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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. Bill

    If one were to real the Bible very carefully they might question whether or not Bob Jones III and people like him are really Christian. What you do speaks louder than what you say.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Phil

      Who really cares if the President is Christian or not? Because someone professes Christianity does NOT make them a Christian period! There are plenty of "Christians" in public office who are crooks, sharlitans, liars, and whatever other evil that can be named, and you have some sincere God-fearing Christians. Either way, the issue of the commander-in chief's religion does nothing to solve the ills of country, it does not balance the deficit, and it most certainly has not created any jobs. Christians should be more concerned with praying for leadership as we are instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
      How about we Christians live up to what we profess and STOP being so fickle!!!

      November 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  2. Observer

    Brad,
    "Being loving and kind I would call the paramedics."

    Thank you. You have answered the question for both of us. You wouldn't do what you said God would do.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  3. Brad

    Ok. But to recap, Bob has a problem of his own choosing. He should be left to float. God feels a need to help Bob (God is loving and kind) but God must be fair. I've added that God is omnipotent, but not self-contradictory. What does God do now?

    November 17, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Bob never knew the life raft existed. He never saw or heard on shred of evidence of its existence. Thus, he as.sumes he must swim to live. If the life raft does exist, then the one controlling it would not be fair if he knew Bob was making an informed decision based upon the best and most reliable decision available and just turned away to let Bob drown. Nothing about that is even remotely fair.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Brad

      The problem is pretty plain – Bob knew about the lifeboat. We all know about the thing it symbolizes – it is the system of law, of what is fair. Like most everyone, Bob chooses to go his own way. God (kind and good) feels a need to act to get Bob out of his fix, but in a way that does not contradict his own nature (which includes that he is fair and just). Let's say then that he finds a solution – he offers it to Bob. What should Bob do? Bob is still floating.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • Brad

      night

      November 17, 2011 at 3:33 am |
    • John Richardson

      Brad The god of the bible is not "kind and good". The people who presume to speak for god are often the very opposite of "kind and good". The law is sometimes about justice and sometimes about sheer oppression. People like Bob don't so much "go their own way" as try to get on with people in a way and at a level that makes real sense. To speak as though Bob is doing something terribly wrong while the people who proclaim god's dictatorial law (at least those that hammer those they want to hammer and to hell the rest of it, eh?) are doing something wonderfully right-minded is self-serving, foolish and more than a bit creepy.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:56 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Bob doesn't know of the lifeboat. There is no evidence of such a life boat. You're essentially committing the fallacy of Pascal's wager – bob has to have picked the correct lifeboat out of tens of thousands of different lifeboats – no of which have any evidence what-so-ever. Bob is using the reasoning and intellect his creator gave him, and his creator is punishing him for that. The god of your ana.logy is fickle, narcissistic, and sadistic. No rational person would actually consider that fair. Lay off the kool aid.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores."
      – Robert Heinlein

      November 17, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  4. Brad

    Ok. But to recap, Bob has a problem of his own choosing. He should be left to float. God feels a need to help Bob (God is loving and kind) but God must be fair. I've added that God is omnipotent, but not self-contradictory. What does God do now?

    November 17, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      In the christian world, bob is not floating, bob is being tortured for all eternity. Anyone with a heart would save bob and screw what you oddly consider to be "fair".

      November 17, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • Brad

      Sorry, I keep mis-posting. It's late.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Brad

      It's not fair to allow an informed and rational person like Bob to experience the natural consequences of his choices? I think it is. It is not be something a man with a heart would do if the consequences are bad and eternal – God's problem here is precisely that.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:16 am |
    • Brad

      Also, see Hint 2.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:29 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "It's not fair to allow an informed and rational person"

      Informed? There are tens of thousands of flavors of god. He better hopes he picks the right one. See the ana.logy in the original thread below about the father who makes unclear rules and communicates them through an extensive game of telephone.

      You'd think an omniscient deity would be a little more clear about what his expectations are.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Hint: If you're ana.logies need hints, they're not very good ana.logies.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  5. Brad

    Hint – the lifeboat is not Christ

    November 17, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Brad

      Hiint 2 – Bob is not dead.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Then your ana.logy doesn't relate in the least to what @Bob asked and what the thread you originally posted to is talking about. So, you've basically completely dodged @Bob's question as well. Please try to actually stay on topic. Your analogy is about as clear as your book.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  6. Candise S. Kane

    I hope that the use of the Super Mickey (a drug losenge used by Kadafi and others in buffalo nY in 1974-1994 and for memory loss to be granted; fear over scandal data being revealed when young) does not get too perfected & especially during those important meetings...they say that his people perfected it to a person standing & sleeping at the same time ! HUD buffalo former employee here...2011...reporting.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  7. Martin

    OK all Christians on this Board, start compiling a Prayer List!!! There are a lot of people on this board who desperately need prayer!!!

    First on the list is ****BOB****!!!!
    God have mercy on Bob!!! Open his eyes!!!

    AMEN!!

    November 17, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Dr. Dr.

      There, there, Mr. Bonaparte, your valiant army is on bivouac. They are safe. They esteem you highly. Have this lovely cup of tea now and do not worry...

      November 17, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  8. angryoldguy

    OMG! This is not about G_d, it is about Bob Jones III making a statement that will have an immediate effect on the weak of mind & of little faith (more faith in Bob Jone's pronouncements than anything else) to pass judgement on the President, "that he is not a christian"! I have no doubt about Bob Jones III "Christian Faith", it is missing in action!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "So, friendsa, lay your handsa on the TV. Send in a little donationa, and your sowel will be savetha!"

      November 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  9. Reality

    From the topic:

    "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.”

    Well Mr. Graham and his daddy continue to con the"faithful" out of their dollars. As do others!!!

    To wit:

    Glen Beck, $32 million in 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html

    and from guidestar.org

    Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.

    Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr

    Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr

    Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr

    Erica Brown $134,221/yr

    Eboo Patel $120,000/yr.

    Dr. Herb Silverman $100,000/yr. ?

    Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy, $400,000/yr/ea estimated

    November 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • vo1itw

      I guess anybody who has a different opinion than you has been conned, right?!?!?!?!?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Many of us do not charge for our opinion. Another "freebee":

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      November 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @vo1itw
      It is safe to as.sume that any shaman who begs a fee for salvation is a con-man.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Reality of Reality

      There is absolutely a God, heaven and hell. I can prove it to you. Go on top of a building, open a window and jump out. I dare you! Then all your proofs will become clear, I completely guarantee it! Just try it.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Reality of Reality – that will prove that gravity exists. Nothing else. Try again.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Observer

      Reality of Reality,

      Here's a test to see if God exists. Send a 2-year-old Christian child to cross a major highway alone during rush hour.

      Same logic as your answer.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  10. Reality

    Dear Bobby J III, (still waiting for a response from said Bobby J )

    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 5:12 pm |
  11. WOT

    The king or Queen is the Head of the church of England! Soon the President of the USA will be the head of the " church of America"! Think about it, our way or no way.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  12. lunchbreaker

    Fred, you have failed to answer the question still. Ist it FAIR punishment. Simple thought expirement. I am God. I have one law, except my son as your savior. The punishment for breaking this law is eternal torture. I'll be the one to answer for Fred: it is not fair.

    November 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • vo1itw

      I guess it would make more sense to you if God oferred us NO way out?????

      November 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  13. Bob

    No, fred, you haven't answered yet. All you have done is dodge, dodge, dodge. Again, I ask:

    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?

    Let's make it even simpler. Would such punishment be fair? Yes or no answer is appropriate now. Summon all your courage, fred.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • observer

      Have you ever questioned yourself as to why running a red light or stop sign might lead to death?
      Why is the focus so much on disobedience and its consequences? when life eternal is promised for obedience.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Because I don't think threatening people with eternal torture is an appropriate way to win them over to your own side. I think it's called extortion (or maybe blackmail. I always get them confused.)

      November 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • observer

      There are rules set by God and there are rules set by society. There will always be consequences for disobedience. If there are no conequences for disobedience wherein is justice?
      I would rather focus on the good that comes out of obedience than spend my life arguing otherwise.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "There are rules set by God..."
      What makes you think so?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • observer

      The scriptures

      November 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Nonimus

      And what makes you think they're true?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • vo1itw

      How about a little bit of research and a little bit of praying for wisdom and understanding???

      November 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @vo1itw,
      Was that directed at me?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • vo1itw

      ANYBODY who SERIOUSLY wants to discover the TURTH will indeed find HIM. Those who would rather ridicule us cannot be bothered with the truth. It might make them change their whole outlook on life. We wouldn't want to do that now, would we???

      But, then again, why wouldn't we???????????

      Hmmmmmmm..........

      "in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

      2 Corinthians 4:4

      November 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @vo1itw,
      Didn't realize I was ridiculing anyone.

      "ANYBODY who SERIOUSLY wants to discover the TURTH will indeed find HIM."
      And yet many people from many culture have "SERIOUSLY" sought out the "TRUTH" and did not find "HIM", found Buddha or Shiva or The Way or nothing supernatural at all. How is that?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • observer

      We trust in God and his precepts as the truth.
      Don't we trust man made laws?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Ummmmmm

      "Don't we trust man made laws?"

      No not all of them which is why many laws have changed over the centuries a great example would be the civil rights movements, blacks, women, gays, etc..... It's why we have a Supreme Court. Duh....

      November 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @observer,
      "We trust in God and his precepts as the truth."
      Again, why? What makes you think He has precepts, that you understand them, and that they are true?

      "Don't we trust man made laws?"
      Trust is not an issue, at least not in the US, if I think they are wrong, then I can argue/propose/campaign to have them changed. They are not infallible or inviolate.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ummmmmm

      "There will always be consequences for disobedience. If there are no conequences for disobedience wherein is justice?"

      The justice comes when the disobedience is done because the law was NOT worth obeying in the first place especially when it's founded in bias and prejudice towards others.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • observer

      The point here is that all beings are subject to laws(God and society) . A being that refuses to recognize these laws will face the consequences. I would focus on the good that comes from obedience knowing fully well that focussing on the disobedience is futile.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • fred

      Nonimous

      I trust God because of a personal conversion experience that happened to me exactly as Jesus said it would. That same experience, which I have personally witnessed in others, continues. Perhaps I needed that in order to trust God and God out of love just elected to give me that gift. Others are offered that gift but reject it for various reasons
      If you get the same outcome each and every time a principle is applied it brings assurance / trust in the one who promises the outcome.
      “Faith from Corinthians is looking at the things which are not seen and temporal: it is preferring spiritual and eternal realities to the things of time, sense, and sin; it is leaning on God and realizing His Word; it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
      This is not complicated the only question is which reality time, sense or sin is your preference.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • observer

      The question that was raised by the poster was w.r.t how a loving God could punish sins?
      You have to first believe in God to accept the scriptures as the truth and be willing to obey the word of God. Without believing in God, why question the consequences for disobedience?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Ummmmmm

      "I would focus on the good that comes from obedience knowing fully well that focussing on the disobedience is futile."

      LMAO! Are you the borg now? LOL! It's focusing on the disobedience that have brought about equality for a lot of people especially in America. It's how this country got founded by being disobedient, how blacks have civil rights, women got their rights, etc.... Only a fool blindly follows a tyrant.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Ummmmmm

      "If you get the same outcome each and every time a principle is applied it brings assurance / trust in the one who promises the outcome."

      Doesn't mean it the correct one but it does sound like the makings of a cult.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • observer

      Disobedience to laws is what makes us great? really? why don't you jump the red lights next time your drive on the streets and please let me know where you will be driving in so that I can avoid those.
      Also don't pay your taxes because they too are laws and from what I hear you like to rebel against the laws.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Dee Fine

      fred: "it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

      su·per·sti·tion
         /ˌsupərˈstɪʃən/ Show Spelled[soo-per-stish-uhn] Show IPA
      noun
      1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circ-umstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
      2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
      3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
      4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious.
      5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • observer

      There are consequences for disobeying laws whether we like it or not.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "Disobedience to laws is what makes us great? really? why don't you jump the red lights next time your drive on the streets and please let me know where you will be driving in so that I can avoid those."

      Huh....it use to be against the law to make a right hand turn on a red....now you can. So yes I do jump the red lights. I also if no one is around go through the red lights why sit there for no reason. The point I am making is civil rights don't come about by simply obeying every law, Rosa parks is a great example of it. She had a wonderful consequence happen for that disobedience. Don't need a god for that either. LMAO!

      November 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • fred

      Dee Fine
      63-year-old “born activist”
      organizer of Alabama’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter
      conservative radio host
      married to Russ Fine
      off the air since 2007, and they’ve been keeping a low profile
      Russ Fine doing his work at UAB’s Injury Control Research Center
      Dee watching her grandchildren grow up
      Own a Greystone home
      Address and phone #..............seek and you shall find

      November 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @observer,
      There are consequences, if the laws are enforced, or if they actually exist, for that matter.
      What makes you think God's laws exist? You say that one must believe in God before the scriptures are true, but what makes you think God exists?

      November 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @fred,
      If you had a personal experience that made you believe, that is fine. You are free to believe what you like, but why should your experience convince me of anything?

      November 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • fred

      Nonimus
      My experience will not convince you anymore that others experience convinced me prior to conversion. In my case a bunch of people were praying for me and I was not even aware of that at the time. Seems God must take an unilateral action, hear the prayers of others or a person must become broken then cry out for Gods help in desperation. Not sure one can find God through reason if the heart is not first so inclined.
      Perhaps if you knew me before conversion and noticed the abrupt change it may cause you to seek out of curiosity. In the process of snooping around with an earnest desire to find this God something may click, but, I would attribute that to a unilateral action of God initiating the click that would change your worldview.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • observer

      My last post was incomplete as I had missed the wonderful truth.
      That truth is in Romans 8:1, we have the gift of eternal life through the message of Grace in Jesus Christ.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      I like what you decided to pic and choose today ! Complements to the chef

      November 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,
      "I like what you decided to pic and choose today ! Complements to the chef"

      Sorry if you think you were talking to me. There are 2 "observers" on here. Fortunately one is using capitals (me, Mr. "Pick and Choose"), and the other named "observer" with a small "o".

      November 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • fred

      Observer
      Now why did you need to go and ruin my evening. I thought I was witnessing a miracle !

      November 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      You know I enjoy having your head spin.

      Actually, that was the first comment I've made for or about you.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @observer

      "Have you ever questioned yourself as to why running a red light or stop sign might lead to death?"

      Yes. Red lights control the flow of traffic. We know red lights exist because we see them and respond to them every day. They are a part of reality in America.

      On the other hand, there isn't a single shred of proof that any god exists. So why are you trying to compare reality with fiction?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • John Richardson

      @observer People like you who extol the virtue of obedience are what makes life so easy for dictators. Your sense of what right and wrong really mean is disgracefully shallow and counterproductive.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:00 am |
    • TR6

      @ vo1itw: “ANYBODY who SERIOUSLY wants to discover the TURTH will indeed find HIM”

      I call BS on you! I grew up in a Christian home. When I was young I believed god was just as real and factual as my bicycle. As I grew older I started to notice more and more that Christian truth didn’t match real truth and the more I searched for truth the further I got from Christianity.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  14. Bob

    fred, grow some courage. Stop avoiding. Brief answer now, or go on being a coward. Answer the question. It's very direct. You've already acknowledged the premise, after a lot of toothpulling:

    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?

    November 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Brad

      @Bob

      I'm not sure what is "fair" when you've set yourself up for the consequences, eternal or otherwise. Let's say your ship goes down far from land. You've persistently refused to believe in the lifeboat, mainly because you've always believed you are a good swimmer. You're left floating. Should God, who is loving and kind, be fair now?

      November 17, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Observer

      "Should God, who is loving and kind, be fair now?"

      Yes, since he either caused or allowed the boat to sink.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Brad

      Then let me add this: you are correct so far – God did allow the ship to sink. What is fair?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      If god was loving, he'd pull you into the life boat and not just leave you floating there for all eternity. In a real world scenario if a ship sank and someone was on a life boat, recognized that someone was just in the middle of the ocean treading water because they couldn't see the lifeboat, would we think them a good person if they just turned around and left that person to suffer and die?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Observer

      Brad,

      If you were God, would you let someone drown to show them they should have carried a life preserver or would you have not let the ship sink in the first place? Should a lesson be proved by killing someone? Tell me all about love and compassion.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • Observer

      Brad,

      If you had a kid on drugs, for instance, and you saw that he had overdosed, would you call paramedics or let him die to teach him a lesson? Answer please.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Brad

      @Observer – Being loving and kind I would call the paramedics. If I were inclined to be fair, I would not – assuming that he took the drugs of his own volition and was not acting on impulses beyond his control.

      @ThinkForYourself – the lifeboat has gone over the horizon. Bob is floating. What is fair now?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Brad – bad ana.logy. Unless your god is not omnipotent, the lifeboat never goes over the horizon. If god leaves one floating to be eternally tortured, he's not loving, because he has the ability to stop it.

      You seem to be suggesting that god is "fair" – not loving and kind. Is that correct?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Brad

      God provided the lifeboat which Bob refused to use – God is fair. The ship went down and he provided for Bob. Bob made a choice. Fair is letting Bob float. But God is loving and kind – what should God do now?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Brad

      Hint – the lifeboat is not Christ

      November 17, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "But God is loving and kind – what should God do now?"

      Not let bob suffer for all eternity. This should be obvious.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Brad

      But God has to reconcile being fair with being loving and kind. He is omnipotent, but not self-contradictory. Bob is still floating.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      The gospel of john says he is loving. If he is loving, he would not sit by and watch his own creation be tortured for all eternity. This is the opposite of love – this is sadistic. If he were a father we'd call him sadistic and lock him up. That you actually think its "fair" that god would show us absolutely no evidence of his existence and torture us for having doubt shows me you don't really know what fair is.

      I'm a father. If I make up rules for my kids, don't make them very clear, communicate those rules via a complicated game of telephone and then torture them for not interpreting them correctly, I'd rightly be called a sociopath and locked away to protect me from the rest of society. I don't think anyone would ever call me fair.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Brad

      Ok- But to recap, Bob has a problem of his own choosing. He should be left to float. God feels a need to help Bob (God is loving and kind) but God must be fair. I've added that God is omnipotent, but not self-contradictory. What does God do now?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • Brad

      continued above

      November 17, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • fred

      TR6
      Not trying to get you do anything. Please disregard my posts if you think that. If anything I am just trying to share what was given to me. I did not believe then some people prayed for me (without my knowing at the time). Long story short I read only the words of Jesus and within minutes I was convicted and asked for forgiveness. Saved by Grace and now I have another chance at life. This Christian life is very different from my last one so I want to share it. That's all.
      I like the ground and real life boats but never knew anything about the reality Jesus brings. Now I can see both. Perhaps you are already a very thankful person and that is great. I now get up in the morning give thanks and pray doing the same before hitting the sac. I value people more and see how little time there is. Things look different with an eternal perspective.

      November 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  15. chelseafc10

    I believe our founding fathers came up with something called separation of church and state. Why does it matter if Obama is a muslim, look at what our dear christian GW Bush did to this country and other right wing nutcase so called christians!!! I do not need a leader who will base his decision by talking to an imaginary guy up in the clouds, I rather have someone who will use his brain and knowledge rather than his faith!!! Faith is very dangerous if not used in conjunction with enlightment, but I guess when you are enlighten then you will no longer need faith.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  16. Bob

    fred, come on. Enough dodging already. Answer the question. It's very direct, and you can give a brief answer, if you have the courage:

    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?

    November 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • fred

      Bob,

      What happens to a person that rejects/denies God then dies? Ok, we need to make a bunch of assumptions here to get a reasonable answer. To keep it simple let’s take Atheist Steve who seems to be real nice guy, rejects God, has the cognitive ability to make that decision, that decision was not clouded by; abuse, upbringing, external deception, socioeconomic or other cultural anomalies, yadda yadda yadda (I think that actually means something more that etc). The Bible does not say anything about this case other than we are not to judge because we do not have the capacity for making a judgment that reflects perfect justice. Only Jesus can do this.
      That said Steve has some big marks against him. Steve may have intentionally or unintentionally turned a new insecure Christian away from God by promoting Dawkins bible for atheists. Jesus addressed this as a serious event ‘woe to those that would cause a little one to stumble’. Let us speculate on Steve who could simply end up having an eternity without God which is what Steve has expressed through his free will. That is considered torment by the Bible as eternity without the hope of having a loving joyous relationship with their creator. Steve may well be joined by those that he turned away from God. When they see what they miss out on for eternity there could well be some gnashing of the teeth here.
      Remember time is not what we know today when we die. Eternity has some unique features. Take a beginning for instance and God saying “for I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb”. Realities and physical properties of mater may not be as we imagine. We are told we will be surprised. Jesus went further to say we will be surprised who is there and who is not there!
      Did you notice Jesus said nothing about the criminal that spit and mocked him right up to his last? The Divine nature of the Bible is right there on that spot and with what is and is not said. Jesus did mention that the criminal who; was aware of his shortcomings or spiritual position relative to Christ and simply asked Christ to remember him received an encouraging word. That redeeming statement “today you will be with me in paradise” was for not only for him but for anyone that would have such revelation prior to death. That is Divine and cannot be expressed any better with any greater import.
      Can you conceive of God (as shown to us in Jesus) that would give an unjust sentence? Can you conceive of God who from the beginning of time has made a way for his children suddenly issue an unjust sentence? If there is a God would he not remove the blinders from the soul of a good man breathing his last? Look no further than the cross and the criminals all around Christ.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • fred

      Oh,you said brief and I thought you ment a shorts story.

      Ok: "it is God will that none should perish but have life eternal" i.e. God is big enough to bring anyone through that wants it. "for I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart for God"

      November 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Shiro

      How can any deity be considered holy and just, that considers eternal paradise for people who perform major transgressions such as outright denunciation and rejection of their creator, spitting at his face in their sin?

      By going out of His way to take the eternal punishment required of His holiness and justice by sending His son to die on the cross, clearing people of condemnation. He pays our fine for free. Some people would call that love.

      I can't change your worldview of things, but every question can be asked in a biased way that seems impossible to answer. If you have a balanced and correct view of Christianity, you wouldn't be asking such ridiculous questions.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      ". If you have a balanced and correct view of Christianity, you wouldn't be asking such ridiculous questions."

      That you consider the question of eternal punishment "ridiculous" only shows that you are unwilling or incapable to think outside the box of your two thousand year old text. It is a question that many believers struggle with as well and that many apologists have tried to tackle over the centuries. It is hardly "ridiculous"

      November 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, come on. Enough dodging already. Answer the question, briefly. It's very direct, and you can give a brief answer, if you have the courage:

      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?

      November 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      I think you ment it as a slam when you said two thousand year old text. Keep in mind that atheists base their creation philosophy on the absolute impersonal first cause of the Greek Philosophers from more than 2,000 years ago. Time to get up to speed. Since then we have gone through the enlightenment and live in a western cultrue based on the life of Jesus Christ who rose again on the third day. We may go through the dark ages of Dawkings again if we don't keep our eye on a modern road map.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Shane, how is it again that your omnipotent creature needed a scapegoat killed? Why not just do the saving without all the needless dead-son-on-a-stick mumbojumbo? Or is your god just not one of the ompnipotent ones...

      The answer is that your god doesn't exist. Not only that, but the scapegoat stuff was just stolen from earlier supersti-tions. Get over your sicko Christian superst-ition with its awful horrors. There's no excuse for it.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      Ok, so if I answer your question again that will confirm that I am a moron? Then again perhaps I am missing something here. Please look at my reply right under your comment. Did I not answer the question?

      November 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, grow some courage. Stop avoiding. Brief answer now, or go on being a coward. Answer the question. It's very direct, and you can give a brief answer, if you have the courage. You've already acknowledged the premise, after a lot of toothpulling:

      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?

      November 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @fred,

      My creation thinking actual comes from modern theoretical science and experiments in quantum mechanics – so I think I'm pretty up to speed, thanks.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bob

      No, fred, you haven't answered yet. All you have done is dodge, dodge, dodge. Again:

      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?

      Let's make it even simpler. Would such punishment be fair? Yes or no answer is appropriate now. Summon all your courage, fred.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      Back up 7 posts above and tell me what the first line says. Can you make it the post that follows that one?

      November 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @fred,

      In response to Bob's question you responded: Ok: "it is God will that none should perish but have life eternal" i.e. God is big enough to bring anyone through that wants it. "for I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart for God"

      Which is a complete dodge, and you clearly don't seem to believe that everyone will end up in paradise – you pretty much state this just a few posts earlier in the thread. Either god saves everyone or he doesn't. And if he doesn't – how does that make him loving?

      November 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      Ok, how does your theory of what got the "ball rolling" so to speak at the beginning of creation differ from the Greeks 2,000+ years ago? Some say they took the first cause theory from the Babylonians 331 years before?
      Time to update your source code as to the truth about why we are here

      November 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Bob

      Nope, fred. You haven't answered. All you have done is dodge, and dodge again, per comments by another. Answer yes or no. One word answer. You know the question.

      Would such punishment be fair? Yes or no answer is appropriate now. We can't make it much simpler for you. Summon all your courage, fred. Maybe you can do it. Try hard.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "Time to update your source code as to the truth about why we are here"

      Again, I don't know what the greek philosphy is. You can try to pin my beliefs 2,000 years ago, but its not true. It's a very lame attempt to make my understanding of the universe exactly what it isn't. The greeks didn't rely on modern science. My understanding is based upon mathematics, physics, and actual experimentation. The difference between you and me is that I actually have evidence on my side.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Bob: The part of this whole thing that scares me is that I'm pretty sure fred thinks he has answered the question. He's not dodging it to be evasive; he's dodging it because he doesn't realize his answer...isn't.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      Ok, thanks I missed that. God does not save everyone. There is good and evil as stated in the beginning there were two trees in the garden. There is a consistent thread in the Bible where evil whether in an angelic being or man exists and its purpose is completely opposed to God. That evil knows no end and is only restrained by God. At the end of times evil will be permanently separated from all that is good. This “hell” is a place reserved for satan and his demons. A loving God will once again restore perfect unity between man and God. Failure to do so would not only mean the Bible is wrong but as you say reveal a very un loving God. A loving God did and will again create a place where there is no evil. Why God allows evil in the first place is a different question.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      Sorry about that I thought you previously hinted that there was something that put what we know in motion. That something has been called anything from god, unknown force, non force, etc. The Greek called it the first cause rather than causation for some reason.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob

      fred, stop your diversions and dodges. You haven't answered the question. All you have done is dodge, and dodge again, per comments by another. Answer yes or no. One word answer. You know the question.

      Would such punishment be fair? Yes or no answer is appropriate now. We can't make it much simpler for you. Summon all your courage, fred. Maybe you can do it. Try hard.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • fred

      @SeanNJ
      ok there is a saying if someone calls you a horses ass ignore it but if three people call you a horses ass you best turn around and take a look. Hey looks fine back there ! Butt just in case:

      @Bob that would be a NO

      November 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bob

      So, thank you for the straight "no" answer at last, fred. Finally we have your answer, that being that you agree that the eternal punishment that your god metes out for transgressions of a mortal life is unfair.

      And you continue worshipping such a nasty, unfair (as you have acknowledged) creature, why, exactly?

      November 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      I worship God Because; God first loved me, was patient with me for many years, loved me even when I hated God, loved me when I claimed there was no god, God did exactly as promised through the Bible, cares for me and about me, revealed miracles, revealed His hand on my life, protects me from the evil one and in the valley of the shadow of death He was by my side.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bob

      And yet, fred you admit that he's an unfair ass-hole who metes out not just torture, but eternal torture. And that he's loving, but not loving.

      That's quite the doublethink you've got going on there. Maybe some day your courage will take you to the next step, and you'll be able to leave your crazy beliefs behind entirely. Your excuses and twisted thinking that you have to maintain to sustain your belief in your supersti-tion are becoming ever more convoluted and self-conflicted.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      Is it fair to let an adult man who rap-ed boys with great pleasure of the wickedness that consumed him simply die and join in the eternal rest of nothingness with an atheist that was good, kind and loving his entire life?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ummmmmm

      "Is it fair to let an adult man who rap-ed boys with great pleasure of the wickedness that consumed him simply die and join in the eternal rest of nothingness with an atheist that was good, kind and loving his entire life?"

      According to the bible your god will do just that. It's fun to watch you twist your own bible to fit your definition of your god but that definition does not fit what is written in your bible. Your bible says there is only one way to heaven
      your jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6) So your god is a tyrant and will condemn even the best of people.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • fred

      Ummmmm
      So, what is your problem with that? You do not want to go to heaven and don't even believe in it. God offers you a free gift and you choice is you do not want it. No thank you Jesus I have a better idea. Can't prove it but I have a better way, better truth and better light. Oh, yeah I also have a better grasp of the spritual side of man than Jesus or Buddah or Gondi or...any of them. Just cause we set our calendar to remember Jesus, #1 all time best selling book 1,000 times greater than the nearest rival, most dominate historical figure for 2,000 years. Yep none of that means anything

      November 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      @fred

      "Just cause we set our calendar to remember Jesus, #1 all time best selling book 1,000 times greater than the nearest rival, most dominate historical figure for 2,000 years. Yep none of that means anything"

      By the jewish calender, this is year 5772. It's 4709 by Chinese reckoning. The calender we use in Western countries was put into place by papal degree in 1582. Food for thought: Calendars vary by culture.

      It doesn't matter how many bibles are sold. Popularity does not equate to proof. You can buy a bible for $1 at the dollar store.

      As for most dominant figure, again this depends on the culture in which you exist. I'm fairly sure that you would get arguments from parts of the world that aren't christian.

      You live in a very small world. Expand your horizons, learn a little about humanity and culture, and maybe you will understand why you were correct when you said "none of that means anything."

      November 17, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • SeanNJ

      I wish I had seen this last night...

      @fred: You said, "God offers you a free gift ..."

      If I have to swear allegiance to him in order to get it, it's not free. It's the "free" vacation where you do nothing but listen to pitches for a timeshare.

      November 17, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Ummmmm

      "Just cause we set our calendar to remember Jesus, #1 all time best selling book 1,000 times greater than the nearest rival, most dominate historical figure for 2,000 years. Yep none of that means anything"

      Yes, none of it means anything, because how Jesus is portrayed is based on lies, lies man has told themselves for thousands of years. Just like the lies they told themselves about owning other people, the lies they told themselves about women. Eventually we see the light through equality. What's so funny is you don't see your own prejudice mind set in that you believe you are better than others because you believe in a bogus god, that you have found a truth that makes you better than others.Oh....that's right you're just taking after your prejudice tyrant god.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I had to chuckle a bit when I saw that I was being used as an example of someone who has turned away from God. And the bit about turning some other away too. I guess that's partly true. TruthPrevails was already turning her back on religious belief before I started showing her additional, rational reasons for doing so.
      The gist of the argument is this.
      All religions, but in this particular case Christianity, are packaged products.
      It offers the following: God is the creator(thus answer) of everything, most importantly of mankind. The Bible is the inspired word of God. That men have an everlasting soul. That eternal happiness at Gods side awaits us after we die.(claims that would never pass scrutiny by the Consumer Protection Agency)
      It also provides a warning label: Offer void if you behave badly(sin). Offer void if you question(doubt). Offer void if you actively oppose(blasphemy). Voided offer results in eternal torment(Hell). It's like one of those drugs available where the possible side affects are worse than the condition it treats.

      In any case what you have is basically a collection of stories written by men. Stories compiled to agree with the hypothesis proposed in the above mentioned offer. Recognizing that many would find credibility stretched to accept said offer, warnings were inserted to address skepticism and scrutiny. None of this is surprising...the myths of the Bible are a tough sell and heavy penalties were required to coerce belief.

      Viewed from within, the worldview of Christianity is mostly consistent if you accept the Bible as true and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

      Viewed from without it is manipulation, plain and simple.

      The largest disagreement between the 2 camps seems to focus around philosophical mysteries.Things we don't know or cannot know. For instance there is a common misinterpretation or miscommunication between theists and non-believers about Creation.
      The Theists says "God created the universe" meaning all that is came into being by the will and action of God.(An assertion of Truth)
      The non-believer says the Universe began with the Big Bang. (A model that is consistent with observed data thereby a Scientific Theory) Notice no claim of absolute Truth, just the current best explanation based on the available information.

      The 2 positions are not equal. The Big Bang makes no claim as to the "cause" only to the events following the expansion of the singularity. The singularity is a vanishing point of information(data) where any attempt to discern(calculate) earlier states is met with zeros and infinities. It is and will likely forever remain unknown and any proposal is mere speculation(including God).
      Likewise the argument over Origin of Life doesn't equate to Evolution. Biogenesis is currently an unknown.

      Finally the overall scope of religious beliefs lends itself to nonsensical questions and presuppositions.
      Like: "What is the meaning of life?"(implies life was created with intent)
      "Morality is absolute and authored by God"(implies that we couldn't distinguish between good and evil on our own)
      "What is Consciousness, Emotion, Beauty, etc." (implied as characteristics of the "soul" not the brain)
      "Judgement"(implies that inequality and unfairness is ultimately balanced so that evildoers who escaped punishment during their lives are reconciled in the next life.)
      "Afterlife"(implies that we are at essence NOT mortal but IMMORTAL which is akin to saying we are gods or at least demi-gods)

      Thus it follows that Theists who try to use any of the above to try to convince non-believers find their arguments falling on deaf ears is BECAUSE it is absolutely required within the confines of your belief to accept these things as TRUE. Without evidence, without question and most especially on FAITH. To a non-believer that is a totally unacceptable lapse of reason.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • fred

      AtheistSteve
      Yep, although I have not read of accounts that you can walk on water your goodness precedes you. However, being the most Christ like atheist on these boards’ caries a heavy responsibility. I am not a leader I am a follower and followers are forever looking for someone to follow. Not that long ago I latched onto Christ. Through His words came miraculous healing and another shot at life. Step by step everything Christ said would happen, when you are “born again”, did happen.
      The rational side of my brain is attracted to the logic of your arguments since you do not exhibit an irrational bias against God in your tone or demeanor. We are not looking at a wolf in sheep’s clothing which sets off Christian alarm bells or an angel of light given your rational approach. This is a problem since you cannot be quickly dismissed. The good news is that you will either cause weak Christians to stumble or rise up when they question their faith. Hence you are a valuable tool for God. Thanks for keeping me sharp and strengthening my faith!

      November 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "This is a problem since you cannot be quickly dismissed. The good news is that you will either cause weak Christians to stumble or rise up when they question their faith. Hence you are a valuable tool for God. Thanks for keeping me sharp and strengthening my faith!"

      So basically since you can't respond other than with nonsense that strengthens your faith in a non-existent deity. No wonder you have issues in your life that lead you to believe the nonsense written thousand of years ago.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • TR6

      @ fred: “God offers you a free gift and you choice is you do not want it. “

      If your god has a gift for me let him bring it to me in person and give it to me. I will be more than happy to accept it. However, all I see is a bunch of freelance agents that claim to represent him and to have a gift which is invisible, totally undetectable and, as near as I can tell, completely imaginary.

      You incessantly talk about a living god that can do anything but all you can show me is an old book that can do nothing and is full of self-contradiction, nonsense and fairy tales.

      God is not like a life boat I refuse to get into. Unlike your god life boats exist, they can be seen, they can be touched, measured, tested and when you get into one your physical environment is measurably and detectably changed. You are like snake oil salesmen trying to get me to jump from the firm ground of measurable reality into an invisible, undetectable imaginary boat on the quicksand of theology.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • fred

      TR
      Have you read the Bible (New Testament) and asked God (Just say hey I don't think your real but, if your out there help!) for help before you read it?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  17. LarryLinn

    Bob Jones University? That is an oxymoron!

    November 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  18. EnjaySea

    And not being a christian is a bad thing? Since when?

    Seems to me we'd be in much better hands with a president who didn't believe in God, Santa Clause, or the Tooth Fairy.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Bob

    fred, you're starting to show a glimmer of understanding. Now you admit that some people will suffer eternal torture according to your religion.

    So, now I'm going to repeat the question. Try now to give a truthful answer, now that we have established the above. The question again :

    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.

    Try this time to answer the question honestly. You've already made the first steps in clearing your head of your god delusion, in what you have acknowledged. It will be a difficult journey for you, but you are showing hopeful signs.
    November 16, 2

    November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Martin

      Bob:
      The Sovereignty of God is probably the most difficult hurdle for the non-believer. For now, on this blog you seem to sit in judgement of God, swelling your ego with your ranting. Yet your debate will fail with God, in fact you will not even open your mouth, because your guilt will be so obvious to you.

      This is the Scripture that Answers your question Bob:

      Romans 9:14“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
      16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”g 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

      19One 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, .."

      If you loved righteousness, you would love Jesus:

      John3:19 This 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.”

      Hey I know: ALL CHRISTIANS ON THIS BOARD PRAY FOR BOB!!!

      haha!!

      November 17, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @Martin – you didn't answer bob's question in the least. The verses you quote really just go to show that your god is fickle. Try doing so without using your contradi.ctory, violent, and frequently immoral book. Why would any deity – Abrahamic god or otherwise – be loving if they eternally tortured someone for not worshiping them? To me, that's both narcissistic and sadistic.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Martin, before you pray, how about providing a single shred of proof that your god exists?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Observer

      “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

      The Bible says that at one point God killed every pregnant woman, baby, child, and fetus on the face of the earth.

      So much for mercy and compassion.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      How do you manage to find such verses that argue against Gods love which is the central theme of the Bible? Anyway, which verse did you pick this from?

      November 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Observer

      fred,

      C'mon. Every Christian Sunday school child gets a dosage of the Noah's ark story. Drown everyone: pregnant women, children, babies, fetuses, etc. That's one of the reasons for seeing that God isn't opposed to abortion. Actions speak louder than words.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  20. Rev. Rick

    Quoting from the article, "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."

    Hahahaha! You said it, Mr. Jones. Anyone (even you) can say he's a Christian! But your att-itude and false piety betray you.

    Just remember, Mr. Jones, that Jesus was not a Christian. He was a Jew with a slightly different message. One that you seemed to have totally missed.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:47 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.