June 8th, 2011
12:42 PM ET

soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    [6:69] The righteous are not responsible for the utterances of those people, but it may help to remind them; perhaps they may be saved.

    [6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside GOD as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief.

    [6:71] Say, "Shall we implore, beside GOD, what possesses no power to benefit us or hurt us, and turn back on our heels after GOD has guided us? In that case, we would join those possessed by the devils, and rendered utterly confused, while their friends try to save them: `Stay with us on the right path.' " Say, "GOD's guidance is the right guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.

    [6:72] "And to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and to reverence Him – He is the One before whom you will be summoned (for the reckoning)."

    [6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Knower of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.

    June 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  2. Muneef

    [6:50] Say, "I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of GOD. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me." Say, "Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?"

    [6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord – they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor – that they may attain salvation.

    [6:52] And do not dismiss those who implore their Lord day and night, devoting themselves to Him alone. You are not responsible for their reckoning, nor are they responsible for your reckoning. If you dismiss them, you will be a transgressor.

    June 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  3. L


    June 12, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • fred

      Sorry, but the bible is not mssleading simply because the J is translated in many ways. Based on the Dead Sea Scrolls the tranaslation was right on to the surprise of many who tried to claim the Bible has been been translated so many times it is not reliable. With the exception of a few words scholars were stunned by the accuracy.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  4. Randy

    I am just a old time country preacher,but the expert that was on this morning about the bible misquotes was wrong about one quote.Jonah was in the belly of a whale not just a big fish.The expert needs to look at KJV Matt. Chapter 12 Verse 40 and read what it says.I just wanted to clear this up with the expert.

    June 12, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Free

      I think that the point of having all these new translations is to correct all that the KJV got wrong, which was a lot.

      June 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      Guess was clear that the type of creature that swallowed Jonah was teethless and the only teethless sea creature is a Whale... Some of those whales at certain times as in the stories people landed on their back thinking of them as small islands... The whales you see today are dwarfs to what has existed in the past...

      June 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Sean

      I don't think sea urchins have teeth.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • fred

      Jesus in Matthew 12:40 Told us all we need to know about that big fish. Jesus made it clear that those asking another miracle would not get one because they had already seen many and still ask for more. Nineveh believed Jonah and repented turning to God but these Jews did not believe the miracles or Jesus resurrection and are condemned. It is not about the fish but about those who refuse to believe. No matter what they are shown or told whether from Christ or a man (Jonah) they will not believe.
      If it was important for Jesus to tell us more about the fish he would have. What difference is it if were a whale or the belly of a big boat. Jonah came to free the people of Niniveh from darkness and they heard it.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

    they came to the house of the lord and brought gifts the 3 wise men by the house of the lord i think the bible means the inn where the manger is they were social human beings at he time that wrote that just proper norman clature and respect

    June 12, 2011 at 8:55 am |

      remember the bible speaks about they shell dwell in the house of the lord foreever meaning heaven a spirital and holy place.

      June 12, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • rfbouche

      remember the bible speaks about they shell dwell in the house of the lord foreever meaning heaven a spirital and holy place.

      June 12, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Muneef

      We were told all at the Gardans of Paradise would be as at the age of 33 years...we understand that we will be having skins...but after all we will be resurrected from earth on Judgment day;

      [54:7] With their eyes humiliated, they come out of the graves like scattered locusts.

      [54:8] As they respond to the caller, the disbelievers will say, "This is a difficult day."

      That means we will be having our earthly body whether in Gardens of Hell or in Gardens of Paradise... 

      June 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Equality of Human beings ;

    Just wonder if the wicked corruptors to life on Earth and Universe are as Equal to those Good ones who work towards a Clearner/Greener environment and improving human lives?

    Could those who are as of Hitler in barbarism are Equal to say "Mother Tereza" or any one similar to her good doings to humanity ?? Or can we say Osama was as good in handling issues as was Ghandi ?? Obvious that people are not equal since they are equal only according their deeds if "Negative or Positive"....

    Few example verses about Good & Bad being unequal...surely same you will find written in all Heavenly and even in non Heavenly Books Of World Religions, surely you will even see it in the "Satanic Faith of Atheists" that Good & Bad Deeds or Persons are not Equal in rights...! 
    Could it be right that the Hands who Build and Pat With Mercy to those who's hands destruct and Kills the innocence of mankind....?! 
    I do not believe how some people think or talk? How will peace find a way , how will love replace hatred if the viruses were given rights on this planet ?? Does that sound Logical to you that "Good & Bad" have equal rights ? If it does then guess terrorists have rights that protects them and therefore they have to be listened to rather than flaming wars on them,blowing them up with the human shields they had them selves surrounded with ??

    [4:95] Not equal are the sedentary among the believers who are not handicapped, and those who strive in the cause of GOD with their money and their lives. GOD exalts the strivers with their money and their lives above the sedentary. For both, GOD promises salvation, but GOD exalts the strivers over the sedentary with a great recompense.

    [5:100] Proclaim: "The bad and the good are not the same, even if the abundance of the bad may impress you. You shall reverence GOD, (even if you are in the minority) O you who possess intelligence, that you may succeed."

    [57:10] Why do you not spend in the cause of GOD, when GOD possesses all wealth in the heavens and the earth?
    Distinguished from the rest are those among you who spend before the victory and strive. They attain a greater rank than those who spend after the victory and strive. For each, GOD promises salvation. GOD is Cognizant of everything you do.

    [59:18] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD, and let every soul examine what it has sent ahead for tomorrow. You shall reverence GOD; GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

    [59:19] Do not be like those who forgot GOD, so He made them forget themselves. These are the wicked.

    [59:20] Not equal are the dwellers of the Hellfire and the dwellers of Paradise; the dwellers of Paradise are the winners.

    June 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  7. fred

    Is there a common ground between the atheist living in a western society and a christian? In communications with “Free” I can see we share common ground. We are both products and heirs of the Christendom experiment. Even though Free rebels against it and I embrace it neither of us can escape being part of it. I on the one hand testify to what God has done in my life, what I have seen, heard and felt. Free testifies to what he cannot see, has not heard and cannot feel. We are further very similar in that we both proudly fly our banner of belief, at least in this current dialog. The Divine commands simply are love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Free cannot do anything about my following this command. Thus I love God as he should be loved and pray for Free wishing only the best for him. The Christendom experiment is today at a point where in the Western Society (I am mostly familiar with America) our media and government are of the atheist viewpoint. Even poor old George Bush started out proclaiming Jesus but was quickly muzzled. Obama on the other hand distanced himself from Jesus to the extent some think him a Muslim yet his actions are clearly atheist. My dilemma is I do not know how to communicate the very real danger our society is in when God is ignored. I cannot seem to communicate that Science should not be our master but a useful tool.

    June 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Free

      You, my friend, are mistaking a secular stand that does not favor any particular religious view, or atheism, with actual atheism. If actual atheism were the government policy you would know it, and it would be just as unconst.itutional as an official Christian government. I wouldn't want to live under a theocracy, and you probably wouldn't either. Imagine a Christian America like Iran, where you have to conform to the theology of the ruling faction (whoever that turns out to be) or suffer the consequences. What religious freedom would you have then?

      From my viewpoint I am liberated from Christendom while you are still mired within it. I only testify to what I can, in fact, see with my own eyes. I would never expect someone to blindly accept something that I feel "in my gut." All that I propose as being true has objective evidence that everyone can view for themselves. It is you who talk of unseen, and unprovable, agents working within your life, and have not as yet answered me as to how you can separate your experience with God from that of a mentally ill person hearing 'voices' in their head.

      I will agree with you that science is but a useful tool; useful being the operative word. Science is useful because it seeks out and finds the most likely truth of things, and then replaces those answers with better ones should new evidence surface. Science discovers, but it is only a tool for rational thinking, whereas religion insists that no new discovery can be made. That the ancients learned all that was worth knowing from some alien intelligence whispering in their dreams things they were inspired to write down upon waking. Was that God communicating with people, or just ordinary imagination and human creativity at work?

      You pray for me, but all I can do is hope that some day you will see reason, and that future generations will not judge you too harshly.

      June 12, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • fred

      it is not voices I hear but more like a voiceless understanding. To see the truth can happen in many ways. When I see a life transformed (mostly behavioral) such as one moving from a life of depression to joy, drug addiction to sobriety, gang member to priest. On rare occasions I see one dying of cancer and the cancer vanish, successful surgeries.

      Western Society has expanded separation of church and state to point where God is not allowed in government acts. These acts are written as if God does not exist and thus I refer to it as atheist.

      As to religions that deny science there are few within the congregations that buy into that. The Bible itself reflects evolution of peoples over time and is not stuck in mud.

      June 12, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Free

      "it is not voices I hear but more like a voiceless understanding. To see the truth can happen in many ways. When I see a life transformed (mostly behavioral) such as one moving from a life of depression to joy, drug addiction to sobriety, gang member to priest. On rare occasions I see one dying of cancer and the cancer vanish, successful surgeries."

      "voiceless understanding"? You mean, just knowing in your gut that something is true? That's a hunch, my friend and, like I said before, that's fine if you want to go with your hunches, but don't expect others to trust them without something to back them up.

      I like nice, feel good stories too. When someone beats the odds, and has a better than average recovery from something like cancer it's only natural to find that uplifting. It only balances out the tragedy of sudden, pointless deaths that are also sensational because they rarely occur. I think that, if you examine life a bit more carefully, you will see just as many examples of these "anti-miracles", cases where the laws of nature and chance seem to be working against something good happening, are just as numerous as the feel good stories you attribute as evidence for there being a God. The only way that works is if it's all chance, with some people having better luck than average and some worse.

      "Western Society has expanded separation of church and state to point where God is not allowed in government acts. These acts are written as if God does not exist and thus I refer to it as atheist."

      Even if you want to totally disregard atheists there are Hindus and others who have different gods. Are you saying that the US government only recognizes believers in YHWH/ God/ Allah as citizens?

      "As to religions that deny science there are few within the congregations that buy into that. The Bible itself reflects evolution of peoples over time and is not stuck in mud."

      Try that line over in "Answers in Genesis" and see how long it takes them to label you a 'fake' Christian. 🙂

      June 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  8. fred

    You rightfully bring up some key areas regarding unfairly judging someone and random occurrences vs. a creators hand in the smallest details of life. Was it a series of random accidents or was it a loving God? The conclusion must fit the culture of your community or you risk rejection. My conclusion upon reading the Bible was that I was guilty before a holy God and threw myself at His mercy and grace for forgiveness. I was rejected by my community, by some who knew me for years for my new belief. I understood their position because I once stood with them mocking Bible thumpers. You and I are part of that experience where a living God is moving in all things towards an end that we have accepted. Interesting that the personal events in our life as well as our response to God as he revealed himself is specifically addressed in the Bible. Look close and you will see you’re in there. You are no accident !
    Not sure what popular interpretation of scripture you refer to but, unfair judging of one clearly goes against the character and history of God as he moves among the people and times covered by the Bible right up through today. Typically, the way, how and who we judge unfairly says more about the condition of our heart than the one being judged.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Free

      Then you have to somehow separate the actual accidents in life from the events that God has planned, yes? How would you do that? Something bad that happens to you may very well be exactly what some other person prayed for. Would your God play favorites?

      If you don't believe in accidents whatsoever then you are faced with the conclusion that God orchestrates every event in the universe, good and bad, beneficial to you and not. You might say that you still have free will, but how different are you responding as you wish to whatever stimulus God chooses to test you with, and a lab rat being experimented upon by some scientist? Do you think that the rat views the man in the white lab coat as his Savior after he has intentionally infected him with cancer? Christians do, right?

      June 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • fred

      When God referred to himself as “I am” and revealed himself through His word and His creation we can conger up an image or faint knowledge about God. Man is different from all other animals and the bible relates this to the creation when God breathed his spirit into man. Thus when the man in white lab coat gives us a cancer shot we don’t just go back to eating cheese. We look up and ask why, then try and make sense of this white coat, a tear may run down my cheek thinking why me Lord as the white coat puts me back in the cage. The tumors grow and fellow rats gather round as I curl up in pain. Some of the rats fight over my food since I can no longer eat while others bite at the cage and shake their fist at the control group. The control group was given a nice cage fresh water and all the cheese from France they could eat. White Coat never gave them shots or shaved their hair putting stinging chemicals on the tender skin. While dying I looked around and saw , thought, heard and prayed. I gave thanks for those who were given much cheese, I asked God forgive those that fought over my food and shook their fist. I thanked God for the times he gave me water and for putting me back in the cage gently when everything hurt. One day I woke in a new place a perfect place with no pain only joy, an overwhelming joy. There was a light everywhere and all the rats around me were filled with a glory that radiated and made me happy. Seems I have been here now forever some tell me it has been an eternity. I have been here so long it is all I know.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Free

      Scientists euthanize whatever rats don't die from the experiment, and then they dissect them for further study. Perhaps that's the 'light' you and your fellow rats see?

      June 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  9. Slave

    Why the ax to grind? If you refuse to believe then why spend an enormous amount of time trying to disprove the bible or "give advice" to others by saying accept this portion of the bible but ignore everything Jesus says? Every believer in Christ knows that God's word is true. But it seems that because of your unbelief you choose to be a stumbling block to others. Why is that?

    June 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • fred

      In my case I would not say Free was a stumbling block. Free has some good points and they are valid. In our modern scientific world view today’s historians would conclude what Free has expressed. Our culture embraces these conclusions and our religious experience today reflects that we are a part of these past and present experiences. The issue is how do we present the Gospel to a world that rejects the resurrection or the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac. A world that demands facts not antiquity.
      As to sticking to what Jesus said for inspiration that is a good place to begin. I always look to what Jesus said and did for guidance. It took me 4 years before I even looked at the old testament and 15 years before I understood what was really going on. Slow learner but I’m just making my way through.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Free


      Do you place equal authority and worth on all the writings of antiquity? The Odyssey, the teachings of the Buddha, the rejected gospels of Thomas and Judas? Also, resurrection was a pretty common theme in ancient myth. Read some just for comparative purposes and you will see very little difference between accepted myth and the Bible.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Free

      I could just as easily ask a Christian why they oppose the teaching of evolution in schools, or why they march against freedom of choice, or why they bother to debate atheists at all. You have your causes and I have mine. If I'm being a stumbling block to believers then you are being one to non-believers. You want to show people your version of truth and so do I. You're spending some time trying to prove the Bible, and I'm spending some time doing the opposite. By any fair judgment, if I'm grinding an ax then so are you.

      You say "Every believer in Christ knows that God's word is true" and everyone who doesn't believe in Christ must believe the opposite, yes? You have to believe in Christ to accept the truth of the Bible, but you need the Bible to testify that Jesus was the Christ so you get a nice, circular, argument. See?

      ->--–Your belief in Christ tells you that the Bible is true --–>-
      ' '

      ' '
      –<- Your belief in the Bible tells you that Jesus was the Christ-<-

      June 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Free

      Oops, that diagram didn't turn out very circular, but use your imagination. I know you have a very powerful one, so it really shouldn't be a problem. 😉

      June 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • fred

      Equal weight in some regards but that sense of authority, some refer to as Divine, has a distinct weight to it – different very real, very now. As to resurrection I am not aware of any other God that suffered greatly for us, died and rose again in order to redeem mankind that rejected him. Most of the other gods are made by man to please or help man compared with the Holy one who always was “I am”. The great flood story is one that comes to mind as there are many with similar threads. The difference is Divine Scripture beginning with creation and ending with the new kingdom addresses all these other myths / gods. So it is as if God is telling about all the other things that have been and will be.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Free

      "Most of the other gods are made by man to please or help man compared with the Holy one who always was “I am”."
      Are you happy with God? Does he please you, or is he somehow deficient, unsatisfactory? If he does please you, then explain how you know for certain that he was not created to please people like you?

      June 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      @ Free
      Have you ever been in a pleasing relationship?
      With God, I believe we can be pleased by Him and FOR Him...He is our Creator... since we were created for His great pleasure... he doesn't delight in sickness or pain; we do however live in a fallen world were PEOPLE have not learned to fight against principalities...we don't fight against flesh and blood, but principalities..... thus we still see sickness and pain because Satan is at hand and working amongst us...Satan wants us to blames God for our misfortunes, but we must humble ourselves and look at how we have been disobedient...
      God does want to work through Christians to prevent satan from prevailing in people's lives... thus if we seek the kingdom of God, we can take back what the enemy has stolen, held capitive, etc.... Christians need to get serious and learn how to fight... it's not with our hands, but with the WORD, prayer, & fasting. God Bless!

      Rev 19:13 "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. "

      June 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Free

      I have had a number of pleasing relationships, but none of them have been 100% pleasing for me. When relating with other people there is give and take, and sometimes misunderstanding. So, having a pleasing relationship with another person requires sacrifice on my part which makes having a 100% pleasing relationship impossible without someone manufacturing that pleasure to fit me. I can imagine having a 100% pleasing relationship with somebody just as you can, of course, have a 100% pleasing relationship with God if God were also merely a concept that you construct within your own mind to please yourself.

      You believe in Satan, and that he can deceive anyone? If you do, then you have to admit to the logical possibility that you are one of the people he is deceiving, right? Maybe God treasures truth above all, scientific truth, and you may be one of Satan's pawns, spreading misinformation and influencing people to turn away from God's scientific truth. 😉

      June 12, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • KingdomCome

      @ Free...
      I don't believe Satan CAN deceive everyone/anyone... you see if I was in a dark basement I would have a hard time seeing things... they would be hidden in the darkness...I could be tricked easily because my sight would be compromised...Yet, if I were in the light of mid day.... I could see clearly... That's how it works in the kingdom of God... We are in the light of God so we see clearly unless we are led away into the darkness where we can be deceived by Satan... we must be careful to stay in the light, less we stumble....
      As for me deceiving others because I don't recognize science & truths? What truths are you talking about? The WAY, The TRUTH & The LIFE? What scientific truths, please try to persuade me into your light...

      June 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Free

      The dark areas can indeed cause people to stumble, but staring directly into the sun can be just as blinding. Drivers have been known to plow right over pedestrians because they were so overcome by the light. Are you in any danger of doing this, hurting people while driving towards the light, or do you shield your eyes so that you can see clearly enough not to hurt anyone?

      I ask about science because so many Christians automatically reject all that disagrees with the Bible, even if the weight of evidence suggests that it must be true. If you are not one of these then please disregard that part.

      Getting back to Satan, however, are you saying that all who think, or claim to be in God's light actually are? Phelps? Camping? All who call themselves Christian, and honestly believe themselves to be, none of them are being deceived? That's a pretty wide net of 'truth' God is spreading if no one claiming to be Christian is under Satan's power. Are you saying that Satan can only influence those who don't believe he exists?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  10. YANKO


    June 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  11. fred

    True 2500 years ago in Greece there is no reason to think I would not have looked to a Greek God. Fast forward to 1985 and I’ll give you a short story. I helped a man out in crisis who gave me his Bible as that was all he had left to his name. Even though I refused it he left it in my car after he got out. I tossed it in the back but for some reason could never toss it out in the trash. A few years later I lost everything and there was that Bible. The book was still bent open from when I first tossed it. I looked at it and there was all this red lettering at the bent crease. I began to read all the red words and in a short time I was convicted over all that had transpired in my life. Later I found out that it was called a red letter edition where all the words of Jesus are written in red and the rest is standard black type. That is where it began and that is when I found nothing else has ever given so much hope and purpose to this existence.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Free

      I think that you'll find a lot of atheists actually like most of the red letter content of the Bible. You'll do better if you stick mainly to those parts for inspiration, I think. The important thing is to try your best not to harm others. The part that challenges your character is your willingness to put your seat in Heaven at risk when you know in your heart that the popular interpretation of scripture is unfairly judging somebody.

      There's no denying that Jesus' teaching can be quite sublime, as can the Buddha's, Confucius' and some of those Greek philosophers. It's healthy that you recognize the random nature of your framing your experience within Christianity rather than some other tradition. It's all really just an accident of time, location, culture and probably some other factors that has made you a Christian just as my access to impartial scholarly research on the Bible made it possible for me to become an atheist. Some time in the future some other religion may be the most popular around here and most will frame their experiences within it. Simple, really.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  12. Jim

    They misquote the bible because they've never read it or the pick and choose verses based on their truthiness, not their context. The most interesting thing is that Christians quote passages from the bible that are the direct opposite of the teachings of Christ in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most Christians think that the Gospels and the New Testament are the same thing.

    June 9, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Free

      Stick to what Jesus actually teaches in the red lettering. Most of it is pretty wise stuff, but skip what they have him say about being God's actual son, and skip anything Paul says Jesus taught. How would he have known? He never heard Jesus preach.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Slave

      Have you ever really studied the bible? If you have then you will know the power of the Holy Spirit which is every Christian's counselor and teacher. So to say "skip anything Paul says Jesus taught" simply because he never heard him preach is not only arrogantly but foolish as well. Please don't be a stumbling block to others. You want to reject the truth of the Gospel that is indeed your choice. However, in the end we will all have to give an account.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Noone who wrote any part of the new testament ever met Jesus, if he even existed. The earlies works that were put down that eventually became the NT were written no less than 40 years after he supposedly died. It's all 3rd hand hearsay. In other words, fiction.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Free

      "You want to reject the truth of the Gospel that is indeed your choice."
      I am advising to stick to the Gospel. Paul is not the gospel. He was simply giving advice to the churches that he set up, to believers in his particular branch of Christianity at the time.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  13. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    Numbers 31:7-18

    They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

    Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.

    June 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • fred

      Excellent example of Gods people required to carry out His exacting commands. These peoples were led at the time by Divine providence under Moses and certain things were required. This was for the survival of the people and assuring they remained set apart from the things of this world in that day and age. Good thing we are prohibited from such action today from a physical aspect at least.

      June 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Free

      Moses was the only one who spoke to and for God, right? So, can you explain how the followers of Moses were any different than the followers of some modern-day cult figure? From the point of view of the Hebrews being killed by his fellow Levite tribesmen (some 3000 people) wouldn't Moses have appeared pretty much the same as Jim Jones ordering his followers to drink the Kool-Aid?

      June 9, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Frogist

      @fred: If you were a soldier under Moses command, would you have killed and rap ed because God asked you to? If your answer is 'no' at least there is some decency in you. If your answer is yes... I have no response for that kind of darkness. The ra pe of children is a thing that is never required! By man, God or otherwise.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • fred

      Free, that is not what is going on in this verse. The Midianites were a currupting element which needed to be removed. No compairson between Jim Jones and Moses

      June 10, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • fred

      Not sure where you are coming from on this because there were no such instructions given in that verse. Either way the answer is God does not condone such behavior period.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Free

      "The Midianites were a currupting element which needed to be removed."
      The Midianite children were a corrupting element, eh? Corrupting, like the Jews were for Hitler? Wasn't that a case of ethnic cleansing?

      June 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  14. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    June 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • fred

      Masters were to treat and reward slaves well and set them free according to certain times. Other masters in that time did not have Gods Divine guidance or rejected it treating their slaves poorly. Gods principles apply whether you believe in Him or not as both fell into judgment.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Free

      How close is this, I wonder, to the practice of hiring illegal immigrants and paying them under the table salaries far below the standard you would pay a citizen? It may not be slavery, but it sure isn't equality, is it?

      June 9, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • fred

      Yes, throughout the old and new testiment we see God comming down extra hard on those who oppress another being.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Free

      Where do you see that? Paul didn't outlaw slavery, did he?

      June 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  15. fred

    Free, if it were not for Gods intervention into my life I am not sure I would have the faith to accept much of what is in the Bible. Even now 22 years later I often find myself doubting. At those times I replay in my mind every occurrence God interceded or brought about an answer to prayer in my life and I am back on track.

    June 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Free

      I have no doubt that you experienced a dramatic change in your life, but have you ever considered that you only believe it was God's doing because you were taught to interpret it that way? I mean, if you had lived in Greece 2500 years ago you would have framed the exact same change as due to the intervention of one of their gods, right? To an atheist like me, who sees nothing magical going on, it's just the person's mind trying to make sense of what it experiences, like an optical illusion.

      You experience something unusual, your mind seeks out past experience or knowledge to understand it and, if it fails to find something adequate, it plugs in the unprovable answer, God, because any answer, especially a comforting one, is better than the uncertainty of not knowing for many. The first thing you learn as an atheist is not to be afraid to admit that you don't know the answer to something. It's better to admit ignorance than to create an answer out of thin air.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  16. summer

    Fred, I used to read the bible with a open heart and mind but I can also say with certainy that I do not know what happens after death..Can you say with certainy that you will go to "heaven"? I think it common sense that the bible is comprised of a bunch of stories as it was written with ones perception as everything is. I am not knocking the bible but I would not base the foundation of my life on this "great book" It has alot of wisdom to offer. I find it funny that people like to "tote" and "quote" scriptures when it is convenient but perhaps it gives them some comfort as this seems the case for you...Religion has definitly to some degree kept society "in line" and has also caused "division" amongst the human race....Then again thats just my perception!!!!

    June 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • fred

      I can say with certainty there are times when the awareness of a present and future Kingdom is overwhelming. In those times I wonder how I could ever have doubted and how I could have so little trust in God. Yes, from a common sense point of view the Bible is a story about God redeeming a people for Himself. From that overview we can see Gods plan unfold as we see how His people and God respond over generations to fulfill all the promises made. Time after time the truths contained in the Bible jump out at you. When you combine that with transformed lives you realize there is something more than just words here.
      As to foundation of one’s life I cannot imagine a better foundation. Not one based on getting to a place called heaven but one based on living life as modeled by Jesus. Living life not for myself but putting God first then others. You mentioned some wisdom in the Bible and yes it is there.

      June 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Matt

      Yes, there will be people who go to heaven to be future kings and priest over the rest of us here on earth. Under the new Government that is ruling in heaven right now. Some who believe that they are going to heaven, that is between them and God. We don't judge them in that thought.

      The great majority of people will live here on the Earth where God intended us to live in his original purpose. I do not proclaim to be of that number who are going to be resurrected to heaven to rule as kings and priest over mankind but only 144,00 will.

      June 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Free

      You are challenging my understanding of Poe's Law with that last post. I really can't tell if you seriously believe all of that stuff, or you are merely mocking Christians.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  17. Reality

    Sending the bible and all its quotes to the fiction section of your library: (for pasting on the outside cover of your copy)



    June 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • fred

      There exists a lot of written evidence as to the existence of Abraham and Moses. If you doubt that there is little sense in talking about the rest

      June 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Free

      A lot has been written about Sherlock Holmes, reincarnation, Thetans, and vampires, but I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't consider that evidence of their actual existence, right? The furthest back that you could go seems to be David, and even that evidence is recent and very inconclusive.

      June 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Matt

      @ reality
      On what are you basing your evidence to make such statements? Because there is no evidence? What would convince you that there were multiple resurrections in the past and there will continue to be resurrections in the future? Basically, it begins with just a little Faith, hope, trust in the Bible. Do you have the desire to know the answer to your statements,


      June 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

      June 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Resurrection Con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

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

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

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      o p.4
      o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      o p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      June 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  18. Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties

    It's simple: Christians are morons who tell you about this great book that they never read.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Free

      Come on, they're not all morons. Remember that many of us atheists were once believers like them. Most are either just not interested in what they believe in enough to dig into the reasons why they believe as they do, or they've taken some pastor's advice about the dangers of allowing their doubts to rise, and have simply closed their minds to everything but 'trusted' Christian authority.

      Calling them names just fortifies their belief that they're on the right track. Not unlike the Apple slogan, they've literally got a verse for that. Of course, Paul was just addressing the issue of educated folks finding the whole business silly that had plagued Christianity from the very beginning, but that hasn't stopped modern Christians from taking it, like many things, out of context as some kind of prophecy concerning them, specifically. If you really want to freak them out, be super kind and considerate to them. They wouldn't know how to react to that coming from an atheist! 🙂

      June 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • fred

      It takes some time to understand just what the Bible is about. When I first read the Bible I felt inspired with all the new lessons on life just to find out years later that I was a bit off target. Now I will never compete with a theologian and only know what God has revealed. One thing for certain is the number of lives, including my own that have been transformed by the Bible. I cannot argue with what I have personally witnessed. Have you read the Bible with an open heart and mind?

      June 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Free

      What would you say if I did read the Bible with an open mind and heart, but still could not find enough faith to accept it as true?

      June 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties

      I tried the super-nice and considerate thing already with the local Christians. They still treat you the same, and it has no impact on their ideology.

      June 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • ttwp

      @ Free: if you truly open your heart and humble yourself, God will reveal Himself. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Be persistent and open to what He reveals. He will reveal truth and the truth shall set you free. God bless.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Free

      You say do A and B and God will reveal himself, guaranteed, but my question was what happens if I do all that and I still can't find any reason to believe in God? If you set it up the way you seem to be suggesting then people will eventually fake experiencing God simply because your faith community doesn't allow for a negative outcome. Either that or they will go over the deep end because it isn't working.

      Of course, the guarantee will hold as long as somebody takes the poor soul aside and convinces them that God has, indeed, revealed himself in some event that they just 'mistook' as completely random, or mundane, right?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Free

      Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties
      Why even try to change their ideology? If you truly are a non-believer then what do you think it will gain you? If they are as close-minded as you imply then it's a fool's errand anyway. What you want is tolerance of your beliefs, and being intolerant yourself isn't the way to go IMHO.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Free

      Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties
      Plenty amongst them already don't really believe in that stuff, but they go to church anyway out of loyalty and because they think that some religion is neces.sary to keep them civilized. So, acting like a jerk only reinforces that perception, right?

      In a lot of ways we're like new immigrants in this land, just coming under the local's view, and the best way to gain acceptance is to show just how normal we can be, how we can fit in, and how we aren't a threat, you see?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties

      So you are demanding that I obey you? Sorry, I will do as I please. You can keep acting like an immigrant second-class citizen; it won't gain you any respect with the vast majority of them. I prefer to stand up and fight back. Being polite and submissive got the blacks and gays nowhere – militant activism did.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Free

      Sarah Palin's Amazing Exploding Panties
      Hey, you can act any way you wish, but some of us are more interested in fitting in and being accepted. The "immigrant" model happens to capture the reality of the situation well, I think. They're scared of us because they were taught to be. You can be angry at that and just keep feeding the cliché by lashing out, but that's just giving them what they want, an excuse to hate you.

      When it comes right down to it perhaps it is best that you do your thing, and I do mine. Having a range of different voices to atheism just makes it that much clearer how 'normal' we really are. After all, the cliché of the smug, academic, intellectual elitist alienates us just as much from the general society.

      Take care, and peace.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  19. Free

    Oooh, they are really coming close to hitting on a possibility with even greater implications by mentioning the 'Telephone' game: What if a lot of the Bible is actually the product of exaggeration through retelling to begin with?

    As JohnR stated in the other new article, there really is an infestation of butterflies here. 🙂

    June 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  20. Fordham Jock

    I saw this piece on CNN this am. Brooke Baldwin is a great anchor/interviewer. Her deadpan after the Paul Revere thing the other day still has me laughing.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
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About this blog

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