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Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
April 8th, 2012
09:37 PM ET

Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers

Our story on a small cadre of authors challenging the existence of Jesus Christ drew almost 5,000 comments on Easter Sunday, with some upset that we did the story, others objecting to its publication on Easter, and plenty of others defending the article and the run date and debating the merits and implications of the debate.

Of course, most comments had nothing to do with our story, revolving instead around the debate about legitimacy of religion itself.

A sampling of the criticism:

Easter on CNN

You've gone too far.

While I am an advocate of spiritual exploration – by atheists to disprove or by the faithful to validate – running an article questioning the very core of a religious belief system on a holy day is indelicate, to say the least. Will you question that Muhammad received the word of God, running similar articles during Ramadan? Or on Yom Kippur, draw on conjecture to argue that the Book of Life is for fools?

This is not journalism. This sensationalist pander.

edeveryday

I would like to see if CNN would dare run a story saying that Muhammad was a "myth" on the Muslim' s holiest holidays and that Abraham was a "myth" on the Jewish holidays. Go ahead CNN and give it a try and see what happens.

rbsrs

Every Easter?...I mean why a negative story every Easter?? It has become a running joke.

ANGRY AT CNN!!!

CNN: IF YOU READ THIS GO TO HELL FOR YOUR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY THIS EASTER SUNDAY!!!!

Many other readers took aim at the critics:

JHC

To those who are insulted by this article,

If your faith is so weak that it cannot stand up to being looked at from an objective, historical, evidence based perspective, then this article is the least of your problems.

nomdefaitour

It is ironic that so many christians are "offended" at a dialogue about religion sponsored by CNN instead of greeting the opportunity to express their views. Perhaps they are shamed that we all know they are surfing the web when they should be worshipping on Easter Sunday.

Others weighed in on the merits and upshot of the debate over Jesus' existence:

JBOO

I do not doubt that a man named Jesus existed, and that he probably did preach about God. But I believe he was no different than any cult leader today that preaches about their own religious beliefs and gains a small number of followers. The difference with Jesus is that Christianity was already more wide spread, and the general population was very uneducated and easily influenced by a great orator. Do I actually believe their is a God, and Jesus is his son? No. But I'm sure the man existed.

Keith

It is actually more reasonable than not to conclude that Jesus was an actual living person. Whether or not he was "the Christ" is the only worthwhile point of debate. Regardless, many of the teachings of Jesus are worthy of people to take to heart whether they are Christians or not. As an agnostic, I take those things that are wise from any and all religions, and leave behind those things that are destructive.

gimmeslack12

I don't care whether he really existed or not. It's his story that never happened, at least the son of god part and dieing and coming back to life stuff. What matters to Christians is that he is a support system that is able to take the blame for all the bad stuff in your life so that you can move past them and continue living.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I think Jesus really is a great thing, because it allows people to psychologically take pressure, grief or guilt and remove the effects of anxiety and pressure that those feelings create. On the flipside it possible allows someone to conjure up Love by themselves.

I think Jesus is a psychological whipping boy for all things that people don't have or can't (don't want to?) deal with. So I think atheists and non-Christians (heck, maybe Christians themselves) are missing the point about the importance of Jesus to some people.

The Twitter conversation over the article was mostly complimentary:

@JoshTheLink

Interesting debate from CNN's site about whether or not Jesus was a real person: https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c1

@CommonDescent

CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c2 Honestly, this is a topic I don't know much about. I'd like to learn more.

@TTCNews

CNN interviews two Thoughtful Christian authors for this intriguing question–Craig A. Evans... http://fb.me/1idvhPxXD

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jesus

soundoff (2,443 Responses)
  1. mckillio

    Being an Atheist, I would agree that it was probably insensitive to run that story on easter.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • ed ivie

      EXACTLY!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yeah, it probably was insensitive. But the question of Christ's authenticity should be addressed by believers. Blind faith isn't faith at all.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  2. Bill Watson

    You atheist want everyone to believe you but you offer nothing. No proof, no evidence, no theory based on absolutes. Science created the idea of absolutes yet when you investigate you find the control for the absolute is always a theory. case in point. Carbon 14 dating using radio active decay as an absolute for determining the age of things. Radio active decay is based off of something called Large Number THEORY. We have also discovered that neutrinos released prior to a solar flare speed up radio active decay. So much of that Absolute. The list goes on and on and on. Even history. Come to find out the Bronze age was not a global event and actually started during the stone age. Yet we use the "ages" as historical absolutes of when something happened. Even the creator of the terminology of the different "ages' said we mustn't do this because it is misleading.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • reason

      Ever since the stone age, bronze age and iron age were defined they were not meant to be absolutes, starting on such and such date and ending on such and such date. That archeological system of ages even defines transition periods, which differ based on region.

      Also gravity is still considered a "theory."

      April 10, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      When you provide the evidence for your god, then we will have reason to believe in it until then the burden of proof lies on the one making the extraordinary claim. Your ignorance to the truth is not our problem.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Gaunt

      Nobody actually pretends the bronze or iron ages are monolithic events, of course they happened at different rates in different places. Please dont lie next time you post.

      carbon dating is one out of over 60 forms of geochronological dating, all of which confirm the old age of the earth.

      Finally, as for our 'proof' there is no god, where is your proof that god is not actually Odin and his pantheon? Really, you dont have any? yet you dismiss Odin as a fairy tale. Wow, are you a total hypocrite?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      Bill, you simply reject the learning process and have chosen to believe what you want to believe. There is ample proof that the world, and human society formed without the help of any of the thousands of gods humans have worshiped throughout history. There is no proof that your god, or any god for that matter, exists. It is perfectly rational for a person to consider that lack of evidence and to realize that the only reason to believe in god is emotional need.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bill
      There are no absolutes in science.
      One of the defining characteristics of the Scientific Method is that all theories are open to revision based on new data.
      Religion claims infallibility – science does not.
      That's why everything remains a theory – even things that seem to have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt like gravity and evolution.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  3. J

    {s} People stupid grammar have and to write shouldn't allowed be. {/s} No wonder so many people believe in god. They can't even form sentences in their own languages (in the age of browser-based spell check even!) and yet they're being trusted with questions of the cosmos...?! Humans=FAIL. Go back to sleep.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Bill Watson

      Intelligent people understand a lot of people are doing this on mobile devices with screens that are hard to see.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Bill: Best put your computer and everything else electronic away...atheists designed them idiot!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  4. Ezra

    With religion, the answer to every unkown is "god did it". At least until science actually finds the answer.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Bill Watson

      Science never finds the answer, only the question.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Jeff E.

      "With all your science can you tell me how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?" Henry David Thoreau

      April 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • tallulah13

      That's the beauty of science. It always questions it results. Religion is stagnant. Science is a living thing.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Jeff E.

      tallulah13, science is a valuable tool when it asks questions. The problems arise when we think it actually gives us an answer.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      Jeff, science has answered millions of questions. It has cured diseases. It has advanced human lifestyles to a point where we have longer lives, better shelter, more food, speedier travel and readily available energy. It has created inventions, like the very computer you're using, and the internet that allows you to communicate on this blog. It has taken humanity into space and to the moon.

      I'm not sure why you think science doesn't answer questions. Unless, of course, the only answer you wish to believe is that "god did it."

      April 10, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Jeff E.

      tallulah13, What question did science answer when it made your smart phone or cured a disease? Science simply observes interactions and this requires fallible and limited observers, us, using fallible and limited tools. Gravity exists... great. Everyone knew that before Newton sat down and gave it a name. Do we know what causes it though? And yes, science does avoid the biggest and most important questions of all, questions that religions at least attempt to answer like who are we and what is our place in the grand scheme? If you use science to attempt to answer that you are relying on faith, just like any religious practioner.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  5. Haley

    Does anyone really notice that articles like this one are exactly what the press uses to manipulate the public? We are all showing our reactions, opening our thoughts, and laying the groundwork for anyone to use our emotions to their advantage. Welcome to the Belief Blog.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      That's one way of thinking about it. Another way it to think of it is as a forum for individuals to express their opinions under the protection of anonymity. Some of the stories CNN puts up here are intended to manipulate, but whether you allow yourself to be manipulated or not is up to you.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  6. reason

    The gods of all organized religions, if true, would all be horribly unjust and evil deities to send billions of people to eternal suffering for choosing the wrong one or being born in the wrong place. Looking at organized religion objectively, they are myths from iron age societies that were trying to explain the world, and there is virtually no chance any one is truth.

    Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you live your life. Rejecting reason and deluding yourself in blind faith does not help your case.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4or90cmyhk&w=640&h=360]

    April 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • netndx2

      if you get the manipulation of man out of the way then the core teachings of all faiths are basically good IMO. I am leery of a person that has only their own temporal experience to guide them through life.

      as has been said though about advice....fools don't heed it and wise men don't need it

      April 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  7. netndx2

    I get it...questioning Jesus on Easter is relevant...maybe in poor taste but relevant. Where is the balance for your other readers supporting the existence of Jesus and maybe the real point of the day his relevant teachings?

    "modernizing the church", "vilifying the church". maybe you can find something in there to "support the church" or at least "the message" as well?

    very relevant point others made concerning your cowardice around questioning other faiths. Why don't you publish a cartoon of Mohamed tough guys?

    April 10, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • reason

      Please explain how the noble cause of seeking truth is in poor taste.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • netndx2

      @reason. the timing is poor taste meant to capitalize on the believers day. There are 364 other days to seek truth in a noble way. Choosing this day is not meant to seek truth and examine in a thoughtful way it is meant to stir the pot and cater to those that want to stick their finger in the eye of those that believe. Oh and drive page views for CNN.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @netndx2: When they give the holiday back to the people they took it from in the first place, we will stop ridiculing them. The whole holiday is absurd...a man dying and 3 days later coming back from the dead...nowhere in recorded history (outside of the buybull) has this ever happened.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  8. Barb

    I haven't noticed CNN being anymore politically slanted or more biased than any other news source. Regardless, I don't think their timing on this particular article was bad. I tend to think about these things most during specific holidays. Perhaps one reason Christianity is so easy to target is because those are the holidays celebrated the most in the U.S. Our own government celebrates these Christian holidays. Those that celebrate holidays from other religions do so more quietly, and it is not spanned across the country, or across our tv and internet.

    I believe that we get too offended about other's points of views and opinions far too often. Those offended by others religious views need to look in on themselves. We're all allowed our thoughts, views, and opinions. I refuse to keep my opinions quite just because it may be against someone else's. I do believe we should all word things as nicely as possible, and not simply attack each other's views.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  9. Sybaris

    The more important question, was Jesus divine or not?

    There is nothing outside the bible that confirms Jesus' alleged divinity.

    If you believe in and worship Jesus based on available writings then you have no reason NOT to worship any other alleged divine figure.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • LookAndSEE

      Yes we do! Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

      April 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @look: There is no evidence that jesus said anything. The gospels were not written, in fact nothing was written about jesus, until about 30 years after his supposed death. None of the gospels were written by the people they are named after.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Sybaris

      Jesus didn't say that. Whoever wrote that passage said that and you don't even know who that is.

      Regardless, there is no more reason to be believe that than any other "divine" guidance from any other religion

      April 10, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiousity Law #3 – If you habitually spout off verses from your "holy" book to make whatever inane point you're trying to make, and not once does it occur to you to question whether your book is accurate in the first place, then you are definitely mentally retarded.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  10. Tom

    We didn't want to see the Jesus deniers in heaven anyway. ( Just kidding)
    I don't care if someone denies the object of my faith, and i don't care when they do it either

    April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  11. Robert

    I'm saddened greatly by seeing so many vitriolic attacks both against Christians and by those professing to be followers of Christ. Tolerance is the ability to show love to those you disagree with while neither condoning nor justifing wrong actions.

    Christians are not seeking to convert people to Christianity through legislation however it would also be incorrect for anyone to expect a man to not vote for elected officials based on his beliefs. Believing anything by definition is believing it to be true, whatever it is, regardless if that makes you one of the majority or a minority of one. If you believe there is no God then you will vote according to your beliefs. If you believe in any God, your vote will be affected by your beliefs. Separation of Church and State is a legislative concept between an organized religion and the nation state – not between a man and his beliefs.

    My issue with this article that was posted was that it was clearly intended to spark this very controversy at the expense of believers on the very day we celebrate Christ's resurrection. A company like CNN certainly would never post an article questioning the existence of Muhammad on Ramadan so I'm left wondering why it is acceptable to post an article questioning Christ's existence on Easter.

    Make no mistake – my faith is strong enough to support criticism and questions of any kind. The fact that this strikes at my own faith is completely inconsequential.

    If CNN were to post an article questioning the value of Martin Luther King on MLK day, or questioned the value of veterans on Memorial Day I would be equally offended. It's because of this egregious display of disrespect that I won't be visiting CNN.com any longer. I'm well aware that it will not negatively affect CNN in any way but I must follow my conscience in not supporting an organization that finds this acceptable.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Price Grisham

      Your response is concise, accurate, counteous, and respectful of other religions; in fact, everything that the CNN article was not, apparently. It is getting much more difficult to respect CNN as a solid source of news anymore, alas.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  12. Emmett Berry

    When CNN runs a similar article debating Mohammed's credibility on a Muslim holy day, then I will give credit to your own integrity. You are afraid to take on such a task for fear of offending or losing audience share. Yet you have no problem denigrating Christian beliefs. Your prejudice is obvious, and your lack of respectability is as well. Will you speak to that?

    April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Why do you care about disproving Islam? Your religion is failing so you want the other ones to fail too? Cool, with me. How about we do one of Mormonism, Hinduism and all the other BS?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mark

      You know what's funny. Supposedly the son of god came but nobody could was there could be bothered to write about it for some 40 years. But every year the news does this. LOL at all of you

      April 10, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  13. Jeff E.

    The number of comments this tastelessly timed opinion piece received illustrates exactly why CNN did it. This isn't about informing the people, it's about ratings. We the American people are being manipulated on the most basic level, based on our fears and desires. Do we really need to know about a family being murdered in North Dakota? No not really but you're still going to see that headlined because they know some basic part of our nature makes it hard to resist clicking. The media is the reason so many candidates were built up and pulled back down again during the course of this Republican primary. A steady, unsesational race means low ratings, but a back and forth struggle garners far more attention so the media will do what they can to ensure that happens. Until we wake up and realize how we are being manipulated, the media will continue to feed us garbage.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Come on, Jeff. Who are you really being manipulated by? The media or your religion? News isnt bad. Dont like learning, dont learn.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Jeff E.

      ReligionIsBS, I'm sorry you went so far to assume that I practice a particlular religion. I myself am agnostic with leanings toward Buddhism. I simply see the value of faith in everyday life. Faith is required for belief in anything, including our fallible sciences.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  14. Bill Watson

    If you act now you can be ordained at the First Church of Atheism dot com for FREE over the phone.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Bill Watson, you have an assignment: send us all the information you can find on the Church Of Atheism. There should be boatloads of data out there!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  15. Hammer05

    CNN…your "Belief Blog" is a complete sham. I have yet to see one of your columns written by a theologian, priest, rabbi, or minister. This is not a blog about belief. It is a blog about discrediting belief in religion.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Haley

      I agree. Real scholars do not waste their time on online open forums. They are discussing the issues with other scholars and authorities closely, not across cyberspace. What you say makes this blog a "sham," is also what makes it popular.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      I have to admit, I don't see many articles advocating religion. But... I also haven't looked for those articles either. 😦

      April 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  16. Andrea Adams

    GOD & His Son, JESUS, and the Holy Spirit have given me and my family so many miracles and blessings that I could never ever ever return enough prayers of thankfullness!!!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Bill Watson

      Awesome!!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Ezra

      I feel exactly the same way towards Sant Claus.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • reason

      If you were born in the Middle East you would think Allah blessed you.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Andrea Adams: Way to take away the credit rightfully deserving to others. How very christard of you!! Miracles do not exist and that can be scientifically proven.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Tina

      Same here, Andrea! May you continue to be blessed!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Sybaris

      It's good to be you Andrea.

      I guess it's not so good to be a christian amputee though.

      You might ask your god why it's never miracled them a new limb.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Tina: You too are wrong and an idiot for following such delusional crap. Hope you don't have children to abuse with the brainwashing like your stupid parents abused you with it!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ Andrea / Tina / Bill ~~ Not sure if you remember the tornadoes in the south a few months ago (I would imagine you do, because odds are that it was in your neighborhood). Anyway, there was a CNN article about this family huddled together, holding hands, and praying for survival with their neighbor? Want to guess what happened...? No, they were not miraculously saved by the grace of god. Must've been on lunch break, as all but the neighbor (including a 3 year old?) were swept away and perished. I don't mean to make light of a tragic event... but the point is prayer doesn't work.

      When good things happen, it CAN ACTUALLY BE THROUGH YOUR OWN DOING....!!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    A sermon by Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (the greatest theologian of the last century):

    I am the Lord, your Physician!

    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)

    April 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  18. Bill Watson

    Atheism began in the 16th century. meaning it is the youngest of all religions and will not stand the test of time.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      (SIGH) Billy – just because it ends in 'ism' doesn't make it a religion. Jeez....

      April 10, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Ezra

      Ya, just another stupid, false religion like all the rest.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Watson

      You said, "Atheism began in the 16th century. meaning it is the youngest of all religions and will not stand the test of time."
      Atheism is only a religion if not collecting stamps is a hobby. It is the only logical conclusion after evaluating all available evidence for gods.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • reason

      Apparently this needs to be posted more than once:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6zGK-XblGA&w=640&h=360]

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • HellBent

      Considering that before (and well after) the 16th century, people were killed for heretical ideas (there not being a god is probably as heretical as you can get), do you really find this surprising?

      Also, the view that atoms are made up of three more basic particles is a relatively recent viewpoint. Does this somehow make it invalid.

      You may think you sound smart, but yeah, epic logic fail.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • JT

      The real kicker is that even you were born an atheist and then infected with the virus of religion. I hope you are able to cast off your indoctrination one day. In the meantime...good luck with spreading your lies.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  19. chiye

    I commend the article, although i don't approve of forcing opinion of religion on others, i do think that people should at least be knowledgeable about the religion and holidays that they are claiming. And anyone who does their research will find that Easter originated as a Pagan day of fertility worship.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  20. Bill Watson

    There is no scientific proof that God doesn't exist. It has never been proven. Anything else is just the fallible words of men. The mythological belief system of Atheist says "there is no God". While they continue to promote these myths they can not offer one shred of evidence.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Watson

      You said, "There is no scientific proof that God doesn't exist. It has never been proven. Anything else is just the fallible words of men. The mythological belief system of Atheist says "there is no God". While they continue to promote these myths they can not offer one shred of evidence."
      It isn't the atheists making the ridiculous claims. Believers claim there to be some being for which they offer not a single shred of evidence.

      Believing in gods, of any stripe, is no different from believing in the Tooth Fairy.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • reason

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6zGK-XblGA&w=640&h=360]

      April 10, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Jessy The Gnostic

      Here is a thought. What if we are all gods? This might explain a few things. Check out the first clue in the bible.

      "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." – Genesis 3:22

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Bill Watson

      Yet still no proof there is not a God. You atheist want everyone to believe you but you offer nothing. No proof, no evidence, no theory based on absolutes. Science created the idea of absolutes yet when you investigate you find the control for the absolute is always a theory. case in point. Carbon 14 dating using radio active decay as an absolute for determining the age of things. Radio active decay is based off of something called Large Number Theory. We have also discovered that neutrinos released prior to a solar flare speed up radio active decay. So much of that Absolute.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • HellBent

      Atheism isn't the viewpoint that deities 100% absolutely do not exist. It is simply a lack of a belief in a deity. Your argument, based upon a false assumption, is thus meaningless. Nice try, though. I'm sure you felt clever there for a moment. Congrats on that.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      @ Bill Watson
      You said, "There is no scientific proof that god "doesn't exist." Well, you do also know that there is no proof that god "does" exist, right ? It has never been proven.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Bill: We are not the ones claiming there is a god, so the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim. We have nothing to prove in saying we don't believe a god exists. We simply state that without verifiable, concrete evidence we see no reason to believe. So unless you can provide said evidence, your point fails miserably, as does your belief system!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My brain hurts, hearing this tired argument again.
      It is not possible to definitively prove a negative.
      Prove to me that Thetans don't exist. Lots of people believe in the myth of the Galactic Overlord Xenu and there is not a single, concrete shred of evidence to DISprove his existence.
      In fact, you cannot disprove the existence of ANY God that has ever been postulated.

      As for Carbon 14 dating – that was not an absolute.
      Scientists readily admit the limitations of the method – but when used in conjunction with other dating methods, it helps to provide accurate dating for organic material up to 50,000 years old.

      Google "Russel's Teapot" for an explanation of why your reasoning is specious.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Em

      TruthPrevails – You are also making a claim – that God does not exist. So I would say that your side also bears the same burden of proof. Therefore – where and what is your proof?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Ezra

      Still no proof that the flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist. Prove it!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Em: Are you a moron? The word 'no' obviously indicates a negative and in case you are too uneducated to clue in, you can't prove a negative. We have nothing to prove...we simply have said there is not sufficient evidence for a god and until there is we see no reason to believe...so where is your proof?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Ezra

      Still no proof that Zeus, Ra, Thor, hercules, invisible pink unicorns do not exit. What a foolish comment.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • jeff

      because you cannot prove a negative, bill. There is also no significant proof that giant space-faring man-of-war jelleyfish wearing pink tu-tus are shapeshifting into the forms of kim k and keith o just to watch and see how we react to sunburn do not exist. i am a believer, bill, and arguments like this are doing us all a disservice. when making a scientific claim, however, one would be ecstatic at putting forth a new theory of how god works and exists over the status quo – which undeniably suggests proof of absence. not lack of existence, necessarily, but absence. this is the essence of faith, and people of all paths must understand this and respect one another. what is important is what we do with our faith. It is a very powerful tning and we should work toward helping everyone we can; we must govern our lives by the same ethics, morals, and compassion as we profess to follow; we must as a group get away from the politics involved and the infighting and the animosity toward nonbelievers becaus as i said earlier about the the argument being a disservice to us, the entire environment christians as a whole have created is a disservice to christ himself. we are called to witness, this is true, but we are not the axe. Vengeance is not ours. We witness by example, not push away with intolerance, stupidity, or name calling. Many christians want to be the paul of their own worlds and write their own letters to their own known wickedness but again, this is not our role. Our role is to spread the glory of god, not the anger. i apologize for this little rant going beyond the scope of your original statement, bill, but i felt strongly the need to type it.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • PMS

      The burden of proof is on you moron. If I say, "there is an invisible monkey who shines my shoes every morning," you would demand proof, would you not? There is no difference in saying, "there is an invisible higher being that created everything and watches over me." You need an education.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Em

      TruthPrevails – are you able to have an intelligent conversation without resorting to insults? Apparently not. It is irrelevant if you are stating that something does NOT exist. You still bear the burden of proving your claim. If I file a lawsuit, and you assert a defense stating that something did NOT happen, you also have the burden of proving evidence supporting your defense.

      If God doesn't exist – prove it. Prove to me how the universe was formed – was it the Big Bang? If so, how did that happen? I want scientific specifics, right down to the very beginning. Did it materalize out of nothing? If so, how? Science only takes you so far, which is my argument for the existence of a higher being who sets everything in motion.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Em: When you make absurb claims, you call for ridicule!! The BURDEN DOES NOT LIE ON ME IDIOT!! THE BURDEN LIES ON THE ONE MAKING THE CLAIM AND YES YOU ARE AN IDIOT FOR AS.SUMING OTHERWISE!! Science has already provided evidence to the contrary of what the buybull says. When you people stop making the claim that a god exists when we know it can't be verified, we will stop questioning you. Until then the burden of proof lies on you!!! Read what Doc Vestibule stated. It's not our problem that you are too stupid to realize the truth and what the term 'burden of proof' means. If we said the flying spaghetti monster was real, you'd demand the proof...so we're only asking the same of you.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • ...

      Em is a retard and didn't pass grade 2

      April 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Em

      What evidence has science provided? Science has explanations for things...but again, those explanations only go back so far. Thanks for your inability to hold an intelligent debate without insults. I am secure enough in my position that I can argue it without attacking the other side. Apparently, you feel the need to insult others – what wonderful support for your position. As I said, my support for my position is that science only backs so far in explaining how things work/happen. That is my proof. For example, how do flowers grow? We know that you plant a seed, water it, give it sunlight, and then up pops a pretty flower. But how does the water, sunlight and plant food stimulate a seed to grow? Is it magic that a seed with no capability of moving on its own can suddenly "move" on its own simply because you give it water and light?

      And you don't understand my point about the burden of proof – just because I am claiming something affirmatively, doesn't mean that there is no burden on the opposing side. This is not a lawsuit, where I am making a claim AGAINST you – and even if it were, the moment you assert a defense to my claim, you are required to prove that defense

      April 10, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • ...

      em is off her meds...stupid stupid stupid...refuses to understand that the burden of proof lies on her...what a retarded biatch

      April 10, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • LinCA

      @Em

      You said, "And you don't understand my point about the burden of proof – just because I am claiming something affirmatively, doesn't mean that there is no burden on the opposing side."
      Please ask yourself if you believe in any of the following:
      Allah, Zeus, Ra, Mythra, Thor, Vishnu, Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman, the Tooth Fairy, Bob the Magical Blue Sock.

      If you don't, please ask yourself why. Could it be because there is no "proof" of their existence? Do you have evidence that these creatures don't exist?

      The burden of proof lies entirely on the side of the believer, because it is the believers that claim there to be a god. They make these claims without providing even the slightest bit of evidence in support. Without evidence to support those claims, these gods are equally likely to exist as the Tooth Fairy, and all other mythical beings.

      On the other hand, most atheists on this comment board will not claim that there are no gods, but merely that they don't believe there are
      any, until evidence for their existence is presented. It's the difference between:
      a) Believing there are no gods, and
      b) Not believing there are gods.

      Just because it is not likely that we'll ever be able to conclusively prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, doesn't mean she exists. Unless there is at least some evidence to suggest there is such a creature, it's even quite silly to claim she exists. The same goes for all gods.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • HellBent

      Wow, Em. You just Really Don't Get It, do you. Sagan said it best – extraordinary claims evidence. The claim that there is an invisible creator of the universe became human in a rather suburban population part of the world 2000 years ago and left us a hodge podge of contradictory and immoral texts to guide us would be extraordinary. To claim that such a being does not exist would be about as extraordinary as claiming that mermaids do not exist.

      This really isn't hard.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Em

      ... – Given that I am a lawyer, I think I understand how burdens of proof work. And I never said that I don't carry a burden – I simply said that you do as well.

      I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy because my mother specifically told me that she put the money under my pillow. Maybe there is a tooth fairy out there, but since I have received "proof" that the fairy's job was being done by another, I no longer believe in it. Same with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I have my own proof that God exists, along with faith in his existence – if you don't have either of those things, then it makes sense that you don't believe it. But unfortunately for you, everyone's belief and faith system is personal to them. So even if I did have tangible proof, you may not understand it or you may not believe it anyways.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:03 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.