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August 9th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Why missionaries put their lives on the line

By Daniel Burke and Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) – It wasn’t as if God's voice boomed through sun-parted clouds, telling Kent Brantly to move his family to Liberia.

Still, the young doctor said, the call was clear.

It echoed through the congregation where he was raised, Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis.

Standing before the church community in July 2013, months before he left for Africa, Brantly said he heard the call in the teachers who urged him to memorize Scripture and the neighbors who funded his first mission trip years ago.

He saw it in the aunts and uncles who spent their vacations running Bible camps, organizing youth groups and serving missions themselves in Africa.

“It may not seem like much,” Brantly said in an emotional address to the Southeastern congregation, “but when you connect the dots you see a grand design that God has used to draw my life in a certain direction.”

For Brantly, that meant serving a two-year medical mission in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. But in a grim twist that garnered international headlines, the 33-year-old contracted Ebola while treating patients and was airlifted back to the United States.

Brantly and a fellow missionary, Nancy Writebol, who was serving with SIM, another Christian aid organization, are being treated for the disease at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

After Liberia's outbreak began in March 2013, Writebol volunteered at a hospital in Monrovia, where she disinfected doctors and nurses working with patients stricken by the disease.

Despite their weakened health, their trust in God remains strong, family members said.

“Mom is tired from her travel, but continues to fight the virus and strengthen her faith in her Redeemer, Jesus,” said Jeremy Writebol, Nancy’s son.

On Friday, Brantly said that he felt a spiritual serenity even after learning his diagnosis.

“I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding,” he said. “God was reminding me of what he had taught me years ago, that he will give me everything I need to be faithful to him.

Though Brantly's wife and children had been in Liberia with him, they had returned to the United States when he became ill.

In addition to the American missionaries, a nun and a priest from Spain who worked in Liberia also contracted Ebola, two more victims in an outbreak that health officials describe as the largest and most complex in the history of the disease.

As of Saturday, 961 people have died, nearly all in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where more than 1,770 cases have been reported, according to the World Health Organization.

Heroic or foolish? 

In the United States, much of the attention last week focused on the missionaries, who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way.

Christians have long debated the effectiveness of missions, with some arguing that they can, at times, cause more harm than good – both to missionaries and the people they are trying to help.

But rarely has the debate ranged as far afield of Christian circles or become as bitterly divided as it has since the American missionaries' return to the United States.

Prominent Christians, such as R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore, called Brantly and Writebol heroic.

The missionaries knew the risks of contracting Ebola but worked with patients, doctors and nurses to try to contain the outbreak, the evangelicals said.

On the other hand, real estate mogul Donald Trump tweeted that people who travel to foreign countries to help are "great" but “must suffer the consequences” of their actions.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was even more unsympathetic, saying Brantley’s health status had been “downgraded to ‘idiotic.’”

“Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa?” Coulter wrote. “The very first ‘risk factor’ listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola - an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate - is: ‘Travel to Africa.’”

Nancy Writebol's husband, David, who remains in Liberia, answered the critics on Friday.

Writebol said he knows that some think missionaries like his wife are "foolish, or worse," to "put everybody in danger by going" to places like Liberia.

"But it’s that very calling," he said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "that demonstrates the characteristics, the great things that Christ has done for humanity. He left heaven and he came to a place of suffering and trouble and went about doing good.”

The Great Commission 

Besides the personal pull described by missionaries like Brantly, for centuries Christians have followed a more general call to spread the Gospel through word and deed. Known as the Great Commission, it began when Jesus told the apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Since then, millions of believers – from Baptists to Mormons to Jehovah’s Witnesses - have stuffed scriptures into suitcases and preached the Gospel in nearly every corner of the globe.

For centuries, serving those missions meant spending decades abroad, learning a culture and its language, and trying, with varying degrees of success, to convert native peoples to Christianity.

But short-term missions - often defined as less than two years - exploded in the 1970s and ‘80s with the advent of cheap and safe travel, scholars say. For evangelicals in particular, mission trips have become almost a rite of passage. In his 33 years, Kent Brantly had already served missions in Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nicaragua.

In doing so, Brantly is one of an estimated 1.6 million Americans adults who embark on short-term mission trips to foreign countries each year, according to Princeton University sociologist Robert Wuthnow.

If domestic missions and Christians under 18 were included, that number would rise to about 2.4 million, said David Armstrong, executive director of Mission Data International.

It’s an indication of how seriously Christians take Jesus’ call to reach “all nations,” a task to which they bring ever-increasing technical sophistication.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, for instance, keeps tabs on the precise percentage of the world’s population who have been “evangelized.”

As of mid-2014, about 71% of the world has heard the Gospel through personal preaching, radio, television books or other media, the center says.

But not all missions are about evangelizing.

There are basically three types of missionaries, said Albert W. Hickman, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity: those who preach, those who do good works, and those who do both.

SIM, which Nancy Writebol joined in 2013, belongs in the last category.

'Do you mind if I pray with you?'

Originally know as Sudan Interior Ministry, the Christian group has been active in Africa since 1893, when two young Canadians and an American set out to preach the Gospel in sub-Saharan Africa.

Within months, the men contracted malaria. Two died, but one survived and went on to help lay the groundwork for the modern SIM, which now stands for the more general Serving in Mission.

“Even early on, our people were willing to sacrifice or to die for their faith,” said George Salloum, SIM USA’s vice president of finance and operations.

More than 1,600 SIM missionaries now work in 60 countries.

The majority are recruited online, a process that starts with questions for applicants like: Do you share your faith with others? Is prayer a regular part of your life? Are you disciplined, accountable? Have your really thought about how hard being a missionary will be?

The list of missions SIM offers is extensive – from a Bible school teacher in Mongolia to a water engineer in South Sudan. The group also sends medical professionals to mission hospitals and clinics throughout the world.

Before they travel, missionaries go through cross-cultural training, learning, for example, how close should they stand while taking to someone and how different cultures greet strangers.

Missionaries also are also trained in their most critical skill, Salloum said: How to provide practical help while simultaneously spreading the Gospel.

For instance, when a person suffers from an illness or injury, the medical missionary will approach and ask if they can help. “The missionary just shares something ... and then sometimes they’ll say, ‘Do you mind if I pray with you?’”

“People will say, ‘Why are you doing that?’ And we tell them that’s what Christ did,’” Salloum said. “It’s a natural transition – someone who has a physical need then to have a spiritual need.”

That's precisely what Nancy Writebol did in Liberia, said the SIM executive. “She talked to children, she shared the Gospel. She was just available, there for the people. That was her world.”

Writebol and her husband are originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and have two adult sons, according to SIM.

In Liberia, before the outbreak, Nancy served as a personnel coordinator, guiding new missionaries as they entered the West African country. She also volunteered on the staff of ELWA hospital, where David Writebol worked as a technical services manager of the 100-building complex.

"We aren't going to stop our ministry – we believe we can serve wherever God sends us," David Writebol said on Friday.

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian relief organization Brantly worked for, declined to speak to CNN.

David Armstrong, from Mission Data International, said the organization, which is headed by Franklin Graham, focuses chiefly on emergency aid, particularly the physical needs of native populations. But they also try to tend to spiritual needs, which means providing Bibles and setting up prayer meetings.

“They are sharing the Gospel, but it’s more of a one-on-one, person-to-person thing,” Armstrong said.

Good works (without preaching the Gospel) 

One of the world's largest faith-based organizations doesn't even like the "missionary" label, according to a spokesman, because of the word's association with proselytizing.

Though Catholic Relief Services says it is motivated by the Gospel to embody Catholic social and moral teaching, it does not preach to the people it helps.

In fact, you don't even have to be Catholic to work for Catholic Relief Services. Among its 4,500 workers are many Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions, said Bill O’Keefe, the organization’s vice president of advocacy.

“We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith," O’Keefe said. “We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic.”

Founded in 1943, CRS has 4,500 workers more than 60 countries, including 250 CRS workers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, the West African nations hit hardest by the latest Ebola outbreak.

“The biggest obstacles they’re facing is misinformation,” said CRS spokesman Michael Stulman, who was recently in Sierra Leone. “The people believe that Ebola is a curse or that it’s a lie made up by authorities.”

Meredith Dyson, CRS’s health program manager in Freetown, Sierra Leone, said her job is to get the public to stop believing those myths.

Some Liberians, for instance, believe that a soft drink can cure the disease, or that Ebola is a nefarious plot concocted by nongovernmental organizations and the government.

“People say don’t go to the hospital, you won’t come back because healthcare workers are injecting people and killing them,” she said.

“Every myth is born of some kind of truth – it is partly what they’re seeing – people are going to hospital and not coming home.”

Dyson, 31, studied public health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she met people who worked for CRS. Though not Catholic herself, Dyson said the church's teachings on human dignity and social justice resonated deeply with her.

Describing the recent Ebola outbreak, Dyson's voice breaks as she recalls two CRS colleagues - both Africans - who died will trying to help others.

“The people who work in this setting are close knit,” she said. “They become your family. It can be really hard.”

Unexpected places 

Back in the United States, sitting in an isolation room at Emory University hospital, Brantly said he didn’t move to Liberia to fight Ebola, but that it became necessary after the outbreak there.

He said he held the hands of countless patients who died of the disease, and still remembers each of their faces and names.

Brantly's mission may not have been what he imagined when he spoke to Southeastern Church of Christ those many months ago, but his focus remains the same: going wherever God leads.

“One thing I have learned," Brantly said, "is that following God often leads us to unexpected places.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Charity • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith & Health • Foreign policy • Health • Health care • Liberia • Missionaries

soundoff (2,880 Responses)
  1. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the Words of Jesus Christ
    in Gospel (=Matthew & Mark & Luke & John).

    It will change the World forever!

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

    September 1, 2014 at 7:02 am |
  2. realbuckyball

    test

    August 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
  3. ccree

    Reblogged this on God is speaking today and commented:
    As a missionary I am always surprised that the people I meet have almost no idea what missionaries are or do. They have read some cartoons somewhere and think we all slash through the underbrush to meet African bushmen. Perhaps that is why they never ask me about my experiences.

    August 29, 2014 at 4:57 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Maybe it's because imposing one's beliefs onto other cultures is now seen as imperialism.

      August 31, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Doris

    WashingtonPost has an interesting article:

    Ebola crisis provides glimpse into $amaritan’s Pur$e

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ebola-crisis-sheds-light-on-controversial-samaritans-purse/2014/08/20/0b9d670a-27b5-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html?hpid=z1

    Franklin Graham's wikipedia page says that he became a Christian at age 22. In one regard that means he was able to effect a clean disassociation with his shenanigans at LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas just a few years earlier (he was eventually expelled from that school). I guessing that his father, tired of his recklessness, finally convinced him that he needed to officially join the club and get that "get out of jail card" good for life.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  5. Vic

    That's good news:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/21/health/ebola-patient-release/index.html

    Hopefully, Nancy Writebol is next.

    August 21, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      It is amazing news and we can thank the scientists who worked hard to come up with the vaccine, for saving this man's life, Nancy's (or so I would suspect) and the numerous others that will benefit.

      August 21, 2014 at 8:52 am |
      • bevshe

        I agree, We need to thank the scientists and professional who dedicate their skills to help these impoverished people.
        I believe the "missionaries" may have good intentions but their agenda is to' push' their religion onto these people.
        These people need help with the basics of maintaining a structured life that teaches them about sanitation and a better quality of life.
        I think the CRS is a lot more helpful since they "help" more without the religious "push".

        August 25, 2014 at 10:01 am |
  6. lunchbreaker

    Let me see if I got this,

    1. Adam and Eve
    2. Adam and Eve have kids, incest abounds, and that populates the world.
    3. Flood kills all but Noah's Family.
    4. Yet more incest abounds to populate the world.
    5. God tells Moses, "Enough with the incest already."

    August 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      progressive revelation..yeah

      August 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      God knows best
      Who needs incest

      August 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      It is a cheaply entertaining story, lots of twists-lots of horror; lots of death and plenty of contradictions with tiny specks of real things thrown in to make it believable....mob mentality at its best.

      August 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Salero21

      In other words your homies friends could not populate the world, simply because is against nature, interesting!
      Yours is the stuff that charlatans are made of. There was no other way to do it [procreate] in those early days. Therefore there was NO LAW respecting incest yet at the time. There was a more pressing need, so any incest laws were in suspense until the population grew enough.

      August 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
  7. lunchbreaker

    I see a lot of posts referring to the Caananites as the descendants of Cain. Where did Cain find a wife? How does one man have enough descendants to populate an entire society?

    I ask this honestly, not trying to be a smart ass.

    August 20, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • kermit4jc

      Gensis 5 says Adam and Eve had other children.they lived a long time..enough to have many other children.then of course those had children and so on and so on

      August 20, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        So you believe the earth was populated via incest?

        August 20, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • LaBella

          Of course it was. Twice.

          August 20, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..at the beginning...if you wanna say "wasn't that against the law" you have to remember..the Law did NOT come till Moses' time.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          WOW, you're a disgusting human!! Obviously you have lied about your occupation or you would know about what can occur when 1st blood relatives breed!
          To ever think that incest has EVER been acceptable is disgusting.
          Please stay away from children!

          August 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          this is what science has shown whathappens TODAY....not in ancient past......incest happened..even in evolution...accept it...you don't have to support it...you are the sick one who need smore info

          August 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I get that incest happens but that is the very basis of our beginnings and to think it could ever be okay, even for that is disgusting.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so in evolution, it was disgusting too..that incest occurred as a necessity to populate the world eh?

          August 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You obviously do not understand evolution if that is what you think.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and BTW....not every single instance of first relative breed results in terrible stuff....again look at evolution.it started out with inc est...it had to...I know there were not "two humans only" according to evolution, but with the odds of evolution happening from the common ancestor, youd have to have a number of humans show up at same time..I mean that's a laugh!

          August 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You do not know that evolution started out as incest, that is not how evolution works. Common ancestor could be something from a billion years ago, that does not imply incest.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ell..to make evolution more plausible incest would have had to happened..again ...you got to think of the odds of getting even TWO humans and each findindg one another to populate the earth..let alone other s to come near same time..even with millions (its got to take time to get to have humans evolve from the nonhumans) still the odds are too great..Im sorry..this is one reason why I think evolution on a large scale did not happen

          August 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Nice hypothesis but nothing more...there's no evidence for incest being the beginnings of our species. So you can guess at that all you wish but that is all you're doing.
          Denying the vast amounts of evidence for evolution in the 21st century proves you are intellectually dishonest.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          thereis nothing said against the in cest in populating the world..again using RESON and Logic....the conclusion would come to this...and if you insist even without inc est..then yu ohave mORE faith in science than I do in Gods promises!!!!

          August 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          There is nothing said because there is nothing to support it.
          I don't have faith in science, I have reasonable expectations from science. I care that my beliefs are factual and faith doesn't require fact.

          August 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you know, you used ONE definition of faith...look it up in the dictionary..Ill give you Merriam websters definition of faith

          1
          a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

          b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

          2
          a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

          b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

          3
          : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

          August 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So?? I was right, thank you proving that.

          August 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and the way FAITH Is USED in the BIble is not as you stated. Hebrews 11 talks of FAITH in Gods Promises...knowing that God will come trough..It is very straight forward in the chapter. Nowhere is there a hint of "no evidence" it is trusting God when He says He will do this....

          August 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Once again with the arrogance thing...of course you know what it means...you have the god whisperer ring...you're oh so special (need that is)

          August 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          noPE..that's your faulty misconception...I am not any more special than anyone else to have God speak to me..He speaks to all who will listen. There is nothing about me that's "better" than you that God would choose to speak to me.

          August 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Nope, that is merely you thinking you know everything about the bible. The biblical definition of faith matters not, the one that matters in the REAL world, not the fantasy one of the bible-is the one you posted from the dictionary-obviously you know what that is, so you should stop twisting the definitions of words to fit your fantasy.
          You merely claim it is god speaking to you but that is all it is, a claim backed with nothing but you. If it melds with others in some small way that's due to mass belief, it still does not prove a god exists, just that people are truly gullible and weak.

          August 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Biblical defition DOES matter when referring to Christianity..and I did not twist..I was only referring to the BIBLES useage of the word faith....if you wanna use another definition...then go for it..Ill stick with faith according to the Bible's use of it

          August 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Okay, so in your world that is your definition...in the real world-the one where people aren't gullible, faith is the definition you posted and that is the one that works.

          August 20, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that faith YOU speak of is ONE of the definitions in the dictionary...read my post again

          August 20, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The faith you speak of from the bible does not mean anything. Your bible/religion does not have the right to change definitions to make it fit the belief system.
          The dictionary meaning is the CORRECT meaning.

          August 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          lol TP! Bible is not written originally in English and the Bible DOES have that right since it comes from ANOTHER culture and language!!!!! WHo says there is no right? Words change in meaning ALL the time! You are totally out of touch with reality dear. The meaning is subjected to the intent of the authors who wrote the Bible! I will take it on that. IM sorry you feel desperate to make up silly rules/laws of communication and language.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          correct meaning for WHOM???? The English dictionary is for ENGLISH speaking people..not for Greek nor Hebrew!!! lol

          August 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Impressive that you would recognize that. What's not impressive is that you'd ignorantly expect people to know the translations.
          The English dictionary meaning would be the one most commonly used or did you fail to think about that?
          If you go by this article, faith has various meanings from religion to religion, thus those meanings mean nothing to people who ARE NOT religious and so those people tend to use the common definition. I'm sorry if that is unacceptable to you but you'll just have to pull up your big boy panties and deal with it as an adult should.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WRONG AGAIN! why do you assume sooo much about me? I thought you were about FACTS...why don't you start ASKING questions? (You get answers better that way than assuming!) I EXPECT people to STUDY it if they truly want to know! I expect people to USE their brains to realize this is a different text from the English text! I expect people to THINK when reading the Bible....if they REALIZEd the Bible was NOT written in English language originally, then if they REALLY want to know meaning of words, theyd get a Greek or Hebrew dictionary/concordance!

          August 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You expect people to know the greek translation, that is not right. You initially gave the dictionary definition-the one most commonly used, so I do not see how I could be wrong here. The dictionary meaning works best, sorry if that offends you but it is what would be taught to all, not the biblical definitions-they have no pertinence outside of your belief system and thus do no apply to everyone.
          This is done..you can't seem to accept that you could be wrong and I'm not going in circles with you-that's a waste of energy.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you read only ONE definition that I posted? and countd that as the only definition of faith? and read again..i expect people to LOOK it up ....just like we use a dictionary, we can use Greek and Hebrew concordances/dictionaries...they are not too big, most people can handle them...there is a HUGe difference between APPLYING and KNOWING.....I hope you know that.....however..if people want to DEBATE the Bible..then it IS relevant..so those of you in here...like you TP if YOU are going to argue it..then use the BIble's definition...it is relevant

          August 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Look kermi, I'm sorry you failed to comprehend when I said it was over and that we were going around in circles. I'm sorry respect is not something you were taught.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          when did YOU want respect? you never gave it...why should You talk of it? lolololol.....I can still respond..you don't have to...I wasn't being disrespectful in answering the last post....besides..i had to defend myself aginst you LIE again when you LIED about me and twisted my words...youre pretty good at that

          August 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh my, pot meet kettle!

          August 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OMG you cant read!!!! ALL IM saying is WHEN did yo uget so concerned about repect (IM referring to lately) YOU are the one ranting on respect right now..not me......YOU never seemed concerned about respect.....you suddenly turn over a new leaf or something?

          August 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I can read. You don't give respect, so you don't merit respect.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          then WHY should OU be so concerned about it? pot calling kettle...You whined about it..so IM giving you taste of your own medicine....if YOU want repsect..you can earn it too baby

          August 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I wold think that it DOES have meaning even to non religious..if they are out to get KNOWLEDGE..or you rather just stay culturally ignorant?

          August 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • LaBella

          I am so glad that the culture that embraced incest is over.

          August 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes...I'm now trying to understand where kermi gets the idea that evolution points to incest as our beginnings.

          August 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          So, we humans were originally intended to live out our lives in the Garden, serving as God's groundskeepers (or is it zoo specimens?), ignorant of the difference between right and wrong, without rules of our own, merely doing as God wished, including incest?

          Not my idea of Paradise at all.

          August 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOt my idea either...good thing that's not the BIBLICAL version....its more than "tending" to the ground and such....theer was interaction between man and God.....fellowship...that's what matter most

          August 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Either way, the story has humans being created to take care of God's little zoo, perhaps sharing as much "fellowship" as some incredibly rich guy has with his illegal Mexican gardener: One mistake, and BOOM, you're kicked out of the country.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          bad attempt in using humans as anology...God is HOLY..not cause he FEELS like it..it is His very nature..and sin can NOT simply co exist within the full presence of God! YOU are too busy basing stuff on feelings of humans..and not of the NATURE of God...

          August 21, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • Doris

          So kermit seems to know what his god FEELS. One of my granddaughters seems to know what her imaginary friend feels. But you know – she's only 3.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          did I say I know what GOD feels? and even if, Who says I cannot know? Its called COMMUNICATION..try it..it helps

          August 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • tallulah131

          So you have a special line of communication with god that allows you to know what he feels, kermit? You must be a really, really special, important person. Or maybe you've decided that your inner dialogue (something we all have) is a special line of communication with god, because it makes you feel like a special, important person.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          nO special line..again its communication. IM feeling tired, I will tell you (if you ask) If IM angry I will tell you.....IM no more important than anyone else...God does not pick and choose in that way....only people like you who base worth on shallow stuff.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          He does claim to have great knowledge from his 'personal experience' and having studied (to borrow from Doris) Gullibles Travels for 27 years...He is the God Whisperer after all.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Doris

          "did I say I know what GOD feels?"

          Effectively, you did, kermie.

          Of course we all understand that you can't present any evidence for such, so please understand why some of us will just take what you're claiming here as sanctimonious BS.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..so if I know what God feels..I can know because he has revealed it...I can know what YOU feel if you tell me what you feel..if yiuore angry youd tell me.....as for feeling..MY point was NOT feelings..but the NATURE of God,..which you seem to conveniently ignore

          August 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Doris

          "so if I know what God feels..I can know because he has revealed it..."

          lol. yes, well some things were supposedly revealed to Charles Manson. We have just as much evidence for that.....

          August 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          apples to oranges.....you don't know a dang about psychology and all.....HUGE difference between me and Manson..He wa sa criminal! IM not..he had some mental problems..I do not

          August 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • hal 9001

          I'm sorry, kermit4jc, but your credibility on the subject of psychology is still zero. Perhaps, similar to some pseudo-scientists, you can purchase some pseudo-credibility on the subject of psychology.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          try telling that to my bosses who know my work for over 15 years

          August 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If that analogy breaks down so does the one where God is a "father" to us, correct?

          August 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kudlak: Thank you...you say it much more eloquently than I could. Have you seen his rant about the proper definition of the word faith yet? It's entertaining!

          August 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • kudlak

          TruthPrevails1
          See, I'm not even convinced that he's real. I'm not even convinced that any of the regular theists posting here are what they pose as. I sometimes get the feeling that they're all just bored atheists, but maybe I'm wrong.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      So does that make the view on incest simply cultural?

      August 20, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Even if cultural, it is rather sickening. It's too bad Christians don't see the Adam and Eve story as the sick incest story that it is.

        August 20, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          LOL>.so the world wasn't populated by incest in evolution-specifically in the beginning? come on..get real!

          August 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So you support incest...you're a very sick man!

          August 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I do NOT support incest...no..I never even implied...youre sick for even thinking I implied it

          August 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're saying it was acceptable at one point...seems like some support of it is at hand

          August 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IM saying it happened...I never said I agreed to it

          August 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I'm glad I noticed that LOL, for a second i thought you were serious.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Since Eve was a sort of clone of Adam, it was more like masturbation, really.

          August 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          True enough :-)

          August 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If it wasn't acceptable with God then all he'd have to do was create a group of people, enough to make incest unnecessary, right? Seems that the writers simply could not imagine a time when there wasn't a first man and woman, something that seems to cause creationists the same difficulty.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not neccsarily....it became unacceptable..progressive revelation.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and again, God is all knowing..there was a purpose...what is that purpose? don't know exactly...I cannot say since IM not Gods advisor, and I don't have all info like God does. Im only going to trust him, knowing he knows what He is doing.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • LaBella

          Which goes directly back to A&E, the tree being unecessary, and the choice always known to Him.
          They were made to fall. It was pre-ordained.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          No so! The ACTION still has to occur, whether God knows it or not!

          August 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • LaBella

          The action was inevitable, given God set it up to specifically happen that way.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yep

          August 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • LaBella

          Thank you, Kermit. Finally.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If God can change his mind and reveal these changes through progressive revelation, then it's possible that Christians will come to understand that God now accepts gays just as they are, that women are equal to men, and that abortion is not murder, correct?

          I know that you could argue that revelation ended with the Bible, but Christians ended slavery and killing witches (both endorsed by the Bible) without some prophet actually declaring it on God's behalf and his book amending the Bible. If you asked Christians 500 years ago whether they could ever imagine the majority of their faith disapproving of these practices you'd have likely been laughed at (or burned as a witch for talking about the future), but here we are, right?

          So, there is precedence for the majority of Christians simply reinterpreting the Bible to suit their beliefs and, by looking at the current trend, would you be surprised if the majority of churches are headed by women, marrying gays, handing out family planning literature in 50 – 100 years?

          August 21, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          it is not a sin for women to lead the church..again context to the situation during Pauls time in the cities of Ephesus and Corinth

          August 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          LaBella
          Yup! We were supposedly created to fail, making God like some kind of car manufacturer who intentionally made his products susceptible to breaking down, therefore needing costly service and replacement parts.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • LaBella

          Kudlak,
          It took him long enough to grasp that point.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
      • G to the T

        I've read about studies that showed we appear to have a genetic disposition against mating with close kin-relations. That being said, it's a disposition, not an objective fact of our biology.

        August 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • aallen333

      Even science suggests that all of the people on earth can trace their genealogy back to the same man through DNA sequencing (makes racism seem foolish when you think about it). This lines up quite clearly with the biblical account of the origin of man.

      August 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
      • kudlak

        "Mitochondrial Eve" is commonly misunderstood. If she existed at all, she would not have been the only female human alive during her day, and she probably was not the most recent ancestor shared by all humans. Most importantly, she could not be biblical Eve as she would have had a mother herself and would not have lived at the same time as our oldest, common male ancestor.

        August 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • G to the T

        "Even science suggests that all of the people on earth can trace their genealogy back to the same man through DNA sequencing"

        Only if you misunderstand the science. What it's portraying is a bottle-neck in genetic diversity. There never was a single human male (or female). Genetics/evolution doesn't work that way.

        August 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    reading the posts below, christians seem to have the same sick mentality as pervy submissives ... "Oh I am a worm. Oh I am a sinner. Oh I am unworthy. Oh punish me. Oh discipline me."

    With a good portion of abused spouse ... "Oh he loves me, that's why he has to punish me. He only hits me because I deserve it. He only hits me because I do wrong. It's my fault he hits me"

    what a sick, sad view of the world.

    August 20, 2014 at 8:44 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Absolutely. Lets not forget the Holier Than Thou arrogance...the whole "I found jesus 27 years ago..." tripe as if that means anything or the condescension from some of them. It's sad that they can't pull their heads out of the 1st century and live in this one.

      August 20, 2014 at 8:47 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I laugh when Christians say that atheists are conceited because they don't believe in a god. Oh the irony!

        Christians believe that their imaginary sky daddy created this entire universe just for them and wants a personal relationship with them. It's the ultimate conceited, egotistical, narcissistic, self absorbed view!

        Atheists believe in all that is proven and visible and factual. We know that we are just beings that inhabit this universe and make up a tiny blip in time and space. We know our place, without all the Christians' delusions of grandeur!

        August 20, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi had the audacity to argue interpretation as if his is the correct one and no Atheist could possibly know what he claims to.

          They like to claim we're angry because finally we have a voice and that hurts them, they can no longer silence us.

          I care about humanity and that includes all, not just Atheists. Religion is dangerous when in the hands of the wrong people (kermi, Theo, awanderingdolt, topher, new-man,MadeFromDirt)...they tend to use their religion to try to deny rights not caring about how it affects others.

          I had this debate on facebook the other day when my lesbian friends Uncle and Mother attacked her publicly-good ole republitards. They called it love because they don't want her to suffer eternally, I told them there is no love involved.
          They demand respect but refuse to give it. If hell did exist, most of the Christians on this blog would be there...they are poor reps for humanity and the survival of our species.
          I just want them to keep it in their homes and churches and away from children under 18 (brainwashing them is child abuse and religion does that too often).

          August 20, 2014 at 8:57 am |
        • kermit4jc

          The atheist and others CAN know..by using context..and I see you STILL have not really addressed the issue of context..seeems like kryptonite to you

          August 20, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I addressed the issue, you're merely too arrogant and ignorant to accept it. Your bible discriminates constantly and the scripture I posted proved that but yet you like to pretend it doesn't...you're biased...to admit to the horror in that book would mean you have to face reality and living in the real world could seriously hurt you...keep living the lie if you must.
          You just refuse to accept that you might be wrong...arrogant is what that is.
          An education would greatly benefit you (not the fake one you claim to have)...try a Secular school-they are better rated and won't fill your head with the god delusion.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I have not really seen any of your posts..addressing much on context..you touched on it a little..but it seems as if you dont understand what context is and you have not used it to show anything of your argument..for example...when posting a passage from the Bible, I have yet to see any context given to it....

          August 20, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It seems you are judging AGAIN!! Gee if hell exists, you're doomed!

          August 20, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • kermit4jc

          what kind of judging do you think sends me to hell (according to your "knowledge" of the Bible/Christianity?

          August 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • austin929

          truth prevails.....................you are talking about a tendency for religion to produce supremacy or a right of prestige. what you say is true. the bible talked exactly about this. and predicted that it would get worse..

          I think you feel as if mankind is unworthy of the personal relationship aspect............it sounds like. and I can understand that too because I know supremacy type people who think they have a personal relationship and its a sick ordeal.

          going back to the bible all men fell away at times in a deep sense of sin. I think this deep sin cycle is the key.

          don't deserve the relationship..................all are sinners.......an infirmity of the flesh mind and soul............yet through the blood of Christ.........we have his righteousness promised to us for the day of judgment.

          so if you feel like you don't deserve to be a personal child of God. ,................you can trust that you are justified.

          and I think people truly desire to seek God. don't you?

          August 20, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: You're twisting words...bad delusional liar that you are!! Your post is moot because you as usual are wrong! Mankind is worthy, it is you who doesn't think so or you wouldn't believe we are all 'sinners'. Please get an education and some help for your delusions-you're not mentally stable and much like the night you drove your car while drunk, you're not safe to be in society.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • austin929

          was society safe in Germany for the Jews.? is society safe in the Kurdish mountains for the Yazidi's?

          is society safe? if you think society is a safe place for someone like me who has had these experiences think again.

          was society safe for the prophets of the old testament?

          August 20, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • austin929

          was society safe for Jesus? and what did He do?

          you have an eternal soul, and society has nothing to do with that T.P. your future is between you and God.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: Drop the Holier Than Thou crap!!! There is no evidence for your god and thus no justification for believing in it. You're a horrible person when you THINK you're better than other because you have an imaginary friend. You stupidly put lives at risk and yet you have the nerve to speak to us about how wrong we are??? Talk about ignorance and arrogance.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • austin929

          t.p. you are putting others souls at risk for spreading your reasoning. that is worse than driving drunk to be honest. because the soul is eternal, and also you are denying God and your own soul the process of salvation.

          you know what the ultimate act of disrespect is? and its a rapist mentality and a supremacy template..............is people who make as.sumptions incorrectly and then act totally based on emotional and flawed as.sumptions.

          those are dangerous people . those are people who display a dangerous sense of fairness and control .

          August 20, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • midwest rail

          " was society safe in Germany for the Jews.? is society safe in the Kurdish mountains for the Yazidi's? "
          Is it safe in a Christian society for gay people ?

          August 20, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • austin929

          for example ..........if someone says to you "get your papers ready"....................and you turn around and call the cops and tell them "they just threatened my life and told me to get my will and testament ready" and then the cops come and arrest the person...................and you had a vindictive atti.tude to begin with...............and you just had someone arrested based on unfounded fear.

          then that would be sick. you might as well move out into the country and just stay away from every one rather than having everyone you don't like or agree with thrown into an insti.tution because you are a scared vindictive and selfish person.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • austin929

          inside the temple of God,,,,,,in the Holy of Holies.................if you present sin directly to God with pride, you are not safe.

          gays are safe and so are fornicators. liars, thieves, idolater. inside the church there is something called accountability...............people don't go outside the church holding unbelievers accountable.
          [
          to the unsaved............there is no law within that person and they cant be judged based upon their personal choice of sin.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • midwest rail

          " gays are safe ...
          Oh, really ?

          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/erik-rush-gays-aligned-isis

          August 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • midwest rail

          Also, Austin, until you answered my question, neither you nor I said anything about "inside church" – the premise was "in society". Why the dishonesty in changing the premise ?

          August 20, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • austin929

          in society..........not safe. they are targets and so are other groups that evil persecutes.

          August 20, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • midwest rail

          You answered one of the questions, austin, so kudos for that. Why ignore the other part ?

          August 20, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Whose "context"?

          August 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          conex of he Bible? (if youe referring to that)

          August 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "you are putting others souls at risk for spreading your reasoning. that is worse than driving drunk to be honest. because the soul is eternal, and also you are denying God and your own soul the process of salvation."

          Wow, that's rather sad. So I don't ever literally put anybody's life in harms way because a soul doesn't really exist and you who put actual lives at risk gets a free pass. You're such a hypocrite!!!

          "you know what the ultimate act of disrespect is? and its a rapist mentality and a supremacy template..............is people who make as.sumptions incorrectly and then act totally based on emotional and flawed as.sumptions. "

          Been looking in the mirror again?

          "those are dangerous people . those are people who display a dangerous sense of fairness and control ."

          Oh my, that's funny coming from the drunkard....the one who THINKS he is special when in fact all he really is, is special needs.

          See help, you're delusional!

          August 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          There appears to be a rather wide range of opinion on which is the proper context in which to read the Bible. Jews would argue that Christians are reading the OT completely out of context regarding Jesus' being the expected messiah, God being a trinity, the need for Jesus' sacrifice, and a host of other theological issues. I have to say that I'm inclined to believe that they really ought to be the experts, seeing that they wrote it, used it longer, and that it refers to the God they first discovered (or invented).

          After that, there's the context that professional biblical scholars hold consensus upon, which usually differs markedly from that of "Bible-believing" protestants. Again, I'm more inclined to accept their findings over the usual unsupported apologetics of the mega-church and Lee Strobel variety that you seem to prefer.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          well hold there...first not all Jews..second..which Jews you referring to? todays Jews? do you know much about TODAYS Jews, how a majority of them are NOTHING like Jews of Bible times? heard of Rabbinical Jews? There ARE Jews who say Jesus is the Messiah...Jonathan Bernis for one, and many others

          August 22, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • austin929

      what would you say to God and what would any God be like?

      would God have a big ego? would he enjoy the problems on earth? are the problems on earth proof that there is not God?

      August 20, 2014 at 9:00 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Can you verify that this god you claim exists does? Are we going to get another "I had a dream..." delusion from you??
        So many lies have been told by you on here, you'll never be taken seriously...so do you get some cheap thrill being laughed at and thought of as crazy?

        August 20, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • austin929

          no I did not lie and your behavior toward people who believe in God is exactly the same as religious people who shun ho.mo s.exuals or other race.

          both very selfish child like behavior. and an act of supremacy.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: Pot meet kettle. You did lie and your own behavior doesn't merit you respect. I have plenty of Christian friends who are not as immoral as you and who would never treat other so poorly. Before calling others out, look in a mirror-I've never put lives at risk-can you say the same? If hell exists, there's a special place reserved for you. You don't have facts to back you, just your delusions. Grow up and stop playing the Holier Than Thou card when you yourself are a wretched person with no consideration for human life.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • austin929

          being a Christian is not about excluding other people.

          truth prevails........I have Sheldon clay, danny majon, and his cousin, and tamim, as first had witnesses to my claims they shared in being on the other end of the dreams. and this is concerning 3 or 4 out of thirty plus experiences.

          for you to sit there an demand that I am lying ,............that's like telling a white person that they were the product of an alien from outer space. and that real humans are of color.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Christianity is all about exclusion...read your book of fables and stop lying. LGBT, women,k non-believers, anyone who doesn't share the delusion of your gods existence...no exclusion at all-LIAR!!!
          Who are those people and why should anyone care?
          You are lying when you refuse to back your rants, why should anyone take it as anything but lies???

          August 20, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • kermit4jc

          we do NOT eexclude gays from church..we do NOT exclude women from anything....you are still ignorant of it....sure..maybe SOME churches..but stop lumping everyone together..none believer sre ALSo included in church...as for heaven...well of course gays and ALL other sinners who do NOT accept that Jesus died for their sins will not go to heaven..they REJECT that notion..so in reality..THEY exclude themselves by not opening the door and entering in!

          August 20, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So you do exclude!! You've contradicted yourself...way to go!
          If heaven is full of people like you, I'll be happy with hell...who would wish to spend an eternity with such horrible people who don't know the meaning of equality?

          August 20, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • austin929

          t.p. I have backed up all my statements. my name is Austin and this is my experience.

          if you go to every case in court, there are witnesses. I am a witness. I have experienced many supernatural things I believe in the resurrection. I believe the Word of God is supernatural...................and that supernatural voice is experienced through a diligent meditation on the Word.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Supernatural means non-existent. Does your trailer park library not have a dictionary?
          You can have your silly beliefs...just keep them to yourself.
          As for you being a witness, your claims wouldn't hold an ounce of worth in a real court, so they are meaningless to anyone but you! How hard is that for you to comprehend? Not to mention that given how you admitted to being stupid and driving while impaired, it is easy to understand how you take your belief so powerfully-it looks good in front of the parole board.

          August 20, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          su·per·nat·u·ral
          /ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/

          adjective
          adjective: supernatural

          1.
          (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
          "a supernatural being"

          synonyms: paranormal, psychic, magic, magical, occult, mystic, mystical, superhuman, supernormal; More
          rareextramundane

          "supernatural powers"

          •ghostly, phantom, spectral, otherworldly, unearthly, unnatural
          "a supernatural being"

          •unnaturally or extraordinarily great.
          "a woman of supernatural beauty"

          noun

          noun: supernatural; plural noun: supernaturals

          1
          manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin, such as ghosts.

          August 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Seems you left out some:
          adjective
          1. of or relating to things that cannot be explained according to natural laws

          2. characteristic of or caused by or as if by a god; miraculous

          3. of, involving, or ascribed to occult beings

          4. exceeding the ordinary; abnormal

          noun
          5. the supernatural, supernatural forces, occurrences, and beings collectively or their realm

          So before you go pulling the Holier Than Thou card, you might want to try being honest and posting the complete definition.

          If it's supernatural, it can't be proven to exist and like you don't believe Zeus exists for that very reason, the same applies to all gods.

          August 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT at all..don't be so arrogant..I got that from a dictionary..copy and pasted..it depends on which dictionary YOU used ..so don't be such a pig head and call me dishonest...YOu SHOULD have at least asked me which dictionary I used.it didn't have what YOURS had....grow up

          August 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: It is always easy to tell when you know you're losing...you start with the infantile name calling and the temper tantrums...talk about needing to grow up!! Speaking to you is like speaking to my 6 month old nephew...you make about as much sense and yet he's more than likely cuter and will grow up without the god delusion.

          August 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          hahaha IM losing? youre the one who hardly backs up their claims! You are the one who keeps avoiding issues I bring up....or questions....and tantrums? you don't know tantrums....I am nice and calm over here on my end..IM at the office you fool..if I were "throwing a tantrum", people would know it...LMAO hardly anyone is noticing IM even typing.

          August 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You started name calling again and being belligerent, so yes it would appear you're losing!
          Office? You mean Mommy's basement...right?

          August 20, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Belligerent? haha hardly! no..at the actual office where I work....(I work in the field-at homes, schools, community) and sometimes I work in the office, doing paperwork, doing some office coordinating, etc. right now IM on break in the office...and I have my own home with my own wife..so no mommy's basement here

          August 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes belligerent...using terms like pig-headed is rather belligerent.

          August 20, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • LaBella

          Are tantrums always audible? Or can some of them be passive-aggressive, but inaudible?

          August 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          tanturms can have body language..like facial expressions, tension, etc. If I was having a tantrum, others would notice..no one is noticing it here.

          August 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • LaBella

          Tantrums can also manifest with an inner rage expressed via passive-aggressive methods that may show no observable change in one's body language or expression.

          August 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and thus it is very hard to discern...and TP is falsely accusing me of having a tantrum....which really, IM not going to address anymore if she so desires to keep saying it..it will be her problem, not mine

          August 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've had and been the recipient of online tantrums. In my opinion, nobody is having anything as extreme as a tantrum in this thread.

          noun
          1.
          a violent demonstration of rage or frustration; a sudden burst of ill temper.

          August 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes that defines kermi's name calling and use of terms like "pig-headed".

          August 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          But you are calling people names, too.

          August 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Just because we have words for things like "supernatural" doesn't mean that such thing actually exist, right?

          Same goes for words like "vampire", "mermaid", "eternity", and even "God". At best, all these words describe mere concepts or imaginary creatures, as far as we can reasonably tell from the available evidence, that is.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Austin, if god did ever reveal himself then I would be the first to say "I was wrong" and I'd try and find you good folk on this forum and offer my humblest apology. But currently, in the absence of ANY evidence at all, I think I'll stick with the facts and leave the magical fantasy stuff to the religious.

        August 20, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • austin929

          and the facts are that you have a prophetic book that no one will ever prove to be wrong with an evolution theory, you have an earth full of Abrahams children, you have Israel.

          you also have satanic evil, you have anti christs , and you have people who have experienced the holy spirit.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin received some form of brain damage after his car crash and he knew the one way to win the judge over and to say he was now a believer in god. Austin doesn't believe in hell as most christards like him do because to believe in it would mean he'd have to face his own hypocrisy and thus his own doom. I like how he thinks he gets a free pass even though he stupidly put lives at risk when many non-believers are doomed and their only mistake (if we can call it that) is not accepting blindly.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • austin929

          I was not in a car crash................I broke some glass doors with my bumper.
          truth prevails................why are you mocking me?

          dude..........................I have had over 30 visions come true.. and I have linked the spiritual activity directly to the bible.. I have experienced demonic revelations as well.

          your soul and you spirit, and your person, that is a supernatural creation. and God has intervened my friend. He loves us even while we are sick.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So Austin, you deserve mocked! Hitting a building regardless of how hard you hit it is still crashing. You still put other peoples lives at risk the second you stupidly got behind the wheel of your car while drunk-that alone is bad.
          Sorry, no free pass here...no heaven or hell, just the here and now.

          August 20, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • kermit4jc

      THAT is a sick view, but fortunately not view of all Christians or the Bible..we are not worms and unworthy..if we were..God would have done NOTHING..but as Romans says "God demonstrated His own love in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" THAT shows we have worth!

      August 20, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  9. observer

    kermit4jc

    "nowhere does it say they were to marry immediately!"

    (Deut. 21:10-13) “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.”

    I'm not going to waste any more time tonight telling you what is in the Bible which you CLAIM to have studied. lol.

    August 20, 2014 at 2:57 am |
    • kermit4jc

      ADDRES the Canaanite culture
      you seem to be too scared to address that...again these people (Hebrews) were saving them from a terrible situation...are you really wanting these women to stay with their fathers who abuse them???????

      August 20, 2014 at 3:02 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        A little about the Canaanites...

        Why did God drive out the people from Canaan so that Israel could move in?
        Norman Geisler once put it this way, speaking of the Canaanites: “This was a thoroughly evil culture, so much so that the Bible says it nauseated God. They were into brutality, cruelty, incest, bestiality, cultic prost.itution, and even child sacrifice by fire. They were an aggressive culture that wanted to annihilate the Israelites.” By ordering their destruction, God enacted a form of corporate capital punishment on a people that were deserving of God’s judgment for some time.

        Deuteronomy 18:9-14 – God promised to drive out the Canaanites (descendants of Cain who killed his brother Abel) from Israel for their detestable practices:
        1)Sacrificing children in the fire
        2)Witchcraft – seeking to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens
        3)Soothsaying – attempting to control the future through power given by evil spirits
        4)Interpreting omens – telling the future based on signs
        5)Sorcery – inducing magical effects by drugs or some other sort of potion
        6)Conjuring spells – binding other people by magical muttering
        7)Being a medium – one who supposedly communicates with the dead (but is actually communicating with demons)
        8)Being a spiritist – one who has an intimate acquaintance with the demonic, spiritual world
        9)Calling up the dead – investigating and seeking information from the dead

        Deuteronomy 9:4-6 – Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.

        August 20, 2014 at 7:32 am |
        • otoh2

          Theo,

          Have you ever read what the radicals of Islam say about the U.S. and Americans? If they were to win and take over (huge shudder), their "facts" would become our legacy in history in their minds.

          August 20, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • kermit4jc

      I KNOW whats in the Bible..you dont...you are pretty ignorant of the situation of the Hebrews taking over Canaan

      August 20, 2014 at 3:02 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        The Holier Than Thou crap is pathetic. You have no right to tell someone they don't know the bible, many non-believers are recovering Christians, so your point is moot!

        August 20, 2014 at 4:47 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Its not abou tbeing holier than thou! The people have SHOWN they do NOT know the BIble and I back it up! (the least I can say for you)

          August 20, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No they haven't shown that, that is merely you not liking their interpretation-nothing more. Stop lying for jebus...you're crazy and in need of an education and an asylum.

          August 20, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          There is a difference between knowing what the Bible actually says and accepting/sharing your personal interpretation of what it says. What's wrong with just accepting what the Bible plainly says?

          August 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          MY interpretation is JUST that! I go with what it plainly says and even with going what it plainly says..it does not rule out context..which Is what I strive for.....

          August 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • austin929

        could one say that you are biased against Israel at all costs? because of disbelief that if there was a God that he would be a Holy God.

        that's what it comes down too. there is a gap between humans and a Holy God .

        that is the issue

        August 20, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • kudlak

          One could say that you have a biased belief that there is no Allah backing the Arab claims as well, correct?

          August 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  10. kermit4jc

    STOP TELLING me to read my Bible idiot! I KNOW whats in there and I know of those verses....shut up with the "read your Bible" and just bring those issues to me ok? as for the men divorcing wives, women can divorce as well...its not going to mention every single act. Nowhere did it say women can NOT divorce. As for killing the virgin ....it had to do with adultery and all...the man can be killed as well..youre basing it on a faulty premise that if it isn't mentioned, then it isn't law or same ....sorry...but your argument is very weak and still has nothing to show that women were discriminated...try again

    August 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Kermit, Theo and like thinkers, how goes the search for the real Jesus? We presented a road map. Obviously, you got lost. Get back to us when you get there.

      August 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        yo mean a discussion about the real Jesus? I don't remember being part of it..I am not in search of the real Jesus myself as I already found Him 27 years ago

        August 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Such a lie, you didn't find him...you discovered information about him and decided to accept it at face value instead of doing the right thing and searching further for answers. You've allowed yourself to live the lies and now you think everyone else should and if they don't, they're not as special as you...well you're special-special needs. Seek help!

          August 20, 2014 at 4:45 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Such a lie, you didn’t find him…you discovered information about him and decided to accept it at face value instead of doing the right thing and searching further for answers<-you are the liar..i di dnot take it at face value..I do search....you are disgusting for making up such carp about me that you dont know about...i feel so sorry for you

          August 20, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oops seems you need a mirror! You're the disgusting one...you think LGBT are sinning and are not born that way-you're a lying loser and if hell exists, you're on your way there!

          August 20, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          so you "found jesus" ... what a shame you only found one of your three gods. What about god and the holy spirit ... are you still looking for them?

          August 20, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • kermit4jc

          there are no other gods...jusone God..Jesus is God..Holy SPirit is God and Father is God...ONE God (NOTe I did NOT use any words to denote separateness of gods..i did not use "another" "seperate", or "different" god) yes, there are three..three PERSONS

          August 20, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          careful Dyslexic, kermi has an anger problem and he'll start cursing and throwing his typical 5 year old tantrum. I find it hard to believe he's telling the truth in regards to being a psychologist-I wouldn't let that near my child-would you?

          August 20, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • LaBella

          He's not a psychologist. He may work with children, but not as a psychologist.

          August 20, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • tallulah131

          He's probably a counselor at a christian school where his sort of insanity and abuse is welcome.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHY are so SO concerned about FACTS....yet you assume so much? WHat are you afraid of? why cant you ASK me?? I do nOT work at a school..I work in a secular based non profit agency....sheehs..I mbeginning to think you people don't really care for facts anymore...since by your constant assuming and never bothering to ask

          August 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • LaBella

          Tal,
          Not as a psychologist.
          Working with children is laudable work. That's commendable.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Thank you Labella..it is a very demanding job, working with children who have emotional/mental issues and such (autism, ADD, FAS, etc etc) I get cussed at, been physically assaulted, etc...and I still love my work, because in the end, they are more successful than before we started working with them

          August 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Working with children is commendable as long as the children benefit. If kermit indeed works with children, I hope that he does not behave with them as he behaves here, because that would be abuse. I certainly hope he is more concerned with their needs than he is his own, because I've not seen any evidence on this blog that kermit cares for anyone but himself.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and how is it I care for myself more? what have I said that's indicative of that?

          August 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • LaBella

          Tal,
          I would hope anyone who works with children is not out for personal satisfaction or reward...
          Children should always be placed first.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You might wish to take a course in manners. Gee, no wonder you get the backlash you do...you lack morals and are rude.

      August 20, 2014 at 4:49 am |
    • kudlak

      kermit4jc
      "Nowhere did it say women can NOT divorce. "
      Nowhere does it say that men can't marry other men, or women marry women, either, right?

      August 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  11. Theo Phileo

    “The most terrifying doctrine that is taught in Scripture is this: that God is good. The reason that is so terrifying is because we are not... So, if God is good, that means that we can believe what He has declared about Himself in the Bible to be true – that He is righteous, that He is just, and that He is so holy that He cannot look upon sin. And if God is righteous and just, then He cannot pardon sin. His righteousness MUST be satisfied. (For what judge could excuse a man who has just murdered someone? Justice MUST be served.) And to those whom He judges to be worthy of justice, His justice will be so thorough that it will grind them to powder. When we realize how holy God is, and when we realize how wicked we all are for even the committing of just one single sin, it should come as a complete and total shock to us that this holy and righteous God can know what we did, and said, and thought on yesterday, and not kill us in our sleep last night. And He would be perfectly justified in doing so, for we are made in the image of God, that is, we are called to be a reflection of who He is. We are to be His ambassadors here on earth to show the world who God is, and what He is like, and when we sin, we are telling a sinful world that THIS is what God is like. We are committing high treason against the one who created us.
    So many people tell us that instead of God being just with us, God was loving and just forgave us… But that is not right, because if that were true, then God’s love was unjust. No, God cannot lay aside one of His attributes in favor of another. Therefore, in order for God to pardon a wicked people, He must first satisfy the demands of His own justice, He must be appeased as a righteous God. Now, in so many pagan religions, the requirement of appeasement falls upon the people who have committed the sins to appease their god, but in Christianity, God becomes a man and walks on this earth, He lives a perfect and sinless life, then the sins of His people are imputed to Him, and then He, Himself is crushed for their sins, and He Himself makes appeasement for their unrighteousness. Our God appeased Himself. Our God satisfied His own righteousness.”
    > Paul Washer, Heartcry Ministries

    August 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
    • observer

      Theo Phileo,

      As the numerous quotes proved, God's "righteousness" does not include equality for women. It also doesn't include equality for gays and the handicapped. It's just his VERSION.

      August 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        As the numerous quotes proved, God's "righteousness" does not include equality for women.
        -------------------
        So, you haven't read the Bible in total then?
        Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

        It also doesn't include equality for gays
        -------------------–
        Gays are (like all other sinners) ordered to repent. Once they repent of their sins, they too have access to God.

        and the handicapped.
        -----------–
        The Sovereignty of God creates men that way, that they may, even in their infirmities, acrue glory to God.
        Exodus 4:11 – The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

        August 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Doris

          Galations – more chatty cathy Paul nonsense. Of course we know now that it is unlikely that Peter the Apostle authored Peter 2, where Peter allegedly declares Paul's testament as divine scripture...

          August 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and what evidence do YOU base this on? that Peter did not author Peter 2? ( I am fully aware of arguments out there-I want to know which you ascribe to)

          August 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          theo: "Gays are (like all other sinners)"

          well you have officially lost all credibilty and respect in my eyes theo; what you call sin, i call nature. i truly enjoy the company of both men and women, so what does that make me in your vanilla only world?

          i truly am glade that you and your ilk will soon be dead and gone so the world can fill with more understanding people and progress forward as a united planet instead of being filled with a bunch of weaklings waiting for their nanny jesus to come clean up the mess that they made.

          spoiled brats.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          It's a riot reading you apologists apologizing for what the Bible says.

          Were Adam and Eve created together as equals? Of course not. Adam was unique, but Eve just came from Adam.
          Why was Eve created? Was she created to be Adam's equal? Nope. She was created BECAUSE the MAN was lonely and needed a HELPER. Ooops.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          God gave a LONG LIST of handicaps that would DESECRATE his precious church.

          Please READ all of a Bible so you will have a clue.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • atlantic9atlantic9

          Gays who are not members of your particular little faith version are not sinners and have no reason to repent.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • observer

          Gays have no reason to repent. Most Christian HYPOCRITES ignore all kinds of "sins", especially their own.

          Has anyone seen Christmas trees with CRAVEN IMAGES of angels on them?

          It's all pick-and-choose HYPOCRISY.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOTHING wrong with graven images ...the BIble ClEARLY states it is the creation of them for the sole purpose of WORSHIPPING them..again cherry picking atheists who don't truly know the BIble..by the way..Christmas tree are not in the Bible...the verse (I believe it is Jeremiah? correct me if IM wrong) about "trees" being cut down and brought into the house..are in references to WOODEN IDOLS...The idea of Christmas tree did NOT come about till the 1800s approximately! more than 2000 years after the verse was written

          August 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Yes, God made handicapped people and then told the spiritual leaders of His chosen people to keep them away from the Temple altars, lest their defects desecrate His sanctuary.
          Just because He made them, that doesn't mean He likes them...

          August 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ONLY certain people are to approach the altar...ONE person each year..this did NOT mean the handicapped were not allowed in "church!" (In this case, the Temple). you are confusing things

          August 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • joey3467

          theo: "Gays are (like all other sinners)"

          If this were actually true we would see a push to ban other things that are considered a sin. Since we don't see this I can only conclude that most Christians just don't like gay people. Until I see groups of Christians out trying to ban things like letting people who are divorced get married again I can't really take that argument seriously.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Except that gays are not sinning or doing anything other than living as they were born to, to think otherwise and use your bible to show why you think that is bigotry. It is that type of thinking that harms society. The bible has no place outside of your home or church, keep it there and you won't see so much backlash. The one thing we can all be thankful for is that it can't be used in the making of any law.
          Sin is an imaginary disease made up to make you feel guilty for something you haven't done...it is not a real thing!

          August 20, 2014 at 4:42 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          "the BIble ClEARLY states it is the creation of them for the sole purpose of WORSHIPPING them"

          Does the protestant worship the cross, the Catholic the statue of Mary, the pagan the golden calf, or do they all just worship what these things represent? Even the strict monotheism of Moses tolerated the ark as a symbol of God's promise, right?

          August 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..TAKE PEOPLE as individuals ok? NOT ALL Catholics worship Mary....I know of NO protestants personally who worships the cross (IM sure there may be a few out there) but you miss the point! They are NOT to be made to worship! Just because a few worship them does not mean we shouldn't make them. People who design the crosses for the churches do NOT do it with intent for them to be worshipped

          August 21, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          No one in Mises time worshipped the Ark or even the cheribum on the ark..they were symbols and nothing more....they worshipped the GOD of the Promise

          August 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Do Catholics actually worship Mary, or do they merely ask her to speak on their behalf as one close to Jesus the way someone like you might talk to your dead auntie whom you imagine is having tea with him every afternoon up in heaven?

          Protestants pray towards the cross, but see it as merely representing Christ whom they are actually praying to, correct? That's not much different from what Catholics and possibly pagans do with their statues, if you understand their prayers in context.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you w illni HAVe said SOME Catholics...they actually worship Mary..my wife and her family are from Philippines. They (my wife and her family) used to be catholics....so some do..some don't....its like you said..context....

          August 22, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • Doris

      “The HeartCry Missionary Society exists to glorify God through the establishment of biblical churches by equipping and mobilizing indigenous churches and missionaries in the least evangelized areas of the world.”

      from HeartCry Missionary's Doctrinal Statement:

      "God has appointed a day wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds: the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life."

      Disgusting.

      August 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Disgusting.
        -----------
        The guilty fear the judge. Those who have had their fine paid have no reason to fear the judge.

        August 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          theo: you have the legal system backwards.

          first you see the judge

          then you are found guilty

          then you are sentenced.......which may be a fine or death; depends on your crime.
          -----–

          to you christian taliban simply being born means you deserve death; seriously go seek mental help.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          He doesn't have it backwards.....read again...He is referring to those who are guilty and KNOW they are guilty...they fear the judge cause they know that they may be found guilty by others

          August 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Doris

          You're welcome to place whatever judge you want in your mind. But when you attempt to effect such judgment through real life law, including efforts to enact laws in developing countries, I'm going to speak out. I will keep reminding people of the travesty that has played out recently in Uganda and similar places where extremist Christian ministries have incited the killing, the jailing and other forms of disenfranchisement against portions of the population that doesn't meet "club requirements".

          August 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Those "Christian extremists" are not following the Bible, but their flawed interpretation of it...huge difference

          August 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Madtown

          Those who have had their fine paid
          --–
          Allowing someone else to take the punishment you deserve, is immoral and cowardly. Take your own punishment, coward.

          August 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wow..you hate gifts dont ya

          August 20, 2014 at 2:13 am |
        • tallulah131

          I am no more afraid of the judgement of your god than I am afraid that Deputy Dawg will arrest me.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        so consequences to actions are disgusting eh? you hate receiving consequences for wrong action don't ya...its so disgusting aint it? welcome to the real world

        August 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          When those consequences refer to a god that can't EVER be shown to exists, they are immoral and wrong...re-read what everyone has said here, they aren't wrong and you are biased.
          To think some god is judging us or that it immorally allowed its child to die for billions of people who have yet to be born and thus in turn do anything wrong is disgusting. If you think otherwise, you're a bigger fool than initially thought.
          You should stop screaming at people about using context when the only context you use comes from an extremely biased, closed-minded opinion.
          You're not the god-whisperer, the bible on a straight forward, open minded read is far from good and your interpretation is no better, so skip the hypocrisy and condescension...it makes you look just as immoral.

          August 20, 2014 at 4:33 am |
        • kermit4jc

          the Bible i sstraighgforward..yes..but even with straightforward reading one can still take it out of context! context not only involves the word in the text..but behind the scenes as well (culture, time, place, etc)

          August 20, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          So, you agree with the findings of the leading scholars in this field, then? People like John Dominic Crossan, for example?

          August 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          agree with what? sorry..am unable to see which post youre responding to

          August 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Would you agree with the consensus of professional academic biblical scholars like the fine folks who made up the Jesus Seminar, for example?

          August 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus Seminar is a joke.....and not cause the disagree with what I beive, but their methods are less than professional....you ever actually looked into how they vote and the standards they sue and all?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:53 am |
      • tallulah131

        Did you ever notice that the second a missionary group interacts with an indigenous culture, that culture starts looking like third world refugees dressed in cast-off clothing? There are few things as reprehensible as the theft of a culture.

        August 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yeah..culture is MORE important than after life..here and now is mORE important. Typical of you people.....

          August 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • tallulah131

          They worship their own gods, kermit, and they have just as much evidence to support the existence of their gods as you do for yours. What you have is arrogance based on your own emotional desires. There are few things more disgusting than people like you destroying a culture because of an imaginary god.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          UHH...they CHOSE oto worship a different god..ever thought of that? so YOU say WE are the ones destroying it? THEY chose to do it......why get after us for the choices of another? silly

          August 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • LaBella

          People with any sort of psychological education know much better than to marginalized by using terms such as "you people."

          August 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • LaBella

          Replacing their culture with your preferred one is reprehensible.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          tell that to the people!! THEy replaced it by their own CHOICES...WE di dnot replace anything...we only offered..they accept....how is it bad when they CHOOSE to accept it?

          August 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Doris

          "they CHOSE oto worship a different god..ever thought of that?"

          More obtrusive, sanctimonious atti.tude.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          More obtrusive, sanctimonious atti.tude.<-seems to me this is YOU....YOU seem to care mORE for their culture than THEy do! IF culture was SO important, they would not have accepted Christianity! apparently you care nothing for them but shallow carp...THEY care MORE for their afterlife than you do..since they've accepted it......

          August 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • LaBella

          Replacing a culture through colonization and force is no choice at all.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I agree..thru FORCE...but IM referring to CHOICE>.not all missionaries do it by colonization and force....

          August 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The homes of indigenous people are often the target of more industrialized cultures, which leads to the natives losing their ability to feed themselves or their families. In swoop the missionaries. Some missionaries bring "aid" for people who need it, but it comes with the requirement of conversion. This is an old tactic of the christian church, certainly not as prevalent as it once was, but still in play, especially in India. True charity does not come with strings attached.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          are you referring to SOME missionaries..or all Christian missionaries?

          August 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Theo... Its a pity that religions did not dream up better gods. We have the ISIS vermin acting out their delusions on the world, and then you come up with this sycophantic drivel. I hope humanity can make it through this stupidity and and eventually work together..

      August 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  12. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    The "Greatest Missionary" to the world of all times, God's†:

    John 3:16
    "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (NASB)

    Early on:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/08/09/why-missionaries-put-their-lives-on-the-line/comment-page-1/#comment-3056974

    † One of Three

    August 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • kudlak

      What did he mean by "perish" though? If he meant just die at the end of our lives, "saving" you lot to worship him forever, then I'm OK with that completely. If you want to serve as some kind of spiritual fuel to this being that's your business, but if this implies that the rest of us will be forced to spend an equal eternity as his tortured playthings, then I really don't see where the "love" is.

      August 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Jesus used "perish" to refer to hell. It is appointed unto man to die once (because of his sinfulness) but he can be spared from the second death should he repent of his sins, and submit himself to Jesus as Lord of his life.

        Actually, it is loving. A loving judge always prosecutes the guilty. We have all sinned, but the elect of God have had their fine paid in full by the only One who could offer payment to Almighty God, that is, Jesus.

        You see, God is perfect in righteousness and perfect in holiness. In the Psalms, King David recognized that any sin is ultimately against God, since He is the very standard for right and wrong. And when we sin against an infinitely holy and righteous God, that is an infinitely wicked deed done in open rebellion against the God who made you.

        Understand also that it is not necessarily the magnitude of the sin that determines your condemnation, but it is rather against whom the sin is committed that condemns you. You see, if I lie to a child, nothing is going to happen to me because that child has no power over me. If I lie to my boss, he can fire me, but if I lie to the government, I could go to jail for treason.

        Do you see how the same act becomes worse depending upon whom the sin is against?

        God is so righteous and holy that He MUST punish sinners, and he has deemed that there is only one punishment for sinful men and angels, and that is hell. God will not only punish murderers and rapists, but the Word of God says that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.” We try to justify ourselves, but the perfect justice of God must punish all sin.

        August 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          theo: "We have all sinned" "God is so righteous and holy that He MUST punish sinners"

          1) prove i have sinnned.
          2) prove your god has authority to punish me.
          3) becareful you haven't chosen the wrong god, you may be the one getting punished for eternity.
          4) what is sin?
          5) what exactly is hell; verse please, not from the christian playwrite.
          6) how do you know i just won't fly my happy but up to your god and "B" slap his wuzzy rear for being such a chicken?
          7) prove i can't slap the teeth out of your disassocitaive disorder god's mouth.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          1) prove i have sinnned.
          ------------------
          You're human. Have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen anything? Ever looked with lust? Ever hated someone? ever used the name of God to curse? Have you ever not placed God first in your life? Then you've sinned.

          2) prove your god has authority to punish me.
          ------------------
          He created you. You belong to Him.

          3) becareful you haven't chosen the wrong god, you may be the one getting punished for eternity.
          ----------------
          There is only one God.

          4) what is sin?
          ---------------
          Missing the mark. A sin is any violation of the moral character or law of God.

          5) what exactly is hell; verse please, not from the christian playwrite.
          ----------------------
          Hell is eternal punishment according to Jesus in Matthew 25:41-46. (And I can give you many more verses)

          6) how do you know i just won't fly my happy but up to your god and "B" slap his wuzzy rear for being such a chicken?
          ----------------------
          Because the word of God tells us that all unrepentant sinners will be judged.

          7) prove i can't slap the teeth out of your disassocitaive disorder god's mouth.
          ----------------------
          Because the Word of God tells us that all unrepentant sinners will be judged. "It is appointed unto man to die once, and then, the judgment."

          August 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo, of course, answers with his opinions. Nothing close to requested proofs of anything. But for someone like Theo, discerning opinions from things like evidence or proof is usually an impossible task.

          August 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          theo: no such thing as sin.
          we humans are just animals.

          your god didn't create me, my folks contributed equal halves of genetic material and "ta da" here i am in the world to make your life hell.

          hell doesn't exist, it's just a story to scare little children minded adults

          if your god is real, when i die i will happily join lucifer to kick your god's rump for attempting to kill my son at only 5 months of gestation.

          basically like doris said, you have your opinion and you are welcome to it; thankfully you and your ilk are a dying breed.

          August 20, 2014 at 7:22 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "You're human. Have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen anything? Ever looked with lust? Ever hated someone? ever used the name of God to curse? Have you ever not placed God first in your life? Then you've sinned"

          Everyone, even Christians have lied! Theft is a crime that harms others humans. Lust is merely a thought crime, so not a crime! Hate? That's too powerful of an emotion to be considered. The rest of that tripe would mean one would have to accept your god is real and for most rational, open-minded people there's not sufficient evidence for that...so nothing wrong has been done.

          "He created you. You belong to Him. "

          Oops, sorry you fail to comprehend how babies are created.

          "There is only one God."

          Hahaha...funny how that works, it makes you an Atheist in regards to all other gods. You've yet to show evidence for your claim.

          "Missing the mark. A sin is any violation of the moral character or law of God."

          WRONG!! Sin is an imaginary disease to fool you in to being good for fear that you'll suffer in a non-existent afterlife and you are gullible for believing it!

          "Hell is eternal punishment according to Jesus in Matthew 25:41-46. (And I can give you many more verses)"

          Yep, the whole believe or else crap...another factor that shows gullibility.

          "Because the word of God tells us that all unrepentant sinners will be judged."
          "Because the Word of God tells us that all unrepentant sinners will be judged. "It is appointed unto man to die once, and then, the judgment.""

          The word of man, no evidence that any god had a hand in it...so the rest is moot.

          How pathetic of you that you would think so poorly of your fellow human.
          Wasps last line speaks volumes.

          August 20, 2014 at 8:34 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Christians seem to have the same sick mentality as pervy submissives ... "Oh I am a worm. Oh I am a sinner. Oh I am unworthy. Oh punish me. Oh discipline me."

          With a good portion of abused spouse ... "Oh he loves me, that's why he has to punish me. He only hits me because I deserve it. He only hits me because I do wrong. It's my fault he hits me"

          what a sick, sad view of the world.

          August 20, 2014 at 8:42 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          By "sinfulness" you don't mean wrongs done to our fellow beings, but wrongs done against this supposed, alien being you believe has power over us, correct? Since this God only seems to communicate through collaborators like yourself, why should anyone who isn't a collaborator believe that it isn't just your way of establishing control over the rest of us?

          So, we are actually "Guilty" of what; ignoring him, or just not noticing him? Sounds awfully petty and egotistical to me.

          August 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Theo..God is so righteous and holy that He MUST punish sinners ...if god turns out to be Thor..you may be in that group..

          August 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.