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November 14th, 2011
09:41 PM ET

Bob Jones III latest Christian leader to doubt Obama's Christianity

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Bob Jones III, chancellor of the fundamentalist South Carolina university that bears his family’s name, has become the latest conservative Christian leader to publicly cast doubt on President Barack Obama’s stated Christian commitment.

"I've no reason to think he's a Christian,” Jones told National Journal in an interview published Saturday. “Anyone can say he's a Christian.

“Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be,” Jones said. “I say, 'Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?' "

Jones is an influential conservative leader in South Carolina, home to one of the nation’s key Republican primaries next year. Bob Jones University, where Jones served as president from 1971 to 2005, is a popular stop for GOP candidates courting Christian votes.

This year, evangelical leader Franklin Graham questioned Obama’s Christian commitment, telling ABC News that for Obama, “going to church means he’s a Christian,” while for Graham, “the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ.”

Last year, Graham insisted that Obama was born a Muslim, though the president hasn’t said that.

“I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim; his father was a Muslim,” Graham told CNN’s John King in August 2010. “The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother.

"Now, it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ,” Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, continued. “That is what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said."

Polls show that a minority of Americans can correctly identify Obama’s Christian faith. Obama writes about accepting Jesus in his book “Dreams from My Father,” and he regularly prays with a handful of Christian pastors.

In the interview with National Journal, Jones said that he hasn’t endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as he did in the 2008 cycle, partly because he believes that a Mormon candidate won’t face as many obstacles among Christian voters in next year’s primaries.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity

soundoff (953 Responses)
  1. Scowl

    As an atheist I can't help but love the delicious irony of Christians like this dope (I know, not all Christians are like him) who conveniently neglect or forget Matthew 7:1, "judge not lest ye be judged". Being a non-believer I am free to judge as a please, and the verdict? Guilty of idiotic bigotry.

    November 16, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Scowl

      Oops, I meant "judge not, that ye not be judged"...I had said to myself I wasn't going to make that common mistake but did so anyway.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  2. Linda

    "Jones is an influential conservative leader in South Carolina"
    HA! Most in South Carolina think he's a fundamentalist nut job

    November 16, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Nick Ballenger

      If he's so infulential, why haven't I (a SC resident) ever heard of him doing anything? And I'm from Greenville, where the school is.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  3. Primewonk

    Article VI Section 3 of the Consti tuition. Kind of renders this whole argument pointless.

    November 16, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  4. captnavenger

    We will all remain slaves until such time that this country is enlightened enough to elect an Atheist to the highest offices without a second thought.

    Slaves to the anger and hate of a delusional mass of bigots.

    Dan Gilgoff, who cares what Bob Jones III thinks? Are you his servant? Should the fate of the free world hinge on whether Jones thinks somebody is Christian enough for him?

    November 16, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Another viewpoint:

      Dmitri Panin was a friend of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Both experienced the horrors of Nazism and Stalin's gulags where millions were worded to death or murdeered. Panin had this to say: "A godless dictatorship both sullies and disfigures a man. Only a deep religious faith can provide him with a stout armor. When the church is destroyed and people are left on their own, it is easy for them to fall in with evil schemes. "

      November 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  5. mehmet

    This truthful proof and light of truth has presented such a religion and law that they contain all the means needed for happiness in both worlds. They also declare in perfect correctness the truths of the universe and its functions, as well as the Names and Attributes of the Creator of the universe. The religion of Islam and its Sacred Law are so excellent, so comprehensive and so well in describing the Creator and the whole of creation that anyone who reflects on that religion certainly realizes that it is the declaration of the One Who made this beautiful universe describing both the universe and Himself. Just as a constructor of a palace would write a suitable description in order to display his skills; so, too, the religion and the Sacred Law of Muhammad (ASW) show such a comprehensiveness, sublimity and accuracy that it proves to be the work of the Pen of the One Who creates and sustains this universe. The One Who beautifully arranges this universe is the One Who also beautifully arranges this religion; indeed, that most excellent order certainly calls for the most beautiful versification [of the Qur'an] !

    November 16, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah right....nice verbal salad you got going there. So if you're so enlightened then it should be a breeze to answer this question.
      Who or what is Allah? Remember I'm asking for a description here...not a resume.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  6. WOT

    The way some Christians act, I would not want to be one either but I am a Christian! And I try to live the life daily, by living the Golden Rule! Judge not that you may not be the same. This man

    brain do not say that he is living the word.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  7. Vet

    Bob Jones III once declared that BJU had banned interracial dating because "God has separated people for His own purpose"; nevertheless, on March 3, 2000, he announced on Larry King Live that the University would abandon the long-standing rule over which the university had lost its federal tax-exempt status in 1983.

    In 1982, when asked by TV talk show host Phil Donahue, "Does anybody get to heaven if he's not born again?" Jones replied, "Absolutely not. Jesus told Nicodemus, a religious man, 'You must be born again.'...The Lord Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.'"

    Jones once denounced Ronald Reagan as 'a traitor to God's people' for choosing as his vice president George H.W. Bush, whom Jones called "a devil." But some years later, he personally thanked the elder Bush for being a good president.

    Jones referred to Catholicism as "the religion of the anti-Christ and a Satanic system" and called Mormonism and Catholicism "cults which call themselves Christian,"[5] but in October 2007, he endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, for the Republican nomination for President.

    Shortly after George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, Bob Jones III sent a congratulatory letter to the president declaring that he had "been given a mandate....Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."

    In 2011, referring to Barack Obama's religion, Jones said, "Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be.... I say, 'Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?'"

    Jones's most often repeated quotation: "The most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to Hell today."

    November 16, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  8. Reality

    Dear Bobby J III,

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

    November 16, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  9. Observer

    Maybe it is important to know the religious background of presidential candidates. We just had a president to "talks to God all the time".

    We ended up with:

    The worst attack on our soil ever;
    One of our worst natural disasters ever;
    A war started for false reasons;
    A doubled national debt;
    Dying Americans ignored for days in New Orleans;
    A president who was often unable to even compose proper English sentences;
    A president who was "just not that concerned" about the person responsible for 9/11;.
    And a plummeting economy.

    They didn't have much for conversations, did they?

    November 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      November 16, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  10. Amanda Pal

    Who cares what religion the president is? That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he should be reelected. There are far more important issues to deal with here. Religion is a very deep, personal thing – NOT a topic for national debate or spectacle.

    I think it's pretty petty of the Republican party – or anyone else who brings it up – to use a man's religion as a basis to judge whether or not he should lead.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Snow

      well said Amanda !

      November 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      The media cares. They need to make him the "messiah" again. He did not turn out to be a messiah after all. They want to *resurrect* him . He blew 173 trillion on nonsense (UAW retirement at GM) (that is the only thing he accounts for). He left our border open and gave guns to Mexican bandits to destabilize their government. He kept Guantanamo open - he built thousands more of them. 15 states are suing him over the health care fiasco and he is suing two states over the border he will not enforce. Unoffical unemployment is way over 12% and over 30% in some sectors (blacks. Hispanics, agriculture, women) (he is the friend of those groups right? .. He is THEIR messiah .. not business) He hates corporations .. so corporations do not invest here and the jobs go elsewhere. He wants a mosque where the Muslims committed the worst crime in U.S. history. The economy is shot. Tubed. Europe too. There isn't much he's done right. So he needs to *resurrect* that messiah thing again ... and of course he needs to blame somebody for all of that. The media will help him. They are all working on finding something (anything) to make him look good. Maybe he can act like he's Christian. Not likely ... but maybe.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Observer

      "Unoffical unemployment is way over 12%"

      If you can't quote actual statistics, don't make them up.

      Bush left the economy plummeting. Highest stock value drops in history. How quicky Republicans forget.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • J.W

      As far as the economy goes, at least during Obama's time the GDP has grown, whereas it declined or went up slightly during the Bush administration.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  11. Maya

    Only in America do we have the first amendment and an establishment clause that "prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of a religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion", yet you must establish yourself as Christian if you have any hope at all of being elected into office.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Snow

      Thats the "Great American Secular Equality" for you.. People who yap on about spreading the freedom and equality all around the world do not want the same courtesy to be followed in their own country.. says a lot about their basic ideology.

      I wish they would at least declare themselves as a Christian Nation.. But noooo... they still want to tout the secular card in the world, but never follow it!

      November 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  12. asrael

    Bob Jones looking for his two milliseconds of "pay attention to me"...

    November 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  13. Dennis

    Bob Jones III – I don't know that he is a Christian but then again, don't you think God does. Bob Jones III where is your faith? Is your view of Jesus so pathetic that you think that President Obama is going to fake him out? That is between God and President Obama. It's about time that certain groups of people pay attention to whether the President's policies and ideas are effective or not, whether they make sense or not, not whether or not Bob Jones III, Franklin Graham (who doesn't measure up to his father), or anybody but Jesus thinks. When he has to stand before God will Jesus say, I paid the cost for his sin or will Jesus say, I never knew you.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • John Richardson

      In my own opinion, which is mine, Jesus will say: "Hey! Didn't we go to different high schools together?"

      November 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  14. John Stefanyszyn

    President Obama, Bob Jones, and Franklin Graham all have different views of the "Christian religion" because they all treat Christ as a "religion". A religion amongst other religions, to be worshipped as per "one's personal choice of faith" for one's desires of self righteousness.

    What is common amongst these men is that they all live by their belief in and desire for freedom of self-rights, freedom of religion, freedom of lifestyle, freedom of speech....all to be determined according what each establishes to be right.

    The fact is that there is One Creator God, One path of salvation through Christ His Son, One Truth and Will and One Hope.
    .....the other path, the way that man has glorified to be right and good, leads to the end of existence.

    The return of Christ is at hand...and man will reject this truth for love of his way.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Amanda Pal

      Please save the preaching. I get that you believe what you're saying, but it's not relevant to whether or not Obama should be president.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Observer

      John,

      "The fact is that there is . . ."

      Sorry. You have confused the word "fact" with the word "opinion". Frequent error.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • TR6

      @John Stefanyszyn: “The return of Christ is at hand”

      The return has been “at hand” for over 2000 years and it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not too concerned it’s gon’a happen during my life time (or ever)

      November 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  15. Bob

    fred, so your answer to question 1 is that you don't know. The obvious real answer is that your god would be a cruel and barbaric ass-hole if he actually existed, and torturing animals appeals to him, as does the resultant smell, just like your bible says. Glad we got that cleared up. Now let's have you face question 2 about your apparent ass-hole of a god.

    2. How can any deity be considered "loving", that considers eternal torture fair punishment for minor transgressions such as reasonable doubt in a short mortal life? Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric.

    Thanks. I'm still waiting for a real response from you on that one.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  16. devilbloggger

    Satan thinks Obama is not a Christian. He says so in Satan's Blog: http://wp.me/p14HPl-sg

    November 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  17. Jen

    I want a Buddhist President.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  18. Tomlin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=njJCKlbw5Xs

    November 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  19. tffl

    Where's the evidence that Bob Jones is a Christian? His behavior and words would certainly lead people to think otherwise (though what religion he practices beyond Jonesism is an open question)...

    November 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  20. Bob

    fred, you suggested that you could provide some "truth". Please, then, respond truthfully to the issues that I have to keep bringing up. No more of the usual Christian dodging this time please:

    1. Why did your god ever include (or allow to be included) in the bible his commands for sacrificing animals?
    2. How can any deity be considered "loving", that considers eternal torture fair punishment for minor transgressions such as reasonable doubt in a short mortal life? Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric.

    Thanks. I'm still waiting for a real response from you on these issues.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • asking

      Are you a vegan?

      November 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Martin

      @Bob:
      Heaven is an environment permeated with the presence of God, a place devoid of sin. If you, in this life, love sin and hate righteousness, then you do not want to be in heaven. Hell is merely a place where people go, where the righteousness of God no longer shields man from the consequences of his sin. Right now, on earth, the only reason mankind does not devolve into utter chaos & violence is that God is currently restraining the consequences.

      But for those who long for a just and righteous world, who understand that the current state of the world is evil & wrong, God calls them. He sent His Son, as a beacon of light into the world, an example of what is possible for mankind if he were not corrupted:
      Jn 3:19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
      People are right when they point out that Christians are not perfect; the Bible acknowledges that: But it is Jesus God sent, for you to follow, not me or any other Christian.
      If you love goodness and righteousness, follow Jesus. He'll change you forever. But if not, you enter hell not by Gods choice, b ut by your own choice, because you demonstrate, by not following righteous Jesus, that you hate righteousness. Therefore you will live where there is no righteousness... hell.
      Jn 10:14
      14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

      November 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Martin It is sad that an adult with a better than 8th grade vocabulary would think for a minute that spouting the drivel you just did in any way exonerates god in christian mythology. God created this whole sinful world with foreknowledge that things would turn out this way. Besides, some of the things god commanded in the old testament make him one of the most heinous sinners of all. Give it a rest. Either you guys are totally wrong or god is a jerk who deserves an insurrection against him. No other option is available.

      November 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Martin

      @John: I used to be like you: Sarcastic and vindictive against Christians. I was an agnostic, but not atheist because I could not prove that God doesn't exist. My IQ is about 165, so it has nothing to do with intelligence. I am an instructor in systematic problem solving. I was converted after studying Jesus Christ with an open mind.
      Read the Gospels.. they don't read like any mythology ever written.. they are biographies, recollections of people events and places, many of which are corroborated in history. Even 1st century historians, hostile to Christians, inadvertently corroborate many of the events in the Gospels. The letters.. are exactly that.. they are written mostly by Paul, letters to various people and churches. Archeological sites have been found using only the descriptions found written by Luke in the book of Acts.
      If you dismiss Jesus as Deity...which I am sure you do...at least review what he has said from a philosophical perspective. When Oprah has some new guru on with a new book and some ideas, millions of people review it and either keep it or throw it away. Don't let your bias against Christians keep you from at least reading and considering what the most influential man (Jesus Christ) in history has to say. For Example:
      "Love your enemies, and bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse"

      November 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Martin

      @ John : Regarding foreknowledge
      You are correct regarding foreknowledge, God knows (and knew) who would eventually end up in Hell, and nevertheless created the universe as it is.
      But this fact does not preclude human freedom, foreknowledge does not mean predestination. The simple fact is that God IS Sovereign:

      Romans 9:19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”h 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

      22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

      This is why people will be upset, they refuse to bow the knee to God Almighty, due to pride:

      Matt13:47 (Jesus speaking)“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      SO....... YOUR RESPONSE IS OPRAH.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Martin Even ignoring the fact that most branches of protestantism were founded by people who believed in predestination, it matters not a whit whether god's foreknowledge is or is not consistent with human freedom. What matters is that he knew in advance that the world he was about to create would end up with souls tortured for all eternity and went ahead and did it anyway. This makes god by far the biggest sinner of all. By FAR.

      There's an easy way out of this dilemma, Martin. Admit that it's all a bunch of made up nonsense. Actual hellfire serves the purpose of no halfway rational, halfway compassionate god. Rather, fear of hellfire serves the purpose of church leaders who want to frighten people into joining and staying with a given church. It's about bullying people during their earthly lives. That's all.

      November 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Denise

      Was it your kitty Bob?

      November 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Martin

      I do not serve Christ nor did I come to Christ out of fear of Hell. Neither did 95% of the christians I know...I can't even think of one right now.
      No, I came to Christ as I read His words. The fact that all human beings have moral failings is inescapable. We can't even halfway control our own lives let alone construct some kind of Liberal Utopia.. only pot heads believe such nonsense.
      The essence of Christianity is Christ on the Cross.. i.e. the willingness of followers of Christ to, like Him, be willing to suffer for the benefit of others.. not just those we love, but also those we hate.

      Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      So you have decided to hate God and accuse Him of evil.. But giving man an opportunity to free himself (through Christ) of his sinful condition is merciful and just.
      But it is never to late to see Jesus for who He is, because he says: "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved"

      November 16, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Martin

      @John: I used to also believe exactly what you said re: Gods creation & hell.

      The simple fact is that Gods Love & mercy are available to you 24X7, but you do not dictate the terms to Him. He is God, you are not. You must come to Him.
      The source of your anger is not because you believe you are chatting with a deranged lunatic.. you are angry because all atheists know that they COULD be wrong.. it is Pascals wager: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager.

      That's why the Bible says" A fool says in his heart "There is no God"" (Psalm 53:1)
      Step 1 is admitting you could have made an error in your atheism.. if you cannot admit that, you are your arrogance and pride have blinded you
      Step 2 is realizing that if God does exist, you may have some explaining to do if you encounter Him
      Step 3 is taking an honest look at the testimony of Christian, that the Power of Christ to transform lives is real..have you ever read about Angola Prison? Quite a Christian story: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2003/478/
      The testimony of Christian transformation is endless.. don't ignore it.
      Step 4: Ask God for the truth regarding Jesus Christ (That's what I did.. & God answered in an awesome way.. and has continued to answer):
      He is waiting for you John.. He is waiting for all of you.

      Jn20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

      November 16, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Bob

      Denise, no. Why do you ask? Got some pu-ssy problems of your own?

      November 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Martin,

      Step 1 is admitting you could have made an error in your religion.. if you cannot admit that, your arrogance and pride have blinded you

      Have arrogance and pride blinded you or could you have made an error in your religion?

      November 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Observer

      "you enter hell not by Gods choice, b ut by your own choice, because you demonstrate, by not following righteous Jesus, that you hate righteousness."

      So did everyone before Jeus's time go to hell?
      So does everyone who has never heard of Jesus, no matter how kind, benevolent, just, caring, intelligent, etc. go to hell?
      Not really a fair God, is he?

      November 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Thomas II

      Martin: "Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

      I doubt that event ever happened. There is no evidence for it, other than one rhapsodic piece of writing.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Brad

      @Martin My experience was similar to yours in some ways. My training is in mathematics and also molecular genetics. I also held to agnostic views, not atheist (after all, atheists seemed like Christians – people who believe in at most one God). Becoming familiar with scripture led to a powerfully persistent, though gradual overturning of my entire belief system. Not like a Saul – to -Paul conversion, but a more fundamental change is hard to imagine. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.