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Hollywood's religious revival
April 21st, 2014
11:00 AM ET

What Hollywood gets wrong about heaven

Opinion by Drew Dyck, special to CNN 

(CNN) - The 4-year-old boy sees angels floating toward him. They start out as stars, then slowly become more visible, wings flapping behind orbs of white light.

As they approach, they sing a melodious song. The boy cocks his head, squints into the sky, and makes a strange request. “Can you sing ‘We Will Rock You’?”

The angels giggle.

So do people in the theater.

The scene is from “Heaven is for Real,” the latest in a string of religious movies soaring at the box office. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the film tells the real-life story of Colton Burpo, a 4-year-old boy who awakens from surgery with eye-popping tales of the great beyond. The film took in an estimated $21.5 million in opening on Easter weekend.

Even Colton’s religious parents (his dad, Todd, is a pastor) struggle to accept the celestial encounters their son describes: seeing Jesus and his rainbow-colored horse, meeting his sister who died in utero, and talking to his deceased great-grandfather, “Pop,” who, Colton exclaims, has “huge wings.”

The book and film are part of a larger trend. Depictions of journeys to heaven have never been more numerous or more popular. There’s “90 Minutes in Heaven,” “To Heaven and Back,” “Proof of Heaven,” and “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” just to name a few.

Does God have a prayer in Hollywood?

So what should we make of such accounts? And what does their popularity say about us?

Some may be surprised that the Bible contains not one story of a person going to heaven and coming back. In fact Jesus’ own words seem to preclude the possibility: “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

Scripture does contain several visions of heaven or encounters with celestial beings, but they’re a far cry from the feel-good fare of the to-heaven-and-back genre.

In Scripture, when mortals catch a premature glimpse of God’s glory, they react in remarkably similar ways. They tremble. They cower. They go mute. The ones who can manage speech express despair (or “woe” to use the King James English) and become convinced they are about to die. Fainters abound.

Take the prophet Daniel, for instance. He could stare down lions, but when the heavens opened before him, he swooned. Ezekiel, too, was overwhelmed by his vision of God. After witnessing Yahweh’s throne chariot fly into the air with the sound of a jet engine, he fell face-first to the ground.

Perhaps the most harrowing vision belongs to Isaiah. He sees the Almighty “high and exalted,” surrounded by angels who use their wings to shield their faces and feet from the glory of God. Faced with this awesome spectacle, Isaiah loses it. “Woe to me!” he cries, “I am ruined!” (Isaiah 6:5)

New Testament figures fare no better.

John’s famous revelations of heaven left him lying on the ground “as though dead” (Revelation 1:17). The disciples dropped when they saw Jesus transfigured. Even the intrepid Saul marching to Damascus collapsed before the open heavens and walked away blind.

How different from our popular depictions. And it isn’t just “Heaven is for Real.” In most movies angels are warm, approachable teddy bears with wings. God is Morgan Freeman or some other avuncular presence.

Scripture, however, knows nothing of such portrayals. Heavenly encounters are terrifying, leaving even the most stout and spiritual vibrating with fear or lying facedown, unconscious.

When God plays the villain

Yes, the Bible teaches that heaven is a place of ultimate comfort, with “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

But it is also a place where the reality of God’s unbridled majesty reigns supreme and that’s scary.

Did a 4-year-old boy from Nebraska really visit heaven? I don’t know. My hunch is that the popularity of such stories tells us more about our view of God than the place in which he dwells.

Ultimately I believe we flock to gauzy, feel-good depictions of heaven and tiptoe around the biblical passages mentioned above because we’ve lost sight of God’s holiness.

I fear we’ve sentimentalized heaven and by extension its primary occupant. I worry the modern understanding of God owes more to Colton Burpo than the prophet Isaiah. And I think this one-sided portrayal diminishes our experience of God.

We can’t truly appreciate God’s grace until we glimpse his greatness. We won’t be lifted by his love until we’re humbled by his holiness.

The affection of a cosmic buddy is one thing. But the love of the Lord of heaven and earth, the one who Isaiah says “dwells in unapproachable light,” means something else entirely.

Of course it means nothing if you think it’s all hokum. If for you the material reality is all the reality there is, any talk of God is white noise. But if you’re like me, and you think heaven is for real, well, it makes all the difference in the world.

Drew Dyck is managing editor of Leadership Journal and author of “Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying.” The views expressed in this column belong to Dyck.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Heaven • Media • Movies • Opinion

soundoff (2,107 Responses)
  1. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    There is a simple reason why we make so little supernatural experiences: We adhere too much to the visible world. Our sinful nature (Greek: sarx; English: flesh) is extremly bound in the visible world, and remote from the invisible world.

    The first step of getting released from our captivity in the visible world is the death of our flesh (our old man of sin; we as natural born sinners). Should we commit suicide? That is not necessary. There is another way to get rid of the flesh: The rebirth or sacramental baptism where we die and resurrect together with Jesus. As we die and resurrect at the same moment, we don't perceive baptism as a kind of death (actually our life as sinners gets abolished).

    John 3: 5-7

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh (our natural birth by our mother); and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (our supernatural birth by the triune God). 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    Sacramental baptism or rebirth is the very first but necessary step to experience miracles.

    After the rebirth our flesh (we as sinners) is declared dead but still there. Our body still wants to live according to its old habits though we have been baptized. At baptism we also received the Holy Spirit. We have to struggle daily that the Spirit gets control of our body or limbs more and more so that our body less and less acts according to its old habits.

    God has actually abolished our life in the sin through baptism, but he has not abolished us (as personality with full human dignity), of course. We are set free, but it is our task and responsibility to grasp the new life daily more and more. God will never violate our free will; he respects our human dignity. God has set us on a new way, and it is up to us to go on this flat way.

    Today even people having received sacramental baptism nurture their flesh through materialism, se-xual greed and too much eating (that is a great pity and neglect of the holy gift).

    Our saramental baptism will only be of any benefit for us if we spare enough time for contemplation about divine things(we should not offer every minute of our life for the job and consumption). We should be chaste, and eat less or fast.

    (Contemplation includes daily prayer)

    Colossians 3: 1-5

    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

    It is a great pity that today very many people having received sacramental baptism, don't make supernatural experiences. Simple reason: They don't fight against their old habits though they would be on the winner side because their flesh (old life as sinner) has been declared dead through baptism.

    I claim that the worst calamity of our current time is the neglect of sacramental baptism, the holy gift. The whole world including the churches has returned to the "sarx". That is the reason for depression, misfortune, diseases, catastrophes, death, wars, plagues, etc.

    Modern Christian leaders are actually spiritual criminals because they don't explain us the connection between Jesus' sacrifice, sacramental baptism and our real life. These criminals are on the born-again-side and the ecclesiastical side.

    Through his sacrifice (his death on the cross) Jesus laid the basis for sacramental baptism: He has borne our sinful flesh, and resurrected in order to be our new life. We have died together with Jesus, and resurrected together with him. We get connected with Jesus death and resurrection through baptism where our old man of sin dies, and we resurrect together with Jesus. Requirements for baptism are repentance and faith (accepting the gospel as true).

    We get saved through faith alone, of course. Baptism makes us able to believe unboundedly.

    April 23, 2014 at 6:17 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^^^ religious gibberish ^^^

      April 23, 2014 at 6:20 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        You should pray that God helps you to understand.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:25 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          He understands very well that you write religious gibberish....

          April 23, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Who actually tells you that this is really gibberish. Ain't it possible that your mind is "deformed", and you get straight things crooked?

          (don't get me wrong – I just refer to your ability of spiritual comprehension)

          April 23, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I am very capable of forming an opinion all by myself regarding your blathering....it is gibberish. You make statements of fact about supernatural "reality". How could it be anything but gibberish?

          April 23, 2014 at 9:22 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I don't presume to make statements about the look of the invisible world.

          Yet, we can make supernatural experiences here which could confirm the existence of an invisible world.

          God can answer prayer.

          I am no Pentecostal at all, but nevertheless I am convinced that God still cures people today. Yet, he will not stage a public show as the Pentecostals assume.

          Within the scope of a faithful Christian community it is possible that someone confesses his sins to a curate, and will receive forgiveness and cure. The curate attributes forgiveness and cure in God's name.

          Sin can be the cause of diseases.

          Maybe you need cure.

          April 23, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • kudlak

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein
          "Yet, we can make supernatural experiences here which could confirm the existence of an invisible world."
          Yet, these don't seem to confirmed through testing. The little boy in this book has a way different "experience" of heaven than lots of other protestants claim to have had, and they all differ from what a Catholic and a Muslim might report. A Hindu might feel her NDE confirms her belief in reincarnation. Somehow, if this were a real thing, you'd think that there would be a whole lot more agreement between different people supposedly experiencing the same Heaven.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          If somebody confessing his sins is cured from a severe illness, he will certainly admit that God has touched him.

          God has got some means to overcome our stubborn reason.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • kudlak

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein
          How do you discount the incidences where people simply recover from serious diseases naturally? Odds are pretty high that lots of people who were going to recover naturally also prayed, but mistook their prayer as the actual reason for their recovery, right?

          April 23, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Imagine somebody who suffered from a severe illness several years having got doctored by many physicians but without success.

          Now a simple Christian tells him that sin could be the cause of his illness. He or she repents, returns to God, and gets cured at the same moment.

          Do you really believe that this could be an accident?

          If you would be the one, you would certainly burst our: "God has forgiven my sin, and cured me!"

          God's power is greater than our stubborn reason.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          Give ONE CASE where God regrew limbs for an amputee.

          lol.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I claim that the worst calamity of our current time is the neglect of sacramental baptism, the holy gift. The whole world including the churches has returned to the "sarx". That is the reason for depression, misfortune, diseases, catastrophes, death, wars, plagues, etc."

          That is a claim about supernatural "reality" and I say it is absolute gibberish.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • kudlak

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein
          I can imagine it, but can you prove that it ever really happened?

          We are discovering new cures to things pretty regularly, so any "unexplained" cure may simply be one that we haven't yet discovered, right?

          Even if you could prove that such a cure really wasn't just a natural recovery, you'd still have to prove that some other god or supernatural force wasn't at work. Depending on where you live, or your already established beliefs, some supernatural cause other than God may be culturally programmed into you. Some people might even claim that advanced aliens cured the person through abducting them in their sleep, that crystal skulls or some other new-age woo woo was the cause. So, even if we don't know the cause of some cure, that still doesn't mean that your God is responsible by default.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • G to the T

          "God can answer prayer."

          "Sin can be the cause of diseases."

          Great! You've made 2 definitive statements. Now all you have to do is provide evidence that they are true.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • bostontola

      Is it Groundhog Day?

      April 23, 2014 at 7:29 am |
    • kudlak

      Rainer
      We tend to adhere to the visible world because we can actually observe, measure, and determine that it's actually real. Same goes for a number of things that normally belong to the "invisible" world, like microbes, atoms, and far away galaxies. We just need told to help us see them. What tool would help us see evidence for God, other than our human willingness to uncritically believe in things too good to actually be true?

      April 23, 2014 at 8:13 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Imagine a man who was born blind. Certainly, such a man is not able to imagine what vision would mean at all.

        Nearly hopeless to try to explain a man born blind how thinks look. "Look" does not exist for him. He asks: "What is look?"

        Everybody of us is born spiritually blind.

        If we want to see the spiritual things, we must get cured of our blindness before. There is no other way.

        Through serious repentance we express our marked will that we will get cured by Jesus.

        If a preacher who refers to sacramental baptism preaches to us, it possibly will begin to dawn yet before baptism. At baptism we get full sunshine.

        Science means to measure things. Yet, how to measure things for which we have no measurand?

        April 23, 2014 at 8:39 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Everybody of us is born spiritually blind.
          You must undergo auditing and master the principles of Dianetics before you can become Clear.
          A spiritual sun shines down upon those who have become Operating Thetans. Through sincere auditing, the Scientologist may achieve their full potential as human beings.

          One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.
          "Supernatural" is a null word.

          April 23, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          If you would get cured through a divine marvel, would you still claim this?

          April 23, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If you could control your Thetan and gain mastery over Matter, Energy, Space and Time, would you still reject the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard?

          April 23, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • kudlak

        Bad analogy. A blind person can tell the difference between two blocks by feel, right? All a sighted person has to do to demonstrate that they have this other sense is walk a far enough distance away for the blind person to know that they aren't touching the blocks and tell visually which block is the larger of the two.

        In the same way that everybody the blind person ever meets will be able to tell them what colour their hair and eyes are, the blind know that sight is a real thing and that it works in most people. Can you make any similar demonstration of your "spiritual" realm?

        April 23, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • G to the T

          "In the same way that everybody the blind person ever meets will be able to tell them what colour their hair and eyes are"

          Good point. And the biggest difference would be that everyone would say you have same color eyes/hair. You would get a consitent feedback that is unavailable with "spiritual" concerns apparently.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:49 am |
  2. flightfromfrostmtn

    I was off on the max size of the largest black hole by just a wee bit:) the supermassive black hole in galaxy NGC 1277
    from space.com

    "NGC 1277's black hole could be many times more massive than its largest known compete tor, which is estimated but not confirmed to be between 6 billion and 37 billion solar masses in size.It makes up about 59 percent of its host galaxy's central mass – the bulge of stars at the core. The object's closest compet itor is in the galaxy NGC 4486B, whose black hole takes up 11 percent of that galaxy's central bulge mass."

    guess I should update more often....

    Believerfred,

    Earth is part of our solar system, our solar system is a very small neighborhood in a spiral arm of our galaxy, our galaxy is one of the smaller of the billions of galaxies that are the residue of the Big Bang- this is where we are at right now....using several different types of telescopes analyzing several types of radiation and using our mathematics to calculate distortions in light waves to calculate dimensions, distance and mass – doing this we can generate a physical picture of what is actually happening our there.

    What I was merely doing is taking where we are at right now and actually expanding on that – supposition: it is possible that this collection of billions of galaxies may be part of billions of Big Bangs, which could be part of the 'universe' which is part of billions of universes, which is part of a multiverse , which is part of billions of multiverses....on and on and on...

    at some stage we have to acknowledge the 'beginning' is very much out of our reach.....time and space loses any meaning IF im right – we are the equivalent of an ant trying to define the planet...we are just too small to answer what set it all in motion.

    That does not mean we should give up and say a God did it.....quite the opposite.

    April 22, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
    • flightfromfrostmtn

      reply to a thread a couple pages back.

      at any rate hope it clears up my position.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      Our place in the universe:

      http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/537976-lol-jesus

      April 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        lol!! awesome!

        April 23, 2014 at 1:17 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Google "cognitive closure" and "ambiguity tolerance".
      Freddy NEEDS an answer now. He can't sleep at night with "We don't know yet".

      April 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        thank you- will have to look further into these ...seems ive been under a rock:)

        April 23, 2014 at 1:34 am |
  3. truthfollower01

    If the past is infinite, why would this universe have just come into being a finite time ago? Why wouldn't our universe have come into existence 13 trillion or zillion years ago?

    April 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      It came into being last Thursday, as a matter of fact.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Last_Thursdayism

      April 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      The universe came into existence when you were conceived. It will vanish when you die. Simple.

      April 22, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        That is a bold statement. Please provide a source in addition to objective, quantifiable proof to support your claim.

        April 22, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          It is solipsistic.

          The point, I think you know, is that the universe exists only while we are conscious of it. I don't think he means it literally, but I will let him speak on that.

          April 22, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Sun

          Yes, I understood his non literal application, but the implication is the same even when theoretical. How does anyone know for certain that the universe ceases to exist when they die, even if that cessation is only applicable to the one who has died?Without verifiable objective proof, how does Concert in an Egg know that upon his death he will not immediately enter a new dimension in which he has become a Klingon warrior?

          April 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          If I am not mistaken, you have previously granted that there is no objective, verifiable proof that you will enter the kingdom of heaven when you die. I apologize, I forget how you phrased it. I believe it had to do with the nature of proof.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:06 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Not really sure where you're going with this, but yes, I have stated to that effect. My point with Concert was that the non theists tend to insist upon verifiable, objective truth in order to know with certainty, something that was not possible in his scenario and yet he still made the adamant claim. I was simply trying to hold him to the standard by which he determines truth, not that of my own.

          Hope that clarifies.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:21 am |
        • Sungrazer

          As I stated previously, I don't think he is really claiming that once you (one) die(s) that the universe literally ceases to exist. If he is, then yes, that is a remarkable claim that bears burden of proof. But there is no real difference. I was not-alive for almost all of 13.87 billion years. I will be not-alive for much longer than that after my death.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Sun

          I think there is still some confusion as to what I am saying. Yes, I understand that he probably did not intend his statement to be taken literally. The point I am making is that in whatever sense he believes the universe will no longer exist FOR HIM upon his death, he has no proof that this in fact is true, So even if he thinks the universe will continue to exist after his death, but because he will be dead he will not be able to perceive its existence. he can not be certain of this non perception. As I stated with the Klingon example, he has no provable certainty that at the moment of death all cognitive fucntion or awareness of the universe will cease.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:08 am |
        • Sungrazer

          And my point is that you have no proof the other way, which you acknowledge. The claim is not that we cease to perceive upon our deaths. The claim is that we do perceive after our deaths. That is where the burden of proof lies.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          I think we can both agree on the fact that neither of us has ceased to exist in our current form. In that we have not experienced our future afterlife state, neither you nor I can state with absolute certainty what that will encompass. Knowing that the mantra of many non theists is " verifiable proof " it seems the burden of proof is on them/you when claims of " it will vanish when you die." are made.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • Sungrazer

          You are wrong about that. Consciousness after physical death is the claim.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:36 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Wrong about what?

          April 23, 2014 at 1:45 am |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          ddeevviinn,

          you said: "Knowing that the mantra of many non theists is " verifiable proof " it seems the burden of proof is on them/you when claims of " it will vanish when you die." are made."

          This is actually provable for us in a way....actually outright provable.

          Something a simple as not eating and in particular, not drinking regularly can change the chemistry of a persons brain, it changes the way you perceive things , take in information – extreme cases can cause delusions, false sensory intake...

          now lets take it a bit further.... lets say the brain sustains injury.......suddenly that person you knew could be radically altered...they may not remember things, they may respond differently to once was once their norm...

          now even further....massive terminal injury.... lights out, nothing.. because? you need your brain to be at least functioning on a minimal level.... you need your living body.

          April 23, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          In short everything that is you – your "consciousness" needs your 'cpu' to perceive anything. ...the fires of hell might as well be a lazy boy and a 61" plasma with the Super Bowl playing if theres no means to register the pain.

          April 23, 2014 at 2:35 am |
    • bostontola

      Who says the past is infinite?

      The observable universe started a finite time ago. The timeline of our observable universe is finite. Our observable universe is likely not all of existence.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Let's say it's not all of existence and that there are other universes. The question still applies. Your response doesn't answer the question. Do you see that an infinite anything material leads to absurdities?

        April 22, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          No, not at all. That said, no one knows if existence is infinite or not. It may not even be knowable in principle.

          April 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          If the past is infinite, why hasn't our universe already come and died out? Why didn't this happen an infinite time ago?

          Time, space and matter came into existence a finite time ago.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • bostontola

          truth,
          Our observable universe is not infinite. It has a finite timeline. There may be other universes, but they are not in our space or time. In fact, time may not exist in (some) other universes. Either way, if they have time, it is not connected or related to our time, just like their space is not connected to our space.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • truthfollower01

          I'm not asking if our observable universe is infinite or not. I'm asking if the past is infinite, why hasn’t our universe already come and died out? Why didn’t this happen an infinite time ago?

          Perhaps you don't think the material past is infinite and that time, space and matter came into existence at a specific point?

          I appreciate the conversation. I'll check back tomorrow to see of any follow up.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:18 am |
        • bostontola

          truth,
          Please read the comments more carefully. I said our observable universe has a finite timeline. It doesn't go back infinitely in time.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:21 am |
        • Doris

          truthf: "I'm not asking if our observable universe is infinite or not. I'm asking if the past is infinite, why hasn’t our universe already come and died out? Why didn’t this happen an infinite time ago?"

          Our universe could have come and died out already if we were able to survive and experience the future past when it will have died. But unless we learn to travel in time, from our experience and observation, other times will always be relative to our present – back in the past to some specific point, or back infinitely from the current time.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:26 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      Perhaps for the same reason that the clump of cells known as "you" came into existence at a specific point in space/time/history. I would contend that there was/is a creator behind it all who implemented all this stuff according to His will.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        S/he would agree with your last sentence.

        April 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Actually, that last sentence was me agreeing with Him.

          April 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        There is not a shred of evidence for that position. It's the equivalent to saying "Sparkly pink unicorns did it".

        April 22, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      At a singularity, time comes to a halt. Your question is meaningless.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        So is your position that time and space came into existence at the Big Bang?

        April 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Unfortunately for you it's not space and time. It's spacetime. They do not exist independently of each other, and there is no absolute reference point. They are dimensions that exist only in this universe as far as we know. Relativity (unfortunately for you) has been proven to be true, (even tough you have no clue what that even means). IF spacetime exists "outside" this universe, it doesn't help your cause. A god that "acts" IN spacetime, ("creates") NEEDS spacetime. A god who NEEDS anything is not a real god. A real deity must "exist" without reference to anything "of necessity". A deity which "exists" requires spacetime and "non-existence" etc etc, ie a structure in Reality which it could not have created.
          I realize this is over your head, but it's not my problem you never took Philosophy 101.

          April 23, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "Unfortunately for you it’s not space and time. It’s spacetime. They do not exist independently of each other, and there is no absolute reference point."

          I never said they exist independently. On the contrary, I indicated the opposite.

          Concerning the phrase "space and time", the following is an excerpt from William Lane Craig's book, On Guard: "For think of what the universe is: all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy. It follows that if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a nonphysical, immaterial being beyond space and time."

          Why would the immaterial, nonphysical, transcendent God, who created the space-time we dwell in need space-time to act?

          It seems to me that your confusion is in thinking that acting in space-time and creating space-time are the same.

          April 23, 2014 at 1:06 am |
        • Doris

          You and Dr. Craig love to leave out many possibilities for the unknown in your quest to nail down the one that you need. We simply do not know enough to assign any attributes for the state of anything outside of THIS universe prior to big bang and call that conjecture fact.

          April 23, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • Doris

          (My last reply was for truthfollower01.)

          April 23, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In the Hindu creation myth, their triune God, Para Brahman, plays different roles in the infinite cycle of existence.
      The universes are made by Lord Brahma the Creator, maintained by Lord Vishnu the Preserver and destroyed by Lord Shiva. In their times, each universe must be destroyed to form the next one.

      Working in the boundaries of Einstein's relativity, theoretical physicists have recently put forward the Conformal cyclic cosmological model that demonstrates how the end of one universe becomes the Big Bang of the next in an endless cycle.

      It could well be that the Hindus are closer to the truth than the Abrahamics.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:22 am |
      • truthfollower01

        The concept of an infinite material past leads to absurdities.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    da trolls ... da trolls ... da trolls ... where is the Orkin man when you need him.

    and even our resident loons won't talk about the rainbow horsie with jesus in heaven. Hmmmm. Looks like the bible missed a really cool chapter there.

    goodnight all.

    April 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      The unicorn stars in the bible. Everyone knows male unicorns have rainbow coloration. ; )

      April 22, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    the guy that wrote this movie is a swindler, no different than TV evangelists that snake oil.
    he tells a feel-good story, tugging on heart strings whenever he can.
    of course he made the entire thing up, made up whatever he wanted.
    there is no way to confirm or disprove his ridiculous story,
    but the religious sheep will eat it up and digest it as factual.
    sad.

    April 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      I'm not willing to go so far as saying he's a swindler, but I will say Christians shouldn't see the movie.

      April 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
  6. Vic

    The article above was updated reflecting $21.5 million in earnings for the "Heaven is for Real" movie over the weekend.

    Well, according to the Box Office website, that was an estimate. The actual earnings for the movie over the weekend were actually a gross total of $22.5 million, which made the second slot at the Box Office. The total earnings since its debut last Wednesday are a gross total of $29.5 million. The total budget of the movie was $12 million.

    Reference:

    http://www.boxoffice.com/latest-news/2014-04-21-north-america-weekend-actuals-captain-america-2-still-1-with-256m-heaven-is-for-real-takes-second-with-225m-transcendence-bombs

    April 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      No doubt that the movie maker will earn a bundle of money. 75% of the US is Christian, that's a good basis for making a movie. I'm surprised there's not more Christian movies. Give your customers what they want, tried and true formula for making a profit.

      April 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        True. And if they'd quit altering what Scripture says, they'd make even more money.

        April 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Madtown

          Humans have been altering scripture since scripture was first written.

          April 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Why not ? There is nothing unique about "scripture". When Timothy said (Timothy 3:16 )
          "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," there was no canon and he thought ANYTHING written was "scripture". You think YOU know better than Timothy ?
          What ended up in the canon was VOTED on, non-unanimously, after being assembled by multiple HUMAN editors. There is nothing of "ultimate" significance about a set of books cooked up by humans.

          April 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          nonsense, topher. if they quit altering the story, it would be even more ridiculous than it is now.

          April 23, 2014 at 5:52 am |
  7. new-man

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQXlHjoJWo&w=640&h=390]

    I wanted to post this for the believer. A definite Must Watch.

    The prophetic and greatest promise given in Gen 3:15 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

    Joseph Prince did a fantastic job in using Scripture (Bible must interpret Bible) to show or define who 'sons of God' are; why all flesh was corrupted and had to die in order to save the human race; and who were the giants in the land of Canaan, why they were there and why God raised up the nation of Israel.

    April 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci6pmxHPgwQ&w=640&h=390]

      April 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
    • observer

      new-man,

      Why not just summarize the video? Thirty-six minutes is far too much to spend watching someone making excuses for a science fiction story.

      April 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
    • Akira

      Okay. That's nice.

      April 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      noah, the "real" story. now that made me laugh.

      April 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • Madtown

      Why start over with Noah? Why not just start from scratch like he did the first time?

      April 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • jbhollen

        God and the Holy Spirit had a pool going ( no pun intended) on how long humanity could tread water.

        April 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Omen reading (prophesy as prediction) was forbidden in Leviticus. Omens were an abomination. The role of a prophet was not to tell the future. Do you ever plan on taking a class in Biblical Studies ?

      April 22, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
    • saggyroy

      According to the video Prince says Cain and Abel "...was the first murder over religion..." It's been down hill ever since.

      April 23, 2014 at 5:41 am |
  8. Salero21

    Here is a quiz again for all.

    How big is the Evidence of the Total NON-SENSE of atheism?
    1) As big as the Earth.
    2) As big as the Sun.
    3) As big as the Solar System.
    4) As big as the Universe.
    5) All of the Above.

    Atheists do the best you can to answer which is the Worst that mankind has to offer. History shows it to be so!!

    April 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Please don't feed the trolls!

      (finisher is that you?)

      April 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      None of the above. What ALL of the above is, is evidence of your jealousy of and obsession with atheists.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
  9. bostontola

    OK, let's say there's a heaven where you get to exist for eternity. If you live for 90 years. 10,000 years after your death, your earthly life will be less than 1% of your concious existence. It will barely matter. After more time it will have almost no meaning. That is weirder to me than ceasing to exist when we die.

    April 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • Salero21

      WHAAA!! More Evidence of the Total NONSENSE of atheism!!! JAJAJA... oops... Pardon me again... I meant to say HAHAHA. I miss the emoticons!

      April 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
      • bostontola

        My statement had nothing to do with the existence or not of a God, it was about how starnge the notion of an eternal heaven is. Try to keep up Sal (or should I call you Sara Paling?).

        April 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • Salero21

          And more Evidence yet for the Total NON-SENSE of atheism. You foolish atheist, Heaven is WHERE GOD IS.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Many religions believe in reincarnation. They are not atheists and they have no heaven. Try a comparitive religion course at your local community college.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Where god is " ?? So your god is "somewhere". Your god NEEDS spacetime to exists somewhere ? Do you have any idea how idiotic that sentence is ?

          April 23, 2014 at 12:01 am |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Why is it weird?

      April 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
      • bostontola

        It is weird to me that the meaning of your life on earth diminishes and eventually disappears.

        April 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I'm afraid I can't agree with you. The decisions in this life decides where you spend eternity. So it's a MAJOR factor.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Depends on which version of Christianity you believe in. Either way, for all the people in heaven, the eartly life becomes an insignificant thing.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          The Biblical version.

          And I'd say, yes, a lot of it will be a bit of a "thing of the past;" but again, since you'll only be in Heaven because of a decision you made ... or in Hell because of the laws you broke, your life is very important.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          All 42,000 denominations think they have the biblical version.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          There are not 42,000 denominations.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          What if somebody came up to you today and either gave you a billion dollars, or skinned you alive based on whether you picked a Coke or a Pepsi on some day two and a half months before your fifth birthday? Either way, you probably wouldn't remember what you did to deserve what you got, right?

          So, what about after a few thousand years in the afterlife? Would you know what you did in this life to deserve whatever you got?

          April 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          "So, what about after a few thousand years in the afterlife? Would you know what you did in this life to deserve whatever you got?"

          Depends where I am ... If I'm in Heaven, continuously being in the presence of God would remind me that I don't deserve to be there. If I'm in Hell, the pain I'm in would remind me not only of the laws I broke, but also the act of kindness and love that I rejected.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Biblical version
          ---
          Impossible, since God hasn't bothered to provide a way for many of his human creation to be aware of the bible. Can't be a standard of judgment, because it's not a standard for all.

          April 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          noah'sdad ...
          So, let me get this straight. You actually think non-believers what REALLY do not buy the bs, have a "choice" to believe in a deity ? Didn't Jesus say "No one shall come to me UNLESS the Father draw him", "For many are called but FEW are chosen". So you actually think YOU know better than your Jebus, and your god is SO utterly profoundly stupid she wouldn't know if someone said "I believe", (because they just wanted to get into heaven) even if they really didn't ? Do YOU have a "choice" to buy that the moon is made of green cheese ?

          April 23, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • realbuckyball

          There are 33,000 denominations. Each of then are 100 % convinced (just as you are) that YOUR version is the right one.
          1/33,000. Good odds ?

          April 23, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • sam stone

          nonsense, topher. you don't know that there is anything such as an eternal existence after you die. in my opinion (and, yes, despite all your blather, all anyone has is an opinion) it is all just empty promises or empty threats

          April 23, 2014 at 5:58 am |
        • sam stone

          of course it is, bucky. topher knows the TRUTH.

          well, topher and theophileo.

          i meant topher, theophileo and rainy fuhrersucker

          gosh, topher, theophilieo, rainy fuheresucker and new-man

          topher, theophileo, rainy fuhrersucker, new-man and believer fred

          etc

          etc

          et-fvckng-cetera

          April 23, 2014 at 6:14 am |
        • sam stone

          gosh, gopher, if heaven is so darn beautiful, why are believers not offing themselves in droves to get there?

          i would think that you, being one of jeebus' fave-or-ites, would be at the front of the line.

          sarcasm aside, gopher, your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck and you are nothing but a snivelling sycophant

          go ahead now, threaten us with hell again, you pompous d-bag

          April 23, 2014 at 6:20 am |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          "Depends where I am ... If I'm in Heaven, continuously being in the presence of God would remind me that I don't deserve to be there. If I'm in Hell, the pain I'm in would remind me not only of the laws I broke, but also the act of kindness and love that I rejected."

          That's one belief about Heaven. You would still have "accepted God" to make it into Heaven, but what if you couldn't remember doing that? A few thousand years in Hell and you might not remember not accepting God. All I'm saying is that, given enough time, nobody may remember why they ended up where they did.

          What act of "kindness and love" did I ever reject? To me, it's a question of whether I'm selfish, or scared enough to accept something as truth without reason for doing so. There's a promise of good things for those who accept on blind faith, but also the promise of torture for those who do not. What kind of "gift" comes with dire consequences to those who refrain? Not a gift, but a threat, that's what.

          April 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      How on God's green earth you can arrive at that conclusion is beyond me. Fading away into non existence with no accountability for your time spent on earth seems to me the ultimate existential absurdity.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
      • bostontola

        90 years of existence on earth, 100,000 years (and more) in the spirit world. Your time on earth becomes an insignificant part of your overall existence.

        April 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Agreed. it's this notion of non existence making it less "weird" that stymies me. Seems to me it would be the opposite.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          Concious non existence isn't weird at all, that's what I was prior to birth.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          It's not the " conscious non existence ' that I was referring to as "weird", it was the meaningless of earthly life, your original premise.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          You said: " it's this notion of non existence making it less "weird" that stymies me."

          I explained why this life becomes insignificant, 90 years on earth vs 1,000,000,000+ years in the spirit world.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • sam stone

        no, ddeevviinn, the concept of accountability after death is the ultimate absurdity

        April 23, 2014 at 6:26 am |
      • joey3467

        I don't understand why Christians think their religion is about accountability. In the end Christians let Jesus be held accountable for their sins, so Christianity is really about avoiding accountability and passing it off on Jesus.

        April 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • believerfred

      You make several assumptions that do not hold. Consider time. You assume our time is sequenced in terms of past present and future because that is all you know. If God created all you now know in 6 days what exactly does your 90 years mean?

      April 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
      • bostontola

        fred,
        that's my point, the 90 years here would mean little. With no afterlife, it's all we get. Your impact will be on your progeny and the people around you. That should be the focus, not some afterlife.

        April 22, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          I was thinking that time is relative. Time passes very slow when your legs are broken or when you are where you do not want to be. Time passes quickly in the arms of love, wonder, enchantment etc. or non existent as you are totally caught up in the moment.
          We cannot grasp eternal time because we have no reference point for time without beginning or end (i.e. time centered reference point). 90 years would be comparing apples to oranges..........or fire to orgasm

          April 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
  10. Salero21

    Here is a quiz again for all.

    How big is the Evidence of the Total NON-SENSE of atheism?
    1) As big as the Earth.
    2) As big as the Sun.
    3) As big as the Solar System.
    4) As big as the Universe.
    5) All of the Above.

    Do the best you can to answer atheists. Of course we all know the best of atheists is the WORST that mankind has to offer.

    April 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
    • bostontola

      Please tell me you're 10 or younger.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • Salero21

        Does you mom knows you're fooling around on the Internet, instead of doing school homework?

        April 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      silly sally, It appears your other personality is out to play, a terrific indication that you need to leave the nurses computer alone and find her...it's time for your injection of anti-psychotic meds. Ask them to put you in the bouncy room tonight and ask for a huggy jacket.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Sal

      Time for true confessions. Are you incognito ? This really is just a ruse to shed a bad light on theists, correct? You are on the other team?

      Fess up

      April 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • bostontola

        I suspect that also (along with finisher).

        April 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
  11. Salero21

    Not even in a place such as Hollywood they're listening to atheists. They hear you but they're not really listening to you. Even hom.ose.xuals have more influence and pull in Hollywood than atheists. That's as bad as it gets, I think, it just doesn't get any worst than that. Sorry foolish atheists but History IS NOT on your side.

    April 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • Reality

      As noted previously:

      Carl Sagan addressed this issue. He noted that we have looked out 10 billion light years and still have not found heaven.

      Of course when you cannot see something, the religious revert to the spirit state as did JPII and Aquinas in defining the Christian views of heaven and hell. And remember the "holy ghost" now the "holy spirit". The idiocy of it all !!!

      April 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • Salero21

        Can you see the dirt behind your ears without using a mirror? Can you see the top of your head?

        April 22, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          But we can use a mirror. Maybe that's your issue, you refuse to use any aide to understand and be aware.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Salero21

          Wait a minute!! Why is bostontola answering for or instead of Reality? Is he/she a Troll?

          April 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          Don't like that response huh? Thanks for tipping your hand, I enjoyed that.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • Reality

        Indeed mirrors are great aides in seeing objects not in our sight angles. And said mirrors have never detected the heavens of religions.

        Some added details on heaven, the spirit/ghost state:

        From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

        "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
        Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven. "

        April 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • Akira

      Nobody cares.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
      • Salero21

        Hey, look who it is, Sharkira!!! Pretending again to speak for everybody. Was it Hard at the office today?

        April 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Akira

          I don't work in an office. I've told you that. You have extremely poor reading comprehension.

          And still, nobody cares.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
  12. Salero21

    Whaaat!!! OMG more Evidence on top of more Evidence for the Absolute, complete and Total NON-SENSE of atheism. The mountain of Evidence is bigger than the range of the HIMALAYAS. For those of you in the US who are totally clueless about the rest of the world like Sarah Paling. The Himalayas is the mountains range between China and India. China and India are in Asia, which is the Continent across the Pacific Ocean, which is off the West coast. You know where the States of Washington, Oregon and California are located. Your State of Hawaii is in half way in the middle.

    April 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      Who is Sarah Paling?

      Tip: when accusing others of being ignorant, or stupid, don't exhibit those characteristics in the rant.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • Salero21

        OMG another Super secret agent of THE GRAMMAR GESTAPO OF THE INTERNET, the Legal Enforcement Branch of atheism. If I mistype of misspell any word, they will pick, poke and pierce me with toothpicks till I die and be no more. All the while they'll be yelling at me DIE DIE DIE!!!

        April 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          You call others stupid and ignorant, then get your examples wrong indicating you have the lacking. You did it, take some responsibility.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • Akira

      And you broke the 3rd Commandment again, like the devout Christian you aren't.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • Salero21

        NO, NO Sharkira, that's a NO NO. Your can't appeal to the Commandments of God. You can't have it both ways, one minute denying God and then come back quoting God's Commandments. That's Extreme Hypocrisy. Which is Normal for atheists.

        April 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Akira

          Your other alter ego, His Panic, told me the same thing, almost word for word. And you still still lack reading comprehension, because I am not an atheist. So, yes, I CAN call you out on you breaking one of His Commandments.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • observer

      Salero21,

      You should spend less time on the Internet and go back to school to take English lessons. Mangled, incomplete sentences, words wrongly hyphenated, words wrongly split in two, plural when singular should have been used and misspelled names are just some of your BLUNDERS.

      You have no business talking about others being CLUELESS when you are so CLUELESS about our own language.

      .

      April 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
      • Salero21

        Says who, THE GRAMMAR GESTAPO OF THE INTERNET?

        April 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • observer

          Salero21,

          Nope. Just another person who is not NEARLY as CLUELESS as you are about the language you are so PITIFULLY trying to use.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          No one cares about grammar, except when the offender is accusing others of lack of intelligence. Then it becomes fully admissible.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Salero21

          @ bostontola,

          I'm NOT accusing anybody of anything yet!! Even the brightest of people do and say Totally foolish things here, there and everywhere, but it does not defines who they are. In the case of atheists however their foolishness is a Constant and define who they are, In spite of their otherwise intelligence in some fields of knowledge.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          You said: "For those of you in the US who are totally clueless". Either you were talking to no one, or you accused someone, which is it?

          April 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • otoh2

        observer,

        Shhhhh! Let Salero keep on writing like the dolt that s/he is!

        April 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • observer

          otoh2,

          You have a good point. It is really HILARIOUS to listen to someone talk about CLUELESS people while TOTALLY CLUELESS themself. The hypocrisy is classic.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Salero21

          @ blind observer,

          Whaaat!!! Are you saying that you can actually hear me through this Media? OMG is true!! Atheists are Compulsive, pathetic and Pathological Liars, they just can't stop Lying evenif they wish.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • observer

          Salero21,

          Get those English classes as soon as possible. You keep showing that you must have skipped English classes. Work on simple sentence structure. It's very BASIC.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • Akira

          You broke the 3rd again, Rasputin.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • fintronics

          saltshaker21 = nutjob

          April 23, 2014 at 7:37 am |
  13. Vic

    Well, for what it's worth, "Heaven is for Real" made it to the second slot in the Box Office with $22.5 millions in earnings since its debut last Wednesday. The movie budget was $12 millions.

    April 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Vic, surely you're not equating relative success at the box office with the truthfulness (or truthiness, of you're a Colbert fan) of this movie? Star Wars made gazillions – I don't think you'd say that, based on those numbers, Darth Vader was a real person.

      Ummm – would you?

      April 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Vic

        Um, not exactly. That's why I said "for what it's worth."

        Actually, I don't view success at the Box Office as "the" measure for "Truth," rather, as an indicator of people's high interest in the subject matter, hence spirituality. While on the subject matter, I believe God does propagate His "Truth" through the innocence, hence children, among other means.

        Meanwhile, while I admire Steven Colbert—very intelligent, I believe he is a very partisan person posing as comedian—I agree with Rush Limbaugh on that one. BTW, I am a David Letterman's fan, sad to see him leaving.

        April 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • Akira

          Rush is a liar and an entertainer. He is paid big money to be the partisan hack that he is.
          Colbert is making fun of people like him on his show...I thought everyone knew that. He is also an entertainer, although much, much more honest. He isn't that way in his everyday life. His show is satire.
          That Rush predictably blew a gasket by pontificating about CBS's motives for hiring Colbert, who already stated he is not bringing the character portrays to "Late Night", is indicative of his tendency to make mountains out of molehills.
          That thinking is absurd; that's like expecting Johnny Carson to have remained in his Karnack character all the time.
          Rush needs to grow up.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Sure – different stokes for different folks. It will be strange to see Letterman leave. I remember watching him many, many moons ago in university when he first started. Of course Colbert is partisan – that's part of his thing. But Limbaugh calling someone else partisan – isn't that just a touch hypocritical of good ol' Rush?

          April 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • Vic

          This not about being partisan, this is about genre.

          Steven Colbert is a highly intelligent partisan who can host a high profile political talk show as Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh, while I don't agree with everything he says, was put on the spot by a caller who insisted that he (Rush) commented on Colbert replacing Letterman. Rush actually showed disinterest in the topic while the caller who pulled it out of thin air insisted. It was not planned. While Rush Limbaugh is highly partisan, he is not posing as a comedian, even though he is an entertainer to a certain extent.

          You want my professional opinion about Steven Colbert, aside from his partisanship, he is a talented comedian.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Akira

          Ok, I'll repeat this: Colbert is not going to bring his character that he plays on the satirical show "The Colbert Report" to Late Night".
          It's. A. Character. He. Portrays.
          So, no, "Late Night" isn't going to be "TCR, redux", any more than "The Tonight Show" is "SNL, redux."

          As for that caller, Rush gave his little fan exactly what was expected. Implying that's really not his opinion is hilarious.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • Vic

      "$22.5 millions over the weekend and $29.5 millions since its debut last Wednesday."

      April 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • Doris

        "millions"? Did they actually put an "s" at the end of that word in each case? Hmm – where have I seen this before? Seems like it was from Salero or His Panic.....

        April 22, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Well, for what it's worth, don't expect to stay dry if you plss into the wind...

      April 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Smurfs 2 is at $347,545,360 globally... so should I start praying to Papa Smurf now?

      April 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
      • Vic

        See above @5:12 pm.

        April 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Akira

          Lots of interest in the Smurfs as subject matter.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      Jesus is Lord of the Myths
      But damned if He can't still pull in the hustlers that make a good dollar from pedaling the myth, ka-ching. The clergy bless the gullible.

      April 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • Alias

      That movie is propaganda. The fact that a lot of people who wanted to believe what it was saying went to see it does not give it validity.

      April 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • Vic

        Well, I believe the kid, Colton, he seems innocent and straightforward. Like I mentioned above, God propagates His "Truth" through the innocence of children among other means. I'm not surprised.

        April 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • Akira

          So you believe Jesus has a rainbow-colored horse?

          April 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          I can believe that he had some sort of weird experience. I think it's rather naive to believe everything that the family is saying actually happened.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • G to the T

          Sincerity is not the same as accuracy.

          April 23, 2014 at 8:00 am |
    • Vic

      Wow, sure a lot happens in a New York minute. Can hardly keep up with everything on the fly.

      April 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  14. whippstippler7

    Last week it was Hollywood getting the details of a mythical event – Noah's flood – wrong. This week it's Hollywood getting the details of a mythical place – heaven – wrong.

    It's all fiction. folks.

    April 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • Alias

      It is not fiction.
      I have been to California – I am a witness to Hollywood.
      If you seek, you will find the truth.
      Just get out before dark. It is not the best neighborhood anymore.

      April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        You went to Hollywood and survived??? But surely you emerged with lips siliconed and wrinkles botoxed, or some other fiendish tricks played on you?

        April 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          I always feel safer in Manhattan at midnight, than at noon in Hollyweird.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      This is just like arguing over whether the movie "Thor" properly depicted Asgard...

      April 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
      • Alias

        Just keep in mind that some people refused to see that movie over the race of some of the actors cast as nordic characters.

        April 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I thought Idris was one of the better parts of the films myself. It is pretty funny how some people show how stupidly racist they are though.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Alias

          I seem to recall massive butthurt over the idea that jesus wasn't white.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Akira

          Just last Christmas, in Fox's annual "War on Christmas" rating drive.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    Christians please assist me with an answer. Many thanks!

    if Christianity says that your soul goes up to heaven for all eternity when you die, where does Christianity say your soul comes from when you are born? Does god make each one individually, on-demand and put it into the foetus? Or is there a pool of pre-made eternal souls somewhere that have been waiting since his first creation of everything and he uses one of them for each new child?

    How does it work?

    April 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Dog....I don't know, but I think I have a defective soul. Is there a store I can go to in order to get a refund?

      April 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        I had a shoe that had a defective sole.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • otoh2

          whipp,

          I'll bet that made you feel like a real heel...!

          April 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          My father was a fisherman. He once caught a defective sole.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Did that defective sole give him a haddock?

          April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Gave him a whale of a haddock.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • otoh2

          For a bad haddock you can take some aceta mini fin.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Thus proving, with puns like these, that there really is no god.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          You were just fishing for a reason to not believe in god.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Hey! i never said i didn't believe in cod.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
    • new-man

      a person's spirit pre-existed with God before it's born into the earth realm.
      Before the foundations of the world, there was the existence of God; there was also the existence of the ancients.

      The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
      When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world [Cosmos]. (Pr. 8:22-26)

      Not only was there a creation or ‘a beginning’, but there were witnesses to this creation as well.

      This was how Job's spirit could remember when God created the earth even though these things were veiled from his mind. In the same manner, once you're born into the earth realm, your mind becomes veiled to the things of the spirit, and what once was.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I thought it had something to do with an evil Galactic Overlord detonating a nuclear explosion in a volcano, scattering the confused spirits of his enemies throughout the Earth's atmosphere.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        @ new-man: and your source of this information – would it be the bible?

        April 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
      • Alias

        So your god knowingly put souls into people who had no chance of being baptized or hearing the gospels before they dies.
        Fair and just?

        April 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      " Christianity" obviously teaches that God is the creator oi the soul. It is not specific as to time. Throughout church history there have been 3 basic schools of thought: The soul is is created at conception, it is genetically passed on from the parents, or God created all souls at some specific time in the past and places them in the individual. Take your pick.

      I imagine you can get this info. with a quick google search, so I'll just assume these question were just a springboard for some form of silly retort. ( My apologies if my assumption was wrong).

      April 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • colin31714

        "take your pick." Indeed, when you make it all up you get to choose, because you can never be proven wrong.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          I don't ever recall stating that the the bible provided the answer for every known question to mankind or that there are no unanswerable, open ended issues. If you can find a post in which I stated to the contrary, please do share.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        no retort. I was just wondering how your book explained it.

        April 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
    • bonwood72

      That is an excellent question doG, Of course, as with most excellent questions there is no definitive answer. What you are describing sounds a bit like the Matrix. So where does your ability to ask a question like this come from? Does it come just from your DNA? I don't believe my soul was preexistent but I can't prove it one way or the other.

      April 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
    • jbhollen

      It doesn't work at all you moron. It's all a myth. One that you have been duped into investing your life in.

      April 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
  16. Concert in an Egg

    Topher's Hell
    Toes barely touching the floor
    His filthy white night gown torn and tattered
    Back arching
    Facing an invisible tormenter
    Releases a silent scream
    Eyes red and purple
    A sea of fire fills the ceiling and he is there floating
    He is smiling with arms outstretched

    April 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • ausphor

      Egg
      Topher's hell would be falling back into the life he had before being born again. Nothing more sanctimonious than a repentant sinner that thinks that he is forgiven. Now everyone is a sinner like him, makes Topher feel normal.

      April 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
  17. ddeevviinn

    " What Hollywood gets wrong about heaven"

    I'm hard pressed to think of another source that I would give less credence to in defining Christian doctrine.

    April 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Doris

      OK, enough about the Bible, but what about the article – you know – Hollywood?

      April 22, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Wow, a full 2 minutes. Thought someone would jump on that set up within 30 seconds. Perhaps you type slow?

        April 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Dev....how about priests that molest young boys? I'll take Hollywoods version over theirs any day.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        No, their theology is a little more accurate. The fact that they are loathsome Cretans is another matter.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Everything I need to know about Christianity I learned from the "Left Behind" series.
      Thanks Kirk "Crocoduck" Cameron!

      April 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        That explains a lot ( Your source of knowledge, that is).

        April 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Kirk Cameron is a true prophet.
          He has revealed such Truths as the origin of the Washington Monument (he says it represents Satan's penis) and that abortion causes breast cancer.
          If you reject the teachings of the Tribulation Force, you'll regret it come Judgement Day! (any day now....)

          April 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
      • new-man

        That doesn't show you as a wise and prudent man, DV. If this is indicative of how you source your information, not much credence can be given to your opinion, especially on crucial matters.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Alias

          Wrong. It proves you are an idiot who doesn't have the brains to know humor when he reads it.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • colin31714

      Well, what source is accurate at "defining christian doctrine"? When you make the whole thing up, you can say whatever you want. So much of Christian doctrine is all just made up. And I mean that in the purest sense. They pull it out of thin air. To the extent a Christian theologian “researches” anything, they simply look to what earlier theologians said on the issue. To the extent they researched anything, they looked to even earlier theologians and what they said. But, no matter how far back you go, no matter how many theologians you go through and no matter how smart, well read or well intentioned the original fabricator of the issue is, it is all made up.

      This is true of the doctrine of Salvation, the Incarnation, the Holy Trinity and every other doctrine in the Christian churches.

      Any Christian out there is welcome to prove me wrong. Please point to some external source that independently and objectively verifies church doctrine.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • new-man

        "The Church" is the body of Christ. It's people.
        The only doctrine – Love

        Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
        This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • colin31714

          Thanks Shirley MacLaine. So I guess a loving atheist is actually a Christian. OMG!

          April 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Does that doctrine of love apply to unruly children? You know – the ones parents are supposed to stone to death? Does it apply to the humans you own as slaves – keeping them as slaves instead of freeing them? Does this doctrine of love apply to the innocent children of vanquished nations who are to be slaughtered?

          You know – for a book called the "good Book" there sure is a lot of evil and horror in it – and that's on the part of god!!

          April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • new-man

          colin,
          are YOU implying that a loving atheist also loves God- tell me how... or did you not see that one; it's the first command.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        " Any christian out there is welcome to prove me wrong."

        But this will never happen. Not because I think you are not wrong, I do, but because you operate from a different set of presuppositions. Obviously, in the case of Christianity the bible is the " accurate source" . That "theologians" throughout history have interpreted the meaning of scripture has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it , the Bible, is still the source. To imply that it is all "made up" because individuals looked to other theologians for interpretation is simply false.

        You don't accept the Bible as an external, objective source for verifying church doctrine so I don't think I can help you there. Perhaps you could provide me with some external, objective source that could verify the truthfulness of the Declaration of Independence. You see, objectivity is not the only means of determining truth.. As a Christian, I hold the truth of Scripture to be self evident.

        April 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dev...you are correct that either you accept the bible as the word of god or you don't. I can't, because there are too many inconsistencies in there. The bible contradicts itself more than it contradicts science. It it a collection of stories put together to help the dim-witted of its day try to bring meaning to their lives. It also does something unforgivable. It shows your god to be a vindictive azzhole completely unworthy of worship.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • colin31714

          The Declaration of Independence does not make factual claims – life after death, the existence of gods, Jesus rising from the dead. It is a statement of principles. If you simply accept something as true because it was included in the Bible, then you must have great confidence in those who decided what to include in it and the criteria they used. So, what do you know of these matters that gives you such confidence?

          April 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          g

          I was right there with you, until you began your second sentence, after that it was just more of the same old same old. But like me you have an opinion, and this is the place where we air them out.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " The Declaration of Independence does not make factual claims ..."

          Say what ??? " We hold these TRUTHS to be self evident, that all men ..."

          "So what do you know of these matters that give you such confidence ?"

          Not as much as I wish nor as much as that of others. I did, however, waste (Oops, spend) 4 years of my life and parents money majoring in philosophy/religion with a minor in biblical languages. Then I repeated those 4 years +2 to get a marketable education. (Wink). I've spent significant amounts of time in the original languages of the bible, I've studied the issues of canonicity, inerrancy, the musings of higher criticism, church history, etc... This does not make me a biblical scholar by any means, but it does give me relevance.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ ddeevviinn – certainly not slagging you for your religious education, but doesn't all of that just go out the window when you state "As a Christian, I hold the truth of Scripture to be self evident."

          Self-evident. Relying on no external evidence.

          And do you hold the entire bible to be true? Or only parts? And if only parts, what criteria do you apply to determine which parts you accept as true, and what parts as not true?

          April 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "We hold these TRUTHS to be self evident, that all men..."

          These lines are very similiar to the "Definitions" page of an insurance policy. It defines words to be used in the rules and regulations set forth in the policy. Our declaration does not however make any claim of divine authorship or claim any supernatural events. It very well could have by the tenor of the people of that time, but thankfully wiser heads prevailed.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Nance

          Say what?? Lmao, such outrage. The framers were talking about themselves holding those truths. There is a difference that you, devin, with all your self-proclaimed education (which, since you volunteered that without being asked, must make you think that obviously you are superior) seemed to have missed. Don't know how you did that, as a self-professed philosopher.

          April 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          nance

          " The framers were talking about themselves holding those truths."

          That is both obvious and the basis of my point. I can only write, I can't make you comprehend.

          " since you volunteered that without being asked"

          I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just over looked, as opposed to being inordinately obtuse, the posters question directed at ME " So, what do you know of these matters that give you such confidence.?"

          April 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          whip

          No, it is my contention the bible is the word of God, so yes, self evident.

          I hold the entire bible to be true in the original autographs. Our current versions are based on copied manuscripts that contained a small percentage of grammatical, syntax and spelling errors, in addition to variant texts.

          April 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • fintronics

          The Bible is riddled with repeti tions and contradictions, things that the Bible thumpers would be quick to point out in anything that they want to criticize. For instance, Genesis 1 and 2 disagree about the order in which things are created, and how satisfied God is about the results of his labors.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:52 am |
        • fintronics

          The flood story is really two interwoven stories that contradict each other on how many of each kind of animal are to be brought into the Ark–is it one pair each or seven pairs each of the "clean" ones?

          April 23, 2014 at 7:53 am |
        • fintronics

          "That is to be taken metaphorically." In other words, what is written is not what is meant. I find this entertaining, especially for those who decide what ISN'T to be taken as other than the absolute WORD OF GOD–which just happens to agree with the particular thing they happen to want...

          April 23, 2014 at 8:02 am |
        • fintronics

          "It has to be understood in context." I find this amusing because it comes from the same crowd that likes to push likewise extracted verses that support their particular view. Often it is just one of the verses in the contradictory set which is supposed to be taken as THE TRUTH when, if you add more to it, it suddenly becomes "out of context." How many of you have gotten JUST John 3:16 (taken out of all context) thrown at you?

          April 23, 2014 at 8:04 am |
        • fintronics

          To summarize, the bible is very obviously the word of man, no god or gods..

          April 23, 2014 at 8:06 am |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    Guess the religion!
    Below is a list of beliefs from various religions.
    Can you guess which ones?

    1) Prophets like to ride miniature horses with human faces and peac.ock tails.
    2) Demons have been known to possess pigs
    3) Human flesh can be magically conjured from unleavened bread
    4) There is an army of abortion survivors planning global domination from the sewers
    5) The Creator of the Universe is very concerned with what you do with your bathing suit region.

    Answers:
    1 – Islam 2 – Christianity 3 – Catholic Christianity 4 – Nuwaubian Islam 5 – All of the above

    April 22, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • Alias

      Do you really expect me to believe Nuwaubia has sewers?
      Where in the scripture is your proof?
      Have they always had sewers?
      What existed before the sewers?
      Could sewers just come from nothing?
      How many sewers were on the arc?
      Sewers prove god exists. Anything else is just your opinion and you have no proof.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        If you open your heart to the Truth of the Subterranean Foetus Army, they will give you all the proof you need.

        April 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          I opened my heart to the Subterranean Foetus Army, and the little bas-yards ate it!

          April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
  19. Concert in an Egg

    The fires were as a giant ocean with demons fishing using long poles. Broken souls hung from hooks, dangling above the heat, toes just touching; blistering and blistering again. Satan’s flying minions picked the bones of those well-done and the enormous iron gates were shut tight by their own weight.

    The bargaining table sat in the bow of a thickly made, plain wooden boat. The table was round with a green felt top. One by one the souls came seeking good fortune. Satan looked on as the dealer tabulated a naked man’s losses. All his chips in a pile, he begs for a chance.

    The flaming pool of magma slurped in yet another pair of legs and feet as two pot-bellied men were hurled into the molten bath. Two creatures looked on; thrilled by the spectacle. One with drum and horn, face long and crude, his wooden shoes and silk robes out of place. The other walked on feet like a chicken and thought himself quite fancy with his hair of wool and blue undergarment.

    Neither frog nor human he had two arms and two legs. His body was his face and his face was their torture chamber. Two brown eyes opposed each other as they kept watch over the slaughter. He grabbed the two sides of his large round mouth and stretched it wide to fit more filthy naked sinners.

    One of the women was pregnant as they both stared down into the deep black waters they would drown in. Holding their arms behind their backs, a small man with a red-handled dagger the length of his arm and wearing a shimmering peacock feather as a coat forced them to join the other tormented souls swimming in the oil.

    Sharpening the serrated edges of the jagged knife while sitting on its edge. A naked man, his scrotum ripped from his groin. Forever he will straddle the grotesque torture device while sickly wet brown frogs stand guard against his escape.

    April 22, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
  20. noahsdadtopher

    Again, if you want to know what Heaven is like, read the Bible.

    April 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      I think you meant if you want to know how some primitive men 2000 years ago imagined a fantasy world, read the bible.

      April 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        What I mean to say is that if you want to know God, understand why bad things happen, why we all deserve Hell and what God did so that nobody has to go there, read the Bible.

        April 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          It there were a "hell" I do not deserve to go there so no worries.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          God's creation deserves Hell, eternal, infinite pain and suffering. Wow.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Boston....that's because their god is a vengeful dick!

          April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, I have read the bible. It is nonsense, clearly.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Topher – "...if you want to know God, understand why bad things happen, why we all deserve Hell and what God did so that nobody has to go there, read the Bible."

          Everybody knows the story, and I've seen polls that show most atheists know more about the Bible than most Christians. Often, it's knowledge of the story, not lack of knowledge, that causes disbelief

          April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "It there were a "hell" I do not deserve to go there so no worries."

          So you're morally perfect?

          April 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Topher....what I believe Egg means is that he/she is a decent human being. And if your azzwipe of a god seems it necessary to punish a good person with the fiery pits if hell. Then your god is a bigger jerk than anybody ever thought

          April 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • bostontola

          gnm,
          Yahweh is clearly vengeful and was quite up front about that. My point is that he was incompetent. He created man knowing he would fail (omniscience), then sent his avatar to earth to die for that sin that was baked in by him so that we would be grateful for his sacrifice and love him. It's a little hard to follow.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          Both Tommy and I think you are ridiculous.
          Ridicule is the only weapon whish can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.
          Jefferson knew nutters when he saw them.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Well Topher, I do not claim to know what "morally perfect" means, but I do ok. Why do you ask?

          April 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          You fit all three of the following descriptions of an ex-fundamentalist of fundies who still remains a pastor in a saner cult.
          1. Blindly ignorant out of fear.
          2. Blindly ignorant out of sheer arrogance.
          3. Blindly declare that you are right and all others by default are wrong. Of course number 3 is the strong suit of all born agains that need the crutch to live their, but just can't SFU about it.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • ausphor

          live their lives...Dippy correction.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Well Topher, I do not claim to know what "morally perfect" means, but I do ok. Why do you ask?"

          Because if you're not perfect, you cannot go to Heaven. It means you are corrupt (having broken His laws) and deserve punishment.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Topher, you can't claim the high ground here. You are a big sinner, according to your beliefs. You're going to your h3ll everytime you open your mouth with your condemnations, snarky jabs, twisting words of others, and flat out telling everyone they wrong but you. Your little twerp of a deity is just a figment of your imagination, as all the other gods were/are. No topher, you have no room to talk about morality. None.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • bostontola

          Topher morality: Any imperfection, no matter how slight, deserves eternal, infinite punishment.

          Not morality I'd agree with.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          snuffleupagus

          "You are a big sinner, according to your beliefs."

          Absolutely! I deserve Hell, perhaps even more than most.

          "You're going to your h3ll everytime you open your mouth with your condemnations, snarky jabs, twisting words of others, and flat out telling everyone they wrong but you.

          I can't condemn anyone. And whose words have I twisted?

          April 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "Not morality I'd agree with."

          So morality is different for each individual?

          April 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • joey3467

          I would say that is obvious, Topher. Hence the reason I find the god you worship to be immoral and you don't.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, you worry me because I like you and it upsets me that you are completely delusional. There is no heaven or hell so why would I worry? You know I am an atheist.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "I would say that is obvious, Topher. Hence the reason I find the god you worship to be immoral and you don't."

          And if you're neighbor found it morally OK to kill you and your spouce and do "priestly" things to your children, you can't really say bunk about it. After all, it's their morality.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "You know I am an atheist."

          I know. But I care about you and still have hope for you.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • joey3467

          That is why we have laws Topher, in the end they can think anything that they want, but they can't just do anything they want. I would say that morality isn't decided by any one individual, but by the consensus of society as a whole.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          "So morality is different for each individual?"

          Yes it is. When an individual is alone, they may act differently than when with others. When with others, you start getting into group morality, which is something that comes with cultures of social animals, such as we are. You can examine many different forms of morality, from plants to birds, to bonobo's to mule deer. All are social animals, all have versions of morality.

          Why all the questions of morality? There is a great deal of evidence showing morality evolved with other traits. Still nothing showing any gods.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I have hope for you too my friend.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "I would say that morality isn't decided by any one individual, but by the consensus of society as a whole."

          Now you've got "the Nazi problem." Their society said killing Jews and others was OK.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • ausphor

          Concert in an Egg/AB
          I know you have a soft boiled in regard to our Topher and his family, I cannot. Ever since he admitted to, and took pride in, handing out religious tracts and DVD's to children that came to his door on Halloween along with some goodies, I see how dangerous this kind of person can be. A creationist teaching children that they are sinners and must believe in the ridiculous literal definition of the bible is just plain scary.

          April 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          You are blindly ignorant if you believe.....
          That the biblical story of creation is true.
          That the story of Noah happened.
          That the story of the tower of Babel is true.
          That the life of Moses is not a tall tale.
          That some hustler that claimed to be the Jewish Messiah was the son of god was real.
          That Jesus performed supernatural hocus pocus/miracles.
          That people dead for many days, that would have decomposed, rose from the dead.
          Suffice it to say that since you believe all of the above, you are blindly ignorant; an ad hominem if you like.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • joey3467

          Yes, Topher, the Nazis were bad, luckily the whole world didn't agree with them, and thus we had World War II.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Alias

          With all the references to the Nazis, I really wish some of you knew history better.

          April 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Their society said killing Jews and others was OK." No.. the leaders said it was ok, and used the bibkle and belief in YOUR god to justify it. Most people did not know what was going on, and many, many people who said anything publically disappeared. you have drastically understated what was going on there at the time.

          Morality is ALWAYS relative. In Saudi Arabia, showing someone the sole of yourfoot is a huge offence...does that make any sense?...to us, no. To them yes...relative morality...an evolved trait. still no sign of any gods, so why does it matter?

          April 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • sam stone

          in order to accept heaven and hell, you need to accept the "sin" tripe that the pseudo-pious like gopher, theo-philateo, new man, dddeevvinn, et al spew

          gopher, you are a coward

          April 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
    • bostontola

      If you want to know what Hogwarts is like, read Harry Potter.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • joey3467

      If you want a good idea of what Hell is like read Dante, and keep in mind that just because somebody wrote a book doesn't mean anything they wrote is true.

      April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • otoh2

      topher,

      "Oh, you can't get to heaven on roller skates.
      You'll roll right by those pearly gates.

      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more.
      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more.

      Oh, you can't get to heaven without no hajj
      The Lord won't accept that travelin' dodge

      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more.
      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more.

      Oh, you can't get to heaven with dancin' fevah
      This will not please the dear Lord Shiva

      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more.
      I ain't a-gonna grieve my Lord no more. "

      April 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Again, if you want to learn that bats are birds, rabbits chew their cud, and that insects have 4 legs, read the bible.

      April 22, 2014 at 4:00 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.