My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing
Carl Medearis with Sheikh Nabil Qawouk Hezbollah’s number two leader.
July 24th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing

Editor's Note: Carl Medearis is an international expert in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations and is author of the book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism.

By Carl Medearis, Special to CNN

Let’s do an exercise. I want you to fill in the blank on what you think you know about me based on what I’m about to tell you.

Here goes: Twenty years ago, I became a missionary. My wife and I left our home in Colorado Springs, Colorado to move to Beirut, Lebanon. Our job description was to plant churches and evangelize to Muslims.

Based on what I just said, Carl Medearis is a ______________ .

Depending on your background, the blank may look something like this:

Carl Medearis is a... hero of the Christian faith, a saintly super-man willing to sacrifice the comforts of home in order to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard the gospel.

Or this:

Carl Medearis is a... right-wing extremist who destroys cultures, tears apart families and paves the way for neo-colonialist crusaders to invade, occupy and plunder the resources of local populations.

Quite a range, isn’t it?

For one group of people, the words “evangelist” and “missionary” bring to mind pious heroes performing good deeds that are unattainable for the average Christian. For another group, those same words represent just about everything that’s wrong with the world.

I understand the confusion.

Based on my experiences of living and traveling around the world, I know that religion is often an identity marker that determines people’s access to jobs, resources, civil liberties and political power.

When I lived in Lebanon I saw firsthand how destructive an obsession with religious identity could be. Because of the sectarian nature of Lebanese politics, modern Lebanese history is rife with coups, invasions, civil wars and government shutdowns.

When I tell my Christian friends in America that some of the fiercest militias were (and are) Christian, most are shocked. It doesn’t fit the us-versus-them mentality that evangelism fosters, in which we are always the innocent victims and they are always the aggressors.

This us-versus-them thinking is odd, given that Jesus was constantly breaking down walls between Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints. That’s why we have the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Jews in Jesus’ day thought of the Samaritans as the violent heretics, much the same way that Christians think of Muslims today. The idea that a Samaritan could be good was scandalous to first century Jews.

Jesus was the master of challenging religious prejudice and breaking down sectarian walls. Why do so many Christians want to rebuild those walls?

Even the Apostle Paul insisted that it’s faith in Jesus that matters, not converting to a new religion or a new socio-religious identity.

What if evangelicals today, instead of focusing on “evangelizing” and “converting” people, were to begin to think of Jesus not as starting a new religion, but as the central figure of a movement that transcends religious distinctions and identities?

Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider. How might that change the way we look at others?

This is more than just a semantic difference.

When I used to think of myself as a missionary, I was obsessed with converting Muslims (or anybody for that matter) to what I thought of as “Christianity.” I had a set of doctrinal litmus tests that the potential convert had to pass before I would consider them “in” or one of “us.”

Funny thing is, Jesus never said, “Go into the world and convert people to Christianity.” What he said was, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

Encouraging anyone and everyone to become an apprentice of Jesus, without manipulation, is a more open, dynamic and relational way of helping people who want to become more like Jesus — regardless of their religious identity.

Just because I believe that evangelicals should stop evangelizing doesn’t mean that they should to stop speaking of Jesus.

I speak of Jesus everywhere I go and with everyone I meet.

As founder and president of a company called International Initiatives, my work is aimed at building relationships among Christian leaders in the West and among Muslim leaders in the Middle East.

It may come as a surprise to many Christians that Muslims are generally open to studying the life of Jesus as a model for leadership because they revere him as a prophet.

But now that I’m no longer obsessed with converting people to Christianity, I’ve found that talking about Jesus is much easier and far more compelling.

I believe that doctrine is important, but it’s not more important than following Jesus.

Jesus met people where they were. Instead of trying to figure out who’s “in” and who’s “out,” why don’t we simply invite people to follow Jesus — and let Jesus run his kingdom?

Inviting people to love, trust, and follow Jesus is something the world can live with. And since evangelicals like to say that it’s not about religion, but rather a personal relationship with Jesus, perhaps we should practice what we preach.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carl Medearis.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Interfaith issues • Opinion

soundoff (3,792 Responses)
  1. Manjosa

    Refreshing article. What this author is saying is simply that those that followed Christ at the turn of the 1st Century were known to bring the "good news". That isn't always how believers are perceived today. The author is saying, let's be known because of the good news we bring, not the threats of eternal damnation. I thought his example of the Good Samaritan was brilliant. If Jesus lived in the flesh today, what ideas of ours would he turn on our heads? What "scandalous" people would he side with to our disapproval? He did those things then, he's still the same today. The way that I see it, for those that are Christians reading this, what Carl is saying totally falls in line with who Jesus was. For all of you others, this should be the one of the most humble and refreshing things you've ever heard a Christian say. So why are you all bickering????

    July 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I totally agree, but the real Christians say he should have his eyes gouged out according to the bibble. So death to all you heretics.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Ike

      Yes, except the "good news" was this: Mark 16:15,16 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." which was given to the apostles by Jesus. It was purely about conversion. That was the goal. Not to just be friends with people of other nations and understanding thier different belief systems. We can tell people what they want to hear or we can tell people what they need to hear.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  2. Ike

    People that are against doctrine don't understand what doctrine is. Doctrine simply means a teaching that is strictly followed. If you follow that 2+2=4, then you are following a doctrine. Jesus and the apostles came preaching and teaching and they expected thier teachings to be followed, as opposed to the teachings and doctrines of men. John says that Jesus was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word came down to man. You cannot seperate Jesus from His doctrine without destroying both. And just because The Church as in Catholic Church did horrific things doesn't make religion bad. Many people did bad things using the Bible to justify thier actions, when it did not. Jesus converted, but not with a sword of metal, but with the "sword of truth", which was the Word of God.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Sara

    Dear Carl,
    There is unity in Christ, but Jesus also spoke about division.

    In Christ, we have unity. But without Christ, our Muslim friends will perish. Remember, Jesus will one day separate the goats from the sheep. If we want our Muslim friends to know Jesus, we must lovingly show them that their good works and following Allah cannot save them. We need to show them the law: that their sin results in death. And then we can share the great gospel message: Christ died to set them free from sin and death!

    You mentioned "go and make disciples of all nations." You forgot the rest of the passage..."baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Evangelism is not only Jesus' command—it is His Great Commission!

    July 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Janet Goodell

      OK–evangelize by spreading the good news, invite people to come and talk, meet, worship. This does not include telling people that if they don't they will go to hell, be damned, not be raptured, etc. As far as I know, God will decide if you are damned or not, not man. I don't know of bin Ladin, Hitler, or Atilla the Hun went to hell. Maybe they were forgiven by God at the last second. Maybe Atilla never heard of Jesus. How do you as a man/woman even expect to know who will and who will not enter God's Kingdom. That, I expect, might be a sin. God knows.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Book

    Stop trying to be everybody's friend. Everybody (ain't) your friend and neither is it your mission to try and befriend everyone. Know that all men are not lovers of peace.

    Luke ch:12 vs 51-53. Jesus said – "Suppose you that I come to give peace on earth? I tell you no, but rather division ...........
    When it comes to Christ and the message of the cross, those who profess Christ and acknowledge His deity must also understand the uncompromising stance that Christ requires you to embrace as one of his own.

    You must understand that Christ is an offense to the world, He was/is hated and despised by many and so will you be as one of His disciples. For "The servant is not greater than his Lord, if they persecuted me they will also persecute you.......... John ch15:20.

    Christ warned "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!......Luke 6:26. In other words, if everybody has something good you say about you and patting you on the back then you're doing something wrong!

    So does this mean we shouldn't be kind and love people? Of course not, Christ commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves but not at the expense of mitigating His deity and preeminence in any way, shape or form.

    When Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father but by me" John 14:6 literally, all hell broke loose on everything related and associated with Christ and His message. And that includes anyone one who professes him as their Lord and Savior.

    That's why the Lord talks about us "counting the cost" of following him, Luke 14:28. For with this statement, Christ is making the profound declaration that there is absolutely and unequivocally no other way that you're going to get to see, meet, or know God the way He intended and desires for you to know Him except through Christ. That's major and it is instantly divisive (and was meant to be that way).

    Why is God so divisive? Because of who He is and how great He is. He's God and God alone and there's no one above or beside Him. One thing that God will absolutely not do is share His glory with another. We are His creation and not the other way around.

    He has a prescribed order for everything He does. God says of Himself "I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Rev 21:6 and that "All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." John 1:3 "...... and I will not give my glory unto another" Isaiah 48:11

    Simply put, God will not acquiesce just to appease us. Though He loves us beyond a reason why, you still have to do things His Way (Christ). All of this has zero to do with 'what you think' or 'how you feel' but rather what He said and who He sent.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      "Seek First the Kingdom of God" Not Seek First His Sons Teachings,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      July 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      You and those like you are an offense to the world and are the primary reason there will never be peace in the world. Your total lack of humility betrays you to the rest of us that you are not a Christian. You are rather a agent of evil that desires to have everyone follow your rules and directions for life.

      July 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Mark Warner

    It makes sense and it's effective! I'd encourage everyone to read Carl's book. You'll have more meaningful conversations about Jesus with more people then you could possibly imagine!

    July 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  6. Betty

    Jesus never challenged religious prejudice. He challenged the pharisees, sadducees, and other jews to look to Gods rightouness and not their own. The religious leaders of the day did not seek the rightouness found in faith in God, but they were led by their own rightousness. He stills challenges us today to let go of our own rightousness and trust in the rightousness found in Jesus Christ. Why evangelize? Cause Jesus said too! Its funny how Carl mentions "go and make diciples.......yes you go and make diciples and then you train them to observe all that He has commanded us. It is not a Christians calling to force or harass anyone who is not a christian. It is our calling to share the good news that Jesus died for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose on the third day and was seen of over 500 people and then ascended to heaven where He makes intercession for His followers and for those who will come to HIM. I'm just suppose to share the gospel, what people do with it is NONE of my business. God is the one who draws people to HIMSELF, not me, not you, and not Carl. That is why we evangelize!! You talk of barriers. There is a barrier. Carl, you mus know the scripture......What fellowship has Christ with Baal? If we don't tell others of Christ we will answer to God about it. If we don't witness to muslims, wouldn't that be discrimination? God said "go into all the world. T hat includes Muslims.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Hello Betty and otherly Bloggers,

      Whta purpose to you Betty or any other Blogger; suppose one's Individualism matters in the Grand Scheme of Things?

      July 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  7. khalib.

    As far as i know, there is only one Book teaches about love, mercy and Grace its only bible. the bible teaches me to love my enemy, not to kill my enemy. that is the amazing God. i have read a many books. but only bible tills the truth. love your enemy as you love your self. the Bible teaches me on how to Pray, prayer of faith. now i am leaving in middle east country as i observe the prayer is memorize. meaning there is no faith. faith is comes from the true and living God.... be leaving in the Lord JESUS CHRIST IS EQUAL TO SALVATION RESULTING GOOD WORKS. ARE YOU DOING WELL?

    July 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Andrea Messina

    We don't have freewill and God is not the author of religion. Go to http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com and read the bible studies there by an amazing woman named Dr. Lorraine Day. Then, if you so desire, start studying the Bible (the original is in Hebrew and Greek, Old and New Testament respectively) by asking God to open up your mind so that you can understand things the way He wants you to, not the way other people want you to. This kind of journey doesn't happen overnight, but over time. You don't need anyone to teach you. God says He will teach you Himself.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  9. Debi Wiedling

    Thank you, Carl.
    Fresh. Real. Relevant.
    Latin America to the World
    Kansas City

    July 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  10. Believer

    @Non-Believer, Science cannot address beyond theory. Most importantly science is fact based that depends on observation to solidify it's case. This is why Big Bang and all other non-Biblical theories still contain the word "theory". Non-believers have faith that science holds all the answers even when proven that science cannot answer even fundamental questions of how the earth was formed, and all the perfect conditions for life to exist are present.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Laughing

      You said,

      "@Non-Believer, Science cannot address beyond theory. Most importantly science is fact based that depends on observation to solidify it's case. This is why Big Bang and all other non-Biblical theories still contain the word "theory". Non-believers have faith that science holds all the answers even when proven that science cannot answer even fundamental questions of how the earth was formed, and all the perfect conditions for life to exist are present."

      OOOO So close! You see, first science CAN in fact answer how earth was formed. When After the sun formed all the left overs started orbiting as well and with gravity shaped into a ball around a molten core. Then it was pelted over and over again by asteroids, some containing ice and water which would later form our ocean. It's also theorized that because of all these collisons, one was so massive it took out of quarter of the earth which formed the moon. Did you NOT take 7th grade earth science friend?

      Science probably does hold answers, we just haven't found them yet. No one in the science community claims to know the answers because to do so would be intellectually dishonest and lazy. So you're saying since scienctists are humble enough to admit they don't have the answer to everything yet that they are wrong, whereas a book from over 2,000 years ago written by people who still believed the earth was flat, must have had all the answers. Sorry Believer, but holding up the word "theory" as a way to disprove scientific findings is about as stupid as a bag of rocks.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      @ Laughing, “whereas a book from over 2,000 years ago written by people who still believed the earth was flat.”

      Laughing, show me were in the Bible that it says that the earth is flat?

      July 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Charles


      Science MAY hold some answers (as an engineer I believe we can find answers to many questions through science), but not all. Science has shown how the universe was formed, and has done it without removing God from the equation. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive of each other. As a matter of fact science is now lending more evidence for the existance of God.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Jesus wept. Are you lying on purpose or are you just ignorant? Huge difference between a theory and a "Theory." The Grand Theory of Gravity is unassailable; drop something and it will fall. Even in weightless conditions, there is microgravity, obeying clear physical laws. That capital T means it is a fact. You were home-schooled, weren't you? The rest of us learned this stuff in the eighth grade. Proving you don't know any science doesn't help your case, you know.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Laughing

      AHH you got me! Christian doctrine was all about the earth being flat (a la Gallileo) but the bible doesn't!.......Oh wait, Matthew 4:8 says, “Once again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world [cosmos] in their glory.”
      Genesis 1:3–2:4 – describing on the second day how god created the firmament – Want a picture of how it would look? Google it.
      Ask and thee shall receive.

      Said it once and I'll say it again. You're right, science does not disprove that some sort of god may have had a hand in the creation of the universe and everything in it. I personally don't believe it because there's been no evidence to prove a divine hand in anything, but hey it could be, I don't know. What science DOES disprove is the Judeo-Christian god who supposedly did all these things in genesis that we now know are simply not true. So yes charles, a god and scientific discovery are not mutually exclusive, but your rigid christian god and today's science most certainly are

      July 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • i_wonder


      I'm on your side; but just a little correction for you - the dust-up with Galileo wasn't about the Earth being flat (that was not a big issue anymore in his day). It was about the Earth being the center of the Universe (as the religioso proclaimed). Galileo was on to something, for sure; but he did think that our Sun was the center of the Universe. Good that we're figuring out the real stuff...

      July 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  11. Greg

    Bravo Carl, As usual, your words speak only of the truth of Jesus. May the knowledge of Jesus spread throughout the world and may we all live in peace and harmony. AMEN!

    July 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • ooty

      Greg and I are getting gay-married today!

      July 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  12. Ranzabar

    Christians are ideologues. That's the nature of named-religious organizations. The range of personality is wide, but the common thread is that they all have their lives invested in a belief structure that gives them a foundation on which to function. When they perceive that the foundation is in jeopardy, they as a whole are more inclined to act to counter that action. Most will act locally in either a personal or political way, but some, as in this case will take it to a level outside what is socially acceptable. This happens regardless of denomination. The crazies are out there and they are more likely to be religious than not.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  13. jamcgraw

    To Carl: From my observations it appears that humanity has been in turmoil for thousands of years. I would argue chiefly for economic\geographic reasons and then for conflicting beliefs systems be they religious, philosophical or police. That said the Christian message appears to have been designed to bring division to the world. I don't pretend to know the mind of God but it seems pretty clear that Jesus was indicting the world system & man as deeply corrupt. Here are some verses that should make this point clear. Matthew 10: 34-39 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it." If you consider this as well as a constellation of other references in the scriptures I will spare you from I have to reject your assertion that we stop evangelizing. In Christ Alone.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      You are like OCD sufferers who can't stop washing their hands. Stop telling me your theory about the sky man and his friends. I don't believe you any more than I do the Allah people or the Harry Potter fans. Enjoy yourselves, but don't expect me to start living in fear of Voldemort.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • jamcgraw

      @ Clown. I can understand why you see people of faith as Ideologues although from our perspective this is pretty silly. That said you did just sound off with the atheist mantra of identifing God as the "sky man". Which you have to admit is pretty ironic given your OCD comment. I'm sure you are an "independent thinker" and not an adherent to any other set of ideas that you have little grasp of.......but your approach sounds a little like an atheist Ideologue espousing your beliefs much like the other people of faith on this forum.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Fin

      For the last time..... atheist = LACK OF BELIEF...... it's really very simple, yet you still don't get it??

      August 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  14. J

    why religious leaders keep praying for wealthiness? Why are they unable to explain that the global financial crisis is not going to be resolved? I mean, they are religious leaders and should know enough about the Bible be able to explain us about the world decay, don't they?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • cdimarco

      I think the majority of them (or it should be...) pray for His will to be done, not for personal gain or riches, but for a deeper knowlege of who Jesus is.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Believer

      J- it requires one to read to understand the scripture with the intent on finding the solution. If you want it to hit you upside the head with the answer then you are approaching from a wrong position.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bruce

      Well, if it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven like a camel through the eye of a needle, then perhaps God is making us all poor to help us out of that predicament.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  15. Lisa Sandvik

    Jesus told us (Christians) not to? Then what about Jesus' last words in Matthew 28: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. . . " vs. 19 &20 and also in Mark 13:10 "And the gospel must first be preached to all nations" These are all in red in my red-letter edition Bible.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • J

      You are exactly right Lisa, so, why I've never seen a Christian knocking at my door? Or when having religious discussions why is so hard for them to even remember a Bible verse or been able to convince me to convert to Christianity? The only ones are their religious leaders, mainly by Radio or TV and just asking for money. You know, a simple Bible message to keep people happy, followed by a music show and then the call for money...

      July 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  16. cdimarco

    This all comes down to Jesus pointing to the Father. You can't praise Allah and worship Jesus at the same time. If you are, it's not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus isn't just something you tag on to any religion, Jesus is the CENTER

    July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Janet Goodell

      Allah is God. Oops, just struck by lightening. Sizzzzzzle...

      July 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  17. J

    Jesus never supported or took sides with ay of the governments (Romans) or religious leaders of his times... as a matter of fact he was killed by them, having said that, do you thing he is supporting today's political parties? Is he supporting Democracy or socialism? As far as I know the Devil offered him all world governments at the time, which for my understanding it's a clear indication that him, the Devil, is the one controlling them. If not, human race will never face the terrible wars that affected us since WWI. Governments were and are against Jesus, so, have that changed in the 21st century?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Janet Goodell

      M. Bachmann said on Rush Limbaugh that liberals worship the wrong god. Conservatives worship the true God. Apparently, he/she does take sides. Witness, the Yankees...

      July 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Canbuhay

      Jesus also never surfed the internet or drove a car. He also never preached outside of Israel. Does that mean they are of the Devil too? Jesus had a specific role to play – we shouldn't confuse His specific job and our role as His followers. We emulate His life that does not mean we have His role.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Dennis

    Just say no to organized religion, their attempts at mind-control & all that OCD behavior
    ..and about 90% of the worlds' violence will fade out in time.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Sorry, Dennis.

      But violence will still be with us even if you removed all the religions from the world. Violence is just the nature of MAN!

      July 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Flint Kasey

      If there was virtually no religion, this planet would be hell. Mao, killed 60million + in the 20th century alone. Mussolini, 35million + dead also in the 20th century.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Flint, Mao just replaced religion with communism, and Moose was catholic. You are correct though; religion has a softening effect on murderous people and is useful for social engineering.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • KnowHim

      There is no mind control, God gave us free will. You can either believe in Jesus and our God or not. A lot of people don't understand that Christians are sinners but the difference between believing and not believing is that Christians are forgiven. You can choose to read the Bible or not, go to church or not, believe that you have a savior or not. It is all up to you. I choose to believe and let everyone I can know how my life has changed. There is also a misunderstanding among a lot of people I know that if you do believe that you life gets easier. Mine has gotten harder because I am learning and seeking the truth and sometimes that can be a painful process but at the same time a liberating one. There is so much pain, heartbreak, and sadness in this world we live in. I know my God doesn’t like it but he gave us free will and there are some not so pleasant people out there that do things that are horrible. Again, free will but if you believe in God, He will get you through it. I know, I have suffered and gone through a lot but I am still standing and it is only through the grace of God. You control your mind so you have to make up your mind. Believe or don’t believe – your choice!

      July 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Believe or don’t believe – your choice!" You mean, you're going to stop trying to pass laws to make us all live by your ancient book? No way. You're kidding. No Christian would ever say that.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Mike

    The message of Christ is not like so many religions where you add one god to another god. Christ claims absolute right and authority over planet earth as the express image of God. He is God in the flesh, therefore the Christian message is a message of exclusivity. It's Christ alone not Christ with another god.

    That is the problem people have with Christianity, Islam will accept Christ as a prophet, this is not the Christ of the Bible. You cannot have Christ and Muhammad, you must worship Christ as God, the only God. Even Mohammed will acknowledge this.

    Any message that does not present this is not love and is not the message of Christ. Christ has been set forth by God for the joy of all people. This is for man's greatest good and greatest joy!

    July 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bruce

      The day Christians who make points like this can also speak intelligently on the theology of the Trinity is the day I believe that Islam is incompatible with Christianity.

      However, what I have found is that those who can speak intelligently and meaningfully about the Trinity also tend to view Islam quite positively, and they state that it is not "one or the other" as you suggest.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • J

      Mike, even the demons that were possessing people in Jesus times called him the Son of God, not God.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • cdimarco

      John 1:1
      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      John 1:14
      The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

      Right there it calls the Word God and also calls the Word as becoming flesh, the Son of God. That verse alone shows the relationship between Jesus and God, they're one in the same. Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • i wonder

      "even the demons that were possessing people in Jesus times called him the Son of God, not God."

      Oh cripes... demons talk? And the old time ones said this? How convenient.

      Those gospel writers were very creative, weren't they?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • J

      I wonder, have you ever read the book of Matthews?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • J

      Mattthew 8:28: 28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[a] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

      July 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bruce

      "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” Mark 4:11-12

      Some of what you read in scripture, especially the gospels, is not understood by a first-pass, "oh this is the OBVIOUS meaning here," method of hermeneutic. Much was phrased in a way to deliberately obscure the truth to those without "eyes to see and ears to hear."

      You know, people like you.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • J

      CDIMarco, that believe was started by the Egyptians and then adopted by the Babylonians (archaeological is available) until Constantine made it official in the 4th Century. Jesus and Hebrews were monotheists people as indicated in history books.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  20. waterman

    In other words, try the 'soft sell' approach, not hard sell. Just talk to them about Jesus and everything. LOL! Instead, about 'keep you religious beliefs to yourself', live and let live?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
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.