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October 15th, 2010
09:03 PM ET

Texas Billboard: Christians are 'jerks'

More from Gabe Lyons here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church

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  1. Christ Covenant Church Member

    Did you look at our web site to get the complete answer to our question?

    http://www.christcovenant.info/

    As I read through several of these blog comments, I see that we're right. Many non-christians see those who claim to be Christians not acting Christ like. No, not all Christians; but the non-christian see one that way and they get the inpression that all are that way.

    What a bunch of JERKS!

    The church has failed. That’s right; we’ve messed up, big time. The church was SUPPOSED to be a reflection of the God it claimed to serve. The church was SUPPOSED to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. But, for the most part, the church has failed.

    Our failure has left a bad taste in people’s mouths. Our mistakes have led to a lack of credibility. Our messes have caused people to seek answers for this life elsewhere. And really, who could blame people for giving up on the church? Ghandi had a very good point when he said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    What a bunch of jerks. Prideful, hypocritical, selfish, judgmental jerks.

    At Christ Covenant Church, do you know what our response is? Guilty as charged. We are fed up with it just as much as you are. We’ve failed. We’ve failed you, we’ve failed each other, and the worst part is that we’ve failed to act like Jesus. And it’s time to own up to our failure because only then can we turn it around. So no more sugar coating it, no more pretending.

    That’s what this is all about. We’ve decided that we want to turn it around. We may not be able to change the past, but we can sure change the future. And we want to. We want to be a reflection of the God that we serve. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

    Starting on October 10th, we will be starting a series of lessons called “What a bunch of Jerks! – Teachings of Jesus too often ignored by the church.” We are committing to stop ignoring these teachings and actually putting them into action. We are hitting the reset button and restarting with the basics. And we want you to join us!

    We want you to join us because we think that in these lessons we will all be reminded or perhaps even learn for the first time about how great Jesus is. We will discover or rediscover some of the core teachings that Jesus shared so that we can make this world a better place. And we want you there because we believe that when a church stops being a bunch of jerks, and starts acting like Jesus, great things can happen.

    Join us for any or all of these lessons:

    What a bunch of jerks!

    Teachings of Jesus too often ignored by the church.

    October 10 – Jerk quality: pride, judgment Teaching of Jesus: Humility

    October 17 – Jerk quality: hypocrisy Teaching of Jesus: Obedience

    October 24 – Jerk quality: selfishness Teaching of Jesus: Sacrificial love and service

    October 31 – Jerk quality: judgment/unforgiveness Teaching of Jesus: Forgiveness/Mercy

    If you're in the Beaumont, TX area; please come visit us as we seek to be Jesus with skin on and show His love to others. We're at 6390 North Major Drive. We have Bible classes at 9:30 a.m. with worship at 10:30 a.m.

    October 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Frank

      "we seek to be Jesus with skin on"

      Lol. That was good. Although, technically, Christ still has His Skin. 😛

      October 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • Raison

      @Christ Covenant Church Member

      That you are frustrated seem pretty clear, but will no one in your church examine why? A real honest-to-goodness in-depth examination?
      From what I can gather, your frustration stems from the inability of people to follow what's in the New Testament. If so, will you not question the Bible and the apparent contradictions we argue about daily?

      I hope you know some of the pitfalls, such as : which translation, which interpretation, etc.
      How do you know which is the right one and how do you deal with people who don't agree?
      Considering how disgusted I am with the Bible, your frustration is extremely understandable from an agnostic point of view.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Raison,
      You said, ‘From what I can gather, your frustration stems from the inability of people to follow what's in the New Testament. If so, will you not question the Bible and the apparent contradictions we argue about daily? ‘

      This is so human to say of the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Words, ‘These sayings are too hard, who can accept them?’ And run off and start a new ecclesial community more in tune with human desires, ways, and thinking….

      October 17, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • Raison

      @CatholicMom

      On the one hand, I wrote that post too quickly and could only shake my head at what I had written when it was too late.
      I was actually trying to say something else, but these words got in the way. I do this from time to time. I am resigned to my fate.
      On the other hand, they were my honest words.
      I did not ever say, to my knowledge, "these words are too hard, who can accept them?"
      I was speaking of contradiction, of widely different translations of translations of second and third-hand accounts, of the lack of any real substance that could be RELIED upon in the Bible as far as accuracy goes.

      If one could truly rely upon such words instead of having them contradict themselves while being subject to every interpretation under the sun, then I would have something I could try to believe in. But what you would ask is insanity for the sake of comfort while ignoring what makes no sense.
      I won't believe in stuff that makes no sense to me. If God exists, then where are these sensible and non-contradictory words that I would expect from such a being????
      The Bible and all the other "holy" books are just the words of men. "Inspiration" is a sad excuse if everything remains contradictory and nonsensical.
      Thanks, though. I appreciate your intent where it is not irrevocably married to the words of men. I extend the same to you.
      God, if he exists, should make sense. Logic and truth and common sense are good tools for the mind. I do not like to drop them on my foot or forget to pick them up, but it happens. If God made me this way I expect him to act responsibly for what he has "created". This I do not see, but wait with an open door for any evidence to the contrary.
      Thanks again. 😛

      October 17, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Raison,

      I am sorry if I misunderstood. Forgive me….

      It just seems that this just goes on and on with people reading the Bible and saying their interpretation is infallible and it contrad!cts what your neighbor thinks it says. This was the turn of events in the 1500’s.

      Once Martin Luther said that ‘his’ interpretation was right and the Church’s interpretation was in error… and he persisted in that thinking…he soon pulled members of the Church to follow his way of thinking and, remember, he was a priest, so an ordinary country folk person who couldn’t read, trusted his words. Within that same year that Martin Luther felt ‘his power’ and left the Church, some of his bud-dies split from him and said if Martin can interpret the Bible as he sees it…I can do the same….and the rest is history.

      The splits keep right on happening and it is because it was not meant to be interpreted differently from what the Church states as the Holy Spirit gave it the power of Truth. It was the Church that Jesus Christ founded 2000 years ago while He was st!ll on this earth…. He gave the power to uphold the Truth starting with giving the Apostles His promise that He would never leave them and that He would send the Paraclete to guide and guard the Church. He gave Peter the keys to His Kingdom on earth, His Church. Peter was the first Pope and the Church has doc-u-ments on down through history to show succession. No other Church has such.

      We are encouraged to read the Bible and enjoy getting close to the Word but when we find it difficult to understand [and even the Bible says it can be that way,] this is not a clue to go off and start another ecclesial community! The Church is for our benefit, the dispenser of grace though Sacraments, and a help in times of crisis, and a ready help when we have questions about anything and everything!

      Yes, God made you the way you are…and no one is exactly like you…and that is a miracle to me! Thanks for your honesty and I will read your posts in a different light from now on.

      October 18, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Raison

      @CatholicMom

      Of course I forgive you, since it is becoming easier the more I read your posts and see where "you" are coming from as opposed to where the Church is located in your words, as it were. But since I wasn't offended in the first place, why then it becomes easy indeed! LOL
      It might have been more fun if I had been angry, but that often leads to making a sad dance of it all, even though it energizes me into becoming more articulate while giving me "tunnel vision" – yes, a sad dance, indeed.

      Anyway, I often understood Martin Luther's main gripe with the Church as being concerned with the outright purchase of (I cannot remember...indulgences?) "special dispensations" by the wealthy.
      Now, selling special forgiveness, even in advance of the evil act as I dimly recall, that supposedly comes from "God's authority" is a bad sort of concept that, if true, is something I look upon as truly horrible for any "church" to do.
      But, eh, I also recall that his list of complaints that he nailed to that Church door read like a rant we might find in these blogs, only he used the old way of speaking and writing, of course.
      As for guidance from on high, I can only say that it seems a very shabby thing to require money for extra help while espousing a vast disapprobation against greed, money, Mammon, etc.

      Perhaps the Vatican should have been built to resemble a giant needle, to help the rich pay their way? 😛

      But to get back on track, to keep churchmembers illiterate for so long appears that this was done on purpose, as it would have "helped" any priest to be the one sought for "guidance".
      Yet even today, who could deny the appearance of the Church as a great collection of "Pharisees"? Nothing but hundreds of rules, traditions made "holy", everything all shiny on the outside hiding the corruption within.
      Well, I suppose you might, since you are a member. I am not trying to insult you or the Church in this post, but how does one reconcile all the "pomp and circu-mstance" when there are real things that need doing?
      I think of all of the horrible things that go on under the shadow of the Church and within the Church itself and cannot see much in the way of guidance from on high. All I see is simple human frailty, mistakes, mental illness, criminal and evil things, and nothing to suggest that there is anything beyond the human to explain it.

      But I have gone on for too long again. Your resilience in reading my long ramblings might be a miracle as well. 😀

      October 18, 2010 at 1:26 am |
    • Raison

      @CatholicMom

      I see I forgot to add that I did not become an agnostic simply because some things looked "difficult" or "hard", but because I could not rely upon the words themselves.
      It is not a "breaking away" if one views the thing as having no substance to be relied upon in the first place.

      You might even say that, as an agnostic, I have a stronger faith, for the words of men have no bearing on what I believe.
      Yet I wait to see if God will knock on my door, even though it is open. If God exists and is good and merciful, I have no fear for my "soul" even if it exists as well.
      But the words "received" so far make little sense, and any guidance "received" must be wordless indeed to fall within the perimeters of proof.
      I toss around concepts to see what might appear viable, test what I see with what I have in order to come to a limited understanding of how the universe works....and find human frailty and limited perception built into our bodies by way of evolution and physics.
      Back when I sought to reconcile creationism, things like that "noon for a week", healing and other "miracles" with real physics and the other sciences, the gymnastics required to make everything fit were considerable and ridiculous. But I gave it a shot anyway. You would have been amazed at what I came up with in some respects, I think....

      But add human behavior to the mix, and it blows apart into a million things that suggest everything BUT the existence of a "God" who did all those things.

      Physics and psychology even while "keeping the door open to God" still requires a comprehensive examination in order to rule out any false data.
      "Trust in God" is a good phrase if it keeps you skeptical and cynical as regards your fellow human beings.
      But if you cannot trust a human to do anything but what would be expected of said human, the case becomes clear for the lack of real proof of God's existence.

      This is not to say that some might appear someday, but to accept human-produced words as proof of a universal being with superpowers big and small, with infinite powers of so many descriptions as to make me wonder if someone didn't merely go a bit overboard with that stuff in the beginning, ....to accept them without any evidence but more of the same in a circular argument...is the height of irresponsibility as far as "preserving" a person's only "soul"!

      If it is all that I am going to "take with me", then rest assured that I guard it as best I can...though I "gave it into His keeping" when I had "faith", so perhaps it resides there regardless – safe anyway....! LOL
      But that was according to those words again, written by men and buried under tons of human nonsense.

      So I don't see much of a case for the NT or the OT or the Q'uran or any other religion created by men and written down with words that cannot stand up to a proper scrutiny.

      ....you know, I was just going to stop after the first couple of sentences? LOL I may as well give up any pretense to consolidation of my "arguments", though they are more like statements...hm.
      Consider me "Raison the Long-winded" and you will have come closer to the truth. 😀

      October 18, 2010 at 2:16 am |
    • Frogist

      @Christ Covenant Church Member:

      I hope those lessons etc will be up on your website. I am not in the tx area but would absolutely love to read them. Good for you guys!

      October 18, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Raison,

      You do not have to apologize for being long winded; sometimes that gives your readers ‘more meat’ to sink their teeth into.

      I think your ‘door wide open’ has a sign on it that says… ‘Jesus, I tried to believe in you, but you failed me’….

      If you never see Him anywhere, how could you recognize Him when He showed up? Go over to David Johnson’s home, I think you will find Him there some days….

      October 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  2. Diane

    Imagine if this billboard declared "Gays are jerks" or "Blacks are jerks". I wonder how that would go.

    Jesus did say "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also"John 15:20. The cost is high for following Christ. Consider it all joy, my brethren...

    October 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Peter F

      Jesus also said he came with a sword... no wonder not everyone likes what we Christians stand for.

      October 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Chrys

      Diane, go back and re-watch the video.

      The billboard was put up BY A CHURCH. This is not "outside persecution", this is trying to make a point about how Christians are viewed with an eye toward changing that perception. An analog would not just be a sign saying "gays are jerks," but a sign saying "gays are jerks" put up by a GLBT group.

      October 17, 2010 at 9:06 am |
    • NL

      Ah, but gays really can't just stop being gay any more than blacks can just stop being black, but anybody who is a jerk, be they also gay, black, Christian, or what have you, can make the decision to stop being a jerk. The real question then is if Christians are coincidentally also jerks, or is the 'jerkiness' a built-in part of being a Christian?

      October 18, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      If ‘‘jerkiness’’ is built into Christians as you suggest could be the case…how does it feel living in the USA where 80 % of the people claim to be Christians…are we a nation of jerks? Are there even more jerks than you suggest?…ones, you know, who are, but won’t admit it?

      October 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    Got to love it! One christian cult attacking chritians in general, getting other christian cults riled up and opening the door for other holders-of-silly-childhood-supersi-tions to jump in an ply their brand of silliness. This atheists thanks all for the entertaintment.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @HotAirAce

      What's up my friend...?

      Good to see you posting more again.... this one made me 'chuckle' a bit.

      Hope that you are well...

      October 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • runner305

      I second that emotion

      October 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Raison

      moi aussi, mon ami

      October 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Raison

      I hate it when you speak in 'arabic'... 🙂

      October 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Raison

      @Peace2all

      Ah, sorry. Got carried away I guess. Too many "Freedom Fries"... 😀

      October 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Raison

      LOL..!!!! 🙂

      October 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • NL

      Yup, interesting new brand of Christianity, now with no added jerks.

      So, these guys are the Christ Covenant Church, eh? I wonder if they will soon run out of Christian brand names? Must be a couple thousand just in the US alone by now.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      Are you referring to the ecclesial communities who keep breaking off from one another and starting out with a new name? Actually, I think some are now breaking off and not starting a new community because they have quite a history of where that has taken them….instead, now, many are saying… ‘I don’t need Church because I have the Bible in hand and I have me to infallibly interpret it and I don’t need religion’….that is having one foot on the path to atheism, wouldn’t you agree?

      October 17, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      I'd say that there are many paths to atheism. If you read the bible for yourself and find a faith that custom suits you then you'll end up a happy believer, but if you read the bible for yourself and honestly try to force ALL of it into a working belief system, then I think you'll either go crazy in the effort, or concede that it cannot be done and accept the atheist position or, at least, that the bible is not infallible.

      October 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,

      I agree…there may be a mult!tude of pathways to atheism…..
      But only One path to the Truth.

      The trouble with people when they only take parts of the Bible…the parts that suit their life style…they eventually bump into someone with a different take on the same verses because they may have added another verse or left one out, which will cause confusion…it might become an unending battle of trying to get it right….with so many differing truths out there, people are really becoming unhappy with where they are in their personal uncertainty. It really is not the Holy Spirit’s fault that this has happened…it is prideful man who has done it ‘to himself’.

      Jesus Christ did it all for man but man with his freewill has chosen the path he is on. This does not mean that man can never get it right…as long as he is still breathing he can turn around and find his way.

      It sounds like you believe a happy believer is one who reads the Bible for himself but does not try to believe the ‘whole’ Bible. The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. The Bible should not be broken up into pieces with some parts accepted and others ignored. It is all the Word of God.

      October 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom

      I liken believers to Trekies. The run-of-the-mill Star Trek fan could enjoy the shows when they came on once a week just as the average Christian can enjoy their religion for an hour every Sunday because they don't really think about it much, just while the 'show' is on. Trekies, like people who really love religion as a subject, can get so caught up in the details not making sense that it can actually spoil the whole thing for them. How big is a Bird of Prey, really? Why can't they just make duplicates of killed security officers using the transporter? Why doesn't anybody ever mention the Beta quadrant? Why can't big ships fire more torpedoes than tiny ones? How does the Federation economy work? The Voyager series (pick any part), and so on. I knew a guy in college who would stay up all night trying to draw the floorplans for ships, and he would get terribly frustrated when things didn't fit.

      The problem, you see, is that we were never meant to really examine the details. The details were secondary to the story, and the same is true I think for the bible. There are things that are contradictory and there are things that flat out don't make sense when you actually examine them, but if you suspend your logic center and ignore these things you can still enjoy the story.

      Of course, the average Christian also has a pastor who will just tell them that there actually are no contradictions (really) and that it all does make sense (in the right context and with a lot of mental gymnastics) but now I'm shifting from Trek to Star Wars analogies, because this really does remind me of a Jedi doing one of their mind tricks. Mixing these two is sacrilege to fans of each, I know. May the Force forgive me and let me prosper!

      October 17, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • Raison

      @NL

      LMAO! You rock again! Duuuude!
      I award you a bazillion internets for that joke!
      They will be sent over to you just as soon as I can build a transporter using nothing but the Force! XD

      October 18, 2010 at 12:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      NL,
      I am sorry but you lost me on this one.

      October 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • NL

      CatholicMom-
      Not a Trek fan, eh?

      Point is, fiction has to be believable enough not to interfere with your actually enjoying the story, right? If you don't know very much about science it won't distract you that the writers use the word 'quantum' in some pretty stupid ways on Voyager.

      In the same way, if you know a bit about science and math you might miss the message of the bible while reading it because outdated claims that the earth is the centre of the universe, that pi = 3, and such are hard to reconcile with something you're supposed to take seriously. Add any knowledge of actual history, or experience in logical thinking to this and reading the bible for inspiration takes a real effort.

      That's why many believers, the ones who are able to register the bible's many inconsistencies, truly rely upon their ministers and other authorities to give them the necessary reassurance that the bible actually makes sense. Why else would they recommend reading it in disjointed little pieces if not to prevent you form ever getting a 'big picture' idea of how pieced together and jerry-rigged the scriptures actually are. See what I mean?

      October 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • NL

      Laura-
      So, if you just so happen to agree with what Augustine, Billy Graham, or Rick Warren says about some article of Christian faith how is this any different from Catholics agreeing with what the Pope says on the same topic?

      October 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      There may be many paths to atheism, but they all arrive at the truth!! :^))

      October 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Rasool Allah (S.A.W) Peace be upon him said:

    1) Four things that make your body sick:

    a) Excessive talking

    b) Excessive sleeping

    c) Excessive eating and

    d) Excessive meeting other people

    2) Four things that destroys the body:

    a) Worrying

    b) Sorrow (Sadness/Grief)

    c) Hunger

    d)Sleeping late in the night

    3) Four things that dry the face & take away its happiness:

    a) Lying

    b) Being disrespectful / impudent (insisting on something wrong knowingly)

    c) Arguing without adequate knowledge & Information.

    d) Excessive immorality (doing something wrong without fear).

    4) Four things that increases the wetness of face & its happiness:

    a) Piety

    b) Loyalty

    c) Generosity (being kind)

    d) To be helpful to others without he/she asking for that.

    5) Four things that stop the Rizq (Sustenance) :

    a) Sleeping in the morning (from Fajr to sunrise)

    b) Not Performing Namaz or Ir-regular in Prayers
    c) Laziness / Idleness

    d) Treachery / Dishonesty

    6) Four things that bring / increase the Rizq:

    a) Staying up in the night for prayers.

    b) Excessive Repentance

    c) Regular Charity

    d) Zikr (Remembrance of Allah / God).

    The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him & his progeny), Also said to communicate to others even if you listen One Verse (Ayah) & this one verse will stand on the Day of Judgment for intercession

    October 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • runner305

      Stop preaching already!

      October 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Why stop ? Are you burning already ?

      October 17, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • Selfish Gene

      You bring nothing to the table. Sleeping late at night makes you sick? Really?

      October 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  5. Muneef

    18 ANSWERS OF THE HOLY PROPHET – MUST READ

    A traveler once came to the Masjid to see the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) after greeting the prophet; he was asked where he was from. The traveler replied that he came from very far just to get a few questions answered. Following is the dialogue between the traveler and the Prophet.

    Traveler : I do not want azaab (punishments) to be written in my account.

    Prophet : Behave well with your parents.

    Traveler : I want to be known amongst people as an intelligent person.

    Prophet : Fear Allah (Jalla Jalalahu), always.

    Traveler : I want to be counted amongst Allah's favourites.

    Prophet : Recite Quran every morning and evening.

    Traveler : I want my heart to always be enlightened. (Munawer)

    Prophet : Never forget death.

    Traveler : I never want to be away from Allah's blessing.

    Prophet : Always treat fellow creatures well.

    Traveler : I never want to be harmed by my enemies.

    Prophet : Always have faith in only Allah.

    Traveler : I never want to be humiliated.

    Prophet : Be careful of your actions.

    Traveler : I wish to live long.

    Prophet : Always do sila-e-rahm. (Goodness towards blood Relations)

    Traveler : I want my sustenance to increase.

    Prophet : Always be in wudhoo. (wuzu)

    Traveler : I wish to stay free of azaab in the grave.

    Prophet : Always wear pure (tahir) clothes.

    Traveler : I never want to be burned in hell.

    Prophet : Control your eyes and tongue.

    Traveler : How do I get my sins forgiven?

    Prophet : Always ask forgiveness from Allah with a lot of humility.

    Traveler : I want people to respect me always.

    Prophet : Never extend your hands of need at people.

    Traveler : I want to always be honoured.

    Prophet : Never humiliate or put down anyone.

    Traveler : I don't want to be squeezed by fishare qabr. (Squeezing in the grave)

    Prophet : Recite Surat Al Mulk (The Dominion) often.

    Traveler : I want my wealth to increase.

    Prophet : Recite Surat Al Waqiah (The Inevitable) every night.

    Traveler : I want to be safe and at peace on Day of Judgment.

    Prophet : Do Zikr (Praises) of Allah from dusk to night.

    Traveler : I want to be in full attention & concentration during prayers.

    Prophet : Always do wudhoo (wuzu) with concentration and attention.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • runner305

      "Always have faith in only Allah"? Every religion seems to think that theirs is the only "right" one. As Todd Rundgren once said, "Will the real God PLEASE stand up?"

      October 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Some_Truth

      Muneef,

      A few items of wise practical advice there - things that were common sense for eons before the 'Prophet'.

      The rest is supersti tious rambling with no basis in fact.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Frank

      Allah is the same God as in the Bible ('Allah' just means 'the God', both Arab Christians and Muslims use the term). Anyone who says otherwise just isn't educated enough to comment, to be honest. Lol.

      October 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Some Truth,

      you said, ‘A few items of wise practical advice there – things that were common sense for eons before the 'Prophet'

      Such as items set on the heart by God……you have that right!

      October 17, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • Muneef

      @Some_Truth.
      Yes these were inherited from one Prophet to another to remind mankind but the rest you think of it as supersti tious rambling you will become to know when you are at it.

      October 17, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  6. Kg

    I think that the Bible talks about many false teachers in our world (look at the book of Colossians). We can not always believe what some churches are teaching, and I believe that many have selfish motive behind them. However, it does not mean that there are not believers of Christ. Being a Christian does not mean that we are all perfect. It simply means that we believe that Jesus died for our sins, and that through Him, we can have eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9
    8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

    Christ saves us. We cannot save ourselves. Also, as Christians, the bible calls us to be humble. Everyday I look at my life, and see so many sins and brokenness. That is when I turn to Jesus, and ask Him to forgive me. It is not my own strength, but my hope in God. If there is question of "is this right", just look in the Bible. That is the word of truth. God gave it to us, so that we may know how He wants us to live, and what we are called to live for. Him.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  7. Muneef

    @CatholicMom
    Who is the 'We' here?
    As per Oxford En/En it means
    Used in formal contexts for or by a Royal person to refer to him self...
    Guess the Queen of England still refer to her self as We?

    October 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  8. jim

    the only time you should be judgmental is when it goes against what the Bible says. Pus if a church does not train their followers the proper way to talk about religion to non-believers that falls on the congregation.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • David Johnson

      @jim

      How do you know the bible is the word of god?

      October 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  9. Eric G.

    For a church to recognize their own hypocricy is a step in the right direction. Could this be the begining of organized religions accepting the fact that their holy books are not the source of acceptable morals? Will they admit that the content of moral behavior is secular in origin? This would be a major crack in the foundation of control and indoctrination that might be a precurser of reason.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      Careful my friend! Methinks it could be a trap!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Eric G.,

      Moral code is set in our heart by God, not by a church. The Church helps us stay on the path that Jesus Christ set down for us…so that following the moral code in our heart is not washed away by outside influences that are of the world.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Eric G.

      @Catholicmom: Your posts are always appreciated. However, you continue to post absolutes about reality based on your faith and your perception of "truth". When you are asked to provide verifiable evidence to support your world view, your arguments become circular. To put it bluntly, you are very adept at explaining what you believe, but you have never logically explained why you believe. The reason I, personally do not believe is the same reason you cannot explain why you do. No evidence exists to support the theory.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Eric G.,
      Your posts are appreciated also!
      May I ask, then, how do you logically explain your ‘moral code’? Saying it originated secularly…does not give concrete verifiable evidence.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Some_Truth

      CatholicMom,

      Eric G. will do a better job at this than I, but here are a few thoughts:

      The strongest drive in human beings is survival. Logic will tell one that if it is permissible for me to murder someone else, then it would be permissible for someone else to murder me (and those I hold dear).

      If it is permissible for me to steal the belongings of others, then it is permissible for others to steal my belongings.

      If it is permissible for me to enslave others, then it is permissible for others to enslave me.

      A moral code can certainly be logically derived.

      No god is necessary.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Some_Truth

      Good post. I liked that.

      October 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      You said, "Eric G., Your posts are appreciated also!"

      You mean you don't appreciate my posts? I try so hard. Life isn't easy, CatholicMom. There are so many fundies and so little time. But, I am in good company. Matt 10:22-"and you will be hated by all for my name's sake" ... I can't remember who said that. It was either Jesus or Whoopi Goldberg.

      October 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Morality has existed since the dawn of human civilization. It has "evolved" (sorry, I just couldnt resist) over time based on the actions that are most helpful to the propagation of the society it represents. Using the Ten Commandments as an example, the first four are more tyranical than moral. The last six are universal and secular. Human society would not have expanded beyond tribal existence without them. Religion lays claim to things it did not create and uses the keys to heaven as ownership deeds. Is your bible an accurate description of your gods character?

      October 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Eric G.

      As always, great posts....

      October 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Peter F

      Oooh! I want in! I love the discussion on morality.

      First off, I would say that no religion accurately pioneered the current moral standard. I believe as CatholicMom said – it is part of our conscience (what God has written on our hearts). The problem with saying there is no God is that you cannot pinpoint any objective moral values. Now, notice I said you cannot pinpoint them... we all know they exist. Stealing is wrong, murdering is wrong, adultery is wrong, yada yada yada. But without God, how can we tell the serial killer what is he is doing is wrong if morality to the atheist is just part of our evolutionary development, and no deeper than that?

      Food for thought.

      Blessings!

      October 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Peter F: Society decides the morals you are attributing to your god. To use your example, serial killers are arrested because society deems their actions unacceptable. I think we need to show the difference between morals (what you attribute to your god) and morality. If the serial killer would be guilty of "thou shalt not kill", what about a soldier who kills many of his enemies? Is that morally corrupt? Does it speak to a higher morality to acknowledge that sometimes, there are people who want to kill you, so you need to kill them if they try? As to your gods morallity, I would ask you the same question as Catholicmom...... Is your bible an accurate description of your gods character? If your bible is the base for all morallity, I would think that the answer would be yes, the bible is an accurate description of your gods character. If that is the case, I would not need to believe that I have superior morals, I know that I do. Slavery, genocide.......... I mean really, Deuteronomy reads like a demons resume.

      October 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Some Truth,

      You said, ‘The strongest drive in human beings is survival.’ Where do you think this ‘drive’ came from?

      Why do you think people become so hopeless that they commit suicide? What makes you say ‘it is permissible’ to murder or be murdered? Why do you think ‘it is permissible’ to steal or enslave others?

      October 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • Some_Truth

      CatholicMom,

      "Why do you think people become so hopeless that they commit suicide?"

      Good question. Without doing extensive research, I think that most suicides are a result of overwhelming mental illnesses such as depression, where rational thought is severely obstructed.

      " What makes you say ‘it is permissible’ to murder or be murdered? Why do you think ‘it is permissible’ to steal or enslave others?"

      I didn't say, 'it is permissible'; I said, 'IF' it would be permissible... showing how moral concepts can be arrived at logically.

      October 17, 2010 at 5:04 am |
    • Some_Truth

      CatholicMom,

      "Moral code is set in our heart by God."

      Can you prove that? We will not be isolating human babies from birth to see what they know innately, with absolutely no human contact. And even if you did do that, you could not prove that any behaviors they have were given by a "God".

      October 17, 2010 at 5:21 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Some Truth,

      It is logical that moral code is set in our heart by God.

      Logically explain your conscience otherwise….or if yours is waning, explain someone else’s. If this disturbed you that one might suggest that your conscience is waning…then I think yours is still intact…and hopefully you find it a blessing. Really, a good conscience can be useful when applied to every day decisions….wouldn’t you say that is a blessing? Isn’t witnessing a conscience gone awry painful?
      How does one 'lose' their conscience; can you explain?

      October 17, 2010 at 9:55 am |
    • Some_Truth

      CatholicMom,

      Conscience (and all thought) occurs because of complex, and not yet thoroughly deciphered, biological, neurological processes - chemical and electrical components in the brain. I do not use the word 'complex' lightly, either - it is a huge study. I know that you want it to be magical, mystical and theistically caused, but there is no proof for that.

      Physical brain damage from injury or disease can cause rational thought and 'conscience' to wane or disappear. Sadly, I watched my father deteriorate with Alzheimer's disease to nearly no thought processes before he died. And my brother, a brilliant physician, became like a 4 year-old after brain damage resulting from lack of oxygen during a heart attack.

      Some facets of 'conscience' may be innate, such as empathy, but they vary from individual to individual.

      Right and wrong are learned concepts, gleaned either from caretakers' input or from observation and experience. Perhaps people who are low on the empathy component are more likely to make decisions which adversely affect others. Experience of positive outcomes from doing the 'right' thing and fear of negative consequences of doing the 'wrong' thing pervade our thoughts.

      I'm sure that there are whole books on this subject, and I don't expect to expound the total answer here, but I think that no "God" is necessary for these thought processes to occur.

      October 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Some Truth,

      You have endure some tragic occurrences in your life and I am sorry for your suffering.

      Right and wrong in life where morality is involved may be ‘helped along’ by observation and experience of a good role model however the pang of guilt or the resulting pleasure derived by an act is not part of that learning…it is from the heart and this ‘knowing’ is placed there by God.

      It has been observed that secluded tribes wish to show worship and thanksgiving to ‘something greater than themselves’ because they have this ‘knowing’ placed within their being. They know that these feelings of guilt or pleasure point to God. If it were strictly an observation or learned experience…to do the right thing….there would be no guilt when we get off track and fail [sin]. It would not affect us anymore than losing a game of checkers.

      October 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,

      Never assume that I don’t appreciate your posts!

      I know you are earnest and humorous and get things mixed up at times but that does not mean I don’t appreciate you! Never let perceived hatred by others wash over you…just remember that you are loved by God, and [not that it matters so much] by CatholicMom! I think those are Jesus’ words and also some from CatholicMom………

      October 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  10. Laura

    Eska

    I am not Christian. I tried that once a long time ago, but started feeling bad because I started seeing bad in people rather than the people themselves. I left the religion and started feeling hopeful again. That was many years ago. Over time I've found many Christians to be 'evil' in how they do things. They are intolerant to other people in general, and if someone changes and grows they are no longer looked upon as "good person". I love this billboard! And if this church finds a way to make it normal in following the teachings of Jesus, I would think again about joining the religion. But until then, I feel there is a long way to go for change in the right direction

    My heart goes out to you Eska! I truly understand how you feel. I don't attend any church and am not part of any religion, persay. I too, have expierienced the same thing as you have, after attending several different churches. I have left each one as a result of what your talking about here. I did join the last one and attend.But, or-g-a-nized religion can be tough. It saddened me to see so much hy-r-ocrisy, church pol-i-t-ics, and people outright being anything but what Jesus said for us to be.
    Sometimes, I am tempted to return and at least try to set an example for some. I do not mean that from any prideful kind of statement. But only if I can help mayby someone like yourself, and my self,too.

    don't know if I am up to the task yet. I need to d-e-v-e-l-o-p-e more of my C-h-r-i-s-t like qual-i-t-ies, as I am human as well, and its hard seeing other Ch-r-i-s-tians being mean to people and sooo judgemental. God still has to get me to the point I guess where I can pass by that, and let his love in me, shine into those kind as well. I can pray for them, he knows who they are. I pray for myself too.

    I was a teacher for a youth group in one church. I was also very active in that church and on the Board of Education there. The po-l-i-tics in the church became so bad, as time went on, I found myself getting angry, and knew it was time to go. It was almost as if everything was about social isues and who had the most money, and was c-a-t-e-red to. I saw others with l-i-t-tle money, who gladly gave out of thier meager inc-o-mes, by passed. Thier voices went unheard, but the upper cr-u-s-t were always given top c-o-n-s-i-deration.
    So, I went to the head of our b-o-a-r-d, and told him I resigned my p-o-stion, as I could no longer f-u-n-c-t-ion within a b-o-d-y of "believers" that were acting in such an Un christian like manner, before it caused me to s-i-n,lol.
    It was hard greeting these folks, and fe-e-ling like I wanted to sc-old them and the pastor, as well.
    The head of our bo-a-rd was a very good Ch-r–i-s-tian man, and understood my stance. It was my time to c-o-m-e out from "am-o-n-g-st" them, so to speak.
    Sad thing is, not all churches em-ploy the teachings of C-h-r-i-s-t, and start acting like some so-cial gathering club.

    Please try and keep your relationsh-i-p with the Lord , and live your Ch-r-i-s-t-i-a-n life as we are instructed to. Don't let the "n-a-s-tys" of the church keep you from being all that you can thru the Lord, Jesus C-h–r-i-s-t. There are many great and loving people out there, and I am sure there are churches where God is lving thru them, and his word is being preached and followed .If being part of a chruch is what you de-s-ir-e, pray for guidance thru the Holy Spirit. I will certainly say prayers for you.

    Someday, I may return myself. There is one church c-u-r-r-ently, that I am watching. So far, it is good, meaning performing as instructed by the Lord. I am praying for guidance myself, same advice I offered to you. I know that no church is made up of perfect Christians, none of us are, we are still sinners. But some are wayyyy over the top,lol.
    Church is a place where ALL people should be welc-o-med..regardless of what or who they are. If I pastored a church, my church would be open to people from all faiths, (or no faith) and all people, regardless of color, ho-m-os-e-x-u-a-ls, d-ru-g ad-di-cts, pr-o-s-t-i-t-u–tes, you name it, Gods arms are opened to ALL!

    May the Lord Bless you and Guide you!

    Sorry for all the spaces

    October 16, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Laura

      You said, "I am tempted to return and at least try to set an example for some. "

      Oooops! Too late. I think Jesus already beat you to it. But, maybe it is time for another messiah. Call the lumber yard. We may need another cross. Oh, and some nails. And where can I get a crown of thorns? Wal-Mart? Hmmm...

      You said, "I do not mean that from any prideful kind of statement. But only if I can help mayby someone like yourself, and my self,too."

      Who would have thought that was a prideful statement? You needn't have mentioned it!

      October 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • Raison

      @Laura

      No need to apologize for all the spaces. We have all suffered from the silly word filter. I made a list for everyone back here:

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/11/should-christians-practice-yoga/

      I have found a few more words to add, like jack-ass without the hyphen, but the whole problem is in the letter combinations.

      for example, c-um appears in doc-ument and acc-umulation
      and v-ag .....appears in extrav-agant -this one word kept me busy! I submitted and reposted a large number of times before I discovered it.
      As a further tip, if you haven't already found this, just hit your back button, delete your cookies, and you can resubmit your post as fast as you like – those WordPress cookies won't let you do things too fast.

      Hope this helps! 😀

      October 16, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • David Johnson

      You said, "Someday, I may return myself. There is one church c-u-r-r-ently, that I am watching. So far, it is good, meaning performing as instructed by the Lord."

      Why do you feel you are qualified to "judge" the churches? I think you have some real issues. I think you should find a church and then attend. If none of the churches are up to your standard, maybe your standard is not realistic. Maybe it is you and not them.?
      You are obviously very religious. Going it alone, without the feedback of others may be a problem.

      At any rate, I wish you well and hope you can redeem mankind.

      Happy Trail!

      October 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Laura,

      You said, ‘Someday, I may return myself. There is one church c-u-r-r-ently, that I am watching. So far, it is good, meaning performing as instructed by the Lord.’

      How do you ‘watch’ from the outside?

      October 16, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • David Johnson

      @CatholicMom

      Be honest you wanted to say what I said about "watching a church". Right?

      October 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  11. Laura

    @Laura

    Very good point. Too many Christians believe their calling is more political than anything. I would say to those Christians that the first century Jews were all about the political messiah, too, but that was not what God had in mind. Let us start focusing our hearts on what God really cares about – people.

    @PeterF
    To that I say "Amen"! 🙂

    October 16, 2010 at 8:25 am |
    • David Johnson

      You said, "Let us start focusing our hearts on what God really cares about – people."

      Well, evidently god cares about people and money. I'm not sure that people comes first. But then, god has a lot of expenses.

      October 16, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  12. Laura

    @Raison
    Thank you for your kind words! You have also helped me to be even more determined to be always kind and loving and considerate, particularly on these threads, as at times much negativity can be shown.
    I have read some of your posts. Please don't be concerned with length of your posts, at least you take time to put forth your thoughts, and try to give one some understanding into what you are responding to. I enjoy reading them, even if we differ on some things,which is only normal,lol.
    I accept your response with mush graciouness! Thank You!

    October 16, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  13. Eska

    I am not Christian. I tried that once a long time ago, but started feeling bad because I started seeing bad in people rather than the people themselves. I left the religion and started feeling hopeful again. That was many years ago. Over time I've found many Christians to be 'evil' in how they do things. They are intolerant to other people in general, and if someone changes and grows they are no longer looked upon as "good person". I love this billboard! And if this church finds a way to make it normal in following the teachings of Jesus, I would think again about joining the religion. But until then, I feel there is a long way to go for change in the right direction.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:35 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Eska

      You are on your way to recovering from religion! Don't take that sip of wine or that wafer! Do you have a buddy, a fellow recovering Christoholic, you can talk to?

      I'm here for you, my friend. Together we can keep you from a silly life. 🙂

      October 16, 2010 at 10:09 am |
    • Raison

      @David Johnson

      LOL you are just cracking me up, man! LOL

      October 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Eska,

      It appears that you expect Christians [or people in general] to be perfect….if they were then we would be like God and not in need of His mercy! Christianity shows us the path that Jesus Christ set down for us to follow…what we must do to take up our cross and follow Him…how we need to repent of our sins, have a contrite heart, love thy neighbor especially if he is a lost sheep of the fold….empty ourselves so that Jesus Christ can fill up our soul…for we can do nothing without Him working through us.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Suzie

      Hi Eska. I was just trolling the comments when I read yours. I'm sorry u had those experiences. For me knowing Christ and following His teachings were the center of Christianity. I'vevalways seen bad things when ppl try to live Out God's will by their own pwr. One thing that changed in me when I got to know Him was a love for others around me. That I didn't have b4. I gotta go but u're welcome to email me if u can

      October 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  14. Frank

    There's about an equal distribution of 'jerks' in every group. So this billboard doesn't mean much.

    October 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  15. NL

    Gary Larson at his best.

    http://www.heartofeugene.org/images/LWT0029.jpg

    October 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • slinky

      that's funny

      October 18, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  16. Reality

    My take on all religions- (for new members only)

    The basic message of the 21st century:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants to include the topic young Christians" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for houses and classes of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
    • Muneef

      It is only when mankind in danger he gets to think and remembers to beg God for another chance to correct his life but unfortunately when the ordeal is over they laugh upon them selves and forgets his vow and obligations.
      Now you all will deny having passed in such moments neither believe all those people who passed through such ordeals and came to tell their stories! Why well because many are deafened,blinded,seals on their stone like hearts.  

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And the example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to those (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi). (171) O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you[] with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship. (172)
      Sura 171 to 172

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Those who reject Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) are deaf and dumb in darkness. Allâh sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the Straight Path whom He wills. (39) Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Tell me if Allâh's Torment comes upon you, or the Hour comes upon you, would you then call upon any one other than Allâh? (Reply) if you are truthful!" (40)
      Sura 06:39 to 40

      October 16, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • jonathan

      you sound as dumb as a bag of hammers

      October 16, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      You stated....
      Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you[] with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.

      Who is the 'We' here?

      October 16, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Muneef

      @@CatholicMom
      Who is the 'We' here?
      As per Oxford En/En it means
      Used in formal contexts for or by a Royal person to refer to him self...
      Guess the Queen of England still refer to her self as We?

      October 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  17. MikeTX

    A first, I was reluctant to watch this, thinking it was another ranting story against Christians. I am glad I did watch it.

    It is a harsh message, but a true one. And sometimes you need to kick people in the tuckus to get them to wake up.

    But as the man interviewed said, Church's need to get back to the basic messages and beliefs of Christianity: helping those in need, clothe the unclothed (don't think I can post the actual word on here), feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, love your neighbor as you love yourself. And follow the example Christ gave us by his actions.

    I am Catholic, and that is what I hear from the ambo (pulpit) a message of hope, forgiveness and charity being preached. And that is a good thing, since that's what it is all about.
    If something is "bad" or "evil," it's not our place to judge. We should just help those who need and want help. That's what I hear being preached in my church these days. I work for my church, so I hear AL the homilies given.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • jonathan

      It is our place to judge evil...but not to condemn...it is the condemnation that is wrong...Jesus said to judge righteous judgment..sinners are in a hopeless path..to hammer them up side the head only makes them mad at you ...then they will start to blaming you for their faults and weaknesses and forget what was wrong int the first place...they'll continue in it even knowing it is wrong..but blaming you...Jesus said, to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves .. 🙂

      October 16, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • CatholicMom

      If we do not judge actions we will not know right from wrong; we just cannot judge a person’s soul ….that is God’s place to decide if ‘the branch produced no fruit or only bad fruit and whether it should be cut off from the vine or not’.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • Raison

      @CatholicMom

      Then please explain "excommunication" in a way that does not contradict what you just said. I can't reconcile it. Maybe you'd like to try?

      October 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Raison,

      Excommunication is what happens when a person who is a member of the Catholic Church goes against the teachings of the Church knowingly and persists in it after being warned that what they are doing/saying is false and wrong and could lead to excommunication.

      As an example: Martin Luther was a priest and preached that the Sacrament of Reconciliation [to confess our sins] was not necessary and that we did not need the Magisterium. He was warned that those were false teachings but he persisted in them. The Church gave him many opportunities to retract his inaccuracies but he continued in the heresies. He excommunicated himself from the Church by continuing in it!

      This does not mean that the Church condemns a person when they persist in their wrongful act but the Church must not let them remain in ‘good standing’ within the Church lest they confuse people and lead them astray, in the way that they are headed themselves. They can retract their statements or stop persisting in the wrongful act, repent, and become a member of the Church once again.

      The Church does not condemn anyone to Hell…that is God’s place to judge souls. But the penalty of excommunication is incurred automatically (latae sententiae) by those who willfully and deliberately act to ensure that a particular action takes place that goes against Church teaching. For very serious reasons it may also be imposed by a bishop, after prior warning, in cases of certain serious and obstinate public sins or attacks on the Church that are causing grave scandal. The goal is to restore justice where it is harmed, prevent others from being led into sin, and call sinners to repentance and full communion with God and the Church. For this reason, there are procedures in Church law to lift the penalty of excommunication once it is in place.

      My comment about being cut off from the vine is in regard to the final judgment that we all will go through when we pass into eternity. We will either remain a member of the Body of Christ when we die or we will be cut off and Our Father in Heaven is the One who will do the cutting if it needs doing. I was not referring to being cut off from the Catholic Church in this life. In either case, though, we are the ones who decide by our free will what our final fate will be.

      I hope this helps you in understanding excommunication , Raison.

      October 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Raison

      @CatholicMom

      Yes, thank you very much. I always thought that the Catholic Church was proclaiming "definite damnation" with every "excommunication". Glad to see that this is not the case.
      Forgive me for being so obtuse. I have been somewhat distracted in my intellects lately, as you might expect.

      If only we could all think clearly at all times and perceive clearly as well! What a sad state of affairs.
      Thank you again for taking the time to clarify what I completely misunderstood in the first place. 😀

      October 18, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • slinky

      @CatholicMom

      What I'm understanding is that excommunication is a punishment for critical thinking. Is that correct?

      October 18, 2010 at 12:43 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Slinky,

      Did you not know about how scientists and the Catholic Church communicate?

      The Committee on Science and Human Values (CSHV) conducts dialogues among bishops, scientists, and theologians to explore cur-rent scientific and technological advances. Consultants as-s!st the comm!ttee in planning the sessions and choosing the scientist participants. Recent dialogue topics have included global population; genetic testing; genetic screening; death and dying; cloning; stem cell research; genetic modification in plants; evol-ution; and genetic enhancement.

      The Comm!ttee has issued a series of popular-level pam-phlets in the religion/science field, beginning with Science and the Catholic Church. The other pu-b-lications in the series are reports from dial-ogues between scientists and Catholic bishops. They include Critical Choices: Genetic Testing and Its Im-plications, The Promise and Peril of Genetic Screening, and The Ma-ner of Our Dying.

      CSHV has conducted workshops for the bishops of the United States on cos-mology and the Human Gen-ome Project, e-vol-ution, and stem cell research. The talks presented at these workshops are available in Or-i-gins, the doc-u-mentary service of Catholic News Service. The Committee collaborates with other USCCB [United States Council of Catholic Bishops] committees (e.g., the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, the Committee on Education, the Committee on Domestic Policy) in addressing particular topics such as global climate change and the treatment of science in catechetical materials.
      It also cooperates with outside organizations that pursue related interests, especially the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion of the American As-sociation for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

      October 18, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  18. Raison

    The different characteristics of each individual as expressed within the matrix of religious delusion definitely refutes this billboard to an amazing degree.

    Just goin' to bed now...nighty night.....zzzz

    October 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  19. Bob

    Agreed.... most Christians are jerks.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • MikeTX

      And you are qualified to judge them for what reason? Some are jerks I agree, but some aren't.
      There are some people at my church I swear are saints from what I know of them.
      When some others enter the church, I cringe, hoping the floor doesn't catch on fire where they walk.

      You have to judge each person as an individual, not based on a singe factor.
      Judging people negatively based on a single factor is called prejudice.

      October 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dywat

      Really Mike?
      You admit to judging others?? Judge not lest ye be judged.. Remember that one?
      You shouldn't be judging anyone. I'm not judging you, I'm simply saying that you ought to be more christ-like, which is what true christians purport to be.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:15 am |
    • Frank

      I'll admit that the only people I judge are out and out greedy in-it-for-themselves wh0re-mongering sociopaths. Lol.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:18 am |
    • Raison

      @Bob

      Your post is ridiculous. Anyone can be a jerk. Your post is a "jerk" of a post. See how easy it can be?

      October 16, 2010 at 6:24 am |
    • David Johnson

      I think I like the slogan, "Most Christians Are Sheep" better. You can be a jerk and not be baaaad. LOL

      Now that was funny! Baaaad. Like a sheep. Baaaaah! Get it?

      October 16, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Raison

      @David Johnson
      Hi David! 😀

      LOL...you are making them feel sheepish...LOL

      October 16, 2010 at 10:09 am |
    • jonathan

      Not most just the most vocal...They are crying out because somethings wrong inside..

      October 16, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson and Raison,

      Being called sheep is a wonderful reminder that we follow the Lamb of God! Every time anyone says something that is ‘supposed’ to be a baaaad put down….it only lifts up! It is a reminder that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is our leader! It’s also a reminder of the lost sheep that the Good Shepherd is willing to go into the desert to find…at all costs, because just one lost sheep is worth bringing back into the fold.

      If you feel sheepish about something you said, it is a good thing….it means your conscience is still working…..

      October 16, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Connie

      Bob to call christians jerks is very untrue. We are not perfect nor will we be until we get to heaven. That is a pretty harsh statement. What if we said all people who live in Texas are jerks, just because one was. It makes no sense and sounds rather backward and hillbillyish. Look around at the Christians who are quietly doing good in God's name. When you judge people saying they are jerks you don't see the whole picture. You can not see how God has been working in their life. So really who do you think you by being so judgemental.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Ffionmair

      The obvious irony concerning this billboard is this: Jesus Christ came for the "lost." The jerks, the liars, the hypocrites, the greedy, the selfish, the hate-filled hearted, the bigoted, the self-pitying, the thieves....In other words, "ALL of us." Not one person has ever existed on this earth without a sinful, self-centered, egotistical mindset.....with the exception of one: Jesus Christ.

      October 17, 2010 at 6:00 am |
    • Monson

      Now what judging are we talking about here people?

      I once heard it said like this:

      "Imagine you are a father of a 16 year old girl. A young man knocks on your door and says, 'Hey can I get her naked. I'd love to sleep with your daughter.' As a father who in their right mind would say, 'Well who am I to judge? Sure sleep with her all ya want.' " Yea right!!!

      Are we judging the person, or the choices that they are making? Judging peoples choices happen all the time. As parents you see your kids making wrong decisions and as a parent you may talk to them and guide them in the right direction, or at least that's what parents should do. A friend of yours decides to take drugs or drinks too much. "Well who am I to judge?"

      So are you judging them and saying, "You're going to hell for what you did!"? No, that kind of judging is not ours, but God's. Paul also mentions how we are to help fellow believers. Is someone in the church continuously sinning and not repenting? That's where fellow Christians are to come in and help. Some may see it as judging, some may see it as help. In the church it's one thing, judging other non-believers is another and is only going to push them away and not bring them to Christ.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  20. Laura

    As Christians we should be diligent to do the right things, so we can let others see Jesus living in us. Loving all people, as Jesus commanded, is a great start. The rest then would be easy, such as not judging others nor thier beliefs or opinions. We need to love more, and judge less, as its not our job to judge anyway.
    So, yes, I am sure that we have all been jerks at some point in our lives, but hopefully realize it and not repeat it again. I sincerely ask forgiveness if I have done anything to anyone that reflects anything but love and kindness. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Love and Peace to All!

    October 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Peter F

      @Laura

      Very good point. Too many Christians believe their calling is more political than anything. I would say to those Christians that the first century Jews were all about the political messiah, too, but that was not what God had in mind. Let us start focusing our hearts on what God really cares about – people.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:53 am |
    • Raison

      @Laura

      I love your post. With a statement like that, it seems clear enough that you are a nice Christian and not a "jerk".
      I hate that billboard idea. And "jerk" is a very narrow word to use for a whole branch of religion when it is the people who do the expression of it.
      Good-hearted people like yourself are not perfect of course, who would ever say that anyone is? I forgive you for whatever, I do not like holding grudges. I can't even remember if you had a nasty post anywhere. That's how much attention I give to nastiness. I try to ignore it and let it go when I can. I don't need religion to do this, just my personal values and principles, but I suppose you might have heard about those already. I have become a great wind-bag lately. My apologies to all for those massively long treatises on my views if they were too long to read.
      Thanks for your post. It helped me feel a little better about people today. 🙂

      October 16, 2010 at 6:22 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Laura

      And alas, some of us have been jerks to an atheist right here in these blogs. *sigh*

      October 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Amy

      Why don't we all just be good people without the threat of damnation looming over our heads?

      October 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Darren Maybee

      This debate and interview is completely wrong. We are all sinners. Only God is Holy. We need to acknowledge His death on the cross for our sins. So many people are just "Christian" in name. Forget about this billboard. When you are doing wrong or have not acknowledged your sin, you should feel guilty. A true Christian should stand up and point out your sin. It is the only way we will realize that we are all sinners and only Christ's blood can save us. Too many churches just want attendance and sugar coat or give a soft message to not offend. I'm sad to say this interview is doing the same thing too.

      December 20, 2010 at 2:08 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Darren Maybee

      There are no gods, not even just one, no Satan either, no Santa and no pink unicorns...

      December 20, 2010 at 3:52 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.