
        • AE

          @Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "Just because you emphatically say something is real, soesn't make it real. If something is real, it can be demonstrated BEFORE the belief is accepted. Your "evidence" requires belief to be accepted before it can be demonstrated. That is the definition of self-delusion....what you call faith."

          Wrong. I didn't believe in God, but I saw His evidence and know I can't deny Him.

          Maybe you should let go of your old ideas on why one believes in God. If you want to know, ask me. Don't insist you know better. You don't.

          Maybe the reason you've been coming here every day for a year is to be told right now: God is real.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The conversation ended when AE wrote "Seriously, God is real."

          October 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
        • Doris

          AE: "but I saw His evidence and know "

          Now people don't get upset – this is all just an expression about something going on AE's mind. And many share these thoughts. I liken it to saying "I felt queezy – I really did". There's no need to argue the point. Now if AE would like to demonstrate an objective "truth" – one directly from the subject of his belief – well I'm all ears – that would really be something to behold.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          AE,

          You said.... "Pride and arrogance stood in my way for seeing the evidence of God. I would start with praying. Get on your knees and ask God to reveal Himself to you in a way you can understand."

          So you recommend that we should talk to your god, which requires belief, and THEN we get the evidence. Your words not mine. If your god gave you absolute proof before you had any possible belief what so ever, he should be able to do that for me too.

          Oh, and I have prayed to Jesus to reveal himself, plenty of times...... no response. So according to your criteria that should be evidence your god does not exist right? And please don't say I was doing it wrong.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • AE

          Captain Obvious

          The same 4 to 6 CNN atheists are always on here. And if one acts confident in their trust in God, the same 4 to 6 CNN atheists start insist their knowledge is greater and try to insult the believer.

          The same 4 to 6 people. Almost every time! God that is some great evidence!

          October 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          AE, I do not understand your criticism about running into the same people on this board. In my experience, you seem to always want credit for being brilliant and providing astounding evidence while providing little more than tired threats and silly "I believe because I believe because I want to believe because I believe because it has to be so I believe because I need to and I believe because I believe....." arguments.

          You offer nothing, and you cowardly run from any honest introspection and pointed critique. Stop mocking your own reasoning and admit what you have: nothing.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • AE

          Cpt. Obvious

          My criticism is about how these people that post on this board say they hate religion. But talk about religion all the time. They seem to love to hate it.

          And you have offered: nothing, too.

          I'm going to trust in God, over you. I'm afraid I'll end up spending my days trolling the board looking for people who love God, and then attack them.

          And that must be a sad thing.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Maybe the reason you've been coming here every day for a year is to be told right now: God is real."

          AE

          I have been told that for 40+ years, for 20+ years I believed it. But then I started asking questions that should have easy answers if "God is real". But then those same people who make the claims can't back their assertions. Your house of cards is apparently no different.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • AE

          And now you can spend the next 20+ years trolling religious boards and running off all the decent people.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Hey Wordy Man, what is your definition of "decent"? Could it be "christian"?

          October 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So now asking honest questions is "trolling". Why not just call me a blasphemer or an apostat? It would be more appropriate.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • AE

          HotAirAce

          No. People who discuss a topic, not act like a bully and insist they know better.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          We're not going to pretend that you have evidence that you don't have just to stroke your ego, AE, no matter how much you whine about it.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Where did I insist I know better? My posts to you questioned why I should believe YOU know better. You are the one claiming to know a "truth" that atheists don't know. I admit there could be a god. I want to know why I should BELIEVE yours is real, all you do is dodge the question and then accuse me of "trolling".

          October 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • redzoa

          The finer points of epistemology and the semantics of what it means to "know" aside, AE's claimed "knowledge" and Robert's claimed "evidence" are both purely subjective reflections of their faith-based beliefs. They may rename their beliefs in whatever fashion they see fit, but renaming does not transform the personally subjective into the empirically objective . . .

          October 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • AE

          Nobody has issue with my belief in God. Not my employers. Not the people who entrust their lives in my hands. Not psychological experts. Or medical doctors. Or any science or mathematics teacher I have had in my education.

          Just a few CNN atheists get over-analytical and try to correct me.

          Funny stuff.

          I have complete trust and confidence in God.

          I have no trust of confidence in the habitual atheist posters on here that act resentful and offended by my belief in God.

          The end.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I apologize, AE. I'd no intention to offend. Your beliefs are your own, and perhaps you do have evidence that is only available to people chosen by God. You aren't the first or the four-hundredth person I've known who has made claims like the ones you've made, but I enjoy discussing them with you.

          Cheers.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • Rett

          hotAirAce, just curious if you want evidence that can be scientifically verified. Admittedly i am not in the science field but can science verify anything that does not have physical properties? Does the lack of physical evidence equate to a lack of existence. A person who claims that their life has been changed because of a relationship with Christ can obviously not prove that to your satisfaction but neither can you provide proof that the change occured because of some other phenomenom.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • Captain Renault

        An angry, power-obsessed old white guy trying to tell everyone what to do and think. I'm shocked.

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME&w=640&h=360]

        October 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • KC

        Allah is God, God is Allah..you may believe and join us brother.

        October 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Evidence you can convey to anyone outside of yourself, AE?

      October 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • AE

        Yes.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Then hold forth, AE. Remember, every second or so someone dies without your Saviour.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • AE

          Do you need to be saved?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          What would you say about that, AE?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • AE

          I don't know you. Do you honestly feel the need to be saved? I'm asking you a question.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Then, honestly, I've no idea what I need to be saved from or for.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
        • Bob

          AE is a coward who will dodge questions about evidence every time, because he really has no evidence to offer.

          Put up or shut up, AE.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • AE

          That is kind of the topic of this thread. There is testimony of 2 people that God saves. And we have 2 other people that seem interested in that evidence. Do you want God to save you from something in your life?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          AE,

          I know of millions of people who will testify the angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith golden plates. Should I believe them?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • AE

          Maybe you should.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Well, like I said, I can't think of anything I need to be saved from, AE. I'm interested in your evidence because I am interested in God. If there is a God – creator of the Universe, perhaps even of reality, then certainly I'd like to get to know that God to the extent that it's possible. So, I'd like to hear your evidence. Of course it will be tested.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Why? Because they said so?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, "Maybe you should (believe the millions of people who will testify the angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith golden plates)."

          Doesn't that rather undermine your religion?

          October 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • AE

          @ Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Pride and arrogance stood in my way for seeing the evidence of God. I would start with praying. Get on your knees and ask God to reveal Himself to you in a way you can understand. Do this everyday. It is humbling. Try to think of ways you have failed to live up to your own ideals. Any hypocrisy, lying, deceit, dishonesty in your life? Pray to God about it. If you want to follow Jesus you need to be willing to lose your life. He wants your whole heart, not just part of it. That is why I asked about your intentions. They are very important in seeking God.

          @ In Santa we trust

          "Doesn't that rather undermine your religion?"

          No.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Any believer in any religion can say "Just get on your knees and pray to my god and he will reveal himself". Thst is not confirmation of anything, that is self delusion. Why should I accept belief in your specific god and reject the others? Until you can reasonably answer that question AE, I have no choice but to lump your belief in with all the others.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • AE

          I didn't know any believer in any religion can say that. I don't think Buddhists would say that.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Now you are just being obtuse AE, and you dodged the main question. Those are common techniques that have been used by many "spiritual leaders" I have talked to. It is really sad that that type of dishonesty is needed to "answer" questions about your "real god".

          October 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
        • AE

          I'm trying to explain why I trust God. And how that looks.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And I am saying your trust in your god "looks" exactly the same as everyone elses, and if you can't demonstrate the "reality" of your god over the others it should be rejected, just like the others.

          All religions can't all be right....but all religions can be wrong.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • AE

          I get what you are trying to get at, but it is not the case for me.

          I'm not following a religion. I'm following Jesus Christ.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I'm not following a religion. I'm following Jesus Christ."

          Jesus has some good things to say, he also had some really bad advice. I don't see any reason to think he was divine.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • AE

          He hasn't failed me. Human being have failed me. Atheism has failed me.

          I'm going to keep believing in God. I can help more people this way. And I feel like my life has a purpose.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Atheism can't fail you or pass you. Atheism is a realization.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
        • Commenter

          AE,
          "I'm not following a religion. I'm following Jesus Christ."

          What do you know about this alleged Jesus, other that what was screened and filtered for publication and dissemination by the early leaders of this religion?

          I think that you follow a religion - and parsing words will not change that.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It's interesting that you'd say atheism failed you, AE. I'm not aware of any promises made anywhere about atheism doing anything for anyone. What did you expect from it?

          October 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
        • AE

          Commenter

          His saving power is real and amazing. Jesus is someone I know. The means you describe are not how I know Him.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
        • AE

          Tom

          Right. I guess my denial of God failed me would be a better way to describe it.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • Commenter

          AE,
          "Jesus is someone I know."

          Who?

          Uncontacted tribespeople in the Amazon (or wherever) have nary a clue about "him". One must be taught. If you have got further extrapolations that you have made about "him", they required a basis.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • The Truth

          Tom, Tom,
          I responded to a question you had about "Why Christians believe?". I responded using Jarhead' main comment.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • drumn4Jesus

        The evidence for the existence of God comes in 2 basic revelations – general and specific. General revelation refers to the evidence that is exposed for all people to see. An example would be the natural wonders of this planet. The beauty of the creation – mountains, forest, rivers, oceans, the sun, the moon and the birth of a child. How do you explain the existence of something you see without acknowledging the existence of a creator? How do you explain the complexity of the human body?
        The second form of revelation of God is called specific revelation which refers to how God reveals Himself explicitly to one particular individual. For all of those that call ourselves Christ-followers it is as obvious and real as printed words on a piece of paper.
        I truly believe it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christ-follower because you are basing your beliefs on the findings of other humans. What form of general revelation can be provided to back up their position for the existence of God? The answer of not being able to see Him doesn’t make it true. It is a known fact that you cannot see gravity however as residents of earth we are bound by the law of gravity.
        Finally, my heart breaks for those you have never felt the peace in their heart that is provided by the Holy Spirit. The pain and bitterness is evident in the hatred that they attack those of us who support the existence and belief in God. I realize you might not accept it but I will be praying for you.

        October 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      There are many atheists like myself that simply cannot believe things when there is a simpler non-supernatural explanations. Which brings up the two key questions that believers call out – the origin of the universe and the origin of life. All other phenomenon previously attributed to supernatural beings has been explained by science, and I predict that at least one of the remaining questions will be answered in my lifetime. Science is not our religion, and atheism is not a religion. We simply cannot believe that any of the obviously man-made stories of creation could possibly be true. The bible is as useful in explaining any of the natural world as Nostradomus is useful in predicting future events – a little literary language and you can interpret the passages any way you want. As far as "personal" experiences of god, the more we understand the brain, the more we understand the bio-chemical mechanisms for "mystical" experiences. I would bet that most atheists if they had such an experience, they would understand it for what it was, an altered state of mind, and not evidence of god. All cultures have a basic understanding of this altered state of mind, some are shamans, some whip themselves with chains, and some speak in tongues and handle snakes. It is the same experience, shared by all of humanity and unless God came down from heaven on a flaming chariot, with CNN covering it live, little else would change our non-belief (I myself would suspect a War of the Worlds style hoax until sufficiently convinced).

      October 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Dog,

        We may live to see a spectacular sight similar to the one you describe in our lifetime. The problem is that when something like that happens it will be too late for those who are lost.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Don't hold your breath.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Rewards and punishments based on belief is immoral.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Please Robert, this is why I came out as an atheist after more than 4 decades. I really don't appreciate the sentiment of your statement no matter how it was meant. You are making a very passive-aggressive proxy threat from this supernatural being that I don't believe in. It is demeaning to me, and you have lost something in my personal opinion of you. You may think that you are "helping" me, but I find it very offensive (and have all my life) – if you said this to me in person I would probably smile nicely at you and walk away, but in this forum I can actually tell you that your behavior is unwanted.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          And I like to think that I can do it without name-calling and childishness. We can behave like adults and actually learn something in the process – I think that I am very representative of baby-boomer atheist that have spent our lives politely walking away from people like you. Why don't you think about the people in your life that seem to leave the room when you start to talk about religion and you may see that there are atheists all around you.

          October 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dog,

          My response was purely related to your statement that you need to see the spectacular sight in order to believe. What you described looks very similar to what I understand will be the end of time. I apologize if you took it as insult. My reply was made in concern for you.

          Because of the forum I do make statements to nonbelievers that I would not make in person. I do not share my faith with people face to face who do not want to hear it. I do know people who don't believe, even though they don't say so. Not that I couldn't be fooled, but most of the time it is obvious.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
        • hahahahahahaha

          A man named "My Dog is a jealous Dog" trying to call another person out for being childish and passive-aggressive? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

          October 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
      • hahahahahahaha

        –We simply cannot believe that any of t–
        FAIL! Don't say atheism is not a religion, and then start talking like it is a religion. There is no "WE" in atheism. We don't all believe your theories.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
      • ZenJahj

        Why do you think your Dog is Jealous...let me take a stab at it...we are given emotions to teach us lessons in life, without them we are just animals or Dogs shall we say, But the Dog has a Master, who trains him and feeds him in return the Dog protects you...Now go get another dog or puppy and give it all the attention and forget to feed your other dog, watch what happens to that trained dog you once had...so a dog in the wild is a wolf, they run in pack as kill and destroy, when a younger male wolf wants to be leader, he fights the alpha male to take over, killing the older leader...wow, Dogs can teach us about life...now spell it the other way GOD and treat God the same way, and he will become jealous, and fight your advances on his thrown, but afterall, the story of the Devil is the exact same story, he challenged God for his thrown, so your either with God or Against God...there are only two team here on earth, and two leaders...the God and the devil...if you challenge God your working for the Devil or if you try to say someones soul, your working for God...you have freewill choose wisely...its your life...and your on a God page...Why...think about it...your searching for something...

        October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • Joel's Bary

        How convenient for you! That is exactly what the Bible promises will occur! The Lord shall appear, with a mighty trumpet blast, appearing through the clouds, and it shall be seen from the East to the West! Don't know exactly when, but you'll get that proof you're looking for! Hallelujah! Oh, by the way, God's not angry at you. And you'll be offered another opportunity to come into relationship with him. So don't fret.

        October 25, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If your god really wanted me to believe he would know exactly what it would take.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Blessed,

        He knows your need. Hear his word.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          That makes no sense. Any "truth" that requires belief before understanding "cult logic".

          October 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
      • Julie

        ""If your god really wanted me to believe he would know exactly what it would take.""

        He does know what it takes for you to respond. He's sent Jesus to die for you and He's waiting for you to acknowledge it and respond to Him. God is a gentleman and does not force Himself on anyone. He offers and waits. The ball is in your court now. You have the knowledge of Jesus and are without excuse except pride being in the way. Take it before you come to last day of your life.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      your assumptions seem without number...

      most atheists were at one time christians.
      surveys show atheists, in general, have more biblical knowledge than christians - it's called an informed decision

      "Those who have been saved have been presented with the evidence"
      +++ no, they haven't been presented with any evidence - in fact, they believe in spite of the evidence. most christians have been brainwashed by their parents/community into believing in god.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Boot,

        I have heard countless personal witnesses from believers and based on those I have to disagree with your opinion.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      I will state very succinctly and humbly what I see the atheist "dogma" as:

      1) I don't believe in magic
      2) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        that's pretty much it. don't believe in fairy tales.

        political, economic, social views may vary.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • ZenJahj

        its just your ego getting in the way of opening your mind to the Magic of God...Sure it would be nice for Jesus to show himself before you believe, but that's like cheating on the test...it's called the game of life for a reason, not everyone wins...or it would not be a game now would it...God is funny that way. he inspires you to be creative and use your imagination, within that open's mind, and now you can see things that closed minds cannot...in that moment, you will understand God made us in his image, and all those feelings you have, he gave you them to guide, you...attacking Christians means your close, your confused, if not you would not have wasted a single thought or breath on a Christian...but here you are...searching for something...hating something you don't think exists ...how crazy is that...hating something you don't believe in...wait a minute...your just trying to find your truth, your scared, and should be...God is something to fear...You hate on God, you don't understand what u are doing...you can hate stuff that has happened in life and blame God for not doing something about it...but once you understand, your hate will disappear without effort in the company of God...one day you will see...

        October 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • The Other Bob

      Admiral? Navy or Coast Guard?

      October 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  15. Heaven Manager

    God, you lollygag to the fire. You lollygag up to the school shooting. You lollygag to answer prayers....you know what that makes you? A lollygagger!

    October 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  16. Ungodly Discipline

    You will try to take it away from me;
    You will change the way it feels and smells;

    You will change its size to confuse me;
    You will change its color.

    I will keep it.
    I will not be deceived or cheated.
    I will not lose my sense and be a victim.

    Liberal, Atheist and Democrat – stand tall.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • The Truth

      Funny that you mix these 3 together.

      January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    There are no miracles, no oracles, no super beings watching over us; watching us poop.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      There might be some Japanese dudes watching poop, but not God.

      October 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  18. Robert Brown

    Yes, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh!t. . .

      October 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
      • awww

        feel better now?

        October 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Probably as good as RB does.

          October 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Hotair.

          If you meet him this side of eternity you can feel as good as I do.

          October 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Sorry, no gods in evidence or required.

          October 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      And the poop watcher.

      October 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  19. GodFreeNow

    only 5?

    October 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  20. 5 Things Bill O’Reilly gets right about anything

    .

    October 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
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About this blog

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