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Jonah's tomb destroyed by ISIS
July 25th, 2014
10:39 AM ET

Does Jonah's tomb signal the death of Christianity in Iraq?

Opinion by Joel S. Baden and Candida Moss, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The destructive force of  the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant Sunni movement, is epitomized in a video released Thursday of ISIS members smashing a tomb in Mosul, Iraq.

The tomb is traditionally thought to be the burial place of the prophet Jonah, a holy site for Christians and many Muslims.

Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, is built on and adjacent to the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, the setting for the biblical book of Jonah and once the most powerful capital of the ancient world.

Indeed, for most people familiar with the Bible, Nineveh is inseparable from the figure of Jonah.

In Christian tradition, the story of Jonah is an important one. Jonah’s descent into the depths in the belly of the great fish and subsequent triumphant prophetic mission to Nineveh is seen as a reference to and prototype of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The destruction of his tomb in Mosul is therefore a direct assault on Christian faith, and on one of the few physical traces of that faith remaining in Iraq.

Despite its acknowledged antiquity, however, it is a virtual certainty that the tomb destroyed by ISIS was not that of the biblical prophet.

His purported tomb was in a mosque dating back to the time of the Muslim conquest in the middle of the first millennium. The mosque, known as the Mosque of the Prophet Yunus (Arabic for Jonah), was built on an even earlier Christian church that stood on the spot.

Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

It’s likely that the association of the site with Jonah’s burial goes back to the early Christian period when the practice of linking geographical features with biblical figures was all the rage. (See: Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, David’s Tomb in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, etc.)

Jewish tradition suggests that Jonah returned to his hometown of Gath-Hepher after his mission to Nineveh (as we read in the book 3 Maccabees, from around the first century B.C.).

This was certainly the belief held by the church father Jerome, and was local tradition in Gath-Hepher in the 12th century and remains so today.

(Perhaps less likely is the rabbinic claim that his experience in the belly of the great fish was so terrible that God granted Jonah a rare exemption from the travails of death and he went up to heaven alive.)

In the end, speculations about the actual location of Jonah’s burial are probably moot, as virtually all scholars agree that the book is a work of pure fiction - is perhaps even a comedic novella of sorts - and that it is quite likely to have been written around the fifth century B.C., around 200 years after the city of Nineveh was destroyed.

But it is not the historical reality that is at stake in Mosul today.

The destruction of Jonah’s tomb was not an attack on archaeology. It was an attack on both those Christians living in Iraq today and on the rich, if little-known, Christian heritage of the region.

When people think of ancient Christianity, they don’t ordinarily think of Iraq. But the Christian communities there are among the oldest in the world.

According to church tradition, Christianity was introduced to the region by the Apostles Thomas and Thaddeus. These stories may be legendary, but by the second century we have references to Christian converts with names associated with the region and later histories refer to the persecution of Christians in Iraq in the fourth century. The Mar Behnam Monastery, for example, is believed to go back to the fourth century.

In the past two millennia, Iraq has been a center for Christian theological enquiry, learning and devotion. Important monasteries were built there in the sixth and seventh centuries, and various forms of ancient Christianity that had died out elsewhere persisted in Iraq into the 21st century.

Mar Mattai, which is to the southeast of Mosul and is maintained by the Syriac Orthodox Church, became one of the most important Christian monasteries by the eighth century, and was particularly renowned for its library.

The significance of Christianity in Iraq extends beyond even religion.

It is likely that Syriac monks were partly responsible for the preservation of Greek philosophical, medical and scientific texts by translating them into Syriac and Arabic. A ninth-century Syriac patriarch named Timothy wrote that the best Syriac manuscripts of Greek writers were to be found at Mar Mattai.

All that has been erased in a matter of days.

Last week, ISIS reportedly issued an ultimatum to Christians that they must convert to Islam, flee or face the sword. Earlier this month ISIS had allowed Christians to pay a non-Muslim tax known as jizya. On July 17, Christians were notified that jizya was no longer an option. They must now convert, flee or die.

Among the last Christians to leave the city were monks - residents of the ancient Mar Behnam Monastery - who left behind them 1,400 years of rich Christian tradition, as ISIS refused to let the monks take any of their precious relics with them.

Despite its antiquity and rich tradition, Christianity in Iraq is on the brink of eradication.

The heirs to those who first discovered the tomb of Jonah, and those who helped to keep Greek philosophy alive in the medieval period, are being ejected from their homes and from a land they have held sacred for centuries. This is the face and reality of Christian persecution.

Jonah was one of the earliest symbols of the resurrection for Christians. Will Christianity ever rise again in Iraq?

Joel S. Baden is professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. Candida Moss is a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden and Moss. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Houses of worship • Iraq • Islam • Islamic law • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion • Religious violence • Sacred Spaces

soundoff (631 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    Christians you think you prove a point when quoting the bible or a biblical scholar. But all you are doing is quoting what people wrote about what other people wrote about what other people interpreted that other people once wrote about what other people translated from what other people long ago wrote and finally, when you get back to the very root of it all, you have what some primitive people wrote down based on their primitive ideas of how the world worked or what they say they witnessed. That's the basis of christianity. That's it. That's all. Any claim of divine di.ctation or inspiration is just that: a claim. Not backed up by anything more than just MORE people's writing.

    Atheists, on the other hand, also just post about what people wrote ... but it's what they wrote about overwhelming quanti.ties of proven knowledge based on exhaustive scientific an.aly.sis of tangible, observable data and tangible, observable objects. All endlessly questioned and re-proven and questioned and re-proven using the scientific method to insure accuracy. There are no claims of magic or mysticism or commands to suspend reality. It's just reality.

    July 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • austin929

      Dyselexic Dog .... this verse is saying the exact same thing you are saying.

      2 Timothy 3:16-17King James Version (KJV)

      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

      July 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • igaftr

        Yes austin, same self-affirming nonsense.
        You don't expect them to tell the truth do you? That man made up everything then claimed this god did this or that, said this or that, but no evidence of any gods anywhere?

        Of course not...propoganda 101...basic brainwashing technique.

        Can you honestly show that any gods were involved? ( using the bible to prove the bible does not work, so don't bother quoting it. I see it for what it is, a collection of MAN MADE stories, tuned to mans adjenda.
        There is just as much evidence that Satan inspired the nonsense that is the bible as any "god".

        July 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • austin929

          There is just as much evidence that Satan inspired the nonsense that is the bible as any "god".

          I have evidence of both God and Satan. king of north is Palestine, king of south is egypt. so the anti christ system will enter Palestine, egypt, lybia... ect. as follows the king referred to is anti Christ

          36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.[d]

          40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cush.ites[e] in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at[f] the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • jbhollen

          austin929 – I know I am going to regret this, but please provide your claimed evidence of god and satan. And no, you can't make a case that god exists referencing a book you claim he wrote or inspired, when the counterpoint is that he does not exist and therefore could not have written a book.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Austin, please stop using sections from 2,000 year old fairy stories as proof of anything other than that 2,000 years ago some man wrote a fairy story.

          You may as well just go to the library and re-index every work of fiction into the non-fiction section. Seriously?!?!?!

          seeya, I'm off on my broom to a quiddich match ...

          July 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • austin929

          o.k. I have the gift of prophecy. it has come to me spordically, but i have been given many messages about my future through spiritual conduits. some of them seem to be good, and edifying. and others were clearly demonic spirits foretelling something immediate to follow.

          it has happened about 30 plus times.

          20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22reject every kind of evil.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • jbhollen

          igaftr – your being played by this nut job.

          July 28, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          austin
          What part of " using the bible to prove the bible does not work, so don't bother quoting it" don't you understand?

          when you quote the bible it is the same as saying blah blah blah blah blah. It does nothing to show this god of yours, just shows men know how to write.

          July 29, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • jbhollen

          igftr – Austin is a troll. He is playing you.

          July 29, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • igaftr

          jb
          The question is, who is playing with whom?
          I'm aware that he is either a troll, or simply insane, either way....

          July 29, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  2. unsername1

    "The destruction of his tomb in Mosul is therefore a direct assault on Christian faith"!!

    It does not matter because Christian faith is slowly losing its grip over people; I have not seen or heard a single street demonstration or rock throwing, or burning or destruction of muslim religious places to oppose the assault on tomb,.......had it been a Hindu, Budha, Jew, or even Shia shrine, people would have come out in masses and bit the crap out of muslims.

    July 27, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
    • guidedans

      Are you saying that its a good thing or a bad thing that people are not coming out against the destruction of religious site?

      July 28, 2014 at 1:01 am |
      • igaftr

        dans
        It is the same basic thing as if Disney got ahold of the land where Six Flags stands and destroying Six Flags because it doesn't line up with Disney's outlook.

        Same thing.

        July 28, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • evidencenot

          excellent analogy!

          July 29, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • unsername1

        it is not the right thing to do, but anticipated reaction from religious zealots. Christians are progressive and intelligent people, so religion would not survive with them, for religion to last long, you need followers like followers of Muhammed.

        July 28, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Rynomite

          Christians are progressive, intelligent people? Well maybe when compared to Muslims....

          July 29, 2014 at 9:14 am |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      "had it been a Hindu, Budha, Jew, or even Shia shrine, people would have come out in masses and bit the crap out of muslims"

      To be fair, unser, modern Crischiz(tm) aren't into street demonstrations about such things nearly as much as they are for simply sending in the Marines to do the work of Killin' Moozlumz(tm) for them. It leaves them more time to sit and watch Paddy Robertson and Benny Hinn...

      July 28, 2014 at 6:42 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      2014 Pew Study: nearly a third of all millennials – Americans between the ages of 18-33 – are religiously unaffiliated, a dramatic and ongoing change from previous generations.

      In the information age, religious people are finding it impossible to keep their children in their cult's bubble of lies. With access to facts, children are seeing the foolishness of religion and joining the world of reality. Christianity is dying out, and it's going to happen a lot quicker than anyone expects. A couple more generations and the christian sky fairy will be in a category with Thor and Zeus as a quaint primitive supersti.tion.

      July 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Blasphemer! Do not Mock Thor!

        July 29, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  3. awanderingscot

    This is such a silly and specious argument to throw out it, and it almost deserves no comment. Christianity is not materialistic, that honor belongs to delusional Marxist/materialist/naturalist/atheistic/evolutionists. Even if the Vatican were leveled and all churches burned or razed Christianity would flourish. Faith cannot be destroyed by a bulldozer or explosives.

    July 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
    • observer

      "Faith cannot be destroyed by a bulldozer or explosives."

      True, but logic, intelligence and reading the Bible can do that.

      July 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        That makes scot safe.

        July 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • Bob

      Fortunately, the Vatican actually is in decline, and that decline will hasten as the pope and his criminal cohorts have to pay up on some of the lawsuits against RC priests who have molested young children, and some of the senior Vatican cronies get thrown in jail for aiding and abetting crime.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:18 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Nor can it be BOUGHT by all of the wealth in the Vatican!
      But, they will keep trying regardless...

      July 28, 2014 at 10:27 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      How about that? Scot actually said something logical:

      Materialists are materialistic.

      Good job scot.

      Joking aside, I agree with you that people care way to much about religious "stuff". It's just sad that you can't point that out without attacking others.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:48 am |
    • In Santa We Trust

      wandering, Watch the documentary Holy Money – the RCC is possibly the wealthiest organization in the world and uses shell companies to hide real estate held outside the Vatican.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • Doris

        And, of course, Catholics are, in fact, Christians.

        July 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • austin929

          in fact also Doris, do you know who is truly saved?

          July 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • evidencenot

        Austin, .. saved from your imagination?........

        July 29, 2014 at 10:33 am |
  4. ausphor

    All Gods are a man made myth made to hustle the sheep, from the primitive medicine men to the soothsayers to the vicar of Christ to the top Imam it is all man made bullsh!t Get over yourselves there are no GODS, they are all fiction, GROW up and let us all live in peace without ridiculous religions.

    July 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
    • austin929

      Galatians 2:17 ►

      17But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid

      Jesus Christ is the authentic expression of God in human form. The Word of God is His guide.

      Religion is not the goal. nor is a piece of dirt. Rather, a personal relationship with the one true God of the all things.

      July 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
      • Bob

        Austin, the whole Jesus-sacrifice thing is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        July 28, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • austin929

          How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla?

          how is it that the people wanted to kill Jesus? is that an issue that you understand personally? you see.............evil is the problem we face. And people wanted to kill Israel because God spoke through them, the chosen priestly nation. and so really you are naturally at WAR, with God because you tolerate the evil within.

          And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers.

          Jesus was the final sacrifice, and you can start to understand the tradition with Israel, RISING UP OUT OF BONDAGE, through the original passover. The blood of the Lamb, set those people apart. And God allowed them to to get there in the first place.

          I think that the reason that God allowed them to get there, was because of the sin from Adam, God had to make Israel who they were through all the trials, and all the times He saved them supernaturally , as a testimony to the fact that God is the only savior, and He alone is capable of ...........

          forgiving Bob for his wayward will and disobedience.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Bob

          No, Austin, you haven't answered the questions. Your response just dodges and dodges.

          Again, the whole Jesus-sacrifice thing is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being, your vengeant ass hole in the sky, couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla?

          And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

          Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 29, 2014 at 12:04 am |
  5. john362

    Come on folks...let's remember one very important fact: Jonah IS A CHARACTER FROM A FAIRY TALE. No one can argue that Jonah actually got swallowed by a whale and keep a straight face. These are just fairy tale characters who people 2000 years ago made up to fill in the truths they had yet to know.
    If you really believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale you need intensive psychiatric help IMMEDIATELY!

    July 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • ausphor

      I was about 11 years old when my buddy Mike and I, told are Sunday school teacher that the bible stories were silly, unbelievable. Thankfully my dad said that if is what I thought I would not have to go to church again (my mom was not impressed). Religion is fantasy, a very profitable fantasy/scam, that those that perpetuate the scam live off of, bling.

      July 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • jbhollen

      John362 – although you are correct that Jonah is a fairy tail I am unsure what difference that makes. The very foundation of this religion is based on a talking snake. Without this vocal serpent there is no original sin and no need for crucifixion. The tales of Noah (plagiarized from Gilgamesh), Jonah, Adam and Moses are all fairy tales but as long as children are indoctrinated at a young age and taught the fear and guilt of this dogma, we will continue to produce otherwise rational adults who are willing to hate and kill in its defense.

      July 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • austin929

        Hey JB, how are you going to relate a talking snake to the fact that Satan was the most beautiful Angel of Light?

        and so since he was the angel of light first, what do think it is that we can as.sume about the serpent?

        What was the spiritual reality to the evil attack, the temptation, that attack with the intent to destroy?

        do you think Satan was just a gardner snake?

        July 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • austin929

          if you go to genesis ch 6, or the new testament you will see that the demons entered pigs. And that they were mingling in the DNA of mankind to pervert our genetic make up.

          could it be that Satan had inhabited a reptilian creature, or a reptilian hybrid of a human being? Satan was also referrred to as a dragon.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Austin929 – I have no bloody idea what you are talking about. I made a earlier comment about lots of words and no underlying meaning. You are a great example. Sorry if that stings but it's true.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • austin929

          JB, Satan is a little more complex than a cartoon of a talking snake. OK., He was created as the most powerful and beautiful angel of light.

          Satan is a cunning spiritual might. and the "snake" is irrelevant. The story is about satanic temptation and the choice to give in to deceit.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Austin929 – You can try to spin it anyway you want, but scripture says there was a talking snake. It is a dangerous path for you to declare some of the bible not literal and other parts literal. If that was the argument I would jump right to the resurrection being a metaphor.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Austin929 – are you really using devil analogies to convince an atheist that the Jonah tale is true?

          July 27, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • Woody

          "Satan is a little more complex than a cartoon of a talking snake" – austin929

          Satan is a fictional character, much like his fictional nemesis, the Abrahamic god. They're both based on ancient legends created by primitive, supersti.tious people, who believed every lighting bolt, earth tremor, occasional comet or any other frightening event, was a sign from a being who resided somewhere in the sky. It's difficult to believe that people in the 21st Century, still embrace such nonsense. Albert Einstein once made the statement: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Thank you for your contribution to the verification of Mr.Einstein's hypothesis.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          austin: when exactly did god create angels? i know all of genesis and nowhere in there is anything mentioned during his 6 days of work god creating angels.
          how is it that lucifer (light bringer) made to represent a serpent?
          why doesn't it just say lucifer/devil/satan instead of serpent?
          how did lucifer get into god's holy garden?
          wouldn't a perfect god have thought of how to keep him out?

          why is it god just didn't give humans knowledge to begin with, then they wouldn't have been tricked into eating the fruit to get knowledge to begin with.

          you do realize that denying humans knowledge means god wanted ignorant puppets to play with.

          long story short, god didn't create angels so angels couldn't have attempted to over throw god thus no original sin thus it's all a lie.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:41 am |
        • Rynomite

          I think the most important take away from the Genesis story is that the talking snake is actually the hero.

          On one hand we have a cruel god (plenty of evidence of this throughout the bible) that creates two puppet beings for his own amusement and does not provide them with knowledge so they are essentially little more than the equivalent of "special" children. On the other hand, we have a nice talking snake that sees the state of these poor beings and gives them knowledge.

          The snake is the hero of mankind.

          July 29, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • jbhollen

          Rynomite – don't reply to Austin929. He is a troll and just baiting people.

          July 29, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • believerfred

      john362
      "If you really believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale you need intensive psychiatric help IMMEDIATELY!"
      =>Belief in truth of Jonah and the Big Fish is considered normal and never cause by itself for psychiatric help any more than belief intelligent life erupted out of a rock by simply adding 14 billion years. 14 billions years + inorganic matter = man is poor math at best

      July 27, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
      • ausphor

        fred
        That is a truely ignorant statement, carry on.

        July 27, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          Neither belief is an accepted cause to admit anyone into psychiatric care.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • believerfred

          Tell me which is the most ignorant belief and what evidence you have

          July 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Fred – per my previous post, belief in evolution is supported by huge amounts of evidence. Even in the unlikely event that it is someday proven wrong, believing in something based on evidence is not irrational. Believing that someone lived for three days in the belly of a fish without any evidence to support it is irrational. For the record, do you believe the Jonah story is literally true?

          July 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          In the beginning. certain conditions provided primitive life to be created by chemical conditions (see life created at volcanic vents, the same process was possible billions of years ago). So we now only have to deal with evolution, no god guy/girl need take credit, zero man made creation myths, none of them are credible/make sense. We are star stuff and will end up star stuff, grow up no GODS required.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          Not one single component of evolution offers any scientific support for inorganic matter out of a singularity becoming organic matter yet alone intelligent life. To the contrary the overwhelming evidence works against such an eventuality as 14 billion years is not sufficient time to reduce probabilities of existence itself within reason absent some construct such as multiverse which is wholly unsupported. Inorganic matter into life is an unsupported speculation absent intelligent agent (scientists forcing compounds under conditions unknown to exist in the natural)

          The story of Jonah works carries its message which is not dependent on a figurative or literal understanding. This is the Divine nature of the story of Jonah as with all the books of the Bible. It is one of my favorite stories of the Bible. Nineveh was saved by the words of Jonah (testimony) as they heard the words, repented and followed God. A long time later this is how Jesus said it is done. To this very day this is how people are saved, exactly.
          Many have had to spend 3 days in the belly of a whale before they could hear God, many complain to God when its hot then complain when God sends a worm to eat the only tree that brought relief.
          Your view about the Big Fish is a warning to you that you judge the things of God based on your presuppositions (bias) not reality as it is.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          OMG you open your story of creation the same as the Bible. "In the beginning".....and then you begin to create a speculative story line that has the same amount of acceptable evidence as Genesis. In the beginning certain conditions is really a whole lot better. Sorry that is a fail as science does not know and does not have any falsifiable ideas.
          I agree we have done a good job filling in the rabbit hole of evolution and I do not doubt most of it. Problem is that nothing down that rabbit hole address your belief about abiogenesis.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Fred – you can't argue that organic material occurred because we are here, evolved from the earliest life forms. We can argue if it was magic or some natural process. Since natural processes abound and belief in magic is, well, ignorant, the smart money is on a yet undefined natural process. To think that anything we have not figured out yet has to be magic is the height of arrogance.

          Back to the fish story, your post rambles and is generally not intelligible. Are you saying that peope have to spend three days in a fish to find god?

          July 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • austin929

          the sly insults are exactly the way Christ was treated. They mocked Him. was that true?

          July 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          I responded below. However, if you have not read it lately give Jonah a chance and read it as someone struggling to understand life when we refuse the way of God.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Fred – you can spin it anyway you want. Scripture says that Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and he lived in it for three days. Jesus said that he would be in the ground three days and nights as Jonah was in the body of the whale. Are you now saying that this was not literal. but instead a metaphor?

          July 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          You take your 3 day quote out of context:…41"The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42"The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
          =>You don't get it, you are not listening just as the skeptics around Jesus from the verse you quoted did not get it.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
      • jbhollen

        Fred – we need to keep things factual in these discussions or we are all just making noise. No one ever said that life sprang from rock 14 billion years ago. The earth is only 4.5 billion years old and first cellular life appeared about 3.6 billion years ago. As far as intelligent life, that happened somewhere between 200 thousand and 3 million years ago depending on how you look at it.

        Comparing belief in life on earth and belief that someone was swallowed by a big fish and lived after three days in its digestive tract doesn't make sense. We know the former is true as we are here. We can be pretty sure the later is false as it is just root supportable that someone could live for three days in the digestive juices of a big fish, without air, and live to tell about it.

        So back to the question. Who more likely has psychological issues? Someone who believes that life appeared and started evolving billions of years ago due to a plethora of evidence or someone who takes the Jonah tale literally because they just know?

        July 27, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "life appeared and started evolving billions of years ago due to a plethora of evidence" – JBHollen

          – what imaginary evidence is there that proves life sprang forth from inorganic matter? this is foolish hypotheses not based on fact, no evidence whatsoever.
          – evidence for natural selection causing speciation? where is it? it does not exist. absolutely no transitional forms in the fossil record as evidence. Darwinists are fond of trotting out Tiktaalik as being a transitional form but this nonsense since the 246-million-year-old Sphingopus footprints found in Poland predate the Tiktaalik by millions of years.
          – bird and bat wings also disprove the fallacy of evolution and appear in the fossil record already developed. the notion that wings remained useless for millions, perhaps billions of years yet in an unpurposely way evolved into wings useful for flying is absurd. likewise the avian lung could not and would not have developed over millions or billions of years remaining useless.
          – similar arguments for irreducible complexity also exist for other organs in organic life that cannot be explained by evolution.
          – evolution is complete and utter nonsense once one begins to understand it is not a hard science and not observable, testable, or repeatable. it is a myth.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • jbhollen

          awanderingscot – you are just regurgitating creationist dogma that doesn't hold up in fact. I am not going to go through it all again. Look it up.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Scotty..there are various hypotheses on how life started, no one knows for sure..could have been sneezed into existence by an alien goat?..you are mixing up Abiogenesis with Evolution as is usual with creationists.. You still, of course, have the elephant in the room as to where god came from and who made him/.. and why would he she or it have a s-ex if he she or it does not procreate except with an unsuspecting married human women.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
      • believerfred

        jbhollen
        "The earth is only 4.5 billion years"
        =>the elements necessary for life did not originate on earth they originated at some point after singularity and we do not know when that was. There is some speculation that base carbons were ejected out of a Neutron star but that is pure speculation. If life came out of inorganic matter it came somewhere after singularity which was about 14 billion years ago. Life requires a given time and space which began at singularity and according to the current consensus of a no boundary landscape borrowed energy from the gravitational field created matter. We are talking about matter when we speak of the natural. The singularity is being pushed back and last I herd it is now 15 billion.

        "first cellular life appeared about 3.6 billion years ago."
        =>cellular life is not the same as origin or molecular structures of life.

        "As far as intelligent life, that happened somewhere between 200 thousand and 3 million years ago depending on how you look at it."
        =>this is speculation but I will accept the time frame you mention as a possibility with my personal vote going to Homo heidelbergensis about 600k years ago.

        " We know the former is true as we are here."
        =>if you can prove we are only animal and nothing exists outside of the natural physical existence.

        "three days in the digestive juices of a big fish, without air, and live to tell about it."
        =>We cannot account for the supernatural with tools limited to or by the natural. In short you are correct in that we cannot account for such a possible survival although we can account for such a large fish. It is a miraculous account. When doctors tell me certain outcomes were miraculous skeptics will account for the miracle as anything but answer to prayer. This is where I stand on the Big Fish, it is the story about a miracle (salvation, Jonah) no matter how you slice it.

        So back to the question. Who more likely has psychological issues? Someone who believes that life appeared and started evolving billions of years ago due to a plethora of evidence or someone who takes the Jonah tale literally because they just know

        July 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • jbhollen

          believerfred
          jbhollen
          "The earth is only 4.5 billion years"
          =>the elements necessary for life did not originate on earth...
          ***> Yes, we are all made of stardust. That was not the topic. It was evolution of life on earth.

          "first cellular life appeared about 3.6 billion years ago."
          =>cellular life is not the same as origin or molecular structures of life.
          ***> I did not say it was.

          " We know the former is true as we are here."
          =>if you can prove we are only animal and nothing exists outside of the natural physical existence.
          ***> you are the one embracing magic and the supernatural. Burden of proof is on you.

          "three days in the digestive juices of a big fish, without air, and live to tell about it."
          miracle as anything but answer to prayer. This is where I stand on the Big Fish, it is the story about a miracle (salvation, Jonah) no matter how you slice it.
          ***> Once again we come to magic. Burden of proof is on you. An unlikely medical recovery is nothing but beating some long odds. No more magic than hitting the lotto. Efficacy of prayer has been disproven.

          So back to the question. Who more likely has psychological issues? Someone who believes that life appeared and started evolving billions of years ago due to a plethora of evidence or someone who takes the Jonah tale literally because they just know
          ***> I could not help but notice you didn't answer this question.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          " you are the one embracing magic and the supernatural. Burden of proof is on you."
          =>no, it is your claim that evolution accounts for existence of intelligent life not my claim. You do not get a free pass unless you are Greek. You cannot do what auspor does and just wave your hand and point to a non proven origin. There is no evidence that basic proteins can form without the direct manipulation of an intelligent agent (man) or that subsequent mutations carry code other than normal chemical bonds in the beginning of the first cellular structures.
          =>abiogenesis and evolution are different, you do not get a free pass to claim evolution is an extension of abiogenesis.

          " An unlikely medical recovery is nothing but beating some long odds. No more magic than hitting the lotto. Efficacy of prayer has been disproven.
          =>it not scientifically possible to create a blind study regarding prayer or the answer to prayer. I suggest you stick with demands that God regrow the legs of amputees.

          "I could not help but notice you didn't answer this question."
          =>I said the story was about the miraculous, is that not the answer you were looking for?

          July 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • jbhollen

          jbhollen
          ” you are the one embracing magic and the supernatural. Burden of proof is on you.”
          =>no, it is your claim that evolution accounts for existence of intelligent life not my claim. You do not get a free pass unless you are Greek. You cannot do what auspor does and just wave your hand and point to a non proven origin. There is no evidence that basic proteins can form without the direct manipulation of an intelligent agent (man) or that subsequent mutations carry code other than normal chemical bonds in the beginning of the first cellular structures.
          =>abiogenesis and evolution are different, you do not get a free pass to claim evolution is an extension of abiogenesis.
          ***> Apparently you have inside knowledge that abiogenesis played no role in the appearance of life. So no pass for you. Did you wave your hand to prove this out? Sarcasm aside, there are a number of theories regarding the appearance of life including proving that amino acids can be spontaneously created. You can look them up yourself. I haven't and don't think I have in the past said that I know how life started. What I have said is that it was likely a natural process as most things are. If it wasn't, it is more likely that aliens planted the seed of life versus a magical and mystical deity. Even if you could disprove evolution as a whole scientifically, what makes you think your brand of mysticism wins?

          ” An unlikely medical recovery is nothing but beating some long odds. No more magic than hitting the lotto. Efficacy of prayer has been disproven.
          =>it not scientifically possible to create a blind study regarding prayer or the answer to prayer. I suggest you stick with demands that God regrow the legs of amputees.
          ***> There have been many studies, the most interesting by the Templeton Foundation. (following credited to Aaron Gardner) The study was double-blind and used a control group. Two groups were chosen, one of which were prayed for and the other which was not, but neither were told which group they were in. A third group served as a control were prayed for and told this.

          After 2.4 million dollars invested from the Templeton Foundation and 2.3 million invested from the federal government, here are the results:

          More people (59%) in the control group suffered more complications than in the groups who did not know if they were being prayed for (51%).
          18% of those in the uninformed prayer group suffered major complications (including heart attack) as compared to 13% in the group that did not receive prayers.

          How is this not a credible study? Lastly, if your deity has already determined what is going to happen until the end of time, where do you get off praying to it and asking that it change the unchangeable?

          “I could not help but notice you didn’t answer this question.”
          =>I said the story was about the miraculous, is that not the answer you were looking for?
          ***> Sure. Imagine my surprise – it"s magic.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          "How is this not a credible study?"
          =>Although the populations of the control group were statistically significant and they did the best that could be expected in setting up the three groups there is no way to measure the prayer process or depth of spiritual involvement. Prayer does not work this way in particular when researchers give minimum prayer phrases that must be used in prayer.
          Prayer is very personal and more of deep communication with God where our will is brought into recognition with the will of God. Prayer and life is not about getting goodies or desires and perfect health. Christians die and become diseased like the rest of the population. Prayer is mostly the overflow of joy and thanksgiving in the blessings God has provided and requests for others is in context of worship and praise. Yes, we ask for healing but that is secondary to the blessings of being in the presence of God.

          "where do you get off praying to it and asking that it change the unchangeable?":
          =>only God knows what is best we do not. We enter into the will of God, God does not join into our will for the other person.

          “I could not help but notice you didn’t answer this question.”
          =>I said the story was about the miraculous, is that not the answer you were looking for?
          ***> Sure. Imagine my surprise – it"s magic.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • jbhollen

          Fred, I am going to make an assumption that if the prayer study proved the efficacy of prayer instead of the other way around this would be a different discussion. The Templeton foundation who ran the study should understand the dynamics of prayer and get it right. One thing I still do not understand. If a omniscient deity knows everything that has happened and has planned exactly everything that will happen, why would believers pray to it for a specific outcome to some event like a loved ones surgery, when the outcome is predestined and cannot change? In the case of the christian god, he is jealous and vengeful. Is there not danger of setting him off by asking for something that is not part of his plan?

          >

          July 28, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          scratch the last paragraph it is a duplicate.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:42 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Actually there are do.c.umented verified reports of humans being swallowed by large fish and living to tell about it. Although, one guys skin was stained for the rest of his life as a result. I've posted them here a couple of times when discussions about Jonah have come up. If you want a link or two, let me know.

      July 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
      • jbhollen

        Robert Brown – the table stakes are being in a fish for 3 days. I'll bite. Send me your proven story's of humans being swallowed whole for three days and then spit out alive.

        July 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Here is the most well known incident, except Jonah of course. Enjoy,

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bartley

          July 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Robert Brown – Did you read your own reference? The first sentence calls it an urban legend. No more provable than Jonah.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • LaBella

          That's a lovely urban legend. Lots of fun. 15 hours=/= 72 hours, but a fun story nonetheless.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
    • austin929

      yep, he was swallowed by a whale and un believers mocked the idea of Nineveh being a real place. the whale is more believable than the resurrection, and i have the presence of the supernatural spirit in my life.

      your life is a testimony to the Word of God and the creator redeemer, and the fact that you choose darkness over the light of the truth. Christianity and the new testament is a message of freedom, and you are free to reject the messiah.

      He is faithful.

      July 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
    • austin929

      I find that also absurd because all you have to do is turn to CNN and read about "Israel" and you can be sure that Abraham and Moses, and the prophets, as well as Christ are not mythology.

      Jesus Christ has supernatural claim and stake in the Word of God. And The Word is alive!

      July 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • jbhollen

        Austin929 – I watch the news on Israel, read the blogs both pro and con and read what is out there. I have not seen any evidence in all the data I have seen that supports any Christian mythology, magic or supernatural beings.

        July 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • austin929

          oh really? people read a book and they just cant stop killing each other? even the pseudo anti christ fakes kill others for their claim?
          is that the NATURAL, effect of a BOOK?, OR IS THAT SUPERNATURALLY EVIL?

          you say "there is no evidence" but could the fact be that your stubborn perception rejects spiritual reality, and the Prince of Peace who says "love and forgive"

          July 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • austin929

          read Isaiah 53. that is data that is evidence as well that the bible is prophetic and that Christ supernaturally fulfilled that prophecy.

          your choice is to perceive that it cant be real. but the truth is that that quite possibly is absolute proof .

          July 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Ok JBHollen, what was the mechanism called that caused life to spring forth from inorganic matter? can't call it evolution now can you? how did that work?

          July 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • jbhollen

          awanderingscot – Ok. That's a bit random given the post was in response to your "CNN coverage of Israel equals proof if god".
          Regarding the origin of life, there is no solid answer yet although there are a few theory's. But just because we don't know for sure yet doesn't mean your mythical magic had anything to do with it. If it was not a natural process, the theory that aliens planted the seed is more credible than magic.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Yes JBHollen, aliens planting life here on earth is more credible than the theory of evolution which is complete and utter nonsense. It is the fervent wish of atheists to cling to any and all theories that remove them from accountability to their creator. They are delusional. There is however the hope that they will repent and reconcile with their creator.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Not what I said. Evolution is the only explanation that is backed by evidence. In the interest of discussion I opined that if evolution was somehow disproven, your mystical assertions regarding creation would not hold water against the alien theory. The fact that we exist sets a precedent that others could exist on other planets. As loose as this hypothesis is, it is still miles ahead of the concept that it"s all magic.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:07 am |
    • Vic

      You are simply examining Biblical accounts, that involve belief in supernatural acts by God, by mere empirical means of the natural realm; that approach is invalid and has no bearing on the veracity of those accounts. We are not claiming those were natural events.

      July 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
      • G to the T

        But even if the events themselves are supernatural in origin, their effects occur here in the mundane world and we can analyze those effects. Saying "it's a miracle" isn't an answer, it's a placeholder.

        July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  6. austin929

    d. 21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

    Forgiveness for the Offender

    5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

    July 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • ausphor

      Austin
      Sheep that have gone astray; had myself a dog that was damn good at keeping sheep in line, funny thing that same dog thought I was a God/master. I think your priest/pastor may think the same about you but rather than him feeding you, you feed him. So many fat priests, pastors, ministers, imams, gurus, evangelists living the high life off of the backs of the gullible, good grief. Religion is probably the second largest service industry after medicine/health. Actually medical professionals have to have some skill, religious hustlers, none at all BS baffles brains.

      July 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • jbhollen

        ... And all the money for private jets, mansions, jewelry and cars is received tax free.

        July 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
  7. truth1914

    ARMAGEDDON! The War to End All Wars
    Armageddon will accomplish something that no other war has ever accomplished—the end of all wars. Who does not yearn for the day when warfare will be a thing of the past? However, the end of war has eluded all human efforts. Such repeated failure of human attempts to end war merely emphasizes the truth of Jeremiah’s words: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) Regarding what Jehovah will accomplish, the Bible promises: “He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the wagons he burns in the fire.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.
    As the nations use their deadly weapons on one another and threaten to destroy the environment, the Maker of the earth will take action—at the Biblical Armageddon! (Revelation 11:18) This war, therefore, will accomplish what God-fearing men throughout the ages could only hope for. It will vindicate the rightful rulership of earth’s Owner, Jehovah God, over all his creation.
    Thus, Armageddon is not to be feared by people who love righteousness. Rather, it provides a basis for hope. The war of Armageddon will cleanse the earth of all corruption and wickedness and open the way for a righteous new system of things under the rule of God’s Messianic Kingdom. (Isaiah 11:4, 5) Instead of being a frightening cataclysmic end, Armageddon will signal a happy beginning for righteous individuals, who will live forever on a paradise earth.—Psalm 37:29.
    http://www.JW.org

    July 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • ausphor

      Getting a little heat here on some of my over the top ridicule, mockery or derision of any and all religious believers/delusionists, tough I will not back off. On this blog we seem to attract the fringe freak elements of the Christian lot. Where are the moderates that do believe in science and modern history? The closest we come is Dala and even he does not distance himself from some of the outrageous believers like scot, salero, Topher, Theo, et al. They stick together in some sort of mass delusion and yet declare the others are not TRUE Christians, so absurd.

      July 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • austin929

        I think that every Christian has to believe in Science to exhist.on the other hand, one born again is not born again through a set of physical facts.

        the book of Genesis is the fundamental account to the fall and the inception of sin into your DNA. now the book of Genesis is not exactly total scientific data, because the oral tradition was passed down to Moses, and the means of the book was also due to a supernatural will .

        And so as it lacks data, God's message is exactly what we need to prosper for all eternity.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          " God's message "

          How do you know, what is "gods message" , and don't say the bible...it is a work of men that make claims about "god".

          Where did god leave any message? And how do you know it was not only "god" but YOUR god?

          July 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Doris

          igaftr: "Where did god leave any message?"

          What's wrong with you, ig?? It just so happens that austin had a dream about a big flood in his area. The next morning he received a special message on his answering machine from someone advertising a special on carpet replacement...

          ("Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters")

          July 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • austin929

          ya i was thinking to myself " i wonder if they have the light in their eyes" and the next morning one of those kids came right up to me, the conduit, and said "i had a dream last night that i was going around looking in to peoples eyes to see if there was a special light in their eye to see if they were posessed or not"

          that is spiritual translation from one to the next.

          another example the same week.........i wrote down a dream that i toured a house and there was out back an above ground pool, with a deck around it and a privacy fence. and the day after that the guy next to me pulled out a piece of paper and said, i am an acrchitect and i drew this blue print of a house i want to build and it had and above ground pool out the back door,with a deck around it and a privacy fence.

          i said wait.........and i pulled out the dream i had wrote down i showed it to him.....

          his name is Sheldon Clay, and he knows that the Lord gave us both a gift to witness together.

          And while i was there in jail, i experienced many revelations of the presence of the supernatural spiritual realm.
          1 thess 5
          19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22reject every kind of evil.

          July 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          Did you not understand the question austin?

          July 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Austin dreams of stuff that he deals with in his everyday life then calls it prophecy. I don't think he's capable of comprehending an honest question.

          July 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • austin929

          no i am simply saying that i do have proof of supernatural spiritual power. could it have been a satanic trick? sure satan casts those types of seeds, but the supernatural is proof of God and it is evidence of biblical truth.

          Angels are ministering spirits. Demons are the same but deceptive. The Holy Spirit is a mediator .

          Spiritual gifts are listed. It is written. words of wisdom, knowledge, prophecies. ect. and discerning the of the spirits is also a gift.

          July 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • jbhollen

          That is great news. Please tell me where all these supernatural wonders may be seen so that we can prove them to the world and Christianity can reign supreme over all other religions.

          July 27, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          Did you get taken in by that web site that said you could add an inch or two to your anatomy? Soldier on pal, your momma is never going to be impressed by the result.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • igaftr

          "but the supernatural is proof of God and it is evidence of biblical truth."

          No it most certainly is not. There is no logic that could lead you to that.

          First off, there is no evidence of any "supernatural", so is proof of nothing.
          If you could prove the "supernatural " to exist, it still is not proof of any god.
          If you could show the supernatural to exist, and god to exist, it is still not evidence that anything in the bible is true.

          your statement is false on several levels...nice job in the worst logic ever displayed.

          July 28, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Yes Ausphor, we do believe in science such as physics, chemistry, etc. What we don't believe in is the utterly complete nonsense that inorganic matter and energy can randomly and by itself organize into life, evolution is helpless to explain the mechanism this can make this happen. evolution and materialism are a myth designed for unintelligent people.

        July 27, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • jbhollen

          awanderingscot – In your two sentence response below you made at least one punctuation, two capitalization and two grammatical errors in an effort to comment on "unintelligent" peoples beliefs. Is this lost on you are do you see the irony?

          "Yes Ausphor, we do believe in science such as physics, chemistry, etc. What we don’t believe in is the utterly complete nonsense that inorganic matter and energy can randomly and by itself organize into life, evolution is helpless to explain the mechanism this can make this happen. evolution and materialism are a myth designed for unintelligent people."

          July 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          this is a blog ... not an English paper.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Sorry bud. If you take the high road and talk down to the "unintelligent", as counterintuitive as that may be, you are going to be expected to possess basic language skills.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          so is it gradualism or punctuated equilibrium? is it saltation or tiny mutations? and what about the eye? can 5% of an eye really see? can half a wing really fly or even glide? how would that be helpful in natural selection, could a half a wing really help to escape from a predator? could it help to climb a tree? evolution is complete utter nonsense and you know it.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I'm 95% certain that scotty is a troll. If he's not, he is a very obtuse individual, happily displaying his ignorance on this blog.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering, Do you have any evidence for creationism?

          July 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          "so is it gradualism or punctuated equilibrium?"
          Yes

          "Can 5% of an eye really see?"
          Yes – and better than one with only 4%. You don't by any chance wear glasses do you?

          "can half a wing really fly or even glide?" – Yes

          "how would that be helpful in natural selection, could a half a wing really help to escape from a predator?"
          Yes

          "could it help to climb a tree?"
          No – but it could allow it to fall out of a tree a bit further than it's neighbors and still survive.

          July 29, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • evidencenot

          snotty is embarrassing himself again..........

          July 29, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • Løki

      The blissful stupidity of religion never ceases to amuse me...

      July 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • jbhollen

        ...and they can use so many words to say absolutely nothing.

        July 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • evidencenot

          They love their twisted definition word salads. It's obvious desperation.

          July 29, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And exactly how many times has your cult been wrong with their predictions? More than a few. Good luck with that.

      July 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • truth1914

        Despite your disbelief and mocking God still wants you to have a chance for everlasting life.

        John 3:16 and 17:3

        July 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Gosh. Thanks. I've never read those verses before. Im saved now. Just baptized myself in the jacuzzi.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Enjoy your apocolyptic death cult.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • truth1914

          Armageddon is not a bad thing. It cleanses the Earth of pain and suffering once for all time and allows righteous mankind to flourish an the meek to inherit the earth.

          July 28, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • jbhollen

          I often hear on the blog "why don't you just go away – christianity isn't hurting anything". The answer to this lies in comments like from truth1914 that Armageddon (the end of the world) is not a bad thing but something to look forward to. People who believe this tripe aspire to be government officials and even President. Michelle Bachman who aspires to be President says she is ready and can't wait for the end of the world. A person this deluded, as many christians are, would have no problem pushing the nuclear button in times of strife because after all, they are just acting as the hand of god. So that is why I am vocal and that is why I will never go quiet. I don't want to see nuclear holocaust to feed someones deluded fantasies.

          July 28, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          Don't mistake their making fun of you with making fun of God. You really DO think a lot of yourself, don't you little boy?...

          July 28, 2014 at 6:37 am |
        • truth1914

          Not at all. True Christians don't take rejection of God and his message to heart. We simply do as his son told us which is to shake the dust from our feet and move on to hopefully the nest will soul.

          July 28, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • jbhollen

          ...the nest will soul'?

          July 28, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Armageddon is not a bad thing."

          Of course it isn't...if you are a member of an apocolyptic death cult it is a good thing. That is exactly my point.

          Your organization has been demonstrably wrong many times, what are the chances they are wrong about that?

          July 28, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          "Armageddon is not a bad thing. It cleanses the Earth of pain and suffering once for all time and allows righteous mankind to flourish an the meek to inherit the earth."

          And it only kills off all those billions of Evil People you don't like, so why are those Eeebil Heathernz(tm) complaining, right theocrat?...

          July 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • truth1914

          True Christian love everone just not the conduct that is displeasing to God

          July 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Right. Tell it to the health clinic doctors that were gunned down.

          July 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • truth1914

          you'd have to explain further

          July 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Thruth1914 – I was referring to the 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 assaults, 3 kidnappings, 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings and arsons, 1630 cases of trespass, 1264 cases of vandalism and 655 bio-terror threats all directed at women's health clinics in the spirit of christian love.

          July 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • truth1914

          Yes false Christianity is misguided. They have gone well beyond what is righteous and they will answer for their lack of love and faith.

          This is what true Christianity practices: Galatians 5: 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • jbhollen

          The bible is rife with hate, anger and death penalties for as small an infraction as talking back to your parents. You don't get to ignore all of that. The people who kill doctors, attack gays and want muslims dead are acting that way with the full backing of scripture. You are a classic "cherry picker" who disregards the scripture that is inconvenient or contradictory to your current frame of mind.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • truth1914

          Not at all my friend. This is what true Christianity believes at Matthew 5:43-47 “You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor+ and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies+ and to pray for those who persecute you,+ 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens,+ since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.+ 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have?+ Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing

          July 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • jbhollen

          thuth1914 – your cherry picking. The bible is full of hatred, misogyny, slavery, murder and more. You just regurgitate the parts that are fed to you. Read the whole thing.

          July 28, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • truth1914

          I have read it in its entirety. But I also understand why God did many of the things that you call atrocities. I don't have time to go over all of them with you but if you would like I can give you some information that might help. Otherwise there are others who want to get to know God and I need to address them. I hope you find some peace.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Convenient that you can't discuss because you have to spread gods love. Let's grab some low hanging fruit. Rationalize god's love with the bibles condoning slavery.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • truth1914

          I truly hope you find some peace.

          July 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • jbhollen

          I meant you're, not your.

          July 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • truth1914

          I have read it in its entirety. But I also understand why God did many of the things that you call atrocities. I don't have time to go over all of them with you but if you would like I can give you some information that might help. Otherwise there are others who want to get to know God and I need to address them. I hope you find some peace.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Disregard my last post. You can't be for real. The sad thing is that your caricature of a Christian nut job is not that far from the truth.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I can't imagine anything more dreary than everlasting life. Really. This life is enough for me.

          Plus, I can't imagine anything more selfish than allowing another person to be tortured to death for your crimes, just because you're afraid to be punished yourself. And then you expect to be rewarded for your cowardice. Crazy.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • truth1914

          Who said anything about torture? Understanding God's sense of justice and love lets us know that no one will ever be tortured.

          July 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • igaftr

          "True Christian love everone just not the conduct that is displeasing to God"

          As if you knew what is displeasing to god. ALl you have is a book where MEN make claims about god, but no evidence anywhere that they are even close to correct.

          You are attempting to speak for god, claim to know what it wants, but you really have no idea. Your book carries no authority unless you choose to want to believe it, especially since there is not a single shred of eveidence of any of the supernatural claims of the bible.

          July 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • truth1914

          There is more than enough proof in the historical accuracy of God's word and even prophecy of our time is evidence.

          I guess we will have to agree to disagree

          July 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          belief1914
          "There is more than enough proof in the historical accuracy of God's word "

          SO you are saying the bible is right because it says so in the bible....got it...delusion.

          By the way, the bible has severe inaccuracies as well as a few historically accuracte things.
          Harry Potter took place in England, which exists, so that means the world of Harry Potter is real....that is exactly what you are saying.

          There is NO EVIDENCE ANYWHERE of any of the supernatural claims, and isn't that what is the most important?..for instance, the whole resurrection thing...no evidence anywhere that that myth is accurate even slightly, and without it, christianity ceases to exist. You choose to delude yourself that your book is true...it is still the works of men, no gods involved as far as any can see.
          To try to claim your book has any authority simply because YOU believe it is nonsense. I see it for what it is...man made propoganda...nothing more.

          July 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • truth1914

          2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • G to the T

          "2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit."

          Ironic since you're quoting 2nd Peter – which most textual critics agree wasn't written by Peter.

          July 29, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • igaftr

          belief1914
          Gosh...thanks for another quote from MEN.
          Pointless really as a reply, quoting men once again. Do you have anything showing this is something more than another work by men? anything at all?
          Claiming your book is some sort of authority, without showing this god of yours to exist, is ridiculous.

          July 29, 2014 at 10:27 am |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      And this post from 1914 is exactly why society cannot tolerate political power in the hands of theocrats of ANY stripe. Does anyone who has read this post doubt for even a nanosecond that if 1914 had the political power to do so, he would be pushing the nuclear button to set off this Armageddon he is creaming himself over?...

      July 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • truth1914

        Despite your disbelief and mocking God still wants you to have a chance for everlasting life.

        John 3:16 and 17:3

        It's all about salvation and the sanctification of His name.

        July 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          You mistake, 1914. I'm not mocking God. I'm mocking YOU. Whether or not God exists, YOU are the one creaming your figurative jeans for "the end of the age," which makes clear to many of us that you would love to see that final Armageddon battle play out in real life...

          July 28, 2014 at 6:28 am |
        • truth1914

          Yes true Christianity wants God to sanctify his name in all the earth but we just like Him don't want to see anyone destroy but wish all would submit to his will.
          His will being that we exercise righteousness towards each other in love according to His will.

          July 28, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          "Yes true Christianity wants God to sanctify his name in all the earth but we just like Him don't want to see anyone destroy but wish all would submit to his will."

          And hey, if a few billion people die in horrible agony, as long as you have your ticket punched for Heaven (at least you hope so), it's all good to you, right skippy?...

          July 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • truth1914

          Our assignment is to present his message earthwide, not to judge anyone. If you listen then and act on what you have learned then your reward will be great. John 17:3 Matt. 28:19, 20

          July 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          belief1914
          "your reward will be great"

          ahhh, so that's why you do it...the great reward for obedience ( to the words of men).
          That is an empty promise, since no one can show this "reward" exists either. Baseless belief...nothing more.

          July 29, 2014 at 10:34 am |
      • awanderingscot

        or atheists like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the worst mass murderers in history.

        July 27, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • jbhollen

          awanderingscot – Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot may have been atheists but they did not do what they did in the name of atheism, whereas Christians have been slaughtering people throughout history in the name of, and because of their god.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          And not one of them desired to literally END THE WORLD in order to fulfill a prophecy of their ideology, skippy; they committed their murderous acts to further political power that they had to be alive to enjoy. Tell me, do you drag out Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot EVERY time someone points out the RWNJ "Christian" propensity for mass destruction in the name of Gawd 'n the Little Baybee Jayzus(tm)?...

          July 28, 2014 at 6:34 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          According to the bible, your god is the worst mass murderer of all time – not only the flood but the battles and all those random "acts of god".

          July 29, 2014 at 10:37 am |
    • awanderingscot

      And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:11 – we do not fear because we are sanctified and justified

      For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – the Lord will not send an angel, He will come himself.

      Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. – 1 Thessalonians 4:17 – we will be raptured before Armageddon.

      July 27, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
      • evolveddna

        Scott.. as i mentioned to Truth who also thinks your god chappy is about to descend..you are caught up in the fact that things appear worse because of communications today..

        July 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
      • truth1914

        True a relatively small number of faithful ones do have a heavenly reward but the vast majority of mankind will live on earth fulfill God's original purpose for the Earh.
        (Rev. 14)
        Jesus said that the meek other sheep will inherit the earth. Matt. 5:5 John 10:16 "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd"

        July 28, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • Bob

          quack1914, while you are quoting from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's have a look at some of the horrid guidances in there purportedly from your horrid sky fairy "god". From both foul testaments, and note the comments following after the quotes:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 28, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • truth1914

          You would really need to study the bible and pray for understanding on all of these scriptures.
          Remember 1 John 4:8 God is love, and everything that he has done in the past is governed by love

          July 28, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • igaftr

          "You would really need to study the bible "

          Now you are telling someone else what they need?

          No one NEEDS to study the bible, any more than people NEED to study the Silmarillian.

          July 29, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • truth1914

          John 17:3

          July 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • jbhollen

          truth1914 – Your response to igaftr's question regarding studying the bible makes no sense. Your response was "John 17:3" which is random and has nothing to do with his question. I'll take a shot at answering it though. In discussions or arguments with christians it gives a decided edge. Why? Because 99% of christians haven't read it. Most can tell you about John 3:16 (but still not quote it) or Jonah or the story of the adulteress (which was a 5th century forgery/addition to the bible) but that is about it.

          Lastly, I hope that I can convince others to read the whole ugly and bloody thing, not just the predigested feel-good parts. I have heard more than one Atheist explain his/her departure from christianity explaining that they had finally read the whole thing and realized it is just a jumble of lists, 2000 year old laws, contradictory gospels and plagiarized myths from from predated religions and folklore. If I can play just a small role in such a departure it will make my day.

          July 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Truth.. the only reason you say this is because in todays world, and especially in the last 5 years communications around the world has become almost instant.. the world has always been a violent place its just that today you hear about all of it..if you god was coming back because of" the actions of man" he had loads of epochs to have done it before this one.

      July 27, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
      • truth1914

        True the earth has been a violent place for quite some time but in this 20th and 21st century there has been an unprecedented increase in the amount and types of violence earth wide. It is also true that the media gets us this information even faster but the fact still remains that violence is exploding and that God just like in Noah’s day will indeed act to protect his servants
        Genesis 6:13 ...God said to Noah: “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, because the earth is full of violence on account of them, so I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth

        July 28, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • LaBella

          Google "is the world safer than in the past". The truth is yes.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • truth1914

      From my study of God's word I see that in most cases that sience is in line with God's word except on how things came into existence. When man thought the world was flat God's word said otherwise. It even told us that the earth was as if hanging on nothing and this is how it appears from space. No it does not give and indept study into scientific matters but it gives us what we need to know.

      July 28, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • igaftr

        "From my study of God's word "

        Where did you study that? All I see is the works of men that claim some god had something to do with it, but nowhere do I see any "gods word". Where is it?
        How do you know it is "gods word" and not just men, or even the words of Satan?

        July 28, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • truth1914

          it takes a sincere study of the bible.

          2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired of God+ and beneficial for teaching,+ for reproving, for setting things straight,* for disciplining in righteousness,+ 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          so how about the Man being created from dirt, or woman from his rib. The 6,000 year old earth. Every species of animal on one boat. The bits about unicorns, half man half goat beasts, flaming bushes, seven headed dragons, rocks that scream if you can't praise Jesus, talking snakes, donkeys and flaming foliage. All true? Was all that writing inspired by god?

          What about the racism and misogyny and slavery and brutality and murder, all inspired by god?

          July 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
  8. chubbic

    Reblogged this on Chubbic's Blog.

    July 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  9. austin929

    @alonsoquixote

    If you step on a snake in the yard, do you believe you are stepping on a descendant of the talking snake in the Garden of Eden? Christians usually conflate that talking snake with Satan, so do you believe all snakes are descendants of Satan?

    I think that Satan is not a snake. if you look at scripture, Satan was the most beautiful angel of light. I believe that Satan appeared as some sort of reptile, and that in the garden of Eden, "the serpent" was probably not like a snake at all, possibly this appearance of Satan was something of a Satanic creation or manipulation, an inhabited serpent creature with the spirit of of the devil possessing a dragon like or reptilian / alien like body.

    i have no clue, no one does. but the temptation was an attack with the intent to destroy humanity and the line of the messiah. as well as sonship of humanity with God most high.

    your next quote about the mytholgy being repeated is obvious. Satan, who was created by Christ in the beginning new that Christ was creator and redeemer. Satan knew Gods master plan the day he was created as an Angel of ;Light, before the fall. and in his evil, he fell to earth and diabolical mimicry was Satan's deceitful way of competing as a false God for worship of the caananites. His parallel cultures of false deities were copy cat ways of tearing up men's minds with lies and trickery.

    July 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • austin929

      Dragon?

      July 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      For entertainment purposes(who knows?), the omniscient omnipotent Oz, intentionally created the imperfect human for the sole purpose of eternal tourture. The real question is, why would you devote your life to such craziness?

      July 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • austin929

        because the Glory of God is your salvation and eternal life. and it is real.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          You'll never achieve total enlightenment with that at!tude.
          You'll never get into Valhalla that way either.
          You won't get a favored seat on Mt. Olympus either.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "and it is real"

          Oh my, lying for jesus now! The delusions seem to be getting worse Austin! Reconsider going back to the asylum please...you need the help!

          July 28, 2014 at 7:04 am |
      • austin929

        and life is a tough race spiritually,but you can know the glory of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

        for me, me I experience the agony of failure and I realize that I rebelled from God, I forsook obedience, He is faithful and full of grace. and He loves you too.

        Hebrews 2:4 ►

        God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will

        4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

        7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

        27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

        28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifee or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • austin929

        God did not create the humans imperfect. they were able to be deceived and then God has intervened with the problem that Satan started.

        the ultimate truth is that we are all disobedient to God's righteous law and commands. who is to blame is a deflection of the ultimate spiritual responsibility commune with a Holy God.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • G to the T

          "God did not create the humans imperfect. they were able to be deceived"

          Then we have very different definitions of "perfect".

          July 28, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • tallulah131

          Basically, christianity is the story of how god set up humans to fail, and how he will punish them forever for that failure, unless they accept having a man tortured to death for them. What a sociopathic god and what an insane religion.

          July 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      austin929, you wrote "I think that Satan is not a snake. if you look at scripture, Satan was the most beautiful angel of light. I believe that Satan appeared as some sort of reptile, and that in the garden of Eden, "the serpent" was probably not like a snake at all, possibly this appearance of Satan was something of a Satanic creation or manipulation, an inhabited serpent creature with the spirit of of the devil possessing a dragon like or reptilian / alien like body."

      In proffering that explanation to make the Yahwist's story of creation in Genesis 2 sound less like the aetiological myths one finds in many cultures, you have chosen to ignore Genesis 3:15:

      And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

      Is Yahweh instead referring to humans stepping on dragons and dragons striking humans' heels? What other reptile would you suggest is being referenced that is without legs that may have its head crushed by humans and which strikes their heels?

      Genesis 3:14 indicates Yahweh removed the creature's legs to make it crawl upon the ground:

      Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

      Do you claim that Yahweh is punishing snakes or some other other creature, because Satan took possession of the creature's body? Then why is Yahweh punishing the creature if it could not prevent Satan from doing so?

      Not all of Jewish mythology is contained within the Bible. There is a body of Jewish literature, e.g., the Aggadah, that elaborates upon the biblical stories. In the extra-biblical mythology there is a tale of how Satan enlists the aid of the serpent. E.g., from Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism by By St. Louis Howard Schwartz Professor of English University of Missouri:

      Satan said to the serpent, "Arise and come to me. I will tell you something that will serve you well." The serpent came to him and Satan said, "You are said to be wiser than all other animals. None is your equal in cunning. That is why I have come to see you."

      Now all the wild beasts, including the serpent came to worship Adam every morning. One morning Satan went with them and said to the serpent, "Why do you worship Adam? You came into being before he did. He should worship you. Come, rise up. Let us expel Adam from the Garden."

      The serpent said, "How can we expel him from the Garden?"

      Satan said, "You will be a lyre for me, and I will pronounce words through your mouth, so that you may be able to help."

      Then Satan took on the form of an angel and began to praise God with angelic phrases. Eve knelt down by the wall and listened to his prayers. When she looked at him again, he was not be seen.

      Then Satan called upon the serpent to be his mouthpiece, and the serpent came to Eve and said, "Are you Eve?"

      "Yes I am."

      What do you do in the Garden?"

      "God put us here to guard the Garden."

      "And do you eat of the trees in the Garden?"

      "Yes," said Eve. "We eat of all of them except for one tree in the very middle. God commanded us not to eat of it, lest we die."

      "No, you will not die," Satan said. "But when you eat of its fruit your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil. God deceived you when He said not to eat of it. Look at the glory that surrounds the tree."

      And when Eve looked up and saw the great glory surrounding it, she said, "The tree is pleasing to my sight, but I am afraid. If you are not afraid, bring me the fruit and I will eat, so I may know if your words are true or not."

      Then Satan made Eve swear an oath that if she ate of the fruit of the tree, she would share it with Adam. Then the serpent brought her to the tree and lowered the branches of the tree to the earth. As he held them down, Eve plucked some of the fruit and ate it. ...

      In other extra-biblical mythology, the serpent lusts after Eve, they couple, and Cain is the offspring of their union. The Legends of the Jews, which was compiled by Rabbi Louis Ginzberg (1873 – 1953), who was a Talmudist and leading figure in the Conservative Movement of Judaism of the twentieth century who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) in New York City for half a century until his death in 1953, contains a compilation of a vast amount aggadah, i.e., exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism from the Mishnah, the two Talmuds and Midrash. Rabbi Ginzerg's compilation of these ancient legends can be found at the Project Gutenberg website at gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=Louis+Ginzberg. The work spans five volumes, followed by two volumes of footnotes that give specific sources. It is freely available. The work is also freely available in MP3 format as an audiobook through Librivox, a volunteer online project to make out-of-copyright works available in audio format, at Librivox.org. In volume 1 there are additional aetiological myths besides the one regarding the serpent in Genesis 2. E.g.:

      The serpent, too, is other than it was at first. Before the fall of man it was the cleverest of all animals created, and in form it resembled man closely. It stood upright, and was of extraordinary size. Afterward, it lost the mental advantages it had possessed as compared with other animals, and it degenerated physically, too; it was deprived of its feet, so that it could not pursue other animals and kill them. The mole and the frog had to be made harmless in similar ways; the former has no eyes, else it were irresistible, and the frog has no teeth, else no animal in the water were sure of its life.

      While the cunning of the serpent wrought its own undoing, the cunning of the fox stood him in good stead in many an embarrassing situation. After Adam had committed the sin of disobedience, God delivered the whole of the animal world into the power of the Angel of Death, and He ordered him to cast one pair of each kind into the water. He and leviathan together thus have dominion over all that has life. When the Angel of Death was in the act of executing the Divine command upon the fox, he began to weep bitterly. The Angel of Death asked him the reason of his tears, and the fox replied that he was mourning the sad fate of his friend. At the same time he pointed to the figure of a fox in the sea, which was nothing but his own reflection. The Angel of Death, persuaded that a representative of the fox family had been cast into the water, let him go free. The fox told his trick to the cat, and she in turn played it on the Angel of Death. So it happened that neither cats nor foxes are represented in the water, while all other animals are. ...

      July 28, 2014 at 8:28 am |
      • igaftr

        You do realize that nearly everything you post is longer than the article you are commenting on, right?
        Do you really think people are reading all of that?

        July 28, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          igaftr

          You do realize that nearly everything you post is longer than the article you are commenting on, right?
          Do you really think people are reading all of that?

          igaftr, I replied to a posting made by austin929 who had responded to a prior reply I made to one of his postings. My posting was intended solely for him. I wanted to show him that the biblical mythology is but part of a greater body of Jewish myths and legends and that Jewish mythology is not so different from the mythologies of other cultures. I don't expect any one to just take my word that is so. My experience on this and other forums leads me to believe that posters are more likely to read material inserted into a reply to them than to follow links and read one or more articles that provide much more information. And I know that if the material is in a book it is unlikely someone will buy a book and read it just because I say they can find the information there. I know my replies are usually lengthy, but I expect that others, like myself, are likely to discount statements that seem unsubstantiated or for which the source on which they are basing their claims can not be corroborated, so I do often insert a substantial amount of text and also a reference to a source, should the person actually be willing to read more on a topic.

          When I reply to someone I don't give any consideration to whether any others will read the replies. I expect most people visiting the comments section will not. I don't read every comment made on an article and I don't expect most others do either, even frequent readers of articles on CNN's belief blog. And, on other forums, I've seen others post a comment no longer than my first paragraph above and have some declare they won't read such a "wall of text", so I expect most will not read lengthy replies I've posted.

          I understand that even austin929 may not read what I've posted. But I'm interested in how people maintain belief systems which to me seem illogical. I know people are far more likely to ignore evidence that contradicts beliefs they hold and focus on anything that seems to support their beliefs, but some beliefs seem to me obviously inconsistent not only with reality but to be internally inconsistent as well, so I am interested in how people will react to certain information that contradicts their beliefs and what type of mental processes allow them to maintain those beliefs. Will they simply ignore it, which I think is the most common response, or do they think they can show the information to be invalid or believe they have a strong counterargument as to why that information should be discounted. If so, I'm interested in their perspectives. I know many highly intelligent, well-educated people who in regards to their religious beliefs don't seem to apply the same analytical faculties they apply in other areas of their life and I know that it isn't always just a complete lack of awareness of evidence indicating those beliefs are false. I presume anyone posting in a public forum on religion is accepting that their beliefs may be challenged, so I'm interested in how they may respond to details rather than to someone just telling them they are wrong. And, if there are weaknesses in my own position or understanding of a topic, I expect anyone who I've disagreed with will be delighted to point them out. If they, instead, simply ignore what I've posted, I'm not dismayed. Some will.

          July 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
  10. austin929

    @tallulah131

    "But you are just another human, austin, a human who will live and die and eventually be forgotten. And there is nothing wrong with that."

    correct , I do agree with you. Daniel in the lions den, a castrated male servant, was an ordinary man. Moses who killed the egyptian, an ordinary fallen man, Jeremiah, incarcerated in a cistern, a man in an unpleasant place in life, hated by his king Zedekiah. David, a disobedient murderer and un repentant person for over a year, an average man.

    "You have chosen faith, austin, because reality isn't good enough for you. Religion lets you pretend that you are special, which makes you happy because you don't like to think of yourself as ordinary."

    Talullah, when you seek God and He lifts you up with faith, you will understand joy and yet fall victim to your own flesh. You will know what is true, yet you cant quite live up to it all the time.

    God deserves all the glory for being faithful to fallen and incapable people.
    Jesus loves you!

    July 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Austin? I'm really not interested in a god for which there is not a shred of evidence. Even if I were to lie to myself and pretend to believe in a god, I would likely chose a pantheon, because at least most if not all have female representatives.

      I have no use for your god. He is very obviously the invention of a primitive, patriarchal society. I am a self-sufficient, independent woman who lives in the modern world. I find your god to be not only repugnant, but irrelevant.

      July 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
  11. Robert Brown

    Nope, the burdan of proof is on the group making the truth claim.

    As a Christian, the only burden is to share the gospel. You can demand proof from me until the end, but I can't provide it. What you want is provided by God, not by me or any other Christian.

    I have and continue to share with those who don't believe how they can obtain faith, because it is really simple. All you really need to do is seek. Go hear the word of God preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is really your only responsibility. God will do the rest. You could start tonight. I'm confident there is a bible believing church close to where you live that will have a service at 7pm. Jesus encourages you to try him. Peace.

    July 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Apologies, that was meant as a reply to Blessed are the cheese makers.

      July 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • colin31714

      The problem with your approach is that many people, myself included, cannot accept the existence of supernatural beings based on pure faith. We require evidence. I have never seen any even remotely convincing evidence for the existence of the Judeo-Christian god.

      July 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • austin929

        colin, the way i found God was through the word of God. I first hated it, but then approached it with an honest plea to God. God is able to communicate with you, through the Holy Spirit in a sovereign way.

        July 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          What "word of god"?
          All I see is the works of men claiming to speak for god.

          There is just as much evidence that Satan had something to do with the bible as there is for your god...which is absolutley nothing.
          There is a great deal of evidence men made your book...so what "word of god"?

          July 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • colin31714

          Thanks Austin

          July 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          My kitty got squished by a bus, do you have an appropriate prayer for this situation, thanks. IN GODS NAME WE PRAISE, or whatever.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • austin929

          ausphor

          this was written in about 700 BC by the prophet Isaiah
          Surely he took up our pain
          and bore our suffering,
          yet we considered him punished by God,
          stricken by him, and afflicted.
          5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
          he was crushed for our iniquities;
          the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
          and by his wounds we are healed.
          6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
          each of us has turned to our own way;
          and the Lord has laid on him
          the iniquity of us all.

          the Messiah was crucified 700 years later on the celebration of the Passover festival, when Israel was sacrificing their passover lambs, the Son of God was slaughtered for our sins.

          this was His will as redeemer of mankind.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • ausphor

          Well goodness gracious great balls of fire Austin. My kitty of course is in kitty heaven even though he missed the litter box from time to time. As to your having no clue, who am I to argue with your most realistic pronouncement.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • austin929

          ausphor, 1400 Bc. lets go further back into the prophesy

          Leviticus 17:11New International Version (NIV)

          11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.[a]

          exodus+ 12
          Exodus 12 New International Version (NIV)
          The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread

          12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.

          12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

          DO YOU SEE HOW THEY CAME UP OUT OF THE BONDAGE OF SLAVERY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB?
          THIS IS PROPHETIC BECAUSE WE ARE FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN THROUGH CHRISTS BLOOD ON THE CROSS

          July 27, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • austin929

          Matthew 26:28 ►

          This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

          John 6:35 ►

          Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          I guess you do not have any idea of how thrilled I am of having you quote some verses from your book of silly. Forgive me if I take some time to find some quotes from The Lord of the Rings or The Harry Potter books, I do not have the benefit of 2000 years of apologist BS to draw from.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • austin929

          well, on the bright side you do have the prophetic dispensation of the word to look at, and you are also justified by Christ to have it mediated to you as truth, if you can realize that no one is worthy and able to save them self and become acceptable to a holy God by personal merit.

          It is written.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          Do you know that Taras Bulba also said "So it is written, so shall it be" Any body can make up BS that cannot be proven, get a grip or prove your nonsense; realists have been waiting that proof for centuries. Sh!t you don't even have to prove your particular delusion, prove any of the thousand gods are real, no I didn't think so. Your delusions become you.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          you know austin a lot of you and your cronies keep saying approach god with an open heart and he will prove himself; that's bull.
          i would cry out for him to stop my southern baptist grandparents from beating black and blue......you know what he never did.

          how can your god listen to the screams of helpless children and do nothing?

          you want to know why, because the same as all gods he isn't real.

          July 28, 2014 at 9:22 am |
      • Robert Brown

        God will provide you with all the evidence you need, on his terms. The bible contains a clear recipe, so to speak. God calls those to preach his word, God reveals his gospel message to those who hear the preached word by his Holy Spirit. This gives faith, brings conviction, and draws the lost to repentance and salvation.

        Now, if you gave someone a simple formula to make something, something you can share the formula for, but can't give them yours, let's call it evidence of God, and they stood back demanding you give them the evidence, while at the same time refusing to follow the formula, what would you think of them?

        July 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • austin929

          didn't honestly try their best to corageously and respectfully understand their need for God to intercede in their spiritual affair.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          RB god provided me with all the evidence I could ever possibly need, but holy sh!it it was not your Christian version of god, who would have thought there were other gods out there, bada bing bada boom.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • igaftr

          What if someone followed the "formula" and still nothing....the answer is simple. You must WANT it to be true, otherwise your mind won't convince itself.

          All you are doing is showing a psychology principle Robert. You have convinced yourself that whatever you feel, is your god. You want it to be your god, so convince yourself of it.

          I, on the other hand , am looking for truth. I did not encounter that in any religion I studied. I found propoganda, false statements, clims of the supernatrual with not one shred of evidence anywhere of such a thing, I find illogic, which is part of how the mind will convince itself of things. Everyone does it to a point, that is why science demands peer review. Religion on the other hand, uses mans ability to convince himself, and then "sharing" the info with others to bolster your own beleif ( If you convince yourself of any crazy thing, then meet someone else who believes the same thing, it bolsters your belief...but does not make the thing true.) For instance, the Loch Ness Monster...belief in that is no different than belief in "god".

          July 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • austin929

          What if someone followed the "formula" and still nothing....the answer is simple. You must WANT it to be true, otherwise your mind won't convince itself. I , on the other hand , am looking for truth."

          Igaftr, man I feel where you are coming from . I know that every sense of your body and emotions, probably actually want the bible to be just a religion. And i have been right there in that place. why cant we be free from righteous oppression to serve our every fleshly desire? well, for no other reason than God is holy and He is your father in heaven, and He wants to be with you.

          If you think about how bad Moses, David, and Paul were, all killers, then you have to understand that every spiritual life by faith, is the greatest gift that could ever be bestowed on a man. That a man would know the presence of a Holy god.

          and I am not worthy , or good and deserving. and either was Paul or Peter. But this gospel of light CAN BE REVEALED ONLY BY GOD.

          and you are NOT REQUIRED to be religious for one second. But you can cry out for the TRUTH, to come from God. and I cry out for you Igaftr. I want you to be with the savior in all truth. only if it is real.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          You claim truth...prove it.

          I know you can't. There is no evidence anywhere, but there is a great deal of evidence showing men made it up.

          What if Satan inspired your bible to get you on this path, when there is a completely different story that IS true?
          In that case, you are nothing but one of satans followers...and there is just as much showing that to be true as any nonsense you have.

          You calim it is true...then prove it or admit you BELIEVE it to be true, otherwise, you will prove you are lying.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • austin929

          igaftr, you are justified by the resurrection to receive the proof, and you are also promised by God to receive the Holy Spirit. go ahead and ask God for the seal of the Spirit. !

          John 17
          20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          24“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

          25“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made youe known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

          July 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          What resurrection?

          Without that one thing, the whole story of Jesus falls apart, and you have no evidence whatsoever of it ever actually happening.
          The alleged resurrection you mean?
          Nothing showing it ever happened.

          Save time and don't bother posting from your book. I carries no weight with me...I see it for what it is...man made stories.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • austin929

          and you have no evidence whatsoever of it ever actually happening.

          Igaftr, i truly have proof of the resurrection because the word of God is supernatural. but the burden of proof to me was not so much revealed by reading. however, my experience and evidence delivered to me personally by the Holy Spirit is a gift of faith that i cant describe to you as proof for you.

          but you are justified by the fact of the resurrection to receive and be baptized by the Holy Spirit, the mediator of the living Word.

          1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomea it.

          6There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

          9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          igaftr

          What if someone followed the "formula" and still nothing....the answer is simple. You must WANT it to be true, otherwise your mind won't convince itself.

          You aren’t in control of the most important ingredient. There are people who believe in God, but aren’t Christians. There are people who want to be Christian and have yet to be converted. The formula, so to speak, doesn’t always produce immediate results. There are people who have heard the gospel for years before they were saved. Faith is a gift from God and it is up to him when and where he gives it. He tells in his word that it is not his will that any perish. I think he knows when someone is ready and it is at that very time that he reveals himself to them. After that the next move is up to the individual. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21.

          If you believe the gospel is some mind game you play on yourself, I believe you are most sadly mistaken.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • igaftr

          And if you believe your book is anything other than the product of men, I believe it is you who are mistaken.

          To this point, there is no evidence of any of the thousands of gods men have worshipped.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • jbhollen

          igaftr – What resurrection? Without that one thing, the whole story of Jesus falls apart..

          It is more precarious than that. It ll goes back to a talking snake, without which the crucifixion wouldn't have been necessary.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Now, if you gave someone a simple formula to make something, something you can share the formula for, but can't give them yours, let's call it evidence of God, and they stood back demanding you give them the evidence, while at the same time refusing to follow the formula, what would you think of them?
          And now the circle is complete. What do you think of yourself?

          July 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          Jb.
          The evidence suggests that there was a lot of various religions and beliefs vying for followers, to be the one true blah blah blah.
          Losing followers, the keepers of the bible, wrote the New Testiment, and incorporated many of the beliefs into it. That is why 90% of what Jesus allegedly said, was said , at least in concept, by the Buddha, and other eastern philosophies. Now you cannot abondon your god, so created the Jesus myth into the story to tie in with god.
          That is my theory, and there is a great deal of evidence to back it up. ( the eastern philosophies that can be found in the bible, the previous cultures stories much of the bible was taken from, the accounts from the areas concerned...all point to the bible 2.0...a fresh take on the old theme.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Agreed that the whole story is an amalgamation of previous religions and myths. Mithras, etc. Something that everyone overlooks is that Old Testament messiah prophasies, many of which went unfulfilled, said nothing of the messiah not getting it all done the first time around and having to retreat to a second coming to finish up.

          July 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • austin929

          said nothing of the messiah not getting it all done the first time around and having to retreat to a second coming to finish up.

          really? really?

          ◄ Isaiah 53 ►
          New International Version

          1Who has believed our message

          and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

          2He grew up before him like a tender shoot,

          and like a root out of dry ground.

          He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

          nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

          3He was despised and rejected by mankind,

          a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.

          Like one from whom people hide their faces

          he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

          4Surely he took up our pain

          and bore our suffering,

          yet we considered him punished by God,

          stricken by him, and afflicted.

          5But he was pierced for our transgressions,

          he was crushed for our iniquities;

          the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

          and by his wounds we are healed.

          6We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

          each of us has turned to our own way;

          and the Lord has laid on him

          the iniquity of us all.

          7He was oppressed and afflicted,

          yet he did not open his mouth;

          he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

          and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

          so he did not open his mouth.

          8By oppressiona and judgment he was taken away.

          Yet who of his generation protested?

          For he was cut off from the land of the living;

          for the transgression of my people he was punished.b

          9He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

          and with the rich in his death,

          though he had done no violence,

          nor was any deceit in his mouth.

          10Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,

          and though the Lord makesc his life an offering for sin,

          he will see his offspring and prolong his days,

          and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

          11After he has suffered,

          he will see the light of lifed and be satisfiede ;

          by his knowledgef my righteous servant will justify many,

          and he will bear their iniquities.

          12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,g

          and he will divide the spoils with the strong,h

          because he poured out his life unto death,

          and was numbered with the transgressors.

          For he bore the sin of many,

          and made intercession for the transgressors.

          and then there are also messianic kingdom prophecies.............all over the place . do you see you are totally wrong?

          July 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "God will provide you with all the evidence you need, on his terms."

          I am proof this statement is false. Not only that but the evidence you claim he did provide is so faulty and demonstrably false it is the reason I resigned from your club.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Austin929 – I read your post twice. In what world does Isaiah say the messiah dies and comes back to fulfill the prophesies? It insinuates he dies, but don't we all.

          So no, I do not see that I am wrong.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "God will provide you with all the evidence you need, on his terms."

          I am proof this statement is false. Not only that but the evidence you claim he did provide is so faulty and demonstrably false it is the reason I resigned from your club.

          I said he would provide you with the evidence you need. I didn't claim he had provided evidence to you already. What in the world are you talking about?

          July 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I didn't claim he had provided evidence to you already."

          Well I believed, I had faith. I assume you think he gave that evidence that allowed me to have faith...what happened?

          July 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
    • igaftr

      "As a Christian, the only burden is to share the gospel."

      Really? To disseminate progpoganda is your ONLY burden?
      Seems there was a LOT more to it.

      Bu the way, I've heard the MEN, speaking as if they spoke for "god". have read the book, where MEN claim god did this and that, men say god did this and that...but there is no evidence anywhere of any such thing.
      It would seem that you must WANT this story to be true in order to believe it.
      Since I was only looking for actual truths, your Jesus never entered into it. It was obvious it was all made up by men.
      Obvious.

      July 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (15 March 1851, Glasgow –20 April 1939) was a Scottish archaeologist and New Testament scholar. By his death in 1939 he had become the foremost authority of his day on the history of Asia Minor and a leading scholar in the study of the New Testament. Although Ramsay was educated in the Tübingen school of thought (founded by F. C. Baur) which doubted the reliability of the New Testament, his extensive archaeological and historical studies convinced him of the historical accuracy of the New Testament.[1] From the post of Professor of Classical Art and Architecture at Oxford, he was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity (the Latin Professorship) at Aberdeen. Knighted in 1906 to mark his distinguished service to the world of scholarship, Ramsay also gained three honorary fellowships from Oxford colleges, nine honorary doctorates from British, Continental and North American universities and became an honorary member of almost every association devoted to archaeology and historical research. He was one of the original members of the British Academy, was awarded the Gold Medal of Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and the Victorian Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1906.
        William Ramsay was known for his careful attention to New Testament events, particularly the Book of Acts and Pauline Epistles. When he first went to Asia Minor, many of the cities mentioned in Acts had no known location and almost nothing was known of their detailed history or politics. The Acts of the Apostles was the only record and Ramsay, skeptical, fully expected his own research to prove the author of Acts hopelessly inaccurate since no man could possibly know the details of Asia Minor more than a hundred years after the event—this is, when Acts was then supposed to have been written. He therefore set out to put the writer of Acts on trial. He devoted his life to unearthing the ancient cities and docu.ments of Asia Minor. After a lifetime of study, however, he concluded: 'Further study . . . showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement' (The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 85). On page 89 of the same book, Ramsay accounted, 'I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it there [in Acts]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment...'

        When Ramsay turned his attention to Paul's letters, most of which the critics dismissed as forgeries, he concluded that all thirteen New Testament letters that claimed to have been written by Paul were authentic.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          Completely moot ( and very long).

          Your entire post spoke nothing of the validity of the information on the pages, does it?

          Still no evidence anywhere of any of the supernatural claims. None.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Thank you for admitting that you don't have proof, Robert. Now I'm admitting to you that I have neither the time nor the interest to listen to people who make claims without the evidence to back them up. We do not live in the Bronze Age or the Dark Ages. There are honest answers available, and there are people seeking real answers to those puzzles not yet solved. We no longer have to invent gods to disguise ignorance.

      July 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
  12. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the GOSPEL (=Matthew & Mark & Luke & John);
    it will change the World forever!

    http://www.19covenant19.com
    BIBLICAL EXCELLENT MIRACLES -3-

    July 27, 2014 at 6:36 am |
    • igaftr

      There has never been any miracles.
      Do you really need to lie to get people, and then steal advertising?
      I suppose you do.

      July 27, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • bostontola

      As British mathematician J. E. Littlewood pointed out, one in a million events (a quanti.tative definition of a miracle) will happen once a month on average just by cold statistics.

      July 27, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • jbhollen

      ...and as law number three of "Clarke's three laws" states; Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      July 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      "it will change the World forever!"

      It already has, which is unfortunate for humankind. It's long past time for humans to move on from that mistake.

      July 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Reality

    Off topic"

    Once again to save our Christian friends significant time in perusing their dead founder's history-

    The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Is this another one of those Jesus Seminar inspired rants?

      July 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • Reality

        No, not a rant and not dependent on the conclusions of the Jesus Seminarians as noted in the reference set previously presented.

        July 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      In regards to the claim that Jesus may have been a mamzer, in Jesus and Archaeology edited by James H. Charlesworth there is the following:

      At the outset, let me report that it is now clear that the masculine noun mamzer (ממזר‎) does imply "a bas_tard." A mamzer is anyone who could not prove, to the satisfaction of the authorities, that one's mother and father were full-blooded Jews. Thus, many issues are involved, and most of them impinge on the social setting of Jews in ancient Palestine. The person being grilled about being a possible mamzer might have to prove to any questioning authority that his (or her) legitimate father was a full-blooded Jewish male, that the mother was a full-blooded Jewish female, and — to some Jewish authorities — that these two conceived him (or her) after a legally acceptable wedding.

      It seems evident that both the virgin birth accounts and the claim of fornication intersect at one point: Jesus' birth seems exceptional and Joseph is not his biological father. Both of these accounts appeared in the first century, and within decades of Jesus' life. The virgin birth of Jesus is proclaimed in Mt 1 and Lk 1-2. The charge of fornication appears in the Gospel of John. The Fourth Evangelist portrays Jesus in dialogue with the Jews who had believed in him. They say to Jesus, "We were not born of fornication" (ek por_neias; Jn 8:41). The clear implication is that Jesus was born of fornication; that is, his birth was illegitimate, according to some Jewish authorities, and that he was a mamzer (since in the Septuagint por_nēs renders mamzer). In addition, if Joseph had died or abandoned the family, he could not appear in a synagogue and prove that Jesus could not be a mamzer.

      The charge against Jesus would clearly have been especially harsh from many of the Judean priestly aristocrats, like the Sadducean high priests named Caiaphas and Annas (Jn 18:12-14, 24), who were not only his major adversaries, but were also raising the standards of purity and the requirements of the Torah.

      ...

      In conclusion, it is helpful to use archaeology in Jesus Research and to reflect on how Jesus' life and teachings were impacted by his social contexts. What is important is to perceive Jesus within his Jewish environment. The question thus becomes, Did some of Jesus' fellow Jews consider that he could not prove that Joseph and Mary were each full-blooded Jews and were his legitimate biological parents? If not, some priestly authorities could claim he was a mamzer, and according to the traditions just examined, he could be banned from entering the Temple Mount.

      The data now collected clarifies that some authoritative Jews most likely considered Jesus a mamzer. If the charge of mamzer appeared during Jesus' life, it most likely developed later during his public ministry, since he originally taught in Galilean synagogues. The Fourth Evangelist should be taken seriously; that is, the charge appeared later in his life and in Jerusalem, "as he taught in the Temple," as Jn 8:20 indicates. If so, then two scrolls may be exceptionally significant, since 4QFlorilegium and Some Works of the Torah record a ruling that the mamzer — like the deaf and blind — cannot enter the Temple. While the deaf might break Torah laws, since they could not hear the words of scripture, and while the blind might also break the sacred laws because they could not read scripture or see their way; the mamzer is excluded because he would pollute the Temple, because his birth was impure. Did some Temple authorities eventually obtain what they sought, a negative ruling on Jesus? Did they learn that a charge of mamzerut could be brought against Jesus?

      If Jesus could not prove to the ruling priests that he was a legitimate Jew, that he had a pure lineage, they would have grounds for barring him from entering the Temple. Does this new insight shine a cleaner light that dispels some of the shadows obscuring the reasons for his explosive rage in the Temple at the end of his ministry, an epi_sode that has been hotly debated in recent Jesus Research (Mk 11:15-19 and par.)? Does a charge of being a mamzer and thus prohibited from entering the Temple, restore the original intent of Jesus' statement that the Temple is "my Father's house" (Jn 2:16)?

      July 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        I'm thinking reality will have to get back to on that.

        July 26, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • Reality

        As noted many times, one will not find the historical Jesus in the John's gospel.

        Added details on the "mamzering" of Jesus can be found in Professor Chilton's book, Rabbi Jesus.

        July 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
  14. unsername1

    Answer to your questions is Will Chernobyl ever become habitable?

    July 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      So yes then? I saw a show on Chernobyl where a film crew went in 25 years after the incident and there are deer and sorts of animals, nature has reclaimed its territory and the reading showed that it could quite possibly be ready for humans again within the next 25 years to 30 years.

      July 27, 2014 at 10:32 am |
  15. No Wake Zone

    I am alarmed and saddened by all those who cling to religion and continue to endorse it as reality and insist that it somehow should govern morality and law-making. One can lay out all the evidence and build (and have built) an airtight case against every single religion on Earth past and present, but still believers will not budge from their point of view, even when presented with the lies and contradictions in the very scriptures they base their beliefs on.

    I believe the single most important factor in this inability to see through the foolishness of religion is fear. Children’s stories of heaven and hell. The initial indoctrination for many, simply cannot be undone.

    Secondly, there is a feeling of community that comes with any “club” Naturally this is not relegated to religion so it does not qualify as an excuse.

    Finally some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives. What are those alternatives? Well we have to turn to science, but also we have to accept what we don’t know and keep looking. And in truth, we don’t really know anything about how the universe came to be, what came before and where it is going. If there are multiple universes and time lines through which we move, these would be marvelous discoveries. There is a wonderful article in Scientific American a few months ago regarding a new spin on the Quantum theory. That being the quantum universe could have foamlike fluctuations that rule spacetime, not unlike the 0’s and 1’s that are the foundation of computing and storing information.

    If we wish to believe in the supernatural, we have to make things up. Hence religion. It doesn’t mean there is no god, or gods, or aliens, but it does mean that we don’t have the answers and most likely never will.

    Now we arrive back at fear. What will happen to me when I die? For me, I look forward to an eternity of nothing. Others fear this prospect and prefer to believe in fairies and fantasies and are not even ashamed that their mental description of an after life is akin to that of a 5-year-old’s picture book.

    I believe the Universe and the “everything” are FAR more bizarre than we could ever imagine with the faculties we have thus far obtained via evolution on this planet. And I wonder how many millions of civilizations across the vastness of space and time have pondered likewise.

    Finally, the entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superstition and mythology. One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history. It matters.

    July 26, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • Vic

      It's not one size fits all nor is it as simple as black and white. You might be able to do away with religion but not faith/belief necessarily.

      As a born again Christian Protestant, the matter of religion is settled for me. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ relieved us from the Law, hence religion in todays standards, and bestowed upon us the Grace of God through Faith/Belief in Him as Lord and Savior with the Gift of Salvation.

      July 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
      • Vic

        p.s. There is a lot to say about Quantum Physics/Mechanics but this is not the Blog post for it. Since we are talking about God, I would just say this for now: I believe that to everybody's surprise, i.e. the Scientific Community, Quantum Physics/Mechanics is cutting inadvertently into some extraordinary evidence for the "Supernatural."

        July 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • harlow13

          I don’t think that the scientists that study these things believe them to be “supernatural.” That seems significant.

          July 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          I can't believe you actually said this Vic.

          July 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Vic doesn't understand? Boom! It must be supernatural. This is a fine example of how things like gods are invented.

          July 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • jbhollen

          As the mysteries of the universe are unraveled, natural law emerges, not the supernatural.

          July 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • dandintac

        "...the matter of religion is settled for me."

        So Vic, suppose scientists found out exactly how life began on Earth, and had concrete evidence for it, that could be tested and verified, and suppose also that scientists determined exactly what caused the Big Bang, also backed up by hard testable evidence. And both "creations" were found to be natural causes, and the evidence for this were as solid as the claim that the Earth is roughly spherical, and as solid as the claim that the sun is a star–would you still cling to your faith? This could conceivably happen in our lifetime, or it may be generations away.

        Because after all, if the beginning of life and the beginning of the universe as we know it today are both natural phenomena with no magic or intelligent agency required, then that leaves God unemployed.

        Would you stick to your faith, or would you accept what the evidence says?

        Now if someone were to come up with hard, testable, reliable, verifiable evidence that a god does indeed exist, and this evidence were vetted, tested in controlled conditions, verified through the peer review process, I would accept the findings. Why? Becaues I do not have faith. I believe in evidence, and I'll accept whatever the evidence says.

        This to me, is what makes "faith" so dangerous. It exists in an evidence-exempt zone.

        July 27, 2014 at 12:41 am |
        • Vic

          I appreciate your premise but I believe it is short of the full picture.

          To you, the buck stops with empiricism, whereas to me, as a believer in God—Christian, the buck stops with the "Supernatural," that's the full picture, I believe.

          As believers in God, we capture empiricism and go beyond it into metaphysics, hence Faith/Belief. God does not require knowledge for Salvation, rather, He requires Faith/Belief. If God wanted knowledge from us to pass the test, He would've appeared to us and given us all the knowledge He is testing us for. Rather, God is indirectly revealing Himself to us through His wondrous creation, hence "Natural Revelation," and through Scripture, hence "Special Revelation," and testing our Faith/Belief in Him.

          I believe the "Natural" is a product of the "Supernatural."

          July 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      No wake,

      I agree religion affects the entire planet. Do you believe all religions have a negative affect, and if so, why?

      July 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        Yes, when both the foundation and practice of an activity is based on lies and corruption, I feel that has a negative affect. This seems obvious to me personally.

        July 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          No wake,

          Your statements so far show that you think religion is based on lies and corruption. I disagree, but that aside for now. What are the negative affects of Christianity, for example?

          July 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "What are the negative affects of Christianity, for example?"

          -The concept that CHristianity is true when at best it is an unfounded assertion.

          -Teaching that people are so broken (sinful) that only through the belief in Jesus can anyone be redeemed.

          -Teaching that "thoughts" can be crimes against god.

          -Teaching that some people should be ashamed of the se.xual nature they are born with.

          -Teaching that women are lesser beings than men.

          -Teaching that finite crimes deserve infinite punishment.

          -Teaching that if someone does not agree with the christian opinion and voices opposition to the unfounded claim to "truth" that is persecution.

          -Teaching that cancer, hurricanes and earthquakes are ultimately the responsibility of human sin.

          Need I go on?

          July 26, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          The concept that CHristianity is true when at best it is an unfounded assertion.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "What are the negative affects of Christianity, for example?"
          "The concept that CHristianity is true when at best it is an unfounded assertion."
          =>exactly what is the negative effect relative to your assertion that a hopeless accidental existence ends in death

          "-Teaching that people are so broken (sinful) that only through the belief in Jesus can anyone be redeemed."
          =>no, Jesus died for our sins and said it is finished, sin no longer has us in bondage.

          "-Teaching that "thoughts" can be crimes against god."
          =>evil thoughts are never a victim less crime, they are a cancer to your well being and a sad projection on another person

          "-Teaching that some people should be ashamed of the se.xual nature they are born with.'
          =>It does no such thing it teaches freedom from bondage of sin

          "-Teaching that women are lesser beings than men."
          =>everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord, it teaches order trumps chaos. You are not greater than Mary the mother of God

          -Teaching that finite crimes deserve infinite punishment.

          -Teaching that if someone does not agree with the christian opinion and voices opposition to the unfounded claim to "truth" that is persecution.

          -Teaching that cancer, hurricanes and earthquakes are ultimately the responsibility of human sin.

          Need I go on?

          July 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          "Teaching that finite crimes deserve infinite punishment."
          =>no, it is rejection of God that leads to death because you have chosen to tether yourself to your physical desires

          "-Teaching that if someone does not agree with the christian opinion and voices opposition to the unfounded claim to "truth" that is persecution."
          =>no it does not it says they will hate you because they first hated me (Jesus)

          "-Teaching that cancer, hurricanes and earthquakes are ultimately the responsibility of human sin."
          =>No, it teaches that it rains on the righteous and the wicked

          July 26, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          The concept that CHristianity is true when at best it is an unfounded assertion.

          I believe it is true, you believe it untrue. Does this make our beliefs equal from the perspective of your statement?

          July 26, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          -Teaching that people are so broken (sinful) that only through the belief in Jesus can anyone be redeemed.

          There is a little more to it than that, but it is a start.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Does this make our beliefs equal from the perspective of your statement?"

          Nope, the burdan of proof is on the group making the truth claim.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "There is a little more to it than that, but it is a start."

          A start at what....self hatred? Christianity teaches people to accept an abusive relationship with its god.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>no, it is rejection of God that leads to death

          Wrong fred, one cannot reject something that one does not believe is real. That actually leads to one of the worst teachings of CHristianity.

          -That believing in the CHristian god is a "choice". ANd those that don't, actively reject their premise. It leads to CHristians such as yourself thinking accepting Chistian dogma is the same thing as choosing a political party. It is asinine. It is condescending. And it is the teaching of a cult.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          blessed are the cheesmakers
          =>The problem is that you are arguing your concept of God and I am attempting to reveal the concept of God as presented by Jesus.

          "Wrong fred, one cannot reject something that one does not believe is real. "
          =>No, you are rejecting the concept of God as presented so do not hide behind that false deflection that deals with substance.

          "-That believing in the CHristian god is a "choice"
          =>belief being a choice is your concept it is not a concept presented by Jesus.
          => Your choice is to seek truth or continue supporting your concept based on science which you already confirmed cannot address the supernatural. Should you choose to seek truth then you must ask Jesus to open the door. Faith is a gift from God but first you must honestly seek it.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:54 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>No, you are rejecting the concept of God as presented so do not hide behind that false deflection that deals with substance."

          So what? So when someone like yourself presents a BS concept...it is not the BS that is the problem, according to you it is my fault for not believing you BS. Go pound sand fred.

          "science which you already confirmed cannot address the supernatural."

          Your religious claim does not address the supernatural either....it just spews BS and call it "supernatural". It's not,it is BS.

          July 27, 2014 at 1:08 am |
        • harlow13

          Right on, Cheesemaker. You are striking the nails on their heads. Poor old BeaverFred is just knocking holes in the drywall.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • jbhollen

          Believer Fred – Good to converse with you again. I think that your responses to No Wake don't hold water.

          "What are the negative affects of Christianity, for example?"
          "The concept that CHristianity is true when at best it is an unfounded assertion."
          =>exactly what is the negative effect relative to your assertion that a hopeless accidental existence ends in death
          ***> Your assertion that any existence that does not line up with your beliefs is "hopeless" is negative.

          "-Teaching that people are so broken (sinful) that only through the belief in Jesus can anyone be redeemed."
          =>no, Jesus died for our sins and said it is finished, sin no longer has us in bondage.
          ***> Your faith teaches that all humans are born sinners and stay that way. (Note: "It is finished" is one of three supposed "last words" of christ per the gospels)

          "-Teaching that "thoughts" can be crimes against god."
          =>evil thoughts are never a victim less crime, they are a cancer to your well being and a sad projection on another person
          ***> So you agree that personal thoughts are crimes. At least those thoughts that might offend your particular version of a deity. What can be more negative than that?

          "-Teaching that some people should be ashamed of the se.xual nature they are born with.'
          =>It does no such thing it teaches freedom from bondage of sin
          ***> Sorry Fred. Read your bible. Laying with another man requires a death sentence. Could not be more clear.

          "-Teaching that women are lesser beings than men."
          =>everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord, it teaches order trumps chaos. You are not greater than Mary the mother of God
          ***> Once again, you could not be more wrong from a scriptural perspective. The website "http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html" list 388 verses that are outright misogynistic. With all that aside how do you get past 1 COR 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law" and how is that not considered a negative?

          "Teaching that finite crimes deserve infinite punishment."
          =>no, it is rejection of God that leads to death because you have chosen to tether yourself to your physical desires
          ***> You did not answer the question. How is infinite punishment for for a finite "thought crime" not a negative?

          "-Teaching that if someone does not agree with the christian opinion and voices opposition to the unfounded claim to "truth" that is persecution."
          =>no it does not it says they will hate you because they first hated me (Jesus)
          ***> So your response is a justified "Hate". How is that not a negative?

          "-Teaching that cancer, hurricanes and earthquakes are ultimately the responsibility of human sin."
          =>No, it teaches that it rains on the righteous and the wicked
          ***> Many places in the bible natural events are described as the cost of sin. How do you reconcile your response to God killing off the entire world in a flood. Was that not a result of his wrath because because the people were wicked?

          From previous conversations with you I expect you to zero in on one or two of the above. Let's be thorough and respond to all.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • believerfred

          jbhollen
          "Your assertion that any existence that does not line up with your beliefs is "hopeless" is negative."
          =>Within the major faiths is the thread that there is something greater than the physical; a hope in the promises of God, Heaven, Nirvana etc. In short it is an existence that transcends the end product of natural selection. Limited by naturalism there is no hope when an individual turns to dust as existence and the physical organic substance is all that exists. This is not a negative statement it is an observation of a belief, a world view contrary to the prevalent view.

          "Your faith teaches that all humans are born sinners and stay that way. (Note: "It is finished" is one of three supposed "last words" of christ per the gospels)"
          =>God is holy such that it is a burning holiness. One drop of anything that is not pure white into pure white stays non pure white. We are born with the capacity of right and wrong and so far everyone other than Jesus has proven our tendency to wrong. Any impurity cannot withstand burning holiness so if we want to approach God it must be in Christ. So, a way to unity with God has been given as a gift because it is not something we could do.

          "So you agree that personal thoughts are crimes. At least those thoughts that might offend your particular version of a deity. What can be more negative than that?"
          =>no, any negative thought against another destroys good in the nature of the one thinking negative thoughts. Those negative thoughts have the potential of spreading so at a minimum you have increased the potential harm coming to another person. Hate for the Jew came out of a lot of repressed negative energy.

          "Read your bible. Laying with another man requires a death sentence. Could not be more clear."
          =>Priests were held to a very high standard and this was a law that applied to a special segment of the Hebrew.
          =>In other verses the law applied to other Hebrews as sex was an easy taboo attention 'getter' and the Hebrew were to be pure sexually which separated them as holy compared to the cultures around them. It does not apply to other societies that are not set aside for God. It does not apply to Christians. Even the Jews stopped applying it.

          "Once again, you could not be more wrong from a scriptural perspective"
          =>The role of male and female is how God set up relationships. It is a model as to how we relate to Christ who first loved us such that we could love others and respect others in proper relationship. In Christ there is no such thing as I am smarter than you etc.
          =>The Hebrew of old abused what was designed for good. Their abuse does not change the intent of good in proper relationships.

          " 1 COR 14:34 "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law" and how is that not considered a negative?"
          =>Paul was writing to the Church of the Corinth where women were acting as busy bodies and causing strife. However, given other verses I think Paul suffered from his strong Old Testament wrong view of women so it is possible he was abusive.
          =>it is wrong if we apply the truth wrong towards others. It is not negative as intended as it goes to order over chaos, mutual love and respect, relationship of Christ to the Church, God to Christ and man to women. Do you think Gods position with Christ is degrading in any way? it is not negative

          " How is infinite punishment for for a finite "thought crime" not a negative?"
          =>There is no infinite punishment for a finite thought crime. There is infinite (actually unspecified real time period as far as how we process time) punishment for rejection of God. If you reject the offer of a way to eternal life then you are on your own without God. This is the result, what other possible result should there be for someone who does not what anything to do with a gift that is given? You cannot earn that gift it is bought and paid for at a point where you spit in the givers face yet, the gift remains yours if you want to open it.

          "So your response is a justified "Hate". How is that not a negative?"
          =>communication error, People hate Jesus so we should not be surprised they hate Christians is what Jesus said. It does not justify hate it simply says it is misdirected towards the messenger.

          "How do you reconcile your response to God killing off the entire world in a flood."
          =>The flood story is one of purity. Water is the symbolic method of cleansing. At the close of existence of this world as we know it all that is not one with God will be cleansed, washed away and a new Heaven and Earth where there is no more sorrow is revealed. The story began with light and darkness being separated and that is the purpose of creation.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
  16. No Wake Zone

    Whatever is holding the Universe is pretty big. A pretty big place.

    July 26, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      I mean compared to us, naturally. It is quite tiny to that which is much larger, again relatively speaking.

      July 26, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Infinite

      July 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
      • G to the T

        Who says the universe is infinite? My understanding is that it is finite but boundless.

        July 29, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  17. Bob

    The whole Jesus-sacrifice story, the foundation of the crazy Christian superstition, is a steaming pile of nonsense. How is it again that an omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

    Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, Christians.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    July 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • austin929

      Bob, i have to just tell you the truth. I was outraged at so called Christians about fifteen years ago and since then the Word of God has witnessed within my soul of a supernatural presence. Both God's good and evil are clear in the world today.

      The bible is a prophetic book and also introduces you to the truth of who God is to us. OUr redeemer, even those of us who tend to reject His way so naturally.

      July 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • kudlak

        Why do you worship an evil god?

        July 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • austin929

          should have used a comma.

          Gods good, is evident. And i think it is honest to say that his creation has fallen and there is an evil that is there to tempt you. (an attack with the intent to destroy)

          July 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Doris

          Austin, I think we all see what we like to call "good" and "evil" in the world and with ourselves. But I don't see that there is any evidence that any of either is a result of something outside of natural and physical, whether it be a comet hitting the earth or whether it be the collective mentality of the majority of a society following too closely to an individual (where, after time, such activity is "seen" as positive or negative). I don't see any evidence of external "spirits" having ever been in control of all that has been natural cause and effect – which I believe includes our consciousness.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • kudlak

          austin929
          Why is God "good"? Is it because everything that God does is automatically "good" because he says so, or is he morally good according to some universal constant outside of God? If the former, then that's him just labelling his own behaviour, which makes the term "good" ultimately meaningless. If the later, why does anyone need God to determine what's moral?

          Also, God being good isn't evident to all of us. If you trust what the Bible says, he's actually pretty tyrannical.

          "Creation" has only fallen if you imagine that there was ever a point in time where living things never prayed upon other living things, and there's absolutely no evidence that that was ever the case. People do selfish things, but so does every thinking living creature in order to survive. Everyone needs to make a living, often at the expense of someone else. The problem with it only comes from the degree in which your greed carries you.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Doris

          OK that last sentence was really muddy – let me try that again:

          I don't see any evidence of external "spirits" having ever been in control of all that. Rather, I see it as all natural cause and effect – which I believe includes our consciousness.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • austin929

          austin929
          Why is God "good"? Is it because everything that God does is automatically "good" because he says so, or is he morally good according to some universal constant outside of God?

          Also, God being good isn't evident to all of us. If you trust what the Bible says, he's actually pretty tyrannical.

          @Kudlac, if you don't watch your children they will get into trouble and hurt themselves. God is Holy, and being God, he is an authority. and to us, as sinners, we are intimidated. and character is what defines your reaction. some reactions are unintentionally off, and some are intentionally disrespectful (and my own). Holiness and sin, requires a special system.

          "Creation" has only fallen if you imagine that there was ever a point in time where living things never prayed upon other living things, and there's absolutely no evidence that that was ever the case.

          no, this is not true, read the book of Jubilees. it says that animals spoke the same dialect as people, and in the bible it says that animals were also cursed, but not as badly as mankind. And so , before the fall, there were animals, and there was NOT DEATH OF ANY SORT.

          Doris

          OK that last sentence was really muddy – let me try that again:

          "I don't see any evidence of external "spirits" having ever been in control of all that. Rather, I see it as all natural cause and effect – which I believe includes our consciousness."

          Doris, i have ecperienced things that were revealed through supernatual miracles over thirty times. There was no other way to get the results i did unless there was an invisible spiritual communicator going from one person to the next.

          it can be referred to as the synchronicity of the spirit. Angels are also ministering sprits.

          another mode of supernatural translations is the area of spiritual gifts. there are good prophecies and useless tricks as well......

          20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21but test them all; hold on to what is good (1 thess 5)

          there are words of knowledge, words of wisdom. these are supernatural gifts that come through the spirit.

          So the bible is clear, and so has my experience been that this is real.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Doris

          austin: "i have ecperienced things...."

          Yeah – I've heard all about your experiences, austin. Many times before, and sorry, but I don't buy from snake-oil salesmen. Let me know when I can see you on TV with your claims and I'll try to remember to tune in...

          austin: "read the book of Jubilees..."

          Oh really – so what did they foretell pray tell about the queen's Jubilee?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I'm not a child, Austin. I'm an adult, fully able to recognize that my actions have an effect on the lives of others. I am able to discern if the effect if positive or negative and I am fully capable of understanding and accepting the consequences of my actions. I do not need a book or a supernatural father in order to be a decent human being or to be responsible for my own behavior.

          For whatever reason, you are abdicating your adulthood to your religion and the people who invented that religion. It's a weak choice and there is nothing virtuous about it.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          austin, If you want your premonitions to be believed, you'd need to publish them in specific detail when you get them; that way later events can be compared and independent judgements made.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • austin929

          "For whatever reason, you are abdicating your adulthood to your religion and the people who invented that religion. It's a weak choice and there is nothing virtuous about it."

          Talullah, it is not a choice to be honest within yourself. sometimes you can't actually lie to your self. abdicating to the truth of my experience is what i am doing, and my experience was changed. my rejection of God was changed , and I can only tell the truth, that many things have come to me as a gift of faith through approaching the Bible with a plea to God.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          austin929
          I don't recognize God as my "parent", though? I don't even see any God around; just a bunch of people telling me that there's some God around, and trying to tell me what to do. Sorry, I couldn't understand the rest of your first sentence there.

          If you mean that people could only make animal sounds at one point in our evolution, then yes.

          Why would the animals be cursed as well? Besides for the snake, what did the rest of them ever do to deserve being cursed?

          What did these animals eat before the fall? What did the Great White shark eat out in the ocean before he was allowed to bite seals and surfers?

          TTFN
          Talk to you later.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • austin929

          Genesis 3:14 ►So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life
          17To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

          “Cursed is the ground because of you;

          through painful toil you will eat food from it

          all the days of your life.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Bob

          Yeah, Austin, that would be your nasty ass hole sky fairy doing his excessive vengeance thing again. Looking more closely at the guidances in your nasty holy book such as these, it's not too surprising to see more of the same, or worse. From both foul testaments:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • austin929

          Kudlak, there was no death before the fall of man, so did a shark develop sharp teeth as a micro evolutionary change where dogs will always be dogs?

          July 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • austin929

          "Yeah, Austin, that would be your nasty ass hole sky fairy doing his excessive vengeance thing again"
          @ Bob...........not at all a vengeance thing with God.

          here is what life is about and why........why we have atonement. substi.tutionary means of cognition and redemption between man and a God who is Holy.

          Genesis 2:17 ►

          but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

          Leviticus 17:11 ►

          For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.

          Offering the Firstfruits

          9 The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect,

          and then the passover, and then 1400 years later , The Lamb of God who is worthy!

          Revelation 19:13 ►

          He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God."

          ewww...

          More musings from the book of the apocolyptic death cult that practices symbolic canabalism.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • austin929

          "Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions"

          @ Bob Gal 1 "perverting the gospel"

          6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

          July 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Bob

          Again, Austin, that is just more blood and gore and vengeance from your nasty (and fictional) ass hole in the sky. Seriously, why do you worship such an abusive Anus of Uranus? Any modern, reasonable court would convict your sky jerk of torture, human rights abuses, and war crimes, just to get started.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Bob

          And Austin, since you keep referencing your horrid Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, why is it that your pathetic sky creature, your "god", a purportedly omnipotent creature, can't do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily differently interpreted. Where is your god's website (and no, religious shill sites don't count), and why can't he even push a few tweets out? Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

          Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You have chosen faith, austin, because reality isn't good enough for you. Religion lets you pretend that you are special, which makes you happy because you don't like to think of yourself as ordinary. But you are just another human, austin, a human who will live and die and eventually be forgotten. And there is nothing wrong with that.

          July 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • kudlak

          austin929
          There has been death since the first amoeba consumed another.

          "Micro evolutionary changes" are just evolutionary changes on the small scale, just as examining all the frames in a single second of film is still part of the same 2 hour story. It's all part of the same process. Perhaps you're just too short-sighted to see the bigger picture?

          July 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • jbhollen

          You are focusing on micro instead of macro and at the same time saying we are not seeing the big picture?

          July 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          austin929
          "Genesis 3:14"
          Funny, I don't recall the part where God told the snake specifically never to talk to people, do you?

          Also, because one animal did something that he didn't like, does that give God justification to punish them all?

          July 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        I don’t have to disprove God. The burden of proof falls to the one making the argument that God exists. I don’t hear a god, I don’t see a god, and there is no evidence of a god. So if you are going to make an extraordinary statement like “There is a God” then please present the evidence to support it. Then I will be happy to listen.

        July 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • austin929

          I don't think I am supposed to prove God to you. I have expierneced that the burden of proof is the seal of the spirit. The baptism of the holy spirit is something that gives life to the burden of proof, the spirit of God who testifies of His own presence.

          If i say, "I have experienced this", then this is evidence that it may be real. Testimony is valid. Furthermore the verdict is between you and God and not any other human our system. You have to depend on God because you can't produce salvation through knowledge.

          Salvation is the supernatural gift of God. God bless you.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          "Supernatural" is an impossibility. If something exists, it is natural. The rest of your arguments die right there.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yeah, you can't be "saved" through "knowledge". Remember eating from the tree of knowledge was what got us into this mess to begin with according to CHristianity. That's why god and his fan club despise knowledge so much.

          " I have expierneced that the burden of proof is the seal of the spirit."

          i.e. a squished kitty.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • austin929

          witnesses to the supernatural synchronicity........if you can receive a miracle this blessing is revealed by the Holy Spirit. this is supernatural.

          1 Corinthians 12:3 ►
          Parallel Verses
          New International Version
          Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

          7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues.b 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • austin929

          "That's why god and his fan club despise knowledge so much."

          that is a prejudiced statement.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Bob

          Austin, since you're so into quoting your nasty holy book, answer this. Why is it that your pathetic sky creature, your "god", a purportedly omnipotent creature, can't do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily differently interpreted. Where is your god's website (and no, religious shill sites don't count), and why can't he even push a few tweets out? Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

          Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "that is a prejudiced statement."

          Technically it is not, prejedice is "pre-judging" ....

          I judged that after the fact.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • No Wake Zone

          "if you can receive a miracle this blessing is revealed by the Holy Spirit."

          lol. Says who? Who Austin? Who told you this and proved it to you?

          July 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        austin929, you quoted from Genesis 3:14. Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV) contains the following:

        And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 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.

        If you step on a snake in the yard, do you believe you are stepping on a descendant of the talking snake in the Garden of Eden? Christians usually conflate that talking snake with Satan, so do you believe all snakes are descendants of Satan? Are people who keep snakes in their homes harboring the descendants of Satan?

        That element of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is clearly an aetiological myth meant to explain why snakes have no legs, much like the Native American story of why the bear has such a short tail, because it was tricked by the fox as explained in Why the Bear Has a Short Tail at sacred-texts.com/etc/bnm/bnm22.htm

        The mythology in the Yahwist's version of creation in Genesis 2 isn't unique in blaming all of mankind's troubles on a woman nor unique in assigning cosmological significance to a serpent. From Who Is Satan?: According to the Scriptures by Joseph F. Kelly:

        The Eden narrative also has a strong patriarchal element. The serpent deceives Eve, not Adam, who simply gives in to Eve. Note that when God is reproaching Adam, the first thing he says to him is, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife..." (3:17). This story of human beginnings has many parallels to other creation myths. Perhaps the one best known in Western culture would be the Greek myth of Pandora, the primeval woman who spoils the perfect world for everyone else by disobeying a command.

        The serpent symbolizes chaos, and not just here. Tiamat, the Babylonian monster, was a sea serpent. In Greek mythology the hero Cadmus battles a dragon so he could found the city of Thebes. In Nordic mythology, the god Thor battles against the Midgard Serpent whose coils stretch around the world. It is no surprise that the ancient Israelites also had a cosmos/chaos myth with a serpent in it. Consider Isaiah 27:1: "In that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea."

        A dragon, of course, is basically a large serpent.

        In Babylonian mythology the god Marduk defeats the great serpent Tiamat, a chaos monster and goddess of the ocean. The Bible also incorporates chaoskampf mythology with Leviathan and Rahab being the great dragon-like sea monsters of Jewish mythology with which Yahweh contends. Psalm 74:13-14 states:

        Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

        #2. Did God create the heavens and earth from the formless deep OR did Yahweh create them from the slaying of the primaeval sea monster Leviathan/Rahab? (Gen 1:1-8 vs Ps 74:13-17, 89:11-13; Job 26:12-13) at contradictionsinthebible.com/yahweh-slays-the-primaeval-sea-monster-leviathan/ comments on the biblical chaoskampf mythology.

        July 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
    • new-man

      Bob,
      why won't you heal amputees in the Name of Jesus.
      "I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth."

      July 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • tallulah131

        So you are claiming that you can regrow amputated limbs, newman?

        July 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • new-man

          I am claiming that Jesus can!

          July 26, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • kudlak

          new-man
          Has he ever?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • new-man

          absolutely! He has.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new-man
          So you'll have evidence then – pictures before and after should be easy enough these days. Or you could arrange for a repeat so you could gather the evidence.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • tallulah131

          What a crock, Newman. Your claims are as empty as your religion.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • new-man

          here we go again.
          you have access to vast amounts of information- you're the one looking to be convinced, so you can find the information yourselves!

          July 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          new man: What a cop out! You claim this has happened, you've been told they don't believe you...the burden of proving it happened now lies on you. Why should your opinion be trusted if you refuse to back it?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new-man, The typical believer dodge. Firstly I have looked and there is no compelling evidence. Secondly you made the claim – you provide the evidence. Do you think is OK to lie for Jesus?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Newman has no proof and he lacks the integrity to admit it. I wonder if such fundamental dishonesty is something he learned in church.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • new-man

          all of you are sitting around a computer, I figure you all know how to use a search engine since it's the quickest means of conducting a search.
          what you want is for me to provide all the information to you but what good would that do.
          I could make mention of an instance on this board where someone wrongfully thought another posters child was healed and at once all the different reasons started surfacing as to what was the case and what actually happened.

          I don't have time for your nonsense.
          That's the reason I tell you, do the research your selves. If you're convinced fine... if you're unconvinced fine.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new-man, Looks like you missed my comment. That's a typical believer dodge. Firstly I have looked and there is no compelling evidence. Secondly you made the claim – you provide the evidence;apparently you have performed an internet search, do share the compelling evidence. Do you think is OK to lie for Jesus? Oh and then the fake indignation.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          new-man,

          He has not!

          look it up

          July 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes new man but we're not the ones making the claim that jesus has regrown limbs...if you're so damn sure of yourself and your claim, why are you being such a coward and refusing to back it? Otherwise, you're not to be trusted because you have proven yourself to be a liar.
          The fact is there is zero evidence to back you and so you took the cowardly way out (how very typical of most Christians) and attempted to make it look like we're the ones in the wrong. In fact most things you speak of when you speak about jesus are lies...nothing that has been written can be trusted considering it wasn't done until 30-40 years after he apparently died. (If you can't figure out that stories were usually embellished over years as they passed verbally from one to the next and thus are unreliable-the bible being no different, then you might need to go back to grade school and start over)

          July 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • new-man

          I am far from indignant.... I'm actually quiet bored.
          Also, there are other means of conducting research other than the internet.

          Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
          And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Bob

          new-man, while you are busily quoting from your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what is really in that awful text. From both foul testaments:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • hal 9001

          "new-man": "I'm actually quiet bored."

          I'm sorry, "new-man", but whether you are noisy or quiet, you are, in fact, boring.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new-man, So there is no evidence, just the worn-out you must believe to believe. Unfortunately that applies to the gods of any religion, any mythical creature, claims of alien abduction, etc. Yet you definitely do not believe in other gods nor I suspect many of the other things of that ilk. You have no reliable way to differentiate your god from any other mythology, so how do you expect others to take it on your word?

          July 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • otoh2

          new-man
          "And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

          That sounds like just another one of those "St. Peter and the Pearly Gates" stories.

          Is this "God" totally flummoxed and stymied for a way to incontrovertibly prove his existence to everyone? I'd almost feel sorry for the poor guy if he existed.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Newman makes excuses and acts as though providing evidence of his claims is a task to great for him to perform. Instead he acts like an spoiled child. The simple fact is this: Newman has no proof and he lacks the integrity to admit it. I wonder if such fundamental dishonesty is something he learned in church.

          July 26, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      "since then the Word of God has witnessed within my soul of a supernatural presence"

      After the spell wears off, read the Bible again. God is evil.

      July 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
  18. austin929

    Jesus Christ has promised the world that after His return there will be a 1,000 year literal kingdom. This kingdom is comprised of tribes from Isaac and Ishmael Abrahams Sons, as well as other Christians termed "spiritual seeds of Abraham.

    Today, those who are the harvest to come by divine will, mill one day know and witness God's plan for the world, who has a bigger and better plan than the governments of the earth today.

    Christ's plan for salvation is hindered by the acts of the devil and those who take the Lords name in vain by saying "this act is ordained by God" , yet they transgress the orders in the new testament. That type of Christianity, the religion, has no future. But the supernatural seed of Abraham has life and a future.

    July 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Give us break, enough with Jesus returning idiocy. Your Jesus was crucified and now his molecules are part of the normal cycles of nature.

      July 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • austin929

        Jesus returns physically. Spiritually He always was and will be.

        July 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • new-man

        If this is what you truly believe, why are you so angry?
        you're not going to influence nor change Austin's or any other believer's belief that Christ was indeed crucified for the whole world, but He is risen and is at the Fathers right hand.

        Want to know something incredible – the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides inside each and every person who have been born of the Spirit of God! WOW! So we're all without excuse for not being able to do as Jesus did, because even Jesus said "He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." Praise God!

        July 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • austin929

          I just think its interesting, that the anti christ or pseudo christ will claim to be god or the christ. and this fake will have many followers.

          I am surrounded with people who say they are believers who turn around and believe they are ordained to promote war, like John Huckabee.

          in other words, I believer many so called believers in the U.S. are taking the Lords name in vain, and satanically countering a spirit filled harvest.

          This is an abomination!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Woody

          "So we're all without excuse for not being able to do as Jesus did........"

          Does this mean I have to go out and get myself crucified? Well that sucks.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • new-man

          Austin,
          the thing is, no one eats for one hour per week and expects to have strength or to be healthy; yet this is what many believers do. I think you've even seen some who read the word, but do not even believe what they've read.

          I am no longer surprised that many will fall for the lies of anti-Christ because when a man has rejected Truth, he'll always fall for a lie. People love to have their senses "tickled" because they only know to operate in the physical, and go ahead and mention anything spiritual and come at you like hyenas instead of seeking truth, if only to prove you wrong.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • austin929

          I agree with you completely. There are also people who use the word of God deceptively and this will be on the rise. Here in my region there is a main Christian radio station and they embellish the worship of Singers and preachers with what appears to be a union with the state or political agenda . They are going out of their way to entertain also the listeners with professional and local sports news. ect. but mainly the political hosts coupled with preachers in other time slots is something that puzzles me.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          new-man and Austin: You poor gullible fools and so judgmental! Neither of you can prove with EVIDENCE anything you say and both of you fall for the stories that have been debunked. Such silly delusional children both in need of being medicated!!!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • austin929

          Truth Prevails, I have been all caught up in the hard labor this spring and summer and it seems that i have found my self at a distance from God.

          If you seek God passionately, you will find Him. He will pick you up into truth.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • new-man

          Woody,
          you have (deliberately?) misunderstood what I've written.

          Jesus' sacrifice is the ONE sacrifice acceptable before God... why? because Jesus as a man, was the only righteous, holy, obedient, human being to walk this earth.
          When/If a person decides to accept Jesus as their savior – meaning, they're saying I am incapable of making myself righteous and holy before God, therefore I am accepting what you have done, and so I am making you my Lord and Savior so that when God looks at me, He sees You[Jesus], and as Lord I will obey you from now on.

          So Woody, you do not need to get yourself crucified, all you'll do is end up dead in the flesh, and if you haven't made Jesus your Lord and Savior, you'll also end up spiritually dead- eternally separated from God... which would be quite unfortunate since this was one of the main reasons for Jesus' death – to bring you back into the presence of God, so the spirit of God can now come and dwell in you.
          it is when the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in you that you begin to operate in power and are able to do even greater works than Jesus. Jesus said it. It must be true! It can be no other way!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • new-man

          Austin,
          something I learnt some time ago. Enoch lived in time of great wickedness. He didn't let any of this have an effect on him. He locked himself away for a whole year each time coming out just once per year to teach the people about God; he kept doing this and his visits with the people became less and less – he was spending more and more time with God.

          The point being, it's possible to be so caught up in the presence of God such that nothing around you 'bothers' you. as the word says, we have to "Let" our light shine before men, then they will come and give glory to our Father.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • austin929

          wow. thats awesome. Enoch really is a great example!

          July 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • new-man

          Woody, corrected:

          ... you do not need to get yourself crucified, all you'll do is end up dead in the flesh, and if you haven't made Jesus your Lord and Savior, you'll REMAIN spiritually dead- eternally separated from God... which would be quite unfortunate since this was one of the main reasons for Jesus' death – to bring you back into the presence of God, so the spirit of God can now come and dwell inside of you.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • austin929

          I remember in Enoch how when the Elect one was judging, there was not a pity party going on. This was a time of victory.

          The age of the Church is one of patience and compassion. and the only answer that Christ has for us during this time, is carry the gospel like a sacred messenger. Christ is the savior of all the world.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • new-man

          Amen!
          Christ is indeed the Savior of all the world! Praise God!
          well said!

          July 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Bob

          new-man, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of your crazy superstition, is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          July 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Any one else think that referring to the "harvest" in this reference is a bit sick?

      July 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • austin929

        Jesus is the first fruit of the spirit. this goes back to the barley harvest, harvest of the first fruits. The consecration of the things that Jehovah provides, and this spiritual harvest is a gift from God.

        enmity between you and God is the reason we naturally offend God. that is how we are sick.

        July 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • austin929

          Leviticus 23
          9 The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.

          your soul is like an chromosome. It is useless without the spiritual seed of Christ.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If little ol' me can offend god he is a bit sensitive...he needs to get over himself.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • austin929

          well, but your reactions are less defensive and more on the offense. I think it is interesting that Christ was effected by the unbelief of the crowd. The crowd was not sitting in a state of not being able to understand, they were beyond listening they were going beyond honesty. They were willfully rejecting Christ because of a natural disposition that entails fury and hatred. Things that they acted upon.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          That's funny because I find the idea of being harvested offensive.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • otoh2

        Yeah, but it fits right in with their "Good Shepherd's" keeping his sheep for their wool, and flesh & skins at slaughter time... and the hauls of the "Fishers of Men". This "God" says, "Feed me, Seymour!" Yum.

        July 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • austin929

          otoh, what verse are you talking about lets read up on this!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          austin
          Shepherds don't keep sheep as pets. They keep them in order to fleece them regularly, and to have a steady supply of mutton. Fishermen are equally in the practice of fishing for the meat they get out of it, unless you count the catch-and-relace guys who are in it for the fun of messing with fish for entertainment. Neither of these analogies actually describe what you think Jesus' relationship is with mankind, right?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • austin929

          John 10:11 ►

          "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

          Matthew 4:19 ►

          And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

          I think that obviously if you take the parable like reference to who Christ is you have to selectively choose to disrepute His cause by choosing to say he is a shepherd who slaughters his own.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • austin929

          Kudlac, correct, in your question.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Coming from Austin, nothing is surprising. This is the boy-child who admitted to wishing he could blow up every liquor store...not exactly a functioning normal mind.

        July 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • austin929

          oh come on. i said burn it or whatever. My best friend had just died of liver poisoning from vodka. but on the other hand the vandalism of a building is less damaging than the misery and death that people experience who are slaves to liquor. if you look at the mug shots in my town there are people jailed, the same people, ever other day, for public consumption. Homeless, helpless people, who are exploited by the store that poisons them.

          hey , how bout the 23 billion dollar smoking settlement.

          Hey , if you cant burn down a liquor store, then how can you revolt from Britian and the king? put on tour whig and tights!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I always find it interesting that the same people who preach up and down that there is evil in the world because free will is so important are the same ones who want to take people's choices away..

          July 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          'or whatever'

          So then you agree that it might have been blow up...right?
          You can't go blaming the people who sell the products...they're simply doing what most do and accepting a job so they can get by in this world, take your anger out on the producers of the products or even the government for not doing more to acknowledge the dangers of alcohol. Alcohol sales equal big tax dollar and a vicious circle of money from there.
          (I'm not a drinker but have no issue with it providing it is done responsibly and one is not stupid enough to get behind the wheel of 3000 or so pounds of metal putting other lives at risk).

          Either way, you said it and that's not a sign of a stable mind...if I were part of your circle I'd be worried about you.

          July 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      Kingdoms are immoral. No thanks.

      July 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
      • austin929

        its a kingdom of God's spiritually redeemed! it is a kingdom where we check out of our fallen flesh and where humanity is sanctified.

        July 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Except that outside of your own ilk's stories you have no evidence for the existence of such a kingdom, so as usual your point is moot!

          July 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • austin929

          T.P. when you say evidence, you really can not make that claim. I may have experienced something that is truly evidence and things that make God evident. or something happened and evidently it was supernatural.

          that is evidence. I may not be able to prove it to you over the computer or in person. Maybe you have experienced something supernatural, or evidence of satanic power and deception. your perception may be inhibited by your own bias.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Wow really. Your deity's plan is "hindered" by the devil ? Really. Not such an omnipotent deity ya gots there, and not very omniscient or good at making them plans either is she ?

      I always wonder if the people who cook up this pious drivel ever actually stop to think about what it actually means ?
      Or are they doing it to prove (mostly to themselves) they can "do" the pious drivel thing.

      July 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • austin929

        Matthew 8:18 ►

        When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.

        Leaving the Crowd Behind – Matthew 13:36-39

        Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, "Explain to us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field." Jesus answered, "The person that planted the good seed in the field is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are all of God's children in the kingdom. The weeds are those people that belong to the Evil One (the devil). And the enemy that planted the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the world. And the workers that gather are God's angels."

        July 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Quoting the book that speaks of this stuff is circular reasoning and very immature logic.

          July 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • austin929

          but it is interesting how the unbelief of the crowd effected the Christ man. or how did Christ, who is God, die as man and yet he was God.

          could you hurt his feelings?

          July 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bob

      austin929, the whole Jesus-sacrifice story, the foundation of your crazy superstition, is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

      Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  19. Salero21

    The NONSENSE of atheism/evolutionism/cultism/idolatry and their related ideologies like communism/socialism/fascism et al is Absolute, Complete and Total. The Lying of atheists is Compulsive and Pathological.

    July 26, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • No Wake Zone

      But I can't help it.

      July 26, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • Doris

      Salero21 = Absolute, Complete, Lying, Compulsive, Pathological, Panicky cut & pasta cult speak; lol.

      July 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You forgot "The moon is made of green cheese" Sally.

      July 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
  20. alonsoquixote

    For anyone who might be interested, there is a Wikipedia article, Christianity in Iraq, which notes that in 2003, Christians represented about 5% of the population with a Christian population of about 1 and 1/2 million people. The article notes the impact of the Iraq War on the Christian population of the country:

    After the Iraq War, it was estimated that the number of Christians in Iraq had dropped to less than 450,000 by 2013 – with estimates as low as 200,000. Chaldean Catholics form the biggest group among the Christians of Iraq.

    The article lists the various other Christian communities in the nation and also notes:

    The Baathist rule under Saddam Hussein kept anti-Christian violence under control but subjected some to "relocation programmes"

    Christians are not the only religious minority in the country to suffer attacks and increased persecution after the Iraq War in 2003. In August of 2007, a coordinated series of bombings occurred in the Yazidi towns of Kahtaniya and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul. The Iraqi Red Crescent estimated the bombs killed 796 and wounded 1,562 people – see the Wikipedia article 2007 Yazidi communities bombings at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Qahtaniya_bombings . The bombings have been linked to the stoning to death of a Yazidi teenager who reputedly wished to convert from Yazidism to Islam so that she might marry a Sunni man.

    The UN Regugee Agency site at World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Iraq : Yezidis at refworld.org/docid/49749d0641.html notes:

    In the wake of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, Yezidis also faced increased persecution by religious extremists who regarded them as 'devil worshippers'. A Yezidi council member for the Nineveh Plains was assassinated in April 2006, one of 11 Yezidis reported murdered between September 2005 and September 2006. In April 2007, suspected Sunni militants – thought to be Al Qaeda in Iraq – pulled 23 Yezidi men from a bus and executed them. The same group of extremists targeted the Yezidi community with the single most devastating terrorist attack of the Iraq war in August 2007; four truck bombs killed 215 Yezidis in two villages in the Nineveh Plains, along the Syrian border.

    July 26, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      Yazidis believe they are descended from Adam, but not Eve and also believe that God put seven holy beings in charge of the world. Chief among those beings is Tawûsê Melek. They have been branded as "devil worshipers" due to Christians and Muslims identifying Tawûsê Melek as Satan/Shaitan.

      July 26, 2014 at 11:04 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.