July 31st, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Do you speak Christian?

Editor's note: Kirby Ferguson is a New York-based writer, filmmaker and speaker who created the web video series Everything is a Remix. His videos, like the one above, can be found on Vimeo, an online community where artists share their films.

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Can you speak Christian?

Have you told anyone “I’m born again?” Have you “walked the aisle” to “pray the prayer?”

Did you ever “name and claim” something and, after getting it, announce, “I’m highly blessed and favored?”

Many Americans are bilingual. They speak a secular language of sports talk, celebrity gossip and current events. But mention religion and some become armchair preachers who pepper their conversations with popular Christian words and trendy theological phrases.

If this is you, some Christian pastors and scholars have some bad news: You may not know what you’re talking about. They say that many contemporary Christians have become pious parrots. They constantly repeat Christian phrases that they don’t understand or distort.

Marcus Borg, an Episcopal theologian, calls this practice “speaking Christian.” He says he heard so many people misusing terms such as “born again” and “salvation” that he wrote a book about the practice.

People who speak Christian aren’t just mangling religious terminology, he says. They’re also inventing counterfeit Christian terms such as “the rapture” as if they were a part of essential church teaching.

The rapture, a phrase used to describe the sudden transport of true Christians to heaven while the rest of humanity is left behind to suffer, actually contradicts historic Christian teaching, Borg says.

“The rapture is a recent invention. Nobody had thought of what is now known as the rapture until about 1850,” says Borg, canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.

How politicians speak Christian

Speaking Christian isn’t confined to religion. It’s infiltrated politics.

Political candidates have to learn how to speak Christian to win elections, says Bill Leonard, a professor of church history at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity in North Carolina.

One of our greatest presidents learned this early in his career. Abraham Lincoln was running for Congress when his opponent accused him of not being a Christian. Lincoln often referred to the Bible in his speeches, but he never joined a church or said he was born again like his congressional opponent, Leonard says.

"Lincoln was less specific about his own experience and, while he used biblical language, it was less distinctively Christian or conversionistic than many of the evangelical preachers thought it should be,” Leonard says.

Lincoln won that congressional election, but the accusation stuck with him until his death, Leonard says.

One recent president, though, knew how to speak Christian fluently.

During his 2003 State of the Union address, George W. Bush baffled some listeners when he declared that there was “wonder-working power” in the goodness of American people.

Evangelical ears, though, perked up at that phrase. It was an evangelical favorite, drawn from a popular 19th century revival hymn about the wonder-working power of Christ called “In the Precious Blood of the Lamb.”

Leonard says Bush was sending a coded message to evangelical voters: I’m one of you.

“The code says that one: I’m inside the community. And two: These are the linguistic ways that I show I believe what is required of me,” Leonard says.

Have you ‘named it and claimed it'?

Ordinary Christians do what Bush did all the time, Leonard says. They use coded Christian terms like verbal passports - flashing them gains you admittance to certain Christian communities.

Say you’ve met someone who is Pentecostal or charismatic, a group whose members believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing and speaking in tongues. If you want to signal to that person that you share their belief, you start talking about “receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost” or getting the “second blessings,” Leonard says.

Translation: Getting a baptism by water or sprinkling isn’t enough for some Pentecostals and charismatics. A person needs a baptism “in the spirit” to validate their Christian credentials.

Or say you’ve been invited to a megachurch that proclaims the prosperity theology (God will bless the faithful with wealth and health). You may hear what sounds like a new language.

Prosperity Christians don’t say “I want that new Mercedes.” They say they are going to “believe for a new Mercedes.” They don’t say “I want a promotion.” They say I “name and claim” a promotion.

The rationale behind both phrases is that what one speaks aloud in faith will come to pass. The prosperity dialect has become so popular that Leonard has added his own wrinkle.

“I call it ‘name it, claim it, grab it and have it,’ ’’ he says with a chuckle.

Some forms of speaking Christian, though, can become obsolete through lack of use.

Few contemporary pastors use the language of damnation - “turn or burn,” converting “the pagans” or warning people they’re going to hit “hell wide open” - because it’s considered too polarizing, Leonard says. The language of “walking the aisle” is also fading, Leonard says.

Appalachian and Southern Christians often told stories about staggering into church and walking forward during the altar call to say the “sinner’s prayer” during revival services that would often last for several weeks.

“People ‘testified’ to holding on to the pew until their knuckles turned white, fighting salvation all the way,” Leonard says. “You were in the back of the church, and you fought being saved.”

Contemporary churchgoers, though, no longer have time to take that walk, Leonard says. They consider their lives too busy for long revival services and extended altar calls. Many churches are either jettisoning or streamlining the altar call, Leonard says.

“You got soccer, you got PTA, you got family responsibilities - the culture just won’t sustain it as it once did,” Leonard says.

Even some of the most basic religious words are in jeopardy because of overuse.

Calling yourself a Christian, for example, is no longer cool among evangelicals on college campuses, says Robert Crosby, a theology professor at Southeastern University in Florida.

“Fewer believers are referring to themselves these days as ‘Christian,’ ” Crosby says. “More are using terms such as ‘Christ follower.’ This is due to the fact that the more generic term, Christian, has come to be used within religious and even political ways to refer to a voting bloc.”

What’s at stake

Speaking Christian correctly may seem like it’s just a fuss over semantics, but it’s ultimately about something bigger: defining Christianity, says Borg, author of “Speaking Christian.”

Christians use common words and phrases in hymns, prayers and sermons “to connect their religion to their life in the world,” Borg says.

“Speaking Christian is an umbrella term for not only knowing the words, but understanding them,” Borg says. “It’s knowing the basic vocabulary, knowing the basic stories.”

When Christians forget what their words mean, they forget what their faith means, Borg says.

Consider the word “salvation.” Most Christians use the words "salvation" or "saved" to talk about being rescued from sin or going to heaven, Borg says.

Yet salvation in the Bible is seldom confined to an afterlife. Those characters in the Bible who invoked the word salvation used it to describe the passage from injustice to justice, like the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian bondage, Borg says.

“The Bible knows that powerful and wealthy elites commonly structure the world in their own self-interest. Pharaoh and Herod and Caesar are still with us. From them we need to be saved,” Borg writes.

And when Christians forget what their faith means, they get duped by trendy terms such as the rapture that have little to do with historical Christianity, he says.

The rapture has become an accepted part of the Christian vocabulary with the publication of the megaselling “Left Behind” novels and a heavily publicized prediction earlier this year by a Christian radio broadcaster that the rapture would occur in May.

But the notion that Christians will abandon the Earth to meet Jesus in the clouds while others are left behind to suffer is not traditional Christian teaching, Borg says.

He says it was first proclaimed by John Nelson Darby, a 19th century British evangelist, who thought of it after reading a New Testament passage in the first book of Thessalonians that described true believers being “caught up in the clouds together” with Jesus.

Christianity’s focus has long been about ushering in God’s kingdom “on Earth, not just in heaven,” Borg says.

“Christianity’s goal is not to escape from this world. It loves this world and seeks to change it for the better,” he writes.

For now, though, Borg and others are also focusing on changing how Christians talk about their faith.

If you don’t want to speak Christian, they say, pay attention to how Christianity’s founder spoke. Jesus spoke in a way that drew people in, says Leonard, the Wake Forest professor.

“He used stories, parables and metaphors,” Leonard says. “He communicated in images that both the religious folks and nonreligious folks of his day understand.”

When Christians develop their own private language for one another, they forget how Jesus made faith accessible to ordinary people, he says.

“Speaking Christian can become a way of suggesting a kind of spiritual status that others don’t have,” he says. “It communicates a kind of spiritual elitism that holds the spiritually ‘unwashed’ at arm’s length."

By that time, they’ve reached the final stage of speaking Christian - they've become spiritual snobs.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Episcopal • Faith • Fundamentalism • Politics • Uncategorized

soundoff (3,878 Responses)
  1. Jesus is the only way

    The HOLY SPIRIT is Amazing. HE is my comforter and GODs spirit that lives inside HIS believers that we can have an intimate relationship with HIM. He comforts you as you seek HIM and leads you daily as you deny yourself, carry your cross and follow HIM(JESUS). GOD the Father loved you and me so much that HE knew because our sin separated us from HIM that HE came in the flesh as the only begotten son and when HE died and went to the Father the HOLY SPIRIT was sent to those that believe in the SON and as in Romans 10:9 says – Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that HE died and rose again in three days and you shall be saved. They you are redeemed by the blood of JESUS and your sins are as far as east is from the west and GOD sees them no more. Because HE loves you so much he wants to have a relationship with you as that is the reason HE created man to begin with. I will pray for all of you that eyes are shut and do not know the truth that you may come to the saving knowledge of who JESUS really is. That you may receive HIM and be set free. FREE INDEED! HE has set me free from death as I will have everlasting life with HIM and HE set me free from what the world could never do for me. He set me free and can set you free too!!! JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY! GOD IS LOVE!! AND HAS A CRAZY LOVE! For those of you that are believers and/or seeking a true intimate relationship with Jesus I suggest some really awesome books. CRAZY LOVE & FORGOTTEN GOD by Francis Chan. We have studied both with our life groups that we lead and man they are amazing books about the Amazing LOVE of GOD and the power of the HOLY SPIRIT! Will be praying for you unbelievers and you who believe in yourself and lean on your own understanding. LOVING YOU ANYWAYS because JESUS loves you through me.. 🙂

    July 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • helloeyes

      In this day and age Jesus would be put in an instiution or anti-psychotic meds for narcissistic personality disorder. Only a megalomanic would go about telling the entire of humanity that they need to follow him. Just because the bible is old doesn't make it true. It's just an old book full of someone's narcissistic rantings. Kind of like these comments spewed by the believers.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      I feel like I'm reading a super hero comic book.

      July 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Richard S. Russell

      "JESUS loves you through me." This would be the same Jesus who's promised to fry me forever in Hell? Reminds me of the wife beaters who claim "I'm only smacking you around because I love you so much, and you have only yourself to blame for disappointing me so often."

      July 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • bureaucrat

      ... and this is the type of "jargon" the article was referring to (although "gibberish" may be more appropriate in this instance.)

      August 1, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  2. Zimzi Jones

    Love it how the media is trying to destructure Christian beliefs. After it's all said and done, us Christians wlll never buy into, or frankly even identify or process the BS the Liberal Media is spewing. Love it.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Michelle from Iowa

      AMEN! I was uncomfortable reading this article and you summarized it perfectly! Another attempt at brow-beating Christian ideals! AWAY SATAN!!! 🙂

      July 31, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • GeePi Joe

      Christian "ideals" should be brow-beaten down at every opportunity. So which poor animal did you sacrifice and burn for your nasty god today, as he commands you?

      July 31, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  3. Da King

    Speaking Christianity is moot. Knowing God through Jesus will explain everything.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • jonathan

      Agreed.. 🙂

      July 31, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  4. BKG

    Marcus Borg is Episcopalian, Episcopalians declare gays and lesbians eligible for any ordained ministry. Enough said.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Loves The Baby Jesus

      Bring on that good old Christain hate, brotha! We need to beat left-handed kids too!

      July 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      God, guns and gays... can I get a hillbilly yeehaw!!?

      July 31, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  5. QueenofCoffee

    Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day (the coming of the Lord) will not come except the apostasy comes first - the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come....2nd Thess. 2:3. Why are so many Christians going to fall away? They've been deceived and lied to that they are going to escape the great tribulation and sufferings....these things will come upon the earth – we can see it happening now. Are you ready to suffer for the name of Jesus? They will wonder why they aren't flying up to the heavens. You won't be "raptured". So then these Christians will feel if the Rapture isn't true then Jesus and His Word mustn't be true....We are instructed in I Peter 2:21 to follow in the steps of Christ and follow His personal example of suffering. Ist Thess. 4:16 refers to the end of the age period. All this hogwash that the mega churches are feeding "Christians" is to fill their pockets and meet their wants...their flesh. They will be in hell if they don't repent. Are you ready to suffer as Jesus did? In Matthew 25:1 we have the Ten Virgins Parable of which 5 were wise as they had oil within their vessels while the other 5 were foolish and were refused by the Bridegroom. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit...our relationship with the Lord...knowing and recognizing Him and His will thru our sorrow and suffering.. The Pastors today do not preach from the heart of God/spirit of God but rather from the soul (mind, emotions and will) controlled by the wants of the flesh. We are tri-parte human beings and need to discern these things. How many of these churches will give to hurting people in the neighborhood that are not church attendees without any strings attached??? The true sheep of His pasture will God seek out if you sit in the halls of the false prophet and pastor who distorts and deceives you with false words which God has never said. Instead of taking what they say at face value...search out the Scriptures yourself and prove to be a workman rightly dividing the word (2nd Tim. 2:15)..which means you can wrongly divide it. Bottom line look at Jesus as your example. Are you giving encouragement to others in this hopeless world. Are you putting your neighbor first? (That means any other human being.) Christians, quit acting in your flesh...if it feels good do it...rather surrender totally and have less of "self". Even John the Baptist said he must decrease and Jesus must increase. Saying a sinner's prayer is not how you get into heaven....Totally surrender to Jesus in the example He set and obeying His Word with meekness/gentleness and giving Him all the credit/glory is true born-again behavior. I am ashamed of the churches. There are still some good ones out there, but very few and none are perfect of course. Trying to find one that preaches the Word of God in Truth without glory to self is getting more difficult to find. So...beside speaking Christian lets act Christian according to the Bible and not some deceptive Pastor.....

    July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Pastor Bobby Dufrane

      Why I know That There is a God and That He Loves Me

      A Personal Testimony.

      Allow me to share a story. Not too long ago doubt was creeping into my head about the Lord and then a miracle happened.

      It was 3 years ago and 50 members of my church were enroute to a bible camp in the Blueridge Mountains of Virginia. They were traveling in a chartered bus. As they sang blessed hymns to the Lord, Satan was up to his old tricks. You see, the bus driver was an atheist socialist and that day his coffee mug was filled with vodka. As the bus wound up through the switchbacks, the driver became progressively drunker. Then it happened. It was that day that changed this poor sinner's life forever. Entering a particularly tight switchback, the besotted driver finally lost control of the bus and it plummeted 1500 feet down into a ravine where it exploded into a fireball incinerating the flock. The only survivor that fateful day was a young boy who was thrown from the bus by his father seconds before it hit the bottom.

      This young boy suffered severe brain damage from hitting a rock head first and will have to wear a football helmet and drool cup for the remainder of his life. But his survival proved to me that miracles do happen because God does exist and loves me. The Lord caused that accident to bring me back to his flock.


      Praise Jesus! Just open your eyes to his miracles and you will see him everywhere.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Tina

      Praise Jebus! Praise his holy name!

      July 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • albert

      You are sick if you think the God of the Bible would cause such an accident. What about the hurt and pain caused to the families of the dead? You are living a lie. You cannot back what you are saying with the Bible. You my friend are a lost soul.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Logical Thinker

      He's being sarcastic. In a very ignorant and spiteful manner.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • albert

      Please share with us, the scripture(s) that even mention the word Rapture. Also, share the scripture(s) that says all good people go to heaven. Is it possible that the apostates have tickled your ears as well?

      July 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  6. Rational Person

    Thank god I am an agnostic freethinker!!!

    July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Which god? There have been so many...

      July 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Logical Thinker

      Please rationally explain why the Earth is the exact distance it must be from the sun to support life, why the moon is the exact distance from the Earth to sustain life, why the bacterial flagella is so genius, why the energy in a universe "moving toward order" is a finite, why we all have a moral intuition and why "relativism" is self-destructive, how something scientifically came from virtually nothing, why love is self-sacrificing, why procreation is enjoyable instead of painful, why man is eternally unsatisfied.

      I just have one question, rational thinker: have you ever thought through any of these things?

      I dare you.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • i_wonder

      Logical Thinker,

      It works because it works. If the Sun or the Moon were a tiny bit different, perhaps we wouldn't be here; but perhaps we would be - and possibly we would be even better, with sturdier bodies, larger, more active brains, better resistance to disease, etc.

      July 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  7. helloeyes

    This was a interesting article. The use of Christian language is prominent in politics to sway the Christian vote. Just like a foregin language, speaking in terms that are inclusive rather than exclusive might make others feel more included in the conversation.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  8. Hey Athiests!





    July 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom

      Sounds like a wife-beater. "Love me Shirley, or I will kill you and your entire family."

      July 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Sounds like a loving God to me!

      July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • albert

      The Bible does not teach "Eternal Torment". This is another teaching taken from Pagan customs and Greek mythology. In the very beginning of the Bible, God told Adam and Eve that they would die and return to dust if they sinned. He NEVER threatened them with eternal torment in a fiery Hell. Again, that good people go to Heaven, and bad people go to Hell is NOT taught in the Bible. Ot's one of the biggest lies taught from so called "Christians"

      July 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Spiffy

      So Jesus was lying when he said that people would go to a place of fire and grinding of teeth?

      July 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tina

      Albert, you need to go read yer holey bible, son.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • katie

      Hell is a big issue for people with Christianity. I might be wrong, but I believe that your objection might be phrased thus:
      If God is all powerful, he can't be all good, if God is all good, then he can't be all powerful. It's a thoughtful objection, and one that a lot of people (even Christians), struggle with. But if you look at what the Bible tells us about hell, a few things come to light:
      1. Hell is probably not some fiery pit that God throws people in against their objections.
      2. It IS complete separation from God, the giver of all life and goodness
      There is a parable of the Lazarus and the rich man. Basically, Lazarus is a poor man who ends up in heaven: the rich man ends up in hell. What is really important is that the rich man does not ask to be taken out of hell: instead he tries to get Larazus in. I think (again could be wrong), that hell is what happens when God says to a person "Thy will be done". The nature of hell is such that it is like a terrible addiction: an invisible prison that isolates and disintegrates. Hope I am not coming off as too wordy, just wanted to clarify.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • albert

      Eternal Torment in Hell is a lie. You are the ones that need to read and study the Bible. Jesus spoke in parables and used illustrations. Fire was used to illustrate complete destruction. What happens to something when you burn it? Also, would the loving and just God of the Bible really punish people that live for 70 – 80 years for all eternity? Again I ask you, when did God threaten Adam & Eve with eternal torment? Don't you think he would have told the first people he created? Your churches are lying to you.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • albert

      If we are spirits when we die (another lie taught in churches), how exactly is a "spirit or soul burned". How does a spirit grind its teeth? You see, there is no logic to support Hell in the literal sense.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  9. OvernOut

    Nondenominational and evangelical churches have way too many rules, wouldn't want to have to keep up with all that. Didn't fit the church I was raised in, because I was not of Swedish extraction, really stood out for being blond and short, instead of blond and tall. The rules cover everything, right down to hairstyles, let alone language.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  10. katie

    I think the point of this article is to acknowledge that "Christianese" is excluding to others of different faiths. Christians SHOULD be the least judgmental people in the world. No other faith offers the resources to be both totally humbled and totally confident. One thing that people often overlook is that Jesus was both judge and judgED. (and yes, that's from one of my favorite Tim Keller sermons). Also, after the ideals of the enlightenment took effect, the common thought was that religious would become irrelevant and eventually die out. However, this is not what happened- instead there is a new incidence of orthodoxy- anyone that denies this is viewing the world through the lens of their own narrative.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I think people who speak in spiritual or religious terms in front of non-believers are just excluding them. I have experienced it a lot in the New Age spirituality where I just have no idea what they're talking about. Sometimes I think they just make words up to make themselves sound more evolved, and they like to look down upon those who don't understand the terminologies.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • katie

      I think it was Nietzsche that made the statement that "All truth claims are bids for power." It is one of the oldest traits of humans: I'm in, you're out, I'm good, you're bad. Only Christianity's truth claim gives resources for realizing just how "out" and "bad" we are, yet doesn't leave us hopeless. I am sorry you've felt excluded- all people act ridiculous at times.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  11. Paul

    There is a proverb that teaches that a man is hidden when the evil comes.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  12. BRod

    "Christianese" = meaningless mumbo jumbo. They can't even define the "Trinity" – one of their precious beliefs. They say that "God is love" which is an absolutely meaningless, nonsensical statement, not to mention the problem with equating love with a being that would let anyone spend even one millisecond in a place like hell.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • katie

      Hell is a big issue for people with Christianity. I might be wrong, but I believe that your objection might be phrased thus:
      If God is all powerful, he can't be all good, if God is all good, then he can't be all powerful. It's a thoughtful objection, and one that a lot of people (even Christians), struggle with. But if you look at what the Bible tells us about hell, a few things come to light:
      1. Hell is probably not some fiery pit that God throws people in against their objections.
      2. It IS complete separation from God, the giver of all life and goodness
      There is a parable of the Lazarus and the rich man. Basically, Lazarus is a poor man who ends up in heaven: the rich man ends up in hell. What is really important is that the rich man does not ask to be taken out of hell: instead he tries to get Larazus in. I think (again could be wrong), that hell is what happens when God says to a person "Thy will be done". The nature of hell is such that it is like a terrible addiction: an invisible prison that isolates and disintegrates. Hope I am not coming off as too wordy, just wanted to clarify.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Beverly Tatum

    When I hear the word "Christian" it makes me want to run in the other direction. Christianity has become a lie, a club of hypocrites, people who do NOT follow the teaching of Jesus, people who pick and choose what parts of the Bible they follow and so on. Christianity has become meaningless and a Republican mantra. As we see with the evangelical nuts, they are NOT Christians. They are like this author above says part of a clique. You have to believe exactly what they believe or you are rejected. They commit acts of violence in the name of God (nutjob anti-abortion groups), commit acts of fraud in the name of God, use God's name for political gain, and then turn their backs on the core principles of Jesus – caring for one another, compassion, helping those less fortunate, giving of yourself to do good, to make things better. Republicans hate people, are racists, want to take everything away from the average person and give it to the rich, stomp on those in need so corporations can have more power and abuse their workers more and LIE ever day as easily as they breathe. iIt's shameful, unChristian, the fartherest thing from what Jesus taught and asked of us, and it's sick and digusting.Republicans love the "prosperity gospel".
    Christianity has been hijacked by hypocrites and liars and self-serving arrogant people who want to jam their false ignorant beliefs NOT from the Bible down your throat.
    I grew up in a Southern Baptist church that was open to all races, did community work for the poor, taught the Bible, and believed you lived your faith in all that you did and in how you treated all people – not just when it was convenient. I see none of this in today's churches.
    All I see is those who are the most hate-filled, the most ignorant, the most uneducated, the most self-centered, and the most racist are those who scream the loudest how "Christian' they are. God would not even recognize them.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • voiceinthewilderness

      Beverly, would God recognize you? http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18%3A9-14&version=NIV

      July 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • helloeyes

      That was very hate-filled and one-sided rhetorical rant against republicans. I have republican friends who are the opposite of what you say they are. Don't poison the well because of a few.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  14. Jesus is the only way

    Oh I see y'all are now talking about the religion of evolution. So y'all believe your maker was a two rocks, or some algae or some bacteria? That you evolved from your ancestor the monkey or ape? I just don't get that because if that where truth we would still be seeing before our eyes monkeys evolving into humans. No I don't mean smarter monkeys than others I mean monkeys that turn into a human or there offspring turning into humans today. No Evolution is a religion too. A religion trying to disprove Gods creation by scientific theories. Thats right THEORIES, ideas made up by man. Wow so many don't want to believe the bible because it was written by mans hands although it was inspired by God. People that even say they believe in God say but it is hard to believe that the Bible is complete and without error but they also believe they have a big God. That is contradictory to me. But people are ready to believe ideas and theories made up by men in search for an answer how did the first humans come to exist....ITS CALLED....GOD THE FATHER, SON & HOLY SPIRIT....THE CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS and the EARTH....CREATOR OF MAN and WOMAN. That is why they have to say the world is so old. Millions upon millions of years old makes since when you have to explain how a fish, bird, dog, monkey, all other living species and humans are all so different now. Because the soupy mass became so many different species over millions and millions of years. Nope that is reaching and sad.

    As I said the truth of the matter is even if you don't believe in God HE still is your creator and HE loves you and is there for you when ever you need HIM. All you have to do is Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose again in three days and you shall be saved.(Romans 10:9) Just wanted to remind anyone reading this post of that, for when you need HIM you will remember all you have to do and you will be saved. Loving you is me telling you the truth not lieing to you.

    JESUS is the ONLY WAY to the father and that is the reason HE came and died for YOU was so you could have a relationship with God the Father & HIM(the son) and the Holy Spirit that comes to live inside of you when you believe in JESUS. There are many wrong ways that claim to be the way to knowing god or gods but JESUS is the ONLY WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE and know on comes the the Father except through HIM as it says in the word of GOD. Thats what makes HIM the ONLY.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Dr Reality

      You must still believe in Santa too.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Dr Reality

      How anyone can believe such retarded ancient tribal nonsense is beyond me.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Did you skip biology in high school? Monkeys won't evolve into humans. We are simply evolutionary cousins. We came from the same ancestor. Anyone with a basic understanding of evolution would know that.

      Theory when used in science has a completely different meaning then what the common man sees it as. Evolution is an accepted fact among scientists.

      Ignorance is what led you to make such stupid claims. Try to learn. Pick up a book.

      BTW there is no God. You can not prove it.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Evolution is a two way street...

      July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Paul Mancini

      I spoke with God this morning and he says you have it all wrong.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      spiffy does not exist

      July 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Me simply responding to you is proof for my existence.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • helloeyes

      So you're saying that science was not inspired by God? Rather, it was created by man to spite the word of God? That doesn't make sense. Just because you do not believe in science, you call it "reaching and sad" because it does not gel with your belief system. The author is talking about exclusivity. When you exclude all other possibility, you are using tunnel vision. Your statement that we would see monkeys becoming human before our eyes is completely ludicrous. Evolution takes millions of years.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      by the way there is no spiffy

      July 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Wanderer

      From your name, I can tell there are something that is absurd in your comments.
      Jesus is the only way. This is wrong and arrogant.
      Jesus’ way may be the only way. This may be acceptable to the common sense’s point of view.

      July 31, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Fred1

      If you thik so much of god and so little of science, when you get really really sick do you go to church or the doctor? Fox hole conversion in reverse!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  15. John Doe

    Heresy. Plain and simple. Believe means to believe, not beloved. Paul said that all scripture is God breathed and useful for instruction. Scripture is God-breathed truth and should be taken literally.

    Salvation is through Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Romans that all those who profess with their mouths "Jesus is Lord" and believe in their hearts shall be saved. Salvation is christ and heaven centered. Not earth centered.

    Finally, the rapture will happen. Either pre-millenial or post-millenial, Christ will return to gather up his followers to him.

    But regardless, Christ loves you John and he wants you to place your trust in him. Praying that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ would pour onto you and open your eyes to your sin and the truth that is the Gospel. You need Chrsit and he wants you. And, if you already are a Christian, excellent! But, I warn you brother against speaking falsely. James wrote that those who teach will be held to a higher standard...Especially those who teach falsely.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Dr Reality

      God wants you to accept his unconditional love or he will torture you forever!

      July 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Beverly Tatum

      You prove the author's point perfectly.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Fred1

      Jesus said he'd be back within the lifetime of some of his followers. Well he got that one wrong and is aperntly not perfict. I wonder what else he got wrong?

      August 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Nicholas


    July 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  17. Randall12

    Christ said, "I am the way the truth and the light. No man cometh unto the Father but by me."

    July 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Dr Reality

      Obvious cult mind troll tactic is obvious.

      Gullible much?

      July 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Fred1

      He also said to hate your family

      "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
      –(Luke 14:26)

      August 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Dr Reality

    A Christian Fundamentalist just murdered almost 70 people in Norway. These fundies are not only crazy but dangerous.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Kalen

      Anders Behring Brevik was not a Christian. Anyone who truly follows the teachings of Jesus Christ could not murder innocents the way Brevik did. I haven't even seen convincing evidence that Brevik so much as considered himself a Christian–but if he did, it would be absolute self-deception.

      July 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Kalen: go read about what the "good" christians did during the inquisition. good christians are periclty capable of doing horific things, often in god's name

      August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  19. Nicholas


    July 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  20. Kevin B

    Dear CNN, please get a different Religion writer. This one is a hack.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:13 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
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.