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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. C. S Countryman

    If you are alive, you need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  2. John

    If you really believe that only Jesus saves sinners, how much do you have to hate someone NOT to share or say something like that? Poltical correctness aside, it was both caring and consistent for Mohler to say what he did.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • E0F0G0

      Well said.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  3. The TRUTH

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKvbNh3Xg7Q&w=640&h=390]

    June 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  4. CW

    I agree with the pastors comments. God will forgive but he has to be willing to admit his mistake and repent.

    @ LinCA,

    I see...quoting scripture out of one testament and not knowing how it relates to the entire book....way to go!!!! Let me suggest...read the new testament...then come back.

    Peace.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • LinCA

      @CW

      You said: "I see...quoting scripture out of one testament and not knowing how it relates to the entire book....way to go!!!!"
      What difference does it make? It's all bullshit.

      And you said: "Let me suggest...read the new testament...then come back."
      I did. It is in large part the reason why I am an atheist today.

      Cheers.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  5. The TRUTH

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgv0Wkb47JE&w=640&h=390]

    June 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Noach

      Another Idiot who mixes paganism and Rabbi Shmuley held his ground (way to go Shmuley). Christians believe that their Jebus waved his magic wand and make Sh-t Clean... One day maybe Mr. Brown can sit down and have a big Plate of Baby Back Ribs with Jebus while they exchange Pagan Christmas gifts. Better yet wait for Easter and find that Bunny who lays EGGS. Wake up Dude you are an insult to the Jews.

      June 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  6. PeterD

    Albert Mohler, a Christian, recommends Jesus, a Jew, to Weiner, a Jew. What's the big deal?

    June 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  7. Reality

    The "Reverend" Mohler should look within:

    From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

    “Facing calls to curb child se-x abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and ped-ophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse."
    ==============================================================================================

    June 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • 4mercy

      I'm sure that we could probably find someone in your local gov't or school district who has been the center of some sort of scandal or mo les tation case as well.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • AB

      The Southern Baptist Convention is not a government that can force its will upon the church. It is an organization, that amongst many things, raise money for the poor and needy, provide money for its many churches, schools, and seminaries, and it serves in an advisory role to many individuals and churches. It is important for the churches to remain autonomous so we don't create an atmosphere a la the Catholic Church.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, 4mercy and AB suffer from of one the forms of the Three B Syndrome i.e. they were Bred, Born and Brainwashed in the Southern Baptist Convention.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Sorry, Reality, I'm not a Baptist!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  8. Freddy

    Let's not forget that the gospel is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the JEW first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).

    June 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  9. Freddy

    One thing Dr. Mohler notes in his blog is how so many are shocked when we as Christians state what we actually believe. Do you expect us to say things that go against what our faith claims as truth? That would be idiotic. And, his tweet was no suggestion. Jesus never said to "try him out". He calls all men to repentance of sin & faith in Him. Mohler wasn't merely stating Christian doctrine, but he wasn't giving Weiner a suggestion either. He was preaching the Gospel. Thankful to call Dr. Mohler my president at Southern Seminary.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    Therapy, Jesus, Prozac, Television, Marijuana, etc. ad nauseum.
    The United States has a lot of options for distraction and anesthetization to keep the citizenry complacent.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    I just wanted to recommend the book "The Cost of Discipleship" written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a faithful Christian.
    He fighted against Nazi-State and Nazi-Church. He was a member of the Confessing Church (the part of the German Evangelical Church, which had not accepted, to be ruled by the Nazis).

    Someone can ask himself: "Do I really have faith?"

    Members of Free Churches sometimes make bad experiences, although they believe in Jesus Christ. The problem is connected with the view of baptism. Someone, who has received the sacramental baptism has experienced the supernatural call of Jesus Christ: "Follow me!". After sacramental baptism believing and being obedient means nearly the same. It works llike that: I am called, I am obedient. That's it. Their is no more question: "Do I have the real faith?"

    It is very bad, to see the baptism as a mere symbolic act. This will not work. The true baptism is a very serious affair.

    I have tried to sum up a whole book in some words. Better read the book.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Rainer,
      Don't assume many of us have not read the one you recommend, (as well as some of the others of Bonhoeffer's books).
      There are ways to view his courageous "career" of civil disobedience other than strictly in the "light of faith". Many good people, non-Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, etc., etc., also struggled against National Socialism. How about, for discussion's sake, if you list for us what were the last ten books you have read, other than Bonhoeffer, (and the Bible) ? 😈

      June 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  12. mikey

    If you didn't already know, Christianity comes from Jewish roots. SO what if he tries to speak to a Jewish man about Christ, it is for the Jew first then for the Greek (Gentiles)...Jesus is the only way.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  13. Colin

    Am I the only one who finds the constant posting of the same videos irritating? Might I suggest

    (i) if you have a point, make it yourslef – don't just mindlessly post a video;

    (ii) if you must post a video, do it once; and

    (iii) if anybody posts the same video more than once on the same blog article, everybody hits the "report abuse" button to its second and (if neede) each subsequent posting.

    I think this is one area where we could all agree regardless of faith!!

    June 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • INeedMore

      I read your comment, but I have a deeply-held belief that what you are saying is incorrect. I've read other posts up here proclaiming the same thing, but still, I am unmoved. I, for one, think you are delusional. However, since this matter of video-posting admittedly does have such deeply profound significance to all of us, might you be so kind as to refer me to a video of the topic so that I may be absorbed in the subject matter at a depth suitable for greater understanding, as I have yet to come across another poster who seems to have the literary ability to compress such a detailed argument into a paragraph, or much less, a witty one-liner.

      Besides, I can not read, and I learn better with flashing images.
      😀

      June 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Flashing Ken

      Be more honest, INEEDMORE. You are the person spamming us with the same videos over and over.

      Moreover, most people here are capable of writing the same ideas concisely, and they show more intellect and creativity than the video spammers and the cut-and-pasters. And while I may strongly disagree with what some of them say, I give them much credit for applying their intellects and creativity to the issue instead of copping out to the lamest, laziest, most space-wasting methods available.

      And worse, most of the videos actually do a very poor job making the point they intend. The speakers oftem present themselves in a manner that makes most people dismiss them as crackpots – even those who might agree with the position. They are actually detrimental to the intent of the poster.

      But that won't stop you.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • INeedMore

      ha! Actually, I have not posted any videos. Thank you very much though.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  14. itsTimeToWakeUpAndSmellTheIcedLatte

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

    June 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • zeie

      Who do think that will convince? Already brainwashed Christians?

      June 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  15. tdawg

    And for those who believe he existed, but never claimed divinity, think again.

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

    June 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • You illiterate fool, you!

      It's "circle-jerking", not "circlejerking". Duh!
      AND... you forgot the comma after 'Christians'. It should be "...Christians, please." Duh!
      PS
      You didn't wrap the word 'truth' with quotations correctly either! Way to go grammatron! ;p~

      June 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  16. tdawg

    If you're still thinking 'myth', then you've clearly not been school on the evidence.
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZhUrKiRGrQ&w=640&h=390]

    June 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • zeie

      If you're still thinking 'truth,' then you've clearly not been "schooled" at all. Go back to circlejerking with other Christians please.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • You illiterate fool, you!

      It's "circle-jerking", not "circlejerking". Duh!
      AND... you forgot the comma after 'Christians'. It should be "...Christians, please." Duh!
      PS
      You didn't wrap the word 'truth' with quotations correctly either! Way to go grammatron! ;p~
      PSS
      I 'meant' to post this (above) at the wrong video. That was not a mistake.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Kathryn

      Ok, so your video of "evidence" contains absolutely no evidence at all!!! I'm a Christian, and you don't even have me convinced with this video! What a load of waffle and a waste of time.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • zeie

      to the religious grammar Na.zi – "Duh" is a word? Including the comma within the quotes is somehow incorrect in American English? If you think "circlejerk" needs a hyphen, you're obviously new to teh interwebs. Take a Internet 101 class somewhere.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  17. George

    Jesus is Jewish too. Perfect!

    June 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  18. Colin

    I see nothing wrong with Mohler making this essentially harmless suggestion. Putting aside any supernatural nonsense about which belief is the “one true belief,” there is a market of believers out there over which the various faiths are free to compete.

    As with voters, most believers will remain steadfast within their own religion, but a small proportion will be prepared to consider alternatives and jump team. It is this market of theological drifters that is up for grabs. The various religions are free to compete for them. This market cannot and should not be regulated.

    However, it remains incu.mbent upon we atheists and freethinkers to continue to press education and enlightenment upon the believers as we endeavor to protect them from further exploitation, lift the p.oor souls out of their dark superst.itions and drive this shrinking market to its lowest achievable level.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Things in the future may become very very bad for C h r i s tians because of people like you, but in the end, they and God will prevail.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • stepIntoTheLight

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k&w=640&h=390]

      June 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • stepIntoTheLight

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9NlRKJBKt4&w=640&h=390]

      June 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  19. 4mercy

    Regardless of what kind of f a i t h he has or what "r e li gion" he lists on paperwork, the point is that this man is i m m o ral. He's exhibiting the same symptoms of our society which has gone nearly completely astray of good m o ral behavior. The problem is that most people have accepted this view and have begun to overlook i m m o ral things as acceptable....p o r n og r@phy, @ d u ltery, d i vorce, s e x before marriage, @ b ortion, d rug use, lying, g reed, ...and the list goes on and on.... Until we reform our species and return to a m o ral way of living, we're just going to see more and more of this.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • LinCA

      @4mercy

      Not all words that you break up need to be broken up.

      You said (something like):
      "Regardless of what kind of faith he has or what "religion" he lists on paperwork, the point is that this man is immoral. He's exhibiting the same symptoms of our society which has gone nearly completely astray of good moral behavior. The problem is that most people have accepted this view and have begun to overlook immoral things as acceptable....pornography, adultery, divorce, sex before marriage, abortion, drug use, lying, greed, ...and the list goes on and on.... Until we reform our species and return to a moral way of living, we're just going to see more and more of this."

      Non of the immoral things you mention are any less prevalent among religious people than any other group. Religion is not a prerequisite to live a moral life.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • 4mercy

      LinCA, My post is broken up because I tried to post it 3 previous times and each time it was moderated into oblivion so there was something that was triggering it.

      I didn't mention anything about religion in my post – rather – I said it didn't matter what religion or faith he was....and it wouldn't matter to my statement whether he claimed to follow any religion at all. I'm commenting on behavior in our society – not belief.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • LinCA

      @4mercy.

      Since half (or so) of the things that you call immoral are only immoral in your religion. Your post was most certainly religious in nature. You were moralizing from your religion.

      Cheers.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  20. Colin

    Would he have to re-attach his foresk.in?

    June 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • LinCA

      There we have a conundrum. As an amputee he will be denied entry into heaven (Leviticus 21:17-23 KJV). Even if he turned to Jesus, he would not be saved.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joe R.

      Actually, no, we wouldn't have to reattach it, and LinCA completely distorted Leviticus. The entire book of Galations was written around the problem Christian Jews were having with non-Jews and the issue of cir-c-u-m-sision. Salvation according to the Bible has nothing to do with the state of ones body, but rather with the state of ones heart. Paul, speaking to the Galations, said that a non-Jew no more needed to be cir-c-u-m-cised than a Jew needed to be "reattached" to become a Christian. That is completely legalism, which Paul condemned.

      As for the Leviticus quote, that passage (21:17-23) speaks on some of the qualifications required for the priests. The entire thing was to be sybolic in nature, that in order for a person to approach God in our stead, they must be "without blemish". This was to help paint a picture of the Messiah, who would be "without blemish" in the since that he would be without sin.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Joe R. and CW

      I guess my attempt at humor was too subtle. Let me try that again.

      <sarcasm>
      There we have a conundrum. As an amputee he will be denied entry into heaven (Leviticus 21:17-23 KJV). Even if he turned to Jesus, he would not be saved.
      </sarcasm>

      June 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Joe R.

      Ah, gotcha. Humor and especially sarcasm can be difficult to express in forum type settings, and even harder to for another person to read.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
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