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. Hope

    The picture above: Carl Medearis with Sheikh Nabil Qawouk Hezbollah’s number two leader.

    Where is Mr Sheikh Nabil Qawouk smile?? It look like he somewhat confuse!

    July 27, 2011 at 5:27 am |
    • Fred

      Hope, It's a prurely American thing to smile at the camera. In the middle east, Africa, and parts of the far east, wearing a smile is a sign of weakness, and/or insanity.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • fred

      I "Fred" did not write the above post. Not sure what is up with this site but it appears that somehow one can duplicate a name.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • fred

      My bad, just noticed the other Fred capitalized his/ her name.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • fred

      Hey, you seem to have a well rounded international knowledge. I could some of that to counter balance some of my myth based comments. Welcome to team fred. Our goal is prove evolution has some missing links, everyone has a bias, there is one true God but most religions and religious people get off track and put out a false image of what is truth.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  2. Bonnie

    The evangelizing Christians are the only good Christians. Pagans need them because too many innocent humans are being oppressed in the pagan land.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:46 am |
  3. Muneef

    My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing
    Because they have brought upon them selves people like Anders Behring Breivik,of Norway,Oslo Attacks...and we wouldn't like they bring us people like his mentality into our Middle Eastern Countries...

    July 27, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Dr. Doug

      Muneef, sorry, but it's not evangelizing that leads to people like the Norwegian who killed people. If anything, it is a lack of evangelism, more specifically, a lack of knowing Jesus.

      True relationship with Jesus brings a fullness of peace, and joy, and a love for other people. Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor (even those we do not know) and even our enemies. He teaches us to do good even to those who persecute us.

      Jesus would never lead someone to kill an innocent person. In fact, he taught us not to take revenge, but to leave that to God.

      We don't need less talking about Jesus. We need (as Carl points out) more – but rightly centered.

      One of our biggest problems, of course, is people who go by the name "Christian," or speak in the name of Jesus, but who do not reflect Him truly, and who rather than being "good news" end up being "bad news." But that is attributable to people, not to Jesus. True people of Jesus will be good news to you in the Middle East and wherever they go.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  4. Muneef

    Well who ever saw it was for his advantage to creat Islam-phobia against the communists....today is creating a Christian-phobia to confront the Islam-phobia....wonder if all that serves interests of some body...? I mean does it serve the Jews or the Zionists or (Atheists)....?

    July 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Who created Islamphobia and why;


    July 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Whom ever drained the USSR in Afghanistan,today is draining the USA...in addition to Iraq...
      While Euro Zone is being drained by Libya war..
      As seems the (NATO) is at it's last moments...at the quick sands...got it self in a mess in fears of the nightmares they have created for them selves...until they became to doubt and fear Muslims or MidEasterns living among their Multi cultured (NATO) countries...

      July 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      The communists-phobia now became Islam-phobia.....seems there should always be a phobia of some sort....they can't live with out phobia to keep them awake...
      It is more like bringing cats to chase the mice and when the cats becomes a nuisance they bring dogs to chase it out and so on...!

      July 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      @@@Well who ever saw it was for his advantage to creat Islam-phobia against the communists....today is creating a Christian-phobia to confront the Islam-phobia....wonder if all that serves interests of some body...? I mean does it serve the Jews or the Zionists or (Atheists)....?

      July 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Who has given him the T-i-tle of Knights_Templar?
      Who other than the Country where the Templar Exist (Israel)...or it's Lords (Zionists)...only they can since we know that the Catholic Church wouldn't after all it was the Catholic Church who ended their legend.....
      This operation is having other fingers behind it that has brainwashed and inspired this man to pull such act...some how feel because Oslo is connected with some agreements between Israelis and Palestinians and those both are heavily connected to the Legend of the "Knights_Templar.....
      Sure such propaganda adopted might be in many of European and American states as to call against multi culture systems and mostly related to Muslims presence in those countries which were called being as Jewish owned lands..! 


      July 27, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  6. Bonnie

    Evangelism is the lifeline of Christianity. Jesus commanded it as the Great Commission. It will continue till the end with various methods. Evangelistic efforts by Christians made the nations a civil place one by one.

    July 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • snow

      Oh boy.. did you ever hear the proverb that "one country's patriot is another country's traitor"? That is what you are preaching.. for people to be traitors. So please stfu!

      July 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • beth

      @snow: stfu: a way of saying "shut the fuck up", and is often said by people that are losing an argument or can't think of a comeback.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  7. Apocatequil

    Mahmood's eye's are glowing like the devil's.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  8. samuel

    1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13

    "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing...

    "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres...

    "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known...

    "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

    July 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  9. Art

    Doctrine is important. Without it we can define anyone or anything in relative terms. Jesus taught doctrine AND loved everyone around him. Evangelization is not about an agenda, statement of faith, mission statement or vision. It's about a message; the Gospel, an urgent message of truth and love. Last time I checked there was nothing in it about religion or politics.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  10. TruthWillWin

    Mr. Medearis states "Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider." How does he reconcile that with Matthew 10:34?

    He also says "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." This is wonderfully true, but the fact remains (and this is something all too many 'nominal Christians', who believe He came to show us how to live and not so much to die for our sins also fail to realize) that Jesus did not give us the option of believing Him to be just a prophet or a teacher, we must believe that He is indeed God.
    C.S. Lewis said it best, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

    Then Lewis adds:

    "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

    Anything that takes the Believer's focus off this truth as they share the Good News will fail to give the message that Saves.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Dakine

      I completely agree with what you said. When the article mentioned "revere him as a prophet," I was taken aback. Jesus is God and those that modify that truth with something more "palatable" are sadly misinformed. What a great weapon Satan has. Bring God down to a human level so that people are "manipulated" into thinking they are saved when in fact, they are not.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • SquareRootOfMinusOne

      @TruthWillWin, I'm really glad you brought up C.S. Lewis. Most "evangelicals" miss the point that the Gospel message is ontological at its core, that Jesus is God and that He assumed/redeemed/transfigured human nature.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:33 am |
  11. Barry


    Perhaps what you have said is true, but we trust that God will judge the believers and non-believers.

    The Apostle Peter wrote in his New Testament epistle that “judgment shall begin at the house of faith…and if the faithful are scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear [when the Judgment Day comes]…”

    Jesus’ disciples asked him if few would be saved, and he said yes, few.

    Jesus then said “straight and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few are on this way; but, broad is the way that leads to destruction and many are on this path.”

    Of course Jesus said: Strive to enter through the narrow gate.

    Jesus also said that on the Judgment Day many will be condemned to destruction, and they will say: But didn’t we preach in your name and cast out demons in your name? And he will reply: Depart from me, for I never knew you. For I was naked and you never clothed me; I was hungry, and you never fed me; I was sick and in prison, and you never visited me.” At which point those claiming to be his disciples will ask: When did we see you hungry, naked, sick or in prison? At which point he will answer, whenever you saw the least of my brothers or sisters in need, you saw me.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Reality

    Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Truth vs. The Art of Not-Evangelism

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems with the "Reformed" and "Born-againers":

    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    July 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • JDJ

      Thanks for the heartfelt nature of your post. You unfortunately correctly point out some of the things that are wrong with some people in the church these days. Jesus did reserve his highest criticism for those who fancied themselves religious but did not act like it. However, I noted that you mentioned early in your post that Jesus was illiterate. One of the stories in the Bible tells about Jesus reading out of one of the scrolls when he was in the temple.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      I seriously doubt he was illiterate. Rabbi's of his training would have Genesis through Malachi memorized. In my life, I have never met an illiterate Jewish person. Their education methods predate Jesus by a thousand years. Boys were taken at age 5-6 and didn't return for a few years at least. Memorizing the Torah. The brightest of them went on till they were 12 and memorized through Malachi. The best of those were apprenticed to be a Rabbi.

      Now at Jesus's time you fell into two groups. Pharisees and Sadducee's. Pharisees were hard line fundamentalists, but believed in an afterlife. Sadducee's did not believe in an afterlife but believed that you should enjoy the world God made for you.

      Jesus was a mix of the two. He believed in an afterlife, and believed you should sum up the law into loving God and loving your neighbor.

      Just a history lesson.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Please prove that Jesus existed. Use a primary source. The bible is not a primary source as it has been proven to contain falsehoods and contradictions and sometimes outright lies.

      It's okay, nobody else can either.

      I am sorry that your religion is a house of cards now disintegrating before your very eyes...

      July 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  13. John David Balla

    Even non-believing drug addicts can go to Heaven, as depicted in the music video at http://MySongsAboutHeaven.com. The real question is... "Is Heaven, heavenly?"

    July 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Interesting history:

    The first survived non-Muslim (or Christian) reference to Muhammad:

    When I came to Sykamina, I spoke to a certain old man who was well-informed in
    the scriptures (Bible), and I said to him: “What do you say, my lord and teacher, about the
    Prophet who has risen among the Arabs?” And he said to me, while he groaned
    deeply: “That is rubbish; do prophets come armed with sword and chariot? These
    are simply the works of anarchy …”

    The text is taken from the "Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati (Teaching of Jacob, 634 a. D.)"

    July 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  15. Barry


    I fear I’ve overestimated you.

    The fact that writings are couched in myth doesn’t make them false.

    The stories in the Bible (viz., the Flood, Tower of Babel, etc.) are all consistent with the accepted literary genre of their day.

    How else would a writer have written?

    Of course the Hebrew accounts of Genesis make a radical departure in terms of their embracing monotheism, versus the polytheism that was the norm of the Ancient Near East and throughout the world.

    The Gospel accounts are similar in nature, although they were influenced by Hellenistic influences, such as Greek philosophy (viz., Socrates, Plato and Aristotle), and they, too, employ the literary conventions of their day.

    Furthermore the Scriptures of the Bible were written by Jews who lived in the east, as John Spong and Michael Goulder point out, and Jewish writers from the east wrote allegorically, not literally.

    The early Christian community of Alexandria (viz., Clement; cf., the community of Antioch ) understood the Scripture allegorically.

    Finally, as Justo Gonzalez points out, the fact that there are four different Gospel accounts, with diverse presentations is evidence that the Christian community was a group of diverse individuals who were developing their own accounts separately. Greek literature allowed the writers to modify the story, in order to make their particular points.

    I encourage you to read Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Gospels Through Jewish Eyes, if you want a fairly brief and concise summary of some of these points. I also encourage you to see Justo Gonzalez’s History of the Christian Church, part I, for an honest, well informed analysis of the literature and history of the Christian community of the first three centuries.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  16. Andrea

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

    If that's not "evangelizing" I don't know what is. How about going into the world and doing good without waving a bible at people. How come we can't do humanitarian or relationship-building activities without bringing religion into play? Don't we share enough other things as humans?

    July 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  17. jakethethinker

    Do you have any proof Jesus existed? No, you do not. The bible is not proof. There is not even any proof that the witness' mentioned in the bible ever existed. For such an important individual there should be something to substantiate his existence but there is nothing but a story in the book of many stories, the bible.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Jose

      There is no proff that socractes existed except the recordings of his sayings and teachings. The government kept record of his execution, but that was of Athens, a small city state. Rome wouldnt be able to keep records of the number of people it executed. At least not in a form that survives to this day.

      Ask around and more people know the name of Jesus than socrates. Just sayin. Does that show proff he had powers? No.. but did he exist at least in some way? Almost all historians agree he did.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • informedicinept


      I'm always one for some good civic discussion, and appreciate the input. I have to turn your question around and ask you what evidence do you have that Jesus DIDN"T exist? Must we assume the Bible guilty until proven innocent? Why must we claim that the Bible made Jesus up, because WE don't think he did? Also, there are multiple extrabiblical sources attesting to Jesus' existence. Read Josephus (Jewish historian, died A.D. 90) and Roman historian Pliny the Younger. Both of these guys were never followers of Jesus (according to their writings), but talked about Jesus as they did any other historical figure they were researching. Thanks

      July 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Barry

      We believe in Jesus because of the testimony of good and godly men and women. These early witnesses hated lies and anything false.

      Many of these were eyewitnesses, and they were so convinced that Jesus was the son of God, that they were willing to subject themselves, their families, and those they loved to ostracism, loss of jobs, expulsion from the military, and unspeakable torture and death.

      Reputable historians—whether non-believers or believers–do not dispute that a man named Jesus existed in the first century CE, that he was a Jew and a teacher (rabbi), and that he was crucified.

      Of course we who are Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he died and was raised from the dead; and, we believe that through him—and only through him—can we have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • loljesus

      These people are so indoctrinated, they are putting the burden of proof on you as a way of basically changing the discussion because they cannot prove it. Guess what? There is a flying french fry and meatball that live behind my house and sometimes use my pool. Dont believe me? Prove they aren't there.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Thank you Jake. As has been said many times before, complete lack of proof that something does exists is proof that it does not, in fact, exist.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Kevin

      The Bible (the New Testament) is not a "book." The Bible is a compilation of letters and testimonies of what occurred. The Bible IS evidence of Jesus' existence. It is a compilation of the evidence from the earliest followers (particularly the Apostle Paul). Even most hardened atheists will attest to the existence of Jesus. In fact, the name "Jesus" was a common name of the era. Certainly many persons named Jesus lived. We have Biblical recordings (letters) and extra-biblical records indicating the executions of those who claimed to have known Jesus. The fact that they were willing to be beheaded and crucified to attest to a lie–knowing that some guy named Jesus never existed–would be rather perplexing and would attest to mass insanity if all 12 of the original disciples allowed their lives to be ruined for the lie.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  18. dmag

    I agree with the heart, intent, and direction of this post.

    I don't think, though, that you are against "evangelizing," but against trying to "convert" people to the "religion" of "Christianity." To "evangelize," simply, is to share the "good news" of Jesus. You believe in this, and practice it incessantly.

    I find one of the statements misleading and confusing. You write: " the us-versus-them mentality that evangelism fosters, in which we are always the innocent victims and they are always the aggressors."

    It is not evangelism that (necessarily) fosters an "us vs. them" mentality; I think you mean, rather, trying to convert people to Christianity (or whatever religion). And I don't get the connection about being victims or aggressors. Seems you're wrapping in the whole so-called "culture war" or the American "war on terror" or general Christian defensiveness against Islam/Muslims. Again, not tied to "evangelism" per se.

    But I agree: stick with Jesus, live His life, spread His blessings including His love and peace, and share Him with everyone who cares to listen (respecting their freedom and choice). And leave any "results" to Him.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • KB

      Thanks for posting this-these were my thoughts upon reading the article, too. Well said.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  19. dave48

    How about this guy start reading his Bible. Then he won't make such a comment.

    July 26, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • gozer

      If he was willing to reason, and he read the bible, especially in the light of modern science, he would realize that the bible is nothing more than cobbled-together fiction for ignorant people, albeit with minor historical references thrown in to give it any shred of resemblance to reality, by myriad authors over several centuries.

      He would also realize that the god that the bible describes is a completely unfair as-shole that resorts to torture and cruelty as punishment for those who merely doubt him. The ficti-tious god being described is so vain as to require worship and even animal sacri-fice. In short, such a reasonable reader would become an atheist.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • G-zero


      Let me tell you honestly, you post is extremely thoughtless and nonsensical.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • G-zero


      July 26, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • gozer

      G-zero, your unsupported declarative holds no merit. Either present some reasoning if you can (unlikely), or p!iss off, jerk.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  20. david

    Wow the road to eternal life is indeed narrow.

    July 26, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • .....

      AvdBert is a troll on this site trying to sell their bogus book and cult religion. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      All religions are cults...should we then report all who post here?

      July 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Patriot

      Religion-haters should be kicked out of the planet because all peoples are religious and Christians educated the world to be civil and created USA by Biblical principles. Atheists only oppressed people and conducted worst atrocities everywhere.

      July 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Free

      "Atheists only oppressed people and conducted worst atrocities everywhere."
      Tell that to the indians.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Bonnie

      @Free: Indians were too lazy and too easily addicted. Lazy people lose land everywhere on earth. Tell Indians to get some world history course.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:05 am |
    • Bonnie

      Indians should be thankful to God for all eternity it wasn't Russian or Chinese or American atheists who found them first.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:06 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.