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January 3rd, 2012
03:01 PM ET

soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Josh Martin

    I Like Your Blog About Health evangelist: Bible can help your health.I Am Very Happy To Read Of Your Blog.Really Great Post.Its Brilliant.

    Thanks.

    January 6, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    A sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

    In the middle of the merry nature we see, how a paralyzed child is driven in a wheelchair. Somebody, who still has a heart, which is not insensible to his neighbour, he will realize in that moment that something is wrong with our world, that the world, in which such a torture and sadness is possible, cannot be the genuine creation of God. Something anti-divine must have befallen the world. The world has apostated from her genesis. Destroying powers have seized rule in this world.

    Only in a world having become godless, there is malady. Because the world suffers from God, therefore there are sick people. Solely a world, which would be secure in God, a delivered world, would be without any malady. In the Bible we encounter a strange sentence: “12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease [was] exceeding [great]: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” (2. Chron. 16, 12). It is about a devout man there, which the Bible else gives high praise for his zeal, regarding God’s matter. But this man, despite his devoutness, thought very modern, so that he strictly distinguished between matters of religion, in which someone calls on God, and the earthly matters, in which someone asks for help at earthly bodies. Diseases, particularly physical diseases are earthly matters with earthly causes and earthly cures. Consequently diseases are matters of physicians, but not of God. How could someone be allowed to bother God, the Lord of the world, with his small physical maladies? God has other concerns.

    That is thought pretty reasonable and maybe even religious. But it is wrong. Surely, diseases have their earthly causes and earthly cures. But with that is stated not at all everything and not the crucial thing about the essence of disease. For sure, the invalid shall call on a physician. But the most important thing is not done solely with that, and is not realized. Behind the earthly causes and cures there are supernatural causes and supernatural cures of the disease. As long as someone passes by thereon, someone lives, ignoring his disease, and doesn’t realize its essence. Its blessing or curse remain unrecognized.

    The disease belongs to God in a special way. The Bible doesn’t blame a man for calling on a physician, when he is sick, but for not calling also on God. Not by chance, Christ lived noticeably close by the invalids, not by chance, blind man, paralytics, deaf-mutes, lepers, lunatics were irresistibly attracted by him and seeked his community. Why didn’t Christ send them to the physician? Surely not, in order to damage the reputation of the physicians or to present his own skills and suggestiv powers, but in order to make clear that God and malady and that Christ and invalids belong strongly together.

    Christ wants to be the real physician of the invalids. “I am the Lord, your physician!” (Exodus 15, 26). God says that, Christ says that. The Creator and Deliverer of the world wants to be the physician of the invalid. Do we want to spurn this offer, after we have accepted so many less offers with more or less success?

    One, who merely intuits the connection between God and malady, one, who takes serious the unexpected offer, can get a pointer to the sin of the human beings, to the destruction of the community of the creatures with their Creator.

    Here are the supernatural reasons and abysses of the malady. It is the sin of the world and it is my personal sin, I get reminded. My disease doesn’t have to be the consequence of or the punishment for a certain sin, which I had to accuse myself of, that may happen, but it is not necessaryly the case. Yet every disease will let me look into the depth of the sin of the world and the depth of my personal godlessness. This look drives me to God. When I looked into the abyss (of my sin), I don’t first ask for redemption of this or that malady, but I will confess my longly hidden guilt in the face of God. The physical malady wants to show me that my actual malady goes much deeper, so deep that no earthly physician can cure it, because my actual disease is my sin. Not merely my body, my nerves, my temper is sick, but my whole essence, my heart is sick, sick by disbelieve, by fear, by the godlessness of my life. And which healthy man doesn’t suffer from that furtive and at the same time eerie disease?

    Now I know that I can be helped, if my whole essence becomes healthy, safe and new. How can that happen? The answer is very simple and yet touches the ultimate depth of our life: by true private confession and by divine forgiveness of all my sins. That may seem to be a strange turn and solution of this question for some people, but yet only for someone, who has not yet experienced the cure of the whole man by confession and forgiveness. What is confession? To open up oneself with all one’s sins, weaknesses, vices, maladies to Jesus Christ and to give him the whole heart without any reservation, according to his command. That is not easy and may seem to us harder than a dangerous surgery. Normally, the most of us will need a fraternal helper for that, who assists us at confession, may it be the pastor holding an ecclesiastical office, may it be any member of the congregation, who knows more about Christ than I. What is forgiveness? Extinction of all my whole hopeless, messy, failed past (of which maybe only I know) by God’s decree and by the present of a new and happy beginning of my life.

    Who can give me such a new beginning? Nobody else than solely the crucified and living Jesus Christ, who himself experienced the hopelessness of life on himself and overcame it in the communion of God. He is the sole physician, who knows my deepest malady, who himself has beared it. He is the saviour, who can cure heart, soul and body.

    How is forgivness of sins connected with physical cure? More than the most people intuit. Of course it is a mysterious connection. But isn’t it at least so much comprehensible, that a man, who got again a happy and released heart, will get rid of some physical complaint? The body often becomes ill, because it is not ruled, because it has become its own Lord. But now the body has get again his right Lord, who rules it. The body is no longer the Lord. It is only tool, even more than that, it has become “temple of the Holy Spirit”. There are many maladies, which are not visibly subdued and eradicated by the assurance of forgiveness. But the hidden connection of received forgiveness and physical cure can become visible in such a way that medical limits are bursted, and the physicians face a mystery. One is sure: The faith is a source for cure like the disbelief is a source for destruction and sickness of the body and the soul.

    When Christ calls himself the physician of the invalid, then the divine mercy shines upon every invalid. The sick one belongs to God. At him God wants to materialize his salvation. In the ill brother we encounter God’s mercy, who is the physician of the invalid in Jesus Christ. The sick man wants cure, but Christ gives him more: Salvation.

    Originator of the above sermon: Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (in my eyes, he is a king)

    January 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Reality

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

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

      January 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    Once there was a blaze in ancient Rome and Nero blamed the Christians (around 60 a. D.)

    Here is the acount of the historian Tacitus, who was no Christian at all, but a pagan.

    According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible.[88] To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned.[88]

    Tacitus described the event:

    “ Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [or Chrestians[98]] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous supersti-tion, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multi-tude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of all sorts was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.[88]

    January 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Reality

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

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,
      +========================================================================================

      January 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      You said: "Yet some little decades after Christ there were Christians not only in Palestine but also in Rome and Nero (around 60 a. D.!!!) was Emperor. Some of these Christians Nero used as candles for his garden (they were doused with pitch and lighted).
      Do you assume these Christians became martyrs for the sake of a delusion?"

      I believe these Christians became the light of Nero's world, because they were deluded, and believed.

      Josh McDowell popularized this argument, as "proof" that the resurrection happened. The argument states that no one would die for something they knew to be false. So, since the disciples died, the resurrection must have occurred.

      This argument has a problem. People may not die for something they know to be false, but they would and do die for something they believe in. Unfortunately for the believer, faith = empirical evidence.

      Believers, are willing (expected?) to endure hardships in exchange for a reward. The greater the perceived reward the greater the hardship they are willing to suffer.

      2 Timothy 2:3
      "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ"

      People have often died for things they believed to be true. Muslim extremists, blow themselves to bits, because they believe in an afterlife overflowing with virgins. Does their willingness to die, make the promise of virgins real?

      Consider Jonestown, Heaven's Gate and the Solar Temple . Do you think these people might have willingly died for a lie? Nope, not for a lie. They died because they believed.

      Your Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Jesus is as big a myth as the alien space craft the people of Heaven's Gate thought was following Comet Hale-Bopp.

      Your argument is cr_ap Braendlein.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    @David Johnson and JohnR

    Yet some little decades after Christ there were Christians not only in Palestine but also in Rome and Nero (around 60 a. D.!!!) was Emperor. Some of these Christians Nero used as candles for his garden (they were doused with pitch and lighted).

    Do you assume these Christians became martyrs for the sake of a delusion?

    Delusional, what you assume.

    I hope, it is clear for you that this is from a historical account outside the Bible. Ain't right that you have to believe everthing outside the Bible?

    January 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Reality

      Christian economics 101:

      The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

      Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

      Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

      The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
      Some of Paul's money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:

      "Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he planted to the mother church at Jerusalem.

      When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically "greased" the entry of non-circu-mcised Gentiles into Christianity.

      "Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province's own contribution."

      January 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • .........

      Hit report abuse on reality garbage

      January 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  5. Reality

    The Bible can help our health?

    •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.

    •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)

    •Joshua: ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.
    ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."
    ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
    ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.

    •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.
    •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.
    •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon
    •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.

    •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.
    •David: ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.

    ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.
    ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.

    •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.
    •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.
    •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.
    •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans

    •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Old Testament/Torah.

    The New Testament has only one major atrocity, that of god committing filicide assuming you believe in this Christian mumbo jumbo. Said atrocity should be enough to vitiate all of Christianity.

    January 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • .........

      Hit report abuse on all reality false teachings

      January 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Junius Gallio

      You know, it really makes no sense to (on the one hand) condemn the Bible as anhistoric, and (on the other hand) condemn the deity believed in as a brutal butcher. Logical consistence, what a concept! Try it sometime!

      Yeah, the OT has a lot of killing portrayed: look at the other religious literature of the time. These kinds of myths and legends went with the culture. Had the OT been written today, it would be radically different (of course).

      As for "filicide," the next time you shout out objections to a religion, please be so kind as to understand the background of the event. While I do not believe that the Resurrection was a historical event, your poorly phrased argument makes not only you, but atheists, agnostics, and non-Christians in general look like fools ... primarily because we get associated with silly arguments like this.

      Reality, critiquing Christianity requires actually understanding it–and you don't. What you are doing is indeed an argument against Christianity, but the argument is literally nothing but a series of straw men. Hey, you may be having fun setting these straw men up and knocking them down, but you're not actually accomplishing anything.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/Disease:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

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

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

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

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

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      January 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  6. Rainer Braendlein

    Sick soul causes a sick body. Actually easy to understand. Hence, soul and body must be cured together at the same time. Superficial cure of the body alone doesn't yield much long-terms. Get your soul cured and you will become totally healthy, physically and mental.

    "Bible can help your health"

    But there are some conditions:

    Usually cure should be connected with forgiveness of sins, according to the New Testament. The cure can be an indication that God really has approved forgiveness and the physical cure can be a consequence of the recovery of the soul's health.

    I am not sure, if Jesus Christ has always cured only on the condition that the person to be cured confessed his or her sins. However, at many places of the New Testament forgiveness of sins and physical cure is strongly connected.

    Jesus miracles proved his divine sonship. That is no longer necessary (Jesus is now acknowledged as God's Son) and thus the curing of multi-tudes will probably not take place any longer. We should be warily, when people want to abuse cure fore great shows, in order to gain money and honor (the sin of Judas Iscariot). That is not God's will. Today, after Jesus is accepted to be God's son, the only reason for cure can be God's love for the single human being and His will to help him or her.

    I think, within a Christian congregation cure is still possible today, but the whole thing must be handled deliberately and carefully. Every cure must be connected with a pastoral talk, because God's main intent is the cure of the soul and the cure of the body is secondary.

    The greatest gift that Jesus gave to the Church is the authority to forgive sins IN HIS NAME (not in her own name).

    When someone receives forgiveness by the Church, he can be sure, that God has forgiven him, according to His promise.

    January 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Franklin

      Rainer Braendlein
      "Sick soul causes a sick body. Actually easy to understand."
      In a way, yes! Poor mental health, a 'sick soul' to use your words, often does have a very negative impact upon a person's physical health. There are, however, many, many self-help, psychiatric, and other non-religious therapies out there to help cure a person of depression and other damaging states of mind. Your's is just one option, one that often comes with as many new headaches as it supposedly addresses.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Marcel

      Bob I know that this is off-topic , but I just wanted to coemmnt on the definition of the commandments I believe it is the 5th commandment that is often listed as Thou shalt not kill. As I understand it, the technical translation is, Thou shalt not commit murder. The reason for the distinction is in the definition of murder , which is vital to understanding the intent! Murder requires specific elements: (1) violent anger, (2) sinful intent, and (3) offensive as opposed to defensive action. This distinction is important as it totally negates the liberal's claim that the church as against (1) capitol punishment, (2) self-defense, and (3) military participation. While we must ALWAYS defend innocent life, we are NOT called to be stupid! (Crude coemmnt, but true.) In general, the death sentence is unacceptable, but there ARE instances where it is condoned by the church, as well as God! If it is the only way to protect innocent life, it is justified. Sadly, because of the restrictions placed on imprisonment and the treatment of prisoners by the ACLU and activist judges, there are more cases where this is required! (How many violent, evil criminals are either out on the streets or setting up hits from prison?) What is to be done with terrorists that have vowed to kill all Christians even if they die in the process? Can you imagine the number of deaths that will occur if Obama releases the terrorists presently held by the military?I only include these coemmnts because many people are misrepresenting the church's position (Doctrine) on capitol punishment, AND Obama is distorting the realities associated with terrorism and attracting a lot of Catholics with his lies and distortions! We are in grave danger (More on that later!)God Bless,Rick

      July 29, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    @JohnR and David Johnsohn

    Ain't you a little crazy?

    However, you are very loveable people.

    God is still ready to welcome you.

    January 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Reality

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

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

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

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

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

      January 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Unless evidence for the claim is produced, the skeptic can treat the claim as false. This is nothing more than sane, everyday practice.

      So, you go on and on, without taking care of business and proving there is a god. People on their knees, moving their lips, is not evidence of healthy minds.

      You are the one making the extraordinary claim that there is a Christian god. So prove it. Otherwise, you just have an imaginary friend.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    Christian, why didn't your god tell us that drinking polluted water would kill us, as would lead poisoning. Why didn’t he tell us which poisonous plants and creatures would kill us if we ate them or they bit us? Many people, mostly children, had to die in every part of the globe because your god was too busy telling us how to use our penises.

    Where in the Bible can we find your god telling us how to discover penicillin, or a vaccine for tuberculosis, or polio. Some basic information during the Bubonic Plague would have been helpful, such as information about quarantining people. And with god’s help scientists today could’ve created a vaccine for the world-wide Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 which killed an estimated 50 million people.

    But no. We find none of this in the so-called message from god in the Bible, and that’s only the beginning.

    Come on now. Can you actually believe that an omniscient perfectly good being told us more about using our penises than some of this other information, things that the ancients just didn’t know? You don’t believe in Martians. Why do you believe in the Christian god? The UFO sightings are more convincing than a sky daddy.

    The ONLY explanation that fits the data is that Christians are delusional.

    January 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Franklin

      Not to mention telling us that mental disease wasn't actually possession by devils? Oh, yeah! The superst.itious people needed it to be devils so that Jesus could perform signs of his power.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • fred

      “Christian, why didn't your god tell us that drinking polluted water would kill us, as would lead poisoning. Why didn’t he tell us which poisonous plants and creatures would kill us if we ate them or they bit us? Many people, mostly children, had to die in every part of the globe because your god was too busy telling us how to use our penises.”
      =>You never listened to God in the perfect Garden and rejected Him. You never listened to God on how to use your penises. Sounds like you are anything but all ears.
      “Where in the Bible can we find your god telling us how to discover penicillin, or a vaccine for tuberculosis, or polio. Some basic information during the Bubonic Plague would have been helpful, such as information about quarantining people. And with god’s help scientists today could’ve created a vaccine for the world-wide Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 which killed an estimated 50 million people.”
      =>The Bible is a revelation of God to His people not a medical dictionary.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Franklin

      "The Bible is a revelation of God to His people not a medical dictionary."
      Not a medical dictionary, but an accurate history book and authority on 'scientific truth' according to most fundamentalists, right?

      January 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Franklin

      You said: "Not to mention telling us that mental disease wasn't actually possession by devils?"

      Yes! I didn't think of that one. Thanks for reminding me.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  9. David Johnson

    An Omnipotent god, if He existed, would not need doctors. He would just heal. The bible doesn't say god will heal through doctors. In none of the passages I quoted, does it mention a need for a doctor. All you need is faith, no larger than a mustard seed. LOL, 'till my sides ache.

    You go to the doctor, because you know the bible is B.S. You know prayer does not work. One shot of antibiotic, is better than all the Evangelicals who ever lived, on their knees in prayer, for curing an infection. You know it, and I know it.

    Some Evangelicals have prattled: "God has given man medical knowledge." Pfui!

    Knowledge – Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

    Man gained his knowledge, over time, through hard work. If god were responsible, why did he wait so long to give medical knowledge? Why doesn't He give a cure for AIDS or cancer?
    Why did God create all the horrid things that harm humans to begin with? All the germs and viruses and parasites...All part of god's creation. ?

    Look back through history. Man's knowledge was acquired over time. Man developed a vaccine for Smallpox. 300 to 500 million people died from Smallpox in the 20th century. If god gave man this knowledge, or allowed man this knowledge, why didn't He give it in time to save these people's lives?

    Cheers!

    January 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Franklin

      Some Evangelicals have prattled: "God has given man medical knowledge." Pfui!
      Medical knowledge that is anchored upon taking evolution as a biological fact. Funny how most choose not to be conflicted by this when it comes to getting medical treatment, eh?

      January 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • fred

      God, David Johnson is demanding you should have run the world his way. So snap to god David does not have all day.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      You said: "God, David Johnson is demanding you should have run the world his way. So snap to god David does not have all day."

      When believers are challenged, and their arguments have proven inadequate, they always fall back on humans not being able to fathom god. It is a panic room. A safe place, where their god can hide. Your statement is just a version of this.

      The reason why we can find no empirical evidence for the Christian god's existence is not because "God is a magical being completely able to hide from us." It is because God is imaginary. And His son is a myth.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    Why do you spend any money on medical care? You have the promise of god:
    Mark 11:24: Jesus speaking
    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    John 14:14: Jesus speaking
    If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

    Mark 16: Jesus speaking
    16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

    James 5:15:
    And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
    Believers babble on about faith and belief and how the bible is the inerrant word of god.
    Yet, most ignore His word, and buy health insurance and seek the knowledge of man.
    They are tweaking the nose of god!

    Some, have actually believed what the bible tells them. They prayed for their child, trusting in the word of god, and withheld medical care. The child died. OOOooopsie!
    Not to fret! This was part of god's plan for the young'in.?
    A true believer would never set foot in a doctor's office!

    But, they do. They seek medical care, because they don't believe the promises of god. They know, that in the real world, prayer rarely works (exception: coincidence / random chance).

    Believers attempt to smooth this over by saying a little prayer, receiving medical treatment and then giving the credit to their god, if they get well... Hmm...

    The bible says: " Sick people are oppressed by the devil. Acts 10:38
    If this is true, then how can medical care be effective? A shot of penicillin would have no effect on demonic oppression. LOL

    The bible isn't worthy of lining a bird's cage.

    Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

    IF YOU CAN'T COUNT ON JESUS TO KEEP HIS PROMISES IN THIS LIFE, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BELIEVE HIM ABOUT AN AFTERLIFE?

    Cheers!

    January 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • fred

      David
      You continue to take that which the Bibe says totally out of context. The sad part is some people stumble across your cut and past I hate Christian rants and it sticks in their minds. Kind of like Clinton who said if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it.
      Unitl you at a minimum recognize that your thoughts are so far off the scale of what is accepted by reputable individuals there is no hope.

      January 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • JohnR

      I had a very serious brush with mortality recently – my heart rate dropped to 24bpm – and I was saved by modern medical technology. Of course, some people have gone ahead and claimed that their prayers for me were answered. Well, I accept their well wishes as graciously as I can, but I don't credit their prayers for saving me. Credit goes to the many, many, many people behind the development and delivery of modern health care.

      January 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • JohnR

      OK, fred. Provide the context that shows that David's interpretations here are wrong.

      January 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @JohnR

      I salute you John. After a life threatening illness or accident, I'm sure it is tempting to say "God did it". I think a lot of people do that, because they are afraid god will get angry and send them something worse.

      Fear is what keeps believers in their seats. And their money in the collection plates.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      If I can get to even one person, before he drinks the Kool Aid, then my goal has been achieved. I don't argue with you or Chad or any other true believer, to convert you. No matter what evidence I give, it would never be enough.

      I show people who haven't decided, that what you believer idiots say, isn't so.

      Prayer doesn't work. Why? 'Cause the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Anyone can test this. Get a group of your finest holy rollers together. Get a fair quarter. All of you pray, that the quarter will come up heads 12 times in a row. Flip the coin! LOL.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      You are ignorant. Joseph Goebbels came up with that quote. Republicans use it very effectively.

      Atheist numbers are growing. Especially in Europe. But also here. Young Evangelicals are leaving the church. This is very pleasing to me. I tell no lies. If you can prove the Christian god exists, I will embrace the baby Jesus! Chad could not do it. You can not do it.

      As I told you before, all you have is an ambiguous holy book, and belief. That's is it. Logic isn't even on your side. Santa is more likely than your Christian god.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • fred

      JohnR
      David Johnson claims Jesus never existed. Until David can acknowledge he may be wrong on this key point what value is it to discuss other points. I referred David to a simple site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ) yet he continues.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Don't you get tired of being wrong?

      "Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.
      Did a historical Jesus exist?" by Jim Walker originated: 12 June 1997 / additions: 30 Jan. 2011

      "The work involved in Tacitus' Annals. This work was written in approximately 117 CE. In it Jesus' death is mentioned.
      "Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus." (Annals, 15.44)

      Several scholars have questioned the authenticity of this passage. It is claimed that Tacitus made use of Roman docu_ments in reporting the above. If that is true surely he would not have made the error with Pilate. Pilate is identified as a procurator rather than a prefect. This is a historical problem that has been noted by scholars. Those two positions are not one and the same. A procurator is a financial administrator(civilian) whilst a prefect is a military position. Historically Judea was ruled by a prefect appointed by Rome from 6 CE to around 44 CE. It was after that period that the governor was procurator. In fact, an inscription that was found at Caesarea Maritima, ludaea there is an inscription dedicated to Pilate which reads, "praefectus iudaeae" which means "prefect of Judea". Raymond E. Brown notes, "In calling Pilate a procurator Tacitus was reflecting the later terminology of the 1st cent., still in vogue at the time of his writing." Secondly, official Roman docu_ments could not possibly have referred to Jesus as "Christus" as G.A. Wells points out in The Historical Evidence for Jesus. So where did Tacitus get his information from? Well, isn't it obvious? Christians were already quite known then. He could have easily gotten his information from the Christians as R.T France, E.P. Sanders, G.A. Wells and others have pointed out. This means that even if Tacitus authentically wrote the information it is almost 100 years after the happenings and does not rely on independent source. – Difficulties, Contradictions and Problems in the Crucifixion tale by Ibn Anwar

      Sorry Fred. LOL

      And to avoid the "But hearsay is all I got, so it's good enough, whine":

      Hearsay evidence, if allowed, could be used to "prove" the Greek gods and demigods were real. Just as we have a brief mention of Jesus by Joesphus in his Antiquities, Joesphus also mentions Hercules (more times than Jesus), in the very same work (see: 1.15; 8.5.3; 10.11.1). Josephus wasn't born until 37 C.E. Is Hercules real, just because his tales were told?

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @JohnR

      Fred is challenged. Jesus died in ~ 30 CE. Anyone born after this date, is obviously not an eyewitness. They heard the story from other people. Who heard it from other people, still. It is just not acceptable to any, but historians that are affiliated with Christianity.

      From the article fred says proves Jesus existed: Scholars generally consider Tacitus' reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate to be both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source.

      But, as I have explained to him before, the "scholars" are affiliated with Christian Universities etc. They have something to lose, if they admit Jesus is a myth and something to be gained, if they claim Jesus most definitely existed.

      So, let's look at the scholars that, generally consider Tacitus' reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate to be both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source.

      Craig Evans, is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

      Watson E. Mills and Richard F. Wilson are professors of Christianity in the Roberts Department of Christianity at Mercer University.

      Helen K. Bond is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh.

      Why by golly, I'm right! Those wondrous scholars that are so sure Jesus exists, are biased.

      This is the 2nd time I have shown fred this. *sigh*

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • fred

      David
      So basically, you are saying David Johnson is better equiped than reputable Historians and Scholars? You are out in left field, have you ever thought of baseball ?

      January 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Franklin

      Fred
      "if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it."
      Is that like when believers continually state that Hitler was an atheist, and that Einstein wasn't?

      January 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • fred

      “Why do you spend any money on medical care? You have the promise of god:
      Mark 11:24: Jesus speaking
      Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
      =>In context Jesus was speaking of faith that allows you to cast a mountain into the sea illustrating the power of belief and the importance of a pure heart in prayer. You plucked this out of the middle of the explanation of why the fig tree withered. The people were not living as God commanded and were withered. Prayer would not be answered until they reestablish a proper relationship with God.
      “John 14:14: Jesus speaking
      If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
      =>This is the tail end of the Jesus explaining the importance of calling in the name of Jesus i.e when you pray it is to be a prayer like Jesus was to call out, as if Jesus was praying to the Father. In short when you are in harmony with Jesus it is like Jesus was praying not you. Yes, those kinds of prayer are answered at all times.

      “Mark 16: Jesus speaking
      16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
      =>Happened and continues to happen this day. Some of the flowery speech is to encourage those that went out and did these signs that they will be safe.
      “James 5:15:
      And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
      Believers babble on about faith and belief and how the bible is the inerrant word of god.
      Yet, most ignore His word, and buy health insurance and seek the knowledge of man.
      They are tweaking the nose of god!”
      =>True few have faith and most ignore the inerrant word. The word does not say anything about health insurance and to the contrary we are to use our heads and be wise, call doctors etc.
      “They know, that in the real world, prayer rarely works (exception: coincidence / random chance).”
      =>Nonsense prayer works it is not a side show trick to amuse scientists.
      “The bible says: " Sick people are oppressed by the devil. Acts 10:38
      If this is true, then how can medical care be effective? A shot of penicillin would have no effect on demonic oppression. LOL”
      =>Totally out of context Acts 10:38 speaks directly of Jesus who went about Judea healing and destroying the power of the devil.
      “IF YOU CAN'T COUNT ON JESUS TO KEEP HIS PROMISES IN THIS LIFE, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BELIEVE HIM ABOUT AN AFTERLIFE? “
      =>Jesus has kept every promise and in my life Jesus has done so on a personal level. Yes, I count on Jesus.

      January 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • fred

      JohnR
      I credit the prayers and the doctors. You are fortunate to have loved ones that pray for you. I know it was prayer that saved me but, I did not realize it until some time later after I had a conversion experience. As I looked back now I could see the hand of God whereas prior to that I only saw luck

      January 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      You said: "So basically, you are saying David Johnson is better equiped than reputable Historians and Scholars? You are out in left field, have you ever thought of baseball ?"

      Dude! In all seriousness, are you simple? I have not stated I am better equiped. I am stating your historians may be biased. For years, the cigarette manufacturers employed scientists, for the express purpose of "proving" there was no link between cancer and smoking. If one of the scientists had agreed that smoking was at fault, do you think he would have gotten a raise? A promotion? No, he would have been declared incompetent and fired. Do you see where I am coming from?

      Also, if these historians of yours are Christian, then belief and faith come into play. They may be willing to accept "evidence" that sane people would not.

      "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them." – Martin Luther

      You want to base your entire argument on the fact there are historians who believe Jesus existed. Pfui!

      January 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    Jesus speaking:

    "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

    "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

    "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

    "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

    James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

    Let's be honest. Don't be afraid to use critical thinking. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

    Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

    Double blind experiments, have all shown that prayer has no effect on illness.

    Because people have believed the promises of the bible, they have withheld medical care for their children. They prayed instead. Evidently, god was not moved by their faith. Their children died. Modern medicine could have saved them. OOoopsie!

    Why aren't Jesus' words true? Can you think of any possibilities? If Jesus' words aren't true about prayer, then how can we depend on anything else Jesus said? Maybe if we could "test" the afterlife claims, they would be no more real than the claims about prayer.

    A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
    1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.
    2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.
    3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

    Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

    1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.
    2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.
    3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

    I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

    Having a prayer answered, appears to require only 3 things:
    1. Belief
    2. Faith
    3. And to be totally sure, you need others who agree with what you are asking for, to pray with you.

    Hmm...

    Remember the Gulf oil spill?
    Remember how a ton of people prayed for god to stop the gushing?
    I was spellbound! I watched the real time video of the oil spill. I expected to see it stop. It did not. Human technology eventually capped the well.

    Remember when Rick issued a proclamation, that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
    The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011.
    As of Dec 7, 2011 ... Most of Central Texas and the Colorado River basin remain in the grips of an extreme drought.
    Studies have shown prayer does not work. Any miracles or answered prayers are the result of random chance, coincidence, selective observation or fraud. Believers tend to remember the perceived positive outcome of prayers and forget the failed. Because believers rely on faith, they are easily deceived by unscrupulous people.

    Christians MUST contest this. They must rent their clothes and Shout: "Do not put the lord your god to the test!" LOL!

    God, either does not care or does not exist. Personally, I'm checking the second box. LOL.

    Cheers!

    January 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • fred

      Prayer is simply a heart felt communication with God. True prayer from the heart of one who loves God is always heard. Those who ran into the local churches for the first time in year after 911 also prayed and God will hear what he chooses.

      January 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      David -Prayer is away to communicate with God, now what Jesus had to say was true, however because God is preview to all factors surrounding an individual that's how I believe the decision is made. It's like you having to give something to your child that they requested, you have to take all factors into consideration before you make your decision, your child may not like it, but you knows best and your decision is fininal.

      January 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • HellBent

      @Kenrick,

      God doesn't answer prayers. period. plenty of studies have shown this. It's probably because he isn't real.

      January 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      Believers use theological gymnastics to explain inconsistencies, in biblical stories.

      Believer's Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just plain magic.

      The verses I quote are what they are. Spin them as you like. The say what they say. People can read them and decide for themselves. You just want them the believe as you do.

      Matthew 4:8 states that "The devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world [Greek, 'cosmos'], and their glory." One could see "all" the kingdoms of the world from a very high mountain if the world were flat.

      Don't you think Jesus / god or Satan should have known the earth was a sphere?

      Clearly, the authors thought the earth was flat.

      Hmm... You have my list above. Choose one, to show this actually makes sense. I want to prove a point.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Kenrick Benjamin

      That isn't what Jesus said. He didn't say: "Ask for anything and if god thinks it's good for you, you will get it."

      People added that part, because prayer doesn't work.

      Prayer can appear to work, because of coincidence and random chance.

      People tend to remember the times they prayed and got what they wanted and forget the times they prayed and did not get what they wanted. This is called selective observation.

      Consider the starving people in the world. Why doesn't god hear their prayer (or the prayers of others), and feed them? Does god think starvation is better for them? Walk through a children's cancer ward. Do you think a lot of parents aren't praying?

      Christians believe god helped them find their keys, or the wife knows Jesus got that stain out of her dress pants. But everyone ignores that He allowed a child to die of cancer and children to die of starvation, in the same period of time.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Franklin

      Kenrick Benjamin
      "It's like you having to give something to your child that they requested, you have to take all factors into consideration before you make your decision, your child may not like it, but you knows best and your decision is fininal."
      The problem with your analogy is that we, as good parents, do this to prepare our children for their adult life where they will make decisions independent of our having the final OK. It seems that Christians are choosing to act like children forever.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • fred

      David
      I am sure you are aware of all the web sites out there that clear up all your nonsense. You have looked at them yet keep comming back with the same Jesus never lived na na na.

      January 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Before we occupy ourselves with spiritual matters, main thing it is to make sure that we have entered God's kingdom.

    The gate to a Christian life is the sacramental baptism in connection with faith:

    You may have heard the gospel that Jesus has borne your sins on the cross. You believed that. At sacramental baptism your faith gets confirmed by God in a way, which cannot be described by human words.

    By sacramental baptism the atonement of Christ is brought near you in a way, which is not to be compared with a weak human homily. At sacramental baptism the gospel is preached to you physically by God himself. Your whole man gets involved in that process and after sacramental baptism you are born from above and a new creature in Christ.

    Your faith got that strongly confirmed by God that there is no more obstacle, which hinders you to follow Jesus immediately. Just follow Jesus and prove your faith.

    In a word: By sacramental baptism you become a Christian in that sense, that you must and can follow Jesus after baptism. You got baptized into a new life or into Jesus. Just live that life, which God gave you for free and finally you will enter heaven.

    This is according to Romans 6.

    January 4, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    St. James, Chapter 5:

    13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Sakurai

      You say that because Jesus died and rose from the dead that that impleis he is God. Given that argument one could say that Thomas was God since he died and rose from the dead, yes? Obviously Thomas wasn't God. Therefore the argument is not true. You could say that Jesus rose Thomas from the dead. So did Jesus raise himself from the dead or did God raise Jesus from the dead?You say that if the Bible is not all true then Jesus did not rise from the dead. So if some of the Bible is not true, then Jesus did not rise from the dead. So let's say for example that a genealogy in the Old Testament is not true. If a genealogy in the Old Testament is not true, then some of the Bible is not true. If some of the Bible is not true, then Jesus did not rise from the dead. Therefore, if a genealogy in the Old Testament is not true, then Jesus did not rise from the dead.The whole belief is based on one assumption: the Bible is the Word of God. If A = B and B = C then A = C, correct? So you're saying that Jesus is the Word of God, the Word is God, therefore Jesus is God? You also say that the Bible is the Word of God. Does that mean that the Bible is God? Bible is the Word of God, the Word is God, therefore the Bible is God. Are we to worship the Bible? Are we to bow down to the written texts of human beings?

      July 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    "Bible can help your health"

    But there are some conditions:

    Usually cure should be connected with forgiveness of sins, according to the New Testament. The cure can be an indication that God really has approved forgiveness and the physical cure can be a consequence of the recovery of the soul's health.

    I am not sure, if Jesus Christ has always cured only on the condition that the person to be cured confessed his or her sins. However, at many places of the New Testament forgiveness of sins and physical cure is strongly connected.

    Jesus miracles proved his divine sonship. That is no longer necessary (Jesus is now acknowledged as God's Son) and thus the curing of multi-tudes will probably not take place any longer. We should be warily, when people want to abuse cure fore great shows, in order to gain money and honor (the sin of Judas Iscariot). That is not God's will. Today, after Jesus is accepted to be God's son, the only reason for cure can be God's love for the single human being and His will to help him or her.

    I think, within a Christian congregation cure is still possible today, but the whole thing must be handled deliberately and carefully. Every cure must be connected with a pastoral talk, because God's main intent is the cure of the soul and the cure of the body is secondary.

    The greatest gift that Jesus gave to the Church is the authority to forgive sins IN HIS NAME (not in her own name).

    When someone receives forgiveness by the Church, he can be sure, that God has forgiven him, according to His promise.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 9:

      1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multi-tudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

      January 4, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Gospel of Mark 6:

      12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Franklin

      "When someone receives forgiveness by the Church, he can be sure, that God has forgiven him, according to His promise."
      Does that work for disgraced pastors too? They are the voice of the Church seeking forgiveness of themselves. So, do they actually get it, or are they deluding themselves?

      January 4, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Franklin

      The whole thing depends on scramental baptism.

      In the USA there are too many re-baptizing Free Churches. Strictly speaking, they don't belong too the worldwide Christian Church. All their Christian fuss is mere delusion.

      On the condition that a pastor of the true Church repents, he can be forgiven again, of course.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      You quoted:
      "Gospel of Mark 6:
      12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."

      I've seen Evangelicals on television do the same thing. Can you say placebo effect? Can you say fraud?

      Spiderman used his brute strength and his webbing to stop a train... WoW!

      Superman spun the world the opposite direction and made time move backwards!

      You can do anything with paper and ink. You can bilk the believers. Look at all the Christians. They are non-thinking sheep.

      If this is evidence of prayer or healing, it is sh!t.

      Give me some proof your Christian god actually exists.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @David Johnsohn

      You quoted:

      "Gospel of Mark 6:

      12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."

      Today cure shall take place merely within a lively congregation or church. It shall not be a public show. Never cure should be used, in order to earn money.

      At Jesus time the cures had a second meaning: To prove that Jesus was the Messiah. That work has been finished.

      January 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      You said: "At Jesus time the cures had a second meaning: To prove that Jesus was the Messiah. "

      The entire purpose of the Gospels was to "prove" that Jesus was the Messiah.

      "Miracles do not get attached to the memory of Jesus story until the eighth decade. The miraculous birth of Jesus is a ninth-decade addition; the story of Jesus ascending into heaven is a 10th-decade narrative.
      If we line up the gospels in the time sequence in which they were written – that is, with Mark first, followed by Matthew, then by Luke and ending with John – we can see exactly how the story expanded between the years 70 and 100." – John Shelby Spong

      Jesus was a myth, Composed of sun gods, Horus, Mithra etc. He was created around the campfires, by Jews longing for a Messiah.

      Prophesies are pretty easy to fulfill. Pick stuff from the Old Testament, assign it to Jesus and then incorporate it with the myth.

      Jesus was not, is not, and never will be.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Franklin

      There is no one to forgive you Franklin. I know it sounds great, but it just isn't true.

      Sorry.

      Cheers!

      January 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Franklin

      Rainer Braendlein
      "Strictly speaking, they don't belong too the worldwide Christian Church."
      Funny how so many seem to think that their church is legitimate, while the other guy's isn't. You realize that there may be millions of Christians out there who don't recognize your church ether, right? How is an outsider such as myself to judge this? It's entirely possible that the only 'true' Church throughout history was wiped out as heretical long ago, or that none of the thousands of varieties of Christianity have met with Jesus' approval, or would have, at least. Maybe you're all wrong, or maybe Jesus is so liberal that you're all right? He isn't around to give his opinion anymore, so all we have is yours and everyone else's opinion on this, right? And that's all it is, opinion.

      January 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Franklin

      David Johnson
      "There is no one to forgive you Franklin."
      Well, there are those who I have wronged, not many, but a few, and then I have to forgive myself too. Still, it's funny how some Christians don't seem to be overly concerned over getting the forgiveness of those they've wronged. They only seem concerned, or rather relieved, that invisible Jesus has forgiven them automatically. Kind of an easy way to wipe the old slate clean, wouldn't you say?

      January 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Franklin

      At one time (can't remember, exactly), the church was accused of just that. Sin throughout the week and get absolution on Sunday. So, it was pointed out that absolution was only obtained, if you sorry AND did not intend to do it again. Boys who confessed mastur_bating, were told to "fight the good fight".

      It is good that you care that you hurt someone. The Tea Party cares nothing for the poor, the sick or the elderly.

      I am a Humanist. You might feel comfortable with its tenets. Google: Secular Humanism if you are interested.

      Good luck. I think you are someone I could drink beer with.

      Cheers!

      January 5, 2012 at 2:14 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.