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Top evangelical to Anthony Weiner: Try Jesus
June 14th, 2011
11:59 AM ET

Top evangelical to Anthony Weiner: Try Jesus

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - One of the nation’s most prominent evangelicals has entered the debate over whether Anthony Weiner will benefit from therapy, encouraging the embattled  Jewish New York congressman to try Jesus instead.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted this message of the weekend: “Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective ‘treatment’ for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ."

The tweet set some tongues a wagging, especially because Weiner is Jewish.

USA Today said the remark echoed Fox News' Brit Hume comment that golfer Tiger Woods, a Buddhist, should try Christianity after he became embroiled in a sex scandal last year.

Mohler, who leads the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention - the nation's largest evangelical denomination - took to his blog Tuesday to defend himself amid the controversy, noting that his tweet “never mentioned Judaism.”

“Rep. Weiner’s problem has to do with the fact that he is a sinner, like every other human being, regardless of religious faith or affiliation,” Mohler wrote. “Christians — at least those who hold to biblical and orthodox Christianity — believe that salvation is found through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him alone.”

Mohler called the controversy over his tweet “another sign of how politically incorrect biblical Christianity is becoming in our times.”

What do you think? Is Mohler simply stating Christian doctrine? Or is it improper to suggest that members of other religious traditions who are facing crises try Jesus?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (968 Responses)
  1. dude

    Albert Mohler: Fecking ijiot!

    June 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  2. Tom

    For those unfamiliar with the Gospel, I wish to clarify some things. Sorry if it doesn't fit in a sound-bite.

    • Coming to Jesus Christ for forgiveness is not passing responsibility for your actions on to Jesus, but turning away from such actions, seeking to make amends for the harm done to others, and trusting the resurrected God-Man to remove the eternal consequences and give you life. This is called repentance in faith.

    The offer of forgiveness has nothing to do with your religious background – remember that Jesus and all His disciples were Jewish. Centuries of mistreatment at the hands of nominally Christian rulers who scapegoated them has embittered today's Jews against Christianity. That is tragic, but refusing the Savior whom they misrepresented would be even more tragic.

    • Jesus' forgiveness is based in His personal acceptance of your punishment when He died on the cross and gives you freedom from the wrath of God, a terrible punishment that awaits anyone who retains unforgiven sin when they die. This is called justification – making righteous.

    • In addition to forgiveness, justification grants you a positive status of righteousness that brings with it the love and approval of God. Ultimately it is eternal life, the actual undoing of death.

    • Along with righteousness, the inward action of the Holy Spirit of God brings your character and behavior into line with your righteous status during the remainder of your natural life. This is known as sanctification – making holy.

    The result of justification and sanctification is a person who seeks to do right, puts the interests of others before his own, gets up and tries again if he fails, learns to succeed through trust in Jesus and self-discipline, and ultimately faces death with assurance of personal resurrection. In your resurrected body you experience what is called glorification – making to shine – a state of perfection and direct fellowship with God.

    Don't we all want neighbors and representatives like that? Shouldn't we all want to be like that?

    June 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Colin

      I would not vote for any candidate who still buys into this superst.itous nonsense after puberty.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Colin- And that is your right as an American. You are welcome to judge candidates on what you feel is right and wrong as much as the next guy.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Gene

      "The result of justification and sanctification is a person who seeks to do right, puts the interests of others before his own, gets up and tries again if he fails, learns to succeed through trust in Jesus and self-discipline, and ultimately faces death with assurance of personal resurrection. In your resurrected body you experience what is called glorification – making to shine – a state of perfection and direct fellowship with God.

      Don't we all want neighbors and representatives like that? Shouldn't we all want to be like that?"

      Sounds just like my Mormon neighbors. Of course, since they are in the "wrong" faith; even though they acknowledge Jesus Christ as savior, they have the wrong conception of the jargon and the wrong definitions of the terms and will suffer eternal torment.

      Mind you, this is not a willful, volutional turning of ones back on Jesus; they just happen to have been raised from birth in a faith they believe is the "true" faith as much as any Southern Baptist. At worst they suffer from a simple, human cognitive error; for this they deserve eternal condemnation?

      If I really believed that I would spend eternity in perdition for what amount to slips of judgement or factual errors of knowledge, I would prostate myself before Jesus and grovel in abject terror. It's just that, love, joy, agape would have absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Gene

      And, yes.................................make that "prostrate". Freudian slip, perhaps?

      June 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Gene prostate/prostrate is understandable considering the subject of the article.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Gary

      @Gene

      Whether these Mormon neighbors of yours goes to hell or not will be decided by God. That judgement is not up to you or me or anyone else. I think its too presumptuous to say that they are condemned. I believe that God is just and that he will look past the factual errors.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • JC

      But we aren't.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Joshua

      A very eloquent depictation of our faith brother. Amen.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • leonard

      wow, thats really sick in fact it sould a lot like paganism

      June 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • puckthecat

      See...I can appreciate what you are saying, in fact I learned a few things, thank you Tom. However the good pastor is way to righteous for my liking, he should have just said that REP Weiner should have looked to his god for salvation and not Jesus as this implies a christian belief. He knew he would stir up a hornets nest by doing so, this is the arrogance that I do not like. I do sincerely appreciate your discourse however...thanks.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  3. Eric

    My question is, why is this even being reported? I'm sure you could get Rev'd Mohler or the Dalai Lama, or any number of religious leaders to offer up an opinion or potential solution to any number of issues at any given time. That does not qualify it as newsworthy.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      This is the religious section...this is what we got. What's the problem?

      June 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  4. janet madison.

    OH RIGHT! Gag me please! Religion is to blame for most of the world's problems and people who believe in the myth of Jesus must be complete idiots..but then look at most of them...still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus too likely. Glad I am Athiest. I do not believe in these idiots.
    As for Rep. Weiner, he's a sociopath pure and simple. There is no cure for that. Fake shame when he's only sorry he got caught.
    Kick him out. And the Rev?? Well he can believe in fairy tales as he probably needs to do that. Jesus Saves WHAT?? Green Stamps??

    June 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • E0F0G0

      And obviously you are a paragon of peace. Thanks for the insight into the wisdom of atheism.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Janet: Not sure where you got that he's a sociopath... Your avg 5 yr old (and everyone else) apologizes only when he gets caught. Doesn't make your child a sociopath.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • W247

      Hey Janet, hate to burst your bubble but Christians probably don't believe in Santa Claus......

      June 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  5. Lee

    The hypocrisy and condescension never cease from the Christian Right. I have some advice to Albert Mohler – keep your religion to yourself.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Conguero

      There's no hypocrisy and condescension from Atheists? Read these posts! Christians will be right and Atheists will be left. I'd rather be right than left. I'm only right because Jesus said so... Jesus said "I am the Way, The Truth, and the Life, No man comes to the Father, but by me." I don't want to call Jesus a liar.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • JR

      Mohler referred to himself as a sinner. I guess I fail to see how that was condescending.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Lee

      Conguero – I never said that athiests are innocent of condescension. I know we can be just as bad.

      My question to you is: how do you know the bible is an accurate source? The words attributed to Jesus were written decades after his death, if in fact he is a real character. And why don't you trust Mohammed? He made similar claims of Allah being the one true god. Do you want to call Mohammed a liar?

      June 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Lee

      JR – it is condescending to proclaim that your religion is better than someone else's. How would you like it if a leading Hindu came out against you because you ate a cheeseburger, proclaiming that the only way to Nirvana is through his faith?

      I also disagree with the whole concept of vicarious redemption. The only people who can really forgive a wrongdoing are the ones who have been done wrong – in this case Mr. Weiner's wife, family, friends and const ituents.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • W247

      Lee if I was in a conversation with a Hindi spiritualist, I would probably enjoy listening to them talk about their faith then respectfully decline their invitation to believe in their many god's. What happened to people being able to talk to each other and disagree with each other in a respectful way?

      June 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  6. Blanie

    We always see Jesus depicted without a shirt and in what looks like underwear. Could Weiner be Him?

    June 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Overachiever

      We saw this the first time you posted it. It's really not worth re-posting.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      LOL!

      June 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  7. 5 Solas

    Pastor Mohler was 100% right to assert Biblical truth.

    Most surely, the Christ of Scripture is the Messiah. He alone saves by grace, through faith, by Christ, on the authority of Scripture for the glory of God.

    This is Weiner's problem: sin. Some are good at hiding it; he just got caught. All "get caught" one day if they are trusting in their own works as merit for "righteousness" before a holy and just God to enter heaven. If you haven't done what Weiner has, and are trusting in that, you are as lost as he.

    Weiner needs a Saviour - as do we all.

    Christ was punished for all sin in the place of all those who believe in Him. When that is dealt with and forgiven, the Lord then gives power to overcome sin and to live according to His good moral law (i.e. not in a meritorious saving way, but as a result of being justifed freely by His grace).

    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A335

    June 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Twitterfollower

      Absolutely agree with what you've written. Thank you! Sad about so much unbelief caused by deceit.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Headless Chocolate Rabbit Hanging on a Cross with splinters in his...

      Who are you talking about??????

      June 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • leonard

      no such thing as sin. weiner problem is with his wife and no one else. changing his faith to a pagan one would be the worst thing he could do.The sick preverted thing was said my mr. mohler

      June 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  8. Adriana Birmingham, Al

    News flash! Weiner is Jewish and his wife is Muslim. I don't know why these Christians are trying to but in. Mind your own business folks.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Conguero

      So this pastor can't offer advice, and needs to mind his own business, but YOU don't have to mind YOUR own business and you can come on here and offer advice to christians to mind their own business. Makes a lot of sense. And anyway, it's OK, Jesus was Jewish too.... and the Messiah that Jews are looking for. I know plenty of Christian Jews who have accepted the Lord Jesus.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • JR

      So many people are quick to jump to Christians being judgmental, close-minded and into other people's business. Mohler did not come at Weiner screaming that he is a sinner. The man is clearly in trouble. If someone was in trouble and you believed with all of your heart you knew how to help that person, would you not do it. Mohler is throwing him a lifeline.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Spiritual but not religious

      I just want to point out the iron in the last statement. Any one who thinks that "christian jews" exist needs to take the wool off of their eyes. You are either christian or Jewish. There is no possible mix of the two theologies because the basis of christian belief is that Jesus was God's son and is in his own right the righteous divine savior. That goes completely against Jewish belief. No Jew would ever pray to a man, and thus Jews do believe that Jesus Christ was in fact a prophet, a man of earthly flesh but not divine. In the Jewish belief no man can be divine, and thus Jesus was of this earth, born from a man and woman.

      The point of this is not to make anyone wrong. But rather just to clarify that Jews for Jesus are Christians.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Frogist

      @JR: Mohler is not throwing him a lifeline no matter if he actually believes he is doing just that. He did not approach Rep Weiner personally. He broadcast his opinion to the world. He is just using the scandal to promote his religious viewpoint. There is a difference.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Thomas Perl

    The dynamics of human behavior and the dynamics of religion may be helpful. In this instance the problem is not with Chrisitanity nor are responses a sign of the cultural unpopularity of radical religion but rather what is politically incorrect is the self-righteousness of the Southern Baptist spokesperson. Many Southern Baptists know better than that but some are like Pharisees declaring how good and great they are. If Weiner choses he can doubtless find some comfort and help within his own faith which is a great place to explore. I hope he sticks it out and that this may be a starting point for him.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • HM

      Thomas ... nowhere in Dr. Mohler's tweets does he make any implication about how good and great he is or is better than anyone else. He just states the plain and simple teachings of the Bible.

      Hebrews 4:12
      For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      Think the truth of this is evident in your comments because Dr. Mohler's quotes from the Bible obviously penetrated.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  10. Paige Szajnuk

    I think it was very nice of Dr. Mohler to offer Mr. Weiner sound advice. Jesus is the only treatment for sin. Jesus is also the only One that can offer the healing Mr. Weiner says he's seeking.

    Further, I, too, clearly see the double standard used by this article's author. When people of other religions profess their faith, or lack of faith, they are "celebrated" with "tolerance," but when a Christian espouses what he believes, he is labeled as "hateful" and "improper."

    June 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Frogist

      There is no double standard here. That idea is only in your mind.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Powersoak

      I beg your pardon. Doctors who use their minds to learn medical knowledge and techniques will heal Anthony Weiner, not some religious mumbo jumbo. He is suffering from an illness, not sin. If you got a yeast infection would you consider it a sin? Would you ask a clergy person or a medical person for advice on treatment?

      June 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • leonard

      to tell a follower of g-d to worship jesus is a sick hateful thing to do.Jews have rejected the false deity for a reason

      June 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  11. Colinmb

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Best joke i've heard in a while.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Blanie

      We always see Jesus depicted without a shirt and in what looks like underwear. Could Weiner be Him?

      June 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. ProudMuslim

    Moehler, remember Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker and all other paedophile priests. They tried Christianity and look what happened. I hate Weiner but today's Christianity is not what Jesus preached. You guys need to get back to the real teachings of Jesus and all other prophets of God.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • YouNeedToKnowWhoHeREALLYis

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEetWgAf9lA&w=640&h=390]

      June 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • jb

      Its seems that your religion is working out tremendously, as it only takes you but one paragraph to state your hatred. At least Pastor Mohler offered his opinion out of genuine care for Mr. Weiner.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • ProudMuslim

      I have in no way tried to belittle Jesus but if it was taken that way I apologize. My beef is what Christianity is today. This is not what Jesus preached and due to this we have people like Jimmy Swaggart calling themselves Christians but going against the teachings of Christ.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • E0F0G0

      Friend, you do not know Christ. If you did you would know that He said," I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me." You call Him a prophet, but how can He be a prophet unless he told the truth? If He did not, then He is no prophet. If He did, then He is Allah. Christ never promises to make us perfect in this life. He does promise to send His Spirit to begin the work which will be brought to completion when Christ returns. All Christians are sinners. But we are on the road to wellness. Some of us have worse diseases of the soul than others.

      Friend, think it through.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • ProudMuslim

      I HAVE thought it through. I know more about Christianity than an averge Christian. Jesus never said he is God or worship me. This is YOU reading into his teachings. As far as what you quoted (" I am the Way, the Truth, and..") is concerned, every prophet said that. When they were preaching they had to say that to the people to make them discard their erroneous ways and follow the good path. Plus, the Gospels have been written by people that never met Jesus except perhaps Mark. There are so many things attributed to Jesus which no one in their right mind would accept as divine revealation. As an example, would you accept that Jesus refered to his mother as "Hey woman, what I to do with thee"? Well, this is in your gospel and I do not believe Jesus would say such a thing but it was the writers of the gospels who put it in.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • E0F0G0

      Peace to you, friend, You do not have the Spirit of Christ in you, so I do not expect you to believe. Muslims say the Bible is corrupted. But if you stop to think, is God so weak that He would allow His word to be corrupted? Though you think you know "more than most Christians" I would say, you have missed the point entirely, and you have been listening primarily to those who hate Issa Masih. Not very open-minded, nor learned of you.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  13. jh

    Weiner and Jesus-Two Jews that have been crucified for their love of humanity. We should all convert to Weineranity. Walk on water, c*ock on twitter, what's the difference?

    June 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  14. miller

    "One of the nation’s most prominent evangelicals ..."

    I would be willing to bet that 90+% of Americans, readers of this blog, and CNN reportes have never heard of this preacher until today.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Heather M.

      I beg to differ. Among evangelicals, Al Mohler is a pretty well-known name. He's written several books one of which I've read and has a blog that is popular in evangelical circles.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • bertha59

      Right on

      June 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  15. Elisheva

    Jesus = Iesus= ZEUS That is your Greek God you worship

    June 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • choco lotboo bees :)

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZhUrKiRGrQ&w=640&h=390]

      June 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Thom MacMillan

      Jesus=Ἰασους in Greek...
      Zeus=Ζευς or Διος. That is a false etymology...there is no relation.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Elijah

      You are correct Jesus in Hebrew means HORSE.
      That is what Christians follow a Greek god aka ZEUS. Christianity has no Hebrew Roots only Pagan Roots. The Christian Doctrines are from Greek Doctrines. Original language was Hebrew if you want to know truth you need to learn Hebrew. Jebus cannot not save you just ask Homer "THE SIMPSONS".

      June 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Elijah

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NWiQH7JpXA&w=640&h=360]

      June 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  16. funsize

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHRP0I2SrVs&w=640&h=390]

    June 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  17. CJ

    OoooEEEE! Here we go!

    Well, why not give Jesus a try? Lots of Jews have. I'm one of them!

    June 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Elisheva

      CJ do you read the Torah? Apparently not if you have been roped into Jews for Jesus. The torah teachs if you see a fellow brother or sister going astry you are to tell them. I just told you!

      June 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • The Other Guy

      A Jew for Jesus is just an oxymoron. Sorry, brother, you've been tricked.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Dan

      No loss to Jews, I'm sure.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • 4mercy

      I beg to differ. The Jews that have gone astray were the ones who called for Jesus to be crucified by Pontius Pilate. They did not believe that He is the Son of God. They did not believe that He had been sent with the sole purpose of saving humanity from eternal damnation. That He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (eternal). I'm continually amazed, as well, by the number of Jewish people I meet who do not believe in God at all. Makes absolutely no sense. Then, I guess they are atheists, not Jewish.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • YouNeedToKnowWhoHeREALLYis

      Elisheva:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujYH6H4z6Oc&w=640&h=390]

      June 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • drewzicle

      What do you call a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah? A Christian.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  18. Bus2

    Evangelicals have SOME BALLS to give advice on matters of morality... Why should I listen to anyone who gets their morality from a book that advocates the death penalty for the "sins" of working on the sabbath, not respecting one's parents, and becoming an apostate?

    June 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • W247

      Bus2

      Ok, there are several points about the bible that you have made that are entirely incorrect right now and are taken out of context. Do some studying and some understanding then let's have a discussion.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  19. bertha59

    It is improper for anyone to pass judgement another person. That goes for christians, jews, muslims, hindus, atheists, etc.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  20. Robert

    How sad that at this day and age, we still use religion to get over some problem. Weiner's problem probably started because of his religion. I wouldn't be surprised at all. I am glad I am an atheist.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • truth

      I don't believe there is a person whose name is Robert, and he is alive and wrote a comments in CNN, unless I see him, if I am an atheist.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • zeie

      truth – Thanks for the misleading representation of atheism. Ah, well, you can't fix decades of religious indoctrination.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.