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June 29th, 2010
08:20 AM ET

My Take: Why Christians are jerks online

Editor's Note: Jonathan Acuff writes the blog www.stuffchristianslike.net and recently released the book "Stuff Christians Like." In addition to commenting on Christian culture, he’s also written branding for clients such as The Home Depot, Bose, Chick-fil-A and AutoTrader.com. He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife and two young daughters. Follow him on Twitter @prodigaljohn.

By Jonathan Acuff, Special to CNN

Bono is a born again Christian.

Or he’s not.

It’s one of those two. I’m just not sure which, but I am certain that the faith of U2 is something we Christians like to argue about. That and beer. You never know if your small group is populated with prohibitionists. You have to say things like, "Is there anything you need me to bring to the dinner party, anything at all?" Then if they say, "Sure, how about a bottle of wine?" you’re good.

U2, beer, our favorite pastor’s kid-gone-wild Katy Perry: these are usually the topics I write about on www.stuffchristianslike.net. (Which is indeed a direct rip off of the site www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com.) But today I thought I might deal with something with a little sharper teeth. Something you don’t see addressed often, but you might have experienced.

Put simply, I want to talk about why sometimes we Christians are jerks online.

Much like "Christian hate mail," being a "Jerk Christian" defies logic. We serve a loving God. We follow a Christ who very plainly told us what to do. In Matthew 22 someone asks Jesus, "What is the most important commandment?" The answer is simple:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

There’s no confusion about that. No smoke monster. No mystical wisdom that must be found on a mountain peak after growing a ZZ Top-worthy beard. Someone asks Christ what matters and the second thing is "Loving your neighbor as yourself."

So then why are there so many hateful Christian blogs? Why do Christians write bitter messages on Twitter? Why do we send hate mail?

I think there are two reasons Christians are jerks online.

  1. The business traveler approach.
  2. It’s unfortunately not that uncommon for business travelers to get in trouble when they’re on the road. With a "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" approach they tend to do things they would never do at home. "The rules don’t apply here. I’m a different person. This is 'road me,' not 'home me.'" I believe sometimes Christians approach the Internet the same way. The rules of "real life" don’t count. Sure, I have to love my neighbor, but are people on Facebook my neighbor? The Internet doesn’t "count." These are just words. Surely I can throw a missile of hate at someone on Twitter. And when we buy into this logic, we develop an unloving, anything goes, whatever happens online stays online mentality. We become two different people, "Offline Christian" and "Online Christian." And we become jerks.

  3. Room Cleaning Christianity

Why do Christians argue about drinking beer or why the tankini is the least slutty of all bathing garments? I think it’s because we sometimes practice "Room Cleaning Christianity." Think of it like college. When you’ve got a final paper due Monday, you will be amazed at how energetic your desire is to clean your room. You will scrub tile with a slow toothbrush if it means avoiding the bigger, more difficult work of writing your paper. The same thing happens with Christianity. Loving your neighbor might be simple, but it’s not easy. Maybe my neighbor is a jerk too. Maybe they hate God. Maybe they are actively and violently opposed to everything I believe. And showing them grace feels impossible. So instead of dealing with that, we get online and police people. We find small things to focus on that will distract us. I think God wants us to discuss the little stuff, but we make it an idol when we practice room cleaning Christianity at the exclusion of love. And we tend to become jerks.

Hopefully you’ve never experienced either of these things. Hopefully this article feels like Amish Romance Fiction, currently a hit amongst Christians. But if it doesn’t, if you’ve been an online jerk, if you’ve acted like I have, there’s hope.

Jesus came for the mess-ups like us. Jesus came for the failures. Jesus came for the jerks. (That’s not in the King James version of the Bible, I remixed it like Timbaland.) And the truth is, grace is the antidote to being a jerk online.

So my hope is that you won’t prove my point in the comments section. My hope is you’ll accept my apology for the times I’ve been a jerk to you online.

My hope is that I’ll see Bono in heaven, or at the bare minimum "the Edge."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Acuff.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (1,722 Responses)
  1. Keith Wilcox

    I steer clear of christians for the simple reason that they respond to mild jabbing like, well, like they did just now.

    June 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  2. AtheistMelody

    "some want to reduce God to an intellectual discussion."

    If there were a God and such a being gave me an intellect, I cannot imagine he would not want me to use it in a discourse about him. Wouldn't that be the highest form of intellectual exercise and not the reduction of the deity who instilled me with the ability?

    June 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  3. Sara G.

    I happened to have some time today and read through all the comments. I don't usually visit blogs and very rarely look at the comments and now I remember why! Some made me laugh, but many more made me wince and some made me want to cry. Some prove the point of the article by their comments (Christian or not) and some cry out in love for their neighbors and some want to reduce God to an intellectual discussion.

    I don't have anything particularly insightful to add, but I did want to commend Jonathan Acuff for just being honest. We (Christians in particular) really do like to haggle over the stuff that doesn't matter in order to avoid the real soul work that Christianity is. Jesus came to save us and change us from the inside out and ultimately, we can't begin to obey these highest commands (love God, love others) without His divine work in our heart. As we turn to Him, He works this good into our hearts and then it flows from us to others.

    Our hearts are revealed in these moments of "anonymity" and we need to be honest with ourselves about why we say and do the things we do. If we call ourselves Christians, more to the point Christ-followers, then we need to examine ourselves carefully, and if we are not acting in love, we need to repent, ask for forgiveness and sin no more. Grace to you!

    June 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • MeMeAndMe

      Dear Sara G.,

      ". . . some want to reduce God to an intellectual discussion."

      And some want to avoid having it become an intellectual (i.e., logical, analytical, evidence- and logic-based) discussion, as their beliefs do not really rest (if at all) on what is epistemologically "knowable" but rather on what they "want" to believe to be true . . . whether they really KNOW it to be true or not (because it makes them feel good, or they feel it helps them cope with the challenges and complexities of life, or it helps them to live with the inescapable reality of death, or it fits with what they've been taught or had passed on to them by their family or their culture and they don't want to feel like they are betraying their family or their culture, or they really do want to know what the truth is but, when confronted with solid evidence or logical reasoning that is contrary, they are not intellectually equipped to debate their views against the contrary views and they would rather stay in their comfort zone instead of turn their whole world conception upside-down, and other reasons for avoiding or minimizing intellectual discussion). Ask yourself, Sara, truly: Is that really being honest (morally honest and intellectually honest) to not subject your views to such scrutiny? I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS subject my vies to scrutiny . . . even if it takes me out of my comfort zone. Isn't that the most moral way to be? Wouldn't your Chrisitan God want you to live for truth, wherever it takes you (if this God exists and is, in fact, a morally pure and perfect holy God . . . as described by believers)?

      June 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • Sara G.

      I would ask those who questioned my comment about reducing God to an intellectual discussion, why they would assume I haven't used my intellect in the exploration of faith? I did not say that God is not open for intellectual discussion because we can discuss Him all we want, and there is certainly a time for that. There is so much "proof" it's mind-boggling! There are many that have to discard the "proof" in front of them to reject God.

      My point is that He is above such "intellectual" arguments presented here. We try to put Him in a box so we can prove or disprove and He is so much more than that, and completely "other" than we are. He does not think as we think, and such discussions often leave us confused, self-righteous, or self-satisfied that we can disprove a Holy God.

      People can (and will) scrutinize Christ followers. It is NOT our jobs to defend Jesus or God, but to act the way He did, in love, laying down our lives for others. Jesus was crucified for His teachings – He was scrutinized to death! But He didn't reach out to His divinity to save Him, but laid His life down, suffering immensely and still did not accuse those who killed Him. That is love and that is what Christians are called to. It's so much more than the simple behavioral morality talked about here. We truly have the highest standard of love and God must reside in our hearts for this love to be realized.

      Anyway, I'll talk to anyone who wants to talk about God, scrutinize away... But just know, you might talk me into a corner, but God is not a man and He is goes beyond any human argument. It saddens me so much to think that people look at people to try and understand a Holy God.

      June 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ MeMeAndMe – You said:
      Wouldn't your Chrisitan God want you to live for truth, wherever it takes you (if this God exists and is, in fact, a morally pure and perfect holy God . . . as described by believers)
      My reply:
      Your name sure says it all, ME,ME, AND NO ONE BUT ME! Sounds really selfish, huh? For us, Sage G. and there rest of Christ followers, we are living God's truth, how, by preaching the Gospel of the Good News to those that are spiritually dead, blind, stiff-neck and stubborn. Satan exists as much as our God does. And Satan is very crafty with everything he does and has convinced many to denounce God, hate God and His Christ followers. Satan wants your soul as much as he wants mine, but guess what, Satan can't have my soul, he can't have my husband and children....period. I stand as a warrior of Christ against Satan and all of his demonic forces of darkness that has held many in captivity, in their mind, hearts, spirit, and life. Our physical eyes are only limited to what we can see. Our minds are limited to what we can think. With this in mind, unbelievers have such small limit. No matter if you are a science, philosopher, professional physician, surgeon, teacher, or has a high IQ or an education; these profession doesn't determine who you really are. The outward appearance, which is the flesh, is not what makes one, but what it's inside of us. There is a spirit within all of us and someday, that spirit has to dwell in eternity, heaven or hell. Rather you believe or not, you can accept the Truth (Jesus Christ) and have everlasting life by His side or you can regret it for the rest of your life if you reject Him. We preach His Truth, not ours.

      June 30, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • Kate

      The first thing that someone does who is using their intellect is ask themselves – is there any reasonable proof for this claim? If you skip that step, you failed to use your intellect. I can't get beyond the lack of honesty in ignoring that first step which is what every theist must do, my morality won't let me.

      So, yes, there is proof that you didn't bother to use your intellect and no, I can't morally follow you on your journey.

      July 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  4. betcha

    Sorry, but Everyone is a jerk online.

    June 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • yep

      i would have to agree

      June 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      AMEN!!!

      We are imperfect human beings.

      June 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Gabe

      I call it Internet muscles. I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with it, but it's like what happens when someone drinks too much...they get "beer muscles". They think they can do more than they can when they're sober and it often gets them into confrontation. Internet muscles are similar because the person being the jerk thinks they'll never actually have to face up to the person they're being a jerk toward.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  5. Dori

    Gene,I believe that torment is felt here on earth in the way of stress and confusion.SDFrankie,I don't know how God works in you or anyone else because I am me.I do not super impose my beliefs onto anyone,that is not Gods way nor is it mine.I have 2 brothers who are agnostics and an atheist sister in law,I have a gay son and a mother in law who is a Holy roller,a sister in law who is a Russian Orthodox,need I go on.I love them all and I don't preach to any of them.God is so great that he can speak to us as individuals,we are human and have the choice to listen or not.Oh by the way TC,perhaps the guy who flipped you off bought the car with the sticker on it and never got around to taking it off.

    June 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  6. Annette Snyden

    The Baptist Board is the worst

    June 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  7. TC

    A quick anecdote to end my quite interesting and fulfilling day reading and posting to this blog (see my posts above if you care what points I've made in the discussion). About 10 years ago after moving to a new city, I was sitting in traffic in a mall parking lot during the busy holiday rush (BTW I'm not offended if you say Merry Christmas). The car in front of us had a bumper sticker that read, "Honk If You Love Jesus". I don't know Jesus, but out of my sense of gamesmanship I gave him a toot. The wonderfully devout gentleman driver then rolled his window down, stuck out his middle finger and loudly yelled "F%*k You!!!" Of course I still bust up luaghing when telling that story. Now, he might have just been having a bad day, or was over-stressed from the phony, commercially imposed nightmare that has become the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. People are people however, and there's no sense trying to fool anyone into thinking you're better than they are because you're closer to God or have self-proclaimed higher moral standards. We can see through that charade quite easily. Enjoy the discussion...

    June 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  8. JHead01

    Great post. May we all strive for more grace online and in person. Thanks.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  9. Sapient

    Mark from Middle River— you told me "How about you handle your house and we will ours," in reference to something posted by someone else, a person who is a complete stranger to me. Stefan is not 'my house.' Not only does your request make no sense, one must keep in mind that atheists do not proselytize. Christians do. I personally do not go around making anti-christian statements in public, nor do I feel some divine responsibility to coerce people into giving up their beliefs. Save the preaching for church, where it belongs.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  10. Dori

    Wow,so much hate and anger over Christian or non Christian beliefs.I guess the question about Christians being jerks online has been answered.I have read, many responses and all I see is hatred from "non believers" and love thy neighbor from "believers",not many believers at that.I guess it is true what it says in the bible,those who don't know who God is/really is,don't know what they are missing.Those who have God as their friend are walking in true peace,not those who go to church and expect God to dance for them.No,those who have chosen God and ask him to dance with them.Once we ask God into our lives and accept his terms we will be given a peace that is not found on this earth.We do not have to go any where,eat ritual foods,confess to a priest,all we have to do is say,Lord use me for your will and he does because we are all the same sinful creatures.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Yeah. Everybody who disagrees with you is wrong. They don't know the REAL God, the way you do. They probably know the fake God because they didn't say exactly the right words or completely mean it in the right way or something. They did something wrong, we know that or else they'd feel exactly like you do.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Gene

      "...those who don't know who God is/really is,don't know what they are missing."
      But they'll find out soon enough, right, Dori? For making a simple cognitive error, they'll spent eternity in torment!
      And, that's devine justice!

      June 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • verify

      Gene: "...For making a simple cognitive error, they'll spent eternity in torment!"

      What if you are making a "simple cognitive error" of choosing the Christian God instead of Allah, Vishnu, Ra or one of the many others?

      June 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Noble9

      Is that really what you see here? Add up all of the "hatred" messages and "love thy neighbor" messages by religious and non-religious and see what the tally is.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Gene

      Verify;
      If I understand the import of your comment, by fundamentalist doctrine, you've simply lucked out.
      If I were in such a position, I might feel a sense of anxious relief, like a mother who's just seen her child narrowly miss being hit by a car, but I can't see the joy part.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Kate

      So the pointing out your errors by the non believers is hate? Now there's a message of hate from you. You ignore what is being said, but treat it as a war because you don't like how it makes you look.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • verify

      Sorry, Gene, but it you wish to spend eternity kissing the feet of such a vile being as that, it certainly tells us a lot about you.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Gene

      Verify

      I'm a little confused by your comment; who exactly is the referent for 'vile being"? And, "kissing feet"?

      You do understand that my original reply to Dori was sarcasm, do you not?

      June 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • verify

      Gene: I am so sorry... no, I didn't catch your sarcasm. I guess I have just seen too many posts where people really *do* believe that way. I sincerely apologize.

      June 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Gene

      Not a problem, Mr.Verify. You can't hear voice inflections on a post, and emoticons will take you only so far.
      Thanks for being a decent sport about it.

      June 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • T. Question

      I was going to commit on this myself until I read the post and figured that engaging in this debate is like arguing that rain is wet. You could pick you favourite Catholic church and ask all the members the good works they have done in their lives. Then go to all the Atheist organisations nation wide and ask the same of them. Granted you will have to trick any Catholic priest into giving you that info seeing that simply wanting to rub atheist face in the mud is going to be flagged as sinful. But there could be no doubt of the victor even though you are comparing an organisations entire national membership to one loan catholic church.

      But since Christians have a hard time singing their own praises you cannot simply go to their site and find out all the good works they are doing in a typical day. But what you can do is find out all the free services they offer and that might give you some idea.

      June 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  11. SDFrankie

    Ok. A serious answer here. If you had a small village of people and half were Christians and half were not, and you observed the interactions of these people for a year, you wouldn't be able to tell the Christians from the non-Christians. Christianity does not make nice people out of jerks. It's a fairytale that has little or no benefit in improving the behavior of its adherents. It does have some benefit FOR its adherents in as much as they have a nice story to tell themselves after they've engaged in bad behavior: Oh I'm just a sinner. All too human. Happily God forgives me so its all good.

    If Christianity were to disappear tomorrow the world would not be much affected one way or the other. Mean people would go on being mean and nice people would go on being nice. So the reason some Christians are jerks online is the same reason some people with green eyes are jerks online.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  12. Marcus

    Intersting comments. I'd respectfully suggest that people not judge Christ by the actions of Christians. We are all sinners, i.e. "Chief of sinners though I be." Rather, dig into it (the Bible) yourselves and see if the Holy Spirit speaks to you.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I did. He didn't.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
    • AtheistMelody

      Leaving aside any of my personal reservations about the existence of Jesus of Nazareth; I would NEVER judge a religious figure based on his or her believers which that figure has no direct control over or chooses not to control by allowing them free will. I am morally opposed to the teachings of the Bible, both of the Old and New Testament and most appalling are those of the figure of Jesus of Nazareth himself. I am continually shocked that people from around the world cherry pick his teachings and continually call him the "Prince of Peace" when he directly referred to himself as the opposite. I appreciate your "cautions" but I hold people in much higher esteem then I would ever hold such a figure of the iconic Jesus of Nazareth. If he did exist, which is highly doubtful, I would consider his religious teachings dangerous and derisive.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Kate

      If you choose your religion, does that make it mandated by a god? What good is religion if it doesn't make society better? Personal choices make religion a product of humans. If you find a religion that you like, then I see nothing of God's work in that choice and therefore nothing of God in what you have chosen.

      June 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • AtheistMelody

      If you cannot choose your religion, what will do you have of your own? If you have no choice, then what is the purpose of salvation at all? Why give anyone the ability to think or reason? The writings that were made for the religious icon Jesus of Nazareth were not made to bring Peace to the world, so I don't know that that particular religion was made for the betterment of the world, in that sense.

      June 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  13. AtheistMelody

    I agree with the consensus that anonymity can bring out the worst in anyone, not just those with faith in the unknown. Your article is a nice reminder to be nice that perhaps any person could use, no matter what philosophy they subscribe to. A very pleasant article.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  14. Allan

    Newsflash......there are many jerks online, a phenomenon not limited to Christians as evident by many posts here. Christianity isn't a precursor to boorish behaviour. People are rude and judgemental without any input from Christ.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  15. Josh

    I think most Christians who care about other people and are truly seeking to love Jesus and love people would be expressing it through relationships and not as much on CNN blogs. So maybe that's why you hear a lot of crap from Christians online, because they're the ones who are seeking the wrong means to reach people. It makes me cringe when Christians are jerks, but as it turns out, we all are... some just have the humility to recognize that we Christians need Jesus just as much or more than anyone.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  16. SDFrankie

    Maybe they hate God? Really? You actually wrote that? Christians actually think there are people out there who "hate God"? Like there's somebody out there walking around hating leprechauns or jack-a-lopes! Too funny. Christians kill me.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Let me see if I can help you with this...hmmm...people that don't believe that there is a God, do hate God and His people. I have read many hateful comments in the past 3 months or so.

      And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God,... Romans 1:28-30

      Hate God? Whether you define “hatred” as “loving less” or a deep-seated animosity towards someone, what must characterize people who are “haters of God”? A number of passages give us a character profile of the God-hater and some of them may surprise us.

      Those who will not acknowledge God hate Him

      Look again at the context of Romans 1:28-30. Paul speaks of some who did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer and then mentioned “haters of God.” In this context, Paul spoke of those who had examined the abundant evidence for God but refused to acknowledge Him and His will as that which would govern their lives. A cause and effect relationship is involved here. The effect of hating God is caused by a refusal to acknowledge Him. It is only a matter of time that a refusal to give God His proper place in our thinking results in our hating him.

      Haters of God reject the miraculous signs that Jesus performed

      If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before {it hated} you….He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But (this cometh to pass), that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. John 15:18, 23-25

      It is not unusual in some religious circles to hear of certain “intellectual” theologians who reject most, if not all, of the miracles done by Jesus and actively teach this unbelief to others. They scoff at the idea that someone could actually walk on water, calm stormy seas, restore sight to the blind, or raise the dead. They hated Jesus two-thousand years ago who rejected His miracles and they hate God today who do this. It is no insignificant matter to reject the miracles of the Lord.

      To dislike the condemnation of evil is to hate God
      The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. John 7:7

      Considered to be just as unfashionable as a belief in the miraculous is any preaching and teaching that mentions “sin” and “sinners” and that condemn both. Such is allegedly “judgmental” and “insensitive” and should be avoided at all cost, some will tell us. However, Jesus didn’t remain aloof from such and neither should we. Part of the Holy Spirit’s work through the preaching, teaching, and writing of the apostles was to convict the world concerning sin…, John 17:8, and we should not shun the use of the inspired scriptures to do this very thing

      God-haters give allegiance to someone (thing) other than, or in addition to, Him

      You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

      God knew that idolatry would be a problem when the Jews crossed the Jordan into Canaan and issued stern warnings against it. It was the sin that brought about both the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities. It was no less a problem in the first century (Little children, guard yourselves from idols, 1 John 5:21) and still plagues Christians today. Tangible figurines don’t have to be made and erected in our homes in order for us to become idolaters. Simply allowing any thing, or any one, to have first place in our lives makes us guilty.

      June 30, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  17. George

    Christians are always jerks. They only go to church on Sunday to make themselves feel better about all the crappy stuff they do the rest of the week.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tom

      So I have a serious question then. What do all the non-Christians who are always jerks do to make themselves feel better after doing crappy stuff all week?

      June 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  18. Tom

    Thoise who call religion or Christianity a waste of time becasue some people in the chursh have done wrong is an invalid argument. Based on that logic, because we have people committing crimes we just end ourselves and leave the human race because of others' wrongdoings.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      AMEN!!! Thank God for His perfect will for our lives! I say these to the followers of Christ, rather we are jerks or not..ha, ha, ha!!

      Psalms 37: 23-26 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young and am now old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful and lendeth and his seed is blessed.
      Psalms 199: 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

      God's desire is to walk with us. He has ordered our path, watched our steps and kept us from danger. He wants communion and fellowship with us. When you are walking according to the will of God, He will direct your path and give you direction. God's way is always the right way. He knows where He is going. He knows the end from the beginning. The greatest thing you can have going for you in your Christian walk is to have God order your steps.

      June 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  19. knoxvillehater

    If Jesus was your father, (any of you so-called Christians) he would have aborted you. Hate is the only way you people think, fictional characters, the crusades were long time ago, and science has come a long way since then.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tom

      A hater calling out haters. Thanks for your solid contribution to the forum. I think the article is about online jerks?

      June 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  20. Nathan

    It's fundamentalism seeping in.

    When you believe there is one truth, only one truth, and you believe you know that truth, then you can do the most hideous of things. Because those things are right, obviously.

    I love those Christians who aren't sure of God, or the Bible, or any of their belief system, but follow it because it seems to work for them, and they feel right and natural being that way. Those who are uncertain, those who question, are my friends.

    Once faith is set on a pedestal, that the ultimate Christian is one who has unshakable faith, those are who I fear. They will never know when they are wrong.

    It is the same with all beliefs. Even scientists get that way, as Lord Kelvin showed on numerous occasions. Mocking contempt of others impervious to any real communication is something everyone is at risk of.

    June 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Gene

      Right, Nathan
      If you believe – really believe – that Adolf Hitler and Anne Frank are both in eternal torment because neither accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts, then you will inevitably espouse some pretty hideous things, even if inadvertently, like this doctrine itself.
      Such people must reconcile this doctrine with that of the loving God by asserting that those in etrnal torment chose their fate as a willful, volitional act of rejection. Even if this act of "denying Jesus" consists of nothing more sinister than simply accepting the faith, or lack of, that you were raised in; at worst simply being wrong.

      June 30, 2010 at 5:49 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.